Would you like some ideas for setting up your speech room? Take a sneak peak inside my speech therapy room setup! A great speech room setup is the key to feeling a little more calm and organized during a chaotic day. It will help ensure your speech therapy sessions run smoothly. When you have a designated spot for your speech therapy materials, you can find what you need, right when you need it. Many of the labels, signs, and other speech room decor pieces are all part of my Speech Room Decor resource, available in my TpT store.
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Speech Therapy Room Size
Some school SLPs are lucky to have a private, spacious speech therapy room. But realistically, many school SLPs do NOT have this setup.
For example, in my very first school SLP position, I was in three schools. In one of the buildings, I was placed in the ***cringe*** storage closet of the building. I was surrounded by stacks of books, and had one table- and no desk– to work with.
Other school speech pathologists sometimes have to carry a rolling cart around and do therapy in the hallways.
In a different school district, I was given a half classroom and had a- gasp- window. What an upgrade that felt like!
Therefore, I’m going to be sharing ideas that can be useful to speech room setup no matter what your specific situation is.
Organizing Speech Therapy Materials
If You Provide Speech Therapy in a Hallway or Classroom…
Trust me, you are not alone!
Many school SLPs might not have a great location for their speech rooms, or just a not a great space in general. Whatever the reason, you might find yourself needing to provide therapy whereever you can. In that case, it helps to have a nice tote bag or a rolling cart so that you can cart all of your materials around. Consider buying a tote bag with multiple compartments for carrying your speech therapy materials. This will make your life easier as you search for what you need during a busy therapy session.
Organization Ideas for a Small Speech Room
If you’re struggling with adequate space, consider space-saving techniques for your speech therapy materials and paperwork.
- Use a hanging file folder organizer on your door to store extra papers or files.
- Consider hanging a stylish peg board on the wall to hang materials from
- Alternatively, you could hang a wire board and accessories to utilize wall space and clear clutter
- Use bulletin board poster storage bags hung from hooks to store materials
- Invest in a magnetic book shelf for whiteboards
- Try using a mesh desktop organizer to display pens, markers, scissors, and glue sticks
Ideas for (Any) Speech Room
Here are some more ideas for organizing your speech room.
- Try using square dry erase plastic bins that you can write on
- Clear stackable storage bins– even shoe organizers- can be perfect for storing speech therapy materials
- Consider an Over the Door Pantry Organizer– it’s perfect for small games, play dough cans, and more!
- A toy organizer storage case is perfect for those smaller speech therapy toys, like Hot Wheels
- A desktop document letter tray organizer may be helpful for organizing speech therapy paperwork
- A classroom keepers mailbox– perfect for storing articulation worksheets or other materials
- An art caddy, for storing all of your must-have materials for therapy
Read about the must-have materials that I store in my art caddy.
Tools Needed to Set Up Your Speech Room
You will need to have some tools and equipment on hand to set up your speech room. Hopefully, much of this will be provided by your school district. Here are some handy tools and equipment:
- Personal laminator
- Laminating sheets
- Light duty staple gun– this is perfect for hanging papers onto a bulletin board
- Paper cutter trimmer/ guillotine
Reducing Distractions in Your Speech Room
Hide Games or Materials Using a Shower Curtain
School speech pathologists often work with a variety of grade ranges and needs. That means, materials or toys that are totally appropriate for one student look too “childish” for the next. Or maybe you need to HIDE the fun games and toys that you use in your speech room.
An easy way to do this is using a shower curtain. A former school SLP coworker shared this idea with me, and I’m really appreciative! She bought a cheap curtain at the Dollar Tree, so I did too. I then bought a tension rod at Wal-Mart. The whole setup cost me less than $10, and it was very effective.
More Tips for Reducing Distractions & Encouraging Focus
Here are some more ideas for making your speech room a welcoming space. You likely won’t have a say in what color your walls are, but if you do, choose a calming color, like soft blues, greys, or green.
- Declutter: Yes, you probably have speech therapy materials and items in your room that you don’t need anymore. I once cleaned out my speech room in my building and found CEU notes from a 1984 course that a previous speech pathologist had attended. If you haven’t used it in a year- toss it. If you can’t toss it because it’s school property, find out where you can send it to make room.
- Calming is better: Take notes from OTs. Anytime you can make your room more calming, you’ll be creating a safe environment for your students- and yourself. This can mean having sensory fidgets, soft flooring, and covers that dim fluorescent lights. Read more ideas about sensory room setup here.
- Hang posters or visuals that encourage mindfulness, inspiration, breathing exercises, emotions, and yoga.
- Keep mindfulness books in your speech therapy room. Here is a list of mindfulness books you could consider.
Speech Room Decor
Hanging Door Knob Signs for Speech Rooms
It’s nice to be able to quickly hang a sign on your door knob. Signs can be used to indicate that you’re busy, in a meeting, or that students are testing. I used to write on paper then tape up the notes, but it’s much easier to have ready-to-go doorknob signs. The doorknob sign pictured is part of my TpT Speech Room Decor resource.
Calendar for Speech Therapy Rooms
Consider hanging a calendar as part of your speech therapy room decor. It’s helpful for you and your students.
We also like to discuss what day of the week it is, and what season it is. In fact, since speech pathologists work on categorization skills, there’s no better way to review this skill than by having a calendar area in your room! You can discuss months of the year, days of the week, and the seasons.
Fun Speech Room Decor and Games
You can put all sorts of speech decor around your therapy room, but why not make it functional (and fun)? Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Getting to Know You Tic Tac Toe
You can use a large laminator, a dry erase marker, and construction paper to create a super easy back-to- school activity. Just leave it on your therapy table all day during that first week back to school! Plus, you can erase all those questions when you’re done and write articulation targets on them for easy activities later. Just sayin’. Read about more first day of speech therapy activities here.
Basketball Game for a Speech Therapy Room
Your upper elementary students will absolutely LOVE shooting hoops in your speech therapy room. This one is super easy to do. Just find an over the door, or a magnetic, basketball hoop and basketball. I added a cheesy figurative language line to mine, but hey. Do whatever works best for you. Either way, you’ll instantly be the most popular staff member in the building.
Add a Describing Game To Your Speech Room Wall
Are you familiar with the Expanding Expression Toolkit, created by Sarah L. Smith? I made this easy game out of construction paper to pair with her program. All you’ll need to pair it with is a beach ball or a bean bag. We practice defining and describing items after tossing the beach ball onto a circle. For extra fun, add point values to the circles.
Getting Ready for the First Day in Speech Therapy
The beginning of the year is filled with chaos, fun, and stress! Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.
If you’re about to embark on your clinical fellowship year, read these CFY SLP tips.
Here are more ideas on back to school games and activities for speech therapy, and don’t miss these simple tips for organizing your SLP Planner.
Plus, learn how to use a simple online tool to keep track of all those IEPS and evals!
Finally, read my tips about setting up your speech therapy schedule!