The Best Letters and Learning Toys for Kids

published Nov 8, 2022
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A graphic showcasing four toys related to letters and learning
Credit: Learning Resources, The Tot, Bed, Bath & Beyond

A lifelong love of learning starts early with toys, games, and books that teach kids the fundamentals of reading, writing, math, and life skills like telling time. Many of these toys use open-ended play and a variety of techniques to introduce children to the tools they’ll need for academic success! Here are a few of our favorite letters and learning toys.

Our Top Pick

Our top pick, Alphabet Acorn Activity Set, is $32.99 from Learning Resources. This seemingly simple toy uses visual and tactile learning to teach kids uppercase and lowercase letters and letter sounds, and it appeals to a young learner’s interest in discovery, with little figures inside each acorn for kids to find.

Letters and Learning Toys Under $20

1 / 6

Based on the classic word game Bananagrams, this kid-friendly version encourages kids to put letters together and start making words! Perfect for pre-readers and early readers ages 3 and up, My First Bananagrams includes mini-games and prompts to make learning fun.

2 / 6

You know Scrabble is great for building your vocabulary, so it should come as no surprise that Scrabble Jr is a fantastic introduction to words and letters for kids! Designed for 2-4 players ages 5 and up, this board-game-style game introduces kids to making words.

3 / 6

Think of Mobi like Bananagrams for numbers. In the game’s signature whale-shaped pouch, kids will find number tiles that they’ll use to create math equations in a crossword-style grid. Great for early elementary school kids who are starting to dive into math.

4 / 6
Fat Brain Toys

Ideal for older kids who already have a handle on their words, this magnetic poetry set stimulates storytelling and unexpected acts of poetry with over 150 words and phrases.

5 / 6
Fat Brain Toys

This toy covers a lot of ground—letters, numbers, matching, and writing. Each puzzle piece fits onto its corresponding number or letter card to form a match. When kids are ready to practice writing, the cards include arrows to show them how to form each letter and number.

6 / 6

Bring learning right into the bathtub with these foam letters and numbers. Kids will love sticking the wet letters to the wall as they soak in the tub, whether they’re beginning to spell their own name or just recognizing letters and numbers for the first time.

Letters and Learning Toys $20 – $40

1 / 9
The Tot

Encourage a proper pencil grip and letter formation with this wooden letter writing board from Q Toys. Kids can use the included stylus to trace letters, or they can fill the letters with sand or beads for a stimulating sensory experience.

2 / 9
Learning Resources

These cute, brightly colored llamas will help kids learn about their uppercase and lowercase letters (and color matching) through hands-on exploration. The llamas are easy to snap apart and pop together, so kids won’t get frustrated as they play.

3 / 9

If you had a Speak & Spell growing up, you know they can be pretty fun to play with, and while you’re having fun, you’re also learning the fundamentals of spelling! Now Speak & Spell is back for a new generation, with spelling and word games in a retro handheld device.

4 / 9
Uncommon Goods

Kids will love seeing their name right on the cover of this personalizable ABC book that helps kids learn their letters while imagining themselves all grown up and pursuing a career of their own.

5 / 9
Learning Resources

Learning how to tell time gives kids a sense of self-reliance and independence, and this friendly robot-slash-alarm-clock will help them figure out how to tell time on an analog clock using music and games. There’s also an “ok to wake” feature that tells early-rising kids when it’s ok to get out of bed and start the day.

6 / 9

Younger children will love the bold designs and cute woodland creatures on these nesting/stacking blocks, and they’ll be exposed to numbers and counting while they play.

7 / 9
Bed Bath & Beyond

As your child moves the magnetic stylus across the letters on this board, the magnetic beads inside rise to the top to form each letter, reinforcing the motor skills and muscle memory necessary for writing. To erase, just swipe a finger, and the beads go back down.

8 / 9
Learning Resources

For learners who like to wiggle while they work, this game combines the silliness of Twister with the ABCs for a kinesthetic learning experience that’s perfect for kids ages 5-9.

9 / 9
Learning Resources

I first discovered these in my daughter’s preschool classroom, where they were a hot ticket item for all the four-year-olds. Inside each alphabetized acorn, kids discover a little figure of something that starts with that letter, delivering a tactile experience that helps reinforce letter sounds.

Letters and Learning Toys $40+

1 / 5
was $76.00

Get your kids thinking about the ABCs early with this adorable framed print, perfect for a nursery or little kids’ room, featuring alphabetized illustrations of woodland critters.

2 / 5

This game works with your mobile devices to create an interactive, tactile game that teaches kids to recognize letters and words. Plugo also offers different levels of difficulty to grow with your child as their acumen with words improves.

3 / 5

A lap desk lets your child write or draw wherever they are, including the car. And this one is printed with a cool uppercase alphabet on top so kids can peek over at their letters if they need a little reminder.

4 / 5
Pottery Barn Kids

A set of alphabet blocks is a classic, keepsake gift that will help the smallest learners begin to recognize letters and numbers, and this charming set includes letters and corresponding illustrations that kids will adore.

5 / 5
Mirus Toys

A classic Montessori toy, the hundred board is a simple wooden board with 100 numbered spaces. Kids can learn about patterns, grouping, and all the fundamentals of math through open-ended play by placing objects on the board.

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