Today I’m linking up with Simply Speech’s “What’s in Your EI bag?” Linky. Check it out!!!!
I enjoy working with the “little guys” so much! Maybe it’s because so much change and development occurs in such a sort time or maybe it’s just because these little guys are just so darn cute! Either way, they are so much fun to work with. Here are a few of my MUST HAVES in my speech therapy bag for this population:
- Bubbles: Well come on let’s get the obvious out of the way! Bubbles are a joy for children of all ages. They are great for eliciting language, creating a play routine, or even when learning social skills such as waiting, initiating a request and taking turns.
- My tablet: What? Yeah, you didn’t think that was coming did you? No, I do not go against the American Pediatric Association and give these little guys any screen time. I use my tablet for the camera. It’s my favorite feature of my tablet as I can provide so much parent/guardian education and training just by taking a few minutes of video that it’s well worth lugging another piece of equipment around with me. Want to know how I educate parents? You can check out the series I worte on ASHAsphere this past summer on parent education at these links: part 1, part 2, part 3. You can also check out how I organize and provide parent education via my easy to use handouts.
- Sensory toys: These are a MUST in my therapy. Any toy that is sqwishy, stretchy, spins or lights up are perfect to use for these young kiddos. They are often times very different than the toys they have in their homes and thus, highly motivating to play with.
- Cause and Effect toys: Who doesn’t love a ball popper or farm animal See ‘N Say? These toys are so great for training joint and sustained attention as well as incidental contextual language such as animal names, sounds, colors, etc. How about the beloved stacking rings or shape sorter. Great for working on problem solving!
- Puppets: A few hand puppets go a long way to getting some little guys who are initially very leery of a stranger to participate in therapy. And later on when language improves, it’s great fun to see my little guys using their language to tell the puppet(s) what to do!
- Books: I think bringing along several of those “first words” books is a MUST when working with the littles! Teaching them to love books while working on vocabulary and categorization is a great way to work on natural language development.
- Single Piece Puzzles: Great for fine motor skills as well as a wonderful language activity.
- Songs/fingerplays: You don’t really need any materials for these. Singing fun songs and creating fingerplays to go along with them are a great way to teach early language and also uses another part of the brain!
So those are my must have EI materials! Some other fun honorable mentions are: sidewalk chalk (great for a beautiful day outside), bean bags (you can literally do anything with bean bags…following directions, scavenger hunts, hide and seek, and the list goes on), bouncy balls, and cars (any kind for little boys; they don’t discriminate)!
What’s in your EI bag? Comment below!