Children learn through play. As an occupational therapist who works with children and youth, I use games and toys almost every day to help develop important cognitive, visual perceptual, motor, sensory, social, play and leisure skills. While many different types of activities can be used in therapy, this blog focuses on off-the-shelf games and toys that are accessible to most. Whether you are a therapist, parent, teacher, or a game lover like me, I hope you discover something useful while you are here. Learn a different way to play a game you already own or discover a new game for your next family game night. Either way, just go play. It's good for you!

The OT Magazine named The Playful Otter one of the Top 5 Pediatric OT Blogs.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Oriental Trading Craft Kits, Stickers, Games


Oh the fun you'll have! With the company motto "We make the world more fun", and a pink flamingo as a business mascot, how can you not at least check them out. I used Oriental Trading even before I became a therapist, and much more afterward. It is where I buy inexpensive kids craft kits, sticker scenes, jewelry kits, lacing strings, and even an occasional game. In this day and age, where the cost of shipping can exceed the cost of an item, I always wait for a FREE SHIPPING on ANY order special to drop into my email to buy. When I get these offers I post them at the top of the right hand column of this blog so you can take advantage as well. Oriental Trading always offers free shipping, usually on orders of $49 or more. So watch for the free shipping on ANY order message on my blog if your order is less than $49 to get that free shipping. Or sign up for their email notifications yourself and they will drop the invitation into your email box as well. Now here are some of the items I have purchased and found beneficial in my therapy.

Craft Kits - My favorite. A great way to work on fine motor as well as visual perceptual skills. Craft kits are typically sold in quantities of a dozen, and each kit is usually packaged separately. In quantities of a dozen, the kits usually range anywhere from 50 cents to $1 each. Make sure you check how many you are getting before you buy. Recently I have seen some of them being packaged in threes. If I have extra kits, I like to leave them for all the kids in the family. Hopefully this gives the family a chance to spend fun time together. Yes, I do shop at Michael's too, and while you can pick up just one or two at a time, it is usually a more expensive option for me. Kits themes include all major holidays, special occasions, seasons, Charlie Brown and the gang, Christian, and vacation Bible school. Some of the pieces that come in a kit are self-adhesive and some need your glue. Make sure you read the description so you know exactly what you are getting.

Sticker Scenes - I have blogged about this so you can click the link and go to that blog. Scenes for everyday life, seasons and even holidays. I have also purchased sticker calendars and sticker Christmas books. They stick good but not so good that you can't pick them up and reposition if you have to. Most kids love stickers.

Simple Games & Toys - Over the years I have bought things like a ZOOM ball, sand tray, several memory games, and large beads with pattern cards. The items they carry vary over time.

Kids Jewelry Craft Kits & Enamel Charms - Nothing fancy, just a chance to work on stringing beads, patterning, pincer grasp, sequencing. And then, because they are inexpensive, you can leave the creation for the individual to keep and wear.

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