SLPs need some tools to help us get our jobs done easily and efficiently! Check out these 21 tools that every SLP should keep in their therapy room!
We are busy. We have a lot of paperwork and testing demands. We have large caseloads. We have kids coming in and out of our rooms all day long with limited time to run to the bathroom let alone prepare for the following session. That is why I like to have on hand a variety of items in my therapy room so I can use them if I need them in a pinch during a session or while planning for a session. It makes my life much easier and helps ensure that my therapy sessions run smoothly as well. (Disclaimer: this post contains Amazon Affiliate links. That just means if you happen to purchase from one of these links, I get like a nickel to help me run this blog and share more awesomeness with you!).
1. Dry erase sleeves
These are amazing. They allow me to not have to photocopy a million pieces of paper. PLUS, it is more motivating for the students as well to write with them vs. paper/pencil. Just throw the worksheet in there and done! You can also easily make your own DIY graphic organizer quickly in a pinch and be done with it!
2. Brown Paper Bags
These are cheap and awesome for quick sorting or mystery bag activities! I usually grab a stash at the dollar store and it lasts me quite a while! You can also make brown paper bag books too with them!
3. Gel Pens
Doesn't even have to be gel pens, just any type of fun writing utensil that changes it up from the normal paper/pencil activity. Students are so motivated by it so it is definitely a staple in my therapy room!
4. Wind Up Toys
They are cheap and so much fun. You can have wind up toy races. You can put task cards on a table and use the wind up toys to make them a bit more fun. Wherever it lands is the card you pick!
5. Wordless Picture Books
These are my ultimate favorite books to use in my speech room. It takes the reading piece out and so versatile. You can work on storytelling, vocabulary, wh questions, inferencing, predicting, and so much more. You can learn about my favorite wordless picture books by checking out my blog post by CLICKING HERE!
6. Sticky notes
They are cheap and can be easily found. Do you notice a trend already with the cheap factor in a lot of these items?! I love using them for quick visuals, reminders for myself, and to teach my students reading comprehension strategies.
7. File Folders
We typically have these anyway for student files. I love using them for quick barrier games, sorting games, visual aids, and more. CLICK HERE to learn more about my favorite ways to use them!
8. Hole Puncher
Did you know that you can use these for quick speech activities? You can have students punch for positive behavior, to indicate placement of sound in words, or even to remind themselves while saying summaries. You can read a whole blog post with ideas by CLICKING HERE!
9. Paper Clips
We usually have these laying around anyway. You can use them to make quick spinners, work on expanding sentences, turn taking, and more! Read about all of these ideas by CLICKING HERE!
10. Paper Plates
You can get a stash of these cheap from dollar stores. They make fun sorting activities and easy crafts too. You can have students role play dinnertime or even pretend to be at a restaurant. Tons of possibilities.
You can borrow from a board game, you can buy cheap at dollar stores, or get a bulk from Amazon. You can turn anything into a game. Students can roll for points. Students can roll to determine what tasks they have to do if you give them a “key.”
12. Sentence Strips
They are great to have on hand to make a quick visual or cloze sentence for students to complete. You can get cheap ones at dollar stores, Target or Amazon. You can even find fun dry erase ones too. I love storing them right on my cabinet in a magnetic pocket after I make them so I can reuse them. I store them also in storybooks too so I have them the next time I use that book! I have a whole blog post on this too which you can check out HERE!
13. Generic Board Games
Sometimes we need to pull out a game to give students a bit more motivation when a task is challenging or dry. Generic ones are where I like to spend my money most since you can use them with anything! Some of my favorites: Crocodile Dentist, Jenga, Chutes and Ladders, Trouble, Pop the Pig, and Yeti in My Spaghetti. Links to all of my favorites will be with the rest of the Amazon links at the bottom of this blog post!
14. Index Cards
They are perfect for quick visuals and memory matching games. You can make quick sorting activities and DIY card games. They are sturdy so you typically don't need to even laminate when you use them! Score!
Not only are they easy motivators but you can make quick games with them too. You can make keys for your students to follow or have different stickers represent a point value they can earn. Tons of possibilities!
16. Binder rings
They make for quick adaptive books, visuals, and storage options. It allows you to hang things on hooks and keep near you. You can make quick drilling cards and visuals for students to leave in desks in classrooms. You can read more about these ideas by CLICKING HERE!
17. Popsicle Sticks
You can make quick Zap games. To play…basically you can write various target words or questions on the sticks. Write the word “zap” on a few of them. Put them in a cup. Students pick a stick and do the required task and then they get to hold onto their stick. If they get a zap…they have to give back all of their sticks. Person with the most sticks at the end wins. It is fun and easy!
You can even work on sentence structure and make other fun games too with these! You can read about even more Popsicle stick ideas by CLICKING HERE!
SLPs love Velcro, yes we do! We can make anything adaptive and fun. We just love it! I am guilty for loving it too so had to throw it on the list!
19. Library Pockets
These are fun and can be used for fun sorting activities. You can even tape them into books to keep visuals too!
20. Game Pieces
Just like we can borrow dice from games, we can borrow game pieces as well. I actually bought a cheap stash from a dollar store which comes in handy. I can easily make a DIY game or use with any game board I find on TPT and I am ready to go!
I always have a stash of cheap constructer paper ready to go. They can be used to put a backing to task cards so students can't see through them if you are making them into a game. You can make quick sortable which you can learn about by CLICKING HERE!
You can also make quick foldable graphic organizers which are fun and students can make them so no prep to you!
I hope this massive round up helps you feel prepared if you are a new CF, switching to the schools, or just need to feel refreshed with ideas. Feel free to check out the various Amazon links below: