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Monday, July 9, 2012

TOP 10 #6 Othello blog by Kim Lewis

In my sequencing of our top 10 blogs, I had not realized the Othello post  had gain such a high standing, so I stand corrected.  The # 6 spot holder is the guest blog by Kim Lewis. We originally published "Othello" on August 15, 2011. Enjoy!
I am bound and determined to have a Monday morning blog ready to go for you today. Since I am on the road traveling and can't let go of the steering wheel to write something positively outstanding, I am going to share with you a great little FUN therapy idea from Kim Lewis, M.Ed., CCC-SLP. Kim has a little website called Activity Tailor which is found at this address So after you read this blog swing by her place and read more about her therapy ideas and her products. Thanks so much Kim for helping me out and keeping everyone safe on the road.

The following is a recent post of hers on how to use the game Othello in therapy.

I love board games and Othello is one of those classic, perfect two player games. Do you remember this one? The board consists of 64 green felted squares and each player has 32 thick black and white disks that clack snugly into a space on each turn. The tactile aspect is hugely satisfying, in addition to encouraging fine motor skills.

You begin with four disks in the middle of the board, two whites diagonal from one another and two black diagonal from one another. Decide which player is which color (black goes first).

On your turn, place a disk on the board trying to “capture” at least one disk of the other color between a previously placed disk and your newly placed one. Here’s the fun part! You turn over each disk to “your” color that falls between “your “ two ends, whether it be horizontal, vertical or diagonal. “A minute to learn, but a lifetime to master” is Mattel’s slogan, and it’s true. The game involves a great deal of strategy and is fun for both children and adults. Somewhere around 8 years old/3rd grade is where this game tends to gain popularity.

Now, let’s tailor it! I buy boxes of plain circle stickers at office supply stores. They fit perfectly inside the little squares and the felt allows them to stick but not fully adhere (so you can switch the stickers easily with no residue). On 64 circles, I write the child(s) target words and place one in each square. We then begin to play the game, saying the words we cover as well as those we uncover when we flip the disks. This is a very fun way to get a lot of trials!

I like to provide auditory stimulation, so I usually say my “own” words, but it would be easy enough to place all the production burden on the child. And the game easily adapts to carrier phrases “I cover (target word)”, “I see (target word)”, “I said (target word)”, depending on what sound you need to in/exclude from the phrase.

P.S. The rows of disks have a very Oreo cookie look to them. I think a cookie or two in conjunction with the game could be a very therapeutic experience.

See you next week with #5 in our TOP 10.

Leah and Dean


  1. I love this game. Even if you don't stick the words on the squares, they can still draw a word from a deck to say perhaps three times for each turn - if they turn over a row of 8 - they can say the word once (or even three times!) for each piece - they need to work hard to earn all their turned over pieces! And I haven't really had kids get too frustrated by the task - and they get lots and lots of productions.