Cindy L. Meester's Blog- Speech Therapy with a Twist

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on January 5, 2012

In my last post I talked about starting to clean up my clutter. Well I wasn’t planning on making a New Year resolution but it looks like one found me.

Reducing… Not the weight even though it could be an option! I’m trying to reduce the amount of therapy materials I have accumulated over the past 34 years as an SLP. I’m great at finding deals and have scooped up a lot. But I think it is time share my treasures. I started with my game cabinet at school and counted over 50 that I had bought with my own money. I was able to make a pile of at least 30 to send on to new homes…I hope. Now I need to go through my home office (insert shiver).

Reusing… I’m looking at the games that I kept with a theme eye. I can use Don’t Wake the Giant with a Fairy or Castle unit. I can use Alfredo’s Food Fight with a Food unit. In fact the News 2 You was about “My Plate” and eating healthy so we used Alfredo’s Food Fight as part of our Food unit this week! This was how I have organized my apps into folders on my iPad.

Recycling… In a way this is a twin to reusing. The items below are what the orange juice is served in at my school. Of course being an SLP I always see things through a “how can I use that in therapy” eyes. So I collected a few of the cardboard trays and cups to fill each one.


I used some die cut circles to add some color to the bottom of the cups.   I used this opportunity as a problem solving activity for many of my students. So the first group we worked on gluing the circles in by following directions for big, bigger, biggest etc.


Another student used chips to toss into the cups. First he used a picture card to create a sentence and work on using fluent speech patterns. He made up the “rules” as we played. I think we were going for four in a row. Notice the blue chips (which were mine) but he “changed” the rules after I won… I think… I’m not sure but we had fun and he was able to practice his easy speech in a variety of ways during the game. The extra cups were used to hold our chips during the games.


The next group decided to try using cotton balls and called the game “Snowball Fight.”  We found for this game it was easier to put the cups in a vertical position. We had to think of a winter word before we could throw our snowballs. They decided that each person aim for one row and try to get all four cups filled with snowballs. I used colored pompoms (dollar store find) with a different group. This group decided that since the pompoms happened to match (lucky coincidence) that they would aim for a matching cup. They also decided to mix up the cups so the colors were not in a row.

This idea came from 3 second graders brainstorming ideas- they called it Color Sudoku! The object was to get one of each color in a vertical and horizontal row. They were “supposed” to work together and “discuss” the options but it appeared to be a lot of hands moving cups simultaneously. After I observed this strategy for a few minutes I intervened with a few comments and they were able to coordinate their individual efforts into a group mind.

Using the same layout above another group invented a game they called “No Peeking.”  One person closed their eyes and held a pompom while another person gave directions. The object was to get the pompom into the matching color cup. The direction words they tried were: up, down, right, left, other right , other left, over there, and drop it. We were able to learn a lot about how words work when you can’t see something!

We found that the cups could be place upside down in the tray too. The one above have the corner cups up and the rest upside down. This could be used to work on basic concepts like…well corner.  We can also target these concepts: top, middle bottom, side, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, last, over, under, right, left, up down, big circle, little circle, medium circle, etc.

Here are some other ideas I may try with this “recycled” game.

  • I have enough cups and holders so each student could have their own.  I can make each holder a different category (animals, food, seasons, etc.) and use small objects or stickers that fit the category. These would be put into a container. We could describe each and guess what it is and where it belongs. Or the kids could choose one and place it in their holder if it fit the category.
  • Use vocabulary words &/or pictures in each cup. The definition is read and the student places a chip in the correct cup.

How about you? What have you reduced or reused or recycled?

Share your ideas in the comment section.

UPDATE: I have listed some items for sale on this site listed under meeslp: Materials for sale  If you are looking for anything just ask I may have it!

6 Responses to 'Reduce, Reuse, Recycle'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'Reduce, Reuse, Recycle'.

  1. Jenna said,

    30 games! Good for you!


    • Cindy said,

      Thanks but now I need to find homes for all of them!

  2. Erik X. Raj said,

    I think I need to follow your lead and reduce some of my “unnecessary” therapy materials. Us Slps usually don’t have the largest of work environments to work in so it is crucial that we don’t have clutter. I think I will take the next few weeks to look over my materials and donate the ones I don’t use anymore to some CFY therapists I know. Great post!

    • Cindy said,

      Thanks Erik-
      I know I am a collector of great stuff and now apps! I believe SLPs are a creative bunch. I like the idea of donating to a CYF or an intern. My space this year is one of the smallest I’ve worked in. It’s a nice office but add students and it gets very squishy!

  3. p bohmer said,

    Love your site! Must tell Erik, it’s not “Us SLPs…”, it’s “We SLPs…” (smiley)

    There must be a place where the need for materials is great….3rd world SLP’s, even US American Indian reservations. I’ve become disabled and don’t know where to start in disseminating my materials.

    • Cindy said,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: