Top Educational Toys for Toddlers Reviewed
Children’s toys that mimic real-life options are the best educational toys for toddlers as they help children with the most important skills they need at a young age.
Lifelike toys help children to learn more than any other toys as they teach about the very basics of life. Throw in a few toys to learn letters, words, numbers, shapes, and colors help them better understand life as well which is why this list is full of toys mimicking life.
Best Educational Toys for Toddlers
After pouring over the different toys from a number of educational manufacturers, and after comparing features and owner feedback these are our choices for the best educational toys for toddlers:
The Top Bright’s Fun Little Tool Set toy looks like a truck but works like a toolset. When dad is out in the garage working on the car, bring this toy alone so your tot can crank some gears as well. In the first couple of years of life, children learn by example. They want to do what they see everyone else doing because that’s how they learn.
A sturdy tool set made of wood and plastic allows your child to twist screws, use a wrench, rotate gears, and pound nails all for an affordable price. Besides mimicking parents, the set allows your child to begin understanding strategy, communication, spatial reasoning, and even social skills working alongside mom, dad, or grandpa.
Great for role-playing with the included truck driver or just rolling around on the truck. Works as a pull toy too. All the pieces store right inside for easy cleanup. A great 3-in-1 toy to keep little fingers busy while you clean the kitchen. Finally, made of superior quality without BPA, toxins, or sharp edges.
If your toddler tends to put everything in their mouth, wait on this toy another year. The pieces may not cause a choking hazard but kids are pretty inventive and they could cause minor issues if you do not watch your child closely.
- LIL PROJECT MANAGERS: Did you know that pretend play is more than just a simple activity? Young kids are dealing mini projects, which requires advanced thinking strategies, communication and social skills. Through role-playing, knowledge transfers from one situation to another. Our innovative toddler tool set toys for 2 year old boy play set immerses young kids in STEM skills while playing, providing opportunity to explore their interests, abilities and the world through personal experiences.
- 3-IN-1 ACTIVITIES: This toddler tool set car toys for 2 year old boy comes with a sturdy string which allows to be used as a pull-along-toy. It’s also a construction toolbox play set for building imaginations, and a toy truck you can take to playdates at a friend’s house or to a park. Its bright colors and gadgets encourage sensory stimulation.The activity truck as a built-in storage component for all of the accessories it comes with, perfect for tight living spaces.
- KEEP THEM BUSY WHEN YOU ARE: We know how much you cherish the time spent with your children, but sometimes the busy life of a parent doesn’t always allow much opportunities. If you want to make sure that the little ones are occupied while doing something fun, productive and safe, this multi-functional tool truck toys for 2 year old boy is perfect for you.
- ALL ABOUT SAFETY: Our creative construction tool truck toys for 2 year old boy was designed for enriching children’s capacities in the safest possible ways: it has smooth edges, non-toxic water-based paint with no lead and burr, makes it a great two year old boy gift with longevity. As what we concerned most is the safety and quality, this strong and educational toy for 2 year old boys will withstand great without fading or cracking even throughout childhood.
- A GREAT GIFT: This kids tool box toys for 2 year old boy have it all: it is fun, educational and safe. Give as a birthday present for toddlers, for Christmas, a job well done, your thoughtful gift will put a big smile on a cute little face. It's an excellent gift for 2 year old boy to grow and learning.
Toddlers love animals and they provide a great means of teaching. Not only can children learn about colors and animal sounds but also role-playing. Even better, the Melissa & Doug Latches Barn offers not just a means of storing the farm critters but it also includes latches and locks to practice dexterity.
Some toys are overly busy with tons of activities, but simple toys can keep a child-focused on a specific task such as the 3-inch-tall animals or figuring out the locks. A great way to understand hand-eye coordination, cause and effect, and motor skills. Use this toy to teach your child how to count the animals and go over the colors on the barn.
Store the animals inside the barn. You might even find room for a few other objects your child may want to shove in the six moveable windows, doors, or roof of the barn. A great way to inspire imagination and spatial reasoning. While the package says for children three and up, this toy does not have any small parts and as long as you watch your child they can use the toy much earlier.
A few people received defective products. As the toy is made of wood, it can break if not handled well when shipped. The wood can split or crack so check the item once you take it out of the box, also make sure your child doesn’t throw it down the stairs!
