Are you transitioning to a school based setting? Working in the school system as a pediatric occupational therapist is an incredibly rewarding job! You will have the opportunity to positively impact the lives of children and help them achieve their full potential while collaborating with teachers, parents, speech language pathologist, physical therapist and so many more members of the school team. As you embark on this new journey, it’s essential to have the right tools and supplies at your disposal. I’m rounding up my top 10 go-to list of supplies to help you save time, stay organized and be the best occupational therapist you can be!
1. Rolling Bag
A rolling bag is a must have item for school-based pediatric occupational therapists. It allows you to easily transport all your essential supplies from one location to another within the school premises. Look for a bag with multiple compartments or pockets to keep your materials organized and readily accessible. The convenience of a rolling bag ensures that you can move freely between classrooms, therapy spaces, and even outdoor areas. I call my occupational therapy bag my occupational therapy room on wheels.
2. Accordion Folder to store materials
Keeping paperwork organized is vital in any school-based setting. An accordion folder is an excellent solution for managing and storing work samples and data collection sheets. Label the different sections within the folder for easy categorization, such as student names, schools, or therapy groups. This will help you quickly find the information you need during meetings with teachers, parents, and to assess progress towards goals.
3. Photo Storage Box to Store Supplies:
A photo storage box is an excellent solution for organizing and storing small therapeutic supplies efficiently. This storage box can hold items like beads, buttons, small toys, game pieces, and other manipulatives that you frequently use during therapy sessions. Having a well-organized storage system makes it easy to locate and retrieve the right materials quickly, allowing you to make the most of your therapy time with the children.
4. Clipboard for Questionnaires and Assessments
A sturdy clipboard is a must-have item for school-based pediatric occupational therapists. It provides a stable surface for you to administer assessments, record observations, and complete questionnaires efficiently. When conducting evaluations or collecting data, having a clipboard ensures that your paperwork remains organized and secure while you move around the school environment. Additionally, it provides a convenient writing surface, making it easier for you to jot down notes if you’re pushing into the classroom, document your findings during therapy sessions and organize papers for the day.
5. Mesh Zipper Pouch
A mesh zipper pouch is a versatile and transparent storage solution that allows you to see the contents without opening it. These pouches come in various sizes and are perfect for storing smaller items such as fidgets, sensory balls, or therapy putty. Having a mesh zipper pouch can help keep your materials organized within your larger bag or rolling cart, making it easy to find what you need quickly during therapy sessions.
A laminator is a valuable tool for school-based pediatric occupational therapists. It allows you to protect and preserve visual aids, schedules, or therapy resources you use frequently. By laminating materials, you make them more durable and reusable, reducing the need for replacements and ensuring that your therapy materials remain in good condition over time. I have had my laminator linked below for years and highly recommend that every pediatric occupational has one!
7. Velcro Dots
When I first became an Occupational Therapist 10 years ago, I didn’t know that they sold velcro dots pre-cut. I purchased velcro in long strips and had to cut pieces which was so time consuming! Don’t make the same mistake I did, Velcro dots are a handy fastening solution that can be used to attach visual aids, communication cards, or other materials to surfaces or interactive boards. They are particularly useful for children with limited fine motor skills who may struggle with traditional fasteners like buttons or snaps. Velcro dots make it easier for children to independently interact with materials during therapy sessions.
8. Toiletry Bag to Store Supplies
A toiletry bag with multiple compartments and pockets can be repurposed as an excellent storage option for various occupational therapy supplies. You can organize and carry small items like scissors, pencils, erasers, or crayons in the different compartments. The compact and portable nature of a toiletry bag makes it convenient for occupational therapists who travel between different schools or therapy locations.
9. Rolling Cart & Metal Tins to Store Supplies
A rolling cart is an incredibly useful tool for school-based pediatric occupational therapists. It provides a mobile and convenient storage solution for fine motor supplies and small equipment. With a rolling cart, you can easily transport your materials between classrooms or therapy spaces. I also recommend using metal tins or small metal containers for storing and organizing small items like writing utensils, beads, buttons, or other manipulatives. These tins are durable and can help prevent small pieces from getting lost or mixed up. Additionally, they can be labeled or decorated for easy identification, making it simple to locate the specific materials you need during therapy sessions and make clean-up a breeze!
10. Clear Pencil Cases to Store Supplies
Clear pencil cases are practical for storing and carrying a variety of smaller therapy supplies, such as markers, colored pencils, or small manipulatives. The transparent design allows you to quickly identify the contents of each case, making it more efficient to find the right materials during therapy sessions. I also use the clear pencil cases to store fine motor warm-up activities. I love that I can always see the contents inside!