Best Educational Toys For Preschoolers

An Approachable Intro To Coding

Best Toddler Learning Video for Kids – Educational Toys for Preschool Kids!

Coding Critters Go Pets Dipper the Narwhal

Caitlin Giddings

KiwiCo Koala Crate

The KiwiCo Koala Crate is our favorite subscription box for preschool-age kids. We tested five such subscriptions for this age group and liked this one the best for its thoughtful design, appealing themes, and fun, unique, and age-appropriate projects. KiwiCo, the company that makes Koala Crate, develops its projects with input from educators and child-development experts. Although childrens individual skills vary, many 4-year-olds will be able to complete some or all of each months projects independently, giving them a sense of accomplishmentand providing a reliable arsenal of rainy-day activities. Each box comes with instructions , as well as all the materials to make two or three different craft projects. Theses projects challenge kids to explore skills like stitching, gluing, and arranging pieces. I tested these subscriptions when my daughter was 4, and she loved the projects we tried: dyeing a tote bag with tissue paper and water, sewing and stuffing a felt rainbow, and making a tissue-paper campfire. Every project is organized around a theme, such as reptiles, ocean animals, or doctor visits.

Jackie Reeve

The set comes with over 100 glass marbles, but also accommodates the standard-size marbles you might already have. Some 4-year-olds may need adult help to get the hang of building the marble run, but its pretty irresistible even for grown-ups.

Kelly Glass

IKEA Måla Easel

Smart Lab: Smart Circuits

When it comes to introducing kids to electronics there are a ton of options, but I personally like the Smart Circuits kit. It can take a kid from simple blinking lights to complex motion-controlled games. The snap-together baseboard can lie flat on a table like a regular breadboard, but it can also be folded into a cube or the pieces can be attached at a 90-degree angle. This gives kids an extra element to play with when they graduate to designing their own circuits.

The kit itself only has a few pieces, but theyre quite flexible. And theyre all housed in large colorful plastic that should be easy for a kid to handle. Theres the usual electronics kid fare, like LEDs, a speaker, a potentiometer and two buttons. But theres also a tilt switch, a light sensor and a microprocessor capable of handling some relatively robust tasks. The kit comes with instructions for 50 projects, but with the parts available a creative child could build quite a few more.

My one critique is that the jumper wires can be tough to insert and might require a bit of patience something we know not every eight-year-old has an abundance of. T.O.

Best Educational Toys For Toddlers And Preschoolers 2022

Posted on Last updated: January 19, 2022

Educational toys for toddlers and preschoolers dont have to be complicated, loud, or annoying. In fact, after parenting four kids, Ive learned simpler is often better. This post contains a curated list of educational toys that parents and kids are sure to love. Ive spent hours scouring the reviews so you dont have to, and several of these Ive bought for my own kids.

Many of the toys on this list are handmade of natural materials in the US, though Ive also included quicker options if you need that fast Amazon shipping . And spoiler alert: none of these educational toys for toddlers contain batteries! Youre welcome.

First Im going to share some background information that will help you be thoughtful when acquiring educational toys for your toddler or preschooler. But if youre in a hurry, you can skip right to the list of toys.

Along with these educational toys, check out my list of Indoor Climbing Toys for Toddlers to give your child some active play time.

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Pediatrician Views On Play

Michael Yogman, Andrew Garner, and various pediatricians spoke on the Power of Play. They categorized play into four groups: Object Play, Physical, Locomotor, or Rough-and-Tumble Play, Outdoor Play, and Social or Pretend Play.

Object play occurs when a child is exploring an object. This could be a toy that they touch or feel to learn its properties.

Physical Play helps the development of functional motor skills in childhood. Children also learn to cooperate with others.

Outdoor Play provides the opportunity to improve sensory integration skills which helps with motor, social, and linguistic skills.

Social or Pretend Play is any play that involves a child pretending to be something or someone different. They learn to negotiate the rules of the game with other children

Learning Toys For Age 2

VTech Touch and Teach Word Book

The best learning toys for children ages 2-3 are those that focus on color and shape recognition. They should have large pieces that often work in pairs. Remember that choking hazards are still a big concern at this age, so big, simple pieces are best. At this age, children may be reciting numbers but may not be ready for counting the value of those numbers.

For younger preschoolers, the Color Matching Egg Set by Kidzlane is one of the best toys for preschoolers to learn their colors and matching skills. Each egg in the dozen has a color inside. In addition to the color, there is a set number of pegs in one side of the egg and a matching number of holes on the other side of the egg.

This toy will teach your preschooler to match the colors and the number of pegs and holes. Eggs can be sequenced based on the number of pegs or holes and colors can be named. This great learning toy will also help preschoolers develop the motor control that they need to align the egg halves to snap them back together, too.

