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!

The Beach in our Waiting Room

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Our waiting room has been transformed this year into a mini-Beach.



This is a great theme to re-enact at home.  You can set up all the props and develop your child’s imaginative play around something that may be very familiar to them.

You can make a pool of ocean animals too.  Use some material as the ‘water’ and some plastic animals.

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Dress ups are always a great idea.  There are hats, thongs, goggles, sunglasses and hooded towels to use.

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How about some shell collecting?

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This is just one of many pretend play themes you can do at home with your child.  Young children benefit from using words around a theme with lots of repetition to help understanding and retention.


More IKEA Hacks – for Imaginative Play

IKEA has lots of great toys and props you can use to help your toddler learn about pretend play.

Here are some of our favourites!

SPEXA Doll’s house

This hard cover folder can be used as a dolls house.  Easy to stand up and then fold away after use.  You can use the IKEA dolls house furniture or your own.

SPEXA Doll's house IKEA Dollhouse in the form of a book, with 4 different room settings. Easy to fold and store away.:

DUKTIG Tool box

Handyman role play made easy.

DUKTIG Tool box IKEA Encourages role play which helps children to develop social skills by imitating grown-ups and inventing their own roles.


Kids plastic feeding plates are ideal for use – feeding teddy or cafe role play.

Cups, plates for feeding teddy: Duktig

Play kitchen for your home.  Children can imitate – cooking, washing up, cutting etc.  Making dinner and feeding teddy.

Play kitchen:


This soft felt set consists of a shopping basket filled with common foods – cheese, sausages, fish etc.  Great for shopping role play or dinner.

Shopping play:

Skylta and Cash Register

Set up a cardboard shop stand with a cash register and items for purchase.  Use some real/pretend money and a shopping bag or basket.

Shop stand: Cash register for shopping play:

Cubbies – Busa, Cirkustalt & Play Tunnel.

Busa, Cirkustalt & Play Tunnel.  These fold up cubbies are light and easy to put up/ pack away.  Cubbies are great for role playing – putting teddy to sleep, having a picnic, setting up a house etc.

CIRKUSTÄLT Children's tent IKEA Creates a sheltered spot, a room in the room, to play or just cuddle up in. BUSA play tunnel Length: 145 cm Diameter: 46 cm

Have fun!

Check my Pinterest board for more IKEA fun.

How we use Free Printables

Free Printables are available just about everywhere and are so useful with 3 + kids. They are normally a Clipart image which can be used for preschooler crafts.  We tend to use very simple pictures (not too distracting) and a variety of stamps, stickers, pom poms etc to decorate.

1.  Stamps or stickers


These stamps are from IKEA and have been very popular in the clinic

You can use any types of stamps or stickers – as long as your child is motivated to use them!

2.  Printables


One sheet of paper with up to 10 circles which can be filled.  This will give your child up to 10 attempts at practicing a new sound or word.  Printables are available on many learning websites like Alex Toys, Picklebums, Making Learning Fun.



3.  Using in the Clinic or at home

Now for the fun part!  Incorporate your Printable into your activity.  Each time your child says the target word or sound she can put on another stamp.   Why not try stickers or pom poms?  Laminating a printable is also great.  You can use blu-tak to stick things on the circles or put playdo on them.free printables






Ikea Hacks 4 Speech

Everytime I go to IKEA, I manage to find something else to use at the clinic!  This blog post is about my current favourite IKEA items that can be used in therapy with children.

mala-stamp-pen-assorted-colours__0140041_PE300028_S4 Mala Stamp Pen –  These stamps are great fun for kids to use on printables or anywhere.  See how I use them here.


Duktig Doll’s Bed – Great size for most dolls and teddies and really hardy.  So many pretend play games can be played!



Mala Easel – We have this in our waiting room and it appeals to a range of ages.  There is a blackboard on one side and a whiteboard on the other.


GLIS boxes – We use these for storing lots of our miniature objects into categories.  You can put lots of toys starting with ‘t’  etc in these to keep them together.  (turtle, top, tank, tin, 2, toe).  You can also categorise some of your toys into groups like animals / insects / cars ……