It’s kind of sad that ToysRus closed, but I have to admit I rarely shopped there. I like to find deals on toys and games so it was not my top choice for shopping for speech therapy materials/toys. Luckily one of my client’s parents reminded me about ToysRus’s big 50%-75% closing sale that happened over the summer. I didn’t think there would be anything left, but I was pleasantly surprised. See image below of the treasures that I found!
One of the toys I got for 50% off was Puppy Dog Pal’s Playhouse. In my collections of materials and toys, I do not have anything like this toy. It’s a Disney product and looked like fun so I paid for it half price. I have used it about 5 times in therapy and think it was worth the buy!
Playing with my 2 year olds – This toy is great for motivating late talkers and children who are limited speakers or not speaking yet to work on play skills, attending, and joint attention. I found out that one of my little ones loves the cartoon that goes with the toy, so it was a big hit! I modeled many core words, such as, up, down, in, out, go, stop. Since a couple of my little ones are not yet talking or have only a few words, I decided to model silly sounds and noises while playing: “weee”, ” whoa”, “yay”, “awe”, “hey”, “woof”, (panting sound), dog crying sound, etc. I also encouraged the child to share the dogs as he wanted to hold both of them. We worked on taking turns going down the slide and I made my dog talk to his dog. It was a fun therapy session!
Playing with 4 and 5 year olds – After studying the instructions, I discovered that there were many pictures showing how to play with the toy. I would think it would be self explanatory, but these images gave me an idea. One of my clients is working on following directions and learning concepts (spatial, qualitative, etc.). I took a picture of the images with my iPad. Then before we could play with the toy, I asked him to do what the picture told him to do. So we targeted following the direction with the concept (i.e., “Put the dog on the swing.”). After he followed the directions without difficulty, I had him either repeat a complete sentence or create a sentence about where he put the dog.
Overall this is a fun toy that targets many language goals!