Children develop important speech and language skills through playing with various toys. So what are the best toys that help promote language development? The answer is simple-you can use any toy to promote language development in children. The key to promoting language development lies, not in having the right toy, but in being a good language model. As the caregiver, you are the main language model for your child. So while you are playing with your child, talk with your child about the toy he or she is playing with. This is the best way to help your child develop great language skills.

You may find it easier to talk to your child while playing with a theme play set, like barnyard animals set, doll house set, etc. This way, you can tell your child a story and let the animals or dolls in the play set show it. Here are 5 common toys you can turn into language-building toys:
• Doll: When playing with a doll, talk to your child about body parts. Label the eyes, nose, ears, feet and hands on the doll. Then point out your child’s body parts on his or her body.

• Dump truck: When playing with a truck, talk to your child about the parts on the truck such as the wheels, doors, and lights. Also, make sure you use action words like pushing, rolling and dumping while playing with the truck. And don’t forget to put different items, like blocks, cars, stuffed animals in the truck to dump out for even more fun.

• Ball: When playing with ball, talk to your child about the shape of the ball, the way it bounces and rolls. Again, use action words like throw, catch and bounce when playing with your favorite ball.

• Tea set: When playing with a tea set, talk to your child about using a spoon, cup and plate. It’s also important to talk about using good table manner such as turn-taking, good posture and saying “please and thank you”.

• Rubber Duckie: Playing with a Rubber Duckie it is a great way to introduce animals and the different sounds they make.
As the caregiver, you are the primary language builder for your child. But the most important thing to remember when playing with your child is to have fun. Turn learning time into fun time.


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Denise Moore Revel, PhD
Dr. Denise is a nationally-recognized author, speaker, trainer, and coach dedicated to helping children and adults communication with clarity and confidence.

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