A Speech Therapist’s Top 5 Toy Picks This Holiday Season

Thinking of a fun and educational gift can be a challenge. Here are a few of our favourite toys that help promote speech and language development (all toys are available at amazon.ca).

5. Pig Goes Pop

Appropriate for ages 4 years and older

Ways to play with the Pig Goes Pop set

  • Each hamburger has a number on the bottom of the bun
  • Have your child pick a hamburger and complete the same number of targets as the number on the bottom of the burger (for example, if your hamburger is 4, have your child say 4 articulation words before taking his or her turn feeding the pig)

4. Playmobil Bathroom Set

Appropriate for ages 4 years and older

Benefits of Playmobil’s Bathroom Set, and ideas for play

  • Identify objects that belong in that room (i.e. bath tub)
  • Demonstrate how each object is used and discuss its function (i.e. hair brush)
  • Have the child tell you how to complete a task of daily living (i.e. how to brushing your teeth)
  • Remove one object from the room and see if the child can identify what is missing

3. Melissa & Doug Cookie Set

Appropriate for ages 3 – 5 years

Benefits of Melissa & Doug’s Cookie Set, and ideas for play

  • Sort and identify cookies into groups
  • Identify later developing concepts like same/different, smooth/bumpy
  • Pretend play (i.e. take an order, make the cookie, serve the cookie)
  • Retell the steps they followed to make the cookies (cut cookies, place on pan, decorate cookies, cook cookies, serve cookies, eat, cookies)

2. Melissa & Doug Nesting and Sorting Garages with Cars

Appropriate for ages 2 years +

Benefits of Melissa and Doug’s Nesting and Sorting Garages with Cars

  • Match and stack garages and cars
  • Identify basic concepts such as size (big, bigger, biggest)
  • Later developing concepts like first, middle, last
  • Create a play scene centred around the garages (ask wh-questions such as who, what, where, and create obstacles to create more language opportunities)

1. Melissa & Doug Hungry Pelican

Appropriate for ages 9 months +

Benefits of Melissa and Doug’s Hungry Pelican for speech and language development

  • Imitation of gross motor movements (shaking, squeezing and passing the object from one hand to another)
  • Identify and name the sea creatures
  • Develop vocabulary such as body parts (on the pelican)
  • Develop early concepts such as in/out, open/close, above/under