I recently had to move all my instruments and materials from the therapy center where I’ve worked for three years and move it back home.

The therapy center was closing its doors and my materials needed a new home.

This move allowed me to take inventory of everything I own and reminded me of a question I often get asked by new MTs starting out it in the field:

What instruments are must-haves when working with children?

They’ll often tell me they’re on a limited budget and would like to purchase just a few items to get themselves started.

I always share with them a few of my “must-have” instruments for working with children with autism – mixed instruments like the shakers and bells, the cabasa and a drum. I also share a few “must-have” manipulatives – scarves, the stretchy band and a little parachute.

But, there is one thing I’m always sure to mention that they might not think of…

That item is: a laminator.

I could not live without my laminator. I use it to make ALL my visuals.

Visuals 2

Everything from shapes to letters to monster pics!

I always recommend the laminator to the students I supervise and to new MTs who write to me. It’s super easy to make your own visuals and it’s fun.

The best part is that once you purchase the laminator, the amount of visuals you can create for your sessions is endless! I have shapes, letter cards, animal pictures, number cards and of course anything and everything related to the holidays (pumpkins, shamrocks, hearts, flowers – you name it, I have it laminated!)

I purchased my lovely laminator from Kmart years ago and it is still going strong! Do you use one?