28 Jan Toy Tuesday: My Busy Books
Our latest Toy Tuesday blog is brought to you by Lizzie! She has chosen another firm favourite among our therapists and clients – My Busy Books.
My Busy Books are published by Phidal and comprise of a highly durable hardback book, play mat and 12 figurines, all based around a
wide range of popular children’s programmes and films. There are a huge number of books available so you are guaranteed to find something that your child is interested in. Some of our favourites include: Mickey Mouse, Trolls, Paw Patrol, Marvel Avengers, My Little Pony and The Jungle Book.
Phidal is a Canadian publishing company that was established in 1979. Their aim is to introduce children to the joy of reading through colourful, safe and fun books with the aim of both educating and entertaining children by engaging their imaginations. Phidal work with a wide number of brands including Disney, Marvel & Nickelodeon to create a range of products that children will recognise and love. As well as My Busy Books, Phidal publish a range of activity, sticker and story books. We tend to pick My Busy Books up from local supermarkets and toyshops but they can also be found online.
My Busy Books are extremely versatile and can provide endless fun for children aged 3+. Here are just some of the ways we use them to promote speech, language and communication skills:
- Listening: Being able to listen to and follow instructions is a fundamental skill in language development. You can begin with simple instructions, for example ‘Where’s the monkey?’, moving towards more complex instructions that contain several key words, for example ‘Put the blue pony on the big bed’. This is a nice way of teaching your child concepts, such as colour, size and shape.
- Prepositions: ‘Where shall we put Spiderman? Under the hideout? Next to Batman? Or between the buildings?’ You can take it in turns to instruct each other where to place the different figurines.
- Pronouns: With such a wide range of figurines there are plenty of opportunities to model pronouns, for example ‘He is walking the dog’, ‘She is swimming in the pond’, ‘It is on the rock’. Try getting one wrong on purpose – will your child notice your mistake?!
- Vocabulary: Encourage your child to describe the different figurines. You can support them to do this using question prompts such as ‘What does it look like?’ ‘Where does it live?’ ‘What noise does it make?’ ‘What do you do with it?’ You can give your child ideas/choices if they are unsure, for example ‘Do you think it lives in the sea or in the forest? …I think it lives in the sea because it has fins’.
- Verbs: You can take it in turns to make the figurines do different actions – making these silly/unexpected should increase your child’s engagement and makes it more memorable. For example, ‘Donald Duck is dancing in the tree!’ ‘Thomas the Tank Engine is jumping on the house!’
- Narrative: Reading the story first is a nice way of introducing the characters and gives the child some ideas of how to form a basic narrative. They can use the figurines to act out a story/event. You can encourage more complex storytelling by asking questions such as ‘How are the animals feeling?’ ‘What might Peter Rabbit say?’ ‘What will happen next/at the end?’ Some children might need us to model some ideas to them first.
We would love to hear about your favourite My Busy Books and the creative ways your children play with them!