Toddler Speech Therapy: Toys for Your Holiday Shopping
Every year I compile a list of my favorite toys and games. These are materials I use during my speech therapy sessions as well as with my daughter and family and friends.
Here are my past posts, if you’re interested in taking a peek:
This year I was a little hesitant about creating another list because I wanted to focus more on building traditions around the holidays. Then I was surprisingly blitzed with emails (which I like receiving!) from readers and family and friends asking, “What toys should I buy for my child.”
So, here I go once again 🙂
Before I share my list there’s one thing I want to express:
Money is tight for many individuals around the holidays and in my humble opinion, we worry too much about buying the perfect gift and spend more money than necessary. If you’re in this situation or you’re looking to embrace a more simple lifestyle then purchase used items, trade with friends and families, or rotate through your child’s current collection.
Less is more.
If you’re still looking to purchase an item or two, I hope this list helps.
If the items on my list aren’t doing it for you, this FREE DOWNLOAD 6 Tips for Selecting Toys to Improve Toddler’s Language, Cognition, and Play will help you select an appropriate toy for your child. Feel free to copy and redistribute but please don’t manipulate it and call it your own.
*Amazon affiliate links included.
- Dress Up Fun
Recently, my Kerrigan has taken a big interest in selecting her clothes and attempting to dress herself. This is what she usually ends up looking like:
And, yes, we let her out of the house like that.
Allowing your toddler to choose his or her own outfits helps promote independence, confidence, and decision making.
Kerrigan has also been keen into playing “dress up”. By dress up I mean she insists on wearing a princess dress, a tutu, mommy’s boots, or a Buffalo Bills Jersey (my husband is a HUGE Bills fan) and then goes prancing around the house. She’s not yet really role playing, which is expected a bit later, but this dressing up and prancing around helps her to eventually get there.
Here’s a picture of some of the items she likes to wear:
Many toddlers that I have treated or currently treat also like to dress up.
When you go shopping, thing of purchasing a fun ticket item. Perhaps a pair of sparkling shoes, cowboy boots, or a cute winter animal hat. You’ll get A LOT of language opportunities from highly desired clothing items because your child is interested in them and wants to wear them!
Classic speech therapy game. For a long time this game was only available on ebay because Fisher Price stopped making it. I was pretty surprised when I found a new version on Amazon. I have never played the original game so I can’t compare the two. I only know that this is fun game to play and has wonderful opportunities to build communication and social turn taking skills.
Perfect for the toddler (or preschooler) who likes to help or play doctor. Can target simple sounds and words like “Ouch”, “Boo Boo”, “Owie” as well as body parts. FYI the play bandages are small so do not buy this item if your child is still mouthing objects.
- Cars and Ramps
With a few hot wheels and a track your child will have endless hours of fun! Here’s a look how we set them up this past Thanksgiving:
- Wind Up Toys
Wind up toys have always been a big hit with my younger clients. The above two wind-up toys from Amazon are good quality and provide lots of language opportunities. Wind-up toys are also perfect stocking stuffers. OR, you can place each one in a clear empty container, wrap and then place under the tree. Your child will think he or she hit the lottery. Like gelato? If so, you’ll probably like Talenti. Place a windup toy in its empty container then wrap. This way you are giving two toys at once. Believe me your toddler will like these empty containers – they’re just like blocks!
We’re a Wiggles family. We allow Kerrigan to watch a little television. Everything in moderation is my motto. I particularly like the Wiggles because they dance and incorporate simple yet playful gestures and movements into their songs. These gross motor movements help facilitate language development. One of my favorites is Dancing on the High Seas, my husband’s favorite is Fruit Salad and Kerrigan seems to like them all especially, Little Bunny Foo Foo, Dorothy’s Dance Party and Simon Says.
Confession time – I haven’t yet started my Christmas shopping! Yikes.
But here are a few items I’m buying for her:
- Snapfish photo album.
I haven’t decided between the custom cover book or the custom lay flat book (if you have an opinion, please feel free to comment). I’ll include pictures of events from the past year as well as photos of our family and friends. Great way for her to remember, recall, and talk about past experiences.
- Arts and Crafts Stuff
Kerrigan is a budding artist and likes to draw:
I recently found this awesome list Not Your Average Coloring Books by Playful Learning.
Preschoolers and school age children would probably get the most use from these book. However, I like to stretch my clients’ and daughter’s imaginations by allowing them the chance to experience a new art technique.
It’s less about the end result and more about the process.
This item is a wee bit big and we have a teeny-tiny house, but I think it will be lots of fun and a great way to talk about different cars, speed (fast vs slow) and actions (go, turn, stuck, stop).
What’s on your holiday shopping list? Feel free to share!
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