Gift Ideas for this Holiday Season

Do you every find yourself scrolling through Amazon or walking aimlessly down the toy section of a store wondering WHAT SHOULD I GET!?
SPG has got you covered. Check out our list of ideas below that family members can use to promote communication, fine motor and gross motor.

This list was compiled by;

Krysta Sbriscia
Cristina Chase
Khaila Fitzgerald
Lauren Criniti
Caitlin Ackerman

Hidden First Toggle
Children Up to Age 2

Children in this age group are beginning to explore their speech and language skills. We see kids starting to babble or put sounds together. They might begin to participate in turn-taking routines with others playing social games or with their own sounds. They share toys with their caregivers to engage in joint attention. At this age, parents and caregivers can create communication temptations to work on speech and language skills using the toys shared below:

Jack In The Box (or any pop up toy)

Wind Up Toys

  • Allows for child to request for another turn
  • Work on turn-taking
  • Child can work on asking for help to make the toy work
  • Example

Bubbles

  • Work on imitating /b/ sound (an early developing consonant) for bubbles
  • Engage in turn-taking
  • Practice rounding lips to blow bubbles
  • Request assistance or for continued action of the bubble
  • Example

Shape Sorter

  • Work on fine motor skills while also matching objects
  • Parents can take turns while child plays with a shape sorter or have child request for objects
  • Example

Puzzles

  • Work on requesting for puzzle pieces as well as asking for help
  • Work on labeling items in puzzle
  • Great for fine motor skills also
  • Example

Books

  • While books may not be a typical toy like others listed above, parents can incorporate TONS of language in books. Some SLP favorites include ones that repeat throughout the book or require the child to participate in reading by either touching or feeling objects
  • Work on labeling objects in photos, understanding literacy skills such as turning the pages and reading from left to right, following directions (e.g., Touch –)
  • Examples include: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?; See, Touch, Feel books; 5 Little Monkeys; My First Words books
Children Ages 3-6
Children at this age put longer strings of words together and demonstrate growth in their vocabulary. They might start asking questions (e.g., Where’s ball?) and answering simple WH (who, what, where) questions. They tell stories with increased details and events. Sharing with others continues to develop as well as more complex play skills, including dramatic and pretend play. The following toys below continue to strengthen their speech and language skills:

Grocery store dramatic play set

  • Work on play skills
  • Grocery store vocabulary such as names of foods, aisle, cart, cashier, register, etc.
  • Model commenting on activities, such as “I’m buying apple” or “I’m putting food on the shelf”
  • Pair dramatic play set with grocery store circular at local grocery store to discuss prices, finding items
  • Example: Cutting Play Food Kitchen
Household dramatic play set

  • This could be a kitchen set, tool workspace, laundry set
  • Like the grocery store dramatic play set, parents and caregivers can incorporate so much vocabulary into dramatic play activities, such as sweep, mop, wash, dry, hammer, etc.
  • Example: Kitchen
  • Example: Tools
  • Example: Cleaning
dramatic play set
Puzzles

  • Puzzles are great for problem solving skills and are a great way to take turns when playing with others
  • Example
Magnetic Drawing Board

  • Have children work on their fine motor skills and also explain what they’re drawing. Parents/caregivers can incorporate using details to describe the photo or story telling with their picture
  • Work on answering WH- questions related to the photo
  • Example – Purple
  • Example – Floor
Play Doh sets

  • Incorporate dramatic play and creativity with play doh. Similar to the drawing board, parents and caregivers can narrate, or talk about, what their child is making as well as have the child describe. Children can also use pretend play when making animals or making food items
  • Incorporate vocabulary into play with Play Doh
  • Example
Race car/train and tracks

  • Have children sequence how to build their race/train track
  • Parents/caregivers can work on following directions and give directives to children about how to build the tracks
  • Example: Train
  • Example: Car
Blocks

  • Similar to cars and train tracks, children can work on sequencing and following directives
  • Example
Children Ages 7-11

Children at this age are developing more concrete executive functioning and cognitive skills such as abstract thinking, problem solving, and working memory.  Children are continuing to develop sequencing skills as well.

Story Cubes: Promotes language skills, sequencing, story telling.
Headbandz: Promotes describing objects/concepts
Checkers, Chess, Sudoku: Promote problem solving and higher level thinking.
Rush Hour: Promotes problem solving and critical thinking
Children Ages 12+

Children that are entering adolescence are continuing to develop critical thinking skills, developing abstract and hypothetical thinking skills and are able to “think about thinking” (metacognition.) Children at this age are beginning to develop adult-cognitive skills.

