see all


see all

Apply Now

Join the CMG community and let us help you manage your travel nursing, travel allied, Locum Tenens, and permanent placement opportunities. Sign up and be the first to find the latest and greatest healthcare positions across the country.

Search Healthcare Jobs

Have a specific location in mind? We have travel nursing, travel allied, Locum Tenens, and permanent healthcare career opportunities in all 50 states. Search our healthcare job database to find the position you are looking for.

Sign up for our newsletter:

10 Must-Have Dollar Deal Pediatric OT Tools

by Jaime Spencer


Rock Star Pediatric Occupational Therapy Practitioners are often on a VERY limited budget. Budget-friendly pediatric OT tools that work in multiple areas are a great investment. And my favorite spot to get them?


The Dollar Tree, 5 Below, or the “budget’ section of Walmart, Target, etc. are all wonderful places to find fun, cheap therapy tools. I regularly use these must-have supplies with my students. Make sure to check out my list of fidgets from the dollar store, too!

These are the 10 Dollar Store Therapy Tools Every OT has to have:

1. Cards

Work on fine motor skills to deal and manipulate, bilateral coordination to hold and deal visual perceptual skills, and more! Teach your kids to build card houses, play go fish, or layout the cards to play the game "Spit," one of my all-time favorite OT card games.

2. Balloons

Play "keep it up" or "bat the balloon." Write sight words on the balloon and play "hot potato." Have the children stuff the balloons with beans to make a simple D-I-Y stress ball. Plus they fit in your pocket — score!

3. Painters Tape or Washi Tape

Make a balanced stripe or a hopscotch board on the floor, create an obstacle course, or teach children to peel the tape off the table to work on fine motor skills. Make an X on the wall and teach your kids to throw at a target. The possibilities are endless. And don't forget to tape your worksheets and pegboards to a visual surface to promote shoulder and wrist stability!

4. Pegboard or pegboard games (Lite Brite, secret code, battleship, etc.)

Look in the "Party Favors" section of the dollar store, Target, or Five Below. These games are an easy way to work on fine motor skills, visual perception, dexterity, and turn-taking all at once.

5. Pool Noodles

Where do I begin? Use pool noodles to adjust a child's chair/seat position, create a foot fidget, or act as a resistive material to stick buttons in. It's so versatile!

6. Kitchen Tongs

Perfect for working on hand strength, opening and closing these to grab pompoms, slices of a pool noodle, or anything else works on the same muscles needed to manipulate a pair of scissors. These tools are great for improving motor skills that impact handwriting.

7. Turkey Baster

This can be difficult for weak hands, but very fun for kids to squeeze the air out of the turkey baster to blow pieces of crumpled-up tissue across the table, into the end goal (made with painter's tape on the table). You can also use it with two bowls of water- put a dash of food dye in one and have the child squeeze the water from the other bowl and transfer it to the food dye bowl - watch the colors change.

8. Dry Erase Markers

The dollar store sells small dry erase in 3 packs, which is great because they come in different colors, and they're so cheap you can buy enough for the whole class, or have a backup for those kids who always forget to put the cap back on. If you are willing to buck up for a laminator, you will be in heaven - and you can use the same materials over and over. This one is my favorite - it's cheap, small, and works great!

9. Seasonal Craft stuff

About 6 times a year the Dollar Store changes up their craft section to colors of the season (pastel for Springs, red and green for December, etc.) This is a great time to get your beads, pom poms, craft sticks, stickers, etc. Get a bunch and use it all year long - red pom-poms work for Valentine's Day and July 4th, too!

10. Seasonal Party Favors and Holiday stuff

Same as above, make sure to get any little holiday things that you can use as fine motor manipulatives, like plastic heart table scatter on Valentine's Day. Change up your motor centers to go with the time of the year and make it more fun for your kids.

11. Cabinet liner

Whoops- I know I said ten but I also love cabinet liners! Use it as dycem to keep stuff (slant boards, etc.) steady on the desk, for kids who always knock the pencil case off the desk, or on the desk seat to keep wiggly bottoms on the chair! It works!

Wondering if Pediatric Occupational Therapy is the best setting for you? Click the link below to find out!

Take the Quiz


see all

Search Healthcare Jobs

Have a specific location in mind? We have travel nursing, travel allied, Locum Tenens, and permanent healthcare career opportunities in all 50 states. Search our healthcare job database to find the 


see all

Join Now

Join our talent community to learn more about travel nursing, travel allied, Locum Tenens, and permanent opportunities in your area. Be the first to learn about the latest healthcare positions nationwide. It takes less than a minute!