By: Lindsay Barret M.S., CF-SLP

The best part about language is that it’s everywhere! The following list of toys and games are excellent to use when promoting language:

Cause & Effect Toys

    1. Ring stack
    2. Jack in the box
    3. Marble run
    4. Shape sorter

What do these toys facilitate?

Single words and short phrases: “Open”, “close”, “put in”, “put on”, “up”, “down”, “push”, “ready, set, go!”, “you go”, “I go”, “my turn”, and “your turn”

Vocabulary: colors, shapes

Problem-solving skills


What do puzzles facilitate?

Introducing vocabulary (animals, food, clothing, tools, sports, colors, shapes, modes of transportation)

Basic concepts: numbers, sizes

Turn-taking: “you go”, “I go”, “my turn”, “your turn”

Matching skills


What does a dollhouse facilitate?

Pronouns, vocabulary: (household items, furniture), categories, verbs, adjectives, sequencing, prepositions,

Pretend Play Skills

Kitchen & Food Sets

What can this facilitate?

Verbs, nouns: (appliances/utensils), categories, adjectives, sequential terms, pretend play skills

Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head

What can this facilitate?

Clothing items, adjectives, pronouns, body parts, functions of objects (What do we wear on our head? What helps us see?), size concepts, pretend play skills

Play-Doh or Legos

What can this facilitate?

Anything you’re able to create! Let your imagination and inner artist run wild!

Nouns: (clothing, animals, tools, shapes, modes of transportation) adjectives, verbs, pretend play skills


What can this facilitate?

Functions of objects, nouns: (animals, food, clothing, instruments), verbs, formulating questions

Language is all around us! It’s important to flood children with language input and model language for them for produce. It’s also helpful to encourage children to communicate when using the above toys by keeping toys out of reach or keeping containers of toys closed. This way, they must make their needs and wants known to engage in play.

Lastly, incorporating repetitive songs into your routine and allowing children to “fill in the blank” during play is a fun way to encourage speech and language.

Grab a toy off the shelf and help your child find their voice!