While most of us consider the holidays to be the season of giving, occupational therapists embody the giving spirit year-round—tirelessly dedicating themselves to helping people improve their ability to eat, sleep, bathe, and live fulfilling lives. It’s not always an easy job, but OTs take it on with gusto because they truly care about their patients’ health and wellbeing.
If you have an OT on your holiday shopping list, now’s the time to show how much you appreciate them. To help you do just that, we’ve combed through pages upon pages of awesome occupational therapy gifts and put together a list of our favorites, organized by category. So grab a cup of hot chocolate, some cozy slippers, and an approved form of online payment—and get ready to shop ’til you ship!
To begin, let’s check out some workplace upgrades guaranteed to relieve some of the daily stress and fatigue OTs experience.
- Most outpatient clinics require their therapists not only to be mobile, but to also carry a laptop or tablet with them throughout the day. As such, the standard hospital tray tables just don’t cut it, so help them out with this mobile desk.
- For the coffee or tea drinker who is constantly on the move, nothing can be a better savior than an anti-spill drink holder or the clip-on variant.
- Help keep your OT’s smartphone charged with this sleek mobile desk add-on.
- If that special OT you’re buying for spends exorbitant amounts of time on their feet performing ADL training, try a memory foam mat to better support their knees, back, feet, and joints.
- Acute care OTs who spend 10-12 hour shifts running from patient bed to patient bed would love a gift for their tired dogs, like these FIGS shoes—a popular brand among healthcare workers.
- For the OT that works in a school or in homecare, help organize their satellite office with a mobile desk.
Baubles and Bling
Know an OT who loves all that glitters and glistens? Well, cue the “oohs” and “ahs,” because these sparkly doodads are bound to delight.
- You can customize this bracelet with the wearer’s initial—and, of course, an OT charm or two.
- This hand-print adorned necklace features a mantra that rings true for any OT: Empower, Achieve, Inspire.
- Occupational therapy is a hands-on profession, which means many OTs take their rings off now and then. So, give them a piece of jewelry that’s pretty and practical: this sterling silver necklace that doubles as a ring holder.
- Many OTs have to wear the same boring ID card every day, but with one of these three badge holders, they can add some pizazz to their uniform.
Flair You Can Wear
OTs help people live life to the fullest; and this sweet therapy swag will help those therapists show how much they love what they do.
- Aromatherapy, sharomatherapy. This shirt reminds everyone that there’s no need for soothing eucalyptus candles when there’s an OT in the room. (You can even get it as a sweatshirt or a polo).
- Here’s a shirt for the OT with a sense of humor and happens to love dinosaurs.
- If your favorite OT already has a warm sweatshirt, snag them this comfy pair of I ♡ OT leggings.
- This OT-themed shirt from 3E Love is one of our all-time faves, and with good reason. Click here to check out the inspirational story behind the brand.
- Happen to know your OT’s shoe size—and if they’re in the market for some wild new kicks? These casual occupational therapy-themed shoes could be the perfect gift!
The Art of Therapy
Like an artist, a great occupational therapist must possess vision, passion, and creativity. On that note, here are some OT-inspired works that are perfect for adding a bit of color to any clinic, office, or waiting room.
- Bright colors and a funky disco-esque design make this pop art poster truly pop.
- This poster is perfect for any occupational therapist who loves their job—and I think it’s safe to assume that includes pretty much every OT.
- This street sign—for the aptly named Occupational Therapist Dr.—would look great on your OT’s office wall. Bonus: New patients would always know they were in the right spot.
- If the OT on your list specializes in hand therapy, I’m betting they would love this detailed watercolor handprint art. Or, you could go with this vintage arm print made with gold foil.
- An OT embodies so many definitions, with “superhero” topping the list. This lovely wood-framed wall hanging provides many of the well-deserved descriptors of an OT.
- Does your OT have a sense of humor? If so, they’ll find this wall art pretty punny. After all, the words displayed ring true: “Occupational therapy helps you get a grip.”
- While your OT likely won’t hang this on a wall, it can be placed on their tree for all to see. Check out this delightful holiday ornament that gets to the heart of occupational therapy.
Fun and Functional
Some people consider practical gifts to be a holiday faux pas, and while we don’t suggest that you tie a ribbon around an economy pack of toilet paper, we think that in many cases, a useful present is a very thoughtful—and completely acceptable—gift option. The items listed here show why:
- For the inspirational OT in your life, consider gifting this 100-page, colorful journal—a practical, yet wonderful way to remind your OT how amazing they truly are.
- What could be better for the masters of grip strength and fine motor coordination than this snarky, yet stress reducing, OT-themed coloring book?
- Do you know an OT who’s a new mother? Consider gifting this OT-themed onesie that reads, “Relax, my mom is an occupational therapist” It’s available in a variety of colors and sizes—from newborn to 4T.
- If coffee is your OT’s morning fuel of choice, check out this coffee mug. On the other hand, if your OT is more of a tea person, take a look at this chuckle-worthy mug.
- Sticking with the mug theme, if you think the OT you’re buying for would appreciate a little razzle dazzle, take a gander at this mug.
- Maybe you're unsure what kind of beverage your OT enjoys most. In this case, you can’t go wrong with an OT-themed stainless steel water bottle.
- With all these beverage cups lying around, your OT is bound to need some coasters to keep furniture stain-free—and we have just the set: these tile coasters.
- Does your OT have a laptop or phone case that could use a little glitz and glam (or a cute illustration)? If so, your therapist may love this OT-themed decal!
- Socks can serve as a subtle way to express oneself in a professional environment. Gift your special OT these fun socks to add a little spunk and spirit to this holiday season.
- If you and your favorite OT have a dark sense of humor, you both may get a kick out of this novelty jar labeled, “Ashes of Problem Patients.” Think of it as a little extra motivation for patients to comply with their home exercise programs.
Words of Appreciation
Sometimes the best gifts are the ones written from the heart.
- Forgoing tangible gift-giving this year? That’s okay! Consider putting your appreciation for your OT in writing in this OT-themed card (yes, T-rex also loves his OT on a greeting card).
There you have it: our top occupational therapist gift ideas for 2022. Now that you can cross one more person off of your holiday shopping list, you can really focus on outdoing your next-door neighbor’s festive light display. Still need gifts for a favorite speech-language therapist or physical therapist? We can help you with those too! And, if you have an OT gift suggestion that isn’t included here, leave a comment below and share it with the world.