OT Approved Holiday Gift Ideas: 2022 Edition

Categories: Resources
The 2022 holiday season is upon us!   It can be hard to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list and sometimes a little inspiration can be helpful. In this post, I will share some fun gift options and why I think it’s great from an OT perspective.  I will include recommended age ranges,  but it is also important to consider other developmental factors when choosing a gift.  Everything on this list is under $50, with most items being much more affordable. Please also check out my previous gift idea posts here, here and here, as well as this post highlighting outdoor toys for additional inspiration.

Play Mat

  • Price: $44.99 at Target, click here to view.
  • Age Range: 2 and up

This may seem like a really simple gift idea, but it’s a great one!  This cushioned mat can be used to encourage kids to engage in indoor gross motor activities, such as yoga.  It also can be bent for kids to use their imagination, pretending to be in a fort or a tent.  The possibilities are endless!

Doodle Mat

  • Price: $15.99 at Target, click here to view.
  • Ages: 3 and up

The doodle mat is a fantastic gift.  Working in the prone position (lying on your stomach) is fantastic for building core and upper body strength.  I also love that it uses water only, which is easy and relatively mess free.  The novelty of a toy like this can really encourage kids to work on skills such as holding a pen and drawing various shapes and letters in a fun way.

Etch a Sketch

  • Price: $12.99 for the standard version, $5.99 for the pocket version (pictured).
  • Ages: 3 and up

The etch a sketch is a classic toy.  I love that it encourages creativity!  From a motor perspective, this is an awesome toy to work on bilateral coordination and fine motor skills.  The pocket version is great to keep in the car or to use when you are on the go.

Jumbo Cardboard Blocks

  • Price: $49.99, click here to view.  Options available at various retailers.
  • Ages: 2 and up

I am a huge fan of blocks of all kinds.  However, I really like these big blocks because they encourage gross motor skills as well as fine motor skills due to their large size.  Kids need to bend to pick up the blocks, use two hands together to carry them to the building spot, lift the block to the top of the tower and use a proper amount of force to place the block on the creation so it doesn’t fall over.  I remember playing with these as a kid – I think they are a great gift that can be used for years to come.

Noodle Knockout

  • Price: $19.99, click here to view.
  • Ages: 4 and up

This is such a great option for older kids.  There are so many different ways to play this game.  The main way I have used this game with students is to have them choose a picture menu card and then use the tongs to build a noodle bowl that is just like the card.  This activity is great for working on executive function skills such as  attention, persistence, problem solving as well as fine motor skills and coordination.

Spike the Fine Motor Porcupine

  • Price: $15.99, click here to view.
  • Ages: 18 months and up

This is an excellent toy option for toddlers! Not only is it adorable, it encourages fine motor strength and coordination as well as early academic skills such as color identification and counting.

What are you buying this year?  Happy shopping!

1 Comment

  1. Katie, I love these! Thank you! Now I have some new wish-list items for my classroom!


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