Toys for Your Future Novelist

Does your child love creating stories and poems? We partnered with Parents’ Choice Foundation to select educational toys that will encourage her love of writing.

Any novelist worth her salt knows that the way to become a better writer is to read, read, read. Reading creates opportunities to learn and to travel to worlds both real and imagined — past, present, and future. Here are some great toys for your future novelist.

1. Funny Frog Puppet

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Puppets are an enchanting way to create characters and bring them to life. Because frogs feature prominently in many a childhood tale, this toy is sure to add texture to some of your child’s favorite stories (ages 3+).

2. The Grunting Pig Puppet

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This soft and cuddly pig is a great companion to E. B. White’s classic “Charlotte’s Web” — or it can inspire your child’s own story. The pig’s playfully realistic grunting makes it a wonderful storytelling partner (ages 3+).

3. The Ostrich Puppet

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This large (12” x 23”) puppet is bound to become a character in your child’s stories. Its wing and beak openings allow your child to get this ostrich talking, squawking, and flapping (ages 3+).

4. Zingo!® Word Builder

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Participants build three-letter words by filling in blanks on their boards with letters from playing cards. The game allows children at different reading levels to play together using boards missing either one or two letters (ages 5+).

5. Jumbo Bananagrams

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This popular word game is now more child-friendly, thanks to new large (3” x 3”) waterproof letter tiles. Players compete by using the 144 letters to create their own increasingly elaborate crosswords. The first player to use all of her tiles wins (ages 7+).

6. Chain Letters

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This game involves dexterity and word-building. Players must take letters from a pile and arrange them to create words. The challenge is two-fold: to form long words (for maximum points) and to pick up letters without turning any upside-down (ages 8+).

7. Last Letter ™

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Develop your child’s spelling, observation skills, and creativity with this game. Players are dealt five cards, each with a colorful illustration of a scene. The first player puts down a card and calls out an object that is featured on it. Then, players must each put down a card containing an object that starts with the last letter of the word that the previous player named (ages 8+).

8. Rory’s Story Cubes

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The game includes nine dice with simple images on each side, such as a hand, house, or key. After rolling the dice, players must tell an improvised story that features all of the images displayed. This is a great way to get your child thinking on her feet (ages 8+).

9. Noodle Speedoodle

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This game takes Pictionary to the next level. Familiarly, players draw objects indicated on playing cards — but they must also include at least one plastic, bendable noodle from the set (ages 8+).

Books for Your Future Novelist

Parents can help even the youngest child develop a love of reading. There’s nothing cozier than sitting on Mom or Dad’s lap, listening to and watching a story unfold.

Wordless texts invite pre- and established readers of all ages to tell stories based on the pictures they see. The Arthur Geisert classics “Lights Out” and “Hogwash” are a couple of our favorites.

Audiobooks offer another way to share stories, and they’re especially great for car rides. Tales2Go is a deliciously comprehensive streaming audiobook service for any listener/reader.

Apps for Your Future Novelist

The digital-minded will like Sago Mini Doodlecast (ages 2–6). This app allows children to record their voices as they draw, thus capturing the narrative behind each stroke. Get your child to use different mediums for her story with Hue Animation Studio (ages 5+), a toolkit that allows users to create stop-motion animation videos. Book Creator (all ages) makes storytelling more dynamic. This app enables storytellers to incorporate pictures, music, and illustrations into the books they create.

Check out more educational gifts for kids handpicked by Noodle and Parents' Choice!

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