How To Use Digital Stickers in Teletherapy
Any other Speech-Language Pathologists kicking themselves for getting rid of their childhood sticker albums? I mean seriously, stickers are a staple in speech therapy. In terms of engagement, these little therapy treasures are right up there with bubbles for our younger students.... plus they are just so versatile.
Since beginning teletherapy 8 years ago, I've figured out a way to adapt most of my old face-to-face speech therapy favorites to a digital format. Most recently, that includes stickers.
What? Digital stickers? Yep. Whether it be for reinforcement or a stand-alone speech or language activity, digital stickers are just waiting to become your new therapy BFF. Move over Lisa Frank (does anyone born after the year 2000 even know who I'm talking about?), because digital stickers can take you so much further than the ones you have to keep replacing.
Unlike real stickers, digital sticker sheets never run out.... a.k.a. you don't have to ration them or spend a small fortune to replace them. Just copy and paste them over and over. And you know how stickers on paper tend to.... well, stick? Not digital stickers.... you can move them wherever and whenever you need to. Basically, they require no commitment and no maintenance to keep up your stash.
Are you trying to wrap your head around the concept of using digital stickers in speech therapy? Allow me share some examples of how to use these digital marvels.
Reinforcement and Feedback
Sticker charts on paper can work wonders for some students, so why not bring that same phenomenon into the digital world?
Your students might enjoy adding a sticker to a sticker book after each session. In fact, you can snag this free digital sticker book for Google Slides in my TpT store to use with any or all of your students..... from now until the end of time!
What's a sticker book without stickers? I've got you covered with these free shiny star stickers! If you want to really take it to the next level (and when it comes to stickers, who doesn't?), this bundle that includes ALL of my digital stickers ever (plus all future sets) might be calling your name.
Ok, where was I? Ah, yes, reinforcement. You or your student can also place a sticker in a box after each trial during a drill activity. This is a quick and easy way to motivate a student, get a high number of repetitions or trials, and keep the session on track.
As SLPs we don't really "grade" homework.... that's one perk of being an SLP, right? But we do often send activities for home practice. For digital assignments (such as through Google Classroom or Seesaw), you can place a sticker on a student's file as feedback for completing it. Students love to see what fun or seasonal sticker they received for doing their homework!
Ready to have sticker shock, in the best way possible? It's time to blow your mind with just five of the many ways that you can use digital stickers (and only digital stickers) as an activity in speech therapy. Be sure to watch the short videos to get the how-to. Here we go!
Make a memory game
Digital stickers can be quickly duplicated (with just the click of a mouse), so that you have pairs to create a memory game. This is so versatile for speech therapy.... it's a great way to incorporate themed vocabulary, spend the last few minutes of a session, or work on language expansion.
Work on basic concepts
These little stickers work wonders for setting up and talking about basic concepts:
For concepts of SIZE, make some stickers larger or smaller. You can even squish them to be thin or wide. Students love to help with this part!
To work on QUANTITY concepts, duplicate the stickers as many times as you need to. Then model and practice words such as more, less, same, many, and few.
Target POSITION and LOCATION concepts by moving the stickers around the slide or card. Use a quick Google Image search to add your own pieces or background.
Play a guessing game
It really doesn't get much simpler than this. Using a group of 3 or more stickers, students take turns describing an object using attributes. Similar to my Language Tiles activity for Google Slides, one student can choose a secret object and the others ask questions to eliminate stickers from the set and take a guess when they know!
Create a scene, story, or show
Digital stickers are the ultimate, open-ended activity for teletherapy! Using the stickers as characters and/or props, students can set up a scene, make up a story, or even create a digital puppet show or play. I love this activity for eliciting language naturally and meaningfully, working together in social groups, and providing structured practice for articulation carryover.
Find the target speech sound
For students that are working on increasing awareness of their speech sounds, you can have them look for words with the articulation target. Pull the stickers to the side when they find them, and even use a text box to type the words if you'd like. As a bonus, you can share the activity with them digitally for homework!
The "Techy" Details of Digital Stickers
Digital stickers are png files, which are a type of image file. They can be stored on your computer, and uploaded to many digital platforms, such as Google Classroom, Seesaw, Boom Cards, PowerPoint, and Jamboard. You can also add them directly to some teletherapy platforms, too!
Since I mostly use digital stickers in Google Slides, I like to keep my stickers there. This way, I don't have to upload them individually each time I want to use them, and I can just copy and paste between slides as shown in the videos above. Just like real stickers, I have all stickers in a set on one "sheet", which is just one slide. All digital sticker sets in my TpT store include both formats- individual files and a "sheet" in Google Slides.
Digital stickers are a dynamic, interactive, and versatile tool for speech therapy, and especially teletherapy. They're the ultimate No plan? No problem! activity for younger students, and can be used so many times in so many different ways.
If you're an email subscriber, make sure to download these birthday-themed digital stickers in the freebie library! They will certainly come in handy the next time one of your students is celebrating a birthday.... and you're not aware until they show up to the session and tell you.... we've all been there!
To use as shown here, add any "room" background in Google Slides. Then layer the stickers to set up a virtual birthday party!