Almost every speech and language pathologist in the world knows the advantages of speech therapy toys for toddlers. Not just the fun distractions; the therapy toys for speech are one of the powerful tools to encourage speech development, confidence, and communication skills in a playful way.

During communication if you notice that your child experience a slight speech delay or simply blossoming into language, then right speech therapy toys like talking toys, learning flash cards can help to make a difference and these toys can help to improve the communication abilities..

In this article, we will explore some of the best toys for speech therapy in 2024, categorized by the skills and problems they target. Let;s dive in…

A quick note before digging into speech therapy toys:

It’s good to remember that every child develops at their own speed and environment. If you have any concern about your toddler’s speech development, always consult to a qualified and experienced speech language pathologist for a personalized assessment and guidance.

Engaging the Senses: Building Blocks for Communication

1. Sensory Bins

Sensory bins are simply containers filled with materials that allow for exploration using multiple senses – sight, sound, smell, touch, etc. So, a kid learns and enhances his skills, by putting the right shape at the right point. This is a fantastic activity to build vocabulary and fine motor skills. Just do the below given steps:

  • Fill a bin with tactile materials like rice, beans, sand, or play dough.
  • Hide small size toys or objects inside
  • Let your child find them using descriptive words like cold or bumpy or soft etc.

2. Play Food Sets

Toys like plastic fruits, vegetables, and play dishes are the fantastic recipe for pretend play.
Encourage your child to name different foods, let them describe the colors and shapes and even to create meals, using foody phrases like “Let’s make a pizza!” or “Would you like some juice?”

Product Picks:

  • Melissa & Doug Deluxe Food Groups Play Food Set
  • Play-Doh Kitchen Creations Noodle Maker Playset

Making Sounds and Words: Exploring Language

1. Board Books with Interactive Elements

A good way to engage your child into books that are packed with multiple shapes, arts, and pictures. Look for sturdy board books with flaps, textures or sounds. Read them together, pointing at pictures and naming objects.

Encourage your child to participate in by making animal noises, imitating sounds or finishing simple phrases. Making reading an engaging multi-sensory experience helps cement those early speech and language connections.

2. Bubble Blowers

Blowing bubbles is one of the fantastic activities and actually a speech therapy powerhouse. It helps to develop oral motor skills and breath control, both crucial for speech production. Many bubbles also come in fun shapes like Awrers Bubble Ovals that little ones enjoy labeling and describing. Plus, chasing and popping bubbles encourages turn-taking and laughter, key elements of social interaction.

Product Picks:

  • Lamaze My First Farm Clip-On Book
  • Munchkin Bubble Train

Building Vocabulary: Naming and Describing

1. Matching Games

Matching games with pictures or simple words can help toddlers to learn new vocabulary and build the categorization skills. This is the best and easiest way to teach a child what it is? And what is its direct relation with this? A picture related to matching game is show belown, have a look:

matching games for toddlers to enhance speech skills

Look for age appropriate themes like animals, vehicles, or shapes. You can even create your own matching game using construction paper and pictures cut from magazines.

2. Nesting Cups

An entertaining way to play with toddlers is nesting cups games also called rainbow cup games . This not only increases their focus but also helps in recognizing items. Just do the below steps to play:

  • Stack the nesting cups together or sort by size.
  • Use them to scoop and pour or you can also hide small objects inside.
  • Talk about their colors and sizes as you play with your child using words like big, small, in and out.

Product Picks:

  • Melissa & Doug Jumbo Stacking Cups
  • Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Puppy’s Learning Bowl

Building Sentences: Putting Words Together

1. Push and Pull Toys

The toys that make sounds or move when pushed or pulled are great conversation starters. Encourage your child to use two-word phrases to describe their actions like Truck go or Dog bark.

Even when the child pushes the toy, and toy moves forward, you can narrate “You pushed it and now it’s moving!”. Same you can narrate “Push it under the table.” “Pull it out from behind the couch.” This way a toddler understands things and learn new words without any difficulties!

2. Plush Animals

The soft and cuddly toys are perfect for pretend play. Create beautiful stories together, give your stuffed animal toys different silly voices, and encourage your child to use simple sentences to describe their actions and feelings.

Product Picks:

  • VTech Push & Pull Learning Walker
  • Jellycat Bashful Bunny

Beyond the Toys: Making the Most of Playtime

Remember, the best speech therapy toys are just one piece of the puzzle and you need more to involve with your child in each activity. Here are some additional important tips to maximize learning and fun during playtime:

  • Get down to their level:Make the eye contact, speak slowly, and clearly so that your child can understand properly, and use simple language and easy words.
  • Follow their lead:Let your child be the leader during play and build their interests.
  • Narrate your actions:Talk about what activities you’re doing as you play with your child, using descriptive and directive language and encourage your child to participate.
  • Sing songs and rhymes:Songs and rhymes are a fun and engaging way to introduce new words and vocabulary and practice pronunciation.
  • Make it fun and positive:Keep the atmosphere light, joyful and playful. Celebrate your child’s efforts and activities, no matter how small it is.

Playing with your child with these speech therapy toys and the tips shared can increase not only the positivity but also creates a learning environment for your toddler. Remember, Speech therapy toys and your attention can make a big change in your child’s growth and learning.

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