5 Toys to Target Language Skills at Home

Enrichment Therapies

March 13, 2024

mother and child playing with toys

By: Kelsey Phillips, M.A., CCC-SLP

Do you find it difficult to assist your child in their speech and language development at home? You are not alone! One of the best ways to target language at home is to play. Young children learn language best during natural routines such as play. It can be easy to embed language targets during play activities—plus, you don’t need any fancy materials or toys to do it. Below are examples of common toys and language targets you can use with each toy.

1. Farm with Animals

Playing with farm animals can be fun and engaging! There are many action words you can target including eat, sleep, play, open, and close. You can model single words or two-word combinations (e.g., “play,” “eat apple,” “pig sleeping,” “open door”). You can also work on labeling the farm animals and practice producing your best animal sounds!

2. Mr. Potato Head

This is a great toy to target a variety of body parts. While putting Mr. Potato Head together, you can label the body parts such as eyes, nose, arm, and feet. You can target prepositions such as on and off (e.g., “nose on”). Additionally, action words related to your senses can be used including, smell, see, and touch. You can also use adjectives to describe the body parts (e.g., “blue eyes,” “long arm”). 

3. Bubbles

These are always a hit with kids of all ages! You can play inside or take them outside. While playing you can model verbs such as open, go, blow, and more. Modeling pronouns along with the verbs can also be beneficial (e.g., “I blow,” “You blow”). While playing you can “take out” the wand or “put in” the wand. You can also work on turn-taking and model phrases such as, “my turn” and “your turn.” 

4. Toy Food

Young kids love playing with toy food, and it can be used to target a variety of language skills. You can label the food and ask your child what food they want. Asking yes/no questions or wh- questions are other great ways to target language skills (e.g., “Do you want the apple?”, “What color is the apple?”). You can model, “eat banana,” “more cookies,” and “cut pizza.” Other verbs to target include, stir, scoop, and drink. You can also comment on the food (e.g., “It’s hot,” “I like it”).  

5. Toy Vehicles

Vehicles such as trains and cars are common toys that are fun and motivating! You can build ramps to make the vehicles go “up” or “down.” Take time to see which vehicles go “fast” and which ones go “slow.” You can make the vehicles “go” or “stop.” While moving the vehicles around you can model vehicle noises (e.g., “vroom,” “beep,” “choo choo”). 

Boost Your Child’s Language Skills with Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center!

If you think your child could benefit from extra support to grow their speech and language skills, contact us today! We provide individualized speech and language support in the Iowa City, IA, and Des Moines, IA areas. Our passion is to help kids achieve effective communication skills and gain academic success. 

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