Kids learn faster when they have fun, and most parents want their children to have interactive toys for learning letters. Not all alphabet learning toys are equal. Honestly, some won’t teach your child anything.
That’s why you need to pick the right ones.
It’s tempting to go for all of the toys that make noises and light up, but that’s not always what works best. The alphabet toys you want to have encourage your child to learn letters and their sounds; phonics is essential. These toys should also encourage phonemic awareness and prompt your child to match the beginning sounds of words to the right letter.
Good letter learning toys keep your child engaged for hours, and they should grow with your child, growing with them as their skills increase. I put together a list of the best toys for learning letters; some of these are excellent gifts for toddlers and preschoolers.
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How to Pick Toys for Learning Letters
Children are naturally curious and want to learn, so when you’re picking toys for learning letters, your job is to grab things that will help their natural curiosity. Here are some considerations when picking new alphabet toys!
The Age of Your Child
The most important consideration is the age of your child. Toddlers have different needs compared to preschoolers, so the toys that work for them will be different. Toddlers love noise making toys, but preschoolers enjoy toys that require a bit more thought and work as well.
You always want to make sure the toys are made with safe materials since toddlers and even sometimes preschoolers put toys into their mouths. BPA-free plastic is a must, and wooden toys should have non-toxic finishes.
Always read the warnings by the manufacturers closely and stick to toys that are recommended for your child’s age. Many times, toys that aren’t recommended for little kids have small parts that pose a choking hazard.
Something else to consider is the durability, but it’s hard to gauge that by looking at a time. I always read the reviews since parents typically will comment if a toy doesn’t last too long in their house.
Open-ended toys help prevent your child from getting bored. They stimulate their creativity and imagination while encouraging the development of fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
17 Best Toys for Learning Letters
One of the first toys for learning letters that children often receive is a set of wooden blocks with letters printed on them. I love this set by Melissa & Doug; it comes with 50 alphabet and number blocks in the traditional one-inch wooden alphabet block style.
This wooden block set has so many uses. Use it to develop stacking and fine motor skills, along with sorting and matching skills. Melissa & Doug crafted these blocks out of top, high-quality materials and hand-painted artwork, so they’ll last for years. All kids need a set of classic building blocks.
Every little kid needs at least one alphabet puzzle in their collection of learning toys. I like this alphabet puzzle by Wood City. The letters and entire puzzle board are made with smooth, solid wood, and the letters are brightly colored, using non-toxic, water-based paints.
Under the letters are pictures of the lower case letter, so kids have to match the letters and fit them into the wooden puzzle board. The size of the chunky letters is perfect for little hands, and you can use these letters to spell simple words with your child.
One of the classic toys for learning letters is foam bath letters. This set by Munchkin is affordable – less than $8! – and comes with 26 letters and 10 floating numbers.
It’s easy to use this simple toy to teach your child their letters. Spell their name and other small words while they take a bath and enjoy the bubbles.
All younger children need a set of magnetic letters for their fridge. It’s so much fun building their names and practicing the letter sounds with their parents.
I prefer this letter set by Melissa & Doug. It comes with 52 letters of the alphabet – both lower and uppercase letters. You can also use these letters to trace with your child’s finger, teaching basic letter formation. It gives them a good head start for preschool!
Here is a fun way to encourage letter recognition – a learning poster. It helps your child learn the alphabet, spelling, numbers, and word association, and it looks great hanging in your child’s bedroom.
This poster encourages your child to dance and sing to nine different songs like BINGO, the ABC Song, and Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes. Best of all, this poster takes up no space since it simply hangs on the wall, and it automatically shuts off when not in use.
Every little kids needs a set of magnetic letters for the fridge, and this set by LeapFrog is so fun. It comes with 26 interactive letter tiles. Your little kid puts the tiles into the bus, and the driver tells your child the letter and sings songs to go along with the letters.
This makes an excellent gift for toddlers as well. All of my kids love this letter set!
My toddlers love this little toy, and it’s great for entertaining kids on a long car ride. It comes with 26 colorful letters and a carrying case for holding all of the letters; this makes the perfect storage for all the plastic letters.
Using this toy is easy. All your preschooler has to do is snap the letter into its place properly, but once they learn their letters, you can use these to spell simple words. Under each letter is an image of a word that starts with the letter.
