Best Educational Toys and Gifts

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Most parents will know that educational toys are really important for aiding the development of their children. These toys can provide them with activities that teach them new skills and help them develop the ones that they already have.

This will provide them with the starting knowledge that they need for the rest of their lives. What a lot of people don’t consider is that there are so many educational toys on the market that we might not even think about.

Just because it isn’t labeled as an educational activity doesn’t mean that it isn’t one.

Some toys may have more educational value than others, and we can guarantee that the toys that you see here will be both entertaining and educational for your children.

Whether you are a parent or are looking for a gift for a relative’s or friend’s children, here, you can find some of the best educational toys that are available to be utilized. 

OUR TOP PICK

cossy Kids Magnet Toys Magnet Building Tiles, 120 Pcs 3D Magnetic Building Blocks Set, Educational Toys for Kids Children

This large 120-piece set comes with a range of different shapes, colors, and sizes for your children to engage with creatively.

The set includes 44 small squares, 4 large squares, 50 triangles of 3 sizes, and other accessories. This toy is great as it can be for either boys or girls, and there isn’t a maximum age, so anyone can play as long as they are older than three.

The minimum age is there due to the small magnets inside the tiles that could become a choking hazard if the tiles were to break.

These building tiles allow children to acquire a strong sense of color, geometrical shapes, and architectural design at a young age. These are important things for children to learn, and they can do it all while having fun.

These tiles are easy to connect and take apart, so they are also easy to take down and put away in storage. Nothing that is created is permanent, so this set can be reused as much as you like. 

They are also fully compatible with other magnetic tile brands, so you can mix and match this set with any others that you might have. These tiles can inspire the use of problem-solving skills through play, and they are made from non-toxic plastic that is easy to clean. 

Each piece is designed to have smooth edges to keep children safe, and the transparency of these shapes allows light to travel through them, creating beautiful colored illusions.

Pros

  • Large set with a variety of shapes to help with shape recognition.
  • Can be a great gift for both boys and girls.
  • Allows children to develop a strong sense of color, geometric shapes, and design.
  • Tiles are easy to connect and take apart.
  • Fully compatible with other brands.
  • Non-toxic and safe to use for children.

Cons

  • Can’t be used for children under 3 years old due to small parts.

EDITORS CHOICE

Legato Counting/Sorting Bears; 60 Rainbow Colored Bears, 6 Stacking Cups, Kids Tweezers, Storage Container, and Activity eBook. Quality Educational Toy, Good for STEM and Montessori Programs.

This product is aimed more towards younger children, and the set comes with 60 rainbow-colored bears, 6 stacking cups, children’s tweezers, and an activity e-book.

The contents of this set are designed so that children can sort the bears by color into each color-coordinated cup. They can also use it as a counting and matching game, and it can provide hours of entertainment. 

The bright rainbow colors of this toy make it visually stimulating, and when playtime is over, the contents can be conveniently stored away in the storage container. This toy is very educational and can be used for math skills, color recognition, sorting ability, and hand-eye coordination.

The large tweezers also help to encourage fine motor skill development and help strengthen hands for other skills like writing. 

It comes with an additional activity e-book with 20 educational activity sheets included. The bears are made with high-quality plastic and are completely solid with no holes in the bottom.

These materials are safe for children and will last for a very long time. Their materials are also 100% non-toxic.

Children under 3 years old can use this product, but they must be supervised by an adult.

Pros

  • Bright colors make it visually stimulating.
  • Easy to use and store away.
  • Can be used for developing math skills, color recognition, and sorting ability.
  • Large tweezers encourage fine motor skills and develop hand strength.
  • Made from sturdy and durable materials.
  • No minimum age as long as children under 3 are supervised.

Cons

  • Might not be suitable for younger children that are more advanced.

BEST VALUE

LEGO | Disney Pixar’s Toy Story Buzz & Bo Peep’s Playground Adventure 10768 Building Kit (139 Pieces)

One of the best things about LEGO is that there are sets available for people of all ages.

In particular, this set is for ages 4 and higher and is easier to build than some of LEGO’s more complex sets. The aim of this set is to build a playground that is complete with different accessories. 

There are simple instructions included with this product that your child will be able to understand, and it will help them to grow their confidence and understand the purpose of each individual step.

This can also help them to develop reading skills, but some children may require some help with the instructions where needed if it gets too difficult. 

This toy is perfect for both boys and girls and is even better for fans of Toy Story. LEGO is a great way to help children understand the process of following instructions, and they can also use their imagination through roleplay when engaging in play.

These sets can also give children an understanding of the structural design involved and can keep them busy for a long time with the right imagination.

Pros

  • Easy to build and put together.
  • Simple instructions that are straightforward to follow.
  • Helps children to improve reading and instruction-following skills.
  • Children can use their imaginations through roleplay.
  • Gives an understanding of structure and design.

Cons

  • Not suitable for children under 4 years old.
  • Not as reusable as some other educational toys.

RUNNER UP

LEGO DUPLO Classic Heart Box 10909 First Building Playset and Learning Toy for Toddlers, Great Preschooler’s Developmental Toy, New 2020 (80 Pieces)

The LEGO brand is great at providing a variety of different sets that cater to all different kinds of people. This set allows children to build colorful models and imagine their own creations using brightly-colored DUPLO building bricks.

This playset is versatile, and there are 15 different models to build that are easy to put together.

If you don’t want to follow the rules, you can also use the blocks to create things freely. This means that there is never a point where you have finished with the product, and it can be reused as much as you need.

Children can use roleplay with their finished products and create their own games, which makes them use their own imaginations.

The instructions are not difficult to follow, and the building bricks are safe to use.

This educational toy can make a great gift for any occasion, and its educational value is priceless.

