13 Best Educational Toys For Toddlers In 2017

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best educational toys toddlers

Helping Your Toddler To Learn

What is a toy? For many, it is merely a child’s plaything. However, experts agree that it is a very important tool in stimulating the development of the child’s physical, mental, emotional, and cognitive skills. When played with another toddler, the toy can serve to help develop social skills as well language or communication skills. Toddlers are able to learn to express their emotions in a more constructive manner, appropriate for their age.

Through toys, they are able to learn new things in their environment and be able to assert themselves as unique individuals. When played alone, the toddler can master a lot of his or her fine motor skills as well as spatial relation skills. He or she can start to weave stories using very short yet equally meaningful sentences. He or she can use his or her imagination and creativity while playing with his or her toys. More importantly, toys help toddlers establish themselves as independent human beings.

13 Best Learning Toys For Toddlers

PictureToyBrandType
ALEX Toys ALEX Jr. My Busy Town Activity CenterAlex ToysWooden
VTech Touch and Teach Word BookVTechElectronic
Teach My Toddler Learning KitTeach My ToysEducational
BUCKLE TOY "Buster" - Toddler Early Learning Basic Life SkillsBuckle ToysSoft Toy
VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning WalkerVtechWalker

1Alex Jr. My Busy Town Activity Center from Alex Toys

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The number one pick in our list is Alex Toy’s Alex Jr. My Busy Town Activity Center. It is a 5-sided wooden activity box with bright and cheerful play components designed primarily to stimulate your toddler’s mental and cognitive skills. Each side is composed of a uniquely different kind of play activity that helps your toddler’s language development, problem-solving skills, spatial reasoning, hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and innate creative skills as well as help stimulate your child’s visual and tactile senses.

The My Busy Town Activity Center depicts common everyday activities in a bustling town incorporating peek-a-boo windows that introduces your toddler to the people in your neighborhood. It also has curvy bead mazes, animal matching, racing car rollers, and alphabet tiles to help in the all-around cognitive and psychomotor development of your child.

Why We Like It – First, it’s made of wood so there’s no danger of harmful plastic chemicalsIt’s small enough to fit into your vehicle for those very precious out-of-town trips. Best of all, it integrates 5 unique “play areas” that are designed to stimulate different aspects of your toddler’s childhood development. What more can you ask for?

(Think This Is Cool? You May Also Want To Read: Best Wooden Toys For Toddlers)

2Touch and Teach Word Book from VTech

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Vtech has always been known for its technology-oriented educational toys. And the Touch and Tech Word Book continues the legacy. The book features 12 highly innovative learning pages that are very detailed and are touch-sensitive. It provides for 4 modes of play including Find It, What’s that Word, Music Time, and Letter Fun. This is an excellent toy for your toddler as it teaches them about the alphabet, common words used in everyday life, and music. VTech’s Smart Cubs, Cody and Cora, provides guidance to your toddler as he goes through the interactive pages.

Why We Like It – Who doesn’t like technology nowadays? VTech’s Touch and Teach Word Book is very innovative way to teach our toddlers the different words used in everyday life and how they are pronounced. Think of it as a toddler’s teacher in a book. To put it simply, the toy talks.

3Teach My Toddler Learning Kit from Teach My Toys

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Teach My Toddler Learning Kit is a matching-type of educational toy from Teach My Toys. Conveniently placed in a colorful toddler’s case, the 68-piece kit is composed of 4 board books and posters, 55 flashcards, and 7 puzzles. Designed to be a no-fuss way of learning the alphabet and numbers as well as the different colors and shapes. It is also designed to promote hand-eye coordination, spatial reasoning, fine motor skills, numeracy, and of course, literacy.

Why We Like It – It is very easy to use. There are no complicated instructions. Just pull them out from their case and you are ready to bond with your child.

4Buckle Toy Buster from Buckle Toys

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A rather unusual yet highly effective toy for toddlers is Buster. It is more of a buckle toy but with an added twist. Buckle Toys incorporated fun and colorful elements to a plush character complete with 6 colorful buckles made of child-friendly materials to teach your kid about colors, numbers, and shapes. The design is such that your child will learn to develop his hand-eye coordination, problem-solving skills, fine motor skills, and cognitive skills.

Why We Like It – Buster is a no-fuss way to teach your toddler about colors, shapes, and numbers. We find its unique buckle design to be very convenient as it can be snapped-on onto almost anything – your bag, your shopping cart, or anything else – and can be brought to almost anywhere. It’s one great tool to keep boredom out of your toddler’s life wherever he may be.

5Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker from VTech

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The Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker from VTech is a unique product that is designed to allow your toddler to enjoy playtime whether he is sitting or standing. It has 70 sing-along songs as well as other music and sound effects including fun phrases to help your child expand his vocabulary. It comes with 5 piano keys, 2 spinning rollers, 3 light-up buttons, a play telephone set, and 3 shape sorters for all-around toddler development.

Why We Like It – The Sit-to-Stand functions as a walker which means that it can serve as your baby’s first infant walker. This is one ingenious way of helping your toddler develop his gross motor skills initiating his first steps while at the same time having fun learning doing it.

