I saw a post about limiting children’s access to noisy, light up toys to encourage speech. It got me thinking about all the different toys out there which do all the noise making for our kiddies.
Here’s a few I saw in the shops this weekend:
- Kettle which makes boiling noises
- Till which beeps and makes the cashed up sound.
- Hoover which makes the sucky noise.
- Baby which cries and says ‘mama’ (creepy thing).
- Books which have the sound buttons for the animals/people/vehicle
- Emergency vehicles which makes the siren sounds.
- Play house which has a doorbell and random number and colour buttons.
- Toot Toots which makes the vehicle sounds and the accessories which make the car wash, race car, mechanics sounds etc.
- Jigsaw puzzles which make the sounds when placed in correct hols.
- Stacking toys which light up and makes sounds.
I could go on…
I’m not saying these are ‘bad toys’. They have their place in the world. After all, our children are growing up in a very technological world and do need to learn the basic ’cause and effect’ of buttons and switches. Also, children enjoy them. J LOVES his Toot Toots for example. I’m not saying get rid of them all.
What I am saying is that there is a time for them. There is also a time to hide them away and have just the ‘bog standard’ version.
If a toy is going to make all the sounds, then why would your child bother to do it? The toy is making the imaginative decisions of what that resource is going to do, to be etc. I’m not saying this is an absolute. There are times J will make the ‘woowoo’ of his fire engine himself rather than (or as well as) pressing the button on top. However, it may create the impression to your child that the sound it makes is the only sound it could be.
For a child with speech delay or a speech difficulty this can make a temptation not to make any sounds. There is the other side of the coin, it may encourage your little one to make a noise through imitation. So I go back to what I said earlier-it’s about moderation. Time with and time without.
J loves his small world cars and his favourites are the ones that don’t make noise. He has started to make ‘brrrm’ and ‘beep’ sounds, ‘ahhh’ as they crash and ‘woowoo’ when he decides it’s an emergency vehicle. He creates his own routes on the carpet and coffee table (and my back, and my legs…) rather than always following the route on his toot toot set or train tracks with the little electronic bits which make noise.
My personal favourite is wooden toys. They rarely make extra noises, they really open the imagination, they last longer and (I think) they look nicer. But I will also have Toot Toot, Vtechs and his Happyland toys for him to have fun with sounds and lights and buttons. My aim is to rotate toys and have a genuine mixture on the toy box at one time.
What’s your child’s favourite sound/electronic toy and what’s their favourite ‘soundless’ toy?