Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Speech Therapy Toys For 4 Year Olds

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Dont Worry About Gender

Speech Therapy for 4 Year Old at Home | Tips From a Speech Therapist

I just talked about this in my recent post The Importance of PLAY for Speech and Language Development. When picking toys for your child, dont stick to gender specific toys. Let your girls play with trucks and trains and your boys play with toy kitchens and baby dolls. Here is some research on The Impact of Specific Toys on Play from the National Association for the Education of Young Children .

What set the highest-scoring toys apart was that they prompted problem solving, social interaction, and creative expression in both boys and girls. Interestingly, toys that have traditionally been viewed as male orientedconstruction toys and toy vehicles, for exampleelicited the highest quality play among girls. So, try to set aside previous conceptions about what inspires male and female play and objectively observe toy effects to be sure boys and girls equally benefit from play materials.

I contributed to a great post all about why all children should have a baby doll. You can read it at Mama OT.

Most Effective Speech Therapy Activities For Toddlers

Every baby may not speak at the same pace every child is different. But there are speech therapy activities for toddlers that you can do to help your child learn to talk.

Use simple soundsUse simple sounds like da and ma or ba and aa or ooh to babies even when they are newborn. These vowels and consonants have a great response from children. These simple speech therapy activities help your child to talk. As they grow, they listen and try to imitate you.

Speak slowly so baby can understandTry to use simple words and friendly tones. Your toddler can understand what you are saying if you talk to her face to face. Make eye contact and speak slowly and patiently. If the child repeats the words incorrectly just gently repeat the words in the correct manner, so she understands the difference.

TV does NOT help to get children to talkDont turn on the TV as soon as you get home or have it on constantly when your toddler is in the room. Contrary to what you may think the TV is not considered part of speech therapy activities. Contact with people is crucial in the language development process.

Play with your childPlaying is a good way to communicate with your child and also build motor skills and many other benefits. Allow your toddler to tell you what to do. Stay in the background and do only what you are asked to do. Playing with your child builds confidence without pressurizing your child to talk. Playing is a fun part of your speech therapy activities!

Leapfrog Learning Friends 100 Words Book

Why its great: The LeapFrog Learning Friends 100 Words Book will introduce your child to over 100 age-appropriate words as determined by learning experts. Categories range from animals and food to opposites and colors. The touch-sensitive pages provide the vocabulary word along with fun sounds that will keep your little one entertained. The words and songs are available in both English and Spanish with the simple move of a switch, offering a full bilingual experience.

Keep in mind: The pages are extremely touch-sensitive and best used when a child knows how to point using one finger. Other words on the page will be read aloud if a page is accidentally touched by another body part.

Good for: Toddlers would benefit from increased exposure to new vocabulary with a picture and sound reference.

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This Is The Best Toy For A 3 Year Old With A Language Delay

> This Is The Best Toy For A 3 Year Old With A Language Delay!

*Updated August 2021*

There are many wonderful toys that will help your childs language development, but the best toy for a 3 year old with a language delay is one that is:

Open ended to allow for a variety of language learning opportunities Does not require batteries for optimal functioning Can be used by the child for the next 3-5 years Great for pretend play and imagination Perfect for both a boy or a girl

Developing Speech And Language

Wily Fox Montessori Learning Todder Toy, Educational Toy for Speech ...

As speech develops, parents and children often become frustrated with each other because children want to express themselves, but dont have the ability yet to articulate what they want to say. In these situations, parents tend to see a lot more tantrums and meltdowns. It is not because their child has bad behavior, but because they simply dont have the skills to project what they want to communicate. That is why parents can use visual charts, games, or the point and retrieve method to discover their childs needs and wants.

Many people tend to think that speech and language are the same thing. However, both are very different. And, children may experience delays in one or the other.

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Guidelines For Choosing Toys

Even Jpeg gets involved in reading with Addie Belle

  • Battery Free: there are exceptions to the rule, but you want your kids to say the words or make the sounds that the toy is making. When playing with a car toy, you want your kiddo to honk the horn and say” beeeep!” If a great toy comes with noises – just ditch the batteries

  • Open Ended Toys: you want toys that can be used in a variety of way, have no beginning, middle, or end, that can be used over time, and they allow your kiddo to use their imagination.

  • Traditional Toys: go back to basics and think about what you had when you were a kid legos, blocks, cars and trucks, farm. etc. keep it simple and old school

Swinging gets her moving, outdoors, and is perfect to practice verbal routines such as “ready, set, GO!”

