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  • Writer's pictureNiki Klein

Another Way To Use Packing Cubes

Updated: Sep 8, 2019

Have you jumped on the Marie Kondo tidying bandwagon yet? If so, you might be familiar with packing cubes.  Packing cubes are designed to keep your clothes and other belongings organized while you’re traveling. They often come in a variety of sizes and you can buy them individually or in sets. But did you know that you can use them for boosting your child’s speech and language development too?

As a traveling speech-language pathologist, I am frequently packing and repacking my therapy materials and thinking of a more efficient way to keep myself organized.  Packing cubes have been a game changer! They allow me to organize similar items (e.g., markers, paper, scissors) or pieces of a game together. As a result, I am no longer wasting time rummaging through my bag to find a missing piece. However, what I love most about my packing cubes is that they afford so many additional opportunities for building speech and language skills:

Packing cubes are clear! What’s great about clear, closed containers is that they provide an opportunity for little ones to use language.  They can see what is in the bag, but can’t get it without making a request to “open” or for “help” or to name a specific desired item in the bag.  PLUS with the packing cubes, there is an additional opportunity to use language as children need to “zip” the bags to get what they want. A child can simply request “zip” or you can continuously open the bag a little bit after a specific target task (e.g., “more”, articulation trial, etc.). After play, your little one can help you tidy up and work on his/her categorization skills by grouping different toys or generating categorization labels for what’s inside each bag.Packing cubes can also be used at home to store a favorite book with related toys or puppets for acting out favorite scenes or engaging in related play afterwards (see picture below).You can also using packing cubes to create an activity kit for your little one when you’re traveling, out to dinner, or going to appointments that involve waiting. Using these cubes in this way allows you to expand your little one’s language skills as these are often moments that caregivers resort to giving screens (e.g., ipads, cell phones) to keep their children occupied. You can put in favorite books, stickers, toys, etc. to keep your little one busy and store it in your car or closet for these types of situations. 

These are just a few of the ways I’ve discovered packing cubes can be used in speech-language therapy and at home.  Let me know if you have any other ideas!

Here is where you can get clear packing cubes yourself:

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