No materials? Small or no budget? I am here to help you still do effective speech and language therapy and still have fun!
SLPs don't have a curriculum. We are often left with zero supplies. We have grad school loans and other expenses and don't want to have to spend a ton just to do our jobs. I have made so many mistakes in this area and learned so much from them. I think I spent over $1,000 on Super Duper games and other supplies my first 2 years in the field. You may think…OK great you are stocked up for good now. No…my first year I worked in a preschool…I don't anymore. My second year I worked with middle/high school. Year after that I was back in elementary for a year. Now I am with upper elementary/middle school age. See the problem? All those games I bought back then? Don't necessarily apply to my current caseload. Another problem with that? Each time I switched jobs and schools I had to find homes for all that stuff! Those big game and such take up so much space!
I will share with you 5 ways you can stock yourself up cheaply so you don't make the mistake I did! This way you won't feel as guilty if you switch jobs or age groups.
1. Use free websites to work on speech and language goals
Yes. Free! You may have a computer or laptop or iPad given to you by your job. Use it! If you are a contract SLP see if you can access to one in your job location. There are so many websites that we can use as SLPs and don't require a subscription. Some just require an email log in! Comic strip creators, word cloud creators, digital graphic organizers, jeapardy games, and mad libs are just a few of the many types of games that you can use for free! CLICK HERE to read my blog post with a round up of fun free websites you can use!
2. Free iPad apps to use in speech and language therapy
Yes…you need an iPad but you can can some cheap by getting an older one refurbished. You can also see if any family or friends are upgrading to a new one and want to donate their old one to you! There are tons of SLP apps like those by Smarty Ears. There are also tons of free non speech apps that we can use too! I have an entire blog post filled with my favorite ones in a round up which you can check out by clicking HERE!
3. Using TpT freebies for speech and language therapy materials
I am clearly a fan of TpT. But spending on TpT can totally add up. If you are one of the lucky ones that have districts willing to help pay for resources…make sure you check out the new TpT Schools option. TpT makes it super easy to allow you to send a resource request for purchase to an administrator! CLICK HERE to learn about that program. If not…(don't worry my district won't either)…there are tons of freebies on TpT that are good to use also! Yes..the paid ones are more thorough and exciting but you can still be effective using freebies. One of my favorite freebies from my store is my Popping with Inferential Vocabulary craft! I am not a crafty person but this is just print and go and easy to use! CLICK HERE to check it out!
4. Using Donors Choose to get materials funded for speech therapy
Have you heard of this website?! You can create projects for your therapy room and post them on your FB page or try and get random donors that search that website to fund items for you! It is super easy to use and a great way to get resources that you need! I have gotten a ton of board games, books, and even an EET for my therapy room! CLICK HERE to read about how I got the EET funded and how you can too!
5. Using Discount Store to Get Resources for your speech therapy room
Dollar Tree, Target Dollar Spot, Five Below, Thrift Stores, and garage sales to name a few. There are so many discount places you can shop for board games, books, puzzles, stickers, art supplies, and other things you can use in your therapy room! You can also find teachers that are retiring and giving items away! There are also SLP buy, sell, swap Facebook groups that you can use to request materials or follow to see when things are posted to buy!
What have I gotten from discount stores that I cannot live without? I have gotten wind up toys, cheap puzzles that I can write on, and even checker boards I can write on!
As you can see…you can totally be an effective SLP without spending a ton of money on materials. You can address those goals, keep your students engaged, and have fun!
Want even more speech freebies?! Check out my freebies page with a variety of resources for you to grab for free! CLICK HERE!