Are you a new occupational therapist working in the school system? Feeling overwhelmed and slightly nervous for the start of the new 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 sessions. We mean it when we say, please reach out to us if you need any help!
For now though, we are going through the must haves for your OT room. Most of these are cheap and can be found in the dollar store!
Pencils, markers, crayons
Dot paint, watercolors
Q-tips and cotton balls - Q-tips are fun writing or decorating tips to use with paint. You can do the same with cotton balls to promote a tripod or pincer pinch. Kiddos can also tear apart the cotton balls to use in a craft project!
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 spray bottle or eye dropper to add water and spread the colors around to create a cool tie dye effect! Turn the coffee filter into flowers, butterflies or snowflakes!
Popsicle sticks - Perfect to use as a spacer when writing. Have the kiddos decorate one to create a "Space" man. You can write numbers or letters and use for sequencing or spelling activities. Wooden sticks are great for building cool structures and geometric designs!
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.
Tissue paper - Kids can tear them into small pieces and scrunch them up. Great for craft activities!
Hole puncher, scissors
Glue, glue stick
Pipe cleaners - Kiddos love making bracelets and necklaces with beads! Pipe cleaners are an especially great tool for kiddos 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. It is also the perfect item to use for any craft activity. Make a potato head with it!
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!
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!