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My Speech Universe: October 2019

17 October 2019

5 Best Toys for Preschool Speech Therapy

I've been working with preschoolers who are brought in to me for speech therapy for over a year now.  When they arrive to my room we always play first, and then end our sessions with play.  So, with an average of 60 kids on my caseload, I've seen a LOT of play!  What I have found during this play time is that my students gravitate to a few of my toys most often.  While you may not have all of these toys available, you may have something similar that would engage your preschoolers too.

Here is my list of 5 tried and true toys for preschool speech therapy:

Play Kitchen

A play kitchen is a must have for preschool speech therapy

So many of my kids gravitate towards the play kitchen.  We have so many great "meals" cooked here!  I'm waiting to get a cabinet that is on back-order so that I can organize my foods by category.  I'm hoping this will help with learning how to categorize a bit in a real-life way.  I love that all of my students whether they are boys or girls love to play in the pretend kitchen.  It gives so many language and speech opportunities.  We work on expanding utterance length, vocabulary, targeting articulation sounds, questions, and so much more!  A great way that they utilize this is by creating restaurants and serving me my meals and charging me (usually highly exorbitant) prices.  That leads me to my next favorite toy:

Cash Register

using a cash register in preschool speech and language therapy

Using the Pretend and Play Cash Register gives my students a way to charge me for all of the goodies they create in the kitchen.  I love the cash register because it creates language opportunities by sorting, using questions, and using social skills with peers and adults.  It takes a lot of skill to ask how much something costs and to exchange that money.  My preschool friends love pushing the numbers and hearing the "ding" when the register opens.  It's such a grown up thing to do.

Playmobil Vehicles

As my own boys at home started to grow up, I started stashing away all of their Playmobil vehicles.  I wasn't sure what I was going to do with them, but knew that one day they were going to serve a purpose.  Well, my hoarding has paid off!  I brought these toys into my preschool speech and language room last year, and wow are they a hit!  There are lots of tiny pieces that come with some of these toys, so you really need to watch if you have little ones that put things in their mouth still, but those little pieces create a ton of language opportunities too.  The kids love to move the people around and have them interact with the different objects.  Of course I also have a few kids who love to stuff every possible item into the garbage truck or camper.  Not sure what it is about that camper that makes my kids just want to pack it full!

Toy Garage

using a toy garage in preschool speech therapy

This garage toy by Melissa and Doug is so simple and yet provides so much fun in my speech room.  There are so many language opportunities to work on with this toy.  The red and blue cars can go "up", "in", "down", and "through".  They also have to "stop" at the end the ramp to pay.  When the cars are "dirty" they get very "clean" in the car wash.  They can also fill up the cars at the gas pump.

Toy Zoo

using a toy zoo in preschool speech therapy

I found this toy zoo on a Facebook Swap site for $5!!! It was such a find!!! My students are constantly requesting this item.  I place it on a shelf so they have to request me to get it down.  They love moving all of the animals throughout the zoo.  The hippos often end up in the trees, and my little friends think its so funny. Unfortunately this zoo from Fisher Price is no longer available (it is on Amazon for $289!!!!), but there are other zoo toys out there that would work just as well.  I think the key is that the animals have things to do.  The kids love putting them down the slide, in the next, and flipping them back in the secret tree.  I'm thinking about getting this Fisher Price Barn which has lots of things for the animals to do too.

You can see how I organize my room and toys in this post: How I Structure My Preschool Speech and Language Room