Parents ask us all the time what types of therapy equipment and items they can use their child’s NDIS funding towards. Believe me, we have seen HUNDREDS of amazing products and companies that so many families have benefited from, and that work for their kids.
But how can you use everyday items that are either at home, or easy to access, affordable AND that also help you stretch your NDIS funding just that little bit further?
SourceKids recently put together an amazing list of affordable and accessible items for everyday use, which we have shared for you below.
It's time to get crafty! Here is a list of items that we constantly use over and over again for different skills and activities for therapy.
Affordable and accessible therapy equipment ideas
“This is one of my favourite categories to use things from. Children love to think they are using something that they usually don’t get to play with. Items like flour, rice and shaving crème are great examples of ideas to use for sensory play. Pegs and cotton balls can work on fine motor, jugs, spoons and water have endless opportunities for water play……”
- cookie cutters
- rice, grains and pasta
- cotton balls
- food colouring
- laundry basket
- plastic food containers
- food colouring
- measuring spoons and jug
- outdoor natural materials (sand/dirt/leaves)
- shaving crème
- aluminum foil
- zip lock bags
“Gone are the days where an egg carton was just an egg carton, I often incorporate them into therapy. Using fine motor skills to fill them or setting them up with sensory materials for some creative and dramatic play.
My husband will often make sure that he asks if I need any of the items below for therapy before throwing them out. I really enjoy using these sort of items for two main reasons; they get one more use before they are recycled and because you don’t need to worry if they get dirtied or broken as you were getting rid of them anyway.”
- egg cartons
- milk cartons
- empty boxes eg cereal boxes
- lids of baby wipes
- bubble wrap
- foam from packaging
- paper towel and wrapping paper rolls
- shoe boxes
- lids from pasta jars, juices, squeezy yogurts
- empty herb jars
Cheap craft materials
“One of my favourite things to do it visit the cheap dollar stores as they are FULL of never ending ideas on items that can be easily incorporated into therapy. More often then not these items can also be used over and over again and are SO cost effective. Stacking paper cups to knock down to encourage crawling, elastic bands on paper cups to encourage two handed play, painting on butcher’s paper against a wall for some standing practice, stickers on dining chairs to encourage side stepping and cruising along furniture.'
- pipe cleaners
- sticky tape (coloured and clear)
- paint (can make homemade)
- butchers paper
- crepe paper
- playdoh (can make homemade)
- a variety of different sized balls
- paper cups and plates
- elastic bands
“I can honestly say I have used each and every one of the items on the list at least 10 times each. For both constraint and bimanual therapy and for physio activities to work on a heap of different skills such as rolling, crawling, standing, side stepping, sit to stand and much more. It is so much more satisfying coming up with something unique and creative and it also allows you the freedom to develop a larger variety of activities. This way therapy is in no way repetitive and boring and it is such a cheap, convenient and quick way to implement into your home therapy program.”
How do I fund therapy equipment through my NDIS plan?
If you’re wondering how to use your NDIS funding to purchase these items, they will likely fall under low-cost Assistive technology from your Core budget.
Check out our resource: What is Assistive Technology to find out more about Level 1/Low cost AT, and chat to your Plan manager for more info about funding these items.