Games and Toys for Managing Developmental Delays

Developmental delays in children can include areas of cognitive thinking, motor skills, and speech and language. As explained by our resident speech pathologist, Brooke Perrin: “No two children with autism are the same, therefore speech and language goals can vary significantly between children.” 

As such, we ensure all tools and treatment provided are tailored to meet your child's specific behavioural, social, and communication needs. 

Overcoming these can be achieved through various games and interactive activities, such as: 

Pop-Up Pirate

This toy can be used for improving your child's attention, patience, and language development. Allowing up to four players, children take turns pushing plastic swords into the sides of a toy barrel until a pirate pops out.

The game can be played in two ways. Children can simply exercise their conversational turn-taking skills, and ability to wait during gameplay.

Or, you can incorporate speech drills — where each child gets an attempt at articulating a sound, word, or sentence. When successful, they get to push a sword into the barrel. The more they get right, the faster the pirate will pop up. This game can help develop their vocabulary, expressions, sentence length, and ability to lose a game without losing control of emotions. 

Shopping List Game

In this activity, your child can exercise their skills in categorisation, memory, imagination, and following directions. 

Depending on your child's needs, the game can be modified to develop one's vocabulary (in which players can expand their bank of “food” words), speech (articulating phrases or sentences with names of items or food), or memory and organisation. Best of all, the game can be played with basic household items and shopping lists you write yourself. 

I Spy 

This can be used to improve your child's deductive reasoning, receptive language, and expressive language. 

The game is simple: spot something in plain sight, name a single trait it has, and have your child guess what it is. The game can be modified to help improve your child's categorisation skills (i.e. choosing an item of a certain colour, pattern, or function), vocabulary, phonics, or attention skills. 

While visual books are available to play this game, it can also be played by simply identifying objects within view.

Building Blocks

Available in a wide variety of forms, toy blocks can help your child develop their focus, sharing, and observation skills while also improving their motor development. 

The simplicity of these building blocks makes them highly adaptable to your child's needs. Help your child identify colours, prepositions (i.e. on, top, under), verbs, adjectives, and various shapes. Depending on the game you play, you can also help improve your child's patience and turn-taking skills.

Mr. Potato Head

Mr. Potato Head is the ideal activity for exercising turn-taking, sentence expansion/articulation, imagination, following directions, and memorising colours and body parts. 

As with the shopping list game, this activity can be adapted according to your child's speech and language goals. Help your child identify parts of the body, perform narrative play, follow verbal or visual directions, or use gestures on the doll to indicate specific needs. 

Overcome Delays in Speech and Language Development

Seeking speech-language or occupational therapy for children on the autism spectrum? Through a variety of interactive toys and activities, we provide caregivers with the appropriate strategies for regulating physical movement and emotional responses among children with autism. We focus on improving various types of verbal and non-verbal language, including receptive language, expressive language, and pragmatic language.

To learn more about assisting your child's speech development, get in touch for a free phone consultation with our speech pathologists today.