The best Reading Toys and games that will help your children recognize letters, develop vocabulary, and encourage them to read. Here, we take a look at ABC puzzles, word games, language learning electronic toys, spelling games, pretend playset that have received the best reviews from consumers as well as teachers.
Importance of Reading
Reading is a fundamental skill that every child should ideally inculcate from a very young age. Once they can start reading fluently, they can read a wide range of books that will further give wings to their imagination.
The problem today is that kids are spending more time playing games on the phone/tab, and one of the reasons for that is parents are not spending sufficient time with the kids. It is important for you to start reading with your children, have more of those bedtime story sessions, if you really want to impart more developmental benefits to your kids.
As parents it is important for us to look for ways and introduce activities that will encourage reading habits in kids.
There is a range of educational toys available that can support learning in kids of various ages through play. These toys will help improve vocabulary and also offer insightful grammar lessons.
Kids Educational Toys Available to Improve Reading
Here are some kids’ educational toys that will encourage your child to read more:
- Press n Play voice toys: These colorful toys are battery-operated and help kids learn the alphabet and its sounds. On pressing the buttons, it recites the alphabet and numbers
- Touch and learn books for children: These toys have learning modules and a built-in voice interacts with the child to encourage reading. These toys enable kids to read numbers, letters, identify colors, listen to music music, and much more.
- Spelling puzzles for kids: These are cards with simple words and the child has to find the missing letter. These cards have images and you can encourage your child to spell the word based on the images provided. These toys build early reading skills.
- Interactive Storybooks: On days when you’re really tired, you can let these toys share stories so that your little one gets their story time. These fun books encourage kids to read, and even ask questions at the end, which helps develop comprehension skills as well as analytical reasoning abilities in your child.
- uKloo Riddle Edition Treasure Hunt Game: Reading Comprehension & Logic for Kids of All Abilities. For ages 7 and up.
- Figurative Language In a Jar: 100+ metaphors, similes, and idioms learned via multiple-choice questions.
- Lauri Magnetic Sentence Builder: For grammar geeks, this toy develops vocabulary, creative writing, spelling, and reading skills.
- Educational Insights Wordical: Dice-rolling and word building game. 108 consonant cards, two vowel dice, and a guide assists the kids to make words.
- Educational Insights Super Sleuth Vocabulary Game: Solve 180+ synonym, antonym, homophone, and multiple-meaning word mysteries.
- Vocabulary Cartoon of the Day for Grades 2-3: 180 cartoons of the day expand the child’s vocabulary.
- 240 Vocabulary Words Kids Need to Know: Grade 3: 24 ready-to-reproduce three-page lessons that teach synonyms, antonyms, compound words, prefixes, and suffixes.
- Starting with Prefixes and Suffixes: For grades 2-4. Plenty of learning games and activities, use of resources and flashcards.
- 3rd Grade Smarty Pants Card Game Set (Melissa & Doug): Colorful and creative cards with quizzes, puzzles, story-building games, humor. For ages 8+.
Top Tips to Improve Your Childs Reading
- Have a common reading time where you read stories to your kids. Make sure you read aloud to your kids.
- Expose them to a variety of story books, picture books are best for smaller kids.
- Let the kids develop the habit of moving the finger from left of the page to the right as they read the words.
- Reading the same books over and over may be boring for adults, but for smaller kids it helps them absorb the material better.
Recommended Story Books & Resources
Picture books are great for improving the vocabulary of toddlers and to teach them short stories.
- The Everything Book by Denise Fleming (Holt): Focuses on infants to 18 months and contains a smaller number of images, including animals, shapes, colors, rhymes, finger games, food, faces, letters, traffic, and toys.
- My First Word Book by Angela Wilkes (DK): Collection of photographs of 1000 common items and aimed at 18-36 months
Benefits of Audio Books for Kids
An audio book is a book which you can listen to, instead of reading. It is a recording of words (from a book) spoken by a person (and not a recording of music or songs). It can be a recorded version of a book or a recorded/spoken program.
As you can imagine, its a great alternative to reading books, something that can be used on the go.
So for example, if you commute by train or bus to college, you can use that time to learn something new, instead of listening to music.
You could listen to some motivational book, or perhaps learn a new language. Listening to an audio book can also serve as an interesting group activity in schools.
Advantages of Audio books:
- Offers convenience
- Are Affordable
- Improves your listening skills
- Improves your pronunciation
- Improves Time management
- Part of the modern lifestyle
While audio books are definitely not a replacement to books, these offer several benefits that students and teachers should avail of.
Audio Books for Children with Learning Disabilities
Audio books are also increasingly used for children with learning disabilities. Children with learning disabilities often require assistive technology (AT for short) to help them learn better.
AT is a software, device, equipment that helps a child (with learning disability) to recognize, comprehend, and pronounce words, allowing the children to read faster.
In the past, audio books have proved to be an effective assistive technology that aids learning and also improves the reading skills of children (who are struggling with reading).
Available on Variety of Topics
Until a few years back, you could only find recorded spoken materials such as nursery rhymes, that were mostly used in libraries or schools, but an entire book (in audio format) was unheard of.
The main purpose of audio books (initially) was to help the visually impaired. These were accompanied by special type of players, which the visually handicapped people could handle independently without any help.
However, with time becoming a precious commodity, the demand for Audio books started increasing. They’re really helpful while on the move, and useful for those who miss reading because of their busy life. Today audio books are available widely in several book stores, along with the usual printed ones.
Audio books are created in a recording studio (can be a home studio) by trained vocal artists. Text to speech software can also be used if needed, but the sound quality may not be adequate in in such cases.
There are mainly two categories of audio books: ‘Unabridged’ and ‘Abridged’. A word for word reading of a book is called an unabridged audio book, and if the original content is edited, then it is called abridged.
The ‘abridger’ is the person who edits the contents. Abridgements are necessary in the case of huge books, and is done to maintain time and also bring down the cost.
Such is the demand for these products that most publishers now produce audio books along with hard cover editions. The first example of a simultaneous publication of an audio book and hard cover edition was the publication of the spoken recording of Norman Mailers Ancient Evenings by Jedediah. P. God.
Today, Audiobooks are available in most of the popular formats – CDs, DVDs and downloadable digital formats.
Best Audio Books for Children
If you are looking for some self-help audio books that will help you inculcate good habits, then I would recommend bestsellers “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey and “Principles by Ray Dalio” to start with.
But as mentioned, audio books are available on various topics, so you may choose something depending on what you are trying to achieve from listening to that audio book.
Where to Find FREE Audiobooks
Here are the best places to find free audiobooks for students.
- Loyal Books.
- Storyline Online.
Funtoyworld is a family-managed website with me (Ben), and my wife doing most of the work. We are proud parents of two wonderful kids and love reviewing toys. We have a firm but friendly “democratic parenting” style and offer several practical suggestions backed by extensive research. Our own experience with raising two children prompted us to share our knowledge. Read more.