We are big fans of nerdy boxes in this house, having sampled anything from LootCrate™ to NatureBox©, and others. They are a fun concept, if a little pricey, so we have not kept subscriptions on them over time and have only enjoyed ordering one on occasion.
However, with the drop of 3-D SLP’s professional subscription box, I have been extremely intrigued. Now, here is a box I wanted to get behind! Unfortunately, my target population is early childhood – three to five-year old students and families – and the 3-D SLP box is really intended for elementary-aged students, with higher-level language concepts and themes.
However, the the company pays attention to the customer base and – voila! With growing success from the original subscription box, 3-D SLP now has launched a “junior” version, just for early interventionists and their students and families.
I have been beside myself waiting for the inaugural box, and am equally excited to share my thoughts on its contents and accessibility with you.
3-D SLP, Jr. arrives in a very nice, heavy-weight box printed with the beautiful company logo. After receiving a bit of wear during its travels (seems to be an issue with my local post) I am grateful for the mindful packaging to protect my product.
Upon opening the box, I discern the care with which it has been packed; it is an attractive display, boasting a carefully-selected book with materials and activities that thematically coincide for an approximate month’s worth of therapy sessions (give or take, really, depending on how many sessions you provide).
Allow me to take a closer look at this box, in particular.
Inside, is a beautifully illustrated book, The Teddy Bears’ Picnic. Each page holds a wealth of opportunities for language exploration, including discussion of action words, pretend play, outdoor and summer-themed vocabulary, descriptive concepts, and opportunities for open-ended questions and recall: a fully-loaded treasure for any speech-language pathologist, for sure.
A sturdy folder contains a pack of very nice quality, custom-designed and color-printed reproducibles and materials. Each item within the box is listed, along with a brief description and possible therapeutic uses. There is a sample lesson plan, ideas for fine and gross motor activities, sample poems and songs, and play-doh recipes with a cute bear cutter! Additionally, there are vocabulary concepts (action words, descriptive words: empty/full) and other suggested language targets. Also contained in this packet is a parent letter with family carryover strategies and ideas for each “age and stage” of early development.
While initially I did wish for additional and more specific language targets, I think it is especially important to point out what I discovered next: how very open-ended and flexible this theme-box is. After taking time to peruse the reproducibles more thoroughly (because, let’s face it, I had become completely distracted by all the other glorious manipulatives and shiny objects contained in the box – which I’ll get to in short order), I began jotting down the additional ideas that came to me: other bear books and songs and crafts, sequencing and following directions, bring-a-teddy-bear to speech day, sorting food vs. non-food items or healthy vs. unhealthy food choices…the ideas just kept coming. Which I think is both brilliant and the intent of the box.
In this bear-themed box is a plastic “honey jar” filled with colorful bear counters of varying color and size. Immediately, language targets of “empy/full” and “big/little” come to mind, as well as general cognitive concepts of sorting, counting, and color recognition/naming.
Also included is a set for pretend “picnic” play, complete with a checkered picnic napkin to set out the colorful plastic bowls for eating delicious picnic foods with speech friends, pretend friends, or teddy bears! Clients can work on play skills, sharing with others and making sure everyone has one, and pronouns (e.g., Can I have one? Give one to her. He needs a bowl. Where is my bowl? Where is your bowl?)
In a cute little burlap bag decorated with the 3D-SLP, Jr. logo and a checkered accent is a handful of colorful pom-poms and plastic tongs, ideal for additional pretend picnic food, counting, and sharing. The tongs add a delightful and entertaining fine-motor element. I have added more pom-poms to my bag, to match the bowls in the kit, for sorting. Adapt the tong and pom-pom activities for articulation practice by having students earn their turn! For every three to five target sounds/words/phrases/etc., they can choose a pom-pom to add to their bowl for themselves or their teddy bear.
Clever packets of gummy bears and tubes of apple-scented hand sanitizer (to clean those hands before you enjoy your picnic!) and sunscreen (for all the fun in the sun!) wrap it all up in a little thematic “thank you” gift box with a final reminder to take care of ourselves in our hectic world of early intervention. How neat is that?
Indeed, the premiere 3D-SLP, Jr. box has held up to its name to De-liver, De-light, and De-stress its recipients and promises to start my school year off with lessons at my fingertips. I am anxious to delve into next month’s box and discover a whole new wealth of lesson opportunities!
Have you received a 3D-SLP box? What are your thoughts?