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10 Toys to Add to your Child's Christmas List from an SLP

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

*Click the names of the toys to purchase on Amazon.


  • Utilize speech/verbal routines to elicit language: Stack the rings, model "ready...set...go!" and flip the toy to have the rings fall off. Use an expectant pause before saying "go" to give your child a chance to fill in the word.

  • Model a variety of words and concepts: "up," "on," or "on top" as you stack; "bumpy" and "smooth" as you talk about the textures of the rings; "big" and "small" when you compare the ring sizes.



  • Target vocalizations and play noises by modeling farm animal noises.

  • Sing "Old MacDonald" and use an expectant pause to give your child a chance to name or imitate the animal names or their noises. Also try utilizing this strategy when singing "e-i-e-i-o" to encourage your child to join in.

  • Model some gestures by knocking on the barns before you open them.

  • Model words like "open" when opening up the barns, and "in" and "out" when taking the animals in and out of the barns.


  • Model early gestures like knocking before you open each door.

  • Create a speech/verbal routine by modeling "knock knock" and "who/what is it?" when opening up the doors.

  • Model the name of each item to target vocabulary.

  • For a higher-level language task, categorize the items: animals, food items, etc.




  • Model body parts by naming them as you put them on the potato.

  • Discuss feelings/facial expressions based on what faces you make with the potato (e.g., happy, sad, mad, silly).

  • Target early concept words, such as: on, off, push, pull; and expand into two-word phrases by modeling the concept words + the body part (e.g., push eyes, mouth off).


  • The repetitiveness of the text offers your child an opportunity to participate in the story. Utilize expectant pauses to give your child an opportunity to fill in the text/names of animals.

  • Model a variety of early gestures to encourage imitation. For example, place your hand over your eyes during "what do you see?" and model tapping on your chest for "looking at me."

  • Knock on the sliding doors before you open them, and model words like "open" and "close."




  • A great cause and effect toy!

  • Model early concept words like "up," "down," and "out" while playing.

  • Use speech/verbal routines and expectant pauses to encourage your child to participate (e.g., "ready...set...go!").

  • Use the toy to work on requesting with verbal words and/or signs. Model "more" to have your child imitate in order to request another ball.










  • Model words like "out," "in," "pull," while playing.

  • Target concepts "up" and "down" by throwing the tissues in the air up and watching them fall down.

  • Target vocabulary by identifying a variety of objects pictured on some of the tissues. Have your child identify some items you name by pointing, or work on labeling by having your child name items. If this is too difficult, you can also model the names of the items and point for your child.




  • These blocks are great because they have pictures of objects in addition to letters of the alphabet and numbers. Take this opportunity to expand your child's vocabulary of everyday objects by modeling the names of the items pictured.

  • Provide choices to your child by holding up to blocks and asking them which one they want next (e.g., "Do you want the ball or the fish next?"). Wait for you child to point or imitate the name of the object before handing them the block.


  • Name the food items included to work on food vocabulary.

  • Model action words like "cut" and "eat" during play.

  • Pretend to eat the food and model vocalizations and play noises to represent eating - smack your lips, say "mmm" and "yum."

  • Work on matching skills by putting the halves of the food back together.




  • Target early vocabulary by naming the items.

  • Model "pop" each time you poke one of the dots on the page.

  • Model some vocalizations and play noises as appropriate. For example, pretend to eat the food items and making eating noises.

  • Talk about the functions of the items (e.g., we eat the apple, you wear a hat on your head).

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