If your child goes to speech therapy, you’ve probably noticed that your child’s speech therapist has a big collection of toys. Toys and games are a great way to boost children’s vocabulary, listening, and social skills and they’re easy to introduce at home. Kids First Speech Pathologist, Hannah Rovere, has compiled this list of options so that you can implement learning that’s cleverly disguised as fun at your house.
Cause-and-effect toys teach children that taking an action will make something happen. Your very young child probably loves the excitement that these toys create and they make a fabulous gift for any little boy or girl who goes to speech therapy. Some favourite cause-and-effect toys recommended by speech therapists include:
Cause-and-effect toys are fun and simple, and you can use them at home to teach your toddler basic language concepts and vocabulary such as:
A cause-and-effect toy can be used to practice so many skills with your child! From practicing labeling things like colours, shapes, and functions (e.g. spin and pop) to developing curiosity and attention, they offer hours of enjoyment for any child.
Kids love puppets, and you can use hand puppets with your child to help model language in a fun and playful way.
If your child is a little sensitive or shy, a puppet can be a wonderful way to help them find their ‘voice’. Talking to a puppet may be less intimidating than talking to a person, so a puppet is a great way to help your child practice taking turns with their communication partners.
Puppets can also pretend to do the different actions that your child may need to learn, such as eating (you can use pretend food), walking, running, hiding, and jumping.
Many toddlers love playing with moving toys like cars and trucks, and they are fantastic for both boys and girls. Playing with transport toys can lead to an imaginary trip to the beach, a delivery to a favourite shop, or another creative destination that sparks your child’s interest.
You can use these kinds of toys to teach many action words too. Simple words such as: Go, stop, slow down, speed up, drive, reverse and park learned during play will improve your child’s skills when they interact with other children.
Playing with cars and trucks is also a terrific way to label basic concepts such as: fast/slow, over/under, up/down, loud/quiet.
There is no limit to your child’s imagination, so allowing your son or daughter to play with any type of toy, as long as it’s safe and age-appropriate, will develop their creativity and communication skills.
If you are concerned about the way your young child’s speech and language skills are developing, it could be helpful to seek advice from your GP and a children’s speech pathologist.
Often, very young children have colds and ear infections that can result in fluid in the ear that affects their abilikty to hear sounds properly. A speech pathologist may also recommend that you have your toddler’s hearing evaluated by an audiologist in case hearing issues are contributing to your child’s speech and language difficulties.
If you have concerns about the development of your toddler’s communication skills, Kids First’s experienced speech pathologists can help. Our friendly team has helped thousands of toddlers learn how to speak, learn, and listen. Call us on 9938 5419 to chat about your child’s needs
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