My house is coming down with educational toys, but my kids prefer to play with princess dolls, cars and balls. Go figure! Nevertheless, here is a list of good quality educational toys for toddlers that make perfect gifts.
There are various toys for 2 year olds and 3 year olds, from simple building blocks that will develop hand eye coordination to robots that talk and interact with your child. Or if you’re looking for toys for preschoolers, magnetic toys, iPad toys and puzzles are great options.
You might also like: Magnetic Toys and Building Blocks for Kids
Parents can get obsessed with educational toys, but there is really no wrong choice. Kids will grow and learn no matter what they play with, but it doesn’t hurt to have durable toys that help them explore new skills. Toddler toys that I prefer are generally suitable for a wider age range, so siblings, friends and cousins can play together with the same thing.
The majority of these toys below are either on my most wanted list, sitting in my house or have been gifted to friends, with great reports back. So, without further ado, here is the list of 20 educational toys for toddlers and preschoolers.
Educational Toys for Toddlers and Preschoolers
1. Learning Resources Design and DrillLearning Resources Design and Drill play set comes with two power drills and a wrench, so two kids can play at once. There are screws that look like flowers and ordinary screws that fit into the holes in the board.
The idea is that kids can make cool designs with the screws, but my kids just enjoyed putting the screws in anywhere. Everything folds away in the box for neat storage but with one tiny problem. The case won’t close when the screws are in the board, so you have to unscrew them all to store it away, but the kids love it.
2. Tiggly ShapesTiggly Shapes gives them something tangible to hold in their hand and genuinely does teach them about squares, circles, stars and triangles. The game comes with four well made shapes and there are a few apps you can download to play with – Tiggly Shape’s Got Talent, Tiggly Safari, Tiggly Stamp and Tiggly Draw.
Your child places each shape on the iPad, following the directions given in the app. I think the perfect age for Tiddly Shapes is around 1-2 years. After that, the shapes were a bit too simple to use and my toddler was well over it by two and a half.
3. Fisher Price Code-A-PillarFisher Price code-a-pillar, doesn’t disappoint. The caterpillar teaches kids about sequencing by changing direction depending on the order of the linked segments. Parents will have great fun playing with this learning robot and as they get older they will get more out of it. See my full review of the code-a-pillar.
4. Marbotic LettersMarbotic. There are a few apps to download and my toddler found it really easy to use. Just stamp the iPad with the letters and play the games. It’s a different way to learn sounds and teach toddlers to recognize letter shapes and eventually work on spelling.
5. Tegu Magnetic Wooden Block SetTegu Magnetic Wooden Block Set is a really great toy for young and older kids. This set is made up of simple shaped cubes and planks that have magnets inside. Little ones will develop their motor skills, hand eye coordination and have fun building and playing.
6. MagformersMagformers are just simple flat shapes, such as squares and triangles that link together to build 3D structures. The shapes have specialized magnets on each side to ensure they stick together every time you play.
7. Learning Resources Jumbo DinosaursJumbo Dinosaurs from Learning Resources are a rare toy to find. This set comes with five dinosaurs: the T. Rex, Brachiosaurus, Stegosaurus, Triceratops and a Raptor. The large dinosaurs are made from durable and dishwasher safe plastic so they can play indoors or go for a romp in the mud outside.
8. Fisher Price Think and Learn Teach ‘n Tag MoviFisher Price Teach ‘n Tag Movi is an adorable robot ready to get your kids learning and moving with him. He is preprogrammed to teach letters, shapes and all about animals. Movi will freely move in a shape pattern to show your kids how to make a triangle. He has over sixty facial expressions and loves to play.
9. Boon Building Bath PipesBoon Building Bath Pipes are an excellent learning toy for playtime in the tub. These pipes each have a unique shape and function that comes to life when you add water. Just use the suction cup to attach them in the tub, you can play with them separately or create a water way chain.
10. Melissa and Doug Deluxe Wooden Lacing BeadsMelissa and Doug’s Deluxe Wooden Lacing Beads kit. Included are 27 wooden thick beads that are star shaped, circular and cubes. Some of the beads feature the numbers 1-10 both as numerals and as dots. If you are searching for toddler gifts, then this kit is perfect for promoting hand eye coordination, counting, shape recognition and creativity. My toddler loved trying to thread the beads and was very happy with herself when she finally got one on.
11. Melissa and Doug Food GroupsMelissa and Doug Food Groups play set. Well that’s the idea anyway. This hand painted wooden set comes with twenty one pieces of food and four wooden crates. You can try and teach your toddler to identify and sort through the food groups, but it’ll just end up as fun imaginative play
12. Melissa and Doug Mix ‘n Match Wooden Bear PuzzleMix ‘n Match Wooden Bear Puzzle. This all wood toy comes with mama, papa and baby bear faces, tops, bottoms and shoes. The wooden box is great for storing all the parts so they don’t get lost as the puzzle is actually a lid for the box. It is one of the few Melissa and Doug toys that I have that actually has a lid!
13. Little Tikes Cook ‘n Learn Smart KitchenLittle Tikes Cook ‘n Learn Smart Kitchen has the additional feature of linking up to an iPad or tablet. The idea is that kids can play the app while playing in the kitchen. The stove top makes sizzling or bubbling sounds depending on the pot you use, and the cutting board has a sensor that will show what food is placed there when the app is open. The app also includes recipes, games and more fun stuff.
14. InchimalsInchimals is a great way for kids to learn measurements. Each wooden block has a vibrant animal painted onto it and represents a measurement, starting at one inch and going all the way up to twelve inches. Kids will learn about length and how to set things up from shortest to tallest.
15. Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. KidnocularsKidnoculars from GeoSafari Jr is an unusual cool gift. These brightly colored binoculars are focus free and specifically designed for little ones. Also included is a neck strap for wearing while not in use. They are built to be kid tough and are designed to last for years of play and exploration.
16. WowWee Magnaflex Rainbow Magnetic Strips SetWowWee Magnaflex Rainbow Magnetic Strips Set. The tips of each colorful piece are magnetic, while the sides are able to be clicked together. You can create anything from crowns to an elephant by following the step by step instructions cards.
17. Tomy Gearation MagnetsTomy Gearation Magnets. These magnets are made to be arranged and align with each other while they spin. This exciting set comes with five colorful gears, and the main battery operated gear that turns on and off. The various parts will flip, whirl, spin and turn depending on how they are placed.
18. Critter Clinic Toy Vet
Toys for preschoolers that can have multiple uses will last the longest. The B. Critter Clinic Toy Vet comes with a set of keys with different shapes on each end. Each key opens a door in the clinic. Kids have great fun simply unlocking the doors and can put any of their other toys in there too. Plus it come with Dr. vet items for pretend play, but only two little plush pets which is a little disappointing.
19. Bristle Block SpinaroosB. Bristle Block Spinaroos is a large box with 75 pieces of brightly colored pieces that can make up cool little figure people for pretend and building play. Perfect, except for the fact that it doesn’t come with a lid for the box after the plastic is taken off. But it’s very impressive to look at and makes a cool gift.
20. Janod Robots MagnetsJanod Robots Magnets. The pieces are wooden and chunky to help little hands grab and hold them. There are twelve parts for multiple robot creating. These educational toys for toddlers will help them develop imaginative play and make a nice little birthday gift.
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Last update on 2017-12-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API