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14 Oct. 2022

Let your toddler talk! Top toys for speech development

Little kids can be so talkative! Do you think it’s all about genetics? Not just it, toys play their role too. A toddler talks much and starts speech activity early if the parents buy smart toys in time. So, what kind of toys are we talking about? We’ll tell you this secret…

“You can never have too many toys!” This is what almost every child thinks. Parents, though, believe that kids should only play with useful toys. So, who is right and who’s wrong?

toys for speech development

It may seem a little strange, but both opinions are correct. According to pediatricians and other doctors, in the first case, variety is crucial for children. After all, no one wants to play with just one toy.  As for the toy quality and usefulness, it makes sense to choose only those toys that can teach little explorers something. However, before choosing something, make sure you know the purpose of your purchase. Because some toys can teach creative thinking and others develop motor skills well. Manufacturers focus on various aspects of child development and hence create the most variable products. Perhaps, this is why it is not common knowledge that these diverse toys include those that can teach a child to speak. And we’re not talking about mere chattering here, but developing the child’s speech based on their individual characteristics or age. Learn as much information as possible about this particular group of toys, as it will help you easily find useful offers.

And before that, you need to focus on two particularly important aspects.

  1. Toddlers (and especially babies) perceive much more information than adults. What is more, they don’t just receive it, but “process” it. That is, they try to recognize, understand, select, and note everything. And, if we use terms to explain this process, we can say that the child’s brain is plastic, and the total number of so-called connections between neurons in it is greater than in any adult. And this explains that for children, every toy is a captivating object that needs detailed and substantial research.
  2. The total duration of such activity is way longer than just one year! If we trust a number of studies, then the time necessary for a person to develop speech is as many as 12 years. And what’s curious is that it starts right after birth. This reveals the secret of high-quality and fast language learning by children, but not adults.

Therefore, when it comes to the effectiveness of speech development, everything starts from childhood, since first toys are the best teachers. However, it must be remembered that at first, information is accumulating. Over time, archived data are gradually reproduced in sound combinations, and then in full sentences. At all these stages, toys encourage a child of any gender to learn to pronounce something quicker and, moreover, do it consciously.

So, let’s update some information about toys. We suggest dividing the most popular toys mostly used specifically for speech development into groups.

Note that the baby’s first year of life is a slow start. Pacifiers, colored teething toys, and safe mirrors are popular and useful products. They motivate to explore the world, but active brain and speech activity starts later. Pediatricians believe that the second year of the child’s life is the time to start engaging in regular speech development. This is the stage when you should choose toys very carefully.

The most effective toys. Top 3 toys

Cubes

most effective toys for speech development

These toys are well-known to everyone. You can even notice that product design and materials change over time, but their benefits stay high. Cubes acquire a special value when the child can already walk or run but is not yet prone to speaking. In this case, cubes will be very useful. Obviously, it makes no sense for a child to play with cubes alone. To be effective, you need to work with the child in pairs. Usually, it is the parents, mom or dad, who use cubes to encourage the child to have conversations and dialogs through various speech therapy methods. Sometimes, adults may ask to show a cube of a certain color or size. Kids like this game a lot. These toys motivate the child to want to say words. Different colors of individual products, designs, shapes – all this adds information during games.

Pictures, various images

pictures, various images

Various pictures are especially useful for increasing a child’s vocabulary. However, it is worth paying attention to the drawings. It makes sense to use clear and realistic thematic drawings to expand the child’s knowledge. For example, separate images of animals or different types of transport, etc. Such categorization will help acquire new fundamental knowledge, which will later convert into separate words. It is worth starting the acquaintance with pictures in an arbitrary form, letting the child look at them on their own. The second phase of this activity is the presentation of information by adults while describing each picture. The third stage is the reproduction of answers by the child.

Modern sorters

modern sorters

Most parents consider these toys the most useful for children. And rightly so, as simple building blocks and sorters are not only compelling but also bright. They encourage communication with a variety of holes and insert shapes. During the first acquaintance with toys, curiosity is born in a child. The next step is training and development.

The only condition for achieving a positive result: communicate more, because “silence begets silence!” Therefore, the child should receive as much new information and knowledge as possible.

This type of toys can be called universal because they have a positive effect on the development of speech, memory, and motor skills. But remember that modern children love cutting-edge toys! Therefore, you shouldn’t forget about useful apps for kids and their parents. We suggest trying out our captivating app that features both speech therapy and an informative game – Miogym: Speech Therapy. To find the app, follow the link: https://apps.apple.com/app/id1384886803.

Additional information for parents

  1. Note that multiple studies demonstrate that it is not just the clarity of pronunciation of sounds and words during communication with a child that has a certain influence on the kid. You need to form a neutral voice tone and monitor the speed of your speech during activities because these components are fundamental for a child. This is similar to progressive relaxation training (based on the article The influence of voice volume, pitch and speech rate on progressive relaxation training: application of methods from speech pathology and audiology – PubMed (nih.gov) ) or improving speech in children with certain pathologies.
  2. Always consider age characteristics. For example, at the age of 3 methods are somewhat different. At the age of 2, adults ask the child where the object is using toys, while at 3, questions become significantly more complex. In some cases, if pictures are used, children utter sounds or words to accurately point to the picture.  During this period of life, books become useful toys. Reading fairy tales or singing children’s songs also influences speech development.

At this age, kids are overly interested in everything. Therefore, studying colors with the help of objects will help explore the world. Any types of colored toys will do. Also pencils and markers. Repetition and imitation are the most effective methods that teach a child to think critically and pronounce each word consciously. It is especially important to systematize knowledge through recurrent training.

Let’s summarize: speech development depends on the type of selected toys and the duration of learning or games. It is also dependent on the individual abilities of children and their concentration on the process. In any case, you can predict certain results if the training is consistent and includes visual, didactic, and game resources.

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