Toys are more than just things to entertain. They are learning devices that teach all kinds of skills. For babies and toddlers, toys teach hand-eye coordination, motor skills, shape recognition, and letters and numbers; for older kids, toys introduce critical thinking skills and problem-solving skills. Parents should always research to find the best educational toys for all ages to ensure their child has a toy that meets their interests and teaches essential skills.
What Makes a Toy Educational
Education toys are designed to meet developmental milestones. Developmental milestones are guideposts that help parents and pediatricians know if the child is learning and understanding at the appropriate rate. But developmental milestones have some wiggle room, and not all children will meet the milestones at the same time. It is usual for some children to be above or below the milestones. The CDC explains that if a child isn't meeting the developmental guidelines, it may mean the child needs extra support and practice to reach that skill. Parents with specific concerns should reach out to their pediatricians for expert advice and opinions.
The Best Educational Toys for All Ages
All of these toys have high ratings and teach children an important skill while entertaining them. The best learning takes place through active play, where kids can use their imagination and be inspired.
Babies and Toddlers
1. Mingkids Montessori Toys
This textured shape sorter is perfect for little finger learning shapes. The box has elastic bands and is made with high-quality ABS plastic. The rounded corners keep babies safe while they explore the different shapes and textures. This toy is excellent for developing fine motor skills and sensory play.
2. Crayola: My First Palm Grip Crayons
Help little ones get a head start on creativity with these simple grip-first crayons from Crayola. Babies and toddlers can easily grip these palm-shaped crayons to start exploring with scribbles and shapes. It's never too early to express creativity and have fun. These crayons develop fine motor skills and are a great way to explore colors and shapes.
3. Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker
This cute sit-to-stand baby walker helps little ones who are learning to be quick on their feet and jump-start the process from crawling to walking. The interactive baby walker has five piano keys, each playing different tunes with colorful spinners and three shape sorters with light-up buttons. And for the babies that aren't quite ready to walk, the front panel can be removed for seated play. The large wheels are great on carpet and hardwood floors.
4. Ednzion Talking Flash Cards
The talking flashcards are a great introduction to sight words and make learning fun. The kit has 112 double-sided cards with a whopping 224 sight words from categories like food, colors, animals, transportation, and more. This is one of the best educational toys for little ones because it promotes learning, stimulates the imagination, and develops hand-eye coordination.
Interactive sight word flash cards in English and Spanish.
5. LeapFrog 100 Things That Go
LeapFrog toys are known for their creative approach to fun and learning. This book has six interactive pages to learn transportation words. It not only teaches kids words in English but also in Spanish. This is great for little ones in bilingual households and for families that want their kids to get a jump on learning not just one but two languages.
Kids aged 5-8
6. LEGOS Classic Build Together
Kids love LEGOs. This classic LEGO set has 1,601 LEGO pieces for all kinds of creative fun. The set also includes 24 creative builds with inspiring building challenges to get kids thinking out of the box and using their imagination. The whole set comes in a special sorting box with spaces to keep all of those fun LEGO pieces in their place.
7. KEVA Contraptions Plank Set
Do you want to encourage critical thinking skills and problem-solving strategies in your child? This plank set is an excellent choice. It comes with 200 identical wooden planks, two small balls, and a guide with project ideas and cool photos to inspire your child. This STEM toy is perfect for introducing concepts of basic physics to young ones while still creating a fun play environment.
8. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Crystal Growing Kit
Start having fun with science with this colorful crystal growing kit. This kit has everything to make crystal growing easy, and the instructions explain the entire process. The kit has three real gemstone specimens: green fluorite, geode, and blue calcite. This exciting science experiment lets you grow purple, green, and blue crystals. Chemistry just got cool with this set that will delight your child.
9. STEM Circuit Kit: Build Your Own Burp & Fart Machine
You can't deny that farts are funny; kids will be the first to tell you that. And now, with this fun fart and burp machine, kids can learn the science behind the embarrassing noises the human body is capable of.
Kids learn the basic of electronics while making their very own burp and fart machine.
Kids Aged 9-12
10. Dance Mat Toys
Are you looking to get your kids off their screens for some physical activity? Then check out this fun dance mat. The dance mat has eight buttons and three difficulty levels to create challenging dance moves. The music connects with the flashing arrow prompts to teach dance moves and get kids up and moving around. This is a great toy for encouraging physical activity and eye-foot coordination. Even big brothers and sisters can get in on the fun for a family dance party.
11. Razor Power Core E90 Electric Scooter
An electric scooter lets kids have some independence and get outside. Scooters teach balance and control while kids explore the parks and neighborhoods. This lightweight electric scooter is made from alloy steel and holds up to 120 pounds. It comes with an electroluminescent wire on the deck and six LEDs that light up when in motion. The scooter is a great way to encourage kids to move their bodies and inspire curiosity and outdoor exploration.
12. SHASHIBO Shape Shifting Box
The shape-shifting box is the toy you didn't know you needed. It has 36 rare earth magnets for a cool design that can turn into over 70 unique forms and shapes. It is small enough to fit in your hands and will keep a curious mind and fidgety fingers busy for hours with challenges that engage the senses and the mind.
13. Hover Soccer Ball
The future has arrived with this floating soccer ball. The light-up floating ball has soft bumpers to protect feet and furniture while it's floating around. It gets kids moving and helps develop motor skills and problem-solving skills while having fun. Kids can have their friends over and play indoor soccer rather than sit on screens all day.
Kids Aged 13-15
14. Full Cycle Our Planet 3D Puzzle Learning Toy
This 3D puzzle has 240 pieces and is an excellent learning tool for learning about the planet we call home. It comes with cool graphics depicting different places and a stand for when it's finished. This is perfect for kids who respond to tactile learning and visual stimulation.
15. flybold Slackline Kit with Training Line
Balance, coordination, and problem-solving skills are just some of the things your child will learn when playing with this slackline kit. The slackline hotels up to 300 pounds. The slackline includes one main line, two training lines, three two ratchets, an arms trainer, a ratchet protector, tree protectors, and a cool carry bag. There is a guidebook with instructions to help beginners get started. Trying something new builds confidence and self-esteem; being outside is perfect for developing minds and bodies.
16. SCRIB3D P1 3D Printing Pen with Display
This 3D printing pen is a fun way to get creative and explore science. The pen improves spatial thinking, inspires creativity, and helps develop artistic skills. The pen comes with a charger, three colors, a project guide, and a stencil book to get started. It is a fun way to start making handmade gifts or decorations; you can even use it to fix things around the house. The possibilities are endless.
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