‘Tis the season to buy toys! These are my very favorite preschool toys. If you have a preschoolers, I would recommend toys. I would absolutely buy these toys if your preschooler has speech issues. If you love someone who is a speech therapist… they probably already have these toys… so you are out of luck.
Top 10 Preschool Toys for Speech Therapy
(This post contains affiliate links. See my disclaimer here.)
1. Mr. Potato Head and Mrs. Potato Head
Mr. Potato is great for so many reasons. It works on labeling body parts (i.e., what’s that? eyes). You can also work on requesting (i.e., do you want eyes or nose?) Additionally, if you have both Mr. and Mrs. you can work on different colors (i.e., do you want blue shoes or red shoes?). If you can find the little potato heads, then you can also work on big/little. The little potato heads are the perfect size for little preschool hands. I usually find them at Dollar General. Once the they are put together, then you can play with them to add different verbs like dance, jumping, say hello, come here, etc. When they are put together, it’s often easily to start pretend play with your new potato person. You can use verbs like “dance,” “go,” come here,” and “find me.”
- Car garage
Cars are great for verbs and fun sounds (i.e., go, stop, crash, boom, uh-oh, wee). With a garage, you can work on opposites like up/down, in/out, fast/slow, over/under. Just talk about what your cars are doing as you play (i.e, my car crashed, my car went up the ramp, my car stopped). This models the new vocabulary for your child. If you don’t have a garage, cars alone or train set are also fun. Train sets often come with a bridge, which gives you more concepts like “up,” down,” and “under.”
3. Doll house
A dollhouse is a wealth of vocabulary! You typically have lots of house items to label. You can work on pretend play. There are opportunities for following directions (i.e., put the doll on the bed.) You can word on basic concepts like up/down, big/little, in/out. etc. If you are in charge of the items, then the child can request what he needs to decorate the house. You can ask the child for directions on where to put things in the house (i.e., where does the bed go)
- Farm Set
A farm set is an excellent place to start with a young preschooler with a limited vocabulary or limited sounds. Animal sounds are best to start with since they are single syllable with emphasis on the vowel (i.e., moo, baa, nay). For the older preschooler, you have the vocabulary that surrounds the farm. Farm animals can be given directions which work on basic concepts. If you hold onto the animals, you can work on having the child request what animals he wants.
- Kitchen Set
The kitchen is where you can work on food vocabulary. There are opportunities to work on opposites like hot/cold, in/out, as well as verbs like eat, drink, wait, need, want, clean, etc. It’s helpful to have food of different shapes, sizes, and colors to work on following directions and making requests. You can incorporate categories by asking for all the fruit, all the red foods, all the vegetables, etc. You can really make your preschooler think by asking for foods that crunch or you need a spoon to eat. Early questions can be asked like “what do you want” and “where do I put it.”
- Jumping Jack
This game is always fun with a cute bunny that surprises you by hopping up when you least expect it. The kids always laugh and giggle. You have to plant 12 carrots, and pull them out one by one until the bunny hops up. This is a great toy to use when your speech therapist gives you speech homework. Kids often have a hard time at home working on their speech sounds, but you can easily use this toy to get at least 12 practices done. For language, you have the basic concepts of up/down, in/out, counting, and colors. I use verbs like eat, pop, plant, dig, and feed. Another option is “Pop Up Pirate.” Same idea, but I get more language from “Jumping Jack,” and it feels less violent!!
You put butterflies in the elephant, and he blows them up in the air through his nose. The kids get to catch the butterflies in their net. Like the above game, this one is also a great one to help with getting speech homework done. One speech work for one butterfly, and you can get up to 20 repetitions! For language, this one works on in/out, up/down, on/off, colors and counting. You can use the verbs catch, give, get, find, wait, turn, look, and fly. Another option is “Let’s Go Fishing,” which is a fantastic classic.
- Sound Puzzles
These puzzles are great for the young preschooler that may have a limited vocabulary. The animal and vehicle puzzles work on easy sound imitations (i.e., moo, baa, wee-ooo, vroom, beep, etc). They have the pictures underneath, so you can work on labeling the pictures. This also helps to work on matching for younger preschoolers. If you hold on to the pieces, the child can ask you for the piece he wants. Hiding the pieces around the room, can be a fun way to work on answering simple questions (i.e, what did you find? Where was it?)
- Baby Doll
A baby doll is a classic toy for initial pretend play. You can work on labeling body parts and clothing items. This easily opens up to singing songs like “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.” It’s a great toy to work on verbs like eat, sleep, drink, play, wash, etc. You can give directions or ask the child to give you a direction (i.e., what should I do with the baby). You can put the baby toys in a see through bag or box, and then child can request what items he wants for the baby.
- Playdough or Kinetic sand
This adds some sensory and fine motor skills to play. You can work on verbs like roll, squish, give, and done. With cookie cutters, you can label what you make like animals or shapes. You can have the child request what tool or cookie cutter he wants. Initially, you can have different colors to work with, but we all know it ends up looking brownish gray. Beach sand kinetic sand is my favorite. If you have a blue tray, you easily have a beach scene to play with and talk about. There’s a lot of new vocabulary words to use.
Bonus Consignment Finds
If you see these 5 games in a consignment shop, immediately pick them up! They are no longer being sold, but they are prized possessions of many speech/language pathologists. The best games are always discontinued! You can find them online for a crazy price, but keep your eyes open at garage sales and consignments. You never know!!
Candy Land Castle
Oreo Cookie Memory game
I hope this list helps you find the perfect gift for the young preschooler on your list! What’s your favorite toy to play with your kids? I’m always on the look out for new toys to play with in my office.