5 Household Objects to Use to Build Language

Feb 12, 2022 | Speech Products, Speech Tips

Sometimes being a parent takes a little creativity. But don’t worry, you don’t have to be a trained artist, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money to engage in fun, intentional activities that will encourage new vocabulary. When it comes to helping your child with language development, all it takes is a common household object and some purposeful interaction with your precious little one! 

Here are some fun activities you can start with right away using common household objects . . . 

1. CONTAINER LID

We want to teach you a fun and motivating game you can play with your child, using something you already have around your house—a CONTAINER LID. We use this activity ALL THE TIME in therapy to get little ones talking! Grab a container lid and transform it into a SLIDE. Lean the lid up against the couch. Grab a few characters, and have them climb up and slide down. 

Watch our reel on Instagram here!

This activity is a great way to practice and teach words and concepts like:

  • Up
  • Down
  • Slide
  • Climb
  • My Turn
  • He is sliding.
  • She is sliding.
  • They are both sliding.

If you want to add more language, go outside and have the characters slide into a water bowl (aka swimming pool) and target concepts like: 

  • Swim
  • Wet
  • Dry
  • Splash

2. PILLOW

What child doesn’t love a good ‘ole pillow fight? They’re often accompanied by a hearty laugh and a bit of competitive play. Or how about making a soft bed for baby’s nap? Baby is so tired. Most likely you’ll need to lie down too! 

Pillows make great walls to hide behind, and with a couple of blankets they make fantastic forts! So get down on the floor and have a blast! 

Repeat words over and over that relate to your activity. For example:

  • Naptime
  • Wall
  • Fort
  • Sleep
  • Hide
  • Sneak
  • Soft
  • Jump
  • Peek
  • Tired
  • Over
  • Inside
  • Shhhh!
  • Outside

3. PLASTIC WATER BOTTLE

Have you ever bought an expensive flashy toy only to find that your baby is more fascinated with your empty water bottle? They just love the crinkling sound it makes! And it rolls! You can add some dried rice or beans, and your little one will be excited to shake and shake and shake! (Be sure the cap is on tight so baby can’t put it in her mouth and choke.)

Here are some words to introduce:

  • Bottle
  • Crunch
  • Roll
  • Shake
  • Squeeze

4. CARDBOARD BOX

Your baby will be entertained for hours with a plain cardboard box. The flaps go up and down, and in and out. Baby can climb inside and outside, and crawl around it. Or it can be a car for his stuffed animals to ride in! Put two boxes together and you have a train! “All aboard!”

With washable crayons your toddler can decorate it! What colors will he choose? Or simply try a sponge with water—that’s fun too!

New vocabulary words:

  • Box
  • Push
  • Up 
  • Car
  • Pull
  • Down
  • Train
  • Front
  • Color words
  • Vroom!
  • Back
  • Toot-toot!

5. TOILET PAPER ROLLS

This is possibly the world’s greatest invention! These little gray cylinders do everything! You can roll them, spin them, flatten them and tap with them. You can look through them and spy on the whole world! If you drop objects into them, they come out the bottom. Dip the ends in paint and make circle designs. Tape them to a box and make a castle! Toilet paper rolls are SO MUCH FUN!

New words and phrases:

  • Roll
  • Spy
  • Where are you?
  • Race
  • Look!
  • There you are!
  • Spin
  • I see you.

To learn simple and effective strategies to help get your little one talking, check out our Talk on Track (newborn-14 months) and Time to Talk: Toddler Course (15-36 months). We’d love to equip you to experience the joy of your little one talking to you!

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Hi! We're Brooke & Bridget.

We know what you want most is for your child to talk. With more than 20 years of combined experience, we’ve diagnosed and treated hundreds of children with a variety of communication disorders and delays... if your child is having trouble communicating, we can absolutely help. 

We love everything about our work, but we're most excited about guiding parents with practical tips to integrate speech and language techniques into their everyday routines. We'd be honored to partner with you, too!

(And yes, we really are sisters!)

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