Santa’s List for Speech and Language Linky Party

Well it’s that time of year when many families are out buying gifts for their young ones. I want to thank Sweet Southern Speech for hosting this link party.  Every year, I have  families ask me about toys and/or apps to buy that will help their child(ren) develop their speech or language skills.  Here are some of my suggestions.  I feel that these are some great toys and do not have a financial interest in promoting them.
Whacky Ball.  This is a great toy for toddlers or for young children that are harder to engage.  The children like to watch the ball roll down the track.  It is a great way to build vocabulary, particularly action words (e.g. hit, bang, whack, rolling, spinning) and location words (e.g. up, down, in, out).  It is also great for working on taking turns. 
Games from Orchard Toys.  I have talked in previous blog posts about my love of this game company.  They have so many fun and engaging games that are great for working on speech and language skills.  The one draw back for these games is that they are sometimes hard to find  (it’s a British company). They are not stocked in any major toy stores; however, you can buy them through Amazon. 

One I’m going to recommend is Post Box Game.  You have to sort letters to different animals based on colours. It’s good for children age 3-4 to work on building vocabulary, work on colour identification/matching and I’ve worked on using possessives in sentences (e.g. “It’s the cat’s letter”). For children 4-6, I’ve used it to work on pronunciation. I usually work on it when children are working on pronouncing their sounds at the sentence level.  It is great for working on “s” at the ends of words and I’ve frequently use it for “l” at the beginning of a word.  The kids enjoy it and often request that we play it. 

The other Orchard Toy that I’m going to recommend today is Tummy Ache.  You are trying to fill up your plate with good food and avoid getting any food with bugs.  This is great for children age 4-6.  Children have lots of opportunity to make comments (it generally starts conversations about what foods they like and don’t like), build their vocabulary (particularly about different kinds of creepy crawlies) and to describe the kinds of bugs they see.  I also work on social skills such as how to ask to trade food.  This is my most requested game for this age group.  Boys in particular love it.

I love to give books as gifts.  These books by Kevin Sherry are a hit with the children I work with ages 3-5.  They are great for working on ocean animals vocabulary, describing, and the kids love re-telling this story using different voices. His other books are also a great read.

As for apps, I love Toca Boca’s Tea Party.  I have used this app with ages 2-6. The reason I love this app is that it should be played with more than one person. After all, you host an actual tea party. Again it can be really helpful when working on play skills and building imagination. The design of the app allows for lots of language opportunities.  You I also like it because it has a definite end and it does not take long to play. 

Here are just a few games to think about purchasing this holiday season.  Happy Holidays!

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