Toys for Talking: Gears! Gears! Gears!

The Learning Resources Gears! Gears! Gears! has quickly become a favorite toy in our home, and I can’t say I’m surprised. This toy brings colorful, open-ended play while providing hours of building fun. Want to learn how you can use this toy to provide the ultimate language learning experience? Keep reading below!

What does Gears! Gears! Gears! include?

  • 46 colorful gears
  • 26 square pillars
  • 21 six-way axles
  • 6 interlocking bases
  • 1 crank handle
  • Activity guide

How do you use Gears! Gears! Gears!?

Gears! Gears! Gears! includes 46 colorful gears that spark imagination and provide opportunities to experiment with simple mechanics. Children can build and deconstruct various creations while building both fine motor and critical thinking skills. This open-ended toy provides endless learning opportunities, as children are able to work on matching, sorting, patterns, prepositions, and more!

Where can I find it?

You can find it on Amazon HERE

How can you use Gears! Gears! Gears! to encourage speech and language development?

For receptive language development?

  1. Following directions:  Make following directions fun with the gears. Have your child follow directions, such as, “give me a purple gear,” “spin the blue gear,” or even “put the red gear on top of the yellow gear.”
  2. Answering Yes/No questions: Before having the ability to answer Wh- questions, your child must be able to answer yes/no questions regarding things they want, objects, and actions. If your child is working on the concepts of yes and no, ask your child, “do you want the red gear” You could also make it a little silly to see if your child can answer yes/no questions regarding the function of the gears (Examples: should I eat the gears? should I kiss the tower? should I spin the purple gear?). 
  3. Understanding spatial concepts (in/on/off/out): Work on these early developing spatial concepts by having your child put the gears in the bin, take them out of the bin, put them on top of the tower, or put them under each other.
  4. Pattern identification skills: Play a game! Start a color pattern with the gears, and then have your child guess what color comes next!  

For expressive language development?

  1. Color vocabulary:  Talk about the different colors of each gear, and see if your child can label them.  
  2. Requesting: Have your child request for the gears and pillars. Depending on how much expressive language they have, they could use a simple word such as, “gear” or “more,” or a phrase or sentence like, “I want more gears” or “Can I have the blue gear?”
  3. Commenting: Encourage your child to comment throughout play. Model appropriate comments while playing with your child. Use language like, “I see a blue gear, what do you see?”
  4. Use of prepositional phrases: Place the gears in different locations and have your child use phrases to describe their locations. Put them in the bin, out of the bin, on the tower, or behind the tower.
  5. Vocabulary of action words: Talk about what you are doing with the gears. Are you pushing them?  Spinning them?  Pulling them off?

For play development?

  1. Pretend play: These gears provide so many pretend play opportunities. Children can use their imaginations to pretend that they are building anything they want! A princess castle? A sword? A jungle? You got it! The possibilities are endless!

For social language development?

  1. Turn-taking: Develop turn-taking abilities by asking your child if you can have a turn building or spinning the gears.   
  2. Asking questions:  Model appropriate questioning during play by asking your child questions like, “Can I have a blue gear please?” or “What is your favorite color gear?” Encourage them to ask you questions back!

Looking for more toy recommendations or ideas on how to use toys to best support your child’s development? Check out my other Toys for Talking posts HERE!