7 Best Toys for Babies and Toddlers Learning to Talk
Lamaze Repeat Petey
Let toys do the talking. This chatterbox bird repeats back what you say to him (just press his wing to record your voice). The interaction will help your baby develop her language skills, while Pete's multi-textured and patterned body engages her tactile senses. For ages 6 months and up.
To buy! Lamaze Repeat Petey, $16.11; amazon.com
Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Magical Lights Fishbowl
Fish out of water. This rocking, talking bowl recites the alphabet, numbers, and shapes as Baby takes the plastic sea creatures out and places them back again, strengthening her hand-eye coordination. Make the experience even more educational by helping your little one identify the objects (starfish, crab, fish) and their colors (red, yellow, orange). For ages 6 months to 36 months.
To buy! Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Magical Lights Fishbowl, $19.99; target.com
Vtech Touch and Teach Word Book
Make storytime interactive. The pages of this playful book respond to your toddler's touch with words, sounds, and music to help expand their vocabulary by more than 100 words. It also helps teach fine motor skills and the alphabet. And with four different modes of play, it's a toy your tot won't tire of anytime soon. Two AAA batteries are included for instant play, but we recommend always keeping long-lasting AA and AAA in the house as backup—we like new Duracell Optimum.
For ages 18 months and up.
To buy! Vtech Touch and Teach Word Book, $21.60; amazon.com
LeapFrog Chat and Count Smart Phone
Phone a friend. Toddlers practice their conversational skills—hello, how are you, nice talking to you, goodbye—with Scout, the fictitious canine friend on the other end of this play phone. Its 15 activities, including voicemails and sing-along songs, help teach social skills and counting too. For ages 18 months and up.
To buy! LeapFrog Chat and Count Smart Phone, $14.99; amazon.com
Get your kid asking questions. Each child wears a card on their head and has to ask the other players questions to guess what object is on the card. The objects include animals, insects, and food. This is a great game to play with non-readers who will learn to describe images they see as well as early readers who can practice reading the phrases on the cards. Ages 7 and up.
To buy! HedBanz Game, $29.95; amazon.com
Best Learning Mushroom Garden
Encourage their creativity. The brightly colored Mushroom Garden has four different modes (music, colors, numbers, and games) that help toddlers develop hand-eye coordination, logical thinking, pattern recognition, and problem-solving skills. In game mode, for example, the mushrooms light up in a series of patterns that progressively challenge your little one's memory. Music mode turns the mushrooms into piano keys. For ages 12 months and up.
To buy! Whack and Learn Mole, $29.99; amazon.com
ThinkFun Zingo Bingo
Keep your kiddo guessing. As your child is learning new words, this game will teach her everything from animals and automobiles to clothing and home vocabulary. Beginners match tiles to pictures on the boards, while older kids can work on reading comprehension by matching the words on the challenge cards instead of images for the same objects. For ages 4 and up.
To buy! ThinkFun Zingo Bingo, $21.99; amazon.com