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Sylvie has loved her stacking blocks since she could sit up well. I’ve had this set of Melissa and Doug stacking blocks for several years – since before she was even born because it was always a favorite in speech-language therapy for the 1-4 age range. You might already have a set of stacking blocks at home – any set is great!
These are my favorite because 1) they are wooden and make a great “crash” when you knock them down 2) each side is color-coded for a different category of animal so blue=water animals, red = farm animals, orange = zoo animals and green=woodland animals.
Here are my tips on using this type of activity for language development:
- If your child is not talking yet, have him pat his chest to indicate that he wants a turn and then you can model saying, “my turn” or “me” as you give him the next block.
- If he is talking, have him verbally ask for a turn before he gets the next piece. This is all about creating extra opportunities for communication and then rewarding that with a turn! Don’t forget that you can take turns too!
Model the vocabulary:
- Point out the picture on the block that you or your child are about to put on. Pause for 3-5 seconds before handing over the block to see if your child will imitate the words (or even a sound from the word).
Identify the picture:
- Hold up two blocks and ask your child to “Show me the ____” or “Where is the ____?” If she is not sure, you can wiggle the correct block as a clue.
- If using two blocks is too challenging, just present a single picture block at a time and work on having your child use a pointer finger. (Don’t let this get frustrating – it should be fun and successful for the child. Remember you are playing!)
Name the picture:
- If your child is taking, you can ask, “What is this?” or have your child complete a sentence. For instance you could say, “I see a . . . .” or “The cow says . . .” Remember to pause for a few seconds to give him a chance to come up with the word before you jump in with an answer – this is harder than it sounds!
Stack by category:
- Have your child look at all the pictures on a block and then ask something like, “Which one lives in the water?”
COMING SOON: Check back for a video demonstration 🙂
If you are looking for this set of blocks, here it is on Amazon:
Please comment below – I’d love to hear from you!
Where is your favorite place to find educational toys for your tot?
(I love garage sales and thrift stores! And Target – ha ha!)
Does anyone’s tot get scared when stacking blocks fall?