Toys to Help with Speech Development

When do Babies Start to Talk?

Shortly after birth, usually between three and six months old, babies begin making cooing and babbling noises. This is the very first stage of speech development.

The noises are not words but are essential to any child finding their voice.

Around four months, a baby will start to laugh or giggle, almost guaranteeing oohs and awes from everyone nearby.

Between twelve and eighteen months old, most children can say ma, ba, da, or mi with an occasional combination of short words like mama, dada, and baba.

Closer to the eighteen-month mark, children may discover they can say words like cat, ball, no, bug, and shortened versions of easy names or nicknames.

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How Many Words Should a 2 Year Old Say?

Around two years old, two-word sentences can be strung together, but they are direct to the point, such as “mom go” or “me here.”

Three and four-year-old children can generally create sentences with three or more words that are relatively understandable.

Toddlers turning five and entering the school-age phase of life will have a decent-sized vocabulary and can carry on conversations with other children, parents, and teachers.

It is crucial to understand that not all children are the same.

Some toddlers learn to talk before others, some are late talkers, and there may be a few that are just uninterested or have speech delays that may require the intervention of a speech pathologist.

Preschool and kindergarten wellness visits with primary care physicians are vital to monitor and track any child’s developmental milestones and potential delays.

Whether there is any risk or concern about a speech delay, using speech toys explicitly designed to encourage verbal development is an excellent way for a toddler to learn.

Speech Therapy Toys for Toddlers

Frog in a Box
This game is a cause-and-effect toy, like the old-school jack in a box. Single phrase words such as “in,” “open,” and “pop” can be used to express what is happening, what will happen, and what did happen. Once single-word phrases are accomplished, move on to two and three words such as “frog in box” or “close the box.”

Critter Clinic
The Critter Clinic is a fun way to let children care for critters needing attention. Speech skills and single or two-word instructions from the toddler will help the animals overcome the circumstances that brought them to the clinic.

Baa Ba Barn Musical Farm Set
Spatial awareness and verbal skills are used with this toy as toddlers are encouraged to provide instructions for placing animals to hear sounds and music.

Melissa and Doug Slice and Bake Cookie Sheet
To get the full benefit of this toy, toddlers are encouraged to provide verbal direction and make verbal requests during play. A toddler can request or instruct to cut the cookie, frost the cookie, cook or bake the cookie, put on desired toppings, and more.

Speech Delay Toys for Toddlers

Toys designed to help with speech delay have an open-ended concept that encourages conversation during play. Discuss the characteristics of items, the order of toys, and the journey through the story the toddler imagines while they build, align, find, and learn.

  1. Learning Resources All Ready for Toddler Time
  2. Melissa and Doug Colored Wooden Building Blocks
  3. Seek-a-Boo
  4. String a Farm
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