Therapy Ideas for Children from Yard Sales

I’m a woman on a mission to provide Parker with things he needs to meet his sensory needs, as well as physical (gross motor) and occupational therapy (fine motor) needs. I’m going to be seeking out therapy ideas for children from yard sales and thrift shops.

This is Parker’s healthy time of the year.  It’s the time of the year that I really need to push the physical stuff.

I thought I’d put together a list of items that Parker needs.  I don’t expect to find everything all at once.  As I do find my treasures on my yard sale and thrift store expeditions, I’ll post on what I paid and how much I saved by purchasing these items used, rather than new.

I know I’m not the only one trying to fill in the gaps for their kid’s therapy needs.  I figure the more ideas shared, the better.

  •  mini tramp.  I’ve done test jumps on several brands and have found two issues.  Either the springs on the tramp are so tight that there is NO way Parker could get the tramp to bounce with his 42 pounds, or the ones with the handles EASILY tip over due to the weight of the handle.  yikes.
  • balance board.  I found directions for making one here.  Amazon has some inexpensive ones too.
  • A rotation board.  Kind of a balance board with handles;   Okay.  So my odds of finding one of these at a yard sale are nil, I can still keep my ear to the ground in other venues.
  • A traditional hammock and stand to use outside.  Vestibular, baby. 
  • Items to create our own  sensory/tactile board.  Cause the retail prices of these are ridiculous.   I am sure I can create something like this very inexpensively.
  • Items for seasonal sensory bins.
  • Space blankets.  You know, that silver reflective blankets used to keep you warm in an emergency?
  • Something Parker can push.  A mini grocery basket.  Something I can add weight to.
  • Vibrating massage bugs.
  • Okay.  I’m not going to find one of these Pea Pods at a yard sale either.  But Parker would LOVE this.
  • Something I can make a simple balance beam from.  I’ve tried the putting a line of tape on the floor, Parker refused to buy into it.  He’s a dare devil this kid of mine.
  • A rocking horse. 
  • Bean Bags, larger ones that are a bit heavier.

My sweet Mom and I went and searched out a few local Kid to Kid stores looking for therapy activities.  While we didn’t find anything on our list, we did find some great stuff.  Here’s my Mom sharing a few ideas, both under $5.00.

Shopping for therapy toys at Kid to Kid

Isn’t she beautiful?  She’s going to be working with Parker on his fine motor skills.

Cheap therapy toys from Kid to Kid


I did find a like brand spankin’ new Duplo Pirate set with Pirates, giant Pirate boat and a cannon for less than $10.00.  My Mom bought it for me to use during our Pirate unit this summer. It’s PERFECT for fine motor skills, and introducing some new signs such as: pirate, ship, flag, and others.   I haven’t had time to sanitize it yet, so I don’t have a picture.

Where do you look for new ideas and therapy activities for your kids?    What is your favorite toy for your child to practice small and gross motor skills with?

PS:  Parker and I have been busy pinning great ideas to our Activities to Develop Fine Motor Skills board on Pinterest.  Come join us!  

PSS:  A Facebook friendshared these ideas:  Have you seen this? We have rody and the rocking base… he’s awseome!
My favorite place for sensory activities is dollar tree. Shaving cream , fizzy bath tablets, floating ivory soap , and a dish pan makes for a fun wet sensory day… For dry sensory bins, Winco has an amazing bulk section , beans, rice, you name it …

Sweet!  Thanks, Anna!







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