Need a few more ideas for presents to put under the tree? Here are some great toys, games, and gifts that will help your child develop their speech and language skills.

Gifts that Develop Speech Skills

The goal of these toys is to get your child making vocal noises, learn new speech sounds, and have tons of fun. All of these toys make great gifts and your child will have a blast.

  • Toy Cars and Baby Dolls: Really, any type of toy that doesn’t make a lot of noise is a great toy, especially if they know the noise the toy should make. For example, kids with toy cars make car noises and practice their v’s and r’s. Each different toy gives them the chance to make new noises. Silent toys also encourage using their imagination and creativity.
  • Musical Instruments: Whether it’s a drum, toy piano, or a whistle, making music also promotes making noises vocally.

  • Animal Farm Set: Teaching children animal noises is more helpful and fun with a great playset. Get your child mooing, clucking, and barking.

  • Kitchen Set: Along the same lines of the Animal Farm sets, a kitchen set help kids practice household noises and roleplay being an adult, making appropriate noises. You can also include toy tool sets, doctor kits and similar sets for more fun.

Gifts that Develop Language Skills

When it comes to developing language skills, gifts that get your child talking are best. Things that help them describe experiences, follow directions, or just practice vocabulary make great gifts.

  • Board Games: Games that encourage a lot of talking, teamwork, participation and creativity are great chances to build language skills. Just a few game ideas are: Guess Who?, Pictionary, Scattergories Junior, Catch Phrase Junior, Apples to Apples Junior, and Cranium Junior. Consider giving kids extra time in “timed” games so they don’t feel like they fail every time they play.

  • Sensory Toys: Whether it’s a sandbox or a water table, giving children different physical experiences and then having them explain what they are feeling helps with descriptive language skills.

  • Art Kits: Coloring sets, playdough, clay, fingerpaints and anything that promotes creativity make stellar gifts. Along with promoting art skills and hand-eye coordination, asking your child what they made is great for helping with descriptive language. You can also target color identification and naming.

  • Microphone and Speaker: Making your child the star of the show encourages them to get talking. Ask them to sing a song or tell a story. The microphone will make them feel extra special.

  • Books: It shouldn’t be too hard to see the benefits of books. Finding books your child loves may be a little hard, but getting a few different types of books is a pretty safe bet to finding one they enjoy. Mix it up by having them read you a story before bed.

    • Books for preschoolers

      • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

      • Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

      • Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney

    • Books for children 4-9

      • Any Dr. Seuss book

      • The Complete Stories of Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne

      • Clifford, the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell

    • Books for children 9-13

      • The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

      • The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

      • Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

    • Books for young adults

      • Harry Potter by J.K. Rowlings

      • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

      • Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls

  • Puppets: Finger puppets, sock puppets, or full-size versions of the Muppets are great for getting your child to practice conversations. Whether it’s the child holding a conversation with the puppet or hosting a full-fledged puppet show are great ways to practice conversation skills.

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