Category: Organized SLP

Work From Home? Home Office Makeover

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw some posts of my home office makeover. Let me give you a little background on my home office. We moved 4 years ago into my childhood home. My parents had moved out and the house was vacant. So we sold our house in a little neighborhood about 10 miles away to live in a bigger house out in the country. It’s quiet, peaceful, and my parents live by us. In our den, there’s a little room…more like a long closet with no windows. That’s my home office. My dad used it as a dark room for photography and other random hobbies. I call it Speech Chick Therapy’s World Headquarters.

 It was brown paneling with brown cabinets.  Nothing to write home about.  It was dark and uninspiring.  I had been wanting to change it since we moved in but just didn’t have the time… until now!

Before the Makeover. Not real pretty, right?

So I took a day off, cleaned out my office and started painting.  I went with a bright white paint since I knew I would be using lots of pink accents!  (I am the Speech Chick after all!)  All the walls were painted white.  Thankfully, I only have 1 long wall and two small ones.

Home Office Makeover

I ran out of white paint just as it was time to paint the cabinets.  Instead of running out to get paint, I used some leftover turquoise spray paint (Rust-oleum’s Seaside in Gloss) in my cabinet.  I LOVED IT!!!  This might be my most favorite part of this home office makeover!

Cabinet Color of Home Office Makeover

In my office, there’s one long counter that has this gorgeous faux marble vinyl (yes, there’s sarcasm there!).  It is also the backsplash.  It was really ugly now with the bright white walls.  New counters were not in the budget so I covered them!!  For the backsplash, I covered it in super cute black and white houndstooth vinyl (code: contact paper).  The counters are covered in peel and stick tile that resembles wood flooring.

Home Office Makeover

Home Office Makeover: Desk Glam

My desk is an original.  My dad built it to go in this little room when they owned the house.  I never remember it being anywhere else other than this room.  I debated on painting it since it was something my dad built.  Two coat of shiny gloss black spray paint later and I was glad I did!  I think added glitter spray paint as a top coat.  (Word of advice:  buy the sealer that goes with it…unless you want to sparkle like Tinkerbell!)  I recovered an ugly old desk chair after I painted the frame to shiny black.

The gallery wall above my desk is something I looked forward to putting together!  I collected positive little signs to  keep me in a “SLP BOSS” frame of mind.  I really liked how it turned out.  I also like that my basket of “to be written” reports sits right in front of my face!

Letterboard-Walmart | (Bulletin Board- Marshall’s | Basket-Hobby Lobby | Motivational Signs- The Trendy Sparrow |

Did you notice the bright pink rug on my floor?  I found this little cutie on Rugs USA.  It was exactly what I wanted.  The rug came just how it was described in the picture.  My rug is the Ashlina Printed Persian Overdyed Vintage Rug in the 4’4″x6′ rectangle.  It comes in 3 other colors but pink was what I wanted.  Shipping was super fast too!

I don’t see clients in my home so there’s no therapy space here.  This is just my little place to write reports, blog and create materials.  With all my SLP peeps showing off their cute classrooms, I thought I would show off my home office…that no ones sees but my family!

I will be podcasting from this cute home office soon!

Speech Chick’s Friday Favs: School Supplies

“Get in loser.  We’re going shopping!”  Shopping for school supplies that is!!  I have no idea what it is about walking the aisles of my local office supply store that is absolutely calming and satisfying.  (Please tell me I am not the only one!)  I laugh when a sales associate ask me if I need help.  Please…I know this store better than you do!

School Supplies for Speech Therapy

As you can see, I could go on and on about my love for office supplies, but I won’t.  Today, I am bringing my favorite school supplies.  These are generally always in my therapy bag or have worked their way into a craft!

School Supply #1: Flair Pens

I mean, seriously how could you not use flair pens?  They are fabulous.  All the bright colors.  The way they write on the paper, making my handwriting so pretty.  There can clearly not be enough said about the greatness of flair pens.  So if you don’t have these in your therapy room or bag, you must stop what you are doing and BUY THEM!  Unless you are reading this blog post…then finish it, make you list, and go shopping!

The struggle is real…the flair pen struggle that is!

School Supply #2: Scented Markers

Kids LOVE these!!  I have both the broad tip and fine tip markers.  The colors are bright and they leave the paper smelling yummy.  Since I see many little ones, we don’t write a lot with them.  I write their names and target words on their paper.  For older kids, you could do a lot with them…rainbow writing with their target words, underlining their target sounds in newspapers, etc.

