Best Educational Toys in 2017 for Kids and Toddlers – Curated List

You are here because you are looking for educational toys for your toddler. That’s a challenging thing to do, given the fact that babies and toddlers have certain needs that you should pay close attention to. As a parent, you need to be very careful when picking any item for little kids who have crucial needs.

Our List of the Most Helpful Educational Toys

Now, what are the best educational toys for kids and toddlers? We’ve got a list of product reviews for you. Read on and find out the perfect item for your child.

1. ALEX Jr. My Busy Town Wooden Activity Cube

This activity cube features five types of game that can stimulate your child’s mind: animal matching, ABC tiles, curvy bead mazes, racing car rollers, and peak-a-boo open and close doors.

With the number of featured activities, this item has the capacity to entertain your child for a number of hours. And with the different natures of these activities, the product can touch numerous aspects of learning. It can enhance imaginative skills, creativity, logical skills, and critical thinking.

This activity cube measures 16x12x12 inches and suits children aged one year and above.

What's Great About It: Being a multi-purpose educational item is undeniably the best thing about this product. Your kid will be able to do numerous things with it; and as mentioned earlier, he or she can spend several hours on this cube.

2. VTech Touch and Teach Word Book

This word book is best for kids who are learning the letters of the alphabet and those who are aiming to expand their vocabulary.

It includes touch sensitive pages that teach more than 100 words. It features four modes of play namely Letter Fun, What’s That Word, Find It, and Music Time. This may be a good choice during early education.

Once your toddler touches the book, the pages react with words, sounds, and music. This educational book promotes interactive play and teaches fine motor skills apart from letters and words. It includes two AAA batteries.

This baby book is intended for kids aged 18 months to four years.

What's Great About It: The fact that it promotes an interactive game is the best feature of this product. It is like a teacher in a book as it interacts with its little users.

3. Teach My Toys Teach My Toddler Learning Kit

This is an all-in-one learning kit intended for toddlers 18 months and above. It is a step-by-step guide aiming to ensure successful development and learning. You may join your kid in playing this for 20 minutes a day.

The learning kit features four board books, four posters, 55 flashcards, and seven puzzles. It promotes numeracy, literacy, spatial reasoning, fine motor skills, and hand-eye coordination.

It has four sections: The Alphabet, Numbers, Colors, and Shapes. It focuses on the idea of matching, which can prepare your kid in learning how to read.

What's Great About It: The kit’s capacity to teach various subjects to kids (letters, numbers, shapes, and colors) and prepare them for learning how to read is its best trait. In just one product, your little one can have his or skills enhanced while having fun.

​4. BUCKLE TOY “Buster”

This is a buckle toy that comes with a twist.

This product aims to help toddlers enhance fine motor skills, cognitive skills, problem-solving skills, and hand-eye coordination. It comes with six buckles with various clasp styles and colorful straps that can catch and hold a child’s attention.

It also features a zipper pocket that is easy to glide and has numbers and shapes as decorations. Such characteristics can help a child learn early math particularly counting.

Meanwhile, this buckle toy also fits the needs of special children including disabled ones and those with autism.

This product is 6″ x 6″ in size. It matches small hands and is perfect to clip on a stroller, car seat, diaper bag, high chair, and shopping cart. It is light and is surface washable.

What's Great About It: You can easily bring this product with you anywhere; therefore, it can serve various purposes – from a mere source of entertainment to a source of distraction in certain situations like visiting the dentist.

​5. VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker

Whether your child is sitting or standing, he or she can enjoy playing this item.

This walker comes with removable toddler play panel, five piano keys, two colorful spinning rollers, three light-up buttons, and three shape sorters. With these features, this toy can help your kid develop fine motor skills and enhance creativity.

This product likewise includes telephone handset and other mechanical elements, two AA batteries, 70 sing-along songs, sound effects, music, and phrases. It suits babies and toddlers aged nine months to three years.

What's Great About It: Being ‘multi-purpose’ is the best characteristic of this walker. It provides different benefits while providing convenience to your child as he or she plays with it.

​6. Earlyears Roll ‘n Swirl Ball Ramp

This ball ramp aims to help toddlers during their early development years. It includes five tiers and comes in numerous colors.

The product also comes with 3 activity balls that spin. You can easily build a 12-inch tower and break it for activities on-the-go. The colorful beads of the acrylic balls make some fun to hear noises when you roll them.

This ball ramp helps develop cause-and-effect learning, problem-solving skills as well as fine motor skills. It suits children aged nine months and above.

What's Great About It: Apart from providing the benefits discussed above, one great about this product is the safe material it uses. It is built using PVC that is free from phthalate.

7. VTech Spin and Learn Color Flashlight

This flashlight is a projection type of toy that teaches about colors, numbers, and animals. It features music and songs that make learning easier and more fun.

