Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Knot So Fast

When Timberdoodle contacted me about reviewing Knot So Fast, I was intrigued. A game of knot making??? The autism-therapy-mom in me became excited with the possibiities.

A game like this one could be the background activity for a list of developmental and relationship objectives, for speech and communication, for fine motor work, for motor planning, for plain 'ol fun.

Priced at $17.25 (retail $20.00) on the Timberdoodle web site, Knot So Fast is a game for one to four players ages eight and up. It's meant to be a family game, a race, with the objective to see who can tie knots in the soft game ropes faster than the other players by following steps on one of the 40 challenges pictured on cards that are a part of the game.

Like many families with a child on the autism spectrum, and like many homeschoolers, we tend to change the rules and make games our own, and this is no exception. We have used it a little bit outside of the rules and I have plans to continue to use it in more ways outside of the game rules.
When the game arrived, I was experiencing a horrible upper respiratory virus that sent me into coughing fits when I exerted myself. Talking, walking across the room, being upright prompted choking coughs, and I watched the kids play with the game from a prone position on the couch.

My eldest was really intrigued by the game, and her interest showed me more uses for the game. Eldest played alone, competing with herself, challenging herself to study the cards and create the knots.

By comparison, my homeschooler, my learner with special needs, resisted the whole thing, choosing to turn several ropes into one big mess. (FYI: The mess she made was easy to untangle. I like the texture of the ropes. They shape easily and unknot just as easily.) I know where she is, developmentally, and I am able to choose some simple knots to show her as a confidence builder. It was interesting to me to compare the two reactions; one child dove into the challenge head first; one resisted.

I can work with resistance, and Knot So Fast will give the two of us some opportunities to conquer some of it with the game as background activity.

One of our developmental objectives has been to give our girl opportunities to copy our meaningful actions, where she is responsible for focusing her attention on the right things to create a positive outcome - showing her how to tie a knot is one way to do that. She gets developmental practice and learns to tie different knots at the same time.

Eventually, I will have HER show ME, tell me how to tie a knot, and we'll write the steps down together. We'll get some speech practice with the game. She's not ready for that, yet, but she will be one of these days.

One of the other things that my eldest brought to my attention was the educational value of the game. She kept asking, "Why would anyone need to learn to make this kind of knot?" Each challenge card offers a brief explanation about what that particular knot is used for, and I can imagine our making a little unit study about knots using this game in our homeschool.

I wonder if one person could direct another person, blindfolded, to tie a knot, using nothing but spoken directions? Hmmmm.

In addition to being a family game, I think that Knot So Fast would be a workbox activity (one new knot with one rope in a box); a great travel game (I'd leave the little hourglass timer at home). Speech therapists, occupational therapists, professionals who work with students on the autism spectrum would have fun with clients while working on therapy goals within the context of a game. Knot So Fast could be a neat gift for your favorite OT or autism therapist.

We enjoy looking through the catalog that came in the mail; there are lots of unique toys at Timberdoodle.

Visit Timberdoodle for your homeschooling needs, for single player games (great for workboxes); and for family and educational games. Free catalogs for homeschoolers are available here. Timberdoodle has a facebook page, too.

Legal Disclosure:

As a member of Timberdoodle's Blogger Review Team I received a free copy of Knot So Fast in exchange for a frank and unbiased review.

1 comment:

Stranded said...

I love this game! We are too young for it, but would be great to have a bit further down the line.

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