Are you a newby to the themed therapy approach? Maybe you are a seasoned them ester SLP? Either way, it can be tricky to pick the right themed therapy materials for your caseload. If you always find yourself spending tons of planning time looking for the right materials, then you have come to the right place! Keep reading below for 3 tips that will help you choose the right themed therapy materials for your students.
Join the Themed Therapy SLP Membership
If you love using a themed therapy approach with your students and want to cut your planning time, join the Themed Therapy SLP Membership today! Each month you will have access to a variety of themed materials for your elementary students. Gain access to materials you can use for the whole month. With membership access you can reduce your planning time and focus more of your energy on making meaningful connections with your students.
Tip #1: Make sure your materials match your theme
While you are selecting the stimulus items for your lesson, you want to make sure that the stimulus items, as well as the materials and toys, match your theme. Using cute, themed graphics with various (maybe slightly random) stimulus targets is a skill-based therapy approach. This is totally fine! However, if you want to implement a themed-based approach, the vocabulary you select also needs to be theme-related.
For example, if you have a variety of functional vocabulary words on cute tent graphics, you may not be using a themed-therapy approach. When the vocabulary on those tent graphics is camp, campground, tent, fire, bug spray you are now using a themed-therapy approach. Your vocabulary, stimulus items, toys, and props should all connect to the theme. Check out my instagram for more examples!
Tip #2: Select themed therapy materials you can adapt across your caseload
Selecting versatile materials that are easy to adapt across ages and goals is a key tip for a themed therapy approach. Ask yourself can the themed materials be used with any books related to the theme? Could you use them with early and upper elementary students? When you can adapt the material to cover a lot of goals, it means less time planning lesson activities. Check out this camping blog post for examples of how you can use this theme to cover a variety of ages and goals.
Tip #3: Some themed therapy materials are worth purchasing
How do you know a material is worth the purchase? Before purchasing try asking yourself these questions:
- Can the material be re-used for many sessions?
- Will it increase your students’ engagement?
- Can you use the materials for the whole month?
- Can the material be stored and used again the following year?
Whether it is a no prep worksheet or something that requires some cutting and assembling, it is worth the purchase if you answer yes to any of those questions.