As a school SLP we all know that funds are tight.
Sometimes a lot of times we have to use our own precious dollars if we want something extra for our speech rooms.
Now, there are therapy items that I feel are definitely worth spending your hard earned cash on, and there are some things that I think you might be better off just making yourself.
Let me preface this by saying that everyone is different when it comes to being crafty or making things. Hopefully, you’ll find the items on this list pretty easy to make! When I suggest things to buy, I’m choosing things that are affordable, not huge therapy kits or programs. Check out the list!
What to Buy:
1. Children’s books
I’m a book therapy kinda girl. And a well-written, beautifully illustrated children’s book is something that to me is worth your hard earned cash. I use books with ALL of my caseload and the kids love it. Go stock your libraries! I love me some Amazon Prime for this very reason.
2. iPad apps
Do you use an iPad or tablet in therapy? Apps are usually pretty inexpensive, and there are so many great SLP ones out there. Some are even free. Yapp Guru is a great site if you are looking for app reviews or recommendations.
3. Quality TPT products
This is not meant to be a plug ha. TPT is on the list because there are some seriously great products out there that you get for a great price. I say “quality” because I’m not only a seller but a buyer as well. I like to spend my money on the products that I know I can’t (or don’t want to) make myself. Materials take a lot of time to create, and if the product can save me that time I’m all for it!
What to Make:
1. Sensory bins
Y’all, my younger students love these sensory bins. I fill it up with dried beans, sand, or easter grass and hide artic cards inside them. You can also hide small objects to work on vocabulary, describing, or much more. You could buy the sensory bin kits for a pretty penny, but I think you’re better off just making it yourself. Felice from the Dabbling Speechie has some excellent posts and ideas on how to make and incorporate sensory bins into your speech rooms. I got a lot of the items in my spring bin from her new packet!
2. Whisper phones
I love to use these phones not only for reading, but for auditory feedback for fluency and articulation as well. You can easily make these out of cheap pvc pipe for like $1.50-$2 each. Just head on over to your local hardware store and pick up 2 elbow pipes and one 3 inch pipe. Teacherific has a great tutorial for making them over on her blog. Here’s one of the ones I made.
3. Speech sound kits
You can buy kits according to alphabet letter that can cost over $200. Make your own with plastic containers and random objects. You can find little objects at the dollar store, leftover party favors, kids meals, and more. I made a container for many of the phonemes and have slowly added to them over the years.
I hope these ideas were helpful! What items do you think are worth buying and what do you make yourself?
And stay tuned for follow up posts with more items to be added to the lists!