5 Ways To Use Mini Photo Boxes In Speech Therapy

Monday, April 16, 2018


Sometimes we have to "think inside the box" with our speech therapy activities. Change things up a bit from the standard articulation cards and printables. I've seen a lot of SLPs sharing the 4x6 photo boxes on social media - especially the colored ones from Michael's. I thought they would be the perfect little collection point for all my trinkets and random objects I have. I started collecting objects for certain speech sounds, categories, apraxia sounds and such. Let me share how I use them. Also I made a FREE printable list to get you started - make sure to download it!

It quickly became an obsession - whenever I see a little random trinket, I think...which box can I put this in?! I have purchased some from DindkyDodads on Etsy as well.

Here are 5 ways I use the mini photo boxes:

1. Categories-
I will have all the objects out mixed together and have the students pick them up individually & sort them by category or similar features. A great example is sorting play food items, items by color, by how it's used, or location, etc

2. Articulation Boxes -
The photo boxes are perfect for individual sound collections and I have actually seen really great results. If I have a student working on a very isolated sound in a specific position at the word level, I can customize objects for that. Another idea is to mix initial-medial-final targets of a certain sound to increase carryover - describing the items helps with this also. I find when kids aren't looking at an articulation card or worksheet, it's less structured and results in a better opportunity for "real world speech." 
FREE download - ideas and lists for using mini objects in speech therapy

>>>Download a FREE list to get you started with your collection 
(be sure to enter a PERSONAL email address for best delivery): 
3. Following Directions-
This is one of my favorite ways because you can literally put ANY object in the boxes. I have a written list of steps on how they take each item out and do something with it. Example, "First take out the yellow LEGO and put it on the table. Next, take out the plastic fork and put it in front of the LEGO." You can pair up or down your modifiers for differentiated difficulty as needed. 
As you are making the directions, go through the steps yourself and take a picture of the final result. Then when the student does the steps, they can compare their end result with what it should be like! This offers a GREAT opportunity for teaching them to "check their work" - if something is wrong, have them go back to the steps and see where they missed a step. This is transferable to the classroom for following directions!- How often does a teacher say, "they aren't checking their work!"

4.  Sensory Bins-
Using a "mini" sensory bin is perfect when space is a challenge. Maybe you just don't have room for a large tub. I like filling with pom poms, small beans or shredded paper "grass" and then using either my articulation cards or mini objects in there for them to pull out and say.

5.  Storage-
If you are a traveling therapist (either to different rooms or to different campuses), these work perfectly for storing all your therapy cards (articulation, apraxia, WH questions, etc) and even supplies. I have dice and markers in some, a first aid kit, and I store gloves and tongue depressors in another. Really, anything you need for therapy - I can grab what boxes I need and throw them in my therapy bag!
FREE DOWNLOAD for mini box ideas in speech therapy

If you love labeling #allthethings like I do, check out the Mini Box Labels in my TpT store - sized perfectly for the 4x6 photo boxes and they are editable! 
I'd love to hear your ideas for using mini photo storage boxes! You may also like this organization post too!


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