SLP Hack for Sensory Bin Material Storage

SLP Hack for Sensory Bin Material Storage

Have you ever had visual supports and cheat sheets that you like to access for your sensory bins in your speech therapy sessions? But, you aren’t sure where to store them so you can access them easily? You are lucky because I have the ultimate SLP hack for sensory bin material storage to share with you today!

Top Tip for Staying Organized With Your Speech Therapy Materials

This SLP hack will help you keep all your visual supports and play therapy cheat sheets together in the sensory bin!

One way you can stay efficient with keeping your materials organized is by having them together in one spot! With just some Velcro dots and page protectors (Amazon affiliate links included for your convenience), you can keep your visual supports and cheat sheets in the bin.

If you need some more sensory bin organizational tips, check out this blog post. I use a similar method of organizing for my speech sound disorders by having a container where I store all my tools, data sheets, visuals, and materials so I can grab anything I need at the moment. Check out how to make your speech sound container on this blog post.

SLP Hack for Sensory Bin Material Storage

When running mixed groups or seeing students back to back, it’s nice to reference your cheat sheets during the session. But, if you aren’t careful, all your speech therapy materials can become scattered all over your room. Most times, we school-based SLPs don’t have tons of time to put visuals and sensory bin materials back neatly in their storage container or binder. So, when using a sensory bin, you want everything you need to be easily put back in the bin.

Once you slide your cheat sheet into a page protector, add Velcro dots to the lid of the container and the page protector. Then, stick the cheat sheet to the Velcro. Now, you can grab the visuals quickly during a session!

You can see this in action on Instagram

Need These Sensory Bin Visual Rules and Cheat Sheets?

Back when I started using sensory bins, I quickly realized that some of my students needed me to help them understand the expectations for how to interact with the bin activity. That’s why I have a visual poster to help remind students what to do! We want to keep germs away while using the bin, and this has been so helpful for my students. Since I used the visual support so often, I needed to have it handy at the drop of a hat! That’s why this SLP hack to put it on the top of the container’s lid has helped me have the tools I need now.

If you need this visual and the printables for a flower sensory bin, I want to invite you to attend a LIVE webinar to learn “How to Use Sensory Bins to Cover Speech and Language Goals.” Click the picture below to sign up! You get access to the webinar replay for two weeks.

Sign Up For the Sensory Bin Webinar and Get LOTS of Tips for Using Sensory Bins

Tickets are $9 and include:

-1 hour CMH units (Clinical Maintenance Hours)

-Ultimate Sensory Bin Guide – step-by-step instructions and recommendations to help you find the right bin, fillers, and materials to make your sensory bin with a visual rules poster, storage ideas, and printables to make bins

-$15 worth of sensory bin materials

-A fun learning environment that will answer all your questions about using sensory bins in speech therapy.

What Sensory Bin Hacks Do You Use?

This SLP hack will help you keep your visual supports and play therapy cheat sheets together in the sensory bin!

Do you have an SLP hack for keeping your sensory bin materials together? Or, just tips for keeping students engaged while using a sensory bin? Let me know your hack or information in the comments!

If you need some more sensory bin ideas, here are a few of my faves:

I Spy Sensory Bin (Great for mixed groups)

Ocean Sensory Bin

Penguin Sensory Bin

Snow Sensory Bin with Plow Trucks

How To Store Sensory Bins For the Year

How To Store Sensory Bins For the Year

You are probably reading this blog post because you LOVE using sensory bins so much that now you are running out of room to store them.

When I first started using sensory bins, I would shove the materials into a gallon-sized bag and toss them into a big container. The only problem was that when I wanted to use a particular sensory bin the following year, it took me twenty minutes to find it!

Does this sound familiar? Hopefully, after reading this blog post, you will have a system for organizing your sensory bins for the school year. Amazon affiliate links are included in this blog post. 

Biggest Space-Saver Tip for Storing Sensory Bins

Check out these tips for how to store sensory bins for the school year, so that you know where your speech therapy materials are located when you need them. Streamline your sensory bin organization today!

