Staff Pick of the Week

Each week in December you can find our gift of the week, chosen by a Building Blocks Therapist. We’ll highlight a toy or game that therapist enjoys using in sessions and give you insight into why this game is fun, engaging, and recommended!

Melissa’s Favorites 


This fun and silly game is a great way to get kids up and moving! Butterflies are blown out of the elephant’s trunk while kids use their nets to chase and catch the butterflies. Geared towards kids ages 3 and up, this game is great for working on expanding utterances, categorizing, and following directions.

Craft materials

Crafts provide us with endless language opportunities and help encourage creativity! You can use things like dot markers, stamps, and play doh to work on following directions, sequencing, asking/answering questions, labeling, requesting, describing, turn taking. These crafts are great to use with early language learners and elementary school children. With your early talkers, try withholding items to encourage requests (e.g., show the item but wait to give to the child until they use a gesture/sign/word), giving choices (do you want green or blue?, do you want the smile or the star, etc.), modeling by doing (e.g., show your child how to use the play doh or the stamps and use simple words to describe what you are doing), and using action words (e.g., open, push, roll, etc.). With your older kids, try giving simple and complex directions (e.g., first color the ____ red, then color the ____ green), give your child the opportunity to describe what they made and sequence the steps for how to make something.

Pretend Play

Doctor kits are a great way to ease anxiety around doctor’s visits and to encourage pretend play! Doctor kits provide wonderful opportunities for labeling objects (e.g., band aid, medicine, shot, thermometer, etc.), basic concepts (e.g., on, off, up, down, open, close, etc.), feelings (e.g., sick, healthy, etc.), answering questions (e.g., can I give you a band aid?, how does the dog feel?, etc.), following directions (e.g., give the dog a shot, listen to my heart, etc.), social skills (e.g., turn taking, perspective taking, etc.)

Still need more ideas?

Check out Cristin’s recommendations from last week and our complete Holiday Gift Guide for more ideas!