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  • Stacy Crouse

Blending Toys and Technology in Speech Therapy

Coke or Pepsi? You’re likely one or the other. People who drink soda don't usually stray from their trusted soda brand of choice. Luckily, using digital resources materials vs. traditional manipulatives in speech therapy doesn’t have to be a polarizing topic. There are so many ways to use no-print therapy materials while simultaneously using toys, books, or games with your clients or students within the same activity.

Now, this doesn't mean that you have to awkwardly shuffle between your iPad and cherished Cariboo game. There are several ways to seamlessly integrate technology into activities without it feeling disjointed and chaotic. Spice up your sessions and break up with your printer ink subscription. Let me show you how easy it is!

Maybe you’re an SLP that’s fallen victim to buying an expensive set of articulation cards, only to have half of them missing or ripped months later. Or worse yet, you spent an entire weekend printing, cutting, and laminating (or is it laminating and then cutting?) a set of speech cards and subsequently can’t feel your hand for like a week? The horror. I’m here to tell you that this doesn’t have to be your life! Try digital articulation cards that are not only no prep, but also motivating for students to complete and check off 10 productions before taking their turn in the game. Say hello to an easy 100 trials! And since your hands aren’t fumbling through cards (or blistered from a weekend of cutting), they are free to give cues, take data, actually play the game with your student, or just scratch your head as to why you didn‘t buy digital articulation cards years ago.

And now, for my next trick.... do you love using books in speech therapy? If you're like me, you really feel like you have your life together when you have a coordinating book companion. But I could do without the forever-jammed printer and crazy-high cost of ink. Enter, no-print book companions on your iPad, computer or interactive whiteboard. You won't sweat those mixed groups (or that run to the printer 5 minutes before the session starts) because it's all right there. On your device. To use over and over again.

What if I told you that you could set Bingo Daubers or Pop The Pig down on the table in front of your students without surrendering all control and productivity for the rest of session? Yep, once again, digital resources save the day. Innovative resources such as this Pop The Pig Game Companion and this Dot Art Daubers Companion pair with student faves to ensure that, you know, speech therapy actually happens.

As you can see, you don't have to ditch your trusted favorites in order to successfully implement digital materials in speech therapy. No-print resources can work harmoniously with toys, books, and games to save you time and sanity, as well as heighten excitement for your students. So go ahead, have your c̶a̶k̶e̶ Coke and e̶a̶t̶ ̶i̶t̶ Pepsi too.

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