The holidays can be stressful and trying to find the right gift for everyone only adds to the stress. When it comes to gifts for kiddos, you really don’t need an expensive toy that makes tons of sounds and has bright lights. Actually those are not the toys I recommend for your little one to promote speech and language development. Oh don’t get me wrong. Those toys can be SO fun and honestly grandma is probably going to get your kiddos some crazy electronic ones this year and that is OKAY! But here are some suggestions to help find toys that are great for encouraging language development. A lot of these toys I use in speech therapy with kiddos and are ones that I use with my son or are on his wishlist:
Non-electronic: I recommend non-electronic toys because most electronic toys do the play part for kids and then they don’t need you! They can play by themselves, which is amazing if you’re a busy parent trying to get some basic things done. But when it comes to developing speech and language children learn by interacting with you.
YOU! You really are the best “toy” for your child to play with! You have so much language to teach them. And children are so curious and crave learning. Most any activity where you can be involved will help your child with speech and language, especially if they need your help!
Here is a list of some words you can target with the ‘toys’ you can find below!
Early sounds effects ( baa, moo, vroom)
Books are an amazing way to encourage language with your child!
Here are some of my favorite books:
Little Blue Truck
Brown Bear Brown Bear
First Words books
Mama and Dada books
This may seem like a silly toy and my own husband made fun of me for giving it to my son but he LOVES it and there is SO much language you can do: in, on, go, stop, help. And kids are fascinated by it!
This one also seems like a strange gift but it's another one of those household items that you probably already have and kids love it. Kids loves containers and boxes. You can put things in, take them out or even take a laundry basket ride to target want, go, stop, spin.
Balloons can be great too. Mostly because kiddos need your help to blow them up. You can blow them up and let them go and fly around the room. Kids think this is hilarious and you can target so much language. I included a balloon pump to save your breath and make it easier to blow them up!
This is just a small list of my favorites. If you need more ideas or if you want more specific ideas on how to target early word development, please feel free to reach out!