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Best Educational Toys for Babies

Updated on September 13, 2014

The Best Educational and Learning Toys for Babies from 0 to 1 Year

The toys below are the best educational toys for babies based on those that my boys (who are now 6 and 2) liked as babies.

Babies learn so much through play and these toys can help introduce hand eye co-ordination, help develop vocabulary and speech, hone fine motor skills, introduce new concepts such as numbers and colors and build babies confidence too.

Having a wide range of educational toys helps introduce babies to new ideas, sounds, sights and concepts giving them a head start in life.

Read on for the best educational toys for babies.

Stacking Cups

The First Years Stacking Up Cups
The First Years Stacking Up Cups

When I think of the best educational toy my son had as a baby stacking cups comes out top.

These are such a simple toy but babies will find so many uses for them and learn so much at the same time.

At first they make great teething toys for babies to put in their mouths and discover the texture and feel.

As they get older they will love knocking down towers, nesting the cups. learning to build towers, hiding things and using them for water play.

They are great for developing fine motor skills, learning to build and knock down, working out how objects can fit together and I used them to teach my son colors too.

Now my sons are 6 and 2 and they both still play with their stacking cups in the bath! Using them as toys to hold and pour water.

Every baby should have a set of stacking cups. They are so cheap and a must have toy.

 

Leapfrog Learn and Groove Activity Table

This is a great educational toy which will teach your baby, 1,2,3, animals, colors and ABCs through about 100 songs and activities on the table and through music. It's also fantastic for helping improve fine motor skills with the 7 activity points on the table.

It suitable from 6 months to 3 years so is a good investment.

Probably the best activity table available.

LeapFrog Animal Adventure Learning Table (Frustration Free Packaging)
LeapFrog Animal Adventure Learning Table (Frustration Free Packaging)

We bought an activity table for my son when he was about 6 months.

You can take the legs off and lie it on the floor until babies are standing. There are lots of different tunes and activities. I think it really helped my son learn the colors as they were repeated by this toy in his play over and over again!

 

Shapesorters

Shapesorters are great toys for teaching shapes, colors and honing fine motor skills.

Suitable for babies from about 9 months.

Battat Shape Sorter Cube
Battat Shape Sorter Cube

My Mom has this toy at her house and both my boys played with it (my eldest until around age 3). It's a great shape sorter. At first they just used to put things in and pull things out of the box without using the sorter but as they got older they are able to put the shapes and numbers in the right holes.

It also has a small bead maze on top which babies like!

 

Alphabet and Number Floor Mat Puzzle

These floor mats are made of foam shapes which babies can sit and and move about on. They will start to learn to pull the shapes apart, which helps them understand how things fit together. The mats obviously expose babies to numbers and letters which parents can talk about with their children and introduce them to babies at an early age.

As babies get older they can learn how to put the shapes together like a jigsaw introducing them to spatial relationships. They are great for toddlers and older children too.

More Stacking Toys

As you've probably guessed I'm a huge fan of stacking toys. I think they have lots of educational value for babies, teaching colors, numbers (count the rings as you put them on the toy) and honing fine motor skills. They also used to keep my son busy playing for ages, a bonus for me.

Here are a few more stacking toys to consider.

Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Little Super Star Classical Stacker
Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Little Super Star Classical Stacker

My older son had this toy.

Each time you put the ring on the stacker it lights up and plays a classical music.

It really attracts baby's attention and keeps them engaged.

Great for honing fine motor skills, hand eye co-ordination and as they get older thinking and logical skills (understanding how the bigger rings go at the bottom and the smaller ones go at the top)

 

Take Out and Put In Play

My sons love put in and take out play. This included putting things in my bag and taking them out again. So I found it was a good idea to find some toys that facilitated this kind of play.

Check them out below.

Lamaze My First Fishbowl
Lamaze My First Fishbowl

Take out and put in play like the kind of play encouraged by My First Fishbowl featured opposite, helps the development of motor skills and cause and effect understanding. Babies love playing with them for ages.

Suitable from around 8 to 9 months.

 

Walkers

Walkers also make great toys for babies. My son had one with blocks with letters on. He used to love taking them blocks out and putting them in again. We used them to build towers, teach colors, letters and numbers too. The walker was obviously good for teaching him to walk.

Step2  Walker Wagon with Blocks
Step2 Walker Wagon with Blocks

This is similar to the walker with blocks my son had.

He used it as he was learning to walk as well as when he was a toddler. As a toddler he used to love pushing it round and round the house so it was great fun too.

He also used to love filling it with all kinds of objects and moving them from place to place.

 

Baby Blocks

Small World Toys IQ Baby - Knock-Knock Blocks
Small World Toys IQ Baby - Knock-Knock Blocks

16 soft building blocks

Feather light to the touch

Covered with satin

Peek-a-boo fun

Teaches cause and effect

 

Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Toys

Fisher Price make a great range of educational toys called the Laugh and Learn range. We had two of the laugh and learn toys (the teaset and the kitchen featured below) and they were a great hit with my youngest son.

Each toy teaches slightly different things. Depending on the toy you buy the are designed to teach babies words, numbers, shapes, colors, opposites, manners, hone fine motor skills and lots more through fun activities, music and song.

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Learning Kitchen
Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Learning Kitchen

This is a top choice for me, because my own son loved it.

There are lots of catchy learning songs, a shape sorter fridge, it encourages early role play with saucepans and food.

My son used to love opening and closing the fridge and turning on and off the light. It's great for honing fine motor skills.

 
Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Click 'n Learn Remote
Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Click 'n Learn Remote

Any parent with a baby or toddler knows that for some reason they love remote controls. So stop them from pinching yours and buy them their own educational toy remote!

The fun responses with this remote help babies understand cause and effect

It's are like a real remote control to inspire early role play

It teaches about numbers, opposites, colors, greetings and first words.

It also promotes development of fine motor skills

 
Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Screen Laptop
Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Screen Laptop

Babies love to copy mom or Dad doing work on the laptop. This smart screen laptop allows them to do just that./>

It features 9 buttons that rewards babies with sounds effects, songs, and words when pressed

The laptop character comes to life when the lid is flipped open

Babies can learn shapes, abc's, counting, and more. />

 
Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Say Please Tea Set
Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Say Please Tea Set

My youngest son had this tea set.

It was great for encouraging early role play as you can show them how to pour the tea and drink eat. It's full of catchy songs encouraging them to say "please and thank-you". The tray is a shape sorter tray, with different shaped places for the different shaped cakes

 

Feedback on Best Educational Toys for Babies

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    • QualityKidsToys profile image

      QualityKidsToys 4 years ago

      I love the number and letter mat listed above but wonder if it is too 'advanced' for say a 1yr old? Any thoughts/opinions?

    • Hypersapien2 profile image

      Hypersapien2 5 years ago from U.S.

      Nice list. I also have a lens of educational toys, so this is a topic I'm very interested in.

    • snazzy lm profile image

      snazzy lm 6 years ago

      Don't forget the Taggies toys, they are loved by babies everywhere! :-)