January 16, 2017

5 Under $5: Valentine's Day Must-Have Items for Your Therapy Room



Looking to add some flair to your Valentine's Day therapy, but want to keep it affordable? Here are 5 must have items, each under $5, to add to your toolbox for hands-on therapy this Valentine's Day!



1. Candy Hearts

There are so many things you can do with candy hearts. Obviously they can be used as a delicious reinforcement for articulation (5 correct productions = 1 candy heart) but what else can they be used for? For younger students, practice following directions using colors. For older students, practice following directions at a more engaging and difficult level by making your own paint using candy hearts! You can also line them up and use as a pacing board for fluency or withhold them for requesting (see my blog over using communicative temptations).





2. Mini Mailbox

I bought a mailbox from the Dollar Tree for $1 (also available on Amazon* for slightly over $5) which I use every Valentine's Day. Possibilities are endless with what you can do. You can use it in conjunction with articulation cards, of course. Have children draw a card from the mailbox or have them stick a card in the mailbox after practicing it. The mailbox can also be used with early language learners- open it, close it, lift the flag up and down, put items in and take items out. Use it for inferencing as well. Place items or vocabulary cards inside, and give clues as to what is inside. I offer a product on Teachers Pay Teachers called "What's in My Mailbox", a Valentine's inferencing activity (also under $5!), which can be used with this mailbox as well.



3. Sticky Note Envelopes

Regular envelopes will work too, but these self sticking post-it envelopes are my favorite. These Casemate Envelope Sticky Notes are available at Walmart and on Amazon*. They start out as a letter, and fold into an envelope shape. I typically give my students a list with their target words on it. From there, I have my students write a Valentine's note using at least 5 of their speech words. We practice reading these notes out loud. Sometimes the notes are silly and sometimes they are serious, but this short and sweet activity is fun for students of all ages-- just modify how long the letter needs to be depending on the student's ability level! You can also work on sentence types using these sticky envelopes. Your students can practice writing simple, compound, or complex sentences using these notes. Also, remember that mailbox from #2? These pair perfectly with it! Stick the notes in the mailbox or have the students take their notes home.



4. Heart Shaped Cookie Cutters

These cookie cutters are great for language therapy. They nest inside of each other, which means you have lots of sizes to choose from. Different sizes means you can use them to target comparisons (bigger, biggest, smaller, smallest) when following directions. Use them with play dough-- either purchased or homemade. Another fun way to use these hearts in a version of ring toss as a quick reinforcement between turns.  Scatter the hearts on the floor or on the table. Toss candy hearts, heart beads or even cotton balls into the hearts. Each heart is worth a different number of points depending on the size. Tally the points to determine a winner. A variation of this game would be to toss first, then complete a certain number of tasks, depending on which heart you land in. Mine heart cookie cutters came from Walmart, but you can also get them here* on Amazon.



5. Heart Shaped Beads/Table Scatter

I mostly use these for articulation therapy. Drop one in a bucket for each correct production and see who comes out with the most hearts (the students love hearing them drop in the bucket). When working on minimal pairs, take out 2 small cups. Flip them upside down and hide one heart under one of the buckets. Put the CORRECT minimal pair card on top of the cup hiding the heart and the INCORRECT minimal paid on top of the cup with no heart. Have the student guess which cup is hiding the heart. If the student guesses wrong or make an incorrect production (Ex: It's under the TAR!") have him/her guess again, practicing correct production (Ex: It's under the STAR!"). When guessed correctly, the student keeps the heart (until the end of the session). These came from the Dollar Tree, but similar items can be found on Amazon* for slightly higher.

~BONUS~

Obviously Teachers Pay Teachers has some awesome affordable options for under $5 as well. Some activities that I use every year are my Valentine's Day Inferencing Product, "What's In My Mailbox?", Box of Chocolates Categories, Speech Valentine Cards, Peachie Speechie's Candy Heart Comprehension Questions, and Nicole Allison's One Item Therapy {Candy Hearts}.

*Post contains affiliate links to Amazon.

2 comments:

  1. I have several little mailboxes that I have collected over time. They get used nearly the entire month of February!

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    1. I also have a collection of mailboxes! Christmas, Valentine's and a plain gold one for all year. They're surprisingly versatile!

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