School Supply #3: Planner

I am a paper planner girl.  I find joy in writing down all of my appointments every week and checking them off after I see them.  There is something glorifying and satisfying about it.  If you are a paper planner like me, you know what I am talking about.  I currently have the “Happy Planner” that I love!  Plenty of space for me to write my appointments for the day, “to do” list, and the kids’ activities.  I replaced the soft plastic cover that came with it for a hard cover so that it was more durable.  I am trying to make myself “pretty it up” with stickers and washi tape.  We’ll see how that goes!

Product Details

School Supply #4: Basics

After I buy my kids’ school supplies, I go shopping for mine!  This is when I stock up on crayons, glue, sharpies, washable markers, and pocket folders!  I use pocket folders in certain colors- pink, purple, and turquoise.  I use them to organize students’ work ( later post coming soon!) as well as pack with marketing gear for my doctor’s offices and daycares.  This is them time to buy all this stuff CHEAP!  Why buy crayons in December for $2  when I have 12 boxes sitting in my cabinet that I bought on sale 2 for $1?  Sometimes, I will buy a new supplies box or scissors.

School Supply #5: Pencil Bags

Buy your pencil bags now!!  You can use them to store puzzle pieces.  Use them to make busy bags.  I have one that I bought last year for a Halloween activity.  They make great storage for things other than pencils!  The upside to buying them now is you get your pick of all the cute ones!!

What are your must have supplies for back to school?

Needing some motivation?  Check out my favorite podcasts!

Go back to school  my favorite accessories!

Test Kit Organization for the SLP

Let’s face it, SLP friends.  You get a testing kit (that costs buckets of $$$)… and it comes in a cardboard box?  Is that really the best the assessment company could do-cardboard box that rips with each use.  Before you know you are chasing that stinkin’ bouncy ball from the PLS kit around your room or worse…down the hall…or retrieving it from under the client’s couch!  I have no idea what’s under my couch.  Why do I want to look under other people’s couches?  Ya feel me?  The PLS struggle is real!

Test KIt Organization for the SLP

As a traveling therapist, there’s no easy way to carry all that testing crap from your office to your car to the client’s house back to your car and back into the office.  Before that box breaks, you can NEVER get all the manipulatives back in there they came.  It’s like the SLP version of Tetris. I tried a small bag-didn’t work.  I tried a big bag-couldn’t find all those darn blocks that fall to the bottom!  Oh, and don’t get me started on those crayons that melted to the side of one bag!  So then as I was wandering through the aisles of my local Marshall’s, it hit me!

Those adorable rolling cooler bags (that I had no purpose for before) would make a great PLS bag!!  It’s big enough to fit everything that comes in that ugly, broken down cardboard box.  I can quickly zip it to keep little hands out.  The inside is completely cleanable in case those giant crayons decided to melt in the 105 degree Texas sun.  Plus it has a cute pattern that has some pink in it! (No, I am not “sold” on everything pink.  Glitter maybe.  But not pink.)  My bag has a small zipper section on the front for stickers, pens and those wind up toys (that I like to keep hidden!)

So I bought that bag (a whole $20) and it has worked like a dream.  I can wheel it into houses or carry it if needed.  Everything is where I can find quickly-got to love those awkward transitions in the PLS from the toys to the book then back to the toys.  It has room for a pocket folder that holds my consents and background history forms.  Everything I need to conduct a PLS testing session is there!  When I am done, I place it all back in the bag, zip it up and roll of into the sunset!

Test KIt Organization for SLPs
It’s small and I can still fit my other things for therapy in the back of my car.

While this is not the exact one I have, here is one that I found on Amazon that is pretty close!  Another option besides this cooler bag is a small suitcase/scrapbook/computer bag on wheels.  Make sure it opens/zips from the top.

Rolling Test Kit for SLPs

What works for you?  Feel free to share in the comments!!

See more on my organization tips here!


Setting Up Thematic Speech Therapy: Part 4

You’ve gotten through the hard parts of setting up a thematic unit for speech therapy out of the way. Now, comes the easy part! I like to add supplemental activities to my sessions. Quick little 5 minute activities that can be used at the end of a session. Soemtimes, they are seen as a reward. Other times, just a little extra practice.

Thematic Speech Therapy

Sensory Bins For Speech Therapy

Sensory bins are great to use as a lesson or at the end of a session!  I like to use them as articulation reinforcement at the end of a session.  Kids see them a “game” or  a reward while I can still get in some work before our session is over.  Other times, a sensory bin is our main activity!  Some of my favorite sensory bins was during our snow theme.  I had 3 different bins that addressed varying speech and language tasks.  Big hit in our speech therapy sessions!!  Since I travel from client to client, mini sensory bins are great for me!  You can see my mini sensory bin that I used during our spring theme.

