STAGE 2… NONFUNCTIONAL PLAY TOY LIST

montessori box

Here’s the toy list for recommended toys for Stage 2: Nonfunctional Play.

Remember… The only way babies learn what words mean (and to talk!) is by hearing you say the same key words over and over. As you play, pick one or two key words per toy and repeat those words many times each time you play. Examples are listed for each recommended toy and you can watch demonstrations of how to use the toy in podcast #467.

Amazon Links for Recommended Toys shown in video:

Montessori Ball Box https://amzn.to/3qXz0YJ                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Soft Baby Doll https://amzn.to/44MNY1c

Snail String Pull String Toy https://amzn.to/44EUHdP
Montessori Rattle Set https://amzn.to/3qXz0YJ
Vibrating Teether https://amzn.to/3LcgXEX
Good Night Moon Soft Book https://amzn.to/3r8uqa4
Pull String Teether https://amzn.to/48kWDLF

Toys to Teach Object Permanence

MONTESSORI BALL BOX

Here’s my favorite toy for this stage and the best toy I’ve ever found specifically for object permanence. It’s a Montessori Box with balls – there’s a hole in the top for baby to drop the ball in and ….  the ball comes right out. For your key word, go with ball! Repeat it many times – high frequency modeling – “Here’s the ball. It’s your ball. Ball. Where’s the ball go? Look…there’s a hole – a hole for your ball. The ball goes in. Ball… in!  Ball!”

Montessori Ball Box https://amzn.to/3qXz0YJ        

 

SOFT BABY DOLL

A very traditional way of teaching object permanence is by covering up a toy with a blanket. For this stage, I love this soft baby doll. Cover the doll with a blanket/wash cloth to see if a child will uncover the doll demonstrating that they understand object permanence. If can’t – try something they can see through like a scarf from the tissue box from Stage 1. Baby is your key word. Say something like, “Baby! See the baby? Let’s hide the baby. Ohhh… cover up baby. Where’s baby? Baby! Baby!” Play over and over until a child is uncovering the baby on his/her own.

Soft Baby Doll https://amzn.to/44MNY1c

 

ELECTRONIC TOYS if a child needs more help learning object permanence

 

As a rule, I don’t use lots of electronic toys in therapy unless a child needs it for a specific reason like here – when a child need more of cue to begin to try to remove the cover. Show a child the toy, activate the toy to play the sounds or lights, and then place the cover over the toy while it’s playing so the child can see or hear the toy even when it’s covered. Help a child uncover the toy if he/she doesn’t try to do it on their own. Point and even tug the cover to encourage a child to try to remove the cloth.

 

Toys to Teach Means – End

SNAIL STRING TOY

Any kind of string toy works for this stage, but I love this one! Toddlers learn to pull the string and watch the toy move.
What do you want to use for your key word? I’d go with “go” or “pull” as you model playing with the toy. Set the string out – point at it first and say…“Ooooh… look! There’s the string! I pull! Pull! Pull! I pull.” Over time talk about the toy too – but the concept you’re teaching is means to an end, so it makes sense to me that we should talk about that too. I also love this toy because it doubles as a shape sorter with 2 levels of difficulty.

Snail String Pull String Toy https://amzn.to/44EUHdP

 

BATTAT BUS

 

This is my favorite pull toy because the people spin when the bus moves… great incentive to teach a child to look at the object he’s pulling! I use the same verbal routines for “pull” and “go” and add “spin” or “whee” here too!

 

PULL PUPPY

I wanted this toy for the course, but it wouldn’t arrive in time. I love this puppy and I know kids will too! Use animal sounds for dogs as you play – “Woof Woof!” and of course, stick your tongue out and pant!

 

Toys to Teach Cause and Effect

 

SPINNER TOYS

You can find lots of versions of this toy – but I like this one. Got a bumble bee on it so you can also add – zzzz or sing Bringing Home my Baby Bumble Bee. Stick anywhere – bathtub is a great spot. This toy is ideal for using a Verbal Routine like Ready… Set… Go   or 1 2 3 Spin! Stop it – do it again.

Spinner Toys https://amzn.to/3sOJIBi

 

PUSH CARS

I love these easy push cars for Stage 2 – and will certainly be fun for a long time. You will probably have to help a child activate the car for a long time, but that’s okay. The goal here is for them to recognize that you push the animal – even if they need help to do it. Key word is probably car. And be sure you’re teaching a child what to do – So you’ll say something like, “Look! My car! See the car! My car can go. Watch the car… Push! Ready… set… go. Go car!” Create anticipation with your voice. Be super consistent – over time pause after you say “Ready Set” to see if a child will begin to fill in “Go!”

Push Cars https://amzn.to/3Z7n4A5, , https://amzn.to/3P6Qxpj

SPINNING TOP

This toy from Bright Starts is an easy push toy for kids in Stage 2. It’s a simple motion to activate the top, but kids may need a little help for a while. Of course your key word is…. “Push! Watch me… I….PUSH! Wheeeee!” Model it several times, then give a child an opportunity. I work on turn taking with this toy because the turns are super fast. Take it in your lap to help a child understand it’s your turn. Then move it toward them for their turn. Instead of saying – my turn/your turn I use “I push – You push” or our names “Laura can push….____ can push.

 

Toys to Teach Simple Problem Solving

 

NESTING CUPS

Here’s a super versatile classic toy. Kids are learning about how things work together  – how they fit and the beginnings of “fill and dump” play. I use several different early play routines including stacking, nesting, and because there are holes in the  bottom of the cups, you can use them for water play. When you stack them up, use your key word for ‘up up up” and then of course, show a child how to knock them down… as you use a verbal routine like… 1… 2… 3… boom!  Or even something like “ They all… fall… dooooown!” For nesting, try “Goes in!… Goes in!” For key word for water play is always… “Whee!” But you’ll probably say something like, “Water… let’s get some water… see the water… fill it up…. Whee!!!!”

Nesting Cups https://amzn.to/3Pe8wdc

 

CONTAINER PLAY

 

Montessori Rattle Set

This set includes several different toys with a bell (something to hear), car (something with movable parts), rattle (something to shake/hear), and discs (for holding and practicing transfer from hand to hand). When you’re playing, name the item and add a comment. For example, say something like, “Look! It’s a car! Car. See the wheels on the car. Watch. The wheels can go! Whee!” as you spin the wheels or roll the car. Give it to the child to see if he will try to push the car too.

Montessori Rattle Set https://amzn.to/3qXz0YJ

Vibrating Teething Toy

This teether provides something to mouth and feel as it moves during container play. Say something like, “Look! Grapes! (label the teether’s shape). Oooohhhh! It moves! Feel it move! Wow!”

Vibrating Teether https://amzn.to/3LcgXEX

Good Night Moon soft book

This book is something to feel and look at during container play with lots of different textures and pictures. Point and label each picture as the child looks at the book. Model other early actions like patting the book.

Good Night Moon Soft Book https://amzn.to/3r8uqa4

 

Pull Teether

Here’s another cool teething toy with something to pull and mouth. Show a child how to pull the strings. Say something like, “Pull! I pull! Pull!” Give the child the toy and help her hold it and begin to try to pull.

Pull String Teether https://amzn.to/48kWDLF

 

 

 

Laura

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