Best Educational Toys: Spelling & Memory – A Handy Buying Guide

Best Educational Toys: Spelling & Memory – A Handy Buying Guide

In the modern world, a great emphasis is put on education and its importance, and nobody questions this way of thinking. There is no doubt that we should invest a great deal into the proper education of our children and it is a good idea to start as early as possible.

It is crucial to know that children play – it is simply their way of being, learning and interacting with the world, and it can also be a great opportunity for acquiring practical knowledge. Educational toys are widely available and very effective because they make learning fun, playful, and it doesn’t become a burden for the kids. Spelling is one of the basic skills that everyone will need in their life, so today we will take a look at a few excellent products that allow toddlers to learn letters and improve their memory along the way.

Benefits of educational toys

Benefits of educational toys

  • Children love to play – As we’ve already mentioned, children love to play; more than that –it is their way of life. Moving around and touching things is how they study the world around them as babies, and as they reach toddler age, they start playing with certain tools we call toys. It is a very natural thing for them and thus giving them an opportunity to learn something through their toys is paramount.
  • IQ development – Messing around in the sandbox might be loads of fun, but using an educational toy can seriously benefit the child’s mental development. Educational, especially spelling toys introduce kids to literacy, challenge their motor skills and improve their memorization abilities. Through hours of play, the children can analyze the toys they use, become more skillful at the games, and get a better understanding of them, which can ultimately result in increased IQ levels.
  • Develops social skills – Educational toys are not only about learning some new information, but they can also benefit a child’s social development. Many of these kinds of toys are made for more than one player, and having a kid playing with a friend can teach them about sharing, cooperation, taking turns, and so on. These are very valuable skills to practice in order to become a well-rounded adult.
  • Educational toys capture kids’ interest – Children learn in different styles – some are more visually stimulated and others kinetically, so one method does not apply to all. Finding out what captures your child’s interest can help you choose the right educational toy for them which can, in turn, make them want to play/study more, simply because they find it intriguing.

What to look for in educational toys

Picking the right toy for your infant might seem like an easy task, but nothing could be further from the truth. As they enter a toy store or this particular section of the supermarket, most adults can’t help but feel overwhelmed by the sheer choice and offer of these kinds of products.

The toddler market is a big one, and there is an endless amount of educational toys being constantly developed, so the task of choosing just one might seem impossible. To help you with this, we have created a list of some things that you should know that can help you with your choice.

What to look for in educational toys

  • Age recommendation – It is crucial to realize that not all educational toys are suitable for kids of all ages. Reasons for this might differ, for example, certain products might have small parts which can present a choking risk for very young kids. Age recommendation is usually written on the package so make sure to check this first before buying a toy.
  • Check the language used by the toy – Even though there is suggested age on the box, check for the complexity of language used in spelling games. Sometimes it happens that the words are too complicated for the child to understand which ultimately makes the game not as beneficial.
  • Think about the child’s interests – This is a critical point to consider. Think about the activities and subjects that your little one is fond of when choosing a toy for them, so the chances that they will like and enjoy it will increase. For example, if your kid likes music, get them a toy that has sound effects or songs related to a certain matter such as the alphabet.
  • What do you want the child to practice – Inspect the toy carefully to see what kind of involvement and action it requires from the toddler. Certain spelling toys require kids to write something, so this will, of course, enhance their writing skills and abilities. Some toys ask the kids to place objects in their suitable places, while others offer more of a free playing style.
  • Read some reviews – Companies that make educational toys do so with the intention of helping children learn new things, but also to make a profit, so their advertisements might not always be very objective and honest. To help you with learning more about the products’ real capabilities and effects, it would be a good idea to read some reviews, whether online or in a parenting magazine. Parents have no agenda other than their child’s well-being, so you can be sure that most of the time, their writings are sincere.
  • Warranty – Although the manufacturer builds the toys having in mind that a child will use them, even the toughest of products can break. If the price is not too high, then you don’t need to worry about this but know that pricier gadgets should come with a warranty. If it just happens that your kid throws the toy out of the window on the day that you bought it, you will be able to get a replacement.

Best 5 Spelling and memory educational toys – Our Reviews

1. Matching Letter Game

Spelling and memory educational toysThis toy is recommended for preschoolers from 3 years old and up, who should ideally, already have some basic knowledge of the alphabet.

The words in this game are 3 to 4 letters long, so you can be sure that there is no overly complicated language being used here.

Here is how the toy works. There are eight cubes with a letter on each side, 30 cards with pictures and 60 cards with words. The child places a card on top of a tray and then, using the cubes, spells the word or thing that it sees on the picture.

This toy can help children master the alphabet and improve their spelling skills through a playful and interesting way. Besides this, their hand-eye coordination will be tested and challenged, as well as concentration and strategical thinking, which can have a positive effect on a toddler’s memory.

Being that this toy is designed for more than one person so that the kid can enjoy it with parents or friends. By playing in a company, one can enhance their social skills and cooperation.