Kids four years old and up will enjoy these self-correcting alphabet puzzles. It comes with 52 wooden puzzles in a wooden box, and your child has to match the letters with the picture. Self-correcting means that the puzzle pieces will only fit together if it’s the correct match, ensuring your child always finds the right one.
If you’re looking for an alphabet learning toy that keeps your child engaged and works on hand-eye coordination, this one is fro you. Children learn the alphabet. and numbers, along with color recognition and problem-solving.
There are 26 letter cards and wooden letters; kids match the letters with the cards and associate the words to the objects. One thing that I like is that the flashcards are thick and larger than the average letter flash card, so they won’t bend or break. It also comes with an included storage box! Also, the size of the cards and letters is perfect for little hands!
Learning Resources makes some of my favorite toys for learning letters, and these two-piece popsicles are entertaining and help your child learn letters. They have to match lowercase to uppercase letters. Each popsicle is double sided and stick together, but they’re the perfect size for little hands.
Kids self-check by matching the colors, so he won’t always need your help. There are 13 bright colors; your child will love them.
These Smart Pops encourage your child’s imagination and fine motor skills. Make sure you read the instructions because Learning Resources shows you how to use this toy to work on letter recognition, receptive language, and expressive language!
Here’s another one of the favorite toys for learning letters by Learning Resources – the Acorns Activity Set. The set comes with 26 color-coded counters and 26 acorns, creating a matching game that helps kids learn to match lower and upper case letters. If you have a tactile or visual learner on your hands, this is sure to be a winner.
Each acorn helps kids learn about plants, different animals, and other common words in our vocabulary. It helps with color recognition, and you can use this to build out simple words as well. Learning Resources created this toy for any kids three years old and above. I like that it offers kids a multitude of ways to use it!
The first time I saw this toy was at the library, and my daughter was fascinated with it. I knew I needed t get one for our learning center at home.
This alphabet maze is hardwood and has 26 balloons with corresponding letter magnets. Kids use the attached (yes, it’s attached!) magnetic wand to move the letters into their place, matching each letter.
This toy also comes with four activity cards to help your child create different games that vary in difficulty levels. It starts with having your child match the letters, but later, they move onto finding matching letters for corresponding pictures.
Little kids LOVE this fishing game that helps them learn their letters. The game comes with 26 wooden fishes and two magnetic fishing poles, along with a storage box. Not only does this game help little kids with letter recognition, but it helps with color recognition as well.
Coogman crafted this fishing game with solid, natural wood, using an eco-friendly water-based paint. So, it’s totally non-toxic and safe for toddlers.
Another reason to love this letter learning toy is that it helps develop eye-hand coordination. They have to find the fish that matches the letter and use the magnet fishing pole to pick up the fish. It comes with two fishing poles so that kids can take turns, working on social skills!
The ABC Cookies set by Learning Resources is a toy for learning letters that my kids find exciting all the time. It teaches the alphabet and letter recognition while teaching beginning sounds and CVC word building.
The set includes 42 letter-shaped cookies and 45 double-sided cards. Then, the activity guide shows kids how to use this toy in four different fun games to work on letter learning.
This is alway a favorite for little kids. The Hide & Seek Alphabet has 50 pop-up buttons and colorful flaps that open. It teaches your little child about letters, numbers, and shapes in a fun way. If you’re heading on a road trip, it’s easy for your toddler or preschooler to use in the car.
This toy also serves as a memory game as kids try to remember what is under each flap. Kids get a lot of use from this toy, and it’s ideal for kids over the age of three years old.
The VTech Alphabet Apple offers eight learning games for preschoolers to focus on learning their letters, phonics, spelling, words, memory skills, and time concepts. It offers seven modes for leveled learning, so this toy grows for older kids.
All 26 light-up letters say their letter names and their sounds, and you can switch modes so that the buttons play melodies and sound effects. The ideal age range for this two to five year olds.
AlphaPup helps little kids learn their letters and words while walking. He pulls the puppy along as he walks, and the pup plays the ABC song. The stripes represent letters, and the stripes are buttons, so when your toddler hits them, it tells him the name of the letter and the sound it makes.
A bonus for this toy is that it has a clock on the apple to introduce your child to the concept of telling time! This is ideal for toddlers around 18 months to two years old.
Remember, kids learn best when they don’t even realize they’re learning, so grab some of these fun toys for learning letters. Before you know it, your kiddo will know all of his letters, while having fun doing so.