A friend of mine, who works as a Speech and Language Therapist, recently suggested that I should write a blog highlighting some of my toys that would encourage language development. I was reluctant at first but after doing a little reading about it myself, I realised how many of the toys I stock fit into this category. So, here goes!
- Blocks, stacking cubes and shape sorters. These all encourage interactive play, problem solving and creative expression.
- Books create literacy opportunities and introduce new vocabulary. Personally, I love the Gruffalo Little Library and Peter Rabbit Little Library collections.
- Cars and Trains. It’s best to choose toys that don’t do all the ‘doing’ for your child. This encourages them get involved in playing. Encourage your child to make noises as they play like ‘choo choo
- Play Kitchens and Food. Role playing what happens in a kitchen will encourage your child to use verbs. As they play with the food they will understand and use concepts like ‘in’ ‘on’ and ‘under’. I am a big fan of the Goki wooden lollipops.
- Dolls Houses. It’s easy to memorise words but not know how to use them functionally. Having a dolls house will encourage your child to figure out how to use words around the dolls and their living, functionally. Below is Melissa and Doug’s Fold and Go Dollshouse
- Tools and Tool Sets. As your child gets engrossed in playing, they will start expressing verbally what they are doing. Whether it’s a tool belt or a tool box, I’m sure both would be well received.
- Role Play outfits and accessories can aid your child’s cognitive development as they reenact what they see around them. I stock a lovely wooden doctors set and also a vet set.
- Art – This can be a huge language stimulation tool. Here’s two sets that I’d recommend from Djeco. This is the Colleges for 3-5 year olds. I also can recommend the Fingerprint Art Set for 1-4 yearolds.
- Animal and Farm Sets. Making animal sounds has been linked with speech development and language. Try getting ones that don’t have the animals making the noises for you. I love this Noah’s Ark and this fun Pop-Up Toy
- Dress up Puzzles. These types of puzzles help your child verbalise items of clothing and body parts. This is a gorgeous wooden magnetic doll that come with a variety of clothes.
Games and Interactive Activities
This Soft Tin Can Alley game looks like great fun for all ages. If you prefer a sit down game, Little Memo is great for this age group.
From my research it appears that most speech therapists are encouraging children to spend less time in front of screens or with battery operated toys. I hope this blog has got you thinking about the toys you already have that may encourage language development and perhaps help you choose a few new ones!