Published on April 11th, 2014


What’s in my Therapy Bag? Part 1: Paediatric Edition

By Olivia Hazelden, S-LP(C) 

Do you have sore muscles around your shoulders? An ever-present twinge in your neck? Messy and scattered post-it notes littering your life? While you’re teetering dangerously in your business-casual outfit and shoes — barely surviving with your multiple therapy bags — have you been asked “need me to get the door?” or “whoa, those must be heavy” or even “how many bowling balls are you carrying”? Then, please, join me for this special three-part series that can help you find organizational freedom from your over-stuffed bags filled with multitudes of toys, books, and games. This is your resource for organizing a stress-free therapy bag!

1 - too many bagsCarrying too many bags can cause a host of problems.

While I don’t claim to be the S-LP of the century (or day for that matter), nor the bag-lady expert, I do juggle a couple of jobs and wear many hats as an S-LP. I travel a lot, and add to that a truly perilous winter in southern Ontario, and you’re talking to someone who would have been burnt-out by now had it not been for an organization breakthrough.

My therapy bag is nothing special — a practical Kenneth Cole for $35, including pockets, zippers and expandable sides for those heavier days. I carry an iPad with fantastic apps (see previous articles by Sean Sweeney for ideas) along with my client files in the laptop compartment. Then in the rest of the pockets I add:

  • Do the safety dance: my personal cell phone, work cell phone and long distance card; keys; wallet and change (you never know when you need to park at a meter!); and identification tag.
  • The assessment/screen stuff: SPATT-D II booklet, oral motor exam forms, tongue depressor, small flashlight, gloves in a sealable bag and some blank paper. Note: I am not involved with language assessment/therapy.
  • Uh-Oh items: tissue paper, bandages, and squishy tomato fidget.
  • Therapy items: travel-sized Guess Who, articulation flash cards box set, smiley stamp, book of stickers, Chipper Chat wand and chips
  • The documentation: agenda (includes schools addresses & phone numbers), SPATT-D II assessment forms, articulation/language overview assessment forms, extra SOAP note templates and consent for information forms 
  • The office tools: pens, pencils, eraser, white-out, travel stapler and highlighters (for drawing pictures — sound stimulation!)
  • Personal items: hand sanitizer, hand cream(dry hands = easy carrier for bacteria), lip balm, travel toothbrush and toothpaste, ibuprofen, business cards and glasses cleaner.
3 - bag with itemsThe contents of my therapy bag for children.

I keep all of my extra documentation items in an accordion folder along with folder games (I use Toll-in-a-bowl activities). My bag also changes depending on the patient; for instance, for my kids with apraxia, fluency or resonance disorders, the assessments and therapy items will differ. However, this is what my bag usually looks like!

Of course, what is in your bag depends on what types of populations you work with, and what your job entails. So… what’s in your bag?

Stay tuned for Whats in my Therapy Bag? Part 2: Adult Edition.


Olivia Hazelden, S-LP(C)

About the author:

Olivia Hazelden, S-LP(C), currently works in rehabilitation of adults with acquired language disorders, degenerative conditions, and traumatic brain injuries: aphasia, dysphagia, dysarthria, and apraxia. She also works at schools with children who have articulation, fluency, voice, and oral-motor difficulties. She is the author of the blog oliviaSLP.

Follow her on Twitter @OliviaSLP and watch her videos in her YouTube account.

Back to Top ↑