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  • Claire Murphy, MOT, OTR/L

Holiday Gift Ideas from an Occupational Therapist


The clock is ticking and the holiday season is right around the corner. Instead of frantically searching through Amazon or spending hours walking around the mall, below is a list created to target different areas of your child’s development. As occupational therapists, we emphasize that a child’s primary occupation is play.

Toys can allow opportunities to naturally develop and maximize their skills in a variety of areas, while being fun and motivating. The lists below target toys for the following skill areas: fine motor, sensory processing, bilateral coordination, eye-hand coordination, motor planning, play and imagination, and visual perceptual skills. These toys can be easily located in stores or on store websites. Ask your occupational therapist if you want more specific suggestions!

Sensory processing:

  • Vestibular (movement):

  • Balance board

  • Sit and spin

  • Swings

  • Slide

  • Twister

  • Bike

  • Jump rope

  • Tactile

  • Kinetic sand

  • Chalk

  • Play scarves

  • Textured balls

  • Finger paints

  • Proprioceptive (body position in space)

  • Play dough

  • Trampoline

  • Scooter board

  • Hippity hop ball

Fine motor

  • Easel

  • Legos

  • Puzzles

  • Dress up clothes

  • Tongs and tweezers

  • PipSquigz/Squigz

  • Coloring books

  • Wind up toys

  • Stickers

Bilateral Coordination

  • Music toys

  • Pop tubes

  • Velcro cutting foods

  • Mr. Potato Head

  • Animal poppers

  • Zoom ball

Motor Planning

  • Model toys (i.e figurines, cars, etc.)

  • Craft kits

  • Science kits

  • Cooking kits

  • Marble tower

Visual Perceptual

  • Spot It

  • Thumbs Up

  • Design and Drill

  • Highlights

  • Rush Hour

  • Memory Game

  • Guess Who

  • Geoboards

  • Puzzles

Play and Imagination

  • Dress up clothes

  • Play houses

  • Kitchen sets

  • Work benches and tools

  • Puppets

  • K’nex

  • Doctor sets

Eye-hand coordination

  • Velcro glove and ball set

  • Building and stacking toys

  • Shape sorter

  • Stacking rings

  • Lego and duplos

  • Nesting cups

  • Beads and string

  • Maze books

  • Connect the dot books

  • Pegs and pegboard

#ChristmasIdeas #OTChristmasGiftIdeas #ChristmasGiftIdeas2017 #ChristmasGiftIdeasfromanOT2017 #SensoryFriendlyChristmasGifts

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