Have you been wondering what to get your child or teen for the holidays that will nurture their development and target important skills? Are you looking to give your child a gift that will not only bring them joy and fun, but also bring them closer to their therapy goals? We know that it can be difficult to find something for your child that will not just entertain them for a short period of time but will also leave a lasting impact on their speech and language development and learning.
One of the greatest tools we use in therapy are toys. In speech-language therapy, they are a perfect medium for a child to express themselves where their language may lack and to build upon needed skills. By engaging in play with a young child, we are creating a fun space for them to work on their goals, without even realizing it! Similarly, games, thinking activities, and group activities are just as beneficial for our kids as they get older.
With the changing times come different toy trends that are popular with the kids in today’s age. We hope that this gift guide brings you some insight into what may interest your child this holiday season as well as bring them closer to their communication, language, and learning goals!
Birth to Five Years Old
- Mr. Potato Head– works on identification and labeling of body parts and following directions
- Ball or Car Slide– works on joint and sustained attention, turn taking, color identification, and location words (i.e., top and bottom)
- Block Puzzles– works on identification of basic objects/colors, functional play, sustained attention, comprehension and following directions.
- Farm Animal Playsets – works on imitation of early developing sounds with animal noises (i.e., “baa”, “moo”, “neigh”, “meow,” etc.), early action words (i.e., jump, eat, drink, ride, sleep), spatial concepts (put the pig in the mud, put the cow in the barn, etc.), and pretend play/simple play routines (“night night”, animal, farmer riding horse, etc.)
- Echo Microphones– a great stocking stuffer! Works on promoting imitation and turn taking.
Elementary School Aged
- Legos– works on following directions, fine motor skills, and vocabulary
- Boogie Board Writing Pad– a fun way to practice handwriting and spelling
- Peaceable Kingdom Games– works on cooperative play, vocabulary, and fine motor skills. We use “Hoot Owl Hoot” and “Race to The Treasure” in our offices!
- What’s In Ned’s Head? Game– targets lots of different speech and language skills, describing, labeling/identifying categories, deductive reasoning, and turn taking. The kids will think it’s a blast when they stick their hands in Ned’s ears, nose and mouth and find a silly surprise!
- Sight Word Swat! Game– helps children identify sight words using a fun fly swatter to make it interactive!
- Apples to Apples Junior Version (ages 9+)– works on nouns, adjectives, synonyms, and the meaning of words (vocabulary).
- Hedbanz Guessing Game– works on creating and making inferences, categories, formulating questions, deductive reasoning, auditory recall, and comprehension skills.
- Guess Who? Game– works on creating and making inferences, reasoning, and processing, understanding, and using negation, comprehension skills, and formulating questions.
Middle School Aged