Happy Hump Day! The week is halfway over, but this also means we’re getting closer to the holidays. Here are few gift suggestions for kids 4-9 that will enhance language and be fun in the process!
1. Melissa and Doug Flip to Win Memory Game
Amazon.com- 12.99 Recommended age: 5+
Memory games are great because they’re repetitive. Kids see and say the same pictures, which helps them learn new vocabulary. This game in particular is great because you can customize it by printing cards with photos of family members, sight words or new vocabulary that you want your child to learn.
You all know how I feel about books, I love them. They are great at any age. Here are a few of my favorites for this age range:
Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears by Verna Aardema; Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans; James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl; The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster; The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
3. Goldie Blox and the Spinning Machine
Amazon.com -29.99 Recommended age: 6-9
A young female engineer created this toy. She felt that construction toys were geared mainly towards boys and decided to make this to “inspire the next generation of female engineers.” This gift can be a way to get kids to learn new and useful vocabulary (sketch, prototype etc.). I will warn you, Goldie Blox has mixed reviews, most complaints were that the child was bored with it after one use. Take a look at the website and see if this would be suitable for your kid. www.goldieblox.com
4. Phineas and Ferb Quest for Cool Stuff
Amazon.com- 24.99 Recommended age: 4-7
Have a little video gamer in your family? Try this game for Nintendo Wii. Kids build their vocabulary and learn new concepts (Atlantis, hieroglyph etc.) while helping Phineas and Ferb collect items to fill their Museum of Cool stuff.
5. Robot Turtles Game
Amazon.com- 24.99 Recommended age: 4-15
Robot Turtles teaches computer programming fundamentals to kids 4+ in a way that just seems like fun. In this game, kids are the robot masters, so they do a lot of the directing however they need help to write the program. It’s great for teaching interaction skills (i.e. asking appropriately for what you need).
6. Memorex MKS-SS2 SingStand 2 Home Karaoke System
Amazon- 79.99 Recommended age: 5+
Karaoke is great on so many levels. You can motivate kids who don’t like reading, to read and learn lyrics of their favorite songs so they can have their own concert. You can also help children who are learning to write and rhyme come up with their own songs to serenade the family! Honestly, kids will learn anything if it means they can repeat it into a microphone.
7. Create your own 3 Bitty Books
Amazon.com- 10.00 Recommended age: 5-9
Creating a book inspires kids to read, motivates them to write, introduces story language (once upon a time, one day, etc), teaches sequencing and a host of other concepts. With this gift, a child can add personal books to their library.
8. Lego Duplo Deluxe Box of Fun
Toys R Us- 39.99 Recommended age: 4+
I hate stepping on these things, but they’re really great for building language, imagination and play skills. They also come in many different themes I saw Lego beach house, Lego Minecraft characters etc.
9. Oakwood Home
Kidding Around- 74.99 Recommended age: 3-8
Any kind of doll home is great for language expansion. I chose this one because it’s a fixer upper (it doesn’t come with furniture) and would require your child to use more language to request the furniture that they want. Look online and shop for doll furniture while labeling all of the different furniture you see. Kids can also imitate what they see in the house to practice language skills. Does your child have trouble listening at the dinner table? Have the characters eat dinner at the table and listen to their parents, later have the child do the same thing. It’s like practicing, without having all of the pressure on them. I think that play homes are great for boys and girls and this one is good because you can decorate the rooms with stickers of what your child likes, instead of it coming preloaded with hearts or car pictures.
10. Fire HD 7 Table
Amazon- 139.00 Recommended age: 5+
Listen, we live in a technological world. Kids are going to have to know how to use a device, if they don’t already. If you’re buying your child their first personal gadget, load it up with some of the apps I mentioned in my blog No More iPad Guilt: 9 Speech Pathologist Recommended Guilt free Apps for Kids. There are tons of educational games out there for tablets and iPad. Don’t forget to load some fun stuff on there too. Learning is fun, but even kids need a mental break sometimes.
What I’m into…
Books- I’m Currently reading Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson. I find it hilarious. Seriously, I laugh out loud on the train…it’s embarrassing. I would recommend this book if you’re looking for something funny to read. Just a heads up, the language she uses is definitely for adults.
Food- Ramen. It’s freezing outside folks. It’s time for something warm and filling, and for me, Ramen hits the spot. When I want some Ramen and a little bit of atmosphere, I go to Ippudo in the East Village. The Ramen is great, the atmosphere is nice and it’s just a nice place to go with some girlfriends or on a date. I honestly haven’t found any great ramen in JC, but if anybody has any suggestions, please let me know!
(P.S. I’ve tried Union Republic)
Briana Evans, CCC-SLP is a licensed, certified speech language pathologist and owner of Speech Quest Speech and Language Therapy. She specializes in articulation, reading skills and early language development. She graduated from Columbia University with a Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology. In addition, she is working toward certification in PROMPT therapy, a kinesthetic articulation technique. She currently provides in-home or at-school services for children and teens. She believes in a lifestyle approach to speech therapy, which includes embedding support throughout the client’s daily life.