When it comes to pediatric occupational therapy, having the right tools and toys can make all the difference in creating engaging and effective therapy sessions. In this blog post, we’ll take a peek inside my occupational therapy rolling bag which I have had for 3+ years and explore my favorite developmental and therapeutic toys that every pediatric occupational therapist should have. These toys not only capture a child’s attention but also promote developmental growth and skill-building in a fun and engaging way.
My Favorite Rolling Bag
Fine Motor Skills Development
Fine motor toys are specifically designed to engage the small muscles of the hands, fingers, and wrists. Through activities like grasping, pinching, and manipulating objects, children improve their fine motor skills. These skills are essential for tasks like writing, drawing, using utensils, and buttoning clothes.The following toys can improve hand strength and coordination and are great for any pediatric occupational therapist’s bag!
Whether used at home, in schools, or in therapeutic settings, visual schedules offer a powerful tool for supporting communication, independence, and overall well-being for individuals of all ages and abilities. They provide a clear and effective way to structure routines and tasks, promoting a sense of security and accomplishment.
Visual Motor Integration Toys
Visual-motor toys require children to coordinate their visual perception with their motor skills. This integration is essential for tasks that involve tracking moving objects, copying shapes, and accurately guiding movements based on visual cues. The following toys are recommended to improve visual motor skills in occupational therapy.
Handwriting & Pre-Writing Skills
Handwriting and pre-writing skills are fundamental abilities that lay the groundwork for successful written communication. These skills encompass a range of fine motor, visual-motor, and cognitive abilities that children develop before they start writing letters and words. Here are some of my favorite toys that promote literacy skills, pre-writing skills and handwriting development in each occupational therapy session.
Finger isolation skills are a subset of fine motor skills that involve the ability to move each finger independently of the others. Developing finger isolation is crucial for various tasks that require precise and controlled hand movements, such as writing, playing musical instruments, and performing everyday activities. Here’s some of my favorite finger isolation games:
Scissor skills involve the ability to manipulate and control scissors to cut various materials. Developing scissor skills is an important aspect of fine motor development and prepares children for tasks that require controlled hand movements. Here’s some of my favorite things to practice scissor skills.
Occupational Therapy Warm-Up Activities
Warm-up activities in occupational therapy are designed to prepare clients for therapy sessions, engage their senses and muscles, and create a conducive environment for learning and participation. These activities can help increase attention, focus, and readiness for the tasks that follow. Here’s my favorite bundle of occupational therapy activities:
A well-equipped occupational therapy rolling bag is a treasure trove of tools that help pediatric therapists engage, educate, and empower their young clients. The toys mentioned in this blog post serve as a foundation for creating enjoyable and productive therapy sessions. Remember, every child is unique, so tailoring your selection of toys to meet individual needs and preferences is key. By providing a nurturing environment filled with these essential toys, you’re not just assisting in development – you’re fostering a child’s journey toward growth and independence, one session at a time.