If you’re lucky enough to know an Occupational Therapist you know how important they are. There are several reasons people can find themselves in the company of these specialists but the results are the same.
Occupational Therapists help others live life, learn skills, and develop the strength to complete tasks that don’t come as naturally to everyone else. They can help us achieve goals that felt impossible.
These professionals specialize in behavioral, cognitive, and physical skills. Each patient is an individual and the treatment is reflected as such. Occupational Therapy works for children as well as adults who need extra care to fulfill their roles in society.
If you or someone you love sees an Occupational Therapist and you want to say “thank you“, this list will help you find the gift for them.
We have gift ideas covered from books about occupational therapy to useful OT products, equipment, tools, supplies, toys, games, music…
Best Occupational Therapy Gift Ideas
1. “250 Brief, Creative and Practical Art Therapy Techniques: A Guide For Clinicians and Clients” By Susan Buchalter
Art Therapy is an effective practice for many patients and a healthy way to express emotions or conflict. This is a guidebook for therapists to use to start a conversation, connect with their clients and help them find solutions. This is a nice gift for an Occupational Therapist because they can fit these miniature projects into their rotation. They can keep their sessions fresh and fun. The practices are great for all ages and all skill levels. The guides will help young children experiment with color and different art mediums. Older children or adults can express themselves and resolve tension.
2. Play Sand
When we are young play is crucial to our development. Children learn important skills that help build confidence in themselves. Children or adults with sensory disorders can benefit from these short activities that are simple. All you have to do is play with this shimmering purple sand. The muscles in our hands are used every day and are key to completing tasks.
Children who are having trouble strengthening these areas can build their skills by playing, molding, squishing, and rolling out this sand. The sand is kinetic so it sticks to itself leaving less of a mess compared to other moldable clays. Treat a therapist to some new toys to play with.
Some patients need help in strengthening their visual tracking skills. Young children and adults can benefit from playing a friendly game of catch. When a ball travels too fast or is too heavy, balloons are perfect. These float delicately through the air, they won’t smack a client in the face or break anything else in the room. These are fun and are filled with a flashing LED light.
These are fun for children especially with the lights off. A fun game that will get them giggling. A nice ice breaker for therapists that work with children. This will help ease a young client’s anxiety.
Some people don’t need to focus too hard on flipping a card over without bending the edges. Some people have strong short term memory skills. Some people don’t, and that’s why we have Occupational Therapists. This simple game is designed for children but could be used just as effectively with adults or elderly clients.
This game is simple in the goal. Players try to locate matching pairs in a deck of cards arranged on a flat surface. Each player takes a turn flipping two cards of their choice. If the images reveal a match they are removed and if not they are flipped face down and the turn ends. Slowly more images are revealed and players must work to remember where the matches are. This builds fine motor skills and cognitive skills.
A nice new game for clinicians and clients.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy otherwise abbreviated as CBT as a game; is guided play to build a healthier mindset. For those Occupational Therapists that facilitate group therapy sessions, this is a perfect game to get people talking to each other. While this works well in group environments, it could be used in private sessions as well.
In a sense, an Occupational Therapist is a teacher, and often teachers are left to provide their own tools and supply their own materials. Occupational Therapists will appreciate a gift that helps them fulfill their goals with their patients. A teacher wants to teach, and your Occupational Therapist wants you to succeed.
Music is a delightful and powerful tool for therapists to play quietly during sessions or activities. These light and classical sounds will help ease and relax the mind. Music can improve a patient’s focus and memory. This is an audio CD that can be played in the office. A wonderful gift for an Occupational Therapist to use to aid in their sessions or maybe to help get their own workflow started.
Physical Therapists may use resistance bands to help improve strength in legs or arms. Occupational Therapists work with fine motor skills, which can focus on smaller muscles, like the ones in our hands. These were designed specifically for fingers.
They are perfect for any age to help build those smaller muscles that are difficult to target. Now they can isolate the fingers and help their patients become stronger by exercising those tiny muscles that aren’t fully developed or have become weak.
