6 Toys to Help with Speech Development You Probably Already Have
Helping your little one with their speech development can be an exciting and nerve-wracking process. You’re reading the milestone charts and know what to expect, but is there anything you can do to help your child with their speech and language skills at home?
The (exciting) truth is – yes! You can help your child with their speech and language development at home. In fact, there is likely a whole selection of toys that you have lying around the house (or in your toy bin) that you can use when playing with your child to help support their language and speech development.
Here are six much-loved toys and the different ways you can use them to support speech and language development.
First up we’d like to shine a spotlight on Building Blocks. Whether you’ve got a set of wooden blocks like the ones pictured at home or something more similar to Legos or large plastic building blocks, you’ve got a great foundational toy to support your child’s speech and language development.
Blocks are great for sparking your child’s creativity and imagination. They also can be used to build skills to support a variety of speech and language goals. From naming colours to learning concepts like ‘high’, ‘tall’, ‘up’, ‘fall’, there is so much that you can do with a simple set of Building Blocks. This is one of our go-to toys to help with Language Development at home.
Toy animals of all kinds can be a wonderful addition to any play session. At home you might have stuffed toys, small plastic toy animals, or even wooden toy animals. Whatever you have available, you can use It to practice naming animals and making animal noises with your little one. You could also create stories with the animals, giving them names, and getting creative. Let your child take the lead and see what they come up with.
Do you have a play tent or tunnel set at home? Whether it’s in the house or in the garden, this active toy is a great tool for helping your child with language development – all while having heaps of fun! You can incorporate language learning into an active play session by focusing on concepts like ‘in’ ‘out’, ‘bounce’, ‘jump’, ‘through’, ‘run’.
Puzzles are another toy that you likely already have that can be used to support your child’s language development. Simple wooden puzzles with different animals and themes can help build your child’s vocabulary and early language skills as you play together. If you have something like the one pictured, your puzzle may make noises or have other interactive features, although this isn’t necessary to get good results from puzzle time with your little one.
Did someone say vroom vroom? That’s right, cars and other motor vehicles can be great fun and valuable learning opportunities at home. You could even include trains or planes if they are what you have available!
With this group of toys, you can work on naming colours, using descriptive words, counting, and following directions to name a few.
A favourite toy of many kids, a doll house, can actually play an important role in speech and language development! It doesn’t have to be a traditional doll house either – you could opt for a tree house like the one pictured, or even a large play farmhouse if that is more up your child’s alley.
You can use a toy house to expand your child’s vocabulary, practice telling stories and using correct grammar, and as a bonus it is a whole lot of fun. If you have more than one child, playing with a doll house can help build sharing and other social skills that will be useful as they move into kindy and prep.
Depending on the type of doll house you have at home you can find the right character toys or animals to go in the structure (categories) and can play with what items would be ‘silly’ to have in the doll house and which ones would be more ‘real’.
We hope you’ve found at least a few new ideas to try out at home with your little one. If you’d like more ideas on how to incorporate Language-Rich Play at home, check out our free e-book for parents here.