Most of us have small therapy rooms; it’s an unfortunate reality. So, our therapy rooms can get pretty cluttered with stuff if we aren’t managing our organization of speech therapy materials.

To save space and money, invest in no more than three sensory bin containers. You can get a smaller pencil box, a shallow Sterilite bin, and then a quart-sized bin to hold your sensory bin materials.

Then, you can keep the sensory bins you aren’t using in larger containers and store them in your room or your garage. When working two days a week at two different schools, I kept my additional sensory bins in my garage and brought the one container between sites.

Materials Needed to Create Your Sensory Bin Organization System

Using zipper pouches is an excellent investment to keep the filler and material items together in one spot. You can get different sizes for storage. Depending on the number of things in your sensory bin, you may want more oversized bags sized 16 by 12 inches or 15 by 11 inches. You can then purchase smaller-sized zipper pouches to store mini items and printables for the bin.

Having labels to put on the pouches will also help you identify the materials you want to use.

Then, you can sort your sensory bin bags into categories for when you typically use them throughout the school year. When you label your larger containers by times of the year, you will know which bin to go to look for items.

Check out these tips for how to store sensory bins for the school year, so that you know where your speech therapy materials are located when you need them. Streamline your sensory bin organization today!

Check out how to organize the zipper pouches

Check out these tips for how to store sensory bins for the school year, so that you know where your speech therapy materials are located when you need them. Streamline your sensory bin organization today!

My organizational style likes everything in one spot if I can help it. So, when organizing my apple tree sensory bin, I stored the toilet paper rolls and fake apples in the larger pouch (16 by 12 inches) and then kept the filler Pom Pom balls in the slightly smaller folder (15 by 11 inches.) I put those in the smaller zipper pouch for the apple-themed verb and vocabulary printables. Then, I tossed them all into the bigger zipper pouch.

Suppose you are interested in getting themed sensory bin materials. In that case, you can check out companions in my TPT store or have themed sensory bin guides with the Themed Therapy SLP Membership (doors open in summer 2022, so get on the waitlist now.)

Sensory Bin Sticker Labels

Having a label on the zipper pouch is super helpful when you want to identify sensory bin sets in your larger bins. You can create labels for your different containers and print them out on a full-page Avery shipping label. Cut them out and stick them on the zipper pouch.

After adding all your materials to your zipper pouch with the label intact, you plop it into the more oversized organization container! Your sensory bin is now appropriately stored for the season, lol.

When you need the materials for a sensory bin, you grab them out of the tote and dump them in your main sensory bin container.

Sensory Bins Your Students Will LOVE

When it comes to making sensory bins, you definitely can use items from around your speech room. But if you are looking for themed sensory bins that have cheat sheets, visual supports, and printables ready to go, check out these sensory bin resources in my TPT store

What sensory bin organization tips do you have to share?

If you have any tremendous sensory bin organization tips, please share them! One of my favorite ways to use sensory bins is with a themed book. You can read the story and then pair a sensory bin that reinforces the concepts from the books in a hands-on way for your students.

For more sensory bin ideas on how you can make your bins, check out this blog post HERE

Articulation Organization Containers That Store LOTS of Items

Articulation Organization Containers That Store LOTS of Items

When it comes to treating students with speech sound disorders, I like to have all my tools in one spot. Having an on-the-go container with my articulation materials together allows me to easily grab what I need during a small group or when I am working with a student in a hallway for quick articulation.

I find with articulation organization that having everything in one spot saves me time with putting materials away, transporting materials to classrooms or schools and cuts down my lesson planning time. Today, I wanted to show you how you can make an articulation organization storage container to keep all your speech therapy materials together for the school year.

Where to Find Articulation Organization Storage Bins

When it comes to organizing a lot of random materials that need to stay together, I found that using storage bins that have latches on the tops are really helpful. You don’t want to be carrying materials and drop the container with the lid popping off. 

So, I have found that the 6.2 quart Latchmate storage boxes by Recollections from Michael’s or the 14.5 quart Latchmate storage boxes were the best.

