10 Best Toys for Speech and Language Development in Children
Some toys are worth buying over the others—make a wise choice that could also help to improve your child's development!
Do you need some great ideas for which toys to get your child this year? Why don’t you grab this opportunity to help them learn while they play, perhaps develop those language skills a little (read: toys for speech development)?
Instead of getting your child fancy and high-tech toys this year, why not consider these low-tech yet highly interactive toys for their speech and language development?
Let’s explore some of the best toys for speech and language development in children to get you started.
Toys For Speech Development: Toys That Your Child Can Talk To
Toys that talk (or record their voices for playback) can teach your youngster new words and sentences and even enhance their confidence.
Keep in mind though, that these toys should by no means substitute for personal interaction between you and your child.
Toy telephones that encourage your little one to speak and Chatterbox Birds that record your child’s voice and play it back are good choices.
What’s also great about these toys is that they normally come in bright colours and different textures that can engage your child’s curiosity, tactile senses and grasp of different colours.
This versatile wonder can boost your little one’s creativity and it can be a lot of fun to play with. With playdough, your child has an opportunity to learn new words, follow directions and even to start their own conversation topics.
Did you know that basic building blocks can be fantastic toys for language development? That’s right! Your kid can use these blocks to work on their problem-solving skills as well as social interaction, spatial awareness and imaginative play.
Block building also teaches basic concepts like big/small and tall/short and, as an added benefit, the blocks come in various bright colours.
Additionally, when playing with their friends, children are encouraged to play cooperatively and take turns.
Pretend Play Toys
What’s greater fun than pretend play? Children love dressing up and acting out their favourite characters or professions.
Pretend play toys can provide endless opportunities for open-ended play, social interaction and role-playing as well as expanding upon your child’s language skills.
It’s a fun way to boost their confidence and to help them get acquainted with basic concepts like colours, prepositions, counting and much more.
Play kitchens and make-believe food are definitely must-haves. Your children can work on their vocabulary by learning words that are used in the kitchen like bake, mix, pour etc.
Think about how little girls enjoy dressing up like princesses – they simply adore it, don’t they? Well, guess what: it’s actually good for language development. But don’t stop at princess dresses, bring in dress-up clothing and accessories for different occupations. Your child can dress up and act like a doctor or a teacher or perhaps even a fireman.
If your youngster is still learning to talk, you could help out. For instance, if they say: “Pretty dress", you could expand on it by saying: “Yes, that is a pretty dress, for a beautiful princess".
Apart from the toys already mentioned, you could also think of toys like tool kits, a dollhouse, baby dolls, or even small cars or life-like cars and farm sets or a miniature town.
Musical instruments are wonderful for learning early language skills. Allow your child to play an instrument while you sing a song. You can also work on concepts like loud or soft and fast or slow.
Mr Potato Head
This toy is great for language development and vocabulary. Your child can label body parts as well as clothing items. They could also get acquainted with different emotions and comparisons of sizes. Your youngster could even pretend to talk for Mr. Potato Head.
Puzzles and Stacking Cups
Letter blocks and puzzles with the alphabet on them can allow for hands-on learning opportunities. Your toddler can learn how the letters of the alphabet (or even small words) look and sound. 8
Stacking cups are a good option for developing problem-solving skills. Additionally, your little one can learn basic concepts like prepositions (on/off, in/out etc.) and size as well as colours, counting and more!
Balls are both fun to play with and fantastic learning tools. To develop your little one’s listening and verbal skills, you could teach them what it means to throw, or kick or catch a ball. Let’s play ball!
Sand or water tables are great fun for children! They are perfect for working on verbs (like splash, rake, scoop), adjectives (lots/a little, or wet/dry) and children can learn to take turns with these awesomely messy tables.
Touch and Teach Books
With touch and teach books, storytime comes to life! Your toddler presses on something and a sound come out. This can be a describing word, an animal sound and sometimes even music. Reading is also great for learning and it provides time for you to bond with your youngster.
Toys for Speech and Language Development: Play and Learn!
Let these ideas guide you and don’t be too set on gender norms.
Language is formed around interactions with others and, often, the best toys for speech and language development in children are low-tech and highly interactive.
Toys for the development of speech and language need to allow for open-ended play and your child should essentially be the one who makes the animal sound or tell you that a car goes “vroooom".
Bottom line? Keep it simple, keep it fun!
This article is written by Dr Lisa Lim Su Li, Clinical Director and Senior Speech Language Pathologist at The Speech Practice Pte Ltd, and was edited for publication by theAsianparent.
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