Language Development Toys For Kids

These language development toys are appropriate for children ages 4-8 depending on interests and language level. There is something for everyone here. Enjoy!

Top "Must Have" List

Problem-Solving Board Games

These problem-solving board games are fantastic language development toys!! Your child will develop important cognitive skills just by playing with friends and family. What could be easier than that?!

Why? Problem-solving skills are important for academic and life skills development. Guess Who targets the important cognitive skill of deductive reasoning…”figuring out what something is by what it is not.” Connect four practices planning and reasoning skills. Children also have to attend to what they are doing as well as the other players which can do wonders for attention skills. Spot It works on visual memory, attention, and matching abilities. Memory does a wonderful job working on visual memory and social skills while building vocabulary. 

How? Follow the directions on the game. If your child seems too young for one of the games don’t shy away. You can always adapt them to meet the needs of your child.

Language Development Toys: Board games

These language board games are fantastic!! Your child will develop important speech language skills without even trying. I own all of these games listed below and find them invaluable during during speech therapy sessions.

Why? Hedbanz is a great game that targets categorization and description skills, vocabulary development, and the ability to ask and answer yes/no questions. Also, kids LOVE this one. It must have something to do with wearing a card on your head. Story Cubes is my new favorite game. It is a wonderful and fun way to practice oral story telling skills and narrative structure. Apples to Apples or Apples to Apples Junior is a great game for adults and kids. It works on vocabulary, comparison, similarities, and differences. The Match It puzzles target a variety of language skills ranging from early developing sequencing abilities to letter recognition!

How? Follow the directions on the game.

Sorting Toys

These toys are aimed at younger kids; however, they do come in handy for math and motivational tools for first and second graders. 

Why? Sorting skills are important for learning math, developing the idea of categories, counting, matching, and comparison tasks. I use the 50 Counting Bears with 5 Cups with my younger toddlers quite often to teach colors and matching. However, I noticed that my older kids like using them during math vocabulary tasks (i.e., more, less, add, take away). The Super Sorting Pie is quite similar; however, it works on describing/grouping based on attributes and fine motor skills. Also, it is cute! 

How? Some ideas to get started... Sort objects by color or size. Make 2 piles and talk about which pile has more or less. Practice taking away and adding. Describe shapes. Make patterns. Practice the concepts “before,” “after,” “every other,” “many,” or “few.”

Building and Creating Games

Creative games where children get to build freely develops cognitive skills such as constructive abilities, problem-solving, and creativity. These games also naturally lend to language development through conversation, oral problem-solving, and exposure to new vocabulary. 

Why? Play-Doh! Who doesn’t love Play-Doh? I usually keep it stored away for my younger toddlers but was amazed the other day at how much my 6-9 years LOVE playing with it. We targeted description tasks, sequencing of steps, and new verbs. Really, this game is endless. Legos Bricks & More Builders of Tomorrow is a breath of fresh air from the usual Legos found in stores these days. This is one of the few sets for older children that isn’t “paint by number.” Instead of following step-by-step directions, children get to create their own masterpieces.

How? Build creations and talk about building vocabulary. Describe shapes. Give directions on how to build your creation to your child and vice versa. 

Exploring Play

Children need to get outside more. It breaks my heart when I ask my students if they played in the snow over the weekend and they all say “no!” This may be a soap box of mine so I apologize for the preaching, but children NEED to be outside!! It is crucial for their development and health!!

Why? Binoculars give some children an extra push to get outside and explore. This exploration will open up lots of vocabulary learning opportunities! The Adventure Kids Bug Catcher falls along the same lines. However, this gift is more appropriate for children who already like bugs. If they do, this is a great gift for creating houses for bugs, learning about science, and more!

How? Name all the things you can find with binoculars. Explore new parks and places which will quickly improve vocabulary skills. Build a home for the bug and name all the things that the living creature will need to survive. Talk about where bugs come from and how they live. Brainstorm similar and different bugs. 

Pretend Play

Pretend does wonders for the imagination and cognitive development. Also, with all the apps, TV and video games being so easily accessible, imagination has taken a dive. 

Why? Pretend and Play School Set is an excellent “toy.” Most children LOVE to play teacher. Why not practice all their academic skills while the play? Walkie Talkies are wonderful. This was my favorite game as a child and have made quite a comeback! They are great for encouraging expressive language practice.

How? For the teaching game, you can work on all academic skills as well as turn-taking skills. Using the walkie talkie, practice giving directions, describing your surroundings, and/or creating imaginary games. Really, anything since walkie talkie naturally will have your child talking!!

Charts, Poster, Bean Bags, Oh My! 

Welcome to my miscellaneous group. These odds and ends are invaluable! These educational games target a wide range of skills from geography to shapes; however, they all develop great vocabulary and get little minds thinking. 

Why? Insights Shapes Bean Bags are always a hit. Kids love to throw and toss. The Magnetic Responsibility Chart really speaks for itself. What a fun way to encourage chores and learning time concepts. It is a great way to stay organized as well. Win Win!! The geography poster had to be included because I love geography and maps. It is a fun to show your child the world (and cheap too).

How? You can use these items to work articulation, shapes, following directions, time concepts such as days of the weeks, months, yesterday, tomorrow, etc…, geography vocabulary etc… How you play these games to target language development will greatly depend on your child abilities and the game you choose. 

Bridget is an ASHA certified, practicing speech language pathologist. She is passionate about providing parents with information on child speech and language development as well as provide functional, easy activities to do at home! Parents have the power to make a real difference.

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