We had been receiving a fair amount of inquiries from people asking if Fort Boards was a useful toy for occupational therapy. We didn't know the answer to that question so we sought out some expert advice. Casey Halper of The Casey Halper Group, a Pediatric Occupational Therapy Practice, (mentioned in this NY Times article) was kind enough to test out a Fort Boards fort building kit and assess its value as an occupational therapy tool. Here is what she had to say:
As a pediatric Occupational Therapist, I highly recommend Fort Boards as it has many therapeutic values. Children use visual perceptual and visual spatial skills as they copy step-by- step pictures and instructions to build. Visual spatial skills are the ability to understand the position of objects in relationship to each other. In addition, it requires fine motor and bilateral coordination to interlock the boards. Children have the opportunity to enhance their social skills as they collaborate, motor plan, problem solve, and construct forts.
Casey Halper, OTR
We were thrilled to hear that Fort Boards is an occupational therapist recommended toy! There is a growing number of children who find themselves in first grade with the mental capacity to handle the reading and math but without the fine motor skills to hold a pencil properly - as more kids are developing their tablet swiping ability. It is important to let them play with Play-Doh, Legos, and toys like Fort Boards, so that they can build up hand strength and dexterity.
Thank you so much Casey for the assessment.