Giving the Gift of Language Expansion & Making gift-giving fun and resourceful!
Moms, we know the feeling of panic when grandparents, aunts, and friends ask you for Christmas gift ideas for your little ones! I can help give you some suggestions that will not only be great for gift-giving but also help your child develop speech and language skills too!! As a Speech Therapist (also known as SLP), I look at toys from a language perspective. I LOVE toys that increase the opportunities for using words, and sounds and that let parents guide the learning and development of building language skills! Here are a few of my favorites!!
Games! I love games like “Guess Who”! You can find this one on Amazon, at Walmart, or at Target! It is a great game for kids who can read a little and are working on talking in sentences, asking questions, describing, and taking turns!
Pretend! Little people and the vehicles and houses that go with these toys offer so many ways to use language. You can go “in” the bus, “on” the potty, “off” the bus, “UP” in the airplane. You can work on boy, girl, and pronouns to talk about boys and girls! Kids love to do what they see their parents doing! Taking care of them and the home is fun for them to pretend! Critter Clinic is another great pretend activity to use with little ones! You can talk about colors, animal names, match keys to the doors, vocabulary for animal care, and more.
Arts and Crafts! What to get the child that has everything??? ART supplies!! These are consumable supplies! It is always fun to have MORE or something fun and novel! I absolutely love washable markers, paints, stamps, crayons, window markers, paper, sketchbooks, play-doh, and clay! You can turn art supplies into a language activity in all sorts of ways! I love to let them create independently and then tell me a story about what they made. You can also do following directions activities with art supplies, make your own games, make masks to use in pretend play, draw a map to go on a treasure hunt, take a big piece of poster board or cardboard and design a “town” with roads and parks and your child’s favorite places to visit!
Books are ALWAYS a great way to use language and teach new vocabulary! I love the "All Better" books. They even come with little boo-boo bandages! Usborne Books has some great language-filled books! Find books with durable pages, bright and colorful pictures, and that are in your child’s interests!
Remember, it doesn’t have to be expensive or come in a big box to be an amazing gift! Use your imagination to create new fun ways to play! Expanding your child’s language skills should be fun and interesting to your child. Ask your child’s therapist or teacher for some fun developmentally appropriate ideas for your child! You can also search many toy sites online by age and interest levels! This is super helpful!
Learn more about Speech-Language Therapy here.
Helpful Speech-Language and other various resourceful links found here.