OuiSi Nature: A New, Fun, Inclusive Game for Autistic Children and Children With ADD/ADHD

Victoria S. Eilers, COTA/L

January 12, 2023

Have you been looking for an experience to help your child grow? If you are a parent, educator, or professional, OuiSi Nature could be the game you’re looking for. 

Is your child a wandering explorer or the master of their cozy corner? Whether your child is the bold seeker, a shy creative, or just dances to the beat of their own drum, they are a gift to the world. But first, they are a gift to you. 

Your child is also a gift to us. We want them to thrive and grow. They’re the world shapers of tomorrow. We’re here to offer support and encouragement as you teach and shape them.

Have you been searching for an experience to help your child grow socially? Discovering fun, inclusive games to promote social interactions between neurotypical and neurodivergent children can be challenging. 

Neurodiversity includes those with ADD, ADHD, and autistic children. Autistic children often have selective interests. This makes playing games with peers difficult sometimes. Children with ADD or ADHD may have trouble taking turns and sustaining attention to games that interest other children. 

A consistent trait of autistic children is an increased ability for pattern recognition. According to The National Library of Medicine, their little brains are wired to recognize, seek out, and create patterns. 

OuiSi Nature includes hundreds of colorful close-up shots of plants, animals, and habitats. Each high-quality photo can be mixed and matched hundreds of different ways. 

When you draw two or more cards, you can match them based on color, pattern, shape, and concept. It’s the ideal choice for your child who is already seeking out patterns. An open-ended game of vibrant variety, OuiSi Nature is highly motivating for your child with ADD or ADHD.

OuiSi Nature is a gift to us. It is our first choice of the year and is included in January’s Sensory TheraPLAY Box –our monthly toy subscription box, custom crafted by a pediatric occupational therapist. OuiSi Nature is a powerful tool of open-ended visual interpretation you can give to grow a child’s visual, cognitive, and social skills. 

What is OuiSi Nature? 

When you open OuiSi Nature for the first time, you will see vibrant stacks of photos and a game booklet. Nothing more. Nothing less. No waiting to read long, boring instructions. You can just start with your imagination, an idea, and pictures. 

The game booklet provides concise ideas and starting points for creative play. For example, you see a leaf that reminds you of a foot, a mushroom that reminds you of a head, and a fish that reminds you of a hand. They all come together so you can build a silly-looking alien man. 

Here’s what you’ll find in OuiSi Nature:

  • 210 high-quality, close-up photos of nature
  • Educational QR codes to tell each picture’s story 
  • A game manual with hundreds of possibilities for creative play

You will see your child…

  • Discover the beauty of the natural world
  • Connect with others through a shared interest 
  • Grow skills to support their educational and social experiences 

9 Reasons We Handpicked OuiSi Nature for TheraPLAY Box

  1. Universal: A Language of Pictures 

OuiSi Nature is the ideal game for diverse groups. OuiSi’s universal design is suitable for a wide age range and bridges the gap between neurodiverse and neurotypical. 

You want a game for any child to be… 

  • Colorful and engaging 
  • Attractive and inviting 
  • Not too hard, not too easy

What child doesn’t love colorful pictures and the opportunity to use their imagination? OuiSi Nature is universal in its approach because the game is all pictures, personal interpretation, and social interaction. The game is molded by the players, so difficulty and solutions are in the eye of the beholder. You and your child are the masters of the cards.

  1. A Natural Fit: Working With The Brain

A consistent trait of autistic children is an increased tendency for pattern recognition. According to the National Library of Medicine, autistic brains are wired to recognize, seek out, and create patterns. OuiSi Nature is a game of visual pattern recognition–the perfect choice for an already pattern-seeking brain. 

Some games work against a neurodivergent child’s natural way of thinking and perceiving the world. According to research, children with ADHD score higher in novelty-seeking or seeking out new things for enjoyment with greater intensity than the average person. 

The variety of colors, patterns, shapes, and infinite possibilities for interactive play will capture the attention of any child. Especially a child with ADD or ADHD who has a zest for the unexplored.

  1. Growing Skills: Visual Perception

OuiSi Nature involves the visual system and interpretation of images. Research suggests autistic children tend to pay attention to local visual information over global visual information. In other words, they zoom in on the details instead of the big picture. This game will challenge your child’s big-picture thinking through awareness of similarities between contexts. 

Your child will have the opportunity to categorize, think visually, and match similarities with a big picture goal in mind. OuiSi Nature also begins with a detailed visual image and includes a QR code to reveal the bigger picture from where the closeup shot was taken. Your child will make more connections to real-life contexts and grow their visual perception skills.

