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December 16, 2014

My Early Intervention Therapy Bag

Today I'm linking up with Kristin at Simply Speech to tell you what is in my Early Intervention Therapy Bag.

1.  My number one thing I can't live live without when working with the little ones:  BUBBLES!  Of course, not just any bubbles will do, I must have the ones from Gymboree. They are the best because the soap liquid is thicker and the bubbles last long enough to reach out an pop them. Seriously, what good are bubbles that pop immediately upon blowing???  No cheap bubbles for me.  It's not worth the frustration.  And of course, you need great bubble blowers, too.  I like ones that the kids can do themselves, like the fish pictured above, where a gentle squeeze is enough to make bubbles.  The other two blowers are ones that the kids can put in their mouths and easily blow their own bubbles.  I love these blowers!  I've used them to target so many oral-motor skills, such as lip rounding, breath coordination, and sequencing.  Unfortunately, I've had them so long that I cannot remember where I purchased them.  Bummer, because I really need a few new ones!

 2.  My favorite oral motor tools are ones that are sturdy and easy to clean/sanitize.  The NUK brush and the ARK brush are both wonderful for oral motor stimulation exercises.  The brush heads are gently textured and small enough to fit comfortably in little mouths.  I also love Chewy Tubes and ARK Grabbers.  You can find all of these items at Talk Tools.

 3.  Puzzles!  I love the wooden puzzles from Melissa and Doug, which I have featured in this post, but I also love this one from Fisher Price for my littlest ones.  The pieces are easy to hold and have unique features such as a door that opens and closes, rattles and sounds.

 4.  What could be more intriguing than wind-up toys?  All the kids love this one, a wind-up Thomas the Train that goes around its own carry-along track.  This one is from Tomy, from a long time ago, so it might be hard to find.  Thankfully, mine is still in good condition!  I have a large collection of other wind-up toys, too, that also work well to target a variety of skills including turn-taking and requesting.

5.  Lift the Flap books are always popular with the EI crowd.  The Spot books by Eric Hill are some of my favorites.

6.  I love cause and effect toys that easily facilitate interaction opportunities.  I love marble mazes and car ramps, because the children quickly learn to put the ball or car at the top of the toy and let go and are mesmerized during its journey down the track.  When it reaches the bottom, I quickly grab the ball or car, and wait for the child to indicate he'd like another turn.  This type of toy never seems to get boring!  The one pictured above is another vintage toy that I've had for 25 years, but you can find similar ones in any toy store.

7.  Magic wands are always fun, just because they are!  Especially when they make a magical sound, light up and spin!

8.  Last, but not least, I love Noisy Stories by Joan and Jessica Rivard.  This book is a collection of stories that feature repetitive line text and early developing sounds. They are so wonderful for use during my sessions but also to send along with the parents for home use. You can find this book at Mayer-Johnson's website.

Thanks for checking out what's in my EI Therapy Bag.  Go to Simply Speech's page to check out what others have in their EI bags for some more great ideas.

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