You’re a new SLP and wondering what must have items you should get for your therapy room. Maybe you were given a budget (lucky!) or paying out of pocket like many of us (myself included). Anyways, there are some items every new SLP should have to get them started. Below you’ll see the top 10 items for a new speech language pathologist. Good luck with the start of your new career!
This Melissa & Doug food set is a definite must have for a new SLP. Play food is great to work with your clients/students on pretend play skills. This set also comes with a “knife” and cutting board, allowing your child to cut the Velcro food into pieces. You can use this set to have the child request (Ex. “I want bread”, “bread, please”, or “I want to cut”). Also, practice counting the pieces of food after cutting with the child. You can even use this set as a reward after an articulation child says their words.
Your clients will love bubbles! Bubbles are so motivating and many speech language pathologists swear by them. You can use bubbles to work on joint attention, eye contact, and requesting. They are also great if your client is working on producing bilabial sounds /b/ and /p/ (“pop”, “blow”, “bubbles”). You can even use them for working on prepositions by asking your client where he wants you to blow the bubbles (Ex. On the floor, up to the ceiling, under the table). Read more about using bubbles for speech therapy.
Puzzle are such a great activity for working on basic vocabulary and requesting. These Melissa & Doug puzzles are awesome for teaching your client letters, numbers, and colors. Have the child request for the desired puzzle piece he wants. You can also practice turn taking with the puzzles. Have the child request to put a piece of the puzzle in (“My turn”).
This mystery box is such a great toy for speech therapy. Your client will love reaching in and pulling out a mystery item. Once he pulls out a toy, take time for him to label the item and ask him questions about it. Start with basic “what” and “where” questions, such as What sound does the lion make? or Where does the elephant live?. You can put other target items inside the mystery box as well. For example, you can put in items that all start with a specific sound for your articulation clients.
Zingo is a great game for a new SLP to have. The game is great for increasing vocabulary, turn-taking, matching, and expanding sentences. Have the child talk about the items he gets on his turn (Ex. “I got an apple and cake”). You can also have the child request for his turn and remind others when it’s their turn. Zingo is a really fun and motivating game!
Dot markers are really an excellent activity to use with your caseload. If you close them tightly after each use these markers can last a very long time. You can find online free printable pictures to use with dot markers or just have the child create his own picture. You can even use dot markers as a reward or incentive for practicing articulation words. If you want to use them for language therapy, you can have the child request for markers (Ex. “I want blue”). You can give the child directions to follow (Ex. Make three blue dots). You can also have the child request to open the top of the marker if he is unable to do it himself.
If you have a child who is more active, then it’s a good idea to have some activities where he can move around. Bowling is perfect for this! Practice turn-taking while playing the game. Have the child request for the ball when it’s his turn. Talk about how many pins he knocks down after he rolls the ball (Ex. “I hit three pins”).
This ramp racer toy is a great cause and effect activity for a new SLP to have. Your client will be motivated to request for cars to race down the ramp. You can talk about basic concepts such as up and down. Also, you can increase the child’s color vocabulary when talking about the different cars. This is a great toy for increasing eye contact and joint attention skills.
Sometimes simple toys are the most useful! A ball can be used in so many ways during speech therapy. You can roll the ball back and forth to practice turn-taking. You can have the child request for actions with the ball, such as bounce, roll, or throw. You can use the ball in a group session and when the child has ball he needs to label an item in a category.
The last must have item for a new SLP is play-doh! This is a great sensory activity that you can do with a child. The child can request for specific colors of play-doh as well as cutters. He can request to for you to open the can. You can help the child talk about what he wants to do with the dough, such as roll it or squeeze it. Read more about play doh and speech therapy.