Archived: Speech Therapist Recommended Toys for 3-4 Year Olds Part I

As speech pathologists, many people come to us to ask about the best educational gifts to buy. We know it is difficult finding the right toy for your child and then on top of that having to find a toy that promotes speech, language, and cognitive development. As speech therapists, we have tried just about every toy out there, so we’ve decided to make a list of our absolute favorites for each age range (0-5+). They will contain a variety of toys such as pretend play, puzzles, art, games, and much more. Many of the items that we recommend can also be used for that age range and beyond because we want to make sure each item has longevity and you get your money’s worth! We hope that you find our top toy lists helpful when it comes to birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions. We’re here to make your lives easier!

The next age range we will target is 3-4 years. It’s time to celebrate – the “Terrible Twos” are over! And one reason for that is because your children are becoming better communicators. At this point your child will be using anywhere between 800 to 1500 words. Their speech should be 80% intelligible in terms of clarity. They are using language for different reasons now – to express emotions, ask questions (nonstop!), tell two events in chronological order, engage in long conversation, and more! In terms of receptive language, they are beginning to follow 2-3 step commands (eg – When they come into the classroom they may be asked to “Take off your jacket and backpack, put it in your cubby, and come and sit at the circle”. And what is really neat is that they understand 1200 to sometimes over 2000 words! They comprehend more complex concepts such as opposites (eg – stop vs. go) and are now aware of past and future events. In terms of play, their dramatic play is really evolving. This includes two or more children and they select a theme, assign roles, and use appropriate language while engaging in their roles. These toys below will allow their imaginations to run wild!

From 3-4 years

Colorsforms Playsets

 

$24.99

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Peaceable Kingdom Feed the Woozle

 

$24.50

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Peaceable Kingdom Snug as a Bug in a Rug

 

$19.99

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Orchard Toys Crazy Chefs Game

 

$13.49

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Orchard Toys Shopping List

 

$13.49

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Play Mais Arts & Crafts Modeling Kits

 

$10.99

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Thomas & Friends Wood Railway Train Sets

 

$160.00

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Educational Insights The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game

 

$17.49

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Dr. Seuss What’s in the Cat’s Hat? Game

 

$26.99

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Trampoline

 

$59.99

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LEGO Duplo Sets

 

$139.99

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Hasbro Lite Brite

 

$14.99

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Educational Insights Shapes Beanbags

 

$16.62

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Learning Resources Rainbow Sorting Crayons

 

$89.99

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Disney Princess Doll Set

 

$6.99

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tall stacker and Peg Board Set

 

$16.99

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Debbie Shiwbalak, M.A., CCC-SLP, has a Baccalaureate of Arts in Speech Pathology and is a graduate of Long Island University-CW Post Campus, where she received a Master of Arts in Speech Pathology in 2001. She holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and is licensed by the state of New York to practice speech-language pathology. Debbie has 13 years experience as a speech pathologist in the New York City area.
Alpin Rezvani, M.A., CCC-SLP, graduated from New York University with a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology. She holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association (ASHA) and has New York licensure in Speech-Language Pathology. She has 7 years of experience as a speech pathologist in the New York City area and was an adjunct instructor at New York University. She co-authored two chapters of “Cutting Edge Therapies for Autism”.

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