Saturday, October 20, 2012

Loopz Motor Planning Game and App Review

There are more and more active games coming out on the market.  LoopzTM is a toy available in stores ranging from $35 to $50 (Walmart, Target, ToysRUs, etc) and online that is a great tool to practice motor planning and coordination skills.  It is a set of four arches that has lights in each arch.  There are different ways to play with Loopz and motion sensors detect your movement as your wave your hands through the matching loops.  Some of the games start out with you using one hand to follow the lights and then progress to two hands.  In addition you can make music by turning on and off the loops, which the teenagers enjoy.

This has been a great toy to add to my PT bag.  The children can play on all fours, over the therapy ball or even in standing.  Motor planning skills, reflexes, balance and coordination skills are challenged as the children have to follow the patterns of the lights.  My favorites are Repeat the Beat and Reflex Master.  Repeat the Beat is where you have to repeat an increasing number of lights.  Reflex Master challenges you to wave as many lights as you can before time runs out.  Have to admit the kids don't love playing in standing (although I do) because it challenges their balance and they really just want to play the game.  I usually have them try it and reward them with a turn on all fours which is still beneficial.  When the game progresses to requiring the player to use two hands at a time it can become difficult for many children since it challenges bilateral coordination skills and timing.       

The Loopz app ($0.99 full version but a free version is available) is also a fun addition to challenge students reflexes, motor planning, bilateral coordination and timing.  I prefer the "real" game to the app from a physical therapy perspective but I am sure OTs would love to try out the app.  There are also more options on the app to create music by tapping the Loopz.  I think a bargain for $0.99.    

Has anyone else tried out this game?

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