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Toys & games to aid Speech & Language Development


Playing with a variety of toys, games and books help with speech and language development. When thinking about toys to purchase or borrow for your child, consider toys that are not only fun to play with, but also encourage your child to talk. Here are some ideas for you.

• Colourful and interesting Picture Books, e.g. lift the flap books.
• Farmhouse and animals (to promote animal sounds and early animal names).
• Vehicles e.g. cars, trucks, diggers, aeroplanes, buses
• Bath toys, e.g. ducks, fish. Bath time is a great time to practice sounds.
• Noisemakers e.g. drums, castanets, echo microphone.
• Dolls / figurines with accessories e.g. doll + clothes, bath, bottles etc.
• Dolls house and furniture.
• Tea-set, cookery set, play food.
• Toys that make animal sounds/ vehicle sounds.
• Age appropriate children’s music CD’s and DVD e.g., The Wiggles. Remember to join in singing and dancing along to their favourite music. Talk about what is happening on the DVD.
• Dress ups (particularly for 3 and 4 year olds!)

Preschoolers - as above, but also:
• Books (as above). Look for books where the words of the story are on the same page as the related pictures.
• Early board games and games, e.g. The Shopping Game, Bus Stop, Pop Up Pirate, Connect 4.
• Paper, paints, crayons and textas.
• Bug catcher.
• Binoculars and magnifying glass.
• Play doh and modelling clay.
• Alphabet letters and matching pictures for early phonics development.
• Charades (picture cards to prompt charades).

Language mediates all aspects of learning and social interaction. Understanding words and concepts helps your child learn new information. Expressive language allows your child to tell you what they have learned, how they feel and what their own, unique, ideas are.

Encourage your child to express themselves with words and gestures. If your child is experiencing speech and/ or language difficulties consider how this may affect their ability to express themselves with their peers and how it may affect their learning and
social confidence. Some speech difficulties are not simply grown out of. 


Catherine Downs

Catherine Downs

Catherine Down is Platinum Pre School's preffered Speech Pathologist, she writes specifically tailored articles for the Platinum Newsletter and advises our staff on questions related to childhood speech development. Catherine is a Certified Practising Speech Pathologist (CPSP) with Speech Pathology Australia (SPA) and is an affiliate member of the American Speech - Language - Hearing Association (ASHA).

Catherine holds a BA in Psychology from the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) and a BAppSc of Speech Pathology from The University of Sydney. Catherine's qualifications and experience give her a unique set of skills for dealing with clients who are having communication, literacy and learning difficulties.

To find out more about Catherine's services or to book an appointment, please call Catherine on 0417 255 062 or visit her website -

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