- LATCH ONTO LEARNING: The wooden latches barn features a painted barn with working latches and locks on doors that open and close. It also includes four 3-inch-tall flocked farm animal figures that fit inside the barn.
- HELPS DEVELOP MULTIPLE SKILLS: The Melissa & Doug Latches Barn Toy helps teach children 3 years and up vital fine motor skills, counting skills, colors, and animal recognition.
- INSPIRE PRESCHOOLER PRETEND PLAY: Kids can unlatch and open the six doors to reveal friendly animal pictures, prompting imaginative storytelling and pretend play fun.
- GREAT GIFT FOR AGES 3 YEARS AND UP: The Melissa & Doug Latches Barn Toy makes an ideal gift for kids ages 3 years and up. This set plays well with the Melissa & Doug Lock & Latch Board.
- “THE GOLD STANDARD IN CHILDHOOD PLAY”: For more than 30 years, Melissa & Doug has created beautifully designed imagination- and creativity-sparking products that NBC News calls “the gold standard in early childhood play.”
Blocks may seem boring to us, but to young children, the bright colors and fun shape entice a love of imagination. The Cubbie Lee Wooden Building Block Set teaches shapes, colors, spatial reasoning, and even beginning foundations of building. Don’t expect your kid to build you a new house though.
The blocks recently went through a ten percent increase in size so little hand can manipulate the blocks easier. Uninhibited free play allows children to use their brain to formulate plans and develop thought processes. A great toy to find out where your child’s future interests may lie.
Bright colors grab attention but don’t let the colors fool you, the blocks are non-toxic and made of sturdy wood. Comes in natural wood color, bright green, red, blue, and yellow. Also find many shapes to build castles, fortresses, cars, or anything else your child can imagine with one hundred blocks all for a very respectable price.
This set comes labeled for three years or older, however, the pieces are quite large but you should watch a younger child as their hand-eye coordination isn’t up to par. Not to mention the storage bucket will inevitably end up on your child’s head and they won’t be able to get it off without help for a year or two.
- CAN’T GO WRONG WITH THIS CLASSIC TOY GIFT! – No child’s playroom is complete without a set of classic wooden building blocks, and these colorful solid wood building blocks made by the children’s wooden toy company, Cubbie Lee Toys, are just what you’ve been looking for!
- SUPERIOR VALUE & TOP-QUALITY YOU CAN FEEL: Made entirely from durable REAL juniper wood and painted in vibrant, bright colors, this 100 piece wooden blocks set is the kind of timeless quality gift parents and grandparents love to give to children. The blocks are sanded smooth, with no rough or sharp edges, and then given a thick coat of paint. These blocks feel as good as they look!
- BLOCKS ARE NOW EVEN LARGER: As of April 2018, all our 100 block set pieces are now 10% larger. Our customers said they wanted larger sized blocks, and we listened! These basic blocks are now even easier for little hands to grasp and build with and are well beyond the size of choking hazards.
- NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOUR CHILD’S SAFETY - That's why this 100pc wood block set, like all Cubbie Lee Toy Company products are manufactured to exceed the most stringent of child safety standards. The wood used is sustainably sourced (certified by the Forest Stewardship Council) and the paint used is non-toxic, lead-free and phthalates-free. In fact, every Cubbie Lee Toy undergoes chemical tests for over 100 prohibited substances, and must pass choking hazard tests as well.
- INSPIRES IMAGINATIVE PLAY, CREATIVITY & FINE MOTOR SKILL DEVELOPMENT: Did you know that imaginative free-play is one of the best ways to stimulate mental development and growth in little children? This safe set not only provides engaged play-time for your children, but it also inspires creativity, encourages cooperation and fine motor skill development. That's the kind of toys we want our children to play with, and it's why all Cubbie Lee Toys are designed to not simply entertain, but inspire!
The Munchkin Mozart Magic Cube brings a symphony to your nursery. Toddlers love simple toys that make lots of noise and this one couldn’t be easier to use. The rounded dice shaped toy plays music at the push of a button.
Find your toddler’s inner Mozart! By touching a brightly colored button let your daughter explore the harp, French horn, piano, flute, and the violin. Watch as her little faces fill with wonder as she finds her favorite and goes back to listen again and again.
