The 13 Best Toys for Learning Letters and Numbers

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

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

LeapFrog Fridge Sets

LeapFrog Tad's Fridge Phonics Magnetic Letter Set

LeapFrog / Amazon

When your child places the magnetic number and letter tiles into the toy, it will respond by saying the letter and letter 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.

Pete the Cat Hot Dots Jr.

Hot Dots Jr. Pete the Cat Interactive Pen

Hot Dots Jr. / Amazon 

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. 

LeapFrog Letter Factory Leaping Letters

LeapFrog Letter Factory Leaping Letters

Leap Frog / Amazon 

In this charming puzzle, children match the letters to their spaces on the board. They can test their speed by placing as many letters into the tray before the timer buzzes, launching and leaping their letters up in the air. This toy makes for a great single-player game, too.

VTech Lil' Speller

VTech Lil Speller Phonics Station

VTech / Amazon

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

LeapFrog LeapStart Interactive Learning System

LeapFrog / Amazon

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

LeapFrog / Amazon 

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

VTech / Amazon

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

Wikki Stix

Wikki Stix / Amazon

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.

Trouble

Trouble

Hasbro / Amazon

Pushing the bubble in the middle of this board game pops the dice, sending your kids' pieces will 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.

Chutes and Ladders

Chutes and Ladders

MB Games / Amazon

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.

Spot It!

Disney Frozen Spot IT
Blue Orange

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! Alarm Clock

OK to Wake! Alarm Clock

Mirari / Amazon

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. 

LeapFrog Word Whammer

LeapFrog Word Whammer

LeapFrog / Amazon

This handheld toy is so fun for young children, who will not be able to put it down. Kids use the Word Whammer to play carnival-themed games that indirectly teach them how to match letters and spell words. 

Was this page helpful?

Article Sources

Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  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.