The 20 Best Educational Toys for Toddlers

By Rebecca / May 22, 2017
Best Educational Toys for Toddlers at an Early Stage

What Makes a Toy a Good Educational Option for Your Developing Toddler's Mind?

From building toys to challenging coding games that encourage children to solve problems, educational toys are targeted at the right age range, the stir the imagination and offer peace of mind to parents who want their children to learn through fun.

  • Has the capacity to be played with in many different ways, multiple times
  • Challenges a child to think, feel, do, and ask questions
  • Should contribute to the development of the child's social, emotional, physical, and mental skills
  • Appeals to the child's natural talents, interests, size, and abilities
  • Overall appearance is engaging with a variety of different shapes, colors, sounds, and textures
  • Fits your preferences, knowledge, is safe, and doesn't break the bank

There are thousands of toys on the market for toddlers. Here is a list of some of the most highly recommended and reviewed educational toys to help your little one grow!

Top Twenty Educational Toys for Toddlers

1.) Onshine Colorful Educational Wooden Toys Game Baby Toddlers Toys Circle Bead Wire Maze Roller Coaster

Onshine Colorful Wooden Educational Toys

Rating

5.0

Ages

3 years old and up

What it can be used for/to teach: Helps build early shape, color, and size differentiation skills, learn basic count. This kit trains a child with thinking ability, hand, eye, and brain coordination ability.

Pros

  • Brightly colored and cheerful, solid wooden activity cube
  • High-quality wood that is polished smooth
  • Minimal assembly required
  • Fairly inexpensive price wise
  • Activity cube includes five different activities
  • Removable and reversible top with bead maze

Cons

  • Has three little shape parts that are separate from the cube and may become easily lost

2.) Melissa & Doug K's Kids Pull-Back Vehicle Set – Soft Baby Toy Set with 4 Cars and Trucks and Carrying Case

Melissa & Doug K's Kids Pull-Back Vehicle Set

Rating

4.9

Ages

9 months – 4 years old

What it can be used for/to teach: Develops sensory, fine motor, gross motor, problem-solving, language, social, and emotional skills.

Pros

  • Self-rolling wheels makes it easy for toddlers and infants to play with
  • Removable cloth covering makes it easy to clean
  • Brightly colored and patterned
  • Includes four soft toy vehicles: School bus, family car, fire truck, police car
  • No assembly required
  • BPA-free
  • Fairly inexpensive price wise

Cons

  • Do not leave alone with child unsupervised due to some small parts being possibly swallowed such as the detachable wheels
  • Does not run as easily on carpet in comparison to flat, hardwood floors

3.) LEGO DUPLO Creative Play All-in-One-Box-of-Fun 10572

LEGO DUPLO Creative Play All-in-One-Box-of-Fun 10572

Rating

4.9

Ages

3 years – 5 years old

What it can be used for/to teach: develops their counting skills, fine motor skills, and their creative thinking skills.

Pros

  • Brightly colored blocks, two window elements, wagon base, a dog, numbered bricks, and a LEGO DUPLO Toy boy figure
  • Comes with a storage box
  • Easy to clean
  • BPA-free
  • Works with other large LEGO DUPLO sets
  • No noise

Cons

  • Small parts that can be potential choking hazards
  • No instructions to build other things

4.) Kinslent 30 Pcs Construction Building Blocks Toys, BPA Free, Magnetic Max Stem Educational Game - 3D Concept Preschool Learning Set

Kinslent 30 Pcs Construction Building Blocks Toys

Rating

4.9

Ages

3 years old and up

What it can be used for/to teach: Develops their fine motor skills, shaping perception about size, sequencing, comparing, creative thinking, pattern recognition, hand-eye coordination, problem-solving, decision making, and social skills.

Pros

  • BPA-free
  • Safe to use and thoroughly test to prevent any choking hazard
  • Bright and colorful pieces
  • Includes a 12-month product warranty
  • Endless fun and possibilities with the variety of shapes
  • Easy to clean and play with
  • Fairly inexpensive price wise

Cons

  • Should not be given to children under three due to potential choking hazard

5.) Melissa & Doug Standard Unit Solid-Wood Building Blocks with Wooden Storage Tray

Melissa & Doug Standard Unit Solid-Wood Building Blocks

Rating

4.9

Ages

3-8 years old

What it can be used for/to teach: Basic math concepts, organizational skills, sequential skills, stimulates creativity, hones basic motor skills, and spatial relations.

Pros

  • Safe to use and comes with a wooden box for organizational purposes
  • Endless play and possibilities for construction
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Natural-finish, with smooth, sanded edges to prevent splinters

Cons

  • Slightly expensive price wise
  • Might be slightly hard to clean due to being made from wood material

6.) LEGO DUPLO My First Farm 10617, Preschool, Pre-Kindergarten Large Building Block

LEGO DUPLO My First Farm 10617

Rating

4.9

Ages

18 months – 5 years old

What it can be used for/to teach: Helps develop basic construction skills.