Preschoolers start by learning colors and shapes, and the My First Match It set of puzzles is one of the best ways to support this learning. There are 15 puzzles that each have two parts. The parts only connect with their matching partner, so the puzzle only works when assembled correctly. Not only with this help preschoolers develop their motor skills, but it will also teach them to match colors and shapes.

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What Makes An Excellent Educational Toy For Preschoolers Or Toddlers

There are five factors you should keep in mind when selecting toys for your child.

1. Interactive

To keep your little one engaged, youll want to provide them with a toy that encourages or even requires their interaction.

For example, toys with objects they can pull, rotate, or fit into place are much more exciting than simply sitting and watching a mechanical toy operate on its own.


They should have the capacity to be played with in multiple ways. Playing the same way over and over gets boring and loses its appeal. The toy should challenge your childs cognitive and creative skills.

Youll also want to choose toys that can be played with in multiple wayssuch as wooden blocks that can be used to count, match colors, or build a fortress for imaginary play.

3. Durability

For preschool-age children, its also important that toys are durable. This allows your little one to be as active as they please without getting hurt or frustrated.

4. Safety

Keep choking hazards in mind as well. We all know how much kids love putting things in their mouths. Its best to avoid anything too small that could be swallowed. You dont want anything that could scratch up your childs mouth either.

5. Modestly Priced

Because preschoolers are developing so quickly, they will mature through some toys quickly while others will be played with for years. So, youll want to spend carefully on toys that are more modestly priced.

Best Toy For Communication Skills: Socially Speaking

One of the things that autistic children struggle with is expressing their emotions. Children with autism spectrum disorder have difficulty communicating and understanding another persons point of view. Socially Speaking is a board game that helps autistic children improve their social skills that they need at home, school and the community. The game can be played in classrooms too, with three to six players.

Features: Children with autism spectrum disorder find it difficult to interact with other people, making them socially awkward. The game teaches them the basic skills such as listening, greeting someone, giving a compliment, asking the right questions, expressing emotions, making phone calls and more. The game also teaches the importance of taking turns during a conversation and not interrupting someone when they are saying something.

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Back To School With Thomas & Friends

The summer flies by and before you know it youre prepping your little one for their first day of daycare or Pre-k. Thomas & Friends has partnered with Lee Scott, educational advisory board member for the Goddard schools and child development expert, to provide helpful tips for parents and caregivers to navigate a smooth transition back to school for their little ones. These tips range from building self-management through routine and nurturing self-awareness through engaged conversation. With these in mind, Thomas & Friends has launched a special-edition back to school kit, which features five trains to be a companion to toddlers during their first week of school while teaching them bravery and other attributes.

The Best Gift Ideas For Toddlers And Preschoolers Are Educational Toys If Youre Looking For A Gift Idea Check Out This Great List Of Our Best Educational Toys For Preschoolers

Tons of Great Educational Toys for Preschoolers!

Educational toys for preschoolers make great gift ideas! When choosing gifts for my own children, I like to gift them with toys that will provide both entertainment and an educational benefit.

While most toys geared towards toddlers and preschool-aged kids provide some sort of educational benefit, there are some that I prefer over others. I like to buy toys that will allow the child to use them in a variety of ways or that can be adapted for play for several years.

The best educational toys for preschoolers will provide open-ended play and allow the child to engage them independently.

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Vtech Touch & Teach Word Book

Classic and Effective

One more from VTech! This classic educational and playful book is so reminiscent of my own childhood .

This activity book contains touch-sensitive pages that can improve your childs vocabulary by up to 100 words. Its also a good choice for fine motor skills.

But its not just a spelling book. It teaches vocabulary and reading through interactive play. There are four modes to choose from and I dont foresee younger preschoolers growing tired of it any time soon.

First Lets Take A Quick Look At What Motivates A Preschooler

  • Budding Independence and Self Awareness
  • Motor Skills Mastery
  • Social Skills and Emotional Blossoming
  • Greater awareness of the world around them

Preschool aged children are becoming more independent and are starting to develop their own interests and opinions. There is also a huge explosion of language, which in turn also helps foster their social and emotional development because children this age often start forming their own relationships and making new friends.

The right educational toy can help kids develop useful skills, check out my top picks under the social / emotional development heading below.

Preschoolers are notoriously, quite curious, and have an insatiable desire to understand why, why? WHY?!? So educational toys and books are often an exciting gift for kids. And youll find my favorite picks in the Educational toys for curious kids section below.

3, 4 and 5 year olds are also very busy, buzzing from here to there in search of something new to discover or show off a newly mastered skill. In fact helping out around the house is a favorite activity of most preschoolers.. and its pretty darn cute as well. You can encourage this independence by choosing a gift from the Educational toys for kids that are always moving section below.

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Tips For Buying Toys For Children With Autism

When it comes to buying something for children, we are seldom hasty. We tend to gauge the usefulness the toy, the durability, the safety and the cost. And when it comes to buying something for a child with special needs, we may end up overthinking our shopping. Well, there is no need for that. Here is all you need to remember when buying toys for a child with autism.

