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Activities for Toddlers Who Are Nonverbal

by Susan Revermann

Whether your little one is an endless chatterbox or a nonverbal child, she needs age-appropriate toys, games and activities to stimulate and entertain that active, growing brain of hers. You can plan numerous indoor and outdoor activities to keep your toddler busy so she can express and enjoy herself without using words.

Books

One of the best steps you can take with a young child is reading. Even if your child is nonverbal, he can benefit from hearing the words and looking at the pictures. Plus, it gives you some one-on-one time. Let him select the books that he wants you to read. Point to the words as you read them. You could also point to the pictures and talk about what is going on in the story.

Outdoor Activities

He doesn’t need to speak to have fun. Let him chase bubbles. Teach him how to fly a kite. Go bug hunting or for a nature walk. Games of tag or simple running work, too. Sandboxes and sand toys offer a tactile experience you toddler can enjoy.

Indoor Play Activities

Plan some sensory activities for your toddler. Play-Doh and cookie cutters get those fingers working. Prepare some bowls filled with cooked noodles, foam squares or mashed potatoes and let him squish and squeeze them. Fill a plastic container with water and offer some cups or toys to play with in the water bin. Puzzles, building blocks, lacing cards, puppets and balls are also some toddler favorites.

Art

Let him express himself through his art creations. Whether he is painting with his fingers, sponges or paintbrushes, you will find yourself some new refrigerator art in no time. Throw together a bin of crayons, markers, glue sticks, tape, paper, yarn, fabric scraps, foam shapes and stickers for him to use during art time.

Music and Dance

Music and dance has its own language. Encourage him to shake his booty to some fun music. Make a streamer out of ribbon and a craft stick and let him twirl it around as he moves. The two of you can create your own music band with instruments from around the house or some kitchen bowls and wooden spoons.

Sorting Games

The University of North Carolina School of Medicine suggests teaching your nonverbal child to sort objects. It helps to coordinate his visual skills with his motor skills. Let him sort through a bowl of nuts and bolts. Plastic animals can be separated into piles based on their size or color.

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