Holiday Gift Ideas By Occupational Therapists
Help build your child’s fine motor and visual motor skills with these gift ideas by a Blue Bird Day occupational therapist.
Aqua Draw Doddle Mat: Mess free painting! Hang it up on a door to target upper extremity strengthening and wrist extension or lay it on the floor to encourage painting in prone for more tummy time.
Stickers: You can target a variety of motor skills (e.g., pincer grasp, bilateral coordination, visual motor) with sticker play. This book provides activity sheets you can use together as they are a little advanced for most preschoolers (created for age 4+).You may need to provide some support with their “helper hand” to hold the sheet while peeling off stickers.
Tunnels: Crawling is very helpful for fine motor skill development and reflex integration. To support motivation to crawl through the tunnels, I like to set up tunnels when we play chase or tag with peers.
Snap & Design Monster Trucks: Always a huge hit in the clinic! One of the best “pull back” toy cars that I’ve used. This toy works on motor coordination, and emerging problem-solving to align pieces together properly. It also promotes crawling in our gym space, which is important to support fine motor skill development.
Easels: Using vertical surfaces (walls, easels, windows) promote wrist extension during drawing, which will help with handwriting and dexterity.
Alpha-Bots and Number Bots: These are little “Transformers” and they make great fidgets, too! They are awesome for fine motor, bilateral coordination, and problem-solving skills.
Puzzles: This is one of my favorite puzzles since it comes with 24 insets/pictures. It is a 16-20 piece puzzle, so it is complex in terms of visual motor skills for the preschool age. However, it is great for fine motor skills and in-hand manipulation skills.
Marble Run ( or Ball Tracks): Great toys to work on bilateral coordination and manipulation.
- Link 1
- Link 2
- Link 3 – A favorite toy with our Kindergartners. All of our preschoolers need some support to set this up as it requires problem solving skills, but this toy challenges their bilateral coordination skills and is highly motivating with the cause-and-effect play idea!
- Link 4
- Link 5
Fine Motor and Craft Tools: If you enjoy completing crafts at home, I’ve listed some tools below that support fine motor skill development and independence during craft activities.
- Loop (Easy Squeeze) Scissors Link 1
- Pipettes Link 1
- Spill Proof Paint Cups Link 1 – Avoid paint spills during crafts, also works on visual motor skills to place paintbrush into cup.
- Squigz Link 1 – Preschool loves the sounds the suction cups make when you pull them off the windows.