Toys for Speech & Language Skills: Games, toys, and make-believe activities that foster communication skills by inspiring conversation, facilitating narratives, and sparking inquiry and exploration.
Getting children to express themselves in an articulate manner takes practice . . . and there's no more appealing way to practice than with toys! The toy sets and games highlighted here keep interest high and ideas flowing to promote better speech in a number of ways: Make-believe activities can benefit expressive language skills (the ability to convey a message to others through words). Storytelling toys help children master longer, more coherent sentences. Toys and games that inspire inquiry (through "who," "what," "when," "why," and "how" questions) help kids become more proficient communicators, too. Browse this section to find all of these types of beneficial activities, plus skill-building play ideas and much more!
Play and learn together to help kids develop speech and language skills.
1. Make up a story with one or more children word by word. Each player says only one word, then the next person has to respond with another word that would make sense to help complete a thought in proper sequence. For example, the first person says, "I" followed by the next that says, "went," followed by "to," and on and on. It's exciting to see how a single word can change the direction of the whole story! This activity also encourages children to think about how to use words in the correct order in a sentence.
2. Pick a poem of the week to have children read, memorize, and then recite. You'll expand knowledge of poetry and poets, as well as the important skills of memorizing and public speaking . . . it's even more fun when Mom and Dad learn the poems as well! Compile all of the learned poems in a book that can be illustrated together as a family.
3. Encourage children to read anything and everything! Challenge pre-readers to identify signs or symbols they might recognize around town. "Reading" and identifying stop signs, fast-food logos, and billboards are all early-literacy skills!