Pros

  • Safe to use and endless play
  • BPA-free
  • Easy to clean
  • Comes with a variety of brightly colored blocks
  • Fairly inexpensive price wise
  • Can be combined with other LEGO DUPLO sets
  • No noise

Cons

  • No instructions

7.) Educational Bath Toys for Toddlers-One of the Biggest Foam Baby BathTub Toys – Foam Alphabet Letters and Animals (26 Puzzles-52 Items)-Safe and Colorful Premium ABC Foam Letters for Kids

Educational Bath Toys for Toddlers

Rating

4.9

Ages

3 years old and up

What it can be used for/to teach: Helps teach phonics, spelling, vocabulary, reasoning and color matching skills.

Pros

  • Easy to use, clean, and play with
  • Large colorful letters/animal shapes
  • Lifetime money-back guarantee
  • Materials are all non-toxic and safe to use
  • Can be used in and outside of the bath
  • Fairly inexpensive price wise
  • No noise, no mess comes with a small bag to keep all of the letters/animals in

Cons

  • Do not leave child unsupervised with the letters due to chewing and potentially swallowing pieces of the letters/animals

8.) Chore Reward Chart for Kids - Easy Effective Way to Motivate Good Behavior and Teach Responsibility. Magnetic Star Chart with Hanging String and Magnetic Backing

Chore Reward Chart For Kids

Rating

4.9

Ages

3 years old and up

What it can be used for/to teach: teaches responsibility and encourages kids to do their chores with positive reinforcement, as well as teaches better behavior and the importance of goal setting.

Pros

  • Customizable for your child
  • Brightly colored and easy to read
  • Interactive, fun to use and easy to clean
  • Easy to display/hang up
  • Fairly inexpensive price wise

Cons

  • Small magnets and parts that are potential choking hazards for young children

9.) Spot It Alphabet

Spot it Alphabet

Rating

4.8

Ages

3-15 years old and older

What it can be used for/to teach: learning ABCs and colors, develops visual perception skills, attention to detail, and fine motor skills.

Pros

  • Brightly colored letters
  • Comes with a rule booklet
  • All parts are safe to use
  • Great to take along for travel and road trips
  • Comes in a little storage tin
  • Offers three different challenge levels for endless fun
  • Fairly inexpensive price wise

Cons

  • Cards are not waterproof

10.) LeapFrog Shapes and Sharing Picnic Basket

LeapFrog Shapes And Sharing Picnic Basket

Rating

4.8

Ages

6 months – 5 years old

What it can be used for/to teach: Helps build fine motor skills as they sort, match, stack, empty, and fill. It also teaches shapes and colors.

Pros

  • Endless fun and interactive audio responses, instrumental sounds, and other sound effects
  • Brightly colored shapes and objects
  • Easy to clean up and store
  • Parts and pieces are easy to clean
  • Batteries are included (3 AA batteries required)
  • Fairly inexpensive price wise

Cons

  • Batteries required
  • Makes noise
  • Has some parts that may be a potential choking hazard

11.) Melissa & Doug On the Go Water Wow! Activity Book, 3-Pack - Animals, Alphabet, and Numbers

Melissa & Doug On the Go Water Wow! Activity Book, 3-Pack - Animals, Alphabet, and Numbers

Rating

4.8

Ages

3-6 years old

What it can be used for/to teach: Helps learn animals, letters, shapes, number, colors, and how to write their letters/numbers.

Pros

  • Reusable pages and refillable water pen make for endless fun
  • Great for travel and road trips
  • Compact and easy to store when not in use
  • Easy to clean and no mess
  • Fairly inexpensive price wise
  • Pictures are brightly colored when wet
  • Not easy to tear making them a durable, lasting activity books

Cons

  • Requires water to use the pen

12.) PicassoTiles 60 Piece Set 60pcs Magnet Building Tiles Clear Magnetic 3D Building Blocks Construction Playboards

PicassoTiles 60 Piece Set 60pcs Magnet Building Tiles

Rating

4.8

Ages

3 years old and up

What it can be used for/to teach: Encourages creativity, teaches fine motor skills, and social skills.

Pros

  • Endless fun and variety of building options in 3D
  • Easy to clean, store away, and easy to use
  • No noise
  • No batteries required
  • Comes in a nice variety of shapes and bright colors
  • Great for family and group bonding time

Cons

  • Fairly expensive price wise
  • Some parts such as the magnets may be possible choking hazards

13.) Melissa & Doug Solar System Floor Puzzle

Melissa & Doug Solar System Floor Puzzle

Rating

4.8

Ages

3-6 years old

What it can be used for/to teach: Helps with hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills.