Not only does the toy play instruments but also plays instrumental songs meant to instill a love of music in your child. Includes the songs Non-Piu Andre (Marriage of Figaro), Country Dance #5, Come Sweet May, Ah! Vous Dirai-Je Maman, Der Vogelfanger (Magic Flute), March in D, Lander, and LaCi Darem La Mano (Don Giovanni).
Finally, music affects people’s brains positively. Not only is music therapeutic but another language and can open new brain paths and improve brain function along with neural strength. Music even improves the memory which you definitely want in your child. Requires 3 AA batteries. Great for 1 year and up.
Try to prevent your child from dropping the toys as this will break the toy. The lights may stop working prematurely if this happens try changing the batteries. While the toy brings the sounds of the symphony, it may not bring the quality of the symphony, however, it does come with volume control.
- Educational toy teaches how sounds combine to create 8 MOunceart masterpiece
- Includes harp, French horn, piano, flute and violin instrument sounds
- Recommended for budding young composers of all ages
- Orchestra button plays all instruments. Eight MOunceart compositions included
- Sides light up to the tempo of the music
The Vtech Activity Desk Deluxe lets your child sit down to work and explore a whole new world of learning. An interactive surface with multiple activities on an LED display lets your child explore numbers, shapes, and more. Transform the top into an easel or chalkboard too!
Store everything you need inside the desk and even your child on the included stool to sit up to the table. The top part of the board features five different placemat sheets including numbers, letters, body parts, music, and food. One they bore with one sheet switch to another.
The front of the desk offers buttons and a screen to help engage little minds. The whole desk comes in primary colors to teach the basics and spots for shapes on the sides for added learning. Expansion backs are available for purchase to extend the use of the table.
Lastly, the toy works best for children two and up. They can learn over 100 vocabulary words, over 20 songs, and so much more. Requires four AA batteries which are not included. Includes a music player, a phone, storage, and activity mats.
Some customers experience issues switching the activity sheets and getting the machine to understand the switch. Others received defective issue but was a tiny number. As it’s made of plastic, you can imagine the legs may come off, make sure your child does not stand on the stool or the table.
- The Touch and Learn Activity Desk Deluxe is an interactive desk and includes five activity pages to explore that are filled with engaging content
- Extend the fun with expansion packs (each sold separately) that include a wide curriculum; LED display illustrates letter and number stroke order and how to draw basic shapes
- Transforms from a desk into an easel and chalkboard with storage space for art supplies to encourage play and discovery; stool included
- For more ways to play, pretend to make a call on the toy telephone or listen to fun tunes on the music player; progress button reports on child's progress. Fabric care instructions: clean with a damp cloth
- Features 100+ vocabulary words, 20+ activities and 20+ songs and melodies; requires 4 AA batteries (not included); intended for ages 2 years and up
Sometimes the simplest toys are the best toys. The Joyin Toy 4-in-1 Sorting Puzzles allows your tot to learn some valuable skills with no noise. With so many noisy toys filled with buttons and sounds galore, a toy without sound makes life less crazy. Great for taking traveling or for a quiet event.
Made of all wood and large parts, the set includes 4 different puzzles to challenge and excite little kids. Great for older kids too. Two puzzles use pegs to stack different color shapes. Another uses circles to teach how to break up a circle. The last puzzle uses different shapes to make a square.
While toddlers may not be able to complete all the puzzles, it does help to foster spatial reasoning, concentration, and teaches shapes along with colors and hand-eye coordination which are the main goals for this age. A very simple set of toys to engage young minds and encourage a love of learning.
Best of all, each puzzle comes constructed of sturdy wood with non-toxic paint. Bright primary colors attract the attention of little children. Includes a value price for the set of four.
As wood can break, especially if not handled with care when shipped. Check for splinters and broken wood when the product arrives. Also, check to make sure the pegs are straight. As always, monitor your child during use.
- SUPER VALUE. 4 Different Designs of Toddler Chunky Puzzles, Shape Color Sorters in 1 Value Pack. 4 Shape and Color Wooden Educational Toys from Easy to Hard.
- Perfect as Wooden Puzzles , Toddler Puzzles, Preschool Learning Toys, Wooden Blocks and Wooden Toys for 1.5 to 3 years old boys or girls.
- Great for Developing Preschool Learning Skills, Shape and Color Sorting, Number Counting, Eye and Hand Coordination, and Imaginative Play.