I used this sensory bin during spider week. Clients had to find the spiders and sort them!

Apps for Speech Therapy

Before each theme, I search the app store for apps that go with my theme.  Sometimes, I find great ones…sometimes not so much.  Some of my favorites were during our Halloween theme!  I wrote an entire blog post on my favorites (Psssst go check it out.  There’s a freebie!)  If I don’t find an app I like for my theme, it’s ok.   Not a big deal!  I can make an interactive book or game to take it’s place.

Games for Speech Therapy

Ok, I view games as supplemental but it still can be the main activity if you choose.  I used to ALWAYS do a game the second session of the week.  Then I got away from doing that.  Now we do a craft, quick game, an app or a sensory bin.  I change it up.  Depending on the game, it may not cover all your needs.  I work with a lot of young preschool and toddlers.  Games are not always appropriate for them.  One of my favorite games to use with my school age kids is “Hoppers.”  It is a problem solving game that taps into that critical thinking area.  It was our game during the frog theme.  Another simple “game” you can make is Feed the Frog.  I used it with my young preschoolers all the way up to 1st grade age.  Kids see it as a game but you can still get tons of targets addressed in 5 minutes!

Toys and Puzzles in Speech Therapy

Melissa and Doug have great puzzles and toys that could be used in your speech therapy sessions.  My little guys love those last 5-7 minutes of therapy when I pull out a toy or puzzle!  You can shop Amazon for great toys or watch your local HomeGoods, TJ Maxx, Ross and Marshalls!  That’s where most of my Melissa and Doug products come from.  Use them in your sessions and you’ll get tons of spontaneous language as well as time to work on carryover for artic!

Ok that’s it!  The last of our series in planning a thematic speech therapy session!  It’s summer time so use this time to work on getting your themes together.  Start small.  Pick one month and make ONE week’s worth of activities for it.  Start easy too.  Pick a week with a holiday!  You can do this!!!

Miss the other posts?

Part 3: Prepping Activities

Part 2: Choosing a Book

Part 1: Choosing a Theme

Setting Up Thematic Speech Therapy: Part 3

You have your theme picked out and your books are ready for speech therapy…Now what?

Thematic Speech Therapy

Easy!  Review your clients’ goals.  If you have a large caseload (ahem…school based SLPs!), this could take a little bit of time.  If you are in private practice or home health, it may not take you as long.  Make notes of what you need to address.  Who needs to work on /k/ sounds?  Who needs practice with irregular past tense verbs?  Jot it all down!

Plan A for Speech Therapy

If you are the creative type, make your own therapy materials!  Take advantage if you have access to a die cut machine (man, I miss having one of those!), you can do TONS with it!  Make your own worksheets on the computer.  You artsy folks can draw some of your own stuff.  I am NOT artsy so I use a lot of clipart…like A LOT!

Plan B for Speech Therapy

Ok so let’s say you are not the crazy creative kind.  Or maybe you are pressed for time…said no SLP ever, right?!

Shop Teachers Pay Teachers! (Click here to shop mine!)  This is really the easiest way to prep for your thematic speech therapy sessions.  Type in what your are looking like “ice cream speech therapy activities” and BOOM!  Your prayers have been answered!  There are so many great creators out there.  Even if you are the creative type, you can still shop materials.  Who wants to recreate the wheel?

Take an afternoon and look through your shelves of materials.  That’s how I started my themed units.  I took worksheets and cut & glue activities from my Super Duper books.  Make a copy of each page that fits your theme.  Then keep them all together in a file folder, binder or organize your themes like I did!  (Click here for that post!)

Craft Time in Speech Therapy!

I like to do “work” the first session of the week and craft the second session of the week.  So to finish up planning your thematic session, come up  with a craft!  Sometimes, I use the same craft throughout the week.  Other times, I may have 2-3 different crafts for the different populations I see.  The best place to get an idea is Pinterest!  I find great ideas for crafts there.  Many times, I will find one that I like but it needs to be adapted…so I adapt it!  You can check out any of my theme reviews to see my crafts.  Since I travel to each of my clients, I like to keep craft materials to a minimum.

Now you are ready to begin your thematic sessions!  If you missed the first 2 parts of this series you can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here.  There’s one more part of the series coming soon!