  1. Thinking Bigger: Cognitive Development 

Einstein once said, “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” Research may suggest that children–and adults–learn information faster with fewer repetitions and greater retention when they are having fun. Your child will be motivated to learn about creatures, habitats, and destinations in the real world. 

Because there is no one right answer per turn, your child will grow in their creative thinking. Your child will be challenged with problem-solving from multiple cognitive dimensions. 

Each card presents an open-ended question, “what do you see?” This question isn’t asked in words but in pictures. The game will motivate your child to be curious through play. Your child will convert concepts to thoughts, thoughts to words, and words to social skills growth. 

  1. Social Skills Opportunities and More

Children with ADD and ADHD often have difficulty taking turns. Just like with other games, your child has an opportunity to practice turn-taking. What makes OuiSi Nature different is the amount of flexibility to be creative in playing with pictures. 

OuiSi Nature is an open-ended game of variety and surprise. Novelty is highly motivating to children with ADD and ADHD. Images can be paired and interpreted in multiple ways. There’s no single right answer, so your child can form their own interpretation of another player’s card and continue to enjoy the game individually while they wait their turn. 

  1. Play Anywhere

Although OuiSi Nature can be played in a group, it can also be played individually. OuiSi Nature is a picture-based game of related images you can play at a table, on the floor, or on the go. You pair up these images by color, shape, pattern, environment, purpose, or concept. The included game booklet suggests several fun ways to categorize and connect the photos while exploring the natural world. 

  1. Educational Expansion 

Children with autism tend to find niches of interest and explore them in great depth. OuiSi Nature includes a QR code on the back of each image to scan with a smartphone and learn more. For example, a closeup of a toucan’s curious eye and orange sunkissed beak would include the name of the animal, where it lives, and some fun facts about it. 

A video is included in this informational presentation for each card. You will also see the larger image the close-up photo comes from. This bonus information appeals to older children seeking to learn more about nature. 

  1. No Tears Over Missing Pieces

You’ve likely experienced the stab of lost legos in your heart and your foot. You know the struggle of not playing a game or toy because an essential piece went flying up a tree, was chewed up by a pet, or sucked up in the vacuum cleaner. You also may have experienced the anxiety an autistic child has over an incomplete set. 

The beauty of the game is if one or two cards go missing, you can play on. There are so many possibilities when playing with pictures. Even if you lose 50 cards, nearly 25% of the deck, the game can still be played for hours. So, no tears over cards flushed down the toilet for “an experiment.”

  1. Intergenerational: Wide Age Range 

Whether you’re five or ninety-five, OuiSi Nature challenges you to grow visually, mentally, and socially. If you’re closer to 95, consider the game to be a relaxing, open-ended invitation to share about that time grandma went on an African Safari and almost married an elephant trainer. If you’re closer to 15, compete, learn and impress your friends with an expanded knowledge of the natural world. If you’re closer to 35, connect with your children and discover new possibilities with them. 

And if you’re 5, you won’t be reading this yet. Even if you could,  you’d be too busy finding pattern after pattern, shape after shape, squealing in excitement with the flip of a fuzzy squirrel’s tail, sticky sucker-feet of an octopus, or silly-looking stripes of zebras. You’d be chatting with friends, growing your little observant brain. 

Whoever you are and however long you’ve been on this beautiful planet we call home, you’ll find OuiSi Nature is a delightful experience. 

Adventure Awaits Children of All Ages 

No matter our age, we are captivated by the wonder of nature. Leap at patterns of seashells washed ashore, ready to claim them for your sand bucket. Prepare to marvel at jellyfish dancing through the Pacific like a ballet of stained-glass windows. Melt at the warm expressions of meerkats as they snuggle up for a midday snooze

Take a journey through nature while making visual, mental, and social connections along the way. Let us know what you see with OuiSi. 

What Do You See with OuiSi Nature?

Check out Sensory TheraPLAY Box and give the gift of fun, research-based growth through sensory play. January’s subscription toy box includes OuiSi Nature and other sensory toys, hand-selected by a pediatric occupational therapist. 

Learn more about OuiSi Nature and the original OuiSi on their website: https://shop.ouisi.co/

Sources: 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7907419/

https://slejournal.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s40561-019-0098-x

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0165178115001067

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01735/full#:~:text=Visual%20Perception%20in%20ASD%20Studies%20of%20visual%20perception,enhanced%20local%20processing%20of%20features%20and%20fine%20detail

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