- CHILD SAFE: Conforms to US ASTM F963 Toy Standards. Non-Toxic, Big Enough to Avoid Swallowing by Baby. Smoothened to Protect from Hurting Toddlers’ Hands.
- CUSTOMER SATISFACTION. Providing a 100% satisfaction experience is our main priority to our customers. Feel free to message us through “contact sellers” if products don't meet your expectations. The celebrations start at JOYIN!
Getting dressed is one of the most important skills a child needs to learn. Little hands cannot handle zippers, buckles, clips, and buttons, but they can begin practicing for the future. Fine-tuning fine motor skills take years, but the sooner a child starts learning the better.
Along with motor skills, the Toddler Busy Board Mat is portable to take as a quiet activity anywhere you need to go. It includes a zipper, a clip, a pull-through belt, a toggle button, a lace-up, traditional buttons, and a push-button to teach your child all the different dressing possibilities.
The soft mat is easy to store and offers a few other picture surprises for little kids. Great for teaching sensory perception, hands-on learning, and more. A great way to help a child focus and overcome obstacles.
The buttons can come off as they are sewed on. Always check to make sure the overly large buttons are securely in place when used by a very young child. Children may not find it interesting but since these skills are so necessary to try to get them to appreciate the value of this learning tool.
- Montessori inspired toddler busy board to promote hands-on learning, basic skills and fine motor development
- Designed for kids by parents, this PATENT-PENDING sensory board features 9 buckles, ties and buttons
- Soft felt wool board measures 11x12.5in and weighs just 0.4lbs making it an ideal activity for travel, including car and airplane
- Great gift for toddlers and older kids to provide a sensory experience for a wide range of developmental levels
- Buckles and buttons are designed to have varying difficulty levels, so toddlers will enjoy the challenge of puzzles or use it as a repetitive soothing activity
With this First Learning Bus, your children can learn about wheels that go round and round and so much more. The bright red color with yellow and blue accents include two of all children’s favorite thing: noise and buttons. Also, real wheels to take the bus anywhere a kid plans to go.
The side of the bus offers fun the entire alphabet in the form of buttons to press for a sound and song. The same with numbers. A few other buttons of people offer more sounds to explore, as well as, buttons on too with bus sounds.
Parents will love the ability to adjust the sound. Kids will love a slider bar and bright lights too. Kids can learn a whole host of phrases, words, colors shapes, music and more with this fun all-inclusive school bus.
Finally, the toy requires three AA batteries, and yes they are included. Everything is non toxic and BPA free which is great as the younger your toddler is the more chance they will try to stick the bus in their mouth. Meant for ages 12 months and up.
Comes with a strong English accent that may not work for all families. Because of the accent, some sounds may sound different than if an American were pronouncing them but children learn at a much better rate and this can help them understand accents too and not hinder learning.
- ESSENTIAL SENSORY STIMULATION for developing minds features bright colors + shapes, easy-push buttons + fun music and sounds
- LEARNING MODE helps boys and girls learn their ABCs, 123s, and basic words, and phrases
- MUSIC MODE featuring sound control, plays cheerful melodies with the press of a button
- INTERACTIVE FUN boosts children’s collective learning and educational play
- MY FIRST LEARNING BUS by COOLTOYS 100% non-toxic and BPA-free—perfect for babies and toddlers, ages 12+ months
For trips in the car, the LeapFrog 100 Words Book is the right choice for an educational toy for tots. Children will love meeting the LeapFrog Turtle, Tiger, and Monkey who will introduce your child to over 100 words perfect for the toddler age. The portable book is easy to hold with a solid construction.
Your child can learn words from several categories including pets, animals, food, colors, opposites, vehicles, body parts, and so much more. When your child touches a word on the page it plays the words along with fun sound effects and even facts to help with repetition to get words into their head.
Even better, this toy book works in both English or Spanish which works well for dual language families. Of course, this can help single language families as well. Learning a second language opens different synapses in the brain that would not exist otherwise. The younger the better!
Lastly, the book works for children from around 18 months to four years old. The required two AA batteries come installed. The handle allows for easy carry. Children will love the bright colors on the side, slider bar and light up star. Parents will love volume control.