If you need a storage box that can keep your small visuals and reinforcer materials, then the smaller box works well! For SLPs that want to be able to keep some folders, visuals, reinforcers and task card type materials, then the larger 14.5 quart box would be a good investment.

The smaller box would probably store better, but the larger container would help you have materials for multiple sounds to grab when you needed it for speech sessions.

Check out how to setup your articulation on-the-go containers to make planning therapy easier.

Articulation Organization Container Tip!

Articulation organization storage that can help you run quick articulation groups with ease!

The main reason that the Recollections storage bins are my favorite are because of the trays that fit perfectly in the container!

This allows you to keep mini items such as mini erasers, wind-up toys, and magnetic chips (Amazon Affiliate links are included) organized in their own compartment. The only drawback is that it does take up space in the bin, so you have to lay items flat on the bottom in order to fit tasks cards and tools for speech sound disorder therapy.

Favorite Items to Store for Getting High Trials

As clinicians, we know that with many speech sound disorders, students need to get high trials to help achieve mastery of the sound and carryover into conversation. Whether you are using a minimal pairs approach, cycles, traditional, etc. you want your students to practice a LOT in a session.

In order to help make that process a little more motivating and productive, having tools to use for those high trials is key to therapy success. So, I like to have a variety of materials available to switch out if the child isn’t like something that I picked for the day.

Here are some items I love to have in my storage bins for high trials in speech therapy (Amazon Affiliate Links):

Pop Sensory Fidget Toy

Dice

Digital counter

Magnetic chips

Dry erase markers to use with my Articulation Flipbooks

DIY Abacus

Check out how to setup your articulation on-the-go containers to make planning therapy easier.
Check out how to setup your articulation on-the-go containers to make planning therapy easier.

For more ideas on how to get high trials, you can check out this blog post HERE. I even have scored with getting high trials using paper plates!

Materials You Can Store in Your Articulation Storage Container

Check out how to setup your articulation on-the-go containers to make planning therapy easier.

With the larger storage box, you can store your iPad and task card type materials. Having visual sentence strips for students working at the phrase level is great to have on hand. You can use these ones in my store that come as printable and digital options.

You can store speech sound cue cards from Bjorem Speech. With the larger 14.5 quart container, you can even store a slant stand to have a mirror and dry erase board on the go. They also have these cool double-sided clips that you can show minimal pair cards or sound cues. Here are some other cool ways you can use these clips!

I found an 8-inch abacus that fits in the larger storage container and is great for getting those high trials quickly. Having tools like this pair really well with my No Print and Printable Articulation Flipbooks.

It’s also nice to be able to store some reinforcer type materials such as ball poppers or mini puppets.

Check out how to setup your articulation on-the-go containers to make planning therapy easier.

Keep Your Speech Sound Materials in the Large Bin

When you have a lot of students working on the same articulation sound or phonological process, you can make speech folders for those sounds and store them in the larger bin.

I found that this helps me with planning therapy for several sessions because I can grab the stimulus items, homework sheets, visual reminders, or self awareness rating visuals all together. You can read more about setting these up HERE.

What would you store in your articulation organization storage bin? I would love to know what tools and materials you have found helpful for your students. Let me know if you have any questions about setting up your articulation system in the comments.

Check out how to setup your articulation on-the-go containers to make planning therapy easier.
4 Tips To Pick A Theme For Your Caseload

4 Tips To Pick A Theme For Your Caseload

When I first began as an SLP, I started with a large caseload that fluctuated between 72-83 students. There was no time in my day to plan for those individual students. So, my brain immediately went to using theme-based lessons that I could adapt for all of my grade levels. Using theme-based lessons that are easily adapted helped me reduce my planning time (and brain power) by hours! I am heading into my 15th year as an SLP, and using themes continues to be a super helpful strategy! I want to share with you 4 tips for picking a great theme for your caseload!

Tip #1 : Pick A Theme That Is Motivating

Check out these 4 tips to help you pick a great theme for your caseload that can be adapted across all of your grade levels. Save hours of planning time by using themed therapy materials to cover your wide range of goals!

