Gift Guide for OT Students

The holiday season is approaching quickly, and many OT students will have friends and family members asking what’s on their wish lists. If you are a current OT student or new grad, share this list to help make holiday shopping easier for the ones you love! You might even see some things you’d like to purchase for yourself. I’m a big fan of the reference clipboard for building confidence (and knowledge) during fieldwork, customized badge clips, and the 2016 AOTA Conference registration!

Whether you decide to purchase an object or an experience, you can’t go wrong with these great gifts!

Gifts for OT Students.png

Click through for links to individual items.


  1. Book stand. It’s a simple solution that can save a ton of neck, shoulder, and eye strain for students as they read textbooks, articles, and other content. With a new book stand, an OT student can study stress-free! (Sort of)
  2. Customized badge clip. OT students are often required to wear identification at school or at fieldwork sites. A customized ID badge is inexpensive and makes a great stocking stuffer or birthday gift for a new OT student or recent graduate.
  3. USB travel charger. Whether at the library or sitting in class, students are constantly on their phones and tablets. Rechargeable travel chargers will allow them to make the most of their technology as they travel between classes, work, and home.
  4. Reference clipboard. This unique clipboard provides a quick reference to information about spinal cord injury levels, FIM scores, developmental milestones, and more. Versions with storage are available as well!
  5. Classic watch. Time management is an essential OT student skill. A quality, waterproof watch is a functional, timeless gift that will see a student from the classroom to the workplace and beyond! For sportier students, a smart watch with fitness tracking features is a great choice.
  6. Business cards. Quality, professional business cards can be an important networking tool for OT students and new grads. Present them with a homemade “coupon” or e-giftcard for $20 towards a set of customized business cards from Vistaprint or
  7. Diploma frame and matting. For a new graduate, what could be better than a great frame in which to display the result of all of their hard work? Many schools have customized frames and matting, and craft stores like Michael’s and Hobby Lobby often offer less expensive framing services with a wider variety of options. Bonus points for using a local framer and supporting local business for the holidays!
  8. School spirit gear. Gifting an OT student with a school-spirited hoodie, T-shirt, tote bag, or car cling is a great way to show your support. Even better if you can purchase occupational therapy gear that helps support their program!
  9. Thank you cards and envelopes. This is one of my favorite gifts to give! Students work with many professional mentors, fieldwork supervisors, and instructors who help them on their way, and gifting a set of fun thank-you cards will help ensure students give thanks where thanks is due.
  10. 2016 AOTA Annual Conference & Expo Registration. By sending a student to the AOTA Conference, you can support learning, networking, and professional development in one fell swoop! Bonus points for including a year of AOTA membership with this gift!


Other gift ideas that may be more functional than fun include:

I hope this helps get some good ideas flowing! If you decide to purchase anything from this list, be sure to use sites like RetailMeNot and Groupon and sign up for website mailing lists to get discounts and save.

What’s on your wish list this holiday season? Share in the comments, and happy shopping!

Disclaimer: I am not receiving financial or other compensation for any of the items listed above. I cannot guarantee the quality, price, or availability of items listed. All purchases made are at your own risk.

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