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Best Educational Toys for Toddlers
The Best Educational and Learning Toys for Toddlers Aged 1 to 3 Years
The best educational toys for toddlers help them learn through play and keep them occupied for a while too.
I have two boys. A toddler who's 2 and an elder boy who's now 6. This article features the best educational toys based on the toys my eldest son liked between the ages of 1 to 3 years as well as those my youngest son is currently playing with.
There are lots of educational toys to help learn letters, numbers, colors, hone fine motor skills, introduce social skills and develop speech, lanugage and vocabulary.
Check out the best educational toys for toddlers below.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
LeapFrog My Own Leaptop
My 2 year old son loves copying me on his toddler laptop. He opens my laptop and says "Mommy work", than opens his laptop and says "Callum work". At the moment he just loves pressing the buttons and listening to the sounds but many laptops have lots of educational activities too.
Check out the leapfrog laptop below.
The Leapfrog laptop is aimed at children from aged 2 to 4 and it has learning and play opportunites on many levels.
Being a laptop means they can partake in imaginative play and pretend to be "working" just like Mom or Dad.
There are lots of ways to learn on the laptop.
For example, alphabet mode teaches letters and phonics. Music mode turns the alphabet pad into a music sampling machine, so your child can contribute musical animal noises and funny audio effects to songs. Animal mode teaches kids to identify animals and their sounds.
The Email, Music Playlist, and Blog functions help children build vocabulary, and practice listening and reading skills. And they'll enjoy receiving emails and singing along with Leaptop's preset and downloadable songs.
The fridge magnets featured below are my favorite educational toy from the list. The reason is because they will teach your toddler letters and phonics really easily and they can play with them on the fridge in the kitchen while adults are cooking and cleaning. My eldest son used to play with the fridge magnets which he absolutely loved. They would keep him occupied for ages and were very educational too.
Leapfrog Phonics Fridge Magnets
This is such a cool toy.
Place a magnetic letter into the bus (which is also magnetic) and you can hear the letter, its phonic sound, a word beginning with a letter and the word in the sentence.
It's great for learning letters, their sounds and lots of vocabulary.
The bus also plays the alphabet song and the wheels on the bus.
Leapfrog Phonics Letters and Numbers
The Leapfrog phonics are very similar to the leapfrog fridge magnets above but they are not magnetic. They another great for teaching letters in a fun way and can be used all the way up to before they go to school. As well as letters they also teach numbers too.
LeapFrog Letter Factory Phonics and Numbers
This is a great toy for teaching toddlers letters and numbers. It includes 36 singing tiles (26 letters and 10 numbers) that bring the alphabet and numbers to life
Toddlers place the letter tiles in the "factory" to hear songs that teach the corresponding letter or number, names and sounds
Placing tiles also helps children learn fine motor skills
It plays the Alphabet Song at the touch of a button
There are high, low, and off volume settings
The bucket design is portable and easy to store
It aimed at kids from age 2
Educational Wooden Toys
My own boys often play more with simple wooden toys that don't feed them information with electronic lights and sounds. Of course, electronic educational toys have their place but educational wooden toys such as those featured below give kids time to think and focus.
These wooden lacing beads are great for improving fine motor skills as toddlers lace the big chunky beads onto the string.
The bright blocks are also great for teaching shapes and there are numbered and spotted ones to help learn numbers too.
The beads can be stacked too for extra fun.
This toy comes with 45 pieces that make up a wooden bear family. There are three characters and they all have different faces with different facial expressions with different clothes.
There are lots of learning and play opportunites with this toy. Children can learn new vocabulary for the different facial expressions. They can use the different pieces to tell a story. You could play games asking your child to find certain pieces to make up the bear too. Great for vocabulary expansion and story telling.
A puzzle which is great for teaching shapes, numbers, fine motor skills, color and telling the time.
This is a great educational toy for toddlers of about 22 months to 3 years.
Learn matching, sorting, colors and shapes. See how things fit together.
There are 10 wooden boards and about 30 wooden shapes to match up to the patterns.
Sorting Toys For Toddlers
There are a wide range of sorting toys for toddlers where they can learn to shape objects my shape, color, number and more.
I really like the set below. My mother in law has a similar ice pop set that all the grandchildren love to play with. I'm not sure why, but they all love to have pretend ice creams and ice pops.
You could sort the ice pops below by color and in color order.
Teach them counting by sorting them in different numbered groups and lots more. Read the description for more ideas of play.
These ice pops are a good choice for imaginative play. My own children have always loved pretend ice pops and ice creams! The ice pops have two of each color so are great for matching games. They all have either an uppercase and a lower case letter so you can match the right pairs together by letter too.