The #1 tip I have for selecting a theme is to make sure it’s something that is high interest and highly motivating for your students. This is a much easier task for my younger students than it is for my older elementary or middle school students. I can usually capture my younger students’ interest for any theme by simply incorporating dinosaurs, legos, or something shiny! My older students are not so easily entertained (as I’m sure many of you understand). Another SLP shared with me a little while ago that she likes to poll her older students about what they are interested in at the beginning of her school year. Her students’ answers help drive her lesson planning and theme selection. This is something that can easily be incorporated into your therapy plans for your first week back.

Why is this my #1 tip? The more we can build our students’ interest in the lessons and themes we are using, the more buy-in we’ll see, which we know leads to more progress

Tip #2: Keep Your Students’ Environment In Mind

When picking a theme, think about what is going to be relevant to your student. What is something your students can relate to or experience in their day-to-day lives? I like to pick themes about the seasons, the environment around my student, on-going classroom topics, etc.

Selecting themes that are personally relevant to my students helps build that connection between therapy and real life (can’t forget about that generalization!). A great theme for this summer would be the Summer Olympics, especially for those of you doing ESY.

Check out these 4 tips to help you pick a great theme for your caseload that can be adapted across all of your grade levels. Save hours of planning time by using themed therapy materials to cover your wide range of goals!

Tip #3: Pick A Theme That Inspires You Too

Check out these 4 tips to help you pick a great theme for your caseload that can be adapted across all of your grade levels. Save hours of planning time by using themed therapy materials to cover your wide range of goals!

The themes you pick should also be inspiring and exciting for you too! Of course, my students’ interests will always trump mine (#therapistlife). However, if you can find themes that are as interesting and motivating to you as they are to your students, then you’re going to kill that session! Your excitement will shine through and therapy will be really fun for you and your student.

For example, I love selecting camping themes because I love going camping and hiking and it’s also a theme that my students love. This makes our camping themed therapy sessions really, genuinely, fun!

Tip #4: Pick A Theme You Can Adapt Across Grades

Picking a theme that you can adapt across multiple grade levels is they key to save yourself planning time. For example, an apple theme is great for younger elementary students, older elementary students, and middle schoolers. This theme can also be adapted for my older student with higher needs or benefit from a very supported classroom. I found that many of my students with this profile had language skills similar to some of my elementary student. I was able to take the same concepts and adapt them with age-appropriate photos and materials that are respectful to those students. Here are some sample activity ideas using an apples theme across different age groups:

Check out these 4 tips to help you pick a great theme for your caseload that can be adapted across all of your grade levels. Save hours of planning time by using themed therapy materials to cover your wide range of goals!
Check out these 4 tips to help you pick a great theme for your caseload that can be adapted across all of your grade levels. Save hours of planning time by using themed therapy materials to cover your wide range of goals!

In A Theme Rut?

If you’re having a hard time picking the right themes for your students, check out my free Themed Therapy Planning Guide. It has over 100 seasonal and non-seasonal therapy theme ideas for you to choose from! This planning guide also comes with an editable lesson plan template you can use to help plan your themed therapy sessions. If you’re still having a tough time finding the right theme for your students, I would also recommend collaborating with other teachers. See what themes are being incorporated in your students’ classrooms that can also be incorporated and worked on in speech therapy! 

Check out these 4 tips to help you pick a great theme for your caseload that can be adapted across all of your grade levels. Save hours of planning time by using themed therapy materials to cover your wide range of goals!

Join The Themed Therapy SLP Membership!

If you’re loving themed therapy planning that can be adapted across grade level to save you hours of planning time, check out the Themed Therapy SLP Membership. With this membership you will receive new themed materials to use with your students every month! To kick-off this challenge, I will be hosting a 5-day theme organizational challenge on Facebook. Join now for a sneak peak into the membership, great organizational tips from other themester SLP’s, and fun giveaways! Click on the photos below to learn more.

