The holidays are an excellent opportunity to surprise our kiddos with fun presents that just so happen to help them practice skills that occupational therapists are so good at helping them master. To help you (and your relatives) find some things they’ll love, Leah Hiller, MA, OTR/L of L.A.’s Hiller Therapy, shares her ideas for affordable gifts that boost fine motor and sensory skills. From classic games like Twister to treats like chewing gum and arts-and-crafts supplies like fidget pencils and rock crayons, your child can work on strength, balance, self-regulation, fine motor skills, and more — and have fun while doing it. Happy shopping! (Note that prices listed may change and that the links provided here are suggested brands/items; many products can be purchased elsewhere.)


FINE MOTOR SHOPPING LIST

A snowman made from "melting" white putty, a red hat, a black pipe and buttons, googly eyes, and stick arms mugs for the camera.
A snowman made from "melting" white putty, a red hat and nose, a black 
pipe and buttons, googly eyes, and stick arms mugs for the camera.

 

Fine Motor / Hand Strength

Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty, $20.00

Melting Snowman Putty, $9.00

Spray Bottles​ (3-pack), $7.00


Fine Motor / Sensory

Fidget Pencil​ ​ (3-pack), $8.00
 

Fine Motor / Tactile

Game: ​Gooey Louie, $18.00

Sidewalk Chalk (36-pack), $11.00

Sequin Color-Change Pillow, $7.00


Fine Motor / Grade Force

Mechanical Pencil​ (24-pack), $9.00


Fine Motor

Dry Erase Crayons, $7.00

Jumbo Tweezers, $13.00

Rock Crayons​ (class set), $30.00

Grotto Pencil Grip​ (3-pack), $7.00

Paper Punchers​ (12-pack), $13.00

Rainbow Scratch Paper, $7.00 

A black box holds a pad of black paper with words scratched in rainbow colors across it, with examples on either side.
A black box holds a pad of black paper with words scratched in
rainbow colors across it, with examples on either side.

Cash Box, $20.00

Game: ​Mini Connect 4, $6.00

Game: ​Mini Battleship, $6.00

Game: ​Let’s Go Fishin’, $7.00


Visual Perceptual

Magic Pens​ (color-changing markers), $8.00

Book: I Spy Treasure Hunt, $10.00

Book: ​Ed Emberley’s Drawing Books, $8.00

Game: ​Spot It, $8.00

Game: ​Set, $14.00


Adaptive Paper

Large S​ky-Grass Paper​ (Kindergarten, 1”), $26.00

Sky-Grass Paper​ (Grades 1-2, 5⁄8”), $12.00

 

Bilateral Coordination

Mini Pencil Sharpener​ (6-pack), $8.00

 

Posture

Slant Board, $45.00

Adjustable Chair​, Stokke Tripp Trapp, $199.00

 

Posture / Vestibular

Peanut Balls​ (2 sizes), $25.00

Round Wiggle Seat, $18.00

Wedge Wiggle Seat, $30.00

Wobble Stool, $60.00


Upper-Body Strength

Game: ​Twister, $20.00

 

Self-Reg / Oral-Motor

Chewing Gum​ (strong citrus flavor), price varies

Sports Water Bottle, $10.00

 

Curriculum

Handwriting Without Tears​ Chalkboard, price varies

A boy with brown hair, brown pants, and a yellow shirt balances on a wooden board with a panda painted on it.
A boy with brown hair, brown pants, and a yellow shirt
balances on a wooden board with a panda painted on it.



SENSORY SHOPPING LIST


Parent Resource

Book: ​Raising A Sensory Smart Child, $14.99

Book: ​The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun, $9.99

Book: Self-Reg, $15.00

Book:Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline, $8.99 

 

Oral-Motor

Sensory Chewing Necklace​ (3 pack), $12.00

Tread Bangle Chew Bracelet, $15.00

Pinwheels, $5.00

Gum (citrus w/ strong scent, no mint), $3.00

Kazoo or Harmonica, $1.00

Bubbles, $1.00

Sports Water Bottle, Camelbak, $10.00

 

Proprioception

Mesh Tunnel, $28.00

Trampoline, $69.99

Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty, $20.00

Prismacolor Art Erasers​ (3 pack), $3.00

Weighted Blanket, $49.95

Tote Around Turtle (weighted), $44.99

Medicine Balls​ (2, 4, 6, 8 lbs.), $17.00

Theraband​ (for chair legs), $17.00

Sensory “Hug” Pod, $69.99

Compression Shirt, $20.00

Game: ​Twister, $20.00

 

Body Awareness

Book: Personal Space Camp, $9.95

Book: Personal Space Camp Activity & Idea Book, $9.95

 

Self-Regulation

Book: ​Knuffle Bunny, $13.00

Book: ​I​n My Heart, $9.00

Book: Grumpy Monkey,$10.99 

Stretchy Body Sock, $22.98

 

Vestibular

Gonge Balance Beam, $70.00

Pod Swing Seat, $37.99

Gonge River Stones, $60.00

Balance Board, $18.00

Scooter Board, $20.00

Peanut Balls​ (2 sizes), $25.00

EZ Stepper Stilts, $12.00

Hammock with Frame $60.00

Sit ‘n Spin, $35.99


Vestibular (Seating)

Round Wiggle Seat, $18.00

Wedge Wiggle Seat, $30.00

Adjustable Wobble Stool, $80.00

Kore Wobble Stool, $60.00


Tactile

Sheepskin Rug, $30.00

Surgical Brush for Brushing Protocol, $13.00

Sequin “Mermaid” Pillow, $7.00

Bubble Wrap, Free

Scented Pull-Apart Eraser (24-pack), $6.00

Marble Fidget in Mesh Sleeve, $7.00

Tangle Junior, $12.00


Fine Motor

Slant Board, $45.00

Squigz, $25.00


Fine Motor & Tactile

Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of Animals features colorful animals hand-drawn across the cover.
Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of Animals features
colorful animals hand-drawn across the cover.

Fidget Pencil​ (3-pack), $8.00


Grading Force

Mechanical Pencil​ ​(24-pack), $9.00


Visual Perception

Book: ​Ed Emberley’s Drawing Books, $8.00 

Game: ​Spot It, $8.00

Game: ​Set, $14.00
 

Olfactory (Smell)

Scented Markers, $7.00

Essential Oils, price varies

Lavender Lotion, $5.00


Auditory

Noise-Cancelling Headphones, $14.00

Animal Noise Buzzer, $20.00

Woodstock Chime, $15.00

Auditory & Visual

Light Projector with Sound, $25.99

 

Happy shopping!!

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