Popular Toys for Children with Developmental Delays

by FS&TS

By Jolene Law, MS/CCC-SLP

Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. Play is important to healthy brain development. It is through play that children at a very early age engage and interact in the world around them. While many children easily engage in functional and appropriate play skills with a variety of toys, others require assistance in physically engaging with toys. Below is a list of our favorite interactive, cause-effect toys that target several language skills.


Fisher-Price Go Baby Go Poppity-Pop Musical Dino

Description: Poppity Pop Musical Dino helps encourage and reward child, includes an adorable Dinosaur character and 6 brightly colored balls. Child is rewarded with over 8 fun tunes and silly sound effects while helping child to understand cause and effect of actions.

Targets: Fill-in-the-blank “Ready, set (go)!”, color identification, requesting (ball, more, go) or specific colors, concepts of on/off, in/out.

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Piggy Bank

Description: 40+ sing-along songs, tunes & phrases. Two levels of play offer fresh songs, phrases & sounds for your child’s age & stage. Drop coins into the piggy's back or belly.

Targets: Fill-in-the-blank “Ready, set (go)!”, color identification, requesting (money, more, mine, me) or specific colors, concepts of on/off.

Tolo Toys Roller Ball Run

Description: A visually stimulating cause and effect toy. Balls roll down the ramp.

Targets: Fill-in-the-blank “Ready, set (go)!”, color matching and identification, requesting (more, ball, hammer, mine) or specific colors.

Playskool Explore N' Grow Busy Ball Popper

Description: Lively air-powered, ball-poppin’ toy features fun, upbeat music and comes complete with five balls.

Targets: Fill-in-the-blank “Ready, set (go)!”, color identification, requesting (ball, more. go) or specific colors, concepts of on/off, in/out.  

Wiggly Giggly Ball By ToySmith

Description: Wiggle and giggle activity ball for kids, designed to make noises when its turned and rolled which is powered by the child, not batteries and is soft and squeezable for little hands.

Targets: Fill-in-the-blank “Ready, set (go)!”, practice turn taking by rolling/tossing the ball back and forth, concepts of on/off, target a variety of actions such as throw, catch, roll, kick.

Melissa & Doug Nesting Blocks - Numbers, Shapes, Colors

Description: A set of 10 colorful nesting and stacking blocks with illustrations featuring animals, numbers, shapes, and colors. Made of durable cardboard construction.

Targets: Great for hand-eye coordination, number recognition, problem solving, and construction play. Stack the blocks and practice knocking them over while practicing exclamatory reactions such as “Kaboom!” or “Oh no!”

Melissa & Doug Farm Animals Sound Puzzle

Description: An 8-piece wooden peg puzzle with sturdy wooden puzzle board with a full-color matching picture under each piece

Targets: Eye- and ear-catching puzzle enhances matching and listening skills while aural reinforcement helps children play independently, reinforces animal noises while targeting fine motor skills.

Jelly BeadZ Water Bead Gel

Description: Orbeez are wet and wacky, soft and squishy, fun and funky, bouncy and beautiful. They start off hard and tiny. Add water and watch them grow to more than 100 times their volume.

Targets: Fill a bin with these water based beads and hide toys in the bin. Target sensory skills while digging into the bin and find and label the items.

Playskool Explore 'N Grow Busy Gears

Description: Colorful, captivating set of gears that spin as twinkling lights flash while fun music plays.

Targets: Fill-in-the-blank “Ready, set (go)!”, color identification, requesting (more, go) or specific colors, concepts of on/off.

Magnetic Yoyo Gyro Wheel Light-Up Rail Twirler Musical Rainbow Spinning Toy, Blue

Description: A musical rainbow spinning toy.

Targets: Fill-in-the-blank “Ready, set (go)!”, requesting (more. go), concepts of on/off, up/down.

Adaptive Tech Solutions

  1. Select a switch that is easy for your child to use.

Switch: The Jelly Bean twist offers Ablenet's original Jelly Bean's 2.5-inch activation surface with tactile and auditory feedback, but with a twist. The switch tops can be removed and replaced with the color of your choice (included): Red, Blue, Yellow, or Green.

2. Select an adaptable toy that is interchangable with switches.

Clip Fan: This awesome switch adapted clip fan has soft blades with 64 exciting light show effects. Fan has a flexible gooseneck that lets it bend easily in any direction. The jumbo clip allows it to attach to a wide variety of surfaces, including wheelchair trays & table tops edges. Perfect for teaching cause-effect, visual stimulation, or just plain fun! For seizure-prone individuals, lights can be switched off without affecting the fan operation