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An original tote for a mobile SLP!

We SLPs love a great tote bag!  Especially mobile SLPs – they really need a spacious, sturdy and easily transported tote that will hold all the required resources yet be relatively easy to cart around all day!

SLP Totes

Laurel over at Speech Geek is one such travelling SLP and she has recently found herself in need of a new tote – I will let her tell you her story…over to you Laurel…

…It happened right there, in the middle of the school parking lot: every mobile SLP’s worst nightmare… my therapy bag broke! (Ok…maybe it’s not our “worst” nightmare, but it’s definitely a nuisance). As I rummaged through my trunk for the largest tote bag I could find, hurriedly transferring the bare essentials I knew I would need for the day, I wondered what kind of bag I could find to replace it.

I had been using a wheeling scrapbook bag that was several years old, and all the newer scrapbook bags I had seen online and in stores were much smaller. Wheeling carts can be awkward and leave my materials exposed to the elements. I also prefer not to lift a heavy suitcase in and out of my car all week. (Not to mention the inquiries that I get from students asking if I’m headed to the airport. At least I know these kiddos have some good inferencing skills!) When I found nothing promising online, I decided to turn to the place where I knew I could get helpful answers—the fabulous SLPs of Instagram! I posted about my plight, and “Ms. Gardenia’s Speech Room” suggested I search for a sewing machine bag. This led to finding the “ArtBin Tote Express.”

bag

While not cheap (both Amazon and Walmart sell it for around $80), this has been my favorite therapy bag to date. I’ve only been using it for a little over a week, but so far it’s a winner!

photo 5.JPGed

Pros:

-It is two pieces that can be buckled together while stacked. The top piece also has straps that fit securely around the telescoping handle. The two pieces make it lighter for loading and unloading, and allows for flexibility if you need more/fewer materials at a certain school.

-You can easily access materials from both pieces, even while stacked. The bottom portion zips open in the front (which I love for quickly visualizing and grabbing my next therapy book).

SLP Tote intro

Cons:

-The height of the telescoping handle seems just a bit on the short side.

-The main strap on the top piece (not the shoulder strap) only secures with Velcro, which easily comes undone under a heavy load.

-While the construction seems much sturdier than a scrapbooking bag, the bottom piece still seems like it could be better reinforced. We’ll see how it fares as time goes on.

-The top piece is actually larger than the bottom, and I think it might put too much weight on the bottom piece if the top were filled to capacity.

We’ll see how well the “ArtBin Tote Express” holds up over time, but for now I am thankful to have a bag that meets my needs so that I can focus on what materials I am going to use in therapy with my students rather than how I’m going to transport them. So I’m curious, what products help you make it through your therapy day?

RB SG Logo for TpT

 

You can visit Laurels store on TPT by clicking this link –

The Speech Geek

 

Thanks Laurel, for sharing your newest purchase with us!  It’s great to get such useful tried and tested reviews!

 

 

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