It’s that time of year again! Everywhere you look is another advertisement for yet another toy that your child MUST have! Barbie, Play Dough, Nintendo Wii, Lego sets…these are always great gifts that most children will love. But, what about toys that are fun for kids and can help build language skills and increase vocabulary at the same time? Is that even possible? The answer is yes. But will the kids enjoy these toys? Again, the answer is YES, and you may be surprised that some very famous toys are actually excellent language building blocks.
While speech therapy is definitely going digital, you can still reap the benefits of using timeless toys like dolls and games to elicit communication and encourage proper sentence structure. Many speech-language pathologists (SLPs) customize their use of toys to the child’s individual interests. For example, an SLP might use a Grover doll for a child who loves “Sesame Street” or a Disney character for a child who loves “Aladdin.” Keeping the child engaged in learning is crucial to encourage progress.