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Toys and Games for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Toys and Games for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Since many of my parents ask me for toy recommendations for the holidays, I have decided to create a recommended toy list for toddlers and preschoolers. The following are some toys that I use during my therapy sessions.
Many of these toys are available at major box stores, Amazon, eBay or your local toy store.
Wishing you a happy and healthy Holiday.
*Amazon Affiliate links are included.
Just add water and take turns drawing. Great way to promote language development.
Add Aquadoodle accessories to take it to the next level.
Doodle Pro Classic With 2 Stampers, by Fisher-Price
Perfect for independent play and car rides. Can also take turns drawing to promote language development.
Toddlers and young children just love putting things in and pulling them out. It’s all a part of their cognitive development. I like this toy because you can use the techniques I describe in My Toddler Talks: Strategies and Activities to Promote Your Child’s Language Development.
A nice and convenient take along toy to promote your child’s pretend play skills. Remember children learn to play by watching and participating in play with others.
If your toddler or child is not mouthing objects, playing with play-doh allows for a fantastic tactile experience. You can even add in therapeutic essential oils to engage the olfactory senses too. See my play routine, “Play Dough” in My Toddler Talks: Strategies and Activities to Promote Your Toddler’s Language Development for specific ways to encourage your toddler’s communication.
Animal figurines by Schleich (great for preschoolers too!)
Schleich is an amazing toy company that makes realistic and well-made small animal and character figurines. Their products will last forever and some are collectibles. I highly recommend buying sets for children who are starting to develop pretend play skills.
Super fun indoor toy that encourages listening and active participation. If your child likes Toy Story, he or she will most likely enjoy this toy.
Honestly, this toy doesn’t directly promote language skills and I’ve never used it for such. BUT, Etch A Sketch promotes independent play and I have used as a reinforcer for certain clients. This toy can also replace screen time activities and promote attention and creativity. This is a toy I will pass down to my own child.
I haven’t met a child yet who hasn’t giggled profusely while dancing around the room trying to “catch” the butterflies. Great way to encourage spontaneous communication during those “intense” moments.
Healthy Gourmet Salad For Green Eaters by Hape International Inc.
This is one of my favorite play food sets!! If you’re child likes to play chef or if you want to encourage healthier eating habits, don’t pass on this one.
Hungry Hungry Hippos by Hasbro
Classic toy. I use this toy with my preschoolers who have articulation or phonological delays or disorders and use it as a reinforcer.
Pop-Up Pirate Game by Tommy
Most of my clients love the element of surprise. Although, I’ve had two clients thus far get scared when the pirate pops up. If your little one is not into surprises then you may want to pass on this toy. Overall though, it’s a lot of fun and great to use as a reinforcer or to promote vocabulary related to emotions (e.g. surprised vs. scared).
Another super fun balancing game. Can target taking turns, vocabulary related to ice cream, colors, and feelings (e.g. I’m so frustrated that the ice cream scoops keep falling off!”).
A fast paced, entertaining game that promotes vocabulary development and reading skills, since the picture matches the written word.
I am recommending these toys because they are engaging and I have seen many children enjoy them during my speech sessions. Since every child is unique and special I cannot guarantee that your child will like these toys.
Please note the age requirements for some of these toys.
If your child is still mouthing toys be extra careful and supervise them when playing.
A fully engaged and present play partner makes playing a truly enjoyable experience. Play with your loved ones.
In need of more suggestions, please be sure to checkout
Speech Therapy Toys for Toddlers and Preschoolers 2011
Kimberly Scanlon, M.A. CCC-SLP is a speech language pathologist, an author and a mother. As the owner of Scanlon Speech Therapy, LLC, a unique boutique practice in Bergen County, Kimberly embraces individuality and treats the whole person. Her goal is to spread compassion, hope, and some speech, language and literacy tips one moment, one person at a time. Her first book, My Toddler Talks: Strategies and Activities to Promote Your Child’s Language Development and her her second book, Learning to Read is a Ball are available for purchase at online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
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