How Toy Cars Can Help Kids Overcome Speech Delay

Wheels on the bus go…. Round and round……One of the favourite rhymes in any preschool classroom. Singing shouldn’t be restricted to classrooms, it should be encouraged at home and anywhere you see transportation vehicles. I am often approached by new parents whose child has a slight speech delay. I work with them personally and give them ideas and inputs to engage their child in the conversation.


Here are some fun ways to help your late talker to talk by using props. I have always observed that children love playing with push-and-pull toys like cars, trucks, trains, boats, etc. Let’s see how these toys can help your child with speech.

  • Follow your child’s lead

Kids will learn language best when you follow their lead and play how they are playing. It can be tempting to direct the play; I suggest you join in their play and engage them in conversation. Start using simple easy to pronounce words rather than too many words or phrases. Stick to only one language in the beginning. Introduce one word at a time. 

  • Narrate their play

When you are following your child’s lead, talk about what they are doing using short, simple phrases. Focus on useful words rather than colours and numbers. It’s more important for your toddler to learn the names of objects and actions when they are first learning to talk. Here’s an example of what you may say when narrating your child’s play.

  1. “Car goes up, up, up.”
  2. “Car goes down, down, down.”
  3. “Vroom vroom”
  4. “CRASH!”
  5. “Stop”

When you are narrating, you may want to make sure you give your child an opportunity to respond! Think of it as a conversation rather than a monologue. Even if your child isn’t talking yet, he might respond by looking at you, making a gesture or a sound. Waiting gives him/her an opportunity to take a turn in the interaction and a chance to attempt a word or sound if they are ready. Thus, Narrating their play can help your child overcome Speech Delay.

  • Repeat keywords and copy their actions and sounds

There are so many words you can target in car play! Pick one or two words to repeat throughout the interaction. 


Nouns: Car, door, truck, wheel

Concepts: up, down, big, fast, small, slow 

Verbs: stop, go, open, close, crash


A great way of getting involved in your child’s play is to copy their actions and sounds. Get your own car and do what they do. When your child goes up the ramp, take your car up the ramp too. Make all those silly noises your child does. Additionally, when you copy your child they are more likely to copy you as you are their role model. 

Happy Parenting!!! 

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