2022 Holiday Gift Guide
Match-Up Memory Snack Tray
Although it is advertised as a snack tray which is a neat concept and would come in handy on car trips or while traveling, we have found many ways to use this in therapy as well! You can use this to target core vocabulary (open, close, more, etc.) as well as short, repetitive phrases like “I see a _____” or “I found a ____”. You can also play guessing games with it, like asking/answering questions to describe the object (“Is it round?”) and take turns asking and answering the questions with your child.
Cozy in Love Hardcover Book
This book recommendation comes from our Certified Academic Language Therapist, Beth. Cozy in Love, Jan Brett’s new book, was just released on November 8, 2022. This book is a continuation of her 2020 New York Times Bestseller, Cozy, which is about a gentle Musk Ox who lives in Alaska. A story of sharing, friendship, and living in harmony. Cozy In Love is based on Aesop’s fable The Crow and the Pitcher, and Cozy is set to rescue his whale friend similarly on a much larger Alaskan scale! Brett’s illustrations of native Alaskan wildlife will surely delight readers.
Peek-A-Boo Learning Farm
This farm toy can be used in so many ways! Kids love to open things and see what is inside. It can be used to teach colors, “Let’s open the purple barn” and vocabulary by learning animal names. It can also be used to target early speech sound by imitating animal noises, “Moo” and “Neigh.”
This toy can be used with a variety of ages for developing fine motor pinch grasp and hand strength, color matching, bilateral coordination, eye teaming skills, visual- motor coordination and executive function planning skills. There is a mini or travel version too, which is good for younger children or those with shorter attention spans.
A peanut ball is a great gift that your child can use for years to come. Peanut balls can be incorporated into play or exercises from any age including babies to teenagers. The peanut ball can be used for facilitating tummy time, working on trunk stability and core strength, promoting upper extremity weight bearing, improving general gross motor balance and coordination, and more!
Monkey Around Game
Monkey Around Game is a fun game to play with your little ones to work on basic turn taking, following simple instructions to complete actions and engage in some gross motor movement. Some of the instructions are to balance the banana on your head, hold hands and spin in a circle or jump over the banana.
Woodpecker Worm Toy
This game is great for fine motor skills and hand eye coordination. It is recommended for preschool aged children and is a good tool for teaching colors. You could work on following directions saying, “Have the mommy worm pick up the blue worm.” The worms are kept in the hollow part of the tree at the top, so this game is compact and use to travel with!
Reusable Sticker Books
I love using reusable sticker books or magnetic scene boards for Speech Therapy. Articulation and Language skills can be practiced using a simple scene. For language, these scenes can be used to practice expressive and receptive language skills like following directions or using prepositions (e.g. in, on). For articulation, you can search for the child’s speech sound in the stickers. For example, the “k” sound: “I found a…”, “cat”, “cup”, “comb”. You can expand word level practice by having your child think of a sentence to describe where they placed the sticker (ex. “The cat is on the bed”).
Create A Story Pre-Literacy Cards
I love using these Create a Story cards for Speech Therapy because they’re fun and can target a variety of speech and language skills. Linked is a classic fairy tale set, however there are several options including jungle or woodland animals and scenes. For language, these cards can be used to practice creating a complete story episode including a character, setting, problem, solution, and conclusion. Children can also practice sequencing the event using “first”, “then”, and “last”. The cards are also great for practicing pronouns (ex. “He stole the crown”, “she is the princess”).
Pop Up Pirate
I love using simple games like Pop Up Pirate for Speech Therapy. This game can be used as a reward between trials by practicing a word with the child’s speech sound 5x before each turn. It can also be used to practice turn taking and requesting (ex “I want the sword”).
Electronic Drawing Pad
This toy is great for practicing writing and drawing and holds kids attention for a long time! It inspires creativity and is very portable and travels well. This toy could be used to work on spelling words, drawing shapes, objects and is more environmentally friendly than going through sheets on paper.
Stepping stones are a great activity to work on whole body strengthening, endurance and coordination. Children can step up and down on them to strengthen their hips and legs. With the help of an adult, they can do wheelbarrow walks (forward, backwards and sideways) to strengthen their core, arms and hands. Muscular strength and endurance are essential to improve gross motor coordination and fine motor skills.
Shopping Carts with Toy Food
We love this toy shopping cart because it comes with food, and there are endless ways to target speech and language with this toy. To name a few, you can use to practice describing (Is it a hot food or a cold food? Is it soft or crunchy? What kind of food is it?). You could also give your child a “shopping list” with spatial concepts (“Find the grapes on the shelf” or “Get the milk out of the fridge”) or use time words like “first”, “then”, “before”, and “after” (ex: “First get the cereal bars, then get the pasta” or, “Before you get the ice cream, get the pear”). Encourage expressive language by putting things out of reach so that your child has to request the items they want. For articulation practice, go shopping around your house for items containing the speech sounds your child is working on – the sillier, the better to keep them motivated!
This toy is great for learning verbal routines for early talkers, such as “Ready, set, go!” or singing repetitive songs like “The Wheels on the Bus”, as well as making environmental sounds like “Vroom!”, “Beep beep!”, and “Boom!” (for the littles that like to make things crash!). You can also use the bus to target lots of basic concepts, such as getting on and off the bus, putting passengers in front or behind one another, and going fast and slow. Recognizing/using pronouns and attributes used to describe people is another area that can be worked on with this toy.
This is an amazing toy to promote imaginative play, learning about personal hygiene and teaching a ton of vocabulary concepts! Vocabulary concepts may include: clean/dirty, in/out, brush up and down, put on/take off etc. This non-battery toy is definitely a crowd pleaser for my clients and my own children.
Counting Surprise Party
Kids love opening up these boxes and seeing what suprises are inside! It can be used to target requesting, labeling colors and numbers, counting, fine motor (they are sometimes tricky to open), labeling the object inside, describing (what is the object doing, what does it look like?), categorizing the objects inside, etc. You could even put articulation targets inside each box as well.The options are endless!
Thank you for checking out our toy recommendations! We hope you have a wonderful Holiday Season!