My Favorite Pediatric OT Toys

My favorite pediatric occupational therapy toys

Today I took apart my in-person pediatric occupational therapy toy bag.  It has been sitting in my closet for so long!  I absolutely love toys. And I love being creative and finding new ways to use toys via activity analysis. The spontaneous grading of activities is one of my favorite parts of being a pediatric OT. These are my favorite pediatric occupational thearpy toys that are great for early intervention when you are bringing toys into the home.

These are my favorite, go-to, in-person, home health OT therapeutic toys and equipment that stay in my car year-round when I work with babies, toddlers, and children ages 1-5.

As you can see from my post on virtual OT activities: WHY I Use as Few Physical Materials in Virtual Therapy Sessions As Possible, I am not a big fan of complicated therapy sessions. So while these are not related to virtual pediatric OT, I hope you enjoy seeing some of my favorite in-person OT toys!

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you purchase a product or service through my link, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Fine Motor Pediatric Occupational Therapy Toys

All of these toys fit inside 1 large therapy bag! Well, minus the ball 🙂

pop tube and piggy bank

Piggy Bank

My favorite ever! This is a purple piggy bank I picked up years and years ago at the dollar store.

Activities and Skills

Placing coins into and out of the piggy bank. The nose also twists off! Most kids LOVE money!

Pincer grasp, bilateral coordination, wrist rotation, in-hand manipulation, midline crossing

Amazon: This is the closest I can find to this item, but the nose seems to come off differently. Piggy Bank

Pop Tube

Activities and Skills

The kids love pulling this tube and putting it back together! You can definitely be more creative with it if you had more, but I have only ever had one.

Shoulder strength (can be graded downward with an adult holding one side and the child pulling with 2 hands together), bilateral coordination, hand strength

Amazon: Pop Tubes

large ball

Large Ball

This ball is smaller than a therapy ball, but bigger than a playground ball I bought it at Target. I specifically got a size a 2-3-year-old could sit on with feet flat on the floor.

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Activities and Skills

I love to have a child sit on this ball to work on trunk stability. The activity can be graded based on how much you hold the ball steady for them, and where you provide that stability. Reaching for items while seated on the ball. Bouncing up and down for vestibular input and trunk stability.

Also, use this ball with the child in prone over it.

Trunk stability, shoulder stability, balance, vestibular input, and integration

non spill bubbles and stickers

Bubbles and Stickers

Can't go wrong with either of these. And the no-spill bubble container is the best!

Activities and Skills

Stickers – Pincer grasp, Eye-hand coordination (put the stickers on dots, match the colors, etc)

Bubbles – oral motor, index finger isolation for popping, visual tracking

Amazon: Bubbles. Stickers are from Target Dollar Spot, I particularly like the smaller size for older children.

2 travel connect 4 games

Connect 4

These are 2 different travel-sized Connect 4 games. Perfect for this age and older children.

Activities and Skills

Pincer grasp, eye-hand coordination, matching, patterns, wrist rotation to put the checkers in the slots, varying the toy position for more or less supination required), in-hand manipulation

Amazon: Travel Connect 4

shape puzzle and peg board toys

Shape Puzzle

I love this basic puzzle for evaluating basic visual perceptual abilities.

Amazon: Shape Puzzle

Peg Board

Activities and Skills

What I love about this toy is it takes no strength to put in or remove these pegs. This makes them ideal to use when working on a 3-jaw chuck grasp with young children.

Eye-hand coordination (in pegboard, and stacking), sorting, 3 jaw chuck grasp and release (also into a large bucket)

Amazon: Pegboard

Looks like they now make this pegboard with various shaped pegs. Better for sorting activities!

tweezer and koosh ball toys

Tweezer Toys

Activities and Skills

I use the mini koosh balls for basic grasp and release for young children. Then the container with a hole cut in it to have them push the balls through with their index finger to increase finger strength. Then when they are much older (3+) the various tweezer toys are perfect for increasing hand strength or improving pencil grasp. Don't forget to use one of the balls held by the pinky and index finger to increase the separation of the 2 sides of the hand!

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Grasp and Release, finger strength, index finger isolation, hand strength, pencil grasp, separation of the 2 sides of the hand

Amazon: Similar tweezer toys

Mini Spiky Balls

jars and clothespins

Jars and Clothespins

I love using many different-sized jars in my therapy sessions. Hide coins in them and pair them with the bank toy for more grading ideas!

The clothespins are obviously for older children. This jar from the Target Dollar spot has various sized clothespins.

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Skills

Bilateral coordination, wrist rotation, finger strength

cutting play food toy

Cutting Play Food

Another one of my all-time favorite toys!

Activities and Skills

There is just so much you can do with this toy! Pull apart for strength when young, bilateral coordination (pulling and cutting), matching. I love to use it over the ball in prone as well.

Amazon: Cutting Play Food

flower toys

Flowers

Activities and Skills

I actually picked this toy up at a garage sale years ago. I use it a lot with children with motor challenges. They love pulling the flowers off the stem. It works really well for encouraging gross grasp and release and facilitating bilateral coordination. Older children can work on putting the flowers on the stem.

Amazon: Flowers. This is not exactly the same as mine. It appears the parts of the flower builds on one another versus sliding on the stem. But it still may be a good building alternative toy.

blocks, dry erase board, stacking cups

Stacking Cups

1 Inch Blocks

Dry Erase Board

These are pretty self-explanatory, but I really love stacking cups!

Sensory Pediatric Occupational Therapy Toys

washable finger paint, spikey ball, pom pom

The sensory pediatric occupational therapy toys I bring into homes are pretty limited. Especially since everything has to be easily cleaned. That pompom wouldn't be good right now either! I encourage families to make sensory boxes. One of my favorites is coffee beans! Water beads are great too, if you buy a bag, you can leave boxes for many families.

I have gotten washable bath soap finger paint at the Target Dollar Spot. Like this one, but cheaper, and they last a really long time if you are just playing with them on a high chair tray.

The spinny toy at the bottom is another favorite. Children who are seeking visual input (usually seen by spinning themselves or objects) love it. There is a bead on the end that you push upward then the toy floats down while it spins. It works on pincer grasp and bilateral coordination while giving visual input. I usually incorporate turn-taking with it as well! I wish I knew what it was called, as you can see it has been through some use!

bug vibrating toys

Bug Massager

My favorite way to give proprioceptive input. It is also a great way to build rapport since so many of the children with sensory needs who are referred for OT absolutely love this input.

Amazon: Massage

Sensory Bins

For children who are sensory seeking, especially tactile, I sometimes take a sensory bin and a sheet to place it on. These are great for engaging children with autism spectrum disorder.

What are Some of Your Favorite Pediatric Occupational Therapy Toys and Activities?

Most of these toys are pretty basic therapy tools, but most kids have never seen them before. I love simple toys for pediatric OT activities that can be easily graded. I hope you enjoyed seeing what is in my pediatric occupational therapy toys bag. I know it always gives me new ideas when I see other therapists' favorites!

What is in your pediatric occupational therapy toy bag? Leave a comment below!

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