Due to the inexpensiveness of this product, there is no manufacturer’s warranty.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Simple to use
  • Can be played by more children

Cons:

  • Limited number of spelling possibilities
  • No warranty

2. See & Spell Wooden Educational Toy

See & Spell is an educational toy created by Melissa & Doug company, and it is perfect for children who enjoy colorful and visual games.

The age recommendations for this toy are four years and up since the relatively small letters could pose a safety hazard for younger kids.

As far as the game itself is concerned, it looks something like this: In a nice wooden box, you will find eight wooden boards that have a picture of something and cutout spaces for letters on each side. Next, there are colorful letters that can be fit into the places on the boards to spell three and four letter words. The children use the letters to complete a puzzle and spell the word shown in the picture.

Besides practicing the alphabet, the children will improve their connections between images and written language. Because of the cutout spaces for letters, there is no room for mistakes, and this will teach them proper spelling.

A good thing about See & Spell is that it can be played by more toddlers meaning that it can be a great social activity.

The manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty against defects, which is a pretty good deal considering the fairly low price of the product.

Pros:

  • Good quality
  • Easy to play
  • Can be played by more children
  • Affordable
  • A lifetime warranty against defects

Cons:

  • Only 16 words to spell
  • Some users complained that pictures didn’t match the words on the boards

 

3. Fridge Phonics Magnet Letter Set

LeapFrog company’s product is an interesting educational toy that offers many playful learning possibilities – on the door of your fridge!

The manufacturer’s age recommendation is 2-5 years but carefully consider the size of the letters before getting this toy for your two-year old. The objects are fairly small and can pose a choking risk for very young children.

The toy consists of 26 letter magnets that can be placed on the fridge’s exterior and used in an endless number of spelling possibilities. Now, the real advantage of this product is the bus-shaped electronic device into which the letters can be placed, which then plays an audio describing the sound of the letter and giving examples of its use. This is a great way for kids to learn the phonetic characteristics of the entire alphabet.

The bus toy also contains the “Alphabet song” as well as “Wheels on the bus,” so the little ones can sing along to them.

The strength of LeapFrog’s product is that the letter names and sounds can be practiced and improved through a musical and entertaining method, along with the child’s vocabulary.

The company offers a 3-month warranty on defects, and if any are noticed your toy can be replaced.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • It has musical and sound capabilities
  • 3-month warranty

Cons:

  • May not be suitable for kinds under the age of 3
  • Sound quality is not very good

 

4. LeapFrog Scribble and Write

Here is another toy from LeapFrog, and with this one the child gets introduced to writing through an instructional method of learning.

When it comes to age, this toy is recommended for kids of 3 years and older. Since they are no small parts, there is no choking risk, and the only possible safety hazard could be the pointy pen.

Here is how the toy operates. There is an electronic board which includes alphabet and number (1-10) buttons, as well as a space for writing with a special pen that is attached to this device. The child can press a button of their choice, and they will get writing instructions by sounds and flashing lights on the writing board. The toddler simply follows the path of the lights with the pen and spells the letter or the number correctly. After, the kid can erase the writing and start over.

It is very simple to use, and it can help children get the feeling of holding a pen and practice the motor functions of writing. The only concern is whether the instructions will oversimplify the writing process, so the child doesn’t have to remember the shapes by him/herself.

There is a 3-month limited warranty on this toy, and you can find more details about it on the company’s website.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Includes sounds
  • Great for first writing practice
  • 3-month warranty

      Cons:

  • It might oversimplify the writing process
  • Quite loud

 

5. Touch And Learn Activity Desk

VTech’s Activity desk is definitely the most versatile educational toy in today’s list of reviews. It offers multiple learning methods and possibilities guaranteed to have something for every child’s preference.

It is recommended for children from two years and older, and there is nothing about this toy that might present a safety hazard.

The desk has a light up display which shows letters and numbers and how to write them correctly. It also has a music player with over 20 different melodies and a toy phone for practicing numbers. The top surface of the desk is used to place the electronic activity pages each of which covers various subjects – math, science, music, etc. There are five pages that go with the product, but you can buy more separately if you wish. As the child grows, new expansion packs can be bought that contain more challenging materials and curriculums.

As you lift up the top surface, you can find a storage space for the pages underneath. Also, the bottom part of the desktop can be used as a chalk board or art station.

This toy is great for progressive learning of various themes, and it can improve kids’ alphabet and spelling skills, let them play pretend, and teach them about many aspects of the world.

VTech offers a 3-month warranty starting from the date of purchase.

Pros:

  • Very versatile
  • Expandable and the teaching curriculums can be updated
  • Kids can practice in various methods

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • Only has a 3-month warranty

Conclusion & Our Recommendation

So after reviewing some of the finest and most popular educational toys for spelling and memory, we have concluded that the best product of today’s list is the VTech Activity Desk. The decision was easy to make, and this toy is so versatile and dynamic that no other products could match it. The learning possibilities that the Activity Desk offers are not limited to the child’s age and can be expanded so that the kids get a constant challenge. It doesn’t only teach spelling but includes a wide variety of subjects in its activity pages which are interesting and useful for a child’s development.

 

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