One of my all time favorites is bubbles. Children are amazed with bubbles and love to run around and pop them. I'll blow the bubbles and use words such as, "Oh wow!" or "Look!" This allows me to target joint attention. While they're popping, I try to incorporate language such as pop, blow, bubbles, and more. I wait for them to initiate in some way or tell me more. If they want to take a turn blowing, I incorporate the language for "my turn."
Balls are another hit with my clients. Our clinic has balls of all sizes around--big exercise balls down to tennis balls. We play catch, fetch, bowling, baseball, and hockey. With these activities, I target up, down, go, more, my turn, hit, get, pick up, there, and your turn, among others. We do similar activities with balloons as well.
In my speech room, we also have a rug with roads and train tracks where my clients for use with cars and trains. For trains, I tend to use "woo woo" instead of "choo choo" because /w/ is easier and an earlier developing sound than CH. We target go, more, want, stop, bump, car, and train, among others.
When it's nice outside, my clients love to use chalk to draw on the sidewalk. When it's not nice outside, we draw on the trampoline instead. We target more, my turn, line, names of shapes, colors, do, and draw, among others. The same concepts are targeted with crayons or markers.
My clients always love blocks, either wooden or Duplo. We especially like to build up big towers and then knock them over. We target up, down, big, tall, more, block, my turn, your turn, and go, among others. We also target colors, if the blocks are colored.
Mr. Potato Heads are also a big hit with my clients. They love making silly faces and then changing them to something else! We even have princess and puppy ones now! I like to target vocabulary as well as following directions. We talk about body parts, my turn, your turn, on, off, top, side, build, more, and please, among others.
One of my clients' favorites recently has been the kitchen set. They love to play with the food, feed me, feed the baby doll, and create different recipes. Vocabulary targeted includes eat, cook, in, on, put in, make, more, please, and food, among others.
We have a bin full of animals in my speech room as well. This bin houses zoo, farm, and ocean animals. We have fun labeling the animals and making their sounds.
We have been loving PlayDoh recently as well. We make a lot of our own PlayDoh at the clinic, but we also buy the cans. We make various items out of the PlayDoh. One of our favorite activities is making cookie, putting them on a cookie sheet, and then delivering them to peers, other therapists, and office staff members.
I am very big into literature-based intervention and love all sorts of children's books. I love Brown Bear Brown Bear and other books by Eric Carle. I also love The Big Book of Exclamations, My Truck is Stuck, and so many more!
What are your favorite toys to target language in "late talkers?"