Most parents think of bubbles as a summer activity–kids chasing down the clear, multi-sized spheres to pop in delight. Certainly they are a great source of outside entertainment, but speech therapists use bubbles all year round and bubbles are one of the first things we bring out of our  bags to engage a toddler or preschooler. There is something magical to a little one when a liquid becomes three dimensional. Bubbles can be used to gain attention, reward vocalizations, or for modeling certain sounds like “p” or “b” in “pop” and “bubble.” I can get a lot of language out of a child, just by holding back an action like opening the top of the bubble container. Kids just learning to talk, often vocalize something just to get me to continue my routine of getting ready to blow bubbles. For older kids, blowing bubbles strengthens oral motor muscles for speech, and encourages lip rounding.

When I attended “Time To Play’s Spring Showcase of Toys,”  Their no-stain, no-dye, nontoxic bubbles really do work better and last longer in the air, which leads to more fun time and language expression. Here are some of the products that I liked for therapy and just plain fun:

“No-Spill Bubble Tumbler:” This is perfect for portable therapy and play since it really doesn’t spill, I like the one that has multiple wands so three kids can play at once.

“Jelly Belly Scented Bubbles:” Only a few inches long, this portable bubble toy holds scented bubbles for a child to blow.

“Big Bubble Friends” produce their own bubbles, so the child doesn’t benefit from the oral motor action of blowing their own bubbles, but my big cow was a load of fun. Tip back the head of the cow and as he lets out a “Mooooo,” a stream of bubbles is emitted and kids are mesmerized. Use the toy as a motivator, modeling sounds or words for them to repeat and rewarding them with a stream to chase. Toddlers and preschoolers  loved this toy and played independently for up to 20 minutes.

Have a few of these portable bubble entertainers ready to delight kids summer or winter.

The opinions expressed in this review are soley those of the author. The above products were provided for review by “Little Kids'”