What set the highest-scoring toys apart was that they prompted problem solving, social interaction, and creative expression in both boys and girls. Interestingly, toys that have traditionally been viewed as male orientedconstruction toys and toy vehicles, for exampleelicited the highest quality play among girls. So, try to set aside previous conceptions about what inspires male and female play and objectively observe toy effects to be sure boys and girls equally benefit from play materials.

Do not focus on gender when choosing toys

Toys That Have Helped Our Daughters Speech Delay

If you read our latest post, you know that our daughter, Cassidy, has a Speech Delay. While we owe a lot of her current success to the help of early intervention and speech therapy, I also have to give credit to the tools that have helped us break through and see some real results. As with anything in life, repetition and engagement are so important to do and have if you want to learn a new skill. It is for this reason that I wanted to tell you all of our favorite toys that we have found have worked best in capturing Cassidys attention, spark that engagement and most importantly, teach her to speak.

Regardless of it your little one is speech delayed or not, below are our absolute favorite toys that will for sure help you increase their learning of language while playing.

Mr. Potato Head

Mr. Potato head probably has been a fan favorite for over 50 years and its easy to see why. It is truly great for so many activities and concepts. Not only is a great way to introduce body parts but it is also great for teaching to put it on,take it off,put the shoes on, etc. Additionally, you can use Mr Potato so demonstrate verbs, point out colors , and even show how to take turns as you place each part.


Shape Sorting Cube

Pound & Ball Roller

Pop the Pig

Baby Doll

Bath Crayons

Wooden Puzzles

Piggy Bank

Pretend Cutting Food Set

Bubble Bear

Figurine Toys

Stacking Cups

First Words Flash Cards


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The Importance Of Play In Language Development

Its so important to focus speech therapy around play with toddlers. It holds their attention while they are learning so many key vocabulary words, how to follow directions, language and social skills. I hope these toy recommendations come in handy on your journey as speech therapists or teachers working with toddlers.

but I make a small commission off of sales. This helps me to test out more materials and bring you more quality content. Thanks for supporting my little blog!))

Climber/tunnel/ride On Toys/pull Toys

Speech Therapy for 4 Year Old In Home with Go Talk Now App

I grouped all these together because we know that motor development and cognitive development happen in similar parts of the brainso essentially when children get moving, they are learning! Following/giving directions and prepositions are great to practice-go through the tunnel and around the couch! Usually you dont have too many of these toys in one home, so sharing and turn-taking with others is another way to build good communication.

Budget: Tunnel from Kohls, Melissa & Doug Frog Pull Toy from Kohls

Splurge: Plasmacar Ride Toy from Kohls

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Use Toys That Get Them Moving

It is so important to get your kids moving! Even when indoors. Making forts and tunnels are great ways to keep them moving indoors, without actually having to *buy* specific toys for that purpose. We also have some ride-on toys that we allow in the house that keep our children moving as well as balls .

Best Learning Inno Pad Smart Fun Lessons Educational Tablet

Why its great: With a varied collection of 16 activities, the Best Learning INNO Pad Smart Fun Lessons Educational Tablet is sure to engage your toddler for extended periods of time. This tablet provides varying modes of learning, from music-based to active instruction. The compact size and five levels of volume adjustment makes this the ideal toy to develop speech while both at home and on the go.

Keep in mind: The tabel uses different cards for the various activities. The tablet does not provide a space to hold the cards when not in use.

Good for: Toddlers that thrive with interactive toys.

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Top 10 Toys For Eliciting Speech And Language In Children

With all the snow and cold weather upon us in the start of February, I thought it would be a good idea to post some toys that are useful in promoting speech and language right at home:

  • Nesting/Stacking toys: These toys are very useful for infants and toddlers. Not only do these toys last a long time but children are often very interested in these toys because they are highly interactive. Some language, cognitive, and other skills a toddler can learn from these types of toys include:
    • Prepositions concepts such as: in, out, under, above, below, in front, behind, on, off
    • Size concepts such as big, bigger, biggest tall, taller, tallest small, smaller, smallest
    • Counting skills
    • Concepts of full and empty
    • Fine motor skills
    • Other activity idea: take a different toy such as a teddy bear and hide it under a cup and have your toddler find where the toy went
  • Wooden Blocks: Every child should own a pair of wooden blocks. Blocks that come in all shapes, colors, and sizes are particularly useful to teach children important concepts. Some blocks come with numbers and letters on them as well and help teach children the alphabet, and counting. Some language, cognitive, and other skills a toddler can learn by playing with blocks include:
    • Letter and number concepts
    • Early Problem Solving: how to build the blocks in order for them not to fall
    • Cooperation and sharing in school settings

    How To Find A Speech Therapist And Get An Evaluation

    Buy Learning Toys for Toddlers 1

    How can you find a speech therapist near you? Just like youd research a new doctor before making an appointment, you should do the same for your childs speech therapist. Its always helpful to start by asking friends or acquaintances whose children have had speech therapy if theyd recommend their experience.

