The Leapfrog Learning Sytem
This is a fun toy that my daughter definitely enjoys! She received it as a gift when she was 2 1/2 and a year later she is still using it. The little Leapfrog guy reads the words of the story to your child when placed over a section of the page. It also talks or sings when moved over the illustrations, and even includes some games such as "find the page with the blue bucket." I wouldn't replace one on one reading time with your child with this toy, but for extra practice when you're not able to sit and read this is wonderful!
This toy is great because it can be used to teach many different objectives. It's great for improving motor skills, learning patterns, counting, imaginative play, and so much more!
My daughter loves to help me in the kitchen! This is a great toy for her to use when were not baking or cooking in the "big" kitchen. She spends hours stirring, mixing, organizing and creating. This is a great way to teach your child step-by-step directions (recipes), measurement and more!
These are "Mini Geosolids" from Learning Resources. You can purchase this set from the Learning Resources site, or you can also find it on Amazon.com. I love this set for many resaons: it can be used for many school years to come, it can be used for sorting colors, sizes, shapes, etc., teaching 3-dimensional figures, and so much more! My daughter loves using them for building little castles!
Attribute or Pattern Blocks are also wonderful for teaching shapes, sorting, colors, counting and more. These will be used throughout your child's schooling, so it's a wise investment. I found this set on ebay, but you can find them on most educational resource websites or on Amazon.com.
Ok-this is not an early learning toy, but it is my favorite way to earn new toys!
I LOVE this program! You earn prizes simply by searching the internet. Click on the link (the heading) above to start earning "swagbucks." This is my favorite way to easily earn some extra money for toys and books that would not normally be in our budget. All you have to do is sign up for an account, verify that you signed up by clicking on an email they send, and then start using their search engine for you internet searches. You will randomly earn "swagbucks" that you can save up for a whole variety of prizes, including my favorite-the Amazon.com gift cards. I bought the Mini Geosolids set above with the swagbucks I'd saved up. I have used this program for about a year now and have used my earnings to buy books, games, toys and more!
*I am not endorsed in any way by any of these companies. There are just some of our favorite learning toys and ideas on how I use them as teaching tools.