  • The childs needs and interests are the two most important things you need to remember when you look for toys. Just like any other kid, a child with special needs also has likes and dislike. Being thoughtful about them can help you a great deal in choosing that right gift.
  • Ask the question, Will my child be able to play with that? or How simple or difficult is it to play with that toy? Keeping in mind the childs cognitive levels will ensure that the toy you buy will be put to good use.
  • If you are buying a gift for someone elses kid, just ask the parents what the kid would like.
  • Check online for reviews of a particular toy or game before you buy it. Better yet, just buy it online. Many online shopping websites cater to the needs of autistic individuals. From sensory toys to educational kits, your options online are many. Also, you get some of the best bargains when you shop online.

Lego Classic Brick Box

Best Educational/Learning Toys for Toddlers

Ol Reliable

Im guessing Lego doesnt need an introduction. As I mentioned earlier, its one of, if not the most popular toy brands in the world.

There is a reason why Legos are as widespread as they are. When it comes to developing imagination, cognitive thought and, most importantly, motor skills, they take the cake.

The medium Classic Brick Box contains just under 500 bricks, all of which are compatible with other Lego construction sets. It also includes a base plate, tires, wheels, windows, and eyes.

We never seem to get bored with Lego. Still, Ive taken points away because of the tidy up time, and the fact that stepping on these things hurts like hellfire.

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Vtech Sit To Stand Learning Walker

Best Walker

This two-speed walker isnt a mere prop to help tots find their footing its a whole sensory experience, complete with piano keys, shape sorters, rollers and various light-up buttons that inspire creativity while giving fine motor and visual cognitive development a boost.

Key features:

  • Helps develop the gross motor skills and strength required for independent walking.
  • Interactive features encourage pretend play, develop fine motor skills and provide sensory stimulation.
  • Two-speed function ensures that this walker will keep pace with your growing tot.

Educational Toys For Children With Autism

Children with autism spectrum disorder have difficulty in focusing, understanding and learning like other kids do . They tend to have difficulty learning necessary skills that the other children learn with ease. In this section, we have listed a few toys that can teach them a few basic skills and some more in a fun and exciting way.

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Best Physical Therapy Toy For Autism: Space Hopper Ball

Space hoppers are inflated physical therapy balls that the children can sit on and jump around in the room. Not only do they help in strengthening the core muscles of the child, but also improve the childs ability to balance. The hoppers are a fun way to exercise the body and are also used by adults.


  • Comes with a handle on top, ensuring a solid grip to keep the child from falling off.
  • Made of an eco-friendly material free of any toxic substances.
  • Helps in balance training and vestibular orientation.
  • Includes a two-way hand pump


  • Might be slightly big for younger children
  • Not available in other colors

Best Educational Toys For 1

Let’s Play with Fun Educational Toys for Preschoolers!

Image Credits: Amazon

Little hands can easily grasp these non-toxic wooden shapes. The detachable and removable blocks are handcrafted and encourage hand-eye coordination in toddlers as well as promote brain development as they learn all about shapes, colors and size differences. This is an educational baby toy that they will keep coming back to time and time again.

What Reviewers Are Saying: This is a great time to help enforce basic shapes and color words and action words as well. This is super important for our daughter as she is a late talker.You can do many educational activities – shapes, colors, sorting, counting. Placing the shapes on the pegs also promotes hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. As a parent, you worry about the quality of the products used when making these toys. It is very important to me that the materials are non-toxic and safe for my children. I would definitely recommend this product.My daughters physical therapist recommended a puzzle like this for her fine motor skills, and it has been great. It keeps my daughter entertained for a long period of time and she is already getting so much better at it from when we first got it. I can definitely see improvement in her fine motor!

Image Credits: Amazon

Image Credits: Amazon

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Learning Toys For Age 4

Between the ages of 4 and 5, preschoolers ramp up their learning as they get ready for kindergarten. These children will be focusing on uppercase and lowercase letters, accurate counting, and basic writing skills. Around this age, some children may even begin to identify basic words. The best educational toys for this age group will support their development while keeping the learning fun. They’ll be more complex toys with smaller parts. This is a great age to start introducing electronic preschool toys, too.

This electronic learning toy has a drawing area that uses magnets to let your preschooler practice writing and drawing shapes, letters, and numbers. The Write and Learn Creative Center by Vtech shows children how to learn the proper way to form their uppercase and lowercase letters. It even lets you enter your childâs name and will teach them how to write it.

Itâs a great toy for children who love to write and draw. It offers the freedom for them to be creative while supporting their development of early literacy skills like writing their name and the letters of the alphabet. Teaching them the proper strokes to use to form those letters is the best way to ensure that they are able to write accurately and quickly once they reach school age.

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