Favourite resources: wind-up toys

Thanks to Karen (a client’s parent) for letting me know that Big W have wind-up toys in stock at the bargain-basement price of $2. They have a range of birds, caterpillars, ladybirds, other animals, and, every boy’s favourite, DINOSAURS! They also have swimming creatures, but I think these would quickly rust.

Wind up toys at Big W

Wind up toys at Big W

Why wind-up toys?Well, they are cheap!

But more importantly they are versatile, and appealing to children and parents.

What can they be used for?

They are great as ‘communication temptations’.  Communication temptations are objects or activities that are highly motivating to the child, and ‘tempt’ them to communicate because the child needs help to get them, or because they are unexpected and prompt a comment. For more on communication temptations see: http://www.playingwithwords365.com/2011/11/strategies-to-help-your-child-talk-setting-up-the-environment-for-communication/ or http://www.talkingkids.org/2011/07/communication-temptations-how-use-your.html

Because wind-up toys can be difficult for young children to wind up, the child needs to ask for help in some way. Depending on the communication level of the child, the adult might aim for the child to:

– say a complete sentence: Can you help wind it up please?

– say a phrase:  Help Mum. Make it move. Jump doggy. More jump. Ready, set, go.

– say a word: Help. Wind. Move. Turn. Jump. More. Go.

– say a sound

– use a key word sign or gesture

– use a picture symbol

– use nonverbal communication, eg. hand the toy to the adult, point to the toy, reach for the toy

– use joint attention: look at the toy then at the adult and then at the toy

Cute, and educational

– Expressive or receptive language, including:

  • prepositions (place words): Hide them round the room for the child to find. Give clues, eg. Look under the cushion, look on top of the cupboard…..
  • description: Which one is green with spots and wriggles? Which one is has yellow and black stripes and flies?
  • comparatives: which one is faster/slower?

– Speech sounds: pick toys that have target sounds in their name or their action, eg. lip sounds p and b – parrot, pig, pelican, bee, bird, bear

They can also be used as a motivator or reward for a period of good work, perhaps in conjunction with a visual aid like a first-then visual or “I’m working for…” visual.

Fact or Fiction? The Top 10 Assumptions about Early Speech and Language Development


Do boys really talk later than girls?

Will sucking a dummy affect my child’s speech?

My third child  is talking later because his older siblings talk for him.

Should I speak only one language with my child?

We  hear these questions  and comments frequently in our practice. You may have wondered yourself. To find some answers follow this link to an article from the Hanen Centre (a world leading centre in children’s communication development).

Fact or Fiction? The Top 10 Assumptions about Early Speech and Language Development.


Welcome to the first post from Top End Speech Pathology. We hope you enjoy this site and find something of use. Of course we’d love to talk to you personally on 08 8927 1427 or 0413 492911.