10 Best Activity Cubes in 2017

best activity cubes

Young children require all the right mental stimulation they need to help them develop the neural connections in their brain and to help facilitate optimum brain development. This is why learning activity cubes are undoubtedly one of the best gifts we could ever give to babies and toddlers. The more activities that they are exposed to, the better it is for their brain development. If you have been searching for that perfect gift to give to your young child or even to the baby or toddler of a friend or colleague, let our 10 best activity cubes in 2017 be your guide on what’s the hottest and most loved in these kinds of playthings for young kids.

10 Top Activity Cubes

PictureToyBrandAge Range
VTech Sort & Discover Activity CubeVTech9 Months-3 Years
ALEX Jr. My Busy Town Wooden Activity CubeALEX Toys1-6 Years
EverEarth Garden Activity CubeEveEarth18 Months-6 Years
VTech Alphabet Activity CubeVTech2-6 Years
Anatex Deluxe Mini Play CubeAnatex2-6 Years
VTech Busy Learners Activity CubeVTech6 Months-3 Years

1Sort and Discover Activity Cube by VTech

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Age Range: 9 months – 3 years old

By the age of 9 months, most babies will already be able to sit on their own without support. Some more adventurous babies will already be attempting to pull themselves up to stand. This makes the VTech Sort and Discover Activity Cube a very ideal cube toy as it provides young tots with all the right kinds of mental stimulation they need to develop their cognitive processes. We all know what VTech stands for: childhood learning. And this is inherent in the Sort and Discover as it provides 5 sides of different learning activities that are guaranteed to stimulate the auditory, visual, kinesthetic, and tactile senses of young children. The sensory inputs provided by these learning activities can help in the enhancement of babies’ cognitive development. On the auditory side of things, babies are treated to a fantastic array of beautiful children’s songs, melodies, tunes, sounds, and even phrases to help them begin building on their vocabulary, speech, language, and communication. On the visual aspect, kids are given colors, lights, shapes, animals, and a whole lot more. The Sort and Discover is not only good for children’s sensory development; it is also superb in developing their fine motor control. Flipping the pages of the plastic book, pressing on piano buttons, and twirling on the spinners all require motor input which, in turn, produces the different sensory stimulus that will help complete the sensorimotor development of older babies. For toddlers, the shape sorter feature, alphabet, numbers, and colors can also help enhance their problem-solving skills. Truly, the VTech Sort and Discover is a marvelous young kids activity cube.

What We Like about It – The Sort and Discover never fails to stimulate optimum cognitive and sensorimotor development among younger children especially babies and toddlers.

2My Busy Town Wooden Activity Cube by ALEX Toys

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Age Range: 1-6 years old

If you don’t like plastic toys for your kids, maybe a wooden toy will be more ideal. The My Busy Town Wooden Activity Cube for toddlers and older infants is just right to give your child an entirely different tactile experience. The My Busy Town may not have the lights and sounds that make the VTech Sort and Discover such a huge hit, but it sure comes with a lot of learning activities that is geared for older babies and toddlers alike. Colorful beads can be slid through the maze of poles providing visual and tactile stimulation. The beads themselves are instrumental in the development of color recognition. Also included are pictures of animals which children get to spin and match, helping with convergent thinking and problem solving skills. The peek-a-boo doors are lovely, featuring some of the neighborhood’s most recognizable people – when it comes to cementing the idea of object permanence among older babies. Alphabet tiles can be turned to provide kids with a unique opportunity to learn the basics of ABCs. Providing fun while enhancing motor development ate racing rollers.

What We Like about It – My Busy Town may be made of wood and lack the sounds and lights of electronic toys but it is a great tool for developing children’s sensorimotor, cognitive, and language skills.

3Garden Activity Cube by EveEarth

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Age Range: 18 months – 6 years old

Another wooden activity cube that is worth considering for young tots is the EveEarth Garden. This wooden activity center has a beautiful garden theme complete with the flowers and the critters and insects that make the garden their home. And as we all know, these living things come in various shapes, forms, and colors and we can thus expect the EveEarth Garden to be filled with images and learning blocks of such things. From creative cubes to mazes, beads, and cogs, there’s plenty of things that will help stimulate optimum brain development in young toddlers. The numbers can provide the necessary stimulus for the development of numerical skills while the abacus would be a great way to introduce to young children the idea of counting. The EveEarth is not only perfect for toddlers as this can very well provide a supplementary learning activity for preschoolers as they grow their alphabet and numerical skills, not to mention their manual dexterity, qualities that they will need when they enter school. Visual motor coordination and spatial intelligence are also enhanced with the EveEarth’s bead loops and other activities.

What We Like about It – EveEarth Garden provides a safer, more eco-friendly way to stimulate kids’ brain development.

