IKEA & Speech Pathology

This is the first in our new series on how to use IKEA in Speech Therapy.


IKEA has a great range of affordable toys and other items that are ideal for using with young children.

It’s also really accessible to families making it a great way to incorporate ideas at home!

Playsounds Kit for Toddlers

Today I am going to make up a kit of playsounds to use with toddlers.  This is ideal for children who are just beginning to copy sounds/words.  You can use all these objects in playtime to make lots of different noises.  Remember to repeat the noises many times and praise your child when he/she tries to imitate you.

  1.  Finger Puppets  –

    Sounds you can say – rah!   sssssss,  meow,   woof,  tweet tweet

2.  Watering Can and Flowers

Sounds you can say –  pshhhhh (water),   “smell flowers”

3.  Train set

Sounds – choo choo!

4.  Cars

Sounds to make  – brrrrrrm,   beep!

5.  Bandaids for doctor play

Sounds to make – ow!


6.  Animal touch & feel book

Sounds to make – baaaa, meow

7.  Pop Up tent

Sounds to make – boo!

8.  Pots and Pans

Sounds to make – bang!  “hot” sounds,  yum!


A cheap and easy way to bring out a fun kit and help your child imitate sounds.  This is a vital first step in learning new words!

Play Boot Camp

Back to Basics !

drinking tea

Imaginative play with an adult is a key learning time for a young child  (particularly children with speech and language difficulties).  All you need are some plastic cups, a doll/teddy and a blanket to get started!  Make play a priority, not a special time once a week.  Here are some ideas!

Basic Play Principles

  • Make time to play every day.
  • Sit on the floor together with some recommended toys
  • Read to your baby every day
  • Have fun and be involved
  • The I Pad or TV does not teach a baby or toddler how to speak (It is best used as a distractor if you need to get a task done!)
  • Baby laptops and other sound/light stimulating toys do not make the best teaching tools.
  • Toy rotation keeps things exciting. Make sure that there are not too many toys out which can be distracting. Clear away as you go.

Nursery Rhymes

head shoulders

Nursery rhymes play an important role in learning to talk and in learning to read.

  • They develop Baby’s listening skills
  • Create a copycat game to enjoy
  • Help with using some words in sentence completion
  • Develop use of gesture

Download this information here.



playsounds grid titlePlaysounds are sounds and noises that babies and toddlers make during playtime.  They include noises such as;

animal sounds ( “meow, woof” )

car noises ( ‘brrrrm”)

exclamations ( “uh oh!” )

and anything else that sounds symbolic and fun!

Making these noises during play or daily routines with your baby and toddler is helpful for learning language.  They often act as a bridge to copying words.  Use lots of sing song (intonation) in your voice too!  Watch how your baby looks at you when you do this as they are keyed into hearing all the ups/downs in your voice.

Looking for some ideas on how to incorporate this in your play?  Our 5 page worksheet will illustrate some ways you can do this at home.  Download it now.




Tip 1- First Words Series

tip 1

This is the first Tip in our series: First Words – 12 Ways to help your child learn to talk.  You can download the whole booklet here.

Why is it important?

Sitting on the floor together means that you are more likely to be at your child’s level. Trying to play with your toddler on the floor whilst you are in a chair makes it harder to play properly.  You can join in and talk more easily when you are both playing together on the floor.

Want to learn more?  Download the sheet below.