Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet? If not, this post may be for you! I often get asked for Christmas present ideas of things which will help support speech and language skills. So here are 20 ideas of stocking fillers. I’ve tried to keep them both small and fairly inexpensive. Most of them are for younger children, but I have included a few for older children at the end. This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
1. Bubbles. Bubbles are fantastic for speech and language. You can see some ideas of how to use them here. These particular ones are touchable bubbles as a bit of extra bubble fun for Christmas!
2. Reusable stickers. Stickers are great for language anyway as there is usually a range of different pictures to talk about. Reusable ones are particularly good as you can use the same stickers over and over again – put them in different places and talk about where they are, what people are doing etc. Make up stories about the pictures with your child.
3. Dolls’ house furniture. Toys like this which encourage imaginative play are great for language development. This is a set of wooden bedroom furniture at a very reasonable price – there are lots of other sets too. Get some mini people of some kind and get them to do things. Then talk about what they are doing with your child.
4. Mini figures to go with your dolls house furniture. Any figures will do but ones like these are good as their limbs move so you can make them sit, lie down etc.
5. Finger puppets. Again there are loads of these. This particular set went in my daughter’s stocking last year and they were great for the price. Puppets are great for pretend play – be silly with the puppets, make them do funny things and always talk about it with your child as you play!
6. Stacking cups. For toddlers, these are great for first words, joint attention and listening skills. Say “up” as you add each brick, then see if your child can wait for you to say “go” before knocking them down.
7. Orchard Toys games. Here are the farmyard dominoes – you can read our post about this game here. Orchard Toys do great educational games at all levels, you can also read other reviews of ours on Pigs in Pants, Slug in a Jug, Farmyard Heads and Tails, Robot Run, Can You Guess?, Rockets and Comets and Colour Match game.
8. Face paints. These can be great for many children, but some really hate the texture and the fact that their face looks different. If you have a child who enjoys them though, face paints are a great way to get your child looking in a mirror, pulling faces and making sounds!
9. Balls. Another great, versatile therapy toy. There are all sorts of interesting balls you can get – this one has flashing lights in it, so may not be suitable for some children. You can find ideas on how to use a ball in therapy here.
10. Bath games. In the bath is a great place for talking! Many children are relaxed and engaged at this time. Make the most of it with bath toys. Here is a nice set of bath stickers I found to make people with – there is lots of vocabulary to talk about here!
11. This looks like a fun variation on a ball game! Basketball for the bath – good for all ages!
13. Card games. There are many nice, simple card games for children with lovely pictures for working on simple vocabulary. Choose one that ties in to your child’s interests. This is a lovely Gruffalo memory game as an example.
14. Books. These are great for language development. Find lots of ideas of how to use books here. If your child doesn’t show much interest in books, pick ones with simple colourful pictures and make them as interactive as possible with flaps to lift or buttons to press for sound.
15. Travel Guess Who. This is a great game for asking and answering questions.
16. Dobble. This is a little more expensive, but it’s a great game for language and would fit nicely in a stocking. You can read more about how to use this game here.
17. Photo props. These are very popular at the moment in our age of social media and selfies! In fact, these are a great way to get slightly older children looking in a mirror, making silly faces, playing with their voices and taking on different characters. I particularly like these speech bubble ones I found – talk with your child about what the character they are pretending to be might say or think!
19. Lego. Construction toys have lots of possibilities for language. There are lots of ideas about how to use Lego in speech therapy in this post. I especially like the Creator 3 in 1 sets as you can make 3 different things out of the same bricks.
20. Don’t Say It game. This is perhaps a little large for a stocking filler but it is a great game and easy to differentiate to different levels too. Wilkinsons currently have it at a great price.