Friday, May 17, 2013

Review: OgoDisk: Dittos Don't Build Dendrites

In this game, there are no winners or losers.  The way to win is to have fun and the way to have fun is to keep the ball in play.

WHAT: OgoDisk Mini and OgoDisk Super by OgoSport
DOES: bilateral coordination, visual motor integration, visual tracking..  basically it's all about hand-eye coordination and also using your eyes with more control for things like... reading... you know... stuff like that  
INVEST:  $33-46  prices will vary with retailer  (each set of two disks comes with one ball)
AGES: 3+
TOOLS: My Body Needs to Move
EXPERT OPINION: Pediatric Occupational Therapist Susan L. Roberts, MDiv, OTR/L

If you have been following Toys are Tools recently, you will know that we have been bringing more and more outdoor toys to show you.

I have been reluctant to do so, only because it just gets so hot here.  Humidity is New York City is quite brutal but luckily we are not there yet and so I've been in a mad rush to get more and more sports toys.  The good news is that there are really great toys out there.  Some are not that cheap and some are super cheap.  They all have a different purpose but few are as multi-purposed as the OgoDisk by OgoSport.

It is something else.  If you ever decide to buy one, I have a feeling you are going to be very happy.  Here's why:


Oh, it is shamefully easy.  What other ball and racquet sport can two people pick up and just start really playing, like they've been doing it for weeks?  All you are doing is keeping it in the air, so that your friend can bounce it back to you.  It's so simple and yet so thrilling.

Can anyone do it?  Even if you are three.  I would have to say, yes and no.  Yes, a three year old can likely hit it but to keep a good volley going could be difficult.  (but I have a solution, wait...).  But if you are 7, 8ish... I think you can do a lot with the OgoDisk.


Say what? Say yes, that's what! A chief issue for many kids is being sedentary and if you want them to do better using their eyes for following things like small word trains that are piled on top of each other on a page then we have to really focus on that goal.  This means, we can be more creative. 

But here is something else, you can work on reading skills with the OgoDisk.  Oh yes, and while I can think of inventive ways to implement phonemic awareness with this, the truth is that if you are working on something like visual tracking, a skill that helps your read then listen to what pediatric occupational therapist Susan Roberts said.

It's also a great friendmaker.  It's not competitive.  It's just fun.

"Dittos don't build dendrites," she said.  Huh? Then she tried to explain what a ditto was.  Sadly, I know what dittos are but what the heck is a dendrite.

"Dendrites are connections between nerves," she said, "the more dendrites you have, the faster you can think."

OHHHHHHHHH.  "The more stimulation you put into the body, the more output you're gonna get."  Well that makes sense.  I knew there was a reason I bought this thing.  Actually, it was Alison Berkley from Emerge and See Educational Center who first told me about it.  I thought it was too expensive but I bit the bullet and bought the Mini and the Super but my kids really want the Mezo (15")size.  Those children!  So greedy!  But seriously, I gifted the Mezo to a friend and I was jealous.  Live and learn.  If you are new to Ogo and you don't know what to get, start with the Mezo.  You'll love it!


FRISBEE- The OgoDisk is made of some sort of strong but lightweight material.  And the width somehow helps us sucky frisbee throwers do a better job.

VOLLEY- Well, you already know that one.

BOUNCEY- Okay, there is no such game called "bouncey" but you can basic bounce it like Bop It! Bounce.  We have had contests at home.  Number 3 has bounced it 156 times without dropping.  She won herself ten dollars that day.

WATERY - What I mean by that is you can do all of the above in water.  OgoDisk is supposed to float.  To be truthful, I have not played with it in the pool but if you felt the OgoDisk and felt the material, (very strong rubbery foam) you would bet that it would float.

The "net" part of the OgoDisk looks like material that you would find on control top pantyhose or Spanx.  I doubt it would run but I wouldn't try stabbing it to find out. 

MAKE UP YOUR OWN GAME - My son made up a game with a ball on a string and the OgoDisk.  It was a lot of fun!

OgoDisk ball is on the left.  This other ball I bought from Amazon.

MODIFICATIONS: I have gifted these to friends and for little ones ages 4-6, I have thrown in a larger stringy rubber ball resembling the OgoSport ball.  The difference is not big but it feels heavier and I am told that the bigger ball is easier for the little ones.  Little ones tend to not know how hard to hit things so they'll make small and light ball fly high but heavier balls may go just far enough for the other wee friend to bounce it back to your kid.


It's kind of good to have two balls.  If you lose one, you can keep playing.  Believe me, we've lost two already.  If you like the Mini Disk (12 inches but harder for younger kids), you can try to get the two solo packs which means that each pack comes with a ball so you'll have two balls and not just one.

Want to buy on Amazon right now? Use my link to support Toys are Tools.

The bigger ball- not from OgoSport

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