Ways SLPs can use photo storage boxes
Organizing and storing all our speech therapy materials and resources can sometimes be tricky. I am loving the colorful 4×6 photo boxes found at Michael's. If you are a traveling therapist (either to different rooms or to different campuses), these work perfectly for storing all your therapy task cards and supplies. I have dice and markers in some, a first aid kit, and I store gloves and tongue depressors in another. Really, anything you need for therapy – I can grab what boxes I need and throw them in my therapy bag! I'm using them for a lot for storing and organizing LEGOs and mini objects. Here are some ideas for using photo boxes in speech!
Mini Object Storage:
Trinkets like the Dinky Doodads (ETSY) store well in the 4×6 photo boxes. You can store them by category, sound type, etc. Typically, I will have all the objects out mixed together and have the students pick them up individually & sort them by category or similar semantic features. A great example is sorting play food items, items by color, by how it's used, or location, etc.
Articulation Cards Storage:
The photo boxes are perfect for individual sound collections like these Articulation Cards – they STAY CLOSED so they are perfect for traveling in a speech bag. If I have a student working on a very isolated sound in a specific position at the word level, I can customize objects for that. Another idea is to mix initial-medial-final targets of a certain sound to increase carryover – describing the items helps with this also. I find when kids aren't looking at an articulation card or worksheet, it's less structured and results in a better opportunity for “real world speech.”
I love using the small bagged LEGO sets. They are great quick build activities in therapy. I use these LEGO task cards often. The small bricks fit well in the photo cases and limit the chaos that can come when you have a giant bucket.
This is one of my favorite ways because you can literally put ANY object in the boxes. I have a written list of steps on how they take each item out and do something with it. Example, “First take out the yellow LEGO and put it on the table. Next, take out the plastic fork and put it in front of the LEGO.” You can pair up or down your modifiers for differentiated difficulty as needed.
As you are making the directions, go through the steps yourself and take a picture of the final result. Then when the student does the steps, they can compare their end result with what it should be like! This offers a GREAT opportunity for teaching them to “check their work” – if something is wrong, have them go back to the steps and see where they missed a step. This is transferable to the classroom for following directions!- How often does a teacher say, “they aren't checking their work!”
Mini Eraser Storage:
I LOVE mini erasers! You can get them seasonally in the Target Dollar Spot, Party City, Walmart and more. I use them in therapy all day long. You can read about using mini erasers in speech. I use the 4×6 photo boxes to store them. I have stored 100 mini erasers in each box – they fit easily!
Mini Sensory Bins:
Using a “mini” sensory bin is perfect when space is a challenge. Maybe you just don't have room for a large tub. I like filling with pom poms, small beans or shredded paper “grass” and then using either my articulation cards or mini objects in there for them to pull out and say.
If you love labeling #allthethings like I do, check out the Mini Box Labels in my TpT store – sized perfectly for the 4×6 photo boxes and they are editable!