Best toys for infants, toddlers….and preschoolers!

Playskool Explore and Grow Busy Ball Popper

 

The game above is the Fisher Price Ball Popper…I of course purchased at www.amazon.com with the one click shopping. This game is really fun and motivating for infants, toddlers and for preschoolers (ages 9 months and up).  After all of the balls are in the game…your little one has to push down on the yellow mushroom head…the balls pop out of the toy while playing music.  Definitely a fun game for the little ones…and great for some gross motor movement as the balls literally pop all over the place….so your little one now needs to get the balls and place them back in the toy.

For speech and language skills….I like to shut the toy off….and see then if the little one I am working with makes a verbal or non-verbal request to turn the toy back on.  It is at this point that I may work on words such as: more, go, me…being sure to give the tactile stimulation…as needed for the M sound and the G sound (you can find more information about these cues under my articulation page).

I also vary the game at times…and hold all of the balls…and have the child request the balls before she can put them inside of the toy.  Some of the requests are non-verbal…meaning she just taps on her shirt with her hand to say: Give me.  Using non-verbal language is important for the little ones who do not have verbal language just yet.  So let’s teach her that she can make some requests…non-verbally…this decreases frustration on both ends.

For the little ones who are beginning to imitate sounds and words…and are starting to understand that you want them to use verbal language…you may need to prompt her to say the word: ME in order to obtain the ball.   So be sure to use the tactile cues to give additional input for the M sound (if that is the sound you are targeting).  Be a good language role model….letting her hear the correct production of sounds and words. 

Remember….the goal is for your little one to understand that verbally or non-verbally we want her to use language in order to make her needs known.  Once she begins to understand that words WORK to get her what she wants…this will help her to add more words to her vocabulary.

For children who may need more motivation to sit and attend during therapy…I find this toy to be perfect. 

Also…..great for following directions such as: give me and put inColor identification…counting of the balls to begin to understand quantity concepts as your child gets older and is ready for this concept.  Great for taking turnsfirst and second.

Overall this is just a fun game….new to me….I just added to my therapy bag!

Have fun!

Kim

 

 

 

 

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About Kim

My name is Kim Marino and I have been practicing as a licensed speech and language pathologist since 1993. I work on Long Island providing diagnostic evaluations and services to children from birth to age 21. My experience is vast and am proud to say that I work with children that may present with articulation and phonological concerns, oral motor feeding concerns, Down Syndrome feeding, cognitive rehabilitation, auditory processing delays, receptive language delays, cleft palate feeding and sound development and expressive language delays. Most importantly, I am the mother of four amazing children and am happily married to my childhood sweetheart. I feel blessed to have my four children and so lucky to share this journey in life with my husband. I always had it somewhere in my head that I wanted to develop a blog or a website of some sort so that I could provide families with an additional resource....so that parents could help their little ones become a better communicator. And as I was developing this blog....I realized that I also needed to share the stories about my life and my children....and the funny things along the way that help to keep me smiling. Whether you are a working mother or not...finding balance between home, children and life can be a challenge....I hope that my blog helps to bring a smile to your face..and also some tools to help you help your little or big one. I hope you enjoy! Kim
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