Contributed by Waves Early Interventionist, Cheryl Vooris

The Target Dollar Spot currently has some great toys for encouraging language with little learners.  All of the toys shown are wonderful for developing joint engagement and provide lots of ways to develop language and communication skills.  

Phrase completion: Using verbal routines is a great way to encourage language.  Make sure to include a long pause to allow your child time to finish the phrase.  “Ready, set………………..Go!”

Requesting: These toys are so fun that little ones are likely to want to continue playing.  Pair sign language and words to encourage them to request more and help.

Core Words: Core words are powerful, functional words that make up the majority of words we use every day.  Focus on targeting some core words like “in”, “on”, “off”, “go” etc., while playing with these toys.

Power Phrases: Model using phrases that give little one’s power to communicate their wants, needs, and feelings such as “This is fun!” “I need help.” “Let’s do it again!”

Exclamations and Sound Effects: Children are likely to repeat exclamations and sound effects prior to first words so use these toys to model words and phrases such as “uh oh” “wow” and “pop”

Turn Taking: Taking turns is an important early skill and these toys are great ways to practice.  Make sure to model phrases “my turn” and ‘your turn”.

Wind-Up Toys:
-Phrase completion “Ready, set, GO!”
-Requesting more and help
-Target core words “go” and “stop”
-Model Power Phrases: “Let’s do it again!” “This is fun!”
Pop Tube Animals:
-Phrase completion: “1, 2, 3, PULL!”
-Requesting help
-Target core words “pull” and “push”
-Practice turn taking
Animal Pop Pals:
-Phrase completion “1, 2, 3, PULL!”
-Target core words “on” and “off”
-Model Power Phrases “It’s stuck.” “I need help!”
-Practice turn taking
Popper Toy:
-Phrase completion: “Ready, set, GO!”
-Target core words “in” “get” “go”
-Requesting more and help
-Model exclamations and sound effects “wow!” “pop”