Best Easter Toys for Speech Therapy for Toddlers
I’ve rounded up my best Easter toys for speech therapy for toddlers and I want to share these ideas with you.
Since we’ve been reviewing the Stages of Play in our current email series, I’ll also highlight the Stage of Play for each toy. Just in case you’re looking for books, I have a whole list of those too! Scroll down to the bottom of this post.
There’s no better time of year to include these egg-shaped shakers for babies and toddlers who are in the exploratory stage of play. Help a child learn cause and effect and imitation with these sets. For language goals, focus on exclamatory words like “Wow!” or “Whoa!” plus verbs like “shake, throw, roll” and early prepositions when you add a container for play — like a baby wipe box so that kids can push the eggs through the slot.
I love this Montessori carrot puzzle. It’s a winner for all toddlers, but especially great for kids who are in the exploratory and nonfunctional play stages. Your language goals include teaching a child to understand and eventually use location words/prepositions in/out and begin to explore size relationships as you say things like, “Uh oh! Too big!” when the carrot won’t fit in the hole.
These tubes are a toddler favorite and a perfect Easter basket stuffer. I gift these to little friends all year long. My favorite ways to use them for kids in the exploratory and nonfunctional play stages are to pull them apart and push them together. When kids are in the beginning functional play stage, I like to add a ball (provided they aren’t still mouthing toys!), so we can roll it through using a verbal routine like “Ready – Set – Go” or even for requesting “ball.” When kids begin to pretend, use the tubes to make a hat, a necklace, or a bracelet – or as a prop for other kinds of Stage 5 early combination play such as making a “swimming pool/pond” for animals or characters to swim.
Not exactly an Easter toy, but fun none-the-less! These cute little barns or “houses” for animals are the perfect size for toddler hands who are in the beginning functional play stage. I love the tops for on/off and for hiding the animals as we sing, “Where oh Where” or playing peek-a-boo. Of course, you’ll teach animal sounds and focus on teaching single words for animal names as well as early prepositions/location words like “in/out.”
No Easter basket is complete without a set of kid-friendly, no-spill bubbles! Bubbles are popular for ALL toddlers. I think about a child using the wand (tool use) in the beginning functional play stage, but all toddlers love the challenge of getting the wand in the slot. If you’re looking for an activity for kids who don’t want to include you in play, bubbles facilitate inclusion of you since most kids won’t be able to blow bubbles on their own. Target play sounds like “pop,” “Pow!” and “uh oh,” and even “Yuck!” for little friends who don’t like the wet feel on their hands. This activity is perfect for teaching a child to request with an easy to imitate word like “bubble.” Super activity for beginning signers who are focused on first targets like “more” and “please.”
If you’re into more bubbles or have more than one child at a time, try this cute bunny blower for more, more, more bubbles!
You can use a wind up toy to assess lots of skills with a child. Use it to teach turn taking and target joint attention since the child will need you to wind up the toy.
If you’re working with a child who loves puzzles and sorting/matching, this egg set is a natural extension of that interest. Even though its suited for the nonfunctional play stage, some toddlers won’t be up to the challenge required to open/push/match the eggs until they’re beyond this stage. I don’t teach colors and shapes directly until a child is talking WELL, but for kids who love these concepts and are difficult to engage, use this activity to create interest. I like the target words “push” and “open” as well as “match.”
Here’s a cute activity for all spring long… bumblebees! Although it’s a fine motor activity when you use the tongs, lots of our little friends will be just as happy using their hands to place the bees in and out of the hive or “holes.” Pair the song “Bringing Home My Baby Bumblebee” to provide a link for a new vocabulary word or a new song. “Bee” is an easy target for new talkers in the Beginning Play stage, but because the tongs are a challenge, you can use this game with older toddlers and preschoolers too.
I LOVE plastic Easter eggs and usually buy them at Wal-Mart or Dollar Tree, but this set is super fun for hiding larger toys for kids in all stages of play. Opening and closing is always fun for toddlers, but the size of these eggs makes it more irresistible for our friends! Pick objects to hide to target new vocabulary or if you’re working on articulation, with your target sound.
I can’t wait to play with this! This will be a new toy for me, and I’m already excited about the possibilities. This is a set for older toddlers and preschoolers… so stage 5 and beyond. Target language with lots of new nouns and verbs like “dig, push, pull, and pour.”
EASTER AND SPRING BOOKS
Pat the Bunny is one of my all-time favorite books for teaching a child to imitate actions and follow directions. If you only buy one thing on this list, get this book!
Little Blue Truck books never fail! Dig through your toys to find similar animals, and then recreate play scenes from the book. I think about this play activity for any kid who’s in Stage 4 or above! Add some Easter eggs for more things to talk about and do.
Both Llama Llama and Spot books are always fun for toddlers. The flaps in the Spot book keep toddlers interested in reading the whole book. After reading, I like to say that we’ll hide eggs too, just like Spot or Llama Llama, and then use the book to segue into egg hiding. Teach new verb phrases like “in the chair” and “behind the pillow” as you’re hiding eggs with your older toddlers and preschoolers. I also like the target word “Open” anytime I’m using flap books.
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Hi Laura,I want to thank you so much for the resources you provide, my daughter has delayed speech and though she qualifies for CDS. Honestly the most progress she has made in her speech/language development has been after I implemented your 5 top strategies for delayed talkers! She is now almost 2.5 and her vocabulary is well over 75 (I haven’t counted recently, could be over 100) words when at 2 she barely had four words. Honestly the last few months have been a transformation for her.