I cant tell you how much I spend on therapy materials each year (seriously I cant, my wife would kill me). I love to shop for them! I nerd out so hard at thrift stores and in the toy section. However, therapy materials don’t always have to break the bank. I remember when I first started as an SLPA I was so lost (and poor) and didn’t know where to start with supplies. I recently thought about all the great things I constantly get from dollar tree and decided to write this post. Hope this list helps newbies or even saves an SLP/SLPA from breaking the bank!
- Memory cards
I have this animal set that I use for expanding sentences, providing attributes, answering yes/no questions, and compare/contrasting.
- Wind-up toys
Wind up toys are not always at the dollar tree, but when they are SNATCH. THEM. UP. Wind-up toys are seriously the best. I use wind-up toys A LOT to spice up therapy drills. Typically, I will lay out photo or artic cards on a table. Then, I wind up the toy and discuss the card it lands on. You’d be surprised how this suddenly makes kids (and adults) excited to use flashcards.
- Sensory toys
I always grab playdough, putty, and squishy toys to have on hand for necessary sensory breaks. I also pick up rice, beans, and pom poms to fill sensory bins.
I buy every one of these bags of small animals. They have farm animals, cats and dogs, reptiles, dinosaurs, zoo animals, etc. These small animals are great for targeting pretend play, labeling common animals, classifying, and describing attributes. Hide them in sensory bins for extra fun!
- The push and go car
My littles LOVE this thing. I’ll tell you, this $1 toy is super motivating! It’s the perfect way to target requests such as “go”, “more”, “my turn”, and “push.”
- Foam dice
Seriously, you need this. I add foam dice to so many games to increase the number of trials I get in a session!
My bubbles! Definitely a must have for therapists. P.s. try to say bubbles in a “mad” voice (you totally can’t).
- Pencil Bags
You can never have too many pencil bags! (At least that’s what I tell myself when I go to buy my 25th pencil bag). But seriously, pencil bags are an excellent way to organize flashcards and small trinkets.
- Sidewalk Chalk
If the weather is nice, take advantage! Chalk is a fun way to target a variety of goals and snag some fresh air during a therapy session.
- Oral Motor and tactile prompts
Dollar tree is a great place to snag up materials for working on oral motor and articulation goals. Here are a list of supplies I recommend:
- Small suckers
- Popsicle sticks (aka mini tongue depressors)
- Small mirrors
- Straws (great for lip rounding)
- Beach Balls
A beach ball is something that can easily be compact, and you can use in therapy a variety of ways. Some examples include: writing vocab words or wh- questions on the ball or used as a visual for conversational turn taking.
- Mini Whiteboard
I am CONSTANTLY using my mini white board from the dollar tree. I often use it to demonstrate carrier phrases for my kiddos that can read (i.e. “I want…” and “Do you have….?).
*no picture of this one because mine is seriously dirty
What are your favorite dollar tree materials? Let me know in the comments!