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5 Holiday Gift Ideas for Speech Language Development (Ages 1-2 years)

Updated: Nov 27, 2022

Can you smell the upcoming rush of decor, aggressive holiday advertisements and jingle bells all the way down the isles? I'm sure you are more than thrilled to get your holiday shopping started! Let's avoid turning into the master procrastinator (for the 5th year in a row) and be exited to be able to enter the store with a plan.

I have done some of your busy work by putting together a list of functional and engaging toys for you and your toddler. This is a free gift to you, all of my families and fellow educators near and far. This guide was prepared with the intention of complimenting your holiday shopping experience by also providing you with a few quick suggestions for speech and language skills. Enjoy!

1. Fisher Price Little People Caring for Animals

Target Age Range: 1 and up

Communication Functionality: This is an exciting novel toy that can be used for early pretend play skills. You can help your little with beginning to use executive functioning skills during play as they navigate to position toy animals in and out of the barn. This is an exciting toy that offers sensory stimulation through buttons, doors, sounds and lights. Engage with your child by having them imitate animal sounds (e.g. "moo-moo," "oink-oink") and identify animals by having them find the appropriate animal as you label them.

Tip: While playing, remember to model simple actions (e.g. pretending to feed animals) and use simple language in the form of 1-3 words at a time (e.g. "put horse in!" "horse eats hay!" "cow says moo") to help your child be more successful at repeating after you.

2. A Gazillion Bubbles

Target Age Range: Ages 2 and up

Communication Functionality: Stimulate your child's senses and communication by engaging them with bubbles. You can promote language learning by gaining your child's attention and blowing a few bubbles at a time. Once the bubbles pop, wait briefly for your child to establish eye-contact with you and then begin blowing again. Repeat this cycle while using simple language and sounds such as "bubbles go up!" or "pop-pop-pop!" This sequence of sounds, words and actions leads the way to reciprocal communication exchange and is often very engaging and exciting to young children!

Tip: This premium bubble solution is eco-friendly, safe, non-toxic, and will not stain clothing or furniture.

3. First 100 Words

Target Age Range: Ages 2 and up

Communication Functionality: Use this book of beautiful large pictures to promote increasing comprehension of vocabulary and familiar objects. We chose this book because of it's captivating size, bright colors and images that are not only clear to understand but also easily interpreted. You will notice vocabulary words are sorted by category on each page which helps your little with retention of language memory and ability to mentality sort items in to groups.

Tip: Enhance your child's language learning by helping them turn the pages and point to words you label as you read together.

4. Learning Resources Play Food

Target Age Range: Ages 2 and up

Communication Functionality: Enjoy these tasty looking food pieces to promote early dramatic play skills within a functional mealtime routine. Have your toddler pretend to eat and stimulate early sounds and expressions such as "mmm" or "yummy." You should begin to see your little one identify familiar foods by their label by picking up or pointing to the items you say.

Tip: These fun foods pair nicely with plastic bowls cups and dishes you may already have around the house. Be creative in setting up a picnic blanket or dinner table to serve others and eat. Bon Appetite!

5. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Piggy Bank

Age Range: Ages 1 and up

Communication Functionality: Ever wonder why our little ones love picking things up with their little fingers so much? At this age, they are beginning to explore a new found pincher grasp and what they can do with it. It is possible your child may be very interested in learning to put objects in and take objects out. If they are not yet, this is a great toy to promote this skill. Support early communication development by having your little one "push," "open," and "close." These three words are going to be great start for supporting your child with comprehension of functional actions they can perform with you.

Tip: After your child puts one coin in, try to prompt them to ask you for "more." You can say something like, "Do you want more coins?" Try to have them repeat the word "more" or use simple gestures to sign the word "more" in American Sign Language.

Disclaimer: This blog post should not be used a replacement for medical or therapy advice. The information shared is a personal reflection of my interests, ideas and resources for families with young children. Information is meant to be used for general information purposes only. Please use your own discretion when determining if a toy is safe and appropriate for your child. The author of this post and site disclaim liability for any accident or injury that may result from engaging in or utilizing any of the toys or products presented on this site.

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