The holidays are quickly approaching! Let’s talk toys! Playing is the work of childhood, and the types of toys we bring into our homes can have a huge impact on how our children improve their language, motor, and social skills.


There are two types of toys- close-ended toys and open-ended toys. Close- ended toys are toys that have a clear ending. For example, your child pushes a button and the toy lights up or sings. These types of toys do not allow for creativity, problem solving, or social interaction. While they do entertain your child for a short time, they do not teach him to entertain himself. We want our children to be the entertainers!


Let’s fill our homes with open-ended toys! Open-ended toys allow your child to use his or her imagination. They allow your child to include you in their play. Open-ended toys also provide dozens and dozens of opportunities for you to stimulate your child’s language development by labeling the items he is playing with and illustrating what he or she is doing. Below is a list of therapists’ favorite open-ended toys for babies, toddlers, and preschool aged children.


For Babies and one-year-olds    stacking toy

Simple wooden cars or trucks

Farm animals and farm

Stacking toys and rings

Ball pit

Bath toys

Big knob puzzles



For Toddlerslittle people

Duplo blocks

Play kitchen

Toy doctor kit

Mr. Potato Head

Pretend tea or coffee set

Vehicles with people

Doll house


For Preschoolers

Floor puzzleshippos

Superhero capes

Simple board games such as “Hisss” or “Hungry Hungry Hippos”

Lego bricks

Fort builder kit

Marble run

Magnetic tiles