Best Back to School Buys for SLPs

I don't know about you, but I love when all of the stores get their back to school sections out!  Well, ok, so I don't love the reminder that my summer is close to ending, but I do love school supplies...  :)

Today, I've gathered a list for you of some of my favorite things to stock up on at the beginning of the school year.  It's definitely worth it to buy in the next month or so!  (Have you ever tried to buy crayons in April because you ran out?  I have, and paid 3x per box what I do in July or August - ugh!)

Without further ado, here are a few of my favorite things, in no particular order:

Post-it flags:  These are great for helping to organize my binders, books, and paperwork!  I always make sure to get a set of the "sign here" flags, which are very handy to make sure I don't forget a signature on one of the fifty million ten or so signatures needed on every IEP.

Crayons:  I use these all the time with my kids (less messy than markers!) and always pick up several packs.  If I can get them cheap enough, I will stock up for Christmas and/or end of the year gifts for my students.

Highlighters:  For some reason, my older students love highlighters!  They are great for highlighting vocabulary/definitions, main ideas, supporting details, etc. - and if it can help my students remember important info, I'm all for it.

Mechanical pencils:  Much more cool to my students than regular pencils.  I will usually stock up on these for my treasure box, as well as get enough to use in therapy for the year.

Index cards:  I use these to write myself notes or make custom flashcards for students year round.

Two pocket folders:  I send home homework with the vast majority of my students every week.  These folders make it much easier!  (Psst:  Find out why I always buy green folders!)

Notebook paper:  I keep a supply of this on hand at all times.  My iPad is great, but sometimes it is just easier to demonstrate concepts on paper!  It's also good for when I'm using the EET to work on writing with my older students.

Binders:  If you have seen pictures of my classroom, you will have noticed that I love binders!  They are perfect for organizing my progress monitoring tools, homework packets, and more.  Bonus: at back to school time, there are often binders available in fun colors like these!

File folders:  My paperwork piles look much better when sorted into pretty file folders like these!

Magnetic mirror and pencil cup:  I find that large mirrors tend to be a distraction for my kids, so I have a couple locker mirrors stored on some of my magnetic file cabinets in my therapy room, which are great for articulation therapy!  I also use magnetic pencil cups on my dry erase board to store my colored dry erase markers.

Clipboard case:  I've carried a clipboard for every therapy session I have done since grad school!  I always seem to drop mine and chip it at least once a year, so it's always good to have a backup.

Hand sanitizer:  I'm a bit of a germaphobe and make my students use this before we start every session.  (My students are so used to my routine that they will remind me - "Time for a squirt!" - if I forget!)

Plastic drawer units:  Perfect if you don't have much storage in your therapy space!  Prices are the best during the BtS season, and you can often find them in fun colors this time of year.

Plastic storage crates:  Great for organizing therapy material odds and ends!

Area rugs:  You can find the best selection and prices during the back to school season!  You don't have to spend a lot to make your space immediately seem more inviting and cozy.  You can either go for a fun color and/or pattern, or a basic neutral.

Lanyards:  Great to keep your school id and/or keys on so you don't lose them!

Desk lamp:  I love the selection available at this time of year!  The addition of some lamps to your space can really make it feel more comfortable and inviting.  Plus, if your room doesn't have any windows (like mine!), extra light is always a good thing!

Honorable mentions:  Sticky tack, 3M hooks/picture hanging strips, and/or push pins to hang all of your posters and decor on the walls or bulletin boards.  Also, mini calculators to help with standardized test scoring, and colored post-it notes to keep track of everything!

Note:  All of the pictured items were found in my local Walmart.

So tell me, what do you think - did I miss anything important?  What are some of your favorite school supplies to stock up on?


  1. Stationary stores, stationary aisles rank up there with book stores, antique shops, hardware stores, and pubs! Great list!

  2. Colored Post-It Notes! I use them on student files when I'm missing paperwork. Maybe green for, IEP sent home for signature or pink for need copy of IEP from Special Ed Teacher. I love Post-It Notes!!!

  3. Love it - where did you find those plastic storage crates? They are perfect for your room (and maybe my kitchen too!).

    1. They are from Walmart. Aren't they adorable?

  4. I love this! Thank you for the tips! I will definitely be using your home folder idea :) Would you mind doing a post on tips/tricks for newly starting SLPs? Ill be starting my first year September!

    1. I have a post planned for August about how I get myself organized for a new school year - stay tuned! :)

  5. Love all your must haves! Where did you find the owl lanyard? I love owls!!!


Back to Top