When you hear “IKEA” you think furniture and meatballs and that little instruction booklet guy who “helps” you interpret directions that don’t have words. I have LOVED their organizational goodies and decorations for years. However, until a few years ago when I moved near an IKEA store (well, actually we have 2 in Chicago!) I had no idea that IKEA had toys. I wanted to share with you a few toys that IKEA has that are great for speech and language skills!
Baby (0-3 years):
MULA stacking rings – $5.99 (In stores only)
This is a nice wooden stacking rings toy. Great for motor development as well, you can utilize this toy for requesting, colors, size concepts (bigger, smaller), location concepts (top, under, above), and much more!
MULA shape sorter – $4.99 (On-line & In stores)
Another great wooden toy that can help with fine motor skills. This toy is also great for colors, sizes, shapes, location (in, out, on), and requesting. You can also work on following directions with this toy (e.g. Hand me the circle. Put the square in the house.)
Children (3-7 years):
IKEA has several glove and finger puppets that can be used with children:
VANDRING UGGLA – $4.99 (In stores only)
This adorable (and super-soft) owl has arms that move. Great for imaginative play, working with clients who take a while to warm up to people, social skills, etc.
LASKIG – $6.99 (In stores only)
This glove puppet is a dragon (how cool?!?) and has a mouth that moves. There is also a dragon tongue in the mouth which can be a great tool for use with artic clients (e.g. See where the dragon puts his tongue? Do what the dragon is doing with your tongue.). I also love that this dragon is not scary. He has a very friendly face that will work well with younger children.
JATTELITEN – $4.99 (On-line & In stores)
These cute little 7 finger puppets come with a castle for performing puppet shows. They have very interesting/unique clothing and are very colorful. You can utilize these for SO many different goals including social skills, articulation, following directions, expanding sentence lengths through “plays”, describing, and more. For older children, they could work to write and perform plays for language skills or artic carry-over.
TITTA DJUR – $4.99 (In stores only)
These have been some of my FAVORITE puppets for my speech room. I’ve used them with 3 and up. There are 10 adorable animals and we have used them for language, requesting, artic carryover (SHark sounds, etc.), and so much more. They are also very colorful and would pair nicely with the JATTELITEN puppets.
IKEA has a lot of great food kits. I recently picked up a few to use with my EI clients. They are machine washable which will be very handy:
DUKTIG vegetables – $7.99 (In-Store only)
Great veggies – Cucumber, leek, lettuce, tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic, & carrots are included as well as a “crate”.
DUKTIG fruits – $7.99 (In stores only)
9 pieces of fruit are included in this basket set – watermelon, grapes, 2 apple halves, 2 orange halves, banana (that peels!), and kiwi.
LATAS shopping – $7.99 (On-line & In stores)
A fun 11-piece shopping kit that includes a basket and green pepper, cheese (with a “slice” that velcros off), fish, chicken, pasta, sausages, pineapple, and eggplant.
All of these food kits are excellent for language development. They can work on goals such as categorization, color, basic concepts, following directions, expanding expression, and so much more! I also love that these are cloth. I wouldn’t have thought that I would (wood toys like Melissa & Doug are easy to clean) but with these being machine-washable I don’t find it difficult to keep them clean. Also, if you have a kiddo that loves to toss toys and may not understand that a piece of wood into the face isn’t a pleasant experience… these might be perfect. If you are a traveling SLP you will like that they are lightweight and easy to tote in a bag.
LILLABO train set – $9.99 (Online & In stores)
Who doesn’t love a train set? This classic is very affordable. There are expansion packages that IKEA sells as well (3-piece train for $3.99, 12-piece set for $9.99, and 10-piece rail for $6.99) but this 20-piece basic set is perfect for the SLP. Targeting requesting is easy with this toy. You can also work on problem-solving, color concepts, location concepts, following directions, and much more!
Yes, IKEA is known for furniture and Allen Wrenches but I’ve found that they have a very large selection of toys for young children. If you purchased every item on this post, you would only be paying a grand total of $66! Not too bad for 10 toys with multiple parts and uses! What surprising IKEA finds have you had?
(You can check out other great toys from IKEA on their Children’s site.)