    If you have health insurance, contact your plan to better understand their policies and coverage regarding speech therapy. Your health plan may have a list of in-network speech therapy providers that you can research.

    You can also speak with your childs pediatrician. They likely have a list of local speech therapy providers that they recommend. And you may need a pediatrician referral in order to be reimbursed for speech therapy by your health insurance.

    Finally, there are several online directories where you can search speech therapists by location and qualifications. One of these directories is compiled by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, which is the professional credentialing organization for speech-language pathologists.

    No matter how you find a speech therapist for an evaluation, make sure to read any online reviews you find! And remember, youre in control when it comes to the final choice. It should be someone who is licensed and experienced, and who connects well with your child.

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    What Does Speech Therapy For A 4

    Speech therapy for a 4-year-old will look a lot like playing. But your speech therapist is choosing every activity for a specific reason.

    Speech therapy for a 4-year-old will look a lot like playing.

    Speech therapists use toys, games, and activities that motivate a child to participate in speech therapy tasks. For example, your speech therapist may encourage your child to use a grammatically correct sentence to request the game they want. Or they may have your child say a certain number of speech sounds before taking a turn in a game or completing a step in a craft.

    Your childs speech therapist will find out what your child really enjoys, and whether its cats, dinosaurs, trains, or board games, theyll work that into their speech therapy sessions.

    Best Toys For Speech Delayed Toddlers

    Encouraging your toddlers speech development is as important, if not more so, than promoting their physical development. Finding toys that motivate your little one to express themselves verbally can help build their vocabularies which, in turn, allows them to speak their minds. This selection of toys provides speech-delayed toddlers with a variety of unique and effective approaches to encourage language skills and foster verbal expression. With some strategies using music and other strategies based on learning phonetic skills, the varying techniques offer a well-rounded foundation for language development. Plus, these toys are fun for little ones to interact with on a daily basis!

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    Baby To Early Toddler

    -Balls: like the Infantino Textured Multi Ball Set. One of the most hands-on and versatile toys. They come in all textures and sizes and often this type of toy is one of the first to be labeled and generalized by children, meaning they have more understanding of what balls are/what they do. Balls can be used to pass back and forth and help children understand early stages of turn-taking.

    -Wooden mazes: like the Melissa and Doug First Bead Maze. You know the ones that you used to see in the doctors office as a child? Yep, they are still around. They promote hand-eye coordination and early logistical concepts. They also serve as a model that objects can be linear but also have an end point.

    -Wooden puzzles: like the Leo and Friends Zoo Animals Peg Puzzle. They teach spatial awareness and shape recognition. Additionally, puzzles often contain some sort of categorical-related items . Exposure to category concepts is important for developing language, as down the road, it gives children the foundation for cognitively-sorting and describing information as their language systems develop.

    -Cause and effect toys: like the Battat Pop-Up Pals Color Sorting Animal Push & Pop Up Toy. These toys are key for early childhood. Cause and effect toys teach your child that the actions they perform can/will affect their environment and elicit a response . This can be related to real-life scenarios .

    Best Toys For Language Development For Toddlers And Preschoolers

    Speech Therapy for 18 month old | Session #4

    The best toys that promote language development are those that lend themselves to interactiveplay. Its really the communication that happens while playing with the toy that is so important.

    These are all toys that Ive used for speech-language therapy or with my own child. Hope you enjoy this list!

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    Get Help Purchasing These Toys To Use With Toddlers In Speech Therapy

    Hopefully this list helped to give you some great ideas for how to use different toys to help engage toddlers. With toddlers, speech sessions should always be fun and playful to encourage communication. Remember, you can also grab the FREE parent handout about Toys to Increase Speech & Language Skills at Home. Send this home to families at the beginning of the year or at conferences for ideas.

    Need to buy some new toys but dont want to purchase using your own money? Here are some things to try:

    -Check into grants for SLPs. ASHA has a list here of ones that they do.

    -Set up a Donors Choose! Share the link with friends and family. You will be surprised by how many people want to help your students succeed.

    -Create an to send out to parents at the beginning of the year or for holidays.

    Happy Shopping!

    Do you have other favorite toys to use with toddlers in speech therapy?

    We All Scream For Ice Cream 25 Piece Set

    “Learned about different sizes with portions, serving, and placing items onto the cone into the spoon and into the plate. Great practice for motor skills. Imagination play, taking turns and requesting what he would like and saying thank you or please correctly. Waiting his turn to order and to be the ice man. Cleaning up and following instructions.”

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