If your child is receiving speech therapy, take note of the toys and activities used by the therapist. Peruse the storage units of a speech therapist and you likely will find very few, if any, electronic toys with batteries. The reason why is clearly outlined in the article linked below. “The best toys are those that support parents and children playing, pretending, and interacting together,” stated Alan Mendelsohn, MD, FAAP, in the AAP’s press release. Although the department stores will line their shelves this holiday season with flashy, digital, and electronic games, I challenge you to look instead for the simple toys that the speech therapist is using . . . My favorites are play-doh, Potato Heads, toy food and dishes, toy animals, blocks, musical instruments, puzzles, puppets, and balls! Realize that the less a toy does, the more the child can do with it, sparking endless imagination and creativity and more importantly, interaction and communication! While electronic gadgets and apps promise to teach your child ABCs, numbers, shapes, ask yourself how these concepts help your child to express what he wants, what he needs, or what he thinks. I would argue that many of these electronic toys that appear to have the benefit of "teaching" language, may in fact be preventing the child's engagement with others and teaching him to be passive and quiet. When you offer toys that do "nothing," your child learns many more "somethings" about play, communication, and social interaction. 😃
My name is Katherine Hindman. I have been a speech therapist for over 20 years and truly love what I do!