4Alphabet Activity Cube by VTech

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Age Range: 2-6 years old

Communication is an integral aspect of human life. Without it, it will be quite difficult to convey one’s feelings or thoughts effectively towards another person. That’s why as early as possible, we already need to help our kids develop their language skills by providing them with the correct resources and tools to build their vocabulary and enhance their understanding of the English alphabet. VTech has always been at the forefront of such childhood learning needs. Its Alphabet Activity Cube for toddlers and preschoolers is just right for helping young tots gain mastery of the alphabet through more than a hundred different songs, melodies, and fun phrases. Aside from the ABCs, kids are also taught about numbers, colors, and of course, shapes so they will be able to increase their vocabulary and give them the competence to communicate their thoughts with adults. There are 13 building blocks that contain the 26 letters of the alphabet. These blocks are conveniently and easily stored inside the cube toy. Outside the cube are different learning activity modules that help enhance overall kids’ development.

What We Like about It – The VTech Alphabet may be designed primarily for teaching the ABCs but the addition of numbers, sounds, and light effects provide a multisensory experience that can add to the overall development of kids.

5Deluxe Mini Play Cube by Anatex

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Age Range: 2-6 years old

The Anatex Deluxe Mini Play Cube toy is pretty much like the My Busy Town and the EveEarth Garden in that they are all made of high quality, eco-friendly, and kid-safe wooden materials complete with a bead roller structure on the top surface of the cube. Spinners, rollers, gears, and alphabet blocks adorn the different sides of the Anatex to help provide for a multi-faceted brain development. It includes a mini roller coaster express which is ideal for training fine motor skills as well as hand eye coordination and spatial reasoning. The pathfinder is great for encouraging the use of rudimentary problem solving skills while the counting abacus introduces young kids to the concepts of numbers. The alphabet blocks in different colors teach kids about the letters as well as the different colors to help expand their vocabulary and allow for the enhancement of color recognition. Like most wooden activity center kits, the Anatex doesn’t come with lights and sounds to complete the sensory experience of children.

What We Like about It – The Anatex Deluxe is a novel idea introducing children to a variety of sensory experiences to help in brain and motor development.

6Busy Learners Activity Cube by VTech

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Age Range: 6 months – 3 years old

While you may be forgiven for thinking that the VTech Busy Learners Activity Cube toy is too early for a 6 month old baby, a closer look at its many features will tell you that it is actually one of the best multi-sensory toys that you can give to infants or babies. Like all VTech toys, the Busy Learners has fully integrated learning modules that combine tactile opportunities with visual and auditory stimuli. Buttons that light up and emit melodious sounds when pressed and colorful blocks that spin all provide a multisensory learning experience for young babies. They may not appreciate it yet but their young brains are already integrating all of these sensory inputs for use in later life. There are more than 20 songs which kids can listen to, helping them make the necessary neural connections in the brain, facilitating optimum cognitive development. There are also 14 highly interactive buttons and elements on the Busy Learners that aim to promote optimal fine motor and spatial reasoning development. The best thing about the Busy Learners is that it has built-in motion sensors. When baby flips the cube on its side, it automatically activates lights and sounds. This can help your baby start to crawl as he or she will be motivated to roll the Busy Learners on all of its sides to keep it singing and lighting up.

What We Like about It – The VTech Busy Learner’s motion sensor-activated lights and sounds, in addition to the other learning activity features, make it one of the best multisensory and motor experiences for infants.

7Musical Activity Cube Play Center with Lights, 15 Functions, and Skills by WolVol

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Age Range: 18 months – 6 years old

The WolVol Musical Activity Cube Play Center is not your ordinary cubical activity block in the strictest sense since it takes on a pentagon-shaped pyramid with a wider base than its flat top. Nevertheless, the design of the WolVol Play Center gives young children the opportunity to play with 15 different activities that range from simulating driving, playing with a variety of tools, answering a cellphone, pretending to be in slumber land, and even singing their hearts out like a diva on a concert tour. With so many buttons to tinker with, plenty of switches to flip or slide, and even rollers and beads to fiddle with, the WolVol Play Center can be a smorgasbord of excellent sensorimotor learning for young children. It even comes with features that light up to provide enough visual stimulation to the developing brain. Adding to the light effects are wonderful sounds that help meld all the sensory information together.

What We Like about It – The WolVol Play Center’s unique design and fully integrated learning modules make it a very interesting activity block to get for kids.

8Country Critters Wooden Activity Play Cube for Toddlers by Hape

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Age Range: 1-6 years old

The Country Critters Wooden Activity Center is almost similar to the EveEarth Garden in that the theme is more on the different critters, bugs, and insects; although these creatures are just a part of the whole scheme in the EveEarth Garden. Hape’s Country Critters features an array of different animals that come in bright and cheerful designs that will encourage kids to have fun. The wooden activity block features a variety of learning activities that enable children to learn shapes and colors while also introducing them to the names of different animals that are commonly found in the neighborhood. While the Country Critters excels in sensory development, it never fails to address the need for optimum motor development as well. There are shape sorters, sliders, mazes, and spinners which can all be beneficial in developing the motor skills of children.

What We Like about It – The Hape Country Critters is a splendid activity box designed specifically for toddlers. It’s beautiful, full of learning activities, and highly durable, too.

9Zany Zoo Wooden Activity Cube for Children by B.

