Holiday Gift Guide for the Occupational Therapist in Your Life

As occupational therapists, nothing makes us happier than helping our clients live happy lives where they can engage in activities and occupations that are meaningful to them. So whether the occupational therapist in your life is a colleague, friend, or family member, try one of the gifts from the curated guide below that’s sure to give them an extra pep to their daily step. 

1. Hand sanitizer holders 
Whether your OT works in a school, hospital, or conducts home visits, they’re probably reaching for hand sanitizer—a lot. Check out these options for custom-made hand sanitizer holders and cases to save your OT from germs, and from always having to dig through their bag to find that their bottle of hand sanitizer spilled all over their notes, or worse, phone. Plus, you’ll be supporting a small business!

2. An occupational therapy-branded shirt
OTs love talking about their work. Peachie Speechie—a therapist clothing company created by a speech therapist—sells occupational therapy-branded shirts and sweaters, which are sure to make your favorite OT smile. They even have teletherapy-specific merchandise!

3. A personalized mug
If apparel is not their thing, Peachie Speechie also has occupational therapy-branded mugs. Because who doesn’t love a good cup of coffee and tea, especially as it gets colder in the
winter months? 

4. Blue-light-blocking glasses
Due to the seismic shift to virtual care, your OT has probably been stuck in front of a screen for hours every day conducting telehealth sessions. Consider blue-light-blocking-glasses. They’re designed to help block the blue light that’s emitted from their computer screen and phone, which can cause eye strain, headaches, and more.  Plus, these glasses are available for prescription and non-prescription eyeglass wearers.

5. A subscription to a meditation app
I personally use the Calm app after work to help myself calm down, de-stress, and get ready for bed. You can gift your favorite occupational therapist a subscription to help make sure they’re practicing self-care and looking after their own mental health. 

6. An online yoga subscription
In addition to the Calm app, I like to use Alo Moves for my physical health. It’s like having an at-home studio. Alo Moves allows me to get a workout in from the comfort of my home. A subscription to online classes with on-demand classes so they can get physical activity when it works for their busy schedule.

7. The game “Spot It”
This has to be one of my favorite games. I’ve played this game with kids, adults, and all ages in between. One of the things I like about Spot It is its simplicity. You can work on multiple different OT-related skills—such as fine motor skills, visual motor skills, sequencing, visual scanning, and following directions. And it doesn’t just have to be used in sessions. It can be an especially thoughtful gift for an occupational therapist with kids.

8. A tote bag
Occupational therapists typically haul around a large bag filled with supplies for work, so why not get your favorite OT a personalized tote bag to help make it easier for them to transport and centralize all their supplies? This gift is a great choice for the more pragmatic practitioner. It’s also great for occupational therapists who run their own private practice because they can show up to their appointments with a professionally branded bag.

9. Their favorite pens
Ask your favorite OT if they have a favorite type of pen, and you’ll probably get a lengthy explanation about their pen collection and why they are very particular about what pens they will or will not use. It may seem trivial, but some of the best OT gifts I have ever received are a 10 pack of my favorite pens—which for me are the Paper Mate Inkjoy® line. 

10. A handwritten card
If you ask the OT in your life why they became an occupational therapist, you’ll probably hear something along the lines of wanting to help others, wanting to make a difference, and wanting to have a positive impact. OTs, like all therapists, are “people” people, so handwritten notes and cards are definitely a cherished gesture. You don’t need to say anything elaborate. Simply express how your OT has helped you or what you appreciate about them will truly light up their day.

You can even consider mixing and matching these practical yet personal gifts—like slipping a handwritten card into a personalized tote bag. No matter what you choose, it’s sure to make your OT’s day. 

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