Toys to Support Literacy Development - Baby Chick
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Toys to Support Literacy Development

Explore our favorite toys and games for letter recognition and language skills, as well as early literacy development.

Updated April 29, 2024

by Natalie Cook

Certified Reading Specialist and Early Childhood Educator
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Early literacy development is essential for children’s academic success, and parents play a crucial role. However, tools and resources are available to support literacy development in young children, including toys and games that help with reading, writing, and language skills. Choosing the right toys can help children develop literacy skills in a fun way, setting them up for success in school and beyond.1,2

Toys to Support Literacy Development

I’m including some of the best toys and games to support literacy development in young children. From fishing games with magnets to tracing workbooks, we list various toys that promote reading, writing, and language skills. Moreover, these toys and games will be valuable in your child’s learning toolkit.

Letter Recognition Toys for Literacy Development

Here are five toys children can play with to learn letter recognition to help with literacy development.

1. Learning Resources Alphabet Acorns Activity Set

Alphabet Acorns
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This activity set includes 26 acorns with uppercase letters on one half and lowercase letters on the other half. Children can practice matching uppercase and lowercase letters and spelling simple words using the acorns. In addition, this activity promotes letter recognition, phonemic awareness, and early reading skills. What’s more, the set comes with a storage container with a guide printed on it, allowing children to practice alphabetical order and sorting skills. Consequently, the activity set can also support language and literacy development and vocabulary building as children engage in conversation about the letters and words they create.

2. Magnetic Alphabet Maze Board

Alphabet Maze Board
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The board has a magnetic wand and alphabet letters that children can move around the maze to create words or practice letter recognition. This activity promotes fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination while enhancing letter recognition and spelling abilities. The Magnetic Alphabet Maze Board provides a visual and interactive way for children to explore the relationship between letters and words. The maze design encourages children to follow a sequence, which supports early reading skills such as tracking and left-to-right orientation.

3. Learning Resources Alpha Pops

Smart Snacks Alpha Pops
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The set includes 26 popsicles with uppercase and lowercase letters and a corresponding tray for sorting and matching. Accordingly, children can use the Alpha Pops to practice letter recognition, matching uppercase and lowercase letters, spelling, and word formation. And the popsicles are textured, which can help to enhance sensory processing and fine motor skills. Additionally, Learning Resources Alpha Pops provides a fun and engaging way for children to explore letters and words while supporting foundational literacy development.

4. Learning Bugs Press to Learn Phonics, Interactive Letters and Sounds Talking Poster

LEARNING BUGS Press to Learn Phonics
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This toy is a tool that helps children learn the sounds of the alphabet, common word families, and more. The interactive nature of the poster allows children to stay engaged and motivated, and the clear voice instructions make it easy for children to follow along. The poster’s audio feature helps children associate each letter with its corresponding sound, enhancing their phonics abilities.

5. Alphabet Go Fish! Matching Card Game

Alphabet go fish game
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Alphabet Go Fish! Matching Card Game is an educational game that helps children practice letter recognition skills to support literacy development. Players take turns asking each other for a specific letter card to make a match. This game can be played with two to four players, perfect for families or small groups of children. The colorful card illustrations help engage children and make learning the alphabet more enjoyable. By playing this game, children can improve their memory, concentration, and communication skills while learning the alphabet.

Literacy Development Toys for Early Writing Skills

Here are three early writing skills toys to promote literacy development.

1. Busy Board

Busy Board
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A busy board is an excellent tool for promoting young children’s literacy development and fine motor skills. It provides a hands-on learning experience that encourages exploration and experimentation. Children can develop their fine motor skills by manipulating the various buttons, switches, and textures on the board, which help with tasks like writing and drawing.

2. Learning Resources Lowercase Lacing Letters

Lowercase Lacing Letters
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This educational toy is a fun way for children to develop their literacy and fine motor abilities. The toy includes colorful, lowercase letters that children can string together using laces, helping them practice spelling and letter recognition. Additionally, manipulating the small laces and threading them through the letters helps develop fine motor skills, which are essential for tasks like writing and drawing.

3. Coogam Wooden Magnetic Fishing Game

Wooden Magnetic Fishing Game
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This game helps children develop their vocabulary by introducing them to different types of fish and sea creatures. It can reinforce letter recognition and spelling skills by asking children to identify and spell the names of the fish they catch. As a bonus, the game also promotes turn-taking and social interaction.

Phonics Toys for Literacy Development

Here are four toys your children can play with to learn phonics and work on their literacy development.

