My job is to teach children the basic language skills they will need to form relationships with others and interact with the world around them. Achieving joint attention, turn-taking, eye contact, comprehension of language and use of words, are just some of my goals. Kids educational toys provide the foundation and structure on which to build these skills.
One of my favorite kids educational toys is the Wooden Spinning Top. It’s visually captivating, catching and holding attention for short bursts. The spinning movement awakens the brain and prompts children to ask for “more”.
Some of my very young clients have spoken their first words in association with this toy – completing the phrase “Ready,Set…Go!”.
When a child has limited language skills, their world can be a confusing place. Structure and predictability are excellent tools for teaching, as they promote a sense of calm and control. Shape, Colour and Count is a beautiful toy with a multitude of purposes. I regularly use it to teach colours, size and sorting AND to calm anxious children who are soothed by order, repetition and completion.
Touching, holding and manipulating toys are vital to the language learning experience. Wooden toys like Colour Shape and Size are a perfect weight and shape for little hands. This kids educational toy has the added benefit of being multifunctional! Teaching the concepts of “in/ on/ under/ in front/ behind/ next to” is easy with this simple and adaptable toy. Remember the game where you hide an item under a cup, move the cups around and then ask a friend to guess which cup the item is under? Well…this toy does that too!
Daisy Giant Activity Pegs are the most used resource in my overly full toy cupboard. Popular with all of the children I see, I have used this beautiful, bright, colorful toy countless times. It is a lovely reward toy for children who participate in repetitive and often boring therapy tasks.
When children are rewarded for each response by placing a peg in the board, they forget that they are working and enjoy seeing their unique creation emerge.
Four little coloured balls and one hammer… If I had a vote for the toy that has most often saved the day – it would be Hammer Balls. There is something so satisfying about whacking a ball with a wooden hammer, that it captivates even the most active little people. The predictable rolling motion of the balls down the ramps and their regular appearance through the doors, attracts children’s attention. The kids are so busy having fun that they don’t realise they are learning to follow instructions and make requests.
I hope you’re feeling encouraged about the value of good quality kids educational toys and the important role they play in language development. Take a moment to watch your little ones in play, developing the language they need to effectively interact with the world around them over their lifetime.