Brooke Becker shares:
I have been using objects and bins during my speech sessions for the past few years. My students love to dig for the objects or pictures. It is like a treasure hunt for them! I can’t take credit for the idea, but it is something I have read a lot about on SLP blogs and Facebook posts I follow. The first thing I did was raided my own childrens’ toy bins at home. I made one object box specifically for language and I have bags for each individual speech sound. I have since added objects specific to different seasons and holidays. If you don’t have kids at home, start at the Dollar Tree or the dollar spot at Target. I have even used random objects from around my house (spool of thread, plastic spoon). If you don’t want to collect or store objects, I have also used fun deck cards and small laminated vocabulary pictures from book companions. There really are so many possibilities!
My sensory bins and bags have grown over the years as I continue to add objects and bins. Your basic bin can be a big plastic tub filled with colorful craft pom-poms and cut up straws. I have seen other SLPs use dried pasta/beans/rice. You can get very creative, but I have found basic has worked for me. It is fun to base the bins on themes for seasons and holidays, too. Then, be prepared for lots of fun, smiles and laughs in therapy as you pull out the bins. These are perfect for any group, especially mixed groups. I also love to pair them with a book. One example, for the upcoming Fall and Halloween season: You can read a book about fall and use objects in your sensory bin (small pumpkins,/gourds/ small scarecrow/ football/apple/acorn) or small vocabulary pictures from your favorite Halloween book (ex. Room on the Broom).
Bin ideas: fake leaves for fall, fake Easter grass for spring, white Styrofoam packing peanuts for winter (snow), gold coins for pirate theme or St. Patrick’s day etc.
Objects ideas: Articulation bags, season/holiday bags, describing objects bin (see attached picture of /g/ sound bag) I have also read about SLPs ordering mini objects from a seller on Etsy.
Therapy ideas: describing (EET), comparing/contrasting, formulating sentences, articulation practice, using fluent speech to make sentences and describe, the list goes on!
-Brooke Becker, Zachary Taylor Elementary