Pros

  • Allows children to express their imaginations.
  • Encourages role-play activities that will keep children occupied.
  • Provides essential skills for later in life.
  • Easy to follow instructions and safe materials.
  • Can be reused.

Cons

  • Mostly consists of square blocks, which can be limiting in terms of design.

RUNNER UP

ANIMAL ISLAND Aila Sit & Play Virtual Early Preschool Learning System  for Toddlers (12+ Months) Mom's Choice Gold Award  Letters, Numbers, Stories and Songs Best Baby Gift for Childhood Education

This Animal Island learning adventure is aimed towards children that are older than 12 months.

This makes it suitable for those of a young age, and it delivers high-quality educational content for early learners.

This is usually the most beneficial age for children to learn new skills, so this is the perfect toy for young children. 

There are three play modes to choose from that have curated playlists: broadcast for exposure, session for learning, and lullaby for babies.

It has unique hardware and exclusive content for parents to be able to train their children’s attention spans early on. This helps to support cognitive development, early literacy, numeracy skills, and emotional growth in your child's first few years of life. 

The content on this device is fun and engaging, and your child can learn so many new things like ABCs, 123s, colors, shapes, stories, and so much more.

The animal friends from the virtual world deliver an exciting aspect of learning, and the device keeps track of new milestones and achievements, which allows parents to check-in.

There is also a parent app that means you can set up restrictions like screen time limitations, and you can also check their progress in different learning areas.

This toy is the perfect way to begin early learning development at home. 

Pros

  • Suitable for children over 12 months.
  • Three play modes to choose from.
  • Lots of activities to engage with.
  • Parent app to monitor progress.
  • Perfect early learning educational toy.

Cons

  • Not the most cost-effective toy.

Best Educational Toys and Gifts Buyer’s Guide

There are so many different educational toys available, and the ones that you choose will have an impact on your child’s physical, mental, and emotional development.

At a young age, children are able to learn through play in a variety of ways. Any toy can offer value to children, but you can utilize these toys so that they are providing more benefits to their development. 

There are lots of benefits to educational toys. They provide children with the skill foundations that they will rely on later in life. Innovative and creative thinking is often developed through play, and children can develop creative reasoning skills through this way of thinking.

Educational toys can help develop cognitive skills by allowing children to think freely. As well as this, fine motor skills can be worked on through a variety of games and toys, and this can also help them to strengthen their hands for tasks such as writing. 

It is important to guide your children in the right direction so that they can work on these skills and continue to improve without even realizing it.

STEM toys are great for personal growth and development in children. STEM toys are science, technology, engineering, and mathematics-based toys that teach the fundamentals of these subjects.

STEM is a school curriculum that teaches children these subjects, and STEM toys reinforce the importance of learning these subjects in a fun way. 

These toys are increasingly popular due to the fact that they are developed with an educational purpose in mind, rather than being made solely for entertainment. These toys introduce children to different learning concepts from a young age, which will only further develop their personal growth. 

You should consider the age of the child that you are purchasing a toy for. Most toys will come with a recommended age rating for a good reason. This is usually because older children may be too advanced in their learning to play with some toys and some children are not old enough to work with other toys.

Toys with a lower age rating are usually targeted towards early learning development, whereas toys with a higher age rating work at solidifying key skills that children have already developed. These toys will often be more complex. 

Safety is one of the most important factors in your decision-making process. The toy that you choose needs to be 100% non-toxic and age-appropriate.

Children under three years old should never be left unsupervised with toys that contain small parts. The product’s age rating is also there because the product has been thoroughly tested to meet safety standards for certain age groups.

Toys that are made of high-quality materials are going to last longer than those that aren’t. Children often drop toys, and they need to be durable enough to withstand frequent use. Toys that break easily will also pose more of a risk due to sharp edges and any small parts that might be inside. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Montessori Toys?

The Montessori philosophy is based on encouraging children to explore their surroundings and environment. This is heavily encouraged during play, which is a big part of this exploration. Children learn through touching and playing with objects, and there are many toys that help this process.

A Montessori toy will help stimulate learning by encouraging children to experiment with what’s in front of them. They can touch this toy and learn to manipulate objects using their hands. This also helps them develop fine motor skills, which will be helpful when they grow up as it is a key part of learning to write. 

These toys should also provide children with the opportunity to work independently and at a pace that they are comfortable with. It should encourage them to use their creativity and imagination.

You could consider building blocks to be Montessori toys. These challenge children to use their imagination to create new structures through trial and error.

However, if these building blocks were to come with instructions, they would not be considered a Montessori toy as they create only one possible outcome and can’t be used as creatively. These toys can also help prepare children for school.

What Are the Six Sensitive Periods of Montessori?

Montessori sensitive periods are referring to a period of time in a child’s life that is focused on developing a certain skill or subject of knowledge.

The most sensitive periods are between birth and the age of six. This is when the foundations of skills and knowledge are formed.

The six sensitive periods of Montessori are:

  1. Sensitivity to order (1-3.5 years) - A desire for consistency and repetition. An established routine will help guide this order.
  2. Sensitivity to language (0-6 years) - Involves speaking, sounds, reading, and writing.
  3. Sensitivity to walking (0-6 years) - When a child starts to walk, they feel the need to practice and perfect the new skill. This is also when they start to develop fine motor skills.
  4. Sensitivity to social aspects in life (2.5-5 years) - Children start to develop an interest in other children their age.
  5. Sensitivity to small objects (0-5 years) - Children are drawn to small objects that they often pick up and investigate.
  6. Sensitivity to learning through the senses (2-6 years) - This is categorized by a child’s fascination with sensorial experiences involving taste, touch, sight, smell, and sounds.

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