Parents are always looking for age-appropriate toys to delight and fascinate their children. Some toys are to entertain, others to occupy busy hands, and others to teach. Getting a jumpstart on developmental milestones is a way to make sure children are physically and mentally developing and building their skills. At six, most children start first grade and learn to read, write, and do basic arithmetic. One way parents can help their children is to let them play with toys that aren't just fun but educational. If you are looking for the best educational toys for 6-year-olds, then check out the list to find something the child in your life will love.
What Makes a Toy Educational?
An educational toy just means the toy has a component that also teaches a skill. One could argue that all toys are educational, as kids constantly learn and develop. A simple cardboard box could be educational if the children turn it into a fort or make it into a race car or pirate ship. For most kids, imagination and creativity are their strengths. But parents can also help their children develop essential school-aged skills by choosing educational toys designed to meet specific developmental needs like language or motor skills.
Child Development Milestones for 6-Year-Olds
All children are different and develop at their own pace, but according to pediatricians, they should be able or on the cusp of being able to reach these milestones in year six.
- Know their full name and family members' names.
- Count to 100 and count by 10s.
- Begin writing short sight words.
- Start to understand time and cause and effect.
- Decoding and sounding out words.
- Playing pretend and make-believe with a vivid imagination
- Ready for age-appropriate responsibilities like feeding the cat or picking up toys.
- Start making friends and playing with other children.
- Able to communicate their feelings and understand other's feelings.
- Able to retell an experience or episode of their favorite show.
- Describe things like animals and weather and infer ideas.
- Can follow at least three commands.
- Start developing a sense of humor and joking.
- Can dress themselves.
- Can skip and jump.
- Can catch a ball.
- Can draw a picture with details.
1. Light-Up Terrarium Kit for Kids
- Lights up with LED lights
- Includes a genuine gastropod fossil
- Perfect for smaller hands
This Light-Up Dinosaur-Themed Terrarium is perfect for kids who love to learn about dinosaurs. Kids can build their own dinosaur habitat, complete with chia and ryegrass seeds to grow inside their terrarium. The kit included two plastic dinosaurs and a genuine gastropod fossil. Learning about dinosaurs' terrain, vegetation, and fossils is an excellent way to teach kids about history and science.
2. Space Science Craft Kit
This Space Science Craft Kit is where science experiments meet arts and crafts with a board game included. It is designed to spark creativity and learn about the stars and planets. It is perfect for your favorite aspiring astronomer or astronaut. Kids learn about the solar system, moon phases, and constellations with this fun toy.
3. Dino Soap Making Kit for Kids
The science of soap is a great way to introduce kids to STEM activities.
It is no surprise tha kids love to make things, and this dinosaur soap is no exception. The Dino Soap Making Kit teaches kids the science of soap with six soap-base blocks, three dinosaur molds, two citrusy fragrances, four colors with glitter, and all of the tools to make dinosaur soap. This is a great educational toy for six-year-olds to learn about soapmaking. This toy is more than just a science experiment; parents can help their kids explore the world of dinosaurs and the history of soapmaking for a well-rounded learning experience.
4. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Butterfly Growing Kit
Little minds will love exploring butterflies and creating their own butterfly habitat. This Butterfly Growing Kit is fun and educational. Kids learn about the process and see the entire metamorphosis from larvae to cocoon to butterfly and can watch the whole thing. Make it a well-rounded activity with a scientific observation journal so kids are getting more than just science but reading and writing practice, too.
5. Learning Resources STEM Explorers Brainometry
Encourage critical thinking and hands-on problem-solving skills with this Explorers Activity Set. The shapes create geometry challenges that kids will have fun solving. This 34-piece STEM toy won the Best Toy of 2022 by The Toy Foundation, so you know it is good.
6. LEGOS Classic Build Together
Take it back to the basics with a classic set of LEGOS. The toy that teaches kids to use their imagination. This set comes with 1,601 LEGO pieces and twenty-four build challenges to get the spark flying. There is no place a good imagination can’t take you.
7. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Microscope for Kids
Get your favorite six-year-old excited about science with their very own microscope. The team at National Geographic has put together this great microscope kit for kids that includes tweezers, an eye dropper petri dish, a small geode, shrimp eggs, and a hatchery station. There are thirty-five prepared slides and ten blank ones. Some of the prepared slides include plant cells, algae, and other interesting things to learn about the world at the microscopic level. There are so many learning activities to do that kids will learn to love science.
8. Miracle GRO: My First Root Viewer
It comes with everything you need to start growing and see the root system.
If you have a budding gardener with a green thumb, this is the perfect educational toy for them. The My First Root Viewer Growing Kit includes two soil pods, a mixed seed packet, a drain tray, a plastic root viewer, and instructions on how to grow. Kids can decorate their growers with stickers and watch the roots take hold. Horticulture is an excellent way to teach kids about the life cycle, plant life, growing seasons, and healthy eating and nutrition.
9. KEVA Contraptions Plank Set
The KEVA Contraptions Plank Set of two hundred pine planks with two Keva balls is all you need to teach kids the basics of physics and geometry. The toy doesn't have any bells and whistles. It's a simple thing with tons of possibilities. The set comes with an idea booklet to get some ideas of where to get started; from there, kids can build whatever they can think of and more.
10. Thames & Kosmos Magic: The Amazing Vanishing Tiger Magic Set
Mix science and magic for some real fun. The kit has 16 different magic tricks.
A magic set might seem contradictory to a STEM toy, but that's not the case here. The Amazing Vanishing Tiger Magic Set teaches kids how to do sixteen different magic tricks. The guide teaches the principles of magic, and kids can practice to learn the slight hand skills that every beginning magician needs to master.
11. Learning Resources Dive into Shapes
Learning Resources Dive Into Shapes supports state standards in geometry and helps develop motor skills, critical thinking skills, and problem-solving skills. The shapes set includes 129 pieces, including 60 sticks in three sizes, twenty curves, and thirty-four connector pieces. And fifteen activity cards that are double-sided. This is one of the best educational toys for six-year-olds because it teaches many skills. Kids will get lost in playtime while building and learning.
12. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Crystal Growing Lab
The budding geologists will love growing their own crystals. The National Geographic Crystal Growing Lab has everything to grow colored crystals at home. The kit has a learning and instruction guide so kids can learn all about the crystals and then put their knowledge into action and make some crystals. It comes with three gemstone specimens, including a geode, blue calcite, and green fluorite. While the toy is for the six-year-old at home, the whole family can get in on the learning and enjoy it, too.
13. STEM Circuit Kit: Build Your Own Burp & Fart Machine
Kids learn the basic of electronics while making their very own burp and fart machine.
Any six-year-old will tell you that farts and burps are funny. The Build Your Own Burp and Fart Machine might just be the way to get your six-year-old interested in science. It has ten sounds to make kids laugh while learning some of the basics of electronics. The color blocks have circuits that plug together and make all kinds of silly things. This is a STEM toy that may just be more fun than science class, but they will learn just as much.
Learning should always be fun, and sparking the creativity and imagination of a six-year-old through hands-on play and activities is the best way to expose them to STEM concepts and help them get ready to learn and grow.
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