I’ve complied a list of some of my favorite toys to stimulate early language development in babies. (I usually give one of these as part a baby shower gift or as a first birthday present!) Even before babies learn to talk, they are laying the foundation for talking and communication! As a Speech-Language Pathologist, I use toys during play-based therapy with pre-talkers to establish imitation skills, understanding of cause/effect, receptive language (understanding words/language), and to teach gestures such as pointing, waving, and baby sign language. This post contains affiliate links, which means we could receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended.…
One of my favorite speech therapy activities is the flower shop pretend play activity for preschoolers. It's perfect to play at home too! I like to use this activity to target both dramatic play as well as describing words. Keep scrolling for a free visual that kids can use as a as a “menu” to order flowers using describing words.
The idea for the Mystery Craft started in one of my small speech therapy groups when I ended up having to pair two students together that were pretty different in their abilities. (For any speech therapists wondering, one was targeting listening comprehension and the other social/pragmatic skills.) These two boys loved the Mystery Craft and asked for it all the time! It got me thinking that it would also be perfect for siblings! Okay – here’s how to do it: Pick a Craft You’ll want to pick a craft that is easy enough for the younger sibling and has the steps either written out or in picture form…
Easter is already right around the corner. I love any excuse to dress up my daughter in a frilly dress and see her face light up when she comes downstairs to a fun-filled Easter basket! But what I don’t love is a sugar cash at 8 a.m. on Easter morning – right before we have to get dressed up and go to visit relatives! So that got me thinking . . . What are some good non-food Easter basket fillers and gifts for toddlers? This post contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended.…
One of best toys for toddler language development is the PUZZLE! Puzzles are inexpensive, don’t take up too much space, and are so versatile.In this article, I’ll cover how to use puzzles with babies, toddlers and preschoolers - as well as with older, special needs children (just look for the communication-level that matches your child’s ability).
Sylvie has loved music since she was teeny tiny - my (off-key) singing would always bring a smile to her face. I would randomly pick a song to sing to her based on whatever my foggy, mom-brain could come up with in the moment. But sometimes I wondered, "What does she want to hear?" or "Which song does she like the best?" I've included a free, printable set of communication cards you can use to let your pre-talker or early talker pick which song he or she wants to hear!
Sorting activities can range from super simple to more complex – making it great for toddlers (starting around 15-18 months) all the way up to early elementary. It also keeps little hands and bodies busy, which is always a plus! One reason that sorting is so great for language development is because
OMG – thanks to my sister-in-law for telling me to throw a bunch of crayons into a giant cardboard box with my tot. It's a great, independent play activity! Plus, it’s really cute. It’s like Sylvie gets to draw on the walls, but it’s totally okay (and she’s happily contained – he he.)
Here is the next article in our series on “How to Get Your Toddler to Talk” using simple, classic toys. Hope you enjoy! Good Ol’ Mr. Potato Head. He’s silly looking and targets learning the basic body parts, two things that toddlers love – Win Win!
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.