With so many toys on the market, finding toys for preschoolers that work on expanding language can be difficult. I have complied a list of five fun toys that allow preschool children to use a variety of language while playing. Toys that can be used in open-ended way will always allow for more language opportunities than close-ended toys. (Open-ended toys = blocks, animal figurines, play food; Close-ended toys= puzzles, books). Keep in mind that close-ended toys do serve their purpose as well, such as for establishing joint attention and turn-taking.
Magnetic tiles will provide your preschooler with many opportunities for language. From requesting for specific shapes or colors to talking about what he is building, the creative possibilities are endless.
Play scarves are the ultimate open-ended toy. Your preschooler can use them for pretend play (ex. a cape to become a superhero, a scarf to become a movie star, or as a blanket to cover a baby). The scarves can also help facilitate language regarding colors and actions (ex. throw the scarf up, catch the scarf).
This item is a new favorite of mine for preschoolers! The toy can be used in a multitude of ways and is also very durable. The product is great for motivating your child to label animals, makes animal sounds, expand utterance length when requesting, count, label colors, and request for help when opening and closing the barns. It is also a great toy to use when singing “Old McDonald”!.
Playdough is one of my favorite toys to use when working with preschoolers on language expansion. From discussing actions (ex. open, close, push, squeeze), to increasing utterance length, the options are truly limitless. Even without molds and cutters, your child can get creative making different items (ex. snakes, balls, letters).
Stepping Stones are another versatile toy for preschoolers that have lots of language possibilities. Your child can arrange the stones in any way he likes and then provide directions to a friend or parent (ex. Jump over the orange stone, hop to the red stone, walk backwards to the pink stone).
For additional preschool activities, check out: Home Speech Therapy Activities for Preschool Age.