A few years ago at Christmas I said "I don't want any toys that require batteries or make noise." That came from all the toys that we had received that had batteries and made noise and drove momma nuts. Everyone followed that request except one sister-in-law. She tried to say that she was giving K an educational toy but it required batteries and made noise. I do still talk to her.
Well, for the past year and a half K has had her Leap Frog Refrigerator magnets. She has played with them some. I am obsessive in the sense that we have to keep all the letters together so they stay in a basket on top of the refrigerator. They are on the refrigerator just the top and not the door. K knows where they are kept and she will ask for them. We have a rule that she plays with them on her blanket.
The other day as she was playing I was listening to her repeat the sound with the letter and she did a great job with some of the sounds. I then showed her the M and asked what does it say and she replied /m/. I showed her the P and she said /p/. I think she has also learned the D sound as well.
For the post part I really don't think that many toys of today that claim to have educational value really do but this one I will say has some educational value.
Now I am beginning to think about that master's thesis that I edited where the discussion was teaching letter sounds before letter names. I might just have to research that a bit more.
I tried to get a short video clip of her saying her letter sounds but she saw the camera and decided not to perform.
This is a picture of her working on her numbers. That picture was taken a few months ago. It is August and we do not wear sweatshirts either in the house or outside of the house. Not when the temperature and humidity are both in the 90's.