The product has a ladybug button that activates sounds and interacts with the player. It comes with more than 50 sing-along songs, music, sounds, and phrases; and five light colors. This interactive toy best suits infants aged one to three years.

It features on/off switch and two volume controls. It operates on two AAA batteries. This toy automatically turns off when it becomes inactive for 45 seconds.

What's Great About It: Being an all-in-one item is the best trait of this toy. A toddler’s attention span is generally short; therefore, it pays to have something that can hold a little kid’s attention for a longer time.

​8. VTech Busy Learners Activity Cube

This product aims to help children learn about animal names, sounds, and shapes. Its five sides and four light-up buttons make this possible.

The activity cube likewise comes with 14 interactive features that help enhance motor skills; for instance, its music cube helps babies with sitting up and playing. Its motion sensor activates sounds when you move the activity cube. It catches a child’s attention and encourages crawling.

Its early learning center features 25 songs and melodies and its block toy features BPA-free plastic, adjustable volume, and auto shut-off. It includes two AAA batteries.

This toy suits babies and toddlers aged six months to three years.

What's Great About It: The product’s ability to catch attention and encourage movement is its best trait. It pays to be able to influence a baby or toddler whose attention span is short.

​9. LeapFrog Shapes And Sharing Picnic Basket

This 14-piece picnic set which includes six food items, two plates, two forks and two cups, is recommended for children ages six to 36 months. It is built for easy customization and personalization.

What's Great About It: This product features a dynamic way for your children to learn motor skills as they sort, match, stack, empty and fill. The basket lid also serves as a switch to open the product’s sweet instrumental music and fun sound effects. Overall, The LeapFrog Shapes and Sharing picnic basket will create many unique pretend play scenarios that your kids could learn from and will enjoy.

​10. Mirari Pop! Pop! Piano Toy

This Mirari Pop! Pop! Piano toy has six keys connected to six tubes. Whenever your toddler presses a key, a star from the corresponding tube will pop out. It has two sound modes: musical notes and silly sounds.

What's Great About It: At an early age, this toy can help your kids to learn about music and sounds. It also encourages the development of their motor skills and the principle of cause and effect. Since the keys are large, your children will not have any problem in pressing them as they happily make their own unique sound.

​11. Melissa & Doug Numbers Sound Puzzle

This puzzle toy by Melissa and Doug has 21 wooden pieces. It is light activated and contains full-color pictures underneath each number puzzle which when a correct number is placed, a realistic sound will be triggered.

What's Great About It: It is a very simple and straightforward puzzle toy that helps your kids to arouse numerical learning, matching skills, cause and effect principle, and hand-to-eye coordination. Even at an early age, you can train your kids cognitive skills and their openness to more learnings.

12. Vidatoy 13 Hole Cube for Shape Sorter Cognitive and Matching Wooden Toys

This Cube for Shape Sorter Cognitive and Matching Wooden Toys by Vidatoy has 13 holes made up of different shapes. It is made of wood and is finished with water-based paint. It comes with different shapes with various colors as well.

What's Great About It: This product aims to teach the concepts of colors and shapes, via matching the shapes to the correct hole in the cube. It also bolsters your kids’ eye and hand coordination, spatial skills and problem-solving skills. Add these to the fact that this is made of wood so it is free from harmful plastic chemicals.

​13. HABA Angles to Angles Arranging Game

This Angles to Angles Arranging Game by HABA consists of 32 blocks that is evenly divided into four colors namely red, green, orange and blue. It has a unique design and it made of solid beech wood. The blocks are extremely resistant to wear and tear due to multiple layers of water-based, solvent-free lacquers applied to its colors.

What's Great About It: Playing this puzzle is like playing Lego but with different pieces. It can help your toddlers to learn more about patterns, color combinations, and shape creation. It can also increase their imagination and creativity, by creating different kinds of configurations with this angle blocks be it by color, by mixing them all up or a both. It also good for adults too.

How We Picked these Educational Toys

Generally speaking, choosing toys for little kids is a tough thing to do. You need to consider a lot of things and weigh them according to your child’s specific needs. Nothing changes when it comes to picking the best educational toy for your kid. It can even be more challenging if you are the type of parent who is very particular with what your child may pick up from the toy he or she plays.

Here are our criteria for choosing the best educational toys for your little one:

Age Appropriateness

Babies and toddlers are sensitive to a lot of things and have very specific needs. For this, it is a must to give them items that are age-appropriate. Failing to do so can lead to numerous unfavorable happenings and some may seriously affect your little one.

When looking for educational toys, make sure to be in-the-know of how younger kids’ brains work. Doing so will help you determine the things that can catch your child’s attention and help him or her learn. Don’t pick items that may be too hard for your kid to understand as it may just lead to some adverse effects.

Features

Features are very important when purchasing an item. As much as possible, go for items that offer a lot of great features. You should, however, make sure that they are necessary and can cater your child’s development needs. Reality check: Some items come with several specs that are just good to look at but may not be helpful for the user.

