Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Dollar Tree Finds {Plus a Freebie}

I don't know about you, but the budget I'm given to buy therapy materials through my district is non-existent! (I'm somewhat OK with that though because anything I buy, I can take with me if I choose to switch schools.)  When you're buying your own materials, you really want to get the most for your money. Recently I made a visit to my local Dollar Tree (ok, three visits).  I found a few cool things that I'll be using in my therapy room this year and figured I'd share them with you!

Room Organization:

I have a shelving system in my room with containers for everything - scissors, crayons, markers, colored pencils, glue sticks are all in their own containers.  The only problem with this is when I'm trying to do an activity with a group and have to pull out five different containers for the supplies!  So, I got this cute little bin:

My plan is to keep it stocked with enough materials for a typical group to do a craftivity! I saw something on Pinterest where you add small (empty) vegetable cans to further subdivide the compartments and I may just do that as well!  I also got these cute stackable bins:

I don't have an actual desk (you can see pictures of my room here), so I don't have drawers.  I figured these would be a good place to store things like rubber bands, binder clips, pens, etc.

Student Reinforcers:

I love the party section of Dollar Tree for stocking up my prize box! I got toy frogs, lizards and dinosaurs, as well as those spinning-drum things, tops, pencils and erasers.

I found this cool thing as well!  It's a light-up wand with a spiky ball at the top!  I figured it would be a good sensory toy, but also double as a talking stick for my groups of blurters (I always end up with at least one of those!).

Therapy Activities/Materials:

Have you seen these Weird but True books from National Geographic Kids?  There is a free app in the series as well (facts are limited in the free version but you can do an in-app purchase for more). They're great for keeping older elementary students interested and you can use them for just about any language/articulation target!

Wind-up toys!  I had just passed up some cute wind-up toys as a local pharmacy that were $5.00 EACH!  I love wind-up toys for several reasons (they're good for getting kids to make requests and you can use them as a fun way to work on any "card" activity...see here for more on that)

Next, I found a trash can!  (Yes I meant to put it in therapy activities/materials, not in room organization!)  I saw this post on Schoolhouse Talk and decided I needed a trash can of my own!  You could also use a can like this for this activity from Crazy Speech World.

I was on the fence about grabbing these mini books, but after opening them, I'm glad I did!

Inside are fold-and-go books.  They are designed to target sight words, but I found that I can use them to target syntax, articulation, articles, auxiliary verbs, prepositions, etc.  Here are some examples:

I've been looking for sticky hands ever since I saw Jenna's post on Speech Room News.  I still haven't found them, but I did find these sticky lizards!  I figured the kids wouldn't mind lizards instead of hands!

I think this is my favorite find!  It's a dry erase poster called "Describing:  Bubble Map."  I just got the Expanding Expressions Tool and I thought I could modify this map for use with the EET!

Since many of us are getting ready for back to school, I created these circles with back-to-school themed vocabulary to put in the center of the map (there are 12 vocabulary words total) for describing purposes:

You can download these HERE.

I also grabbed some stickers and cute mechanical pencils for me, but didn't think those warranted a picture.  :)

What's been your best Dollar Store Find?

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