In the Spirit of Giving...Toys!
On Tuesday, I submitted a post discussing the dangerous presence of toxic chemicals in toys. As I had stated in that post, parents will often ask for suggestions regarding toys that would be appropriate and helpful for their child with a diagnosed speech and/or feeding delay/disorder. Especially at this time of the year with the holidays and gift-giving approaching, parents are eager to purchase items that will foster communication and support the speech/feeding needs of their child. Our last post focused on the possible hazards of toys, but today's post will focus on the benefits of using healthy toys to support the play, speech and feeding skills of children!
The following is a list of toy ideas that can help to stimulate speech and healthy eating habits in young children:
- Microphone/Recorder (something that will record the child's voice)
- CD player (something to play music and stories for the child)
- Musical instruments (i.e. tambourine, maracas, etc.)
- Alphabet toys - ABC books, puzzles, etc (i.e. toys to promote phonemic sounds)
- Whistles and whistle activated toys (i.e. Whistle/Voice activated Thomas the Train; also good for Cause and Effect)
- Oral Motor Bucket - Straws, cotton balls, feathers, etc. (i.e. Items to promote oral motor strength and awareness) Great for stocking stuffers!!
- Art Supplies/Easel - Markers, crayons, glitter glue, construction paper, etc - items to allow children to experiment and be creative!
- Pretend Kitchen and Food - great for children with feeding issues
- Mr. Potato Head - great way to practice naming and pointing to body parts
- Baby Dolls - great for pretend play and practicing daily routines - "wash the baby", "dress the baby", "feed the baby", etc.
- Animals - farm house and farm animals, zoo animals (also great for pretend play)
- DVDs - musical and speech supportive videos
- Flash cards
- Books! Books! Books!
Remember to always consider not only the child's age, but also their developmental level and natural interests when making toy choices! If your child loves music, buy some toys that will support and foster their musical curiosity!
Of course there are tons of wonderful toys out there, so please write in and share other suggestions you may have for children receiving speech and feeding services!