May: Top 10 Toys to Encourage Communication

May is Better Hearing & Speech Month and the beginning of garage sale season!  Speech/language pathologists at Pediatric Interactions want to share some ideas of how to use different toys to encourage your child to talk more. These are only a few suggestions and we have shared more ideas with families on our website and Facebook page this month.

1. Puppets

Kids enjoy when adults turn into a character and it’s fun for them to watch the mouth of the puppet move as it’s talking.  Puppets are great for tickles/eating the child.  Parents can build anticipation by moving up their child’s body with anticipation “I’m going to eat your…..” and getting the body part.  You can ask your child which body part or give them choices.  Just a word of caution…tickles often appear fun, but can be “too much” for some kids and may not be as pleasant as we think they should be. ~ Sarah Rosten, MA, CCC-SLP/L

2. Ball

Playing with a ball is great for a wide range of ages.  Young children not yet talking can practice those “precursors”, such as eye contact, gestures and the back/forth of turn taking.  Children will then start to verbalize to request and follow directions ( “put it in the hoop,” “throw it to me,”or “roll it to Dad.”) Kids love to roll/kick/throw balls back and forth to peers. With this, your child may join a team sport someday! ~ Jill White, MS, CCC-SLP/L

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