I was recently in my local Target and spent some time in the dollar spot section. I was amazed at how many new items they had that are not only affordable, but easy to incorporate into my OT sessions. Today, I will highlight 10 of my favorite items and some ways I plan to use them in therapy. The best part: all items listed are between $1-5!
1. Small Erasers
My favorite way to use these is to hide them in theraputty for students to find. It is a great warm-up activity to get small hand muscles prepped for handwriting practice. They come in all kinds of seasonal varieties, which makes for year-round fun! Another way to use these erasers would be to have students pick them up with tweezers and place them into various containers, which is another great hand strengthening activity.
2. Pop Tube Animals
I have a lot of regular pop tubes, but I have never seen pop tube animals! I think this twist on typical pop tubes will be extra motivating for my students. You can stretch and bend these, which requires use of two hands. Bilateral coordination skills are something OTs work on often, and this is a great tool to use!
3. Magnetic Letters and Numbers
Of course, using these letters and numbers is super helpful to strengthen academic skills. However, my favorite part about anything magnetic is it usually means working on a vertical surface such as a chalkboard or whiteboard. OTs LOVE when students use vertical surfaces as it promotes upper body strength and facilitates a more functional grasp pattern. These are a win for me!
4. Dry Erase Pockets
I have had dry erase pockets in my therapy bag for a while, as it is so easy for me to reuse worksheets this way. However, I have never seen dry erase pockets with inserts that encourage drawing various feelings! I love this ‘bonus’ and it will be perfect for my students who are working on self-regulation skills.
5. Dry Erase Blocks
This toy offers another way to incorporate fine/visual motor skills and academics. The dry erase component makes it easy to switch up what is being worked on, from letters to numbers to shapes to sight words, the possibilities are endless!
6. Small Blocks
These small block puzzles are great to have on hand for easy fine motor work. There are a couple different options available right now at Target, the one pictured also incorporates numbers, making it a great option for young learners.
7. Flexible Seating
I cannot believe I found some affordable flexible seating options! I have not tried these yet, but I spotted an inflatable cushion seat as well as a circular pillow. These could be an affordable way to bring in some additional seating options to your classroom.
8. Wind Up Toys
I have a few wind up toys in my therapy bag and they are so motivating and fun for students. They also require bilateral coordination and refined motor movements to activate them, which is great from an OT perspective. Target has these adorable animal wind up toys that would be a nice option to add to your collection.
Fidgets are well loved with my students, and I am always looking for opportunities to stock up at an affordable price. Target currently has a few good options to check out!
10. Treasure Hunt
This would be a great option for a calm down corner or calming toolkit. This treasure hunt activity requires the student to squish and move around the beads in the pouch to reveal hidden letters, numbers and other trinkets. They are small, easily portable and affordable which make them a great option for you classroom.
Have you spotted any other great Target dollar section items? What are you most excited to try this year? Happy shopping!