Speech Therapy with Lovevery · Toddler Activities from a Pediatric SLP for the Investigator Play Kit (31, 32, 33 months)

The Montessori-inspired play kits from Lovevery are treasure troves for practicing a variety of different developmental skills, such as fine motor, gross motor, social-emotional, cognitive, language, and more.  As a pediatric Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP), I find incredible value in these play kits as not only toys for my little one but as materials for my speech therapy sessions, too.  

We just got The Investigator Play Kit for toddlers (ages 31-33 months), and it inspired me to share some functional language activities that you can easily implement at home with your child!

    In this article, we'll dive into some of the toys from set with developmental activities promoting speech and language skills, as well as tips to foster a language-rich environment.

    I'll be sharing: 

    1. Target vocabulary, including core words that are important for your little one to understand and use.
    2. Language activities that target skills, such as:
      Receptive language (comprehension),
      Expressive language (speaking),
      Pragmatic language (social communication)

    I hope you'll have as much fun with it as my daughter and I did! 

    If you prefer watching (or listening) over reading, please feel free to check out my video below of this same, exact content!  

    Others in this Series

    Looking for more activity ideas with toys from the other play kits?  Take a look at the others below: 

    What's in the Box?

    Before I jump into the activities, let's take a quick look at what's in The Investigator Play Kit.  Upon first glance, you can see that there's a wide array of fun and enticing toys, books, and objects for your little one to engage with.  I can attest that they're well-designed and inspire creativity and play!  

    Here's a breakdown of what's included:

    Now, let's do a dive into some of these toys! 

    Match & Tap Hammer Box

    › Target Vocabulary

    color names (e.g., red, yellow, blue), nail, hammer, box, pull, put, in, out, tap, pound, knock, gentle, soft, hard, loud, quiet, help, please, more, all done, clean up

    › Language Activities

    Indicating Choice 
    Ask your child which color nail they want by holding up two choices. This prompts your child to make a request using a color word. 
    "Do you want red nail, or blue nail?" 

    All Done / More 
    As your child is working on completing the color sheet, you can ask if they want/need "more" nails, or if they're done with the task. 
    "Do you want more nails, or are you all done?"

    Twist & Pivot Pattern Puzzle

    › Target Vocabulary

    put, take, in, out, pull, twist, turn, stuck, up, down, color names (e.g., pink, teal, yellow), shape names (e.g., circle, square)

    › Model the Vocabulary

    Show your child how this tricky puzzle works while simultaneously verbalizing your actions! 

    You can use short, concise language with a focus on the actions you're doing if your child is not yet familiar with the vocabulary. 
    "Twist it." "Pull it out." "Turn it around." 

    If your child is familiar with the vocabulary, model your actions using longer utterances and descriptive language. 
    "I'm twisting the pink circle onto the peg."

    "Things that Move" Memory Game

    › Target Vocabulary

    • Same/different, flip over
    • Object names (e.g., bike, car, plane)
    • Associations and features (e.g., wheels, doors, wings, sirens, beep, horn) 

    › Working Memory & Language

    Follow a sequence from easy to hard for building up your child's working memory skills as well as success with matching and finding the "same". 

    Phase 1: Labeling
    Label each piece by saying its name. You can describe them, such as by telling about some of its special features and/or functions.  
    "Here's plane. It has wings and flies high in the sky." 

    Phase 2: Matching Concept
    Have your child match the same with the pieces face-up. Lay out all six different cards, and hand your child the other card to complete each pair one at a time. This helps develop the concept of "finding the same." 
    "Here's plane. Put this plane on top of the other plane."

    Phase 3: Two-Card Memory
    Show your child two different cards. Label them first, then turn them face-down one by one. Ask your child where one of them is, using its name. After they lift it, point to the other face-down card and ask what that card is. 
    "Here's plane and car. Mama turns plane over. Mama turns car over. Where is...plane? You got it. What's this card?" 

    Phase 4: Expanding Working Memory Skills 
    If your child is having success with activity #3, gradually add onto it with more cards to practice working memory. You can also give your child a descriptor or "hint" for the card, instead of the object name. 
    "Find the one that flies high in the sky." 

    Phase 5: Traditional Memory Game
    You can also play the traditional game of memory and work on turn-taking skills. 
    "My turn. Your turn."

    Jump-In Hoops & Bean Bags

    › Target Vocabulary

    color names (e.g., red, yellow, blue), circle, hoop, bean bag, pick up, throw, catch, in, out, same, different, jump, spin, more, all done

    › Language Activities

    Work on prepositional/locational words "in" and "out" by having your child follow directions. 
    "Throw this beanbag in the blue hoop."
    "Throw this beanbag outside the hoop." 

    This is a fun one for practicing gross motor activities as well. You can have your child practice following directions with words like jump, spin/twirl, touch, pick up, etc. 
    "Pick up the blue hoop." 
    "Jump in the red hoop and spin around."

    Final Thoughts & Discount

    I hope that you find these activity ideas and tips to be helpful!  I encourage you to have fun with it as intended. 

    I'd love to share a special discount for those of you looking to start a subscription to Lovevery's all-in-one play kits!  To claim your discount code, send me a direct message on Instagram.  Alternatively, you may send an email to: jade (at) sweetsofties.com for your code.

    Happy playing!

    Warm wishes,

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