Sometimes SLP’s have use what they have in their speech rooms for therapy materials. SLP’s either have NO budget (appalling), or limited time to lesson plan because of their workload. I remember a college professor telling me that an SLP should be able to do therapy with just paper and a pencil. SLP’s are the queens and kings of finding amazing ways to use unconventional items. Today I want to talk about how to use paperclips in speech therapy!

SLP's on a budget using paperclips in speech therapy

My current speech budget situation

Currently I get $200 for supplies in my current school district. I know it isn’t much, but I will take whatever I can get! It took me three whole months to decide what I wanted to purchase. I was coveting that $200 with my life. Thank goodness my district uses amazon prime because I was able to find some affordable deals and get a good stash of materials. Luckily all the districts that I have worked for have been amazing at paying for trainings and/or materials when I really needed them to help my caseload. #sothankful
Paperclips in speech therapy is a great resource for using what you have to do therapy. Lots of speech therapy ideas

What to do when you aren’t given ANY money for supplies?

When we don’t have the funds for lots of materials, you have to get creative with finding resources to teach your students. Back when I first started my career there was no pinterest, TPT, or social media to help inspire me with therapy planning. Blogs were just starting to become something that people liked to do, and it wasn’t easy to find materials. Thankfully today we have so many easy ways to get ideas when we have LITTLE TO NO money.

Ways to Find FREE Ideas

Sign up for a pinterest account to search easy DIY therapy ideas. Follow lots of speech blogs at one time using bloglovin’ to get easy therapy ideas. Hallie Sherman from Speech Time Fun did a great blog post about using paperclips in speech therapy that you can check out HERE. Instagram is one of the best places to find fun therapy ideas from other SLP’s. You can search popular hashtags like #slpeeps #schoolslp or #slpbloggers. My handle is @thedabblingspeechie and my hashtag is #dabblingslp if you want to stay up to date with all the latest in my speech world.

Some easy tricks for acquiring therapy materials

Veteran SLP’s have given me advice that if you are allotted $100-200 per year, then use that money to stock up on cardstock, binders, pencils, laminating sheets, etc. Then, use your own personal money for items like games, books, and toys so you will have those therapy materials wherever you are placed. If you are looking for some resources that can help get you through, then read my blog post on How I would spend $100 on TPT. There is a free caseload therapy planner in that post. My caseload therapy planners helps SLP’s see what types of goals they are treating so the SLP can make sure to find specific materials for those goals. Need DIY therapy ideas? Follow my DIY Speech Therapy board on pinterest for new inspiration!

Let’s talk paperclips in speech therapy

Sometimes we have to use common items around our speech rooms because we ran out of lesson planning time. Or remember that beautifully thought out lesson you had ready for your therapy group and your little speechies would have nothing to do with it!? Those are the times that I have had to improvise and find WHATEVER I could to make the rest of the session engaging. Sometimes the simplest ideas can be the most effective for ours students. Here are some ways that I have been using paperclips in speech therapy.

Monitoring Expected Vs. Unexpected Behaviors

Do you have students that need visual reminders to monitor their expected behaviors while you are teaching a lesson? Just write on a half sheet of paper or index card and slip paperclips on the expected or unexpected behavior visual. At the end of the session you can use that as data to determine how expected the student was during the session.

Using paperclips to hold during a conversation lesson

Have a social skills group working on conversational tasks? Write down visuals you want to use on index cards. Slip them on paperclips and you have easy to hold visuals! The students can hold up a “question” visual if they want to ask a question. When a student has to identify expected vs. unexpected in a social situation, the student can hold up the correct visual after the SLP reads the social situation.

Turn any deck of cards into magnetic fun

Busy Bee Speech gave me the idea to use my magnetic wand with paperclips. I placed paperclips on my Super Duper Card Decks and grabbed my magnetic wand. Students were able to pick stimulus cards using the magnetic wand. It adds a little fun to the activity! I printed up little gingerbread men and foxes to slide under the paperclips. If a student got a gingerbread man then they got to keep him. If they found a fox, then the fox ate their gingerbread man and they had to lose a gingerbread man.

With a thick popsicle stick (currently at your local dollar store), a magnetic strip (got this magnetic strip on amazon, Affiliate link included) and a set of paperclips, an SLP now has an engaging therapy tool! This DIY magnetic strip can be used as a behavior working for chart. It can also be used for counting speech productions.

After each 5-10 repetitions of a sound, the student gets to put a paperclip on the strip. Students can also work on their fluency enhancing strategies. Each paperclip could be a pacing visual while practicing sentences. The paperclips can also be used as a reminder to use easy onset. This can also be used for teaching the concepts “on” and “off”. So many things!

SLP’s can work on finding matches with word associations, categories, or multiple meanings. You can make paperclips with yarn or string. Just tie the strip at both ends to two paperclips. Place stimulus cards in a sensory bin or on the table. Have your students hunt for the matches. Once they find a match, they can slip them on the paperclips. Hands on activity for the win! I used my Mitten Match Up Sensory Bin activities with these paperclips.

How do you use paperclips in speech therapy? I would love to add some ideas to my stash!