Indeed, it pays to be particular with a toy’s features. We believe we have chosen ones that are just right for your kid.

Safety

This criterion is a must for everyone and is more crucial for babies and toddlers. As you have read above, we picked toys that contain safe and harmless materials. Babies and toddlers have the tendency to put things in their mouth; and so, being particular about their safety really pays off.

No matter how great a toy’s features are, everything can become useless if the item is not safe for use.

Educational Capacity

How good is your prospective product when it comes to teaching your kid? You may have noticed that we picked educational toys that are multi-purpose. For instance, we picked one that can teach your kids about letters, numbers, animal sounds, and music.

There are numerous educational toys in the market, so it pays to be mindful of what each prospective item offers. Make sure your kid will greatly learn from them and benefit in different ways.

Ability to Encourage Interaction

As mentioned earlier, the attention span of babies and toddlers is short. To be able to catch and hold their attention is a great thing; hence, you should make sure to pick toys that can make it possible.

Moreover, you should go for items that can do more than just grabbing attention. Choose ones that can encourage your child to move and interact with whatever he or she sees. Being able to interact well is important as it is during interaction that your child can express his or her thoughts and feelings.

With these criteria in mind, we believe we have just recommended educational toys that have the best traits you can find in items for babies and toddlers.

Benefits of Buying Educational Toys for Your Children

Learning is a continuous process. It doesn’t stop at a certain age nor begin at a specific one. As parents, you can guide your child’s learning process through educational toys. Here are some benefits of buying educational toys for your children:

Educational toys promote sense of recognition.

Any toy that appeals to the senses like brightly colored ones with flickering lights and sounds will surely interest your kids. The experience will help them develop interest or disinterest on certain things. They begin to show preference or fondness to a particular food, music, color and other things.

They help raise smart kids.

Educational toys are designed to develop your child’s memory, motor skills, hand-eye coordination and other skills. As the child solves a puzzle, he or she learns hand-eye coordination. The activity enhances his or her memory skills by discarding the pieces that doesn’t fit into the space or hole. The child also learns critical analysis on deciding the right piece to complete the puzzle. It is a good training experience for the child as he or she faces life’s challenges later in life.

They help develop your child’s personality.

Play sets that involve shapes, numbers, letters or animals and their sounds will help develop your child’s cognitive skills. Ride-on toys enhance motor skills. As your child grows older, he or she develops fondness to a specific type of toy. Exposing your child to different types of educational toys helps him or her develop his or her own personality or identity.

They boost your child’s confidence.

Educational toys that require group play encourage your child to interact with others. He or she learns patience while waiting a turn, respects the rules of the game, becomes considerate of others and cooperates with them. The lessons learned from the games will make your child better equipped to face life’s demands as he or she grows older. He or she is now confident and takes pride of who he or she is.

As the name implies, educational toys are designed to teach your child values and skills which are aimed to be beneficial to both you and your child. Just remember to consider your child’s preference to get the most out of it.

Developmental Needs of Toddlers and Kids

Educational toys contribute a lot to the growth and development of kids and toddlers. To be exact, here are those growth and developmental needs:

Mental Needs

Needless to say, educational toys and games stimulate the mind and enhance numerous mental skills. When choosing toys for your little one, make sure to include some that can improve his or her knowledge and way of thinking. Choose ones that can sharpen your kid’s memory and enhance creativity and imaginative skills. Also,opt for toys and games that encourage critical thinking.

Physical Needs

Apparently, everyone needs to have strong and well-developed bodies. For toddlers and kids, toys can provide such needs particularly those that require body movements. While your kid can mostly have his or her body developed by physical games, know that you can also find educational toys and games that can provide such benefits.

Social Needs

Both toddlers and kids need to be taught how to interact well with different people.

Good thing they can also learn it from games. When they play with a team, they become able to exercise their social communication skills and improve them as time goes by. Older kids can freely play with their friends, while toddlers can go to playdates arranged by their parents.

Emotional Needs

While playing with a team can provide your kids’ emotional needs, playing alone can also do the same. In fact, it is during those “me times” that people discover themselves more; hence, improving the emotional aspect of their lives. There are toys and games that your kid can play alone. Consider buying them and see how they can affect your little one.

It is never too early to think of these needs. Parents should help their children get them while they are still young. Doing so will help them grow up well and become happy with their lives.

Conclusion

You have just learned about the best educational toys for kids and toddlers and some important tips that you should follow. Have you picked the best item for your child? We hope you find this piece of writing helpful in choosing a toy for your little one.

    Sandra Cobain
     

    Mum of two. Child psychologist. Ardent admirer of art, crafts and cooking. She is the head of content for BestForTheKids. When she's not busy crafting posts & researching about compelling content ideas, she can be spotted playing outdoors with her two adorable children.

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