In all our years of practicing, we have had a wide variety of therapy spaces to call home. We’ve had small closets, large closets, part of the office, shared space with other related services, the hallway, a rolling cart, a table in a regular education room, our car trunk, and even an unused stage in the gym. As SLP’s we believe we’re a pretty flexible and creative bunch of folks. We make the best of what we are given and do our job. For the past ten or so years, four of us have called this space home. In fact, we refer to it as ‘The Speech/Hearing Suite” as it is occupied by 3 Speech Pathologists and 1 Hearing Impaired Itinerant teacher. It wasn’t always easy, but we certainly made it work from a therapeutic stand point. Over time, our room also morphed into a cozy environment that was functional and a relaxing place to work. While we could easily generate a list of what we DON’T like about our space (no sink, no windows, no control over the heating/air)…it is much more productive for us to share 10 things we DO like about our room in hopes that it may spark an idea or two for someone else’s therapy room/classroom. So here it is!!! The top 10 reasons we love our therapy room!
10. Wooden letters on our bulletin board
Our mantra is ‘Speech is Always Fun’ so we simply bought letters from Michaels and painted them in our color scheme and hung them on the wall! The truth is…they kept falling so we used a low temp glue gun and glued them to the material on the bulletin board 🙂
9. Scrapbook paper in our Sterilite drawers
This was a perfect way to hide all of our thematic materials we store in the drawers. We bought 12×12 scrapbook paper in our color scheme, trimmed it to size and just slid it in! Super simple! It hides what’s inside and gives a clean, colorful look to the room.
8. A curtain to hide our games
We tucked our game cabinet between two wardrobe cabinets and purchased an inexpensive cotton curtain from Wal-Mart along with a tension curtain rod. After trimming a few inches off the bottom we hung it up! It minimizes distractions while we are working near by.
7. Material on our bulletin boards
It’s amazing what you find in the remnant bin at a fabric store! We covered our boards with material instead of paper and it lasted us for years. It doesn’t ever fade, matches our theme and provides a little color pop on the walls.
6. Gutters to hold story telling props
One of us may or may not have a slight obsession with props for children’s books. Gutters that were screwed into the wall by our custodian hold these little guys as well as the book! Ours were installed up higher for adult hands to bring them down as needed but we have seen them installed under a dry erase board/chalk board so that little hands could use them while they read.
5. Cabinets to hold our toys
We are lucky enough to have some larger wardrobe cabinets in our room that holds the toys for all of us. Typically, we rotate the toys that are within reach of our kiddos and hide the rest behind closed doors. It definitely helps us maintain structure and provides for wonderful communication opportunities with we give them a sneak peek behind the door!
4. Decorations from the ceiling
Super simple decor! These are just paper flower balls that were purchased at a local party supply store. Throughout the year we also hang other thematic props like snowflakes, butterflies, peppermint sticks, apples, etc. It is not only whimsical, but it helps some of our kiddos learn to scan the environment in all planes. It also sparks spontaneous language.
3. Desks along the wall
We maximized the productive work/play space in this small room by eliminating 4 large teacher desks. An inexpensive laminate counter top was affixed to the wall and rested on 4 two drawer filing cabinets to hold it up. We found that our Sterilite storage drawers also conveniently fit under the cabinet as well.
This was one of the best things we added to our room. Above our desks there are long shelves filled with therapy materials. It is so visually overstimulating so we decided to soften the look with sheer mosquito net type curtains from Ikea. They were really long so we cut off about three feet and tied some ribbon around the bottom. They are hung on inexpensive Ikea rods and hooks that are meant for drop ceilings. Yes, they came up and down a couple times a year for washing but we had a good system for putting them up and taking them down. The polka dot garland was purchased quite a few years ago in the college decor section of Target. It is amazing how EVERYONE notices the busy shelves when they come down but they are softly hidden when the curtains go back up.
The number one reason we love our room is because we NEVER TURN ON THE LIGHTS!!! Our room is lit by lamps alone. Many lamps provide a nice warm home-like glow in our room and we truly believe has cut down on our headaches from the fluorescent bulbs.
So there you have it! Our top 10 reasons we love our room!!! We have some news though!
We are passing this room on to our social worker friends and moving to a different room in the building. It was a tough decision to leave this beautiful little room. However, we are lucky enough to be moving to a room with a sink, thermostat and WINDOWS!!!! Stay tuned to see what we have up our sleeves for our new therapy space in the fall 🙂