Tricky Fish is a Frisbee-sized, circular fish-shaped ball maze. Like a fish swimming through water, players tilt the Fish back and forth and side-to- side to move a small ball through the shallow-grooved maze from the start to end point. The Fish maze includes an optional clear plastic cover to encase the ball as it moves through the maze. Also included is a larger ping pong-sized ball that fits in the Fish eye, and can be used in the maze (without the cover).
- The Tricky Fish promotes and strengthens auditory and visual processing skills as the player listens to and observes the ball roll or hit the fish maze walls and cues him / her to move the Fish accordingly.
- The Tricky Fish promotes understanding of directionality as the player moves the Fish in 3-Dimensions to move the ball around the Fish maze.
- The Tricky Fish promotes understanding of cause and effect as the player observes the ball move throughout the maze in response to his / her physical manipulation of the Fish.
- To promote elementary counting and math skills, instruct the player to count out loud every time the ball goes around a maze corner.
- To explore and strengthen understanding of the balls’ characteristics that allow it roll smoothly through the maze, encourage player to also utilize a glass or metal marble, rolling die or other small shaped pieces to “roll” through the maze. Player must compare the qualities of various shapes that assist them in gliding more smoothly through the maze than the others. Pair with the Missing Piece by Shel Silverstein for additional context.
- To familiarize and strengthen understanding of directionality, instruct player to call out the direction that he / she will move the fish in order to thread the ball through the maze (left, right, front, back).
- Tricky Fish promotes the development of wrist strength, mobility, and stability as the player holds the Fish steady, tips the fish from side-to-side and front to back move the ball through the Fish’s maze.
- Tricky Fish promotes motor planning development as the player learns to determine how to manipulate the fish in space to move the ball in the desired direction through the maze.
- Tricky Fish promotes two-handed play as the player holds the Fish between two hands to tilt it in order to move the ball throughout the maze.
- To promote balance, coordination and trunk stability, instruct player to complete the Fish maze while standing on a balance board thereby engaging his / her entire body in the activity.
- To promote and strengthen motor planning skills, instruct player to work the Fish maze while engaged in walking, alternating standing on one leg for several seconds at a time, or alternating between standing and sitting every five – ten seconds.
- For players with weak grip or hand control, replace the included ball with a metal one and instruct player to use a magnetic wand to push and pull the ball through the course.
- For players needing additional support to stabilize arms and hands, provide a pillow to set on seated lap while player is manipulating the fish.
- Tricky Fish promotes and strengthens visual tracking skills as the player watches the ball move through the fish maze.
- Tricky Fish promotes auditory and visual attention as the player listens and watches for cues that the ball is rolling down the maze lane or has hit a maze curve to which the player must respond by manipulating the Fish.
- Tricky Fish promotes tactile exploration as the player feels and traces the path that the ball follows from start to finish.
- To encourage tactile exploration and distinction, block visual access to the Fish and instruct player to trace the maze path with a finger and indicate which direction that the finger is moving (left, right, up, down, forward, backward).
- Use the Fish as a musical instrument by shaking the Fish (with plastic cover attached) to the rhythm of a players’ favorite songs.
- To practice and strengthen auditory distinction, utilize similar sized balls of different materials (wood, metal, Styrofoam, plastic, rubber, ice, etc.) to run through the Fish maze. Instruct players to guess which ball is being used as the facilitator or player runs it through the maze without looking at the ball.
- When working with a child with a visual impairment, set the Tricky Fish on the floor in front of seated child. Allow player to feel the maze and drag or push the ball through the course with his / her hands.