Sometimes the system malfunctions and names a word in properly or won’t switch to another language. If this happens out of the box, it’s probably a defective unit. Otherwise, be careful to keep the toy away from your child’s sippy cup and snacks.
- Meet Learning Friends Turtle, Tiger and Monkey, who will introduce more than 100 age-appropriate words chosen by learning experts
- Word categories include: pets, animals, food, mealtime, colors, activities, opposites, outside, vehicles, clothes, my body and fruit
- Touching the words on the pages plays the words, exciting sound effects and fun facts. Hear two learning songs by pressing the light-up star button. Sturdy, durable paper
- Everything in the book including words, songs and instructions can be heard in both English and Spanish for a full bilingual experience
- 100 words book is intended for toddler ages 18 months to 4 years old. 2AA batteries are included for demo purposes, replace new alkaline batteries for regular use. Product Dimensions: 9.4" wide x 9.4" height x 1.9" depth
Simple toys that focus on a handful of learning experiences benefit children and help to foster focus and concentration. The Learning Resource’s Farmers Market Set focuses on two tasks that toddlers love: colors and sorting.
The set includes five plastic baskets like you would find at a farmers market. Each comes with a color purple, yellow, orange, red, and green based on typical food colors instead of the often found primary colors. Each basket comes with realistic plastic fruit and vegetables for your child to sort into the basket.
Learning the difference between fruits and vegetables as well as sorting colors helps your children to learn to differentiate as well as learn colors. Each piece of food comes in authentic shapes and textures to further improve the learning experience for your child. A great group play activity.
The plastic pieces may come with a strong smell. You can expect the smell to dissipate after a few days. As the pieces are sealed plastic, keep these away from water. As always, monitor your child when playing.
- Develop color recognition and sorting skills with bushels of realistic produce
- Expand vocabulary by naming familiar favorites and learning new foods
- Includes 25 foods in 5 different colors, 5 baskets, activity guide, and stickers for labeling
- Winner of 2 awards
- Homeschool supplies for ages 18 mos+
Questions About The Best Educational Toys for Toddlers
What skills does my toddler need to meet in his first year?
The most important skills for this age include language, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, and social skills (https://www.verywellfamily.com/toddlers-4157379). All the above educational toys for toddlers help with these skills. Moving is important too. From jumping, running (can’t this skill wait?), and coordination.
How important is role playing for a toddler?
Role-playing is one of the most important aspects of childhood play. Life is a full-time learning experience for kids and the best way they learn is through mimicking parents, siblings, and other people they meet. At this age, they even mimic cleaning, although don’t expect this to happen once they are older!
Pretend play allows children to make sense of the world (https://www.whattoexpect.com/toddler/pretend-games/). This important skill helps them to learn empathy and the correct response for situations. Finally, pretend play opens up the floodgates of their imaginations! The best educational toys for children allow them full access to learning and imagination.
Is putting toys in my child’s bed to help them fall asleep safe?
The only toys a child should have in bed is one or two stuffed animals or a lovey. Too many items can create hazards for children to get around or that can interfere with their sleep or for the very young, cause choking hazards. Always keep blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, and other items to a minimum in the bed of a small child.
My child barely plays with her toys, she only spreads them around, is this normal?
Sorry, parents. Children are messy. Any opportunity to make a mess they will take.
Although, they usually aren’t doing it to drive you crazy. Even the best educational toys for toddlers will end up spread across their rooms and your living room.
The best way to handle the situation is to make a game out of cleaning up as soon as they are old enough to make a mess. If they can make a mess, they can begin to understand cleaning up the mess. Even if it’s just you picking the item up and explaining the process to them.
Should I follow age recommendations for toys?
The simple answer is yes but with the understanding of how a toy will be used. If you want to leave your toddler to play with a toy without constant monitoring, then make sure the toys are age appropriate. However, if you plan to constantly your child an older toy without tiny parts is an acceptable option.
The best educational toys for toddlers mimic life and allow them to use their imagination without too much direction. Toys mirrored after real objects allow them to copy how the people in their life behave with those objects and learn their place in life. These toys also allow them to pretend play and figure out social aspects of life as well. For example, here is a good toddler learning video using a toy bus:
If you can only pick one option from the list, try the Melissa & Doug Latches Barn as opening and closing doors, animals, and farm life excites children and mimics a fun aspect of life.