This month for our “Toys Without Batteries” post, we decided to switch things up and post about a few toys we like that do have batteries. Battery powered toys are not always a bad thing, even though we tend to veer more towards no batteries in our therapy sessions. Many children are truly more motivated by toys that move, make noise, or light up and this is totally fine. If it gets your child talking, we’re on board! In that direction, we present toys we love that have batteries.
1. Elefun: We honestly cannot say enough about how much young children love this game. It’s been around forever and if you take care of it, this toy can last a long time (we have one that’s over 10 years old!). We like to start out talking about the parts of this toy (the nets, the elephant, his trunk, the butterflies). If you have multiple children with you, have them ask each other what color net they would like to use, which will encourage social language. Encourage your child to tell you WHERE to put the elephant, HOW to turn it on, WHAT will happen when it’s turned on etc.
**Pro-tip: In order to keep Elefun in tip-top shape, we lay out 2 ‘rules’ when we play: 1.) no punching your hand through the net and 2.) adults are the only ones to touch the trunk.
2 Curious George Hide and Seek Zoo: There is a lot happening in this game, which is why we think kids like it so much. The man in the yellow hat is flying around the zoo and he finds that a bunch of things are wrong! He uses his walkie talkie to tell George (and your child) where there is a problem. This game is great for working on problem-solving skills (e.g., "What’s happening in this picture?", "Why is this a problem?", "How can they fix it?"). Your child will love using the walkie talkie and there is a fun part of the game where the animals escape and your child can put on a mask and hide!
**Pro-tip: this game is available on Amazon, but may be less expensive on ebay
3. Bubble Machine: A machine that shoots out bubbles!? It’s definitely as much fun as it sounds. We like to use this for increasing vocabulary by having children “get” different items or objects around the room/house with the bubble machine. Then, change it up and have them tell you what to “get.” You can even make it harder by giving "clues" or playing "I spy" when playing this game.
4. Playskool Explore N Grow Busy Gears: This is a toy geared more for the little ones (think 9-18 months). We call this a ‘cause and effect’ toy because it teaches children that when they do one thing (in this toy, push a button), something happens (the gears light up and spin around). Obviously, the lights and spinning gears are what helps keep the child’s engagement but you can use this to work on colors, asking them simple ‘wh’ questions so they can point to answer, and following simple directions.
If you missed our other favorite toy blog posts you can read them here, here, and here. Check back on The Speech Space blog for other fun ideas, toys and games you can do with your child to help increase their communication development.
And as always, if you have questions or concerns about your child's development, contact us at The Speech Space! We offer free screenings, which take approximately 30 minutes, and can help identify potential problems.