When my daughter was born, I was given a great toy that helps with number and letter recognition, and hand eye coordination. I think it is made by Leap-Frog, but do not quote me on this.
The toy consists of a small base the size of a portable disc player. There is a void in the center, which the child fills with plastic numbers and letters. The numbers and letters are magnetic. When the child fits them in place, the toy says what number or letter the child has inserted.
The magnetic numbers and letter also stick to the refrigerator, making cleanup easy. We often work with her while she plays with the toy. We help her repeat the numbers or letters when she gets them right, and we draw the numbers and letters on copy paper with matching crayons. She knows most of her numbers between one and ten, and she knows a few letters. She does not have the coordination to write them out yet, but I am confident she will get them soon enough (She's not quite two yet). It's a great toy if you can find it.