Taboo: Promotes critical and abstract thinking.
Kanoodle Extreme: Promotes problem solving, reasoning, and abstract thinking.
Blank Slate: Promotes metacognition and hypothetical thinking skills
Adults Post Stroke

The below items were chosen to target language, memory, executive functioning, visuospatial, and attention skills. These skills are often impacted when a neurological infarct occurs. Games and fun activities can help to engage and excite specific neurons used in these impacted skills which may have been underactive.

Scrabble Promotes constraint induced language skills, problem solving skills, and visuospatial skills needed to arrange tiles
Crossword Puzzles Promotes constraint induced language skills as well as fine motor skills used for writing
SudokuPromotes executive functioning skills, visuospatial skills, and fine motor skills
Guess Who – promotes language skills, memory skills, and attention skills.

Sequence 

  • Promotes memory and visuospatial skills.
  • You can also tailor this game to target language skills by discussing the sequences made and any strategies they used to remember them.

ScattergoriesPromotes constraint induced language skills, executive functioning skills, memory, attention, and fine motor skills.

 

Articulation Ideas

Make articulation goals fun for the whole family. Below are some suggestions to increase home carryover for our speech sounds.  

Super Duper Articulation Cards

  • These articulation cards can be used during play at home, and can easily be added into any board game night
  • Each sound can be purchased individually for your child’s sounds!

I can say my ___   sound By Peachie Speechie 

  • This work book goes through a variety of activities to help promote production of your child’s sound with step by step instructions for parents and kids

Bingo Dauber and Speech Sound Work Sheets

 

  • Make speech and craft time all in one! Bingo Daubers are a fun way to encourage multiple productions of their speech sound goal, for every time they produce a speech sound- they can use the dauber to mark off a spot!
Sensory Toys

Hand Strengthening & Heavy Work

Theraputty

  • Resistance of X-Soft to Hard, improves hand strength and self-regulation
  • Add & alternate different materials into putty (ie. beads, googly eyes, etc.)

Weighted Balls

  • Recommended weight of 2 to 5 lbs. depending on child age & size
  • Provides deep-pressure & proprioceptive input

Yoga & Gross Motor Exercise Cards

  • Provides visual for kids to follow, can incorporate into scavenger hunt and other games/races

Handee Bands Resistance Band Activity Cards

  • Helps to stimulate the mind and increase body awareness, while improving fine motor, upper body strength and core strength.

Scooter board

  • Coordination, proprioception, strengthening (lower and upper body)
  • Comes with and without handles (handles for beginners, without for increasing core strength & use of lower body)

Therapy Exercise Balls

  • Strengthening, reflex integration, sensory. Sizes vary, obtain size that allows your child to sit on height wise to that of a chair in a close to 90-90-90 position
Sensory Processing

Visual timers / Lava Timers

  • Helps with transitions, auditory sensitivities, self-regulation
  • Portable timers, Bubble Timers, Sand Timers

Vibration/Massager – Self Regulation and increased focus, improves those sensitive to tactile input

Fidget toys

Stress balls, Resistance bands, Velcro, pop-its, pop tubes, and more
Example: Pop Tubes
Example: Fidget sets

Weighted lap pad

  • Help to improve attention, focus, and ability to self-regulate
  • Use 5% of your child’s body weight as a guideline to determine the appropriate weight the lap pad should have

Weighted animal

  • Help to improve attention, focus, and ability to self-regulate

Wiggle Cushion (Balance DIsks)

  • Helps improve seated postures, increase attention (those that fidget while seated) and can also be used for gross motor tasks to stand on

Vibrating pillow

  • Self Regulation and increased focus, improves those sensitive to tactile input
  • Can be pressure activated (child must squeeze to use) or switch activated

Kind Words

We create relationships and are grateful to our many parents, agencies, and school counselors for their support throughout the years.

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“I appreciate all of your, and your staffs’, efforts over the past several months.  I have received a number of very positive remarks from my colleagues regarding the quality of everyone’s work.”
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“ We switched from a large practice to SPGCT because I felt my child was lost in the mix. Rachel is on top of insurance claims and sends frequent emails to stay connected.”

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“If there has ever been a parental, administrative or teacher concern – the ladies have jumped in immediately to help. It is evident these SLP’s have worked in our school systems for years.”

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“I have been a contractor for many years - but this is the first time I have worked for a practice that is run by a fellow SLP - and what a difference it makes! Rachel truly understands our needs and our worth.”

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