You don’t need to have tons of special toys or gadgets to help build your child’s language skills at home. With a little creativity, almost any household item can be repurposed for a fun language and speech lesson. Here are 8 items you’re sure to have at home that you can use. (You can download the flyer below. )

  1. Toilet paper, paper towels, and wrapping paper rolls.
    • Turn them into telescopes or binoculars, and play “I Spy.” Use as a noisemaker (fill with coffee beans or beads, and place tape on each end), megaphone, or tunnel for toy cars.
  2. Boxes of different shapes and sizes (e.g., cereal, shoes) .
    • Encourage exploration, and creativity by using boxes to make games, castles, or obstacle courses; hide objects in or under them to work on prepositions; and guess what’s inside them to work on wh-words (e.g., what, where).
  3. Bubble Wrap.
    • Work on “b” and “p” sounds as well as on cause and effect (e.g., what happens when you push down or step on the wrap). Talk about how the texture feels and whether the sound it makes is loud or soft.
  4. Water/milk bottles.
    • Turn into a noisemaker or instrument (put rice inside for a fun maraca), and introduce verbs like shake and stop. Use while singing nursery rhymes.
  5. Purses, backpacks, and pillow cases.
    • Use for mystery-bag play, giving your child clues about what’s inside and having them guess the object.
  6. Laundry baskets.
    • Use as boats, trains, or cars for fun imaginative play. Use phrases like “go choo-choo” or “beep-beep car.”
  7. Flashlights.
    • Go on a scavenger hunt in the dark, looking for items that target certain speech sounds or themes (e.g., Find three things that start with “m” or Find four things we can take on our picnic).
  8. Spray bottles and buckets.
    • Work on sequencing (the individual steps for completing a certain task, in the proper order) as you clean together. Ask your child to fill a bottle with water, spray the table, and wipe it down with a paper towel or sponge.

Original Source: Identify the Signs Campaign: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)