Do you have a toddler who just isn’t talking? Maybe they’re not talking as much as they should be? Play is a great way to encourage your child to talk. I wanted to share this amazing list of toys for toddlers with a speech delay.
Not only is the list of speech therapy toys great for kids who are behind on their speech but as a two under two survivor, I’ve found both of my children have really enjoyed all of the toys and we have gotten so much use out of them!
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Imitating animals and repeating the names of the animals was a great way for my son to practice his speech. You can also talk about what the animals do on the farm, ask if they’d like some hay, and ask which animals should be taken in and out of the barn.
I never realized how big of an impact a dollhouse could have on a child’s speech development until I took my son to speech therapy and they used a dollhouse. Like the barn, there are so many ways to get your child talking (or at least try to get them talking)! You can ask them which doll wants to take a bath, which doll wants to eat dinner, or where the mommy doll is. The questions are endless and I found using lots of simple questions over and over again helped my son start speaking and helped to develop his vocabulary.
Also, with two toddlers (I’m a two under two survivor) we have gotten so much use out of our dollhouse. It has been a toy the kids always enjoy playing with.
We loved these flashcards, they are so much fun. Not only do they have the English word but they also have the Spanish, French, and Chinese word too along with a pronunciation guide. The pictures are really vibrant and children can touch each of the cards to see how they feel. For instance, there is a fluffy dog and a sticky jam card. These are a great toy to use with your toddler to get them speaking about what they see and feel. They are great for keeping your child’s attention too.
Our speech therapist had this toy in her office and my son’s eyes would light up like Christmas lights every time she got it out. Because he really wanted to play with it she could easily work with him by asking, “do you want to play with the car carrier toy?” and “should we get the car carrier out of the box?” He was so excited about the toy that he worked really hard to be able to answer her so that he could play with it.
I actually waited until we were done with speech therapy to get this toy since he was so excited about it each week at his session. It is also a great toy to use to reinforce the different colors. You can ask questions like, “should we put the red car on or the blue car on?” or “should we drive the yellow car around?”
I love these Priddy Baby books because they are bright, colorful, the images are big, and they use real pictures. There are so many things your child can look at and that you can also point out.
Touch and feel books are also great to get your toddler talking. They are a great way to help your child understand what you are describing. If you say bumpy, they get to really feel what the word bumpy means.
Books with repetition are also great. Hearing the same words over and over is great for toddlers who need a little extra help in the speech department.
ASL (American Sign Language)
You may have heard that teaching your child sign language will delay their speech. There have been multiple peer reviewed studies and articles like this one by Parents Magazine that show there is no evidence that sign language hinders speech development. There has actually been evidence that learning Sign Language may increase a child’s may cognitive development.
In my personal experience, I found that my son actually started talking more when we started becoming more and more serious about learning ASL as a family. When I was taking my interpreter classes and signing with him every day his speech exploded. He was also very fast to learn his ABCs and I truly believe it is because I taught him the alphabet by using ASL.
I think ASL is a great language for children, especially toddlers to learn. According to this post from Educational Playcare there are some fantastic benefits for children who are learning ASL including:
- +12 IQ point advantage
- Accelerated speech and emotional development
- Reinforcement of learning of educational concepts such as ABC’s, animals, and other specific themes
- Helps children remember words because there is muscle memory involved, and the more senses involved in learning, the greater memory retention the child will have
- Improves attentiveness to social gestures of others as well as of themselves
- Larger speaking vocabulary and ability to form longer sentences
- Earlier reading and larger reading vocabulary
I found that my daughter also started speaking a lot when I signed with her and unlike my son she had no speech delay.
This little gadget is so cool because children can really hear themselves talk in it. It is also just the right size for toddlers and preschoolers which is really cool. It is seriously a neat little device.
One of the main things I learned from taking my son to speech therapy was that just because my son needed speech therapy didn’t make me a bad mom. It didn’t mean that I wasn’t working with my son all day, every day on his speech. Sometimes having someone else work with your child is a huge help. This is also why I love our homeschool preschool group and that the parents in our group take turns teaching.
We mommas love our babies and sometimes they know we are soft hearted with them. We also have the tendency to intrinsically know what our children need instead of having to wait for them to verbalize it. Sometimes it takes someone being a little bit tougher on them to get them to talk.
We are lucky that my son didn’t need lengthy speech therapy. We went once a week over the summer and then he was done. I was really surprised at how fast it helped. Looking back, I remember how worried I was when he was evaluated and how bad I felt. I also felt like I had done something wrong as a mother but that just wasn’t the case. My son needed a little extra help at the time and now that he’s older he can speak in full sentences.
Every child develops and learns things differently. We moms put too much pressure on ourselves sometimes that were not doing enough for our children when really sometimes children go on their own pace or need a little extra help in some areas. We just have to love and encourage our children and we are rocking this mom thing! These toys definitely helped in our speech therapy journey.
Are you currently doing speech therapy or considering speech therapy for your toddler? What have been your favorite speech therapy toys so far? Is there anything you would add to this list of toys for toddlers with speech delay?