A powerful way to get clients talking to each other, and unlocking the tools they already possess is through communication. This game gets things moving in a group therapy session. The “Game of Growth” will introduce discussions that provoke conversation and thoughts.
“Better Me” teaches accountability and independence. Part of therapy is learning how to eventually do it all yourself. This game will help your Occupational Therapist help you get there.
Pediatric Occupational Therapists work with children and they require fun, exciting, and engaging toys that hold their little client’s attention. That can be quite difficult for children who have trouble focusing.
These busy bag toys can make a true difference in their sessions. These toys are begging to be squished and squeezed. Let them pinch and poke to their heart’s content. The clients will build strength in their hands and the therapist will be glad they’re finally engaged.
Another game on the list and this one has kids in mind. Anger is a difficult and strong emotion. When you’re young anger can take hold and sink its teeth deep. Help the younger patients manage their strong emotions in a healthy way that feels like play.
Occupational Therapists are always looking for new ways to engage and motivate their patients. Children can often be the hardest to manage. This game will help everyone achieve their goals.
Sometimes the best gifts are the ones that have been around the longest. The simple joy of glass marbles may also be used as a tool during therapy sessions. These marbles each have a unique design and color. They can be used in several games, as counters in educational exercises, or simply to build precision in grasp using the hands.
These are tiny and better used for children who are not at risk for choking on small items. They can play a traditional game of marbles with their clients, the game that never gets old. These marbles come complete with storage tin for easy clean up. A gift that will make an Occupational Therapist smile.
12. Wobble Cushion
When shopping for a gift, it’s helpful to pay attention to what the person uses, or seems to have an interest in. Inspiration can be found just by glancing around their office space. This wobble cushion is a nice addition to their work-space.
Occupational Therapists work with individuals who have sensory needs. Just like music can help improve the ability to focus, the way we sit can encourage better attention. This wobble cushion is meant to be sat on to allow for appropriate sensory input. The cushion helps them engage their core while sitting and coaxing the feet to plant firmly on the ground. When the client is firmly planted attention and focus is greatly improved.
This works well on a chair for back support. A versatile product that can also be used to build balance skills used in yoga or other exercises. Another great gift that can act as a tool for clients that the therapist can also use for themselves.
This is an indoor gym for the wild client’s that need to burn off a little excess energy. These tools are used often in therapy sessions, so a new swing will come in handy. The “cuddle swing” allows a child to be swaddled comfortably, allowing their mind to focus, and feed the bodies’ need for vestibular input.
With this set, you also gift them the trapeze bar and rings. They can swing around while building strength in their grip as well as building muscles in their core. This set is easy to install and can hold up to 200 lbs. A great exercise tool for clients. Your therapist will love this set in their work-space.
In order to prepare their younger clients for writing, drawing or tracing activities, they’ll need some colorful jumbo crayons. These particular crayons are triangular shaped in order to prevent them from rolling off the desk and promoting a proper grip on the instrument.
These are from the brand, Melissa and Doug. A popular brand for its quality, simplicity, and affordability. These crayons are a great gift option for the Occupational Therapist in mind.
15. Pencil Grips
When the client is too old to write with crayons, there is a more advanced option to help correct the grip on writing utensils. These colorful pencil grips will aid the client to hold the pencil or pen correctly, and comfortably. These are for clients in school or the elderly who need help grasping their thinner instruments.
This is an perfect gift, activity book that is useful for all Occupational Therapists. This includes exercises and activities for all ages. Perfect to make copies with and hand out to parents or clients that should practice more in their personal time.
The author has worked in Occupational Therapy for over 30 years, and this is the most current edition of the book. All readers speak highly of the book, describing it as “easy to follow”. A wise teacher never stops learning. Show your Occupational Therapist that you care with this great gift.
17. Weighted Blanket
These special blankets are becoming very popular and have been recommended by OT’s for years. Weighted blankets are a nice gift choice for Occupational Therapists because they provide comfort and peace to their client during a session.
