Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Value of Scrapbooking in Therapy

I've always loved scrapbooks.
As a child I always enjoyed looking through magazines, cutting out pictures I found interesting, and sticking them in scrapbooks. Even now I have one for dress styles I find in magazines. I've also applied this concept to my work with children. Every parent who comes to see me in clinic, at some point has to buy a scrapbook. It doesn't have to be anything too fancy, just a simple construction paper pad that is durable and has enough space to stick pictures. Most tend to look like this:

We work together in session to stick worksheets, pictures related to the theme, reward stickers, and anything of interest in the scrapbook, then parents get to do it at home with the children as well. It's great for vocab building, artic/phonology, exp and receptive language, AVT, a bit of everything. For example we may work on:

/s/ in therapy, sticking pictures of /s/ words into the scrapbook after saying them, then the next mission would be to go home and search through magazines and newspapers for other things which may begin with /s/ and sticking them in. Having a page for each sound.

SVO constructions- looking for and sticking in pictures of people doing actions- simple

Feelings (ASD)- Finding pictures of people for a happy, sad, angry, etc. page, talking about why the person might feel that way, then the next page would be a picture of the child with I feel happy, sad, angry when......

Vocab around themes: farm, things around the home etc. (that's another post soon to come)

Phonological Awareness: cutting out pictures and sticking them on their various 'syllable pages'
e.g monkey would be stuck on the "2 syllable page."

Prepositions; pictures depicting on, under, behind, etc.

These are fun and exciting and really works well in eliciting speech and language, both in sessions and at home. The good thing is that you can look through the scrapbook and see what has been covered and what progress has been made. '

I have a patient who travels to the US to see another speech therapist every few months and instead of sending a long report on what he has done they carry up the scrapbook, and that gives an even better idea of that is happening in therapy. I've also got many preschool teachers on board, and they incorporate the scrapbook into some of their activities.

I took some pictures of one of my favourite scrapbooks today to share with my readers. This little one has a cochlear implant and this is his 'listening scrapbook'.

Working on the "learning to listen" sounds for transportation.

Learning to listen sounds for animals. Also saying "open" to lift the flap, and 'bye bye' to close.

hop with plastic frogs (/p/ input)

Incy Wincy Spider Visuals

Finding family members. His favourite character is Ben 10 so I used this as a motivator. I ask him "where's mummy" and he lifts the flap to find then says word.

working on parts of the body

Sounds for listening (Ahhh vs brrrrrrm)

I'd encourage any speech therapist/pathologist, EI specialist, teacher, parent to try it, and let me know how it goes :)


  1. Hi! I'm a new reader to your blog and I must say, I LOVE this idea! Any suggestions to which magazines you like best for finding pictures? Thanks! ~ Laura

  2. Thanks for reading! I like to use parenting magazines, then others like woman's day, those kinds. Sports and fitness mags are also great for actions.

  3. Hi, I love your ideas and was wondering if I can ask you a couple questions through email?

  4. Hi Reka,

    This is an absolutely great idea that can easily be incorporated into therapy. It will help generalisation of learning and keeps everyone up to date on the child's progress. Thanks for sharing