My son had this exact toy at his Grandmas house and was one that he would love playing with everytime we visited. Its great for toddlers aged 1 and up and I think my son used to play with it until he was about 2. Its a good shape sorter as it has letters (A,B,C) and numbers (1,2,3) as well as shapes to put into the cube so is good for introducing these concepts. There is also a bead maze which seems to fascinate toddlers.
Learn To Dress Dolls
There are great dress up dolls suitable from the ages of 18 months that help teach your toddler how to dress by practising skills with a button The featured toys have a button, snap, hook-and-loop closure, zipper and shoe tie. These dolls are also great as a soft comfort toy and for imaginative play.
This soft and sweet fairy princess teaches dressing skills with a button, snap, hook-and-loop closure, zipper and shoe tie. Plus, she comes with a butterfly friend tucked neatly in her pocket.
This soft and sweet pirate teaches dressing skills with a button, snap, hook-and-loop closure, zipper and shoe tie. Plus, he comes with a parrot pal.
Jigsaw Puzzles for Toddlers
Jigsaws make great educational toys. My eldest son in particular loved doing jigsaw puzzles and still does at age 6. I find they are very educational. They hone fine motors skills, introduce toddlers to new words and vocabulary if you talk about the puzzles they are doing, improve concentrations skills and problem solving. Great for ages 2 and up (maybe even a few months younger).
Check out the puzzles below.
Melissa and Doug Food Cutting Box
I think this toys is great. Toddlers can hone fine motors skill by cutting up the pretend food in this box. Its fantastic for introducing them to the concepts of fractions and learning the words for halves, quarters and thirds. This is a great toy for 2 to 3 year olds.
This set contains eight pieces of wooden food, a cutting board and a wooden knife. Food makes a fun “CRUNCH” sound when sliced. With 31 pieces, it’s also a great way to introduce the concepts of part, whole and fractions.
Mr Potato Head
My son loved Mr Potato Head as a toddler. Its great for teaching toddlers the names of body parts and clothes and kept my son occupied for ages too. Great from about 20 months. Also its very good value.
Laugh and Learn Mailbox
Both my boys played with a toy mailbox and loved it between the ages of 1 and 2 (my 2 year old will still play with his) They spent ages posting the letters over and over again. This was great for developing fine motor skills. The letterbox below is very educational as it teaches letters, numbers, opposites, colors, greetings and more!
* Teaches letters, numbers, opposites, colors, greetings and more!
* Includes three letters and a package for slotting.
* Hear the friendly mailbox characters.
* Slide the address roller to learn all about numbers.
* Lift the mail flag to learn about opposites through music and phrases.
ABC Bath Stickers
Bath stickers have been another favorite in our house.
My youngest will stick the bath stickers to the wall. My eldest son used them to start spelling words as he got older.
Toddlers will love these chubby foam shapes which will stick to the bath tub or tiles at bathtime. Its great as they can start to learn their ABCs when they're having fun in the bath. They come packaged in a reusable mesh bags that suction cup to the tub or tile walls, so they're easy to clean up after bathtime too.
1st Game to Play
Hello Sunshine is a great first game to play for toddlers.
Take turns sliding the colorful swords into the barrel
Beware - if the pirate pops up on your turn, you are out
Kids love the popping action of the pirate flying out of the barrel
No reading required
The version featured is the Pirates of the Carribean version.
Think Fun Zingo Game
We haven't actually played with this game yet but it's one I'm thinking of buying for my youngest son (age 2) later on this year, maybe for Christmas. I think it looks like a lot of fun and one my eldest would like too.
This is another great fun toddler game aged for 18 months and up.
There is a big die which you roll to tell you which color-coded activity card to choose. Do whatever the card tells you: make a happy face, rub your belly, or roar like a lion. There are also activities like "Find something red".
Play together with your toddlers and there are so many educational benefits. Learn new vocabulary, learn how to take turns and encourage development of fine motor skills.
There are some great stacking toys for toddlers that help teach colors, counting and shapes. They are excellent value for money and will keep little ones occupied, focused and entertained. I think these are perfect for 2 year olds (maybe a few months before they are 2 for some children). My eldest son was playing with stacking toys until he was about 3.
You can sort this toy by shape, color and number.
Mix the shapes up and get your toddler to sort them out again!
Great for fine motor skills too.
Educational Toys in the UK
- Educational Toys for 2 Year Old Boys in the UK
Here are some great ideas of educational toys for 2 year old boys in the UK