These occupational therapy toys and physical therapy toys are all you need to create tons of fun and engaging activities for kids.
Having access to a large treatment space with all of the latest and greatest therapy toys and equipment is truly amazing. Some therapists work in clinics, schools, and other settings where there is a budget that allows for everything they want to use in their practice.
But for most therapists, this is not a reality. Our careers have been spent in settings where we’re largely responsible for purchasing our own equipment because there just isn’t a budget for purchasing expensive therapy materials.
And this means, 1 – that we get super creative with making therapy toys activities out of the very basic items that are already on-hand like chairs, tables, markers, and paper AND 2 – that we have to be smart and thrifty when we’re making decisions about which therapy materials to buy with our own money.
So today, we’re sharing the list of our top 10 therapy toys and materials that we always have in our therapy bag.
And you won’t want to miss these other fun therapy supplies and product recommendations to make work and life a little more fun!
To make the list, each therapy toy or material had to be:
-Compact enough for an on-the-go therapist to throw them in their therapy bag or the trunk of their car
-Versatile, and able to be used in many ways to create new and exciting activities
-Durable enough to be used over many sessions
Our Favorite Therapy Toys and Materials
Colored Painters Tape
There’s a reason that painters tape is our all-time favorite therapy supply! This simple, relatively cheap, and easy-to-pack item can be used to create hundreds of different fine motor, gross motor, cognitive, and visual activities.
Check out our best ideas for creating gross motor activities using tape.
Here, you’ll find some free printable tape collage pages for fine motor and visual motor practice.
And here’s a video showing some examples of how to use tape to create activities for kids.
Cones and Rings
We love using cones and rings for tons of different activities.
Use the cones to create an obstacle course for kids to weave in and out of.
Have kids practice single leg stance by balancing on one foot and knocking each cone over with the other foot. Practice dressing and single leg stance by having kids balance on one foot and use their hands to place rings over their foot and onto their ankle.
Balance a balloon on a cone and move through different obstacles to practice motor control.
Or, use the set like it was intended – for a fun ring toss game! Find all of our best balance and coordination activities here.
Our favorite little suckers are amazing for targeting a huge range of skills, including hand strength, visual motor skills, and more! Whether you’re looking for occupational therapy toys or physical therapy toys – Squigz will fit the bill!
Use them on windows, mirrors, or the side of your filing cabinet for some fun with vertical surfaces!
Put some Squigz on the floor and drive toy cars through them for a fun visual motor challenge!
Or work on prewriting skills by placing them on a marker board and have kids connect the dots to make shapes, letters, lines, and more using a dry erase marker!
Check out our all-time favorite ways to play with Squigz!
These squishy balls make tossing and catching even more fun and they have a range of different weights – great for strengthening and heavy work activities.
Help kids learn to throw and catch by using a fun, new ball!
Load up a laundry basket or small box with a couple of Yuck-E-Medicine balls and have kids carry it through an obstacle course or up and down a set of stairs!
As therapists, we all know that simple wooden puzzles are a must-have.
Place the puzzle board at the top of a set of stairs and the pieces at the bottom to have kids practice stair navigation.
Pair puzzles with scooter boards, having kids ride in prone or in sitting to deliver each piece to the correct spot.
Place the pieces on the floor and the board on a higher surface, having kids retrieve each piece by bending and reaching to the floor.
Colored Floor Spots
From group management to gross motor skills, these colorful floor circles are used every single day in our developmental play groups.
They’re amazing for showing everyone where to sit or stand for games or waiting times.
Floor spots can also be used for jumping on, hopping on, or creating a hopscotch setup!
Or, use them as steering wheels in this fun Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus activity!
Foldable Balance Beam
An obvious favorite of most physical therapists, this foldable version of a therapy gym staple can be used in so many ways!
Have kids walk across, bending and balancing to retrieve an object from the floor (try having them retrieve a ring to put on a cone or challenging them to pick up a Yuck-E-Medicine ball!)
Use it as part of an obstacle course with floor spots and cones/rings.
Balloons are a favorite of therapists and kids, always grabbing the attention of even the most reluctant participants in gross motor games.
They’re the perfect tool for working on throwing and catching because they’re floatier than a ball, so everything is slowed down a bit!
Check out our favorite ways to use balloons for gross motor play.
And learn how to use balloons to create DIY fidgets!
Colored Dot Stickers
We love colored dot stickers because they’re a small, lightweight, and cheap option to throw into your therapy bag.
AND, they can be used to work on a huge variety of skills from cutting to gross motor to prewriting skills – to name a few!
Check out all of our best ideas for using stickers to promote developmental skills – from fine motor to visual to gross motor skills and more!
And last but not least…put-in tasks like this piggy bank are a universal activity that therapists can use in many ways to work on: sharing/turn-taking, fine motor coordination, and even gross motor skills.
Learn more about put-in tasks and why they’re one of our most-used therapy toys in our therapy practice.
These are our most of our favorites! We hope this list simplifies your back to school shopping this year! Speaking of shopping – don’t forget that you can find these items and ALL of our favorite therapy items on Amazon! Check out our storefront here!