Some toys are better than others when the goal is to develop children’s communication skills. A general rule of thumb is, go for battery-free toys that activate your child’s imagination rather than providing passive entertainment. Here, we’ve gathered five types of toys that enrich children’s language development.
These toys work as excellent language builders for children of all ages:
- Memory games with illustrations that inspire storytelling.
- Building blocks that teach your child about opposites and categories.
- Toys that encourage your child to mimic grown-up’s gestures and body language.
- Toys that teach your child patience and wait their turn.
- Drawing toys that let your little one express themselves creatively.
The foundation for becoming a good listener and a well-spoken adult is practicing the act of conversing, says expert in children’s development, Joern Martin Steenhold. A great way to start a conversation with your child is by looking at the easily recognisable illustrations in a Memory Game. Your baby can practice vowel sounds, like a cow’s “moo” or a tractor’s “humm”, and your older child can practice telling a story from looking at the illustrations.
Building a world of their own not only boosts your child’s creativity – it also enriches their vocabulary. Try building towers of different shapes and sizes and teach your child opposites like “broad” versus “narrow” and “high” versus “low.” You can also categories the Building Blocks by colour and ask your little one to name each shade.
Pretend Play Toys
Pretending to be a chef, a worker, or a shop-owner is a great way for your little one to rehearse grown-up gestures, expressions, and body language. According to Joern Martin Steenhold, 55 percent of our communication is non-verbal, and for this reason he advocates for toys that specifically stimulate children’s imaginative role play.
Turn Taking Toys
Turn taking is not a natural skill we are born with; it’s something we all have to learn. And it’s an important skill, as it’s the basic rhythm of all human communication. You speak, then I speak. Let your child become familiar with this notion through play – a Slide is fun way to practice turn taking in a social setting.
Aside from speaking, drawing is the first written form of communication your child will venture into. You can support your child’s language skills and early literacy abilities with drawing tools, and when your child masters the pincer grasp, Colouring Pencils and Paint Markers.
Meet our Team of Experts
One expert is an experienced family advisor who has met hundreds of Danish families. Another expert has dedicated his entire life to researching children's well-being and development through play. And some of the other experts specialise in children's motor skills, sensory integration, and learning. Together, they inspire us to provide your children with better sleep, develop them through play, and support them when they study.
At FLEXA Insight, you will find all the experts’ valuable insights, tips, and ideas.