As I review toys and games for the fall PAL Awards I love to see what kids teach me about the products. Certain ones provide great fun in my speech therapy settings.
Today I brought Crayola’s “Color Wonder Light-Up Stamper” to the delight of the little boy I was working with. When working on articulation (sounds), we SLP’s are always looking for fun reinforcing activities. My little friend liked this self-contained stamping and coloring set so much he said to me, “On this Christmas, did you wish for this?” 10 disks snap on the stamper so kids can press them in the invisible 3 colors of paint. Then press on the magic paper and the image appears. Although we were working on final /l/–whale, smile, turtle, shell–he naturally began to illustrate and tell a story. Drawing an underwater school for the animals, he stamped a fish inside the door who became the teacher, ringing the bell to call sea animals to school.
Another winner with kids is Plan Toy’s “Build a Town Dough Set.” Kids really showed me around this set, using the big roller for lined roads and railroad tracks, while pulling out the handle and attaching it to other patterns to stamp into the dough. I was working on “is” with my little girl friend as she brought her favorite horse figures which were just the right size for our cars that we made from molds to put on the axles. Her shoes became their home as they traveled back along the road!
Simple, well-designed toys provide the environment for modeling target sounds or language structures, while expanding and building skills while having loads of fun!