What to get your O.T. Kid for the holidays…. Printable list included
Do you feel like your child has everything? Not sure what to get but hoping to get something that will help them learn and progress with their skills? Here are some ideas for each and every kid out there…
As the aunt of 12 nieces and nephews, I have to admit that I have always been partial to giving “educational” gifts. “Educational” to me means that it will work on some type of skill. Not necessarily math or reading, but anything that they should be developing naturally (fine motor skills, visual perceptual skills, coordination, etc.). Of course I want my loved ones to have fun and be excited about their present, but I can’t help but want to work on age appropriate skills – it’s become ingrained. As an OT, I am constantly searching for ways to “hide” work in fun activities or games. It’s amazing what you can discover about a child when you actually sit with them and play. This list is very general; its purpose is to get you thinking about what you think your little one might need to improve. If you already know, go right to that section. If not, look over the list and think about your child’s strengths and weaknesses. Some of these games may seem really old- they are the classics! “The oldies but goodies” and they are still a lot of fun. Also- keep in mind, just because they seem old to you, doesn’t mean they will seem old to your child. If they have never played them, they will still be tons of fun.
Target and Kohls always have good sales on the classic games like Checkers, Connect four, Jenga, Battleship, etc. For other games such as Scattergories, Pictionary, etc., I would check on-line. You should be able to get great deals. I have also heard that “Five Below” has a ton of “knock-off” games for a great price. Oriental Trading is good for gross motor and sensory items like a tunnel, body sock or zoomball. When I am buying for my school (ie, it will get a lot of use and needs to be REALLY durable), I will buy gross motor stuff at a therapy company such as Abilitations or Achievement products. If it will be a family toy or used by one child, I stick with Oriental Trading. Click on the “Hands on Fun” link to get to the “OT stuff”. Barnes and Nobles tends to be a little more expensive, but during the holidays, they always have “fancy” versions of the classic games. They come in nice wooden boxes and would make a great gift that would last for years.
My favorite stores to shop for crafts are AC Moore and Michael’s. They always have cheap crafts for boys and girls that work on fine motor skills, bilateral skills, and visual perceptual skills. When in doubt, I go to AC Moore – they have paint by number, color it your self backpacks and jewelry boxes, wooden models and build it kits, etc. They also have great crafts for the “tweens”, learn how to knit, learn how to make a friendship bracelet, learn how to do origami, science kits, etc. Great for those blizzards that are around the corner!
Speaking of blizzards, so many Long Island families spend weekends away upstate; maybe skiing or visiting friends. These are the perfect times to break out the classic board games. Some of my best holidays memories involve all the laughs surrounding a family game of Jenga with my grandparents or a game of Old Maid with my parents and brothers and sister. Rather than constantly relying on the DVR or some movie rental, break out some crafts or a good game and play with the kids. Then, let them play a few rounds on their own to “practice”. This is how kids learn to take turns, play fair, etc. So many games nowadays only require one player. How do kids socialize when they are playing by themselves? Just because they are sitting next to their cousin playing “Minecraft” doesn’t mean they are actually bonding and interacting with them. So enough of my preaching – you know what your child likes, needs, and is capable of.
Here are some additional ideas to get you thinking. Notice that I didn’t put ages on this list. I hope that isn’t an inconvenience, but many children with disabilities are delayed in their motor skills and need toys that may be geared toward younger children. That’s ok, they are still fun and “fun”ctional.
Fine Motor Games/ Toys
Honey Bee Tree
Mr. Potatoe Head
Nuts and Bolts
Playdoh Fun Factory
Model Magic clay
Games with tweezers (bedbugs, operation, etc.)
Cards (uno, playing cards)
Crafts (beads, jewelry making, weaving, knotting quilts)
Sewing craft kits
Pop beads (Large or Small)
Bracelet or friendship making kits
Hook and Latch Rugs
Wooden Build-it kits (home depot)
Gross Motor Activities/ Toys/ Equipment
Bicycle, rollerblades, scooters, etc.
Vecro ball and target
Scooter (to sit on)
Chinese jumprope (Klutz)
Ball pitt or “Jumpolene”
Visual Motor/ Visual Perceptual
Legos- any and all kinds! The tiny ones make a great stocking stuffer!
Knex – often come with a “make this” guide, so children have to copy the picture
Don’t break the Ice
Thin Ice – anything with marbles is great – unless you have a “mouther”
Hungry, Hungry, Hippos
3 D Puzzles
Velvet color/paint by number
Crayola magic wonder markers
Crayola pip squeak skinny markers – one of Miss Jaime’s favorite things (only if they are skinny; better for little hands)
How to Draw Books
Rush Hour and Rush Hour, Jr.
Word search books
Easy Bake Oven
Sensory Materials, Games, Equipment
Radio/ CD Player with headphones
Aroma therapy materials (diffuser, scented lap pads, etc.)
Bath stuff – Massage Glove, loofah
Wikki stix or Bendaroos
What’s In Ned’s Head?
Bean Bag chair
Wiggle Writer Pen
Play-doh and Accessories
Koosh Balls, Stress Balls
Model Magic clay
WANNA PRINT THIS LIST? CLICK HERE FOR A PDF . holiday suggestions.pdf
Again – this is a general list meant to give you some ideas. Please feel free to share and leave a comment if you have any other great ideas!! Happy Shopping!
~ Miss Jaime, O.T.
Check out these other posts!
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Tips to adapt your Holiday Cookie Tradition for an “OT kid”