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INDIANAPOLIS — Kids learn more vocabulary between the ages of 18 months and 5 years than they will the entire rest of their lives.

That’s according to Parenting contributor and former reading specialist Carly Dorogi, who joined us Friday to share interactive toys and tools parents can use to engage and motivate their beginning readers.

“Parents really want to get their kids reading, but often we throw the book to them and say, ‘figure it out,'” she said. “We can make it a lot more fun.”

Her recommendations include:

  • Toniebox: screen-free listening device for stories; kids can choose stories by attaching various character figures to the box.
  • Hand2Mind Beginning Word Builder: hands-on way to learn reading, spelling and recognizing words
  • Leapfrog Learning Friends 100 Words Book: bilingual vocabulary builder with English and Spanish
  • VTech Write and Learn Creative Center: teaches writing skills such as forming letters and writing their name correctly
  • online service offering 140,000 classes for kids of all ages

Visit Derogi’s website for additional recommendations and discount codes.