Making a DIY Totika Deck

Therapeutic games for children

Totika is a therapy game that combines jenga with therapy card games. The benefits of the totika game include confidence building and teaching open communication skills. Play therapy games like this are great for children three to 12 but can benefit anyone no matter what their age.
By creating an imitation of this game, you are able to make a more specialized version that will better help you address the specific needs of your child or students. Creating your own version of this game is simple, but it is important that you approach it with care. The point of this game is to foster new skills, so it is important to avoid making your game too competitive.

What You Need

  • Jenga or anther wood stacking game
  • A deck of index cards
  • Markers

Brainstorm Your Questions

The type of questions you are asking depends on what you hope to accomplish with you game. Is this a way to get a group of people talking? Are you trying to foster self-esteem? Or are you trying to teach problem solving skills?
Building Esteem
If you are trying to emulate the original totika game, you should stick with open ended questions that allow the opportunity to validate your players: ?how do celebrate success? or ?who do you tell good news to first??
Ice Breaking
General, get-to-know-you, style questions work well for this style of play. If you want to add some diversity, you can add some (appropriate) never have I ever cards into the mix, for instance: ?Never have I ever been to Europe.? In this case, anyone who has been to Europe would have to withdraw a wood block from the tower.
Problem Solving
Riddles, brain busters, and other puzzles are all excellent ways of fostering problem solving skills. You can make each card apply to the individual, or encourage them to work out complicated problems as a group. There is a risk you run by turning this into a competition however, which is to discourage plays who might not have these skills yet. A good way to mitigate this is to have different levels of riddles for less advanced players.

If you are looking to create a fun way to build confidence, the totika game is widely available and a wonderful product. But if you are hoping to foster a more specific set of problems, then creating your own DIY game is great way of making it fun

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