I had a fun interview today at NBC CT sharing the latest PAL Award winners that can build language skills. Here are the toys and games that I brought with the points I made about them and their price:

It’s Back to School and parents are immersed in the new school year with academic expectations, homework etc. Kids come home and need some down time for play but it doesn’t have to be mindless play–here are some great toys and games that build language while having loads of fun:


Disney Princess Dazzling Princess Game by Wonder Forge (4 and up. $20.00)

  • little girls win jewels for their tiara, bracelet and ring based on correctly identifying which princess story matches the character, prop or place pictured
  • secret princess cards–also act out or give a little dialogue so others can guess


Dedee Duck Bath Organizer by Blue Box Toys (1 year and up, $22.00)

  • I love Dedee’s big face that invites conversation with little ones in the bath
  • clean-up by category–give me pirates, fish–is a good language activity
  • use as carryall outside the bath


Speedee Bee, Tell Tale Fairy Tales, Spot It Jr. and Shrimp Cocktail by Blue Orange Games (5, 7, 8 and up, $13-$15.00)

  • wonderful, portable games in a tin that use language skills to find words in a category, beginning sounds in Speedee Bee, tell a story with Tell Tale Fairy Tales, or learn vocabulary with Spot It Jr.


WOW Fire Rescue Roary by Ravensburger (1 1/2-5 years, $40.00)

  • play scenario toy with just 4 pieces but plenty to get the story going and leave it open-ended for the child to lead
  • kid-powered, no batteries, picks up the stretcher and injured man with a magnet to air lift him


Pop and Swap Gym by Infantino (birth-2 years, $50.00)

  • flexible toy for baby–4 positions from tummy time to sitting up
  • pods and hanging toys are mix and match–add on new ones
  • babies learn from adults describing their play–variety for adults too


e-Ranger Headquarters by Playmobil (7-12 years, $130)

  • futuristic space station
  • workers have organic garden to produce the oxygen to live
  • working solar panel to drive the fan to disperse the oxygen
  • red energy crystals to provide power