What child doesn’t groan when you pull the old black and white resources? I will be the first to admit that although I make hundreds of resources in color, I do not print in color ink. Let’s face it, it’s expensive and I don’t get paid that much! So with all those visual and engaging resources on the internet, how do you still have great resources on a small budget? These are some of the things that I do instead of printing in color.
1. COLORED PAPER
Colored paper makes such a big difference! I find that the brighter and bolder, the better! There are a couple of ways that I incorporate colored paper. One is just to simply print pictures and cards on a single colored piece of paper as it is more engaging than ‘black & white’. I have sets of articulation cards that are simply colored card stock. The second is to use one colored piece of paper as a ‘background’ and stick the black and white piece of paper on top. I will then color that piece in and laminate as I like scaffolds to be on a colored background. The last way I use colored paper is to print multiple images on different colored paper and overlap or stick them on top of each other (see image to the left as an example).
2. COLOR IT IN
Yes, this is a slow, time-consuming way… but I still color in a lot of things that I make! I have colored in my articulation cards for every sound in every position. And that’s a lot of coloring. Coloring isn’t for everyone but I find it therapeutic. I will sit in front of the TV, or have some music playing and just do a bit as a way to relax and unwind. I always have things in my office that need coloring, so if a child is running late or I am waiting for a meeting to start, I’ll pull out some pencils and markers and just do little bits at a time.
Another great idea is to get your students to color things in for you. I have some kids who I see that LOVE coloring and they feel very privileged to be asked to help me make things. They just take it home and hand it back to me so that we can use it in therapy.
It is so easy these days to copy – paste something into a PowerPoint slide. What’s more, it’s very colorful and can be interactive if you let the child click the buttons or move the mouse. I have whole programs (with over 45 slides) as PowerPoint slides and it saves a lot of cabinet space as it is all saved on my computer. And what child doesn’t light up when you pull out your computer for therapy? This can be a great alternative to an iPad as the child can still have control and move things with a mouse or track pad. If you don’t want anyone to change or alter your slides then simply save them as a PDF.
4. SAVE FILES AS A PDF
I save a lot of things to PDF file and have them on my computer so that I can easily bring up colorful images. My free articulation cards are a great example and something that I pull up on my computer all the time as they are bright and colorful! Kids can look and point to things on your screen, even if they were originally intended as cards or other printables. It’s just another way to present the same thing in a different format to trick the kids that it is new!
5. USE YOUR IPAD or IPHONE
You can save so many things on the iPhone and iPad – I love downloading PDF files into iBooks and viewing them on there or using an app that allows you to color or one that you can add things to such as Notability. Also, taking photographs or screen snapshots and viewing them on something other than a white piece of paper does wonders for kids participation!