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Getting Your Therapy Room Ready for the School Year!

Are you a new occupational therapist working in the school system? Feeling overwhelmed and slightly nervous for the start of the school year? Well, don't be!! The Magic OT Bug is always here to answer any questions that you may have or help you figure out activities for your session.  We mean it when we say, please reach out to us on our email if you need any type of guidance! 

For now though, we are going to go through the must-haves for your OT room.

Most of these things are cheap and can

be found in the dollar store!



  • Pencils, markers, crayons

  • Dot paint, watercolors

  • Q-tips, cotton balls- Q-tips are fun writing or decorating tools to use with paint.  You can do the same with cotton balls to promote a pincer or tripod grasp. Kiddos can also tear apart the cotton balls with their fingers and glue them on paper for a cool craft activity!

  • Spray bottles, eye droppers- Both of these are great tools for fine motor and finger strengthening. Have your student color on a coffee filter with washable markers.  Then use the water from the spray bottle or eye dropper to spread the colors around making a cool tie-dye activity. Turn the coffee filter into flowers, butterflies, or snowflakes!

  • Popsicle sticks- Perfect to use as a spacer when writing sentences.  Kiddos can make their own "spaceman" out of it by drawing a face and body on it.  You can also write letters or numbers on individual sticks and kids can put them in correct order like a puzzle. 

  • Clothespins- Use these for creative fine motor activities. Write letters on the clothespins and spread them all over the floor.  Have the kiddos use a scooter board to collect them and match them to the same letters on a plate or paper. Don't have a scooter board? They can jump, crab walk, or roll around to collect them instead!

  • Tweezers- Use these with the cotton balls! Work on midline crossing, placing the cotton balls on the opposite side of the container that they are going in.

  • Playdough, theraputty

  • Tissue paper- Kids can tear them into small pieces and scrunch them up.  Great for craft activities!

  • Hole puncher, scissors

  • Rubberbands

  • Glue, glue stick

  • Pipe cleaners- Kiddos love making bracelets and necklaces with beads! Pipe cleaners are an especially great tool for kiddoes that have difficulty with fine motor skills. Since it is stiff and easy to hold, kiddos have an easier time using it when lacing or stringing beads.

  • Beads

  • Glitter

  • Paintbrushes

  • Construction paper, writing paper

  • Shaving cream- Great for sensory activities. Add to glue to make puffy paint. It is great for winter activities, like making snowmen.

  • Stickers, prizes-  Draw letters or numbers all over a paper and have the kiddos scan for them. Have them place the stickers on the letters once they find them. 

      Stickers are also great for a reward system.  I always make sticker charts at the beginning of the year        and my kiddos have to collect 5 of them to get a prize.  This reward system gives the kiddos                    incentive to work better in therapy.

  • Wiki Stix- to make shapes and letters with. Great tactile activity!

  • Fidgit toys

  • Coffee Filters- *See spray bottle

  • 2 sided tape- This idea came from a follower who uses this for craft activities.

If you have these materials in your OT room, you are good to go.  You do not need to spend a lot to make your therapy room functional.  Visit your local dollar store or Dollar Spot at Target to pick up most of these items!

Image by Tim Arterbury
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