6Roll ‘n Swirl Ball Ramp from Earlyears

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The Roll ‘n Swirl Ball Ramp is composed of 5 differently-colored tiers that connect with each other as a roundabout ramp. The 12-inch high tower can then be used to roll three acrylic balls that contain very colorful shapes and beads that elicit fun noises as it rolls and swirls down the circular tower ramp. The tower can be easily snapped into place and conveniently disassembled for easy storage.

Why We Like It – Children love things that move. Add to this the sound that the ball creates while rolling and swirling, it can really be a fun way to develop your child’s fine motor skills, color differentiation, problem-solving skills, and of course, cause-and-effect learning.

7Spin and Learn Color Flashlight from VTech

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A very educational take on the ordinary flashlight, VTech’s Spin and Learn Color Flashlight is a projection type of toy designed to shine onto surfaces images of animals, numbers, and colors. The flashlight itself comes with fun music and exciting songs activated by the ladybug button to make the learning of the projected images more interactive, fun, and exciting for your toddler.

Why We Like It – Spin and Learn Color introduces toddlers to the world of colors in light form. With the addition of 50 sing-along songs and other fun phrases and sounds, it sure is one unique way of letting your child enjoy playing and having fun at the same time. We find it very interesting to incorporate during nighttime learning activities as the colors and numbers become so vivid in the dark.

8Busy Learners Activity Cube from VTech

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The 5-sided Busy Learners Activity Cube features 4 light-up buttons that allow your kids to learn the names, shapes, and sounds of common animals. It has 14 highly interactive features including a motion sensor that activates many fun sounds to encourage very young children to start crawling. It is sturdy enough to help a baby learn to sit up. The toy features 25 playful melodies and songs to keep your baby entertained.

Why We Like It – While not really a toddler’s toy per se because it is appropriate for 6 months upwards, Busy Learners Activity Cube is nonetheless a very useful toy for learning gross and fine motor skills as well as language and vocabulary. We’re fond of it as it is sturdy to assist in the crawling and sitting developmental tasks of babies.

9Shapes and Sharing Picnic Basket from LeapFrog

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A combination of a play picnic basket, learning pieces, and a musical box, the Shapes and Sharing Picnic Basket introduces toddlers to the different colors and shapes of some common food items. Its interactive basket lid opens to fun sounds and music.

Why We Like It – It is a very interesting way to introduce kids to the idea of picnicking and of sharing as the toy comes with a picnic set for two. This should be ideal for playing pretend.

(Like This Picnic Set? Also Check Out: Best Outdoor Toys For Toddlers)

10Pop Pop Piano from Mirari

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The Pop Pop Piano is a 6-key piano set that connects to 6 similarly-colored tubes. With each stroke of a piano key, a star pops out from the corresponding tube. The toy comes in 2 modes. One is for fun and laughter where striking any key will elicit fun and exciting sounds. Switching it to the classic piano mode and your child may already be on his way to becoming a rock star.

Why We Like It – A fun way to learn music, the Pop Pop Piano encourages the development of both gross and fine motor skills as well as appreciate the principles of cause-and-effect. The keys are large so it should not pose any problem to your toddler.

11Numbers Sounds Puzzle from Melissa & Doug

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A very straightforward numbers and sound puzzle, this toy from Melissa & Doug helps stimulate numerical learning, hand-eye coordination, cause-and-effect learning, and matching skills. Full-color pictures lie underneath each number puzzle which elicits a realistic sound if the correct number is placed.

Why We Like It – It is a very simple yet fun way to learn numbers.

1212. Hole Cube for Shape Sorter Cognitive and Matching Wooden Toys from VidaToy

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A 13-hole cube that comes in different shapes to match specific color-coded shapes, this toy from VidaToy is made of wood that has been finished with water-based paint. It helps toddlers learn colors and basic shapes and help stimulate spatial skills, hand-eye coordination, and problem-solving skills.

Why We Like It – First, it’s made of wood so that should mean no danger of harmful plastic chemicals. It also has no sharp parts that can injure your child.

13Angles to Angles Arranging Game from HABA

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A very unique color and shape puzzle, the angles to angles arranging game by HABA stimulates your child’s creativity by connecting the different puzzle pieces into different configurations. Each piece come in either red, green, orange, or blue, and can help stimulate color perception, shape creation, problem-solving, creativity, and imagination. The 32-bolck system is made of beech wood.

Why We Like It – We find the Angles to Angles Arranging Game not only a great toy for toddlers but also for adults. Reminds you of playing Lego or Duplo but using a very different shape.

How We Chose Our Picks

So, how did we choose our 13 super educational products? We researched and studied into a number of toys online and hand picked our results based on the best selling, number of product reviews, quality of build and application towards development.

We then used this list to examine each entry taking into consideration a variety of factors including its educational value. We are confident that you and your beloved little one will also love at least one of these toys in our list of the best 13.

We hope you have enjoyed the article and have come away with some creative ideas to help you decide on what to get your precious tyke to help them grow and develop to their full potential.

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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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