This blog post is based on my recent Facebook live called, “What Makes a Great Theme for Your Caseload“. Make sure to check it out! 

How to Organize Your Themed Therapy Materials

How to Organize Your Themed Therapy Materials

Raise your hand if you start the year off strong with organization, and by the end of September you find yourself scouring through laundry piles of resources and worksheets. I know I can’t be the only one out there! I decided to get serious about organizing my themed therapy materials using a system that would last the whole school year. Here are some ways you can organize themed therapy materials so you don’t have to constantly find your self thinking “I swear I put that articulation packet in this folder…..”

Organize Themed Therapy Materials Using a Crate

One thing I invested in is these file storage crates. They are so easy to find and such a game-changer.  You can find these file storage crates at Staples, Target, Walmart, or Amazon.  You want to make sure the crate will fit the hanging file folders legal and letter-sized folders. I used the legal size so it is wider and can fit books and wider folders better. Some will fit the As you can see in the picture, I label each file folder with my themes. When I’m looking for a particular themed activity, I’ll know exactly where to look in the crate which saves me a ton of time. This is especially helpful for organizing themed therapy materials for my whole classroom or push-in activities. When I first started organizing with crates, I quickly realized the file folders were essential! Without them, my materials turned into another pile, but this time they were in a crate instead of my desk!

Use Zip Pouches to Organize Themed Therapy Materials

This blog post will tell you all the best tips for organizing your themed therapy materials, so you can quickly find the activities you need!

Along with the crates, I also love to use these file pouches from Dollar Tree or zipper pouches on Amazon (affiliate link included.) Like the crates, they are super easy to find and a great organizational investment. These zip pouches are perfect for those themed activities that require a lot of components. For example, crafts, core word squares, books, and sentence strips. It’s super easy to keep all of the themed components in one place with these pouches. They are also very quick to grab and easy to carry from class to class.

A quick tip: if you are interested in buying these pouches, I would recommend going for more durable, plastic ones. These help keep your materials from bending or creasing, and they don’t “flop” as much for easier storage.

Organize Your Story Themed Materials in a Scrapbook Box

This blog post will tell you all the best tips for organizing your themed therapy materials, so you can quickly find the activities you need!

Scrapbook boxes are a great tool to organize themed materials and lesson plans. These boxes are wide and deep enough to store your theme-related books and companion activities.

The best place to find these scrapbook boxes is at Michaels.

I love these scrapbook boxes because I can use them to store the books I want, the activities, any pouches I have for my loose cards and materials, craft examples I want to use, and all of my visual supports. They are so easy to label, grab, use, and reorganize at the end of my day. I’ve cut down so much time on my planning and organizing once I started using these scrapbook boxes.

Check out my video on Facebook or Instagram to see what my scrapbook box and pouch organizational systems look like using an ocean theme!

Use Zipper Pouches and Bins to Keep Sensory Bins Neat

One thing I love to incorporate into my therapy is themed sensory bins. However, these sensory bins and the loose materials I put in them can get super messy and time-consuming to organize. Using zipper pouches and a storage bin has helped keep my sensory bin materials neat. First, I store the loose cards or small toys in smaller zipper pouches. Then, I store the “sensory” materials in their zipper pouch. You can then place the sensory bin filler, smaller items, and materials all in one larger zipper pouch. Then, when it’s time for you to assemble your sensory bin, you can grab the zipper pouch and all the contents are together. Check out this blog post for more details

More Ways to Get Organized!

This blog post will tell you all the best tips for organizing your themed therapy materials, so you can quickly find the activities you need!

Looking for more ways to get your office or your materials organized? Take a look at my 7 Tips for Organization.

If you’re an SLP that has an articulation/phonology-heavy caseload, then you’ll want to take a peek at my previous blog post where I talk about setting up articulation folders to help with organization.

Digital organization solutions for SLPs doing teletherapy or wanting to keep their PDFs and digital materials in one spot can check out this post HERE

I love seeing how other SLP’s get organized and what works best for them. Let me know in the comments your favorite way to stay organized throughout your school year!

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