By Gemma Holleran - Speech Pathologist & Committee Member
Children learn so much through play. Toys are a great way to get kids talking! New toys and games can spark new vocabulary, longer sentences and more complex ideas. Here are 5 toys you’ll find at Caulfield Community Toy Library that are great for developing language skills in your 3 to 4 year old.
1. Imaginative Play - Kitchen & Food
Kids love to play shops! Without realizing it, they are practicing greeting people, asking questions and learning new words (food names, cooking words, colours.) Join in and enjoy a ‘skinny latte’ or a bowl of soup! Kids love to see their parents play and be silly.
You can find these in category FS – Food & Shopping
“What sound does a horse make?” By age 3, most children know the sounds common animals make. They can now start using animals to tell stories. Match up some animal toys with a favorite book and act out the story together! Check out our Australian animal sets – they would go nicely with classic books like Possum Magic and Wombat Stew!
You can find these in category U – Animals #77, #1085, #1223
Blocks are fantastic to combine with other toys. Use blocks to create houses for animals or people. Talk about where you are putting things. For example, “the horse is under the bridge”. This helps your child learn new words and follow instructions.
You can find these in categories: K - Blocks & M - Duplo
4. Turn taking Games
We have lots of great early games for 3-4 year olds. Games help kids learn the rules of conversations – taking turns, waiting for the other person, following rules.
These games are simple to play and will have your child using sentences to ask for items, listening, taking turns and matching pictures. All great skills!
Take a look at the Macdonald Lotto Game G3.163 or the Shopping List game G3.546
5. Doll play
Lastly, doll play is another great way to build language. Children learn to use words that relate back to themselves through dolls. For example, ‘ I’m feeding the dolly’ or “Dolly doesn’t want to eat this”. We have lots of great dolls and accessories that girls and boys will love.
Have a look at category S - popular roleplay.