Age Range: 1-3 years old

Sometimes, you don’t need very complicated features to stimulate optimum brain development. That’s exactly what the Zany Zoo Wooden Activity Cube is all about. Each side of the Zany Zoo comes with a cutout that allows kids to peek through to see and perform the various activities inside. There are windows that open to reveal friendly animals, alphabet spinners with animal images, zigzag race paths, and silly animal combo spinners. The top of the Zany Zoo is a bead rollercoaster which is perfect for developing spatial reasoning and hand eye coordination. Each side of the Zany Zoo is filled with many wondrous activities designed specifically to develop the young mind. And while it doesn’t have sound effects, the Zany Zoo nonetheless, offers the opportunity for young kids to imitate the sounds made by these animals.

What We Like about It – The Zany Zoo is a fun way to get kids acquainted with animals commonly found in the zoo.

10Big Top Discovery Cube Development Toy by Infantino 

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Age Range: 6 months – 3 years old

If you’re concerned about the safety of your baby, nothing can be safer than the Infantino Big Top Discovery Cube Development Toy. This cube toy is made of super-soft yet baby-friendly materials so it offers your baby a uniquely soft tactile experience. Each side of the Big Top comes with a variety of simple toys intended primarily for babies such as a clacker ring and even a peek-a-boo mirror underneath the lid. The Big Top is just perfect for babies as the different textured patterns and high contrast color patterns allow for optimum sensory development. The colors on the different elements can stimulate brain development while the soft texture allows for the development of fine motor capabilities. The Big Top is ideal for playing put and take to help facilitate the continuing development of your baby’s other skills.

What We Like about It – The Infantino Big Top is perfect for babies, thanks to its soft and plush design and the integration of simple yet very useful learning activities to stimulate very young minds.

How We Chose the Top Activity Cubes for Young Children in Our List

There are literally hundreds of contenders vying for a position in our list of the ten best activity cubes for young children. We could easily fill up a Top 100 list. However, it certainly is wouldn’t be right to give you so many options to choose from. As such, we took it upon ourselves to consider only the best of the best.

The focus of our search was on the developmental appropriateness of the activity cube. It was crucial to evaluate the various learning activities provided by these kids’ items in an effort to identify which aspect of a child’s development is being addressed. Our primary consideration was the relevance or the appropriateness of the various features of the product to the developmental milestones or developmental skill levels of children the toy is primarily designed for. The congruence must be well established, otherwise, everything will be for naught.

Additionally, product safety was a paramount concern. Since our intended users of these items are young kids below the age of 3, it was imperative that we ascertain the safety profile of each product. This meant looking at any certification that would point to the use of only the safest materials in the manufacture of the product. Moreover, it was also crucial that we look at the design integrity of the item. We don’t want any component that can be easily detached which young children may inadvertently put in their mouths and risk choking or suffocation.

Even when the developmental appropriateness and product safety were already considered, we were still left with quite a handful of worthy contenders. Trimming the list further required us to enlist the help of countless parents through their invaluable reviews and comments about these types of toys. Only activity cubes that have substantial customer satisfaction ratings of not less than 4 stars, were included in the final shortlisting of the best activity cubes. We’re confident you would have done the same thing.

The Benefits of Playing with Activity Cubes

It doesn’t really matter whether you are going to buy a simple activity cube or one that fully integrates a variety of sensorimotor experiences. The crucial point to understand is that babies and toddlers require ample sensory stimulation to facilitate optimum growth and development. Whether it is the benefits of shape sorters or the advantages of musical toys, integrating all of these elements in one complete package can be a very interesting prospect in early childhood development. It is for this very reason that playing with activity cubes can be very beneficial for infants and toddlers. Here’s why.

  • It helps them master a variety of their motor-related skills including fine motor capabilities, spatial reasoning, and visual motor coordination. These provide the foundation for more complex motor tasks such as writing and holding a variety of tools and equipment as kids grow older.
  • These toys help young kids develop their communication skills by building on their vocabulary and the use of certain phrases. Equally important is the correct pronunciation of words which serves as one of the fundamental backbones of speech.
  • Activity blocks enhance the establishment of neural connections, ensuring that cognitive processes such as memory, convergent thinking, and simple problem solving are laid down as essential building blocks for more sophisticated and more complex cognitive processes like critical thinking, logical reasoning, and divergent problem solving.
  • These toys can help provide an outlet for the expression of infant and toddler anxieties. By keeping them busy and focused on what they are doing, the mind will not be led astray thinking about anxiety-provoking things. This helps them feel more relaxed and, in turn, become happier babies and tots.

The Bottom Line

Depending on what is integrated in the activity cube, this kind of toy can really kickstart the optimum development of young children. That’s why it is essential to choose the right ones for our young kids. with the 10 best activity cubes in 2017, you’re more than empowered to choose the correct one; you can effectively map out their future development as well.

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Selina Marie
Selina Marie is our head of content for MyKidNeedsThat.com, mum of two and a self proclaimed toy geek. When she isn't juggling the madness at home, on a school run or baking her world famous blueberry muffins, you will find her product researching and keeping the site freshly updated with the latest toys and fun for our readers!


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