The 12 Best Toys for Learning Letters and Numbers of 2021

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Learning letters and numbers is an important skill for preschool-aged children. While most children are excited to count or be quizzed on each letter they see, these can be difficult skills to learn. 

Learning happens more quickly when it is fun. There are many great toys for learning letters and numbers that make the process more motivating and rewarding than relying on flashcards.

Our Top Picks
When your child places the magnetic number and letter tiles into the toy, it will respond by saying the letter and number sound.
Using a multiple-choice format, kids answer questions about colors, matching letters, counting, or numbers.
Teaches children about individual letters and then encourages them to build their reading vocabulary.
The LeapFrog LeapStart is a fun way to learn about letters, numbers, counting, and other academic skills.
This 4-foot long playmat encourages toddlers to learn about numbers and counting from 1–10.
Kids pull up a chair and sit down at the VTech interactive desk, which has five different playmats to choose from.
Kids can practice learning their numbers by placing Wikki Stix on top of brightly colored cards.
Pushing the bubble in the middle of this board game pops the dice, sending your kids' pieces strategically around the game board.
The family board game teaches children recognition of numbers 1–100 in a fun, engaging way.
Spot It is a fun, no-pressure way for kids to learn about letters and numbers through basic recognition.

LeapFrog Tad's Fridge Phonics Magnetic Letter Set

LeapFrog Tad's Fridge Phonics Magnetic Letter Set

When your child places the magnetic number and letter tiles into the toy, it will respond by saying the letter and number sound in a fun, catchy tune that will help them remember. We love this approach because research shows that teaching sounds along with the letters of the alphabet eventually helps build phonemic awareness, or how the sounds in words work, which is a precursor learning to read.

Educational Insights Hot Dots Jr. Beginning Phonics Flash Card Set

Hot Dots Jr. Pete the Cat Interactive Pen

The Hot Dots Jr. concept is magical for children in preschool, especially since they now include the infamous Pete the Cat. Pete the Cat is a celebrity for young school-aged children, as he appears in a variety of picture books that children adore.

Using a multiple-choice format in either the preschool or Kindergarten book, kids answer questions about colors, matching letters, counting, or numbers. In order to find out if their answer is right or wrong, they place their Pete the Cat toy on a dot. If they are correct, Pete lights up green. If the answer is wrong, his eyes light up red. 

VTech Lil' Speller Phonics Station

VTech Lil Speller Phonics Station

The VTech Lil'Speller is a great phonics toy for preschoolers that teaches children about individual letters and then encourages them to build their reading vocabulary by matching letters and sounding them out.

LeapFrog LeapStart Interactive Learning System

LeapFrog LeapStart Interactive Learning System

For children who like to read books, the LeapFrog LeapStart is a fun way to learn about letters, numbers, counting, and other social and academic skills. Using an attached stylus, kids touch the stylus to the page and learn new information.

LeapFrog Learn and Groove Musical Mat

LeapFrog Learn and Groove Musical Mat

This 4-foot long playmat encourages toddlers to learn about numbers and counting from 1–10 while dancing and singing.

VTech Touch and Learn Activity Desk

VTech Touch and Learn Activity Desk Deluxe

Kids pull up a chair and sit down at the VTech interactive desk, which has five different playmats to choose from. The playmats teach vocabulary words, letters, and numbers. The desk transforms into an art easel, too.

Wikki Stix Numbers & Counting Fun Cards For Learning

Wikki Stix

Kids can practice learning their numbers by placing Wikki Stix, non-toxic waxed strips of yarn, on top of these brightly colored corresponding letter and number cards.

Hasbro Trouble Board Game

Trouble

Pushing the bubble in the middle of this board game pops the dice, sending your kids' pieces strategically around the gameboard. Be the first to get all your pawns to your home base and win. Different versions of Trouble feature Marvel Avengers, Minions, and Frozen characters.

Hasbro Gaming Chutes and Ladders Game

Chutes and Ladders

Chutes and Ladders is a classic family board game. Children spin the spinner to determine how many spaces they will move their pawn along the game board. Some spaces will cause the players to climb the ladder and get closer to the finish line. Other spaces cause them to slide down the chute, back near the beginning. Along the way, the game teaches recognition of numbers 1–100.

Zygomatic Spot-It Party Game

Frozen Spot it

There are many different versions of Spot It. Players look at two cards and are asked to identify the one picture, letter, or number that is the same on both cards. Spot It is a fun, no-pressure way to learn about letters and numbers through basic recognition.

OK TO WAKE! Mirari OK to Wake! Alarm Clock & Night-Light

OK to Wake! Alarm Clock

One of the most challenging things to teach kids related to numbers is the concept of time. The clock not only turns green when it's OK for them to wake up but contains an integrated game that teaches them about telling time. 

Dr. Seuss's ABC: Random House Books for Young Readers Dr. Seuss's ABC: An Amazing Alphabet Book!

This catchy rhyme from Dr. Seuss will have parents and kids reciting the rhymes in their sleep. The book is good for all ages, as it teaches letters to younger kids and spelling to older ones.

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  1. Armbruster B. Put Reading First: The Research Building Blocks For Teaching Children To Read: Kindergarten Through Grade 3. 3rd ed. DIANE Publishing; 2010:5.