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TOPPLE – That Game is the Tops!

If you are familiar with occupational therapy, it should come as no surprise that we like to play games! Let’s talk about TOPPLE!

You can purchase this game at many different stores, online providers, or by using this Amazon link. This is a game that I really like to play in therapy and there are many ways to make it therapeutic. 

How to play

After setting up the game, each player gets one color set of discs. You take turns rolling the die to get a number and then you place your color disc on the associated number spot located on the top of the game. You earn points by getting your color discs in rows and stacks. The goal is to keep the board balanced and not “topple” over… or, if you want to get real strategic, if your opponent has one side of the board covered, try to topple it so that their pieces fall off. You can read the game instructional card for more details about playing and scoring, but that is the gist of it. 

How to make it therapeutic

There are several ways that this game can be used for therapeutic and developmental purposes for different age ranges. Here are some suggestions, but I am sure there are others that I did not think of:

  • Color identification – there are typically four different color disc sets. Mix them up, have the child pick one color and then they must find all of those colored discs
  • Visual discrimination – similar to color identification – if all the discs are mixed up, can the child discriminate one color from the other
  • Eye hand coordination – just the simple act of placing the disc on top of the wobbling board game requires a good amount of eye hand coordination
  • Multi-step direction following – first the child must roll the die, then find the associated number spot to place the disc
  • Counting – the die has dots to represent the numbers and the child must count those dots 
  • Number identification – once the child determines the number of dots on the die, they must find that number printed on the board 
  • Impulse control – if all of the discs are placed on one side of the board and it becomes unbalanced, then the board will topple over spilling some or all of the discs. Players must stop and think about where to strategically place the disc to keep the board balanced (or like I mentioned before, how to purposely topple it to knock some of their opponents discs off). Although I will admit, most kids really want it to topple over and love when the discs come crashing off the board! 
  • Strengthening – by adding wrist weights, the child is participating in strengthening activities in a fun way
  • Midline crossing and range of motion – place the discs in various positions (across midline, into shoulder extension, abduction, increased flexion) for the child to reach for before placing it on the board 

Above, I provided nine therapeutic and developmental purposes for playing the game TOPPLE, but I am a big fan of symmetry and evenness. I was going to put a 10th purpose down, and then I decided I wanted to hear from you. Can you give us one more example of how the game TOPPLE can be used for development and therapy? 

Written by Madonna Smith, MOT, OTR/L

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Patient Reviews

Crystal Scheibe

Great place, glad we found them. Been going to Medina over 2 months now and he loves Lauryn and Kyler. Wish they had more ABA therapy places available... live in Wooster and long drive everyday.

Karrie Swan LaRock

My 11 year old son has dyslexia and has made noticeable gains in working At LLA THERAPY. Katie is strong in her approach toward him and also keeps him comfortable enough to perform well. We will continue visiting both the Fairlawn and Hudson offices and recommend them highly.

Ron Monroe

My 9 year old just completed about 9 months of weekly speech sessions (due to his stuttering) with Matt Hagge at LLA and we are thrilled with the experience and results. What I thought might be a negative (what kid really wants to go to speech class?) was made very positive by Matt, and my son never hesitated or complained when we talked about class. He really enjoyed it and really took what Matt taught him to heart. His speech has been greatly improved and we definitely recommend LLA. Thank you so much!

Heather Dougherty-Pantoja

My son’s Occupational Therapist, Jess, is an amazing OT! She gives practical tips on working with my son at home and school!

Terri Apgar

I cannot say enough good things about LLA Therapy. My daughter was a client of Teal Simmons’ for approximately 2 years and was just released from speech therapy! She was diagnosed with Apraxia in 2015 and worked with Teal twice a week. Through Teal’s application of PROMPT therapy, my daughter had age-appropriate speech after one year. All of the staff we interacted with at LLA were absolutely wonderful. They really care about what they do and making sure your child achieves their goals.

Kelli Geisler Davisson

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for my son as well as my family! My son always asks, "When can I go see Ms. Jeannine again, is it Monday??" He has also made huge gains in only 5 months! I would highly recommend LLA and have already shared my experience with friends looking for services!

Victoria Hansford-Price

We are so grateful for our Speech Therapist Ms.Teal. We have seen a great improvement with our sons confidence and communication abilities since we have started "Prompt" therapy. What we love the most about LLA and Ms. Teal is that Kohl feels comfortable and relaxed which has played a critical role in his progress. Thank you Ms. Teal for all you have done.

Laura Lee Hogsett

They have helped in numerous ways. Speech, OT and behavioral. I've had numerous compliments on my son's progress thanks in very large part to LLA. I would recommend LLA before I recommend our local children's hospitals, though they are good, they don't have the staff that LLA does.

Amy Furukawa

We had a great experience with Matt Hagge at LLA! Our Middle School age son was becoming very conscious of his voice, which is nasal due to a cleft palate. Matt helped him to better form his sounds and project his voice in a way that makes the unavoidable nasality less noticeable.Our son is more confident and outgoing & even took on a speaking role in the church play. Matt has the perfect personality to relate with our son, and we would recommend him to anyone needing speech therapy services!

Jessica Havalotti

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for our daughter. I would highly recommend LLA. Miss Grace was so amazing and I can't believe how quickly our daughter showed improvement. Thank you!
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