These blankets are filled with weighted beads to help the client relax. The weight is evenly distributed pressure that feels like a bear hug. You may purchase in a variety of weights and designs. This one is for children and has a playful dinosaur print. When clients feel uneasy or stressed this blanket will help them remain calm.
18. Wood Puzzles
Puzzles are perfect for the young and old. They are an effective activity that helps focus on those tiny muscles in the fingers to grasp the pieces. The puzzles come in all skill levels so that there’s a match for everyone. The fun themes and bright colors are enjoyable to look at, while building problem solving skills This set comes with three different puzzles to play with, by the creators Melissa and Doug.
19. Brain Flakes
Building blocks are in every office available to imagine and create lovely structures. Now there’s a new version of the classic.
Brain Flakes are gear shaped disks that interlock and stack similarly to the traditional building block. Dozens of different colors to pick through and this set includes a jar of 500 pieces as well as a booklet to help inspire the young engineer’s mind.
These are great for all client’s. Adults who like creating or building will enjoy playing with these Brain Flakes. This is the gift for the OT who needs the next new trend.
20. Twister Ultimate
The classic version of Twister is always fun, but now a new version is available. Twister Ultimate is classic Twister with added challenges. Just because this game doesn’t look like a tool that can be used in a professional setting, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have serious benefits.
Occupational Therapists are trained to help behavioral skills, social skills, and physical skills. This game exercises each of them. Playing games just like Twister can help teach and reinforce those fundamental skills being introduced.
A hilarious game to play with a group, or just a partner. Practice spinning the arrow each turn and follow the directions without falling down. This version of the game includes a larger mat and added challenges. Have fun eliminating a whole row of colored spots, or land on the spinner’s choice and decide where the hand or foot should go!
Occupational Therapists like to incorporate fun in their appointments and this is the perfect game that blends play and skill building.
21. Balance Bike
The bike with no pedals allows young children still developing the coordination for a traditional bike. The balance bike allows the child to step through the motions without risking their safety. This activity will help build the security and the confidence needed to use a regular bike when they’re ready.
Help them find their balance and have fun. A great way to introduce a bike to a child without dealing with all the scraped knees. These are common in the Occupational Therapy workplace, and they’ll always need a new one.
Water beads are irresistible for any hands. They feel incredibly wet without being sticky or messy. Pop them in the fridge for a cooling effect. Playing in sand can be a great way to work the muscles in the hand or stimulate the mind. The water beads work in the same way. These are colorful, slippery, and provide hours of fun.
This set includes two pairs of scoopers and two pairs of tweezers for added fine motor skill play. The clients can scoop and pinch the beads while sorting colors or transferring during fun exercises. These are a creative tool to have on hand in the office. Clients will love the sensory experience these beads create.
Stress balls are a common way to release anxiety and tension in adults, however, adults aren’t the only people that deal with stress. Mesh squishy balls are essentially a stress ball for children.
They work in the same way. Allow your client to relax or bring them comfort to hold onto throughout the appointment. Therapists in any field are responsible for creating a safe space for their clients.
These are perfect to build strength, or just ease anxiety. The mesh squishy balls featured here are sewn, unlike other imitators that use plastic. There’s no need to worry about weak plastic pieces wearing down, snapping off or creating sharp edges that can injure. These are perfect to keep around for all clients who need a little relief.
A true winner of a gift for the OT in your life. This is perfect for the therapist that is constantly learning from their clients. This is a journal designed to record those little nuggets of wisdom offered from the people around them.
This could also be used as a reference guide for each client. Games or exercises that work best, or concerns that are communicated over time. This is a nice gift for the Occupational Therapist that is passionate about the people they help.
Classical music is common in many therapy spaces, so maybe the OT in your life needs a little more variety. This is soft guitar and cello sounds by Ryan Judd. An audio CD to play in the office, perfect to use during appointments.
The meditative music will ease minds and relax muscles. If you can tell your Occupational Therapist appreciates music, they’ll appreciate this gift in their music library.