In this post, NAPA speech language pathologist Shannon shares some of her favorite toys to help with speech development. Remember, these toys can be used and adjusted for all ability levels and can most definitely be used with AAC. The more fun you have, the more fun your child has! Happy playing!
Frog in a Box is one of my favorite cause/effect toys! While playing, you can use single words like “in”, “out”, “open”, “close”, and “pop”. It is also a great tool for kids to build up anticipation of an event and tell you when to “open”! You can also use this toy to combine words like (frog go in, open the box). This toy is also amazing for emotions with family members (excited, scared, nervous, silly).
I also love using the B Toys Baa Baa Barn Musical Farm Set! You can target SO many speech/language goals using this toy like cause/effect (putting the animals in the barn to hear the music), spatial concepts (open the door, ball go on), animal sounds, and actions (spin, dance, pop).
Melissa and Doug Slice and Bake Cookie Sheet is a classic toy that is so much fun! Your child will love to make requests to “open”, “put on”, “cut” and “cook”. It is also a great toy for sharing, turn-taking, and directing play for those social skills. You can use words and phrases like “frosting go on” and have cookie parties to work on pronouns (i.e., she wants a cookie, the boy has a chocolate cookie).
Who doesn’t love a flashback to the 70s with a disco ball and some music!? This can switch adapted for cause/effect and you can add whatever music you like! It is also great for asking for “help” to turn on for self-advocacy, requesting actions (up, down, on, off), and making comments (spin, I like, flashing, and naming colors). We love our dance parties in speech!
Balloons are next up and a close tie with bubbles! Children of all ages will love engaging with these simple and exciting toys. They are excellent for requesting “more” while blowing up and to make it “big” and “bigger”! The best part is the anticipation of ready, set, and gooooooo and watching the balloon shoot across the room. Balloons can also be used for oral motor skills and blowing in addition to making requests for different colors.
V-Tech Go! Go! Smart Wheels 3-in-1 Launch and Play Raceway is another toy to target SO many speech and language concepts! If your child’s play skills are just emerging, this is a great toy for teaching imitation (just get your own car so you can show!). It is also great for labeling actions like “zoooooooom”, “down”, “up”, and “go”!
Make as many sound effects as you can and GET EXCITED!
Shannon developed a passion for understanding and facilitating communication at a young age through a personal experience with a family member. She learned vital lessons that have transcended into her professional career as a speech and language pathologist. Contributing to a child’s progress and celebrating that progress is a driving force in her career and she is truly passionate about and takes great pride in being a speech and language pathologist. Shannon completed her undergraduate degree from the University of Florida and spends every Saturday during the fall cheering on the Florida Gators and watching SEC football. She loves hopping on a boat and exploring new restaurants in Boston.