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Updated: Dec 19, 2022

Toys play a significant role in language development. They are not ‘THE’ most important part in speech and language development but nevertheless play a critical role. Parents are always the primary facilitators in language development. However the right kind of toys certainly help in creating a rich context in language modelling and engagement.

Some useful tips for choosing the right kind of toys:

1. Having fewer toys available at a time is associated with more joint engagement between the parent and child. Rather than buying more and more toys, consider rotating toys and having fewer out at once.

2. Toys that are less visually “busy” seem to encourage parents to use more specific vocabulary (such as object names instead of general words like “this, that”)

3. Traditional toys facilitate better quantity and quality of language input compared to electronic toys.

Electronic toys were associated with decreases in conversational turns, adult responsivity, and content-specific words during play sessions with typically developing children. Children also vocalized less during play with electronic toys.