Last year this time when Max was about 13 months we got him these Eric Carle flash cards (at Anthropologie of all places). He has the number set and the alphabet set. He's loved them from day one and for the past year we found endless ways to use them.
I started by catching him during a moment of attentiveness each morning and saying each letter as we flipped through them in sequence. Once he was able to recognize more letters and numbers, I started to play games with him like laying three cards on the table and saying "Where's the number 5?" Now he can recognize and say A-Z and is learning the teen numbers but he continues to love these cards no matter what stage he's in. In the game pictured here we lay the 1st half of the cards on the table and I ask him "Where's the letter A...B...etc. Then we do the same with the second half, until we have all 26 stacked in order. I'm still amazed every time he says the seldom-used letters like Q and Z. He's keeping me on my toes trying to find new things to teach him!