Is your child running a little late on their speech and language development? Well, a good set of toys may just be what you need to sharpen your little one’s mind and get him or her talking. To ensure you make the right choices, here are a few tips for choosing the best toys to help kids with a speech delay disorder.
Simple Is Best
The toy industry is filled with a ton of “educational toys” that claim to teach kids everything from numbers and letters to shapes and colors. Some even claim to teach nursery rhymes and songs! While the idea behind these toys is noble, they don’t do much to help a small child who’s just discovering the world of talking develop speech.
Not all toddlers need to learn numbers, letters, or colors urgently since complex words may be a little too much for their young brains. Instead, you should encourage them to grasp basic concepts like hello and bye, in and out, yes and no, big and small, and so on.
The next time you’re in a toy store, skip the aisle with flashy educational toys and go for something a little simpler like a little voice recorder or karaoke type toy. Such toys get your child to actually try talking or make sounds, which is what you want when dealing with delayed speech.
Go for Flexible Toys
The best toys for helping with speech and language delay are those where your child “does the doing” and not the other way around. For instance, you do not want a monkey toy that makes noises but rather a toy that encourages your child to make the noises. This makes toys with no “beginning, middle, or end” a great choice. Such toys can be used in an endless number of ways and therefore allow your child complete freedom in how to play with them. This freedom in play in turn gets your kid moving, thinking, and talking. A few examples of flexible toys include Legos, cars, wooden blocks, train trucks, kitchen and food sets, etc.
Think Outside the Box
Toys are not the only things that teach toddlers how to communicate. You’re also a great source for teaching your child how to talk. Kids learn speech and language by watching the actions of others, listening to those around them, and imitating the sounds they hear. The next time you go toy shopping, think outside the box and go for toys that will allow your participation.
Alternatively, you can simply exercise your creativity and invent games where you sing to your kid, talk in a funny voices, teach your child play moves, etc.
There are so many toys in the market that promise to teach speech. Some are effective while others do not teach much except maybe a little cause-and-effect where your little one learns that pushing a button delivers noise. Knowing how to distinguish the good from the bad will help save you time and money. So, keep the above tips in mind and you will be able to know which toys to pick.