Pros

  • Easy to clean, store away, and put together
  • Has a beautifully colored solar system image when finished building the puzzle
  • Made of durable cardboard
  • No noise
  • Fairly inexpensive price wise

Cons

  • Will need a bit of space to build the puzzle

14.) Uncle Goose Classic ABC Blocks with Canvas Bag

Uncle Goose Classic ABC Blocks with Canvas Bag

Rating

4.8

Ages

2-6 years old

What it can be used for/to teach: Helps assist in teaching animals, letters, numbers, and symbols.

Pros

  • Contains letters and a variety of animals, numbers, and symbols
  • Brightly painted, wooden blocks
  • Safe to use
  • Easy to store away
  • No noise
  • Safe, non-toxic paint, and wood materials used
  • Made locally in the USA
  • Great to take on road trips and travel

Cons

  • May be hard to clean due to being made from wood materials
  • Fairly expensive price wise

15.) Melissa & Doug Wooden Make-a-Cake Mixer Set

Melissa & Doug Wooden Make-a-Cake Mixer Set

Rating

4.8

Ages

3-5 years old

What it can be used for/to teach: Encourages creative thinking, imaginative play, teaches basics of cooking, promotes memory, and number skills.

Pros

  • Made of wood, plastic, and metal materials
  • Safe to use
  • Easy to clean, store away and use
  • Fairly inexpensive price wise
  • No batteries required

Cons

  • Comes in a cardboard box
  • Makes a bit of noise

16.) Large 43-Piece Drawing Stencils Kit, Perfect Creativity Kit, and Travel Activity

Large 43-Piece Drawing Stencils Kit

Rating

4.8

Ages

4 years old and up

What it can be used for/to teach: Helps with creativity while promoting hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and problem-solving abilities. It also teaches shapes and letters.

Pros

  • Comes with a wide variety of stencils
  • Comes with colored pencils
  • Easy to use and clean up after
  • No noise
  • Comes with a little case to store the stencils
  • Great for travel since the carrying case doubles as a mini desk
  • Fairly inexpensive price wise
  • Made of non-toxic, BPA-free materials
  • Stencils are durable for long-lasting artistic fun

Cons

  • Some pieces may be a potential choking hazard
  • A lot of pieces and parts to keep track of

17.) LEGO DUPLO My First Train Set 10507

LEGO DUPLO My First Train Set 10507

Rating

4.7

Ages

2-5 years old

What it can be used for/to teach: Helps develop basic construction skills.

Pros

  • Safe to use
  • BPA-free
  • Easy to clean
  • Comes with brightly colored train, blocks, and figures
  • Has an automatic shut off timer after two minutes
  • Tracks do not conduct electricity

Cons

  • Makes noise
  • Fairly expensive price wise
  • Not compatible with LEGO 9V trains, use with DUPLO trains only
  • Requires three AA batteries

18.) B. Critter Clinic Toy Vet Play Set

B. Critter Clinic Toy Vet Play Set

Rating

4.7

Ages

2-6 years old

What it can be used for/to teach: Teaches problem-solving abilities, creative thinking, and imaginative play. Helps develop empathy and the importance of caring for others.

Pros

  • Comes with a storage case to keep all parts and pieces together
  • Safe to use
  • Packaging is recyclable
  • Brightly colored and great for endless play
  • No noise
  • No batteries required

Cons

  • Fairly expensive price wise
  • Small parts that may be a potential choking hazard for those under the age of 3 years

19.) The Learning Journey My First Match It, Head and Tails

The Learning Journey My First Match It, Head and Tails

Rating

4.7

Ages

2-15 years old

What it can be used for/to teach: Teaches problem-solving skills, animals, and builds self-confidence.

Pros

  • Fairly inexpensive price wise
  • Colorful illustrations of the animals, great for a first puzzle
  • Puzzle is self-correcting since each cut is different for each animal
  • Easy to clean up after and store away
  • Durable pieces
  • No noise

Cons

  • Pieces can be lost making the matches no longer usable

20.) The Learning Journey Match It! Upper & Lower Case Letters

The Learning Journey Match It! Upper & Lower Case Letters

Rating

4.6

Ages

4 years old and up

What it can be used for/to teach: Teaches ABCs, animals/objects, lower and upper case letters.

Pros

  • Fairly inexpensive price wise
  • Self-correcting, no two puzzle cuts are the same
  • Colorful illustrations
  • Great first puzzle and is made of durable materials
  • Easy to clean up and store away
  • No noise

Cons

  • Pieces can be lost making the matches no longer usable

Conclusion

Depending on your budget, preferences, and the age of your child there are plenty of great educational toys that can offer a wide variety of teaching skills and personal development. The educational toys most recommended from this list are the classic toys like Melissa & Doug Standard Unit Solid-Wood Building Blocks With Wooden Storage Tray, Large 43-Piece Drawing Stencils Kit, Perfect Creativity Kit and Travel Activity, and The Learning Journey Match It! Upper & Lower Case Letters. All offer endless play, creative thinking, ample teaching moments for your little one and are all fairly inexpensive, quality options for what they offer for you and your child.