I think I can be so bold as to say that I have found the holy grail of speech pathology resources and they only cost me $2.50. And that’s in Aussie dollars. I recently went on a sticker rampage and bought waaaaay too many sticker books and then realised that I will never get rid of them. I mean, I think I may be the only SLP out there who still has stickers from her student days… (which may or may not be more than 10 years ago!).
So you see my conundrum, right? I was in flight or fight mode and chose to fight!
So I tried to think of as many different ways to use up the stickers in these books so that
I can go out and buy some more I can continue to expand my therapy resources.
CHEAP IDEA #1 Stick them onto wooden cubes that you find at craft stores (or ahem Kindergarten classrooms) and turn them into dice. Assign your own ‘numbers’ and happy rolling! It’s a motivating alternative to normal dice and there’s no end to your therapy creativity: play charades, act out emotions, describe the picture on your dice and see if people can guess, make silly sentences or tell story with the dice you roll. So many language goals can be covered if you just peruse the sticker section and choose a range of ‘subjects’ and ‘objects’.
CHEAP IDEA #2 Make cute reinforcers and stick them on little stones (you know, the ones that you usually put in the bottom of vases). I love using these for following directions, playing hide’n’seek, substituting for counters and just plain old pulling out of a bag and seeing what’s on your stone (simple can be fun). If I have articulation drills I will cover up the pictures with these stones and after the set # of drills the student can turn them over and see what picture is underneath.
CHEAP IDEA #3 Make bingo boards! All you need to do is calculate the number of stickers per page and put half on one board and half on another board. I then laminate for durability and use the stones from #2 as the counters. It’s a fun little reinforcer game I play between some hardcore drill work, and perfect for semantic, describing and guess who style language games.
CHEAP IDEA #4 Step up your behaviour reinforcement and add themed stickers onto these cool background scenes. Kids get to create their own picture with a sheet of stickers and yes, you CAN be that SLP who drags out the giving of stickers to 1-2 per session to make this reward system last for aaaages!
CHEAP IDEA #5 Stick on the end of tongue depressors and invent a game. Now this is another ‘get inventive’ game where you can make the rules up as you go. I have an animal set and as a reinforcer we pull out sticks and see who’s animal would win in a real fight (e.g. giraffe vs. tiger). Winner keeps the sticks. I also have a points style system with numbers on them and use my emoji sticks for teaching feelings and emotions. Or have you heard of the game Zap It?? Just Google it and you have a new reinforcer game in 3 minutes! I’m personally LOVING my emoji set (below) for everything social!
CHEAP IDEA #6 Use them for drills. So then you actually may need to buy a BOX of tongue depressors or thick wooden sticks and stick them next to each other, front and back. Your kids get to tap each sticker as they say their sound or sentence. It’s great to have a whole tin full of sticks with different mix-n-match stickers on there to keep kids motivated.
CHEAP IDEA #7 It sounds weirds to say laminate your stickers, but go with me on this one! If you laminate these stickers you can save a lot of money on printer ink and do lots of following directions and barrier games. Makes sense now, doesn’t it? Another idea is to get picture books and get kids to add their laminated stickers onto the pages and then get them to tell you where to put them (e.g. put the cow under tree). Totally fun, especially if you find character stickers that your students will do anything to use! If you own any ‘mini picture card’ resources – these are especially easy to put on top or slide off as they are roughly the same size. I use them with No Prep Articulation Picture Lists from Speech Therapy Fun and Apraxia Mini Picture Cards from my store.
CHEAP IDEA #8 Stick them on lids. Now you’re gonna need support here. The 4 milk bottles you go through a week ain’t gonna cut it so get friendly with you local cafe. I do a lot of ‘Feed the __’ game with these milk lids. Once again, it saves a ton of money, ink and laminating paper. I might also hide little things under the lids and the child lifts them up to see what is under or put them upside down on worksheets for the students to flip over once they have achieved their target.
CHEAP IDEA #9 Work on a ton of language goals such as using conjunctions, sequencing and narratives. My favorite way is to grab stickers and put them on a page and then draw a scene around the stickers. If you have put your stickers on #2 counters, #5 tongue depressors, #7 as laminated stickers, #8 lids – all you have to do is pull them out and then pick your goal e.g. a 4 step sequence using 4 milk bottle lids, or a sentence with a conjunction using the two tongue depressors that you pulled out of the tin.
CHEAP IDEA #10 So it may sound a little uncreative – but having a stash of these books and setting aside a minute the end of your session works wonders. Let your students flip through the books to choose a set number of stickers to put on a chart or their work IS super motivating. These books are cheap and you get HUNDREDS of stickers… so make their day and award them a couple.
So go on, start buying sticker books en masse and start creating simple, cheap games that will jazz up your therapy and follow my Instagram page for some more visual therapy inspiration!