Before I post some of my favorite gift ideas, which are toys,, I would like to give you a few suggestions. When it comes to building speech and language skills, less is more. Skip the toys that include lots of bells and whistles such as toys that talk, light up, name shapes, colors, numbers, alphabet, etc. The key in early speech and language development is meaningful communication. It’s important for your toddler to learn how to communicate his or her basic wants and needs first and build receptive (what your toddler understands) and expressive (what your toddler says) vocabulary before naming shapes, colors, numbers, alphabet, etc. Yes, these skills do have a purpose, but not until your toddler has a strong vocabulary.
Here are some of my favorite toys that will build early speech and language skills.
Fisher Price Little People
I loved these sets as a child and know toddlers today love them too! You can choose between farm sets, automobiles, and Disney characters to name a few. With these toys you can target basic concepts such as in, out, on, off, open, close. Your toddler can also engage in pretend play.
Books are one of the best gifts you can get your toddler this Christmas. Reading to children helps increase their vocabulary, encourages imagination, and helps with articulation and pronunciation skills. Make sure you choose age-appropriate books and books with lots of lines that repeat throughout the story.
Stuffed Animals and Dolls
These teach basic vocabulary and encourage pretend play. For example, have your toddler pretend to feed the baby doll with a bottle and a spoon. Have him/her give the baby doll a drink with a cup.
Not only do puzzles work on eye-hand coordination, but they are also great at increasing vocabulary, basic concept development, and requesting skills.
These are great stocking stuffers for toddlers, and all toddlers LOVE them! You can target words such as pop, open, more, big, little, and all done. The possibilities with bubbles are endless!
This holiday season why not get your toddler toys that are fun AND educational? Happy Holidays!
Want more speech and language tips to help your toddler talk and communicate faster? Check out my book on Amazon Kindle, Talking With Toddlers - 52 Tips to Boost Speech and Language Skills.