1. Little Bud Kids Spin and Read Blocks

LITTLE BUD KIDS Spin-and-Read Montessori Phonetic Reading Blocks
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This set of educational blocks helps children develop literacy and language skills. The blocks feature letters, words, and colorful illustrations, encouraging children to engage with language and explore new vocabulary. By spinning the blocks and matching letters and words, children can learn letter recognition, phonics, and spelling interactively. The blocks are made of durable materials designed to promote fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

2. Wooden Reading Blocks – Short Vowels

Wooden Bone Shape Reading Blocks for Toddlers
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This set includes 20 blocks, each featuring a different short vowel word family, which allows children to practice identifying and blending sounds. The blocks are made of high-quality wood and are designed to withstand frequent use. The blocks can be used independently or with a teacher or parent to develop phonemic awareness and reading fluency.

3. Aizweb CVC Word Builder

Phonics Games Flash Cards
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This is an interactive educational tool to help young children develop phonemic awareness and reading skills. The set includes 90 CVC (Consonant Vowel Consonant) word cards and 36 letter cubes, which children can use to build and decode words. The cards feature colorful illustrations and easy-to-read words, making them engaging and accessible for young learners. The tool promotes independent learning and can be used at home or in the classroom to reinforce phonics and reading instruction in literacy development.

4. Zingo! Word Builder

Zingo! Word Builder
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A fast-paced, educational game that helps children develop reading and spelling skills. The game includes word cards and two-sided Zingo tiles that children use to match and build words. It is designed to encourage children to practice phonics and word recognition skills playfully. The game can be played with two to six players, making it a great option for group learning and social interaction.

Toys to Learn Sight Words for Literacy Development

Here are four toys to help your child learn sight words and work on their literacy development.

1. Zingo Sight Words Game

Zingo Sight Words Game
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This game is like Zingo! Word Builder, except with this game, children develop reading fluency and sight word recognition skills. Children use sight word cards and two-sided bingo tiles to match and build words. The game features two levels of play, allowing children to progress from basic to advanced sight words.

2. Sight Word Stomp! Game

Sight Word Stomp! Game
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This game is designed to help children develop sight word recognition and reading fluency for literacy development. The game includes a set of sight word cards and two inflatable dice with letters, which children use to spell out sight words. It can be played in various ways, making it adaptable to learning levels and styles, and it promotes active learning and can be played indoors or outdoors.

3. Learning Resources Sight Word Swat Game

Learning Resources Sight Word Swat Game
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This game includes a set of sight-word flies and swatters, which children use to swat and match sight words. The game is adaptable to learning levels and can be customized to focus on specific sight word sets. It promotes active learning and is a great way to make sight word practice engaging for young learners.

4. Sight Word Bingo

Sight Words Level 1 Bingo Game
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The game includes a set of bingo cards and sight word tiles, which children use to match and cover sight words on their bingo cards. It can be customized to focus on specific sight word sets, and the bingo format adds an element of competition and excitement to sight word practice.

Writing Toys for Literacy Development

Here are four toys your child can play with to learn writing skills to promote literacy development.

1. Aizweb Sentence Building Game

Aizweb Sentence Building,Sight Word Games
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The game includes 90 word cards, eight punctuation cards, and a game board, which children use to create sentences. It can be played with two to four players, and that can encourage social interaction and cooperation. The game is customizable and can be adapted to focus on specific language skills, such as parts of speech or sentence structure. By providing children with opportunities to practice constructing complete and grammatically correct sentences, Aizweb Sentence Building Game helps children improve their writing skills, which can promote more confident and competent writers.

2. VTech Write and Learn Creative Center

VTech Write and Learn Creative Center
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The Write and Learn Creative Center is a great writing tool with a digital screen and stylus, which children use to trace and write letters and words. The tool provides instant feedback on letter formation and handwriting, helping children refine their writing skills. The center also includes games and activities reinforcing writing skills and encouraging creativity. The tool is customizable and can be adjusted to meet the individual learning needs of each child, making it an effective resource for supporting early writing and literacy development.

3. Coogam Wooden Letter Practicing Board

Wooden Letters Practicing Board
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The wooden board includes letter pieces that children use to trace and practice writing letters and words. The board also includes grooves to guide children’s writing and promote correct letter formation. The tool supports fine motor skills and helps children to develop muscle memory for writing. The board is customizable and can be used to practice letter sets, making it a versatile tool for supporting early writing development.

4. Coogam Pencil Control Tracing Workbook

Coogam Pencil Control Tracing Workbook
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This workbook helps children develop writing skills by promoting hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. Also, it includes tracing exercises that guide children to trace various shapes, patterns, and letters. The workbook is designed to help children develop muscle memory and control in their writing hand. And it’s customizable and can be adapted to meet individual learning needs, making it a practical resource.

Choosing the right toys can be crucial in promoting literacy development in young children. Whether you are a parent looking to support your child’s language, reading, or writing skills, these educational toys and games are an excellent addition to your home learning environment. Children can develop strong literacy skills and a lifelong love of learning with the right resources and support.

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Natalie Cook
Natalie Cook Certified Reading Specialist and Early Childhood Educator
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Natalie Cook graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a Bachelor's in Early Childhood Education and a Master's in Reading Education. She is a certified Reading Specialist… Read more

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