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The best educational toys for toddlers that are also really fun

After his or her first birthday, your baby is officially a toddler. The toddler stage runs from ages 1 to 3. This adorable, active, and sometimes trying time period is where you will see a great deal of cognitive growth and social emotional changes in your toddler. Since toddlers are learning new things by leaps and bounds, ages 1 to 3 are ripe for educational toys.

Toddlers are curious and love to play, which is why this stage is ideal for toys that teach. Educational toys are specifically designed to develop vital skills like letter, shape, number, and color recognition as well as problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. These types of toys are fun while introducing basic early-reading concepts and stimulating creativity and imagination. The best educational toys for toddlers are interactive and not necessarily ones involving screen time.

The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend a lot of screen time for toddlers. Playing with hands-on educational toys is more beneficial than an interactive game on a tablet or smartphone. Thankfully, there is a multitude of exciting educational toys to spark a toddler’s interest. So what are the best educational toys for toddlers to have in the playroom?


Blocks are an excellent educational toy for toddlers. Toddlers can start playing with blocks as early as age 1. Mega Bloks is an excellent first building block set for toddlers. The 80-piece set is simple to use and ideal for little hands.

Magnetic letters and numbers

Toddlers can have hours of fun while you cook or clean up meals with a set of magnetic letters and numbers. Magnetic letters and numbers from Magtimes can be used right on the refrigerator door. The set comes with 112 easy-to-clean pieces.

Shape sorter

Little ones can begin to learn colors and shapes with a classic shape-sorter puzzle. Melissa & Doug’s Shape Sorting Cube is fashioned from wood and includes a set of 12 shapes ideal for toddler hands. In addition to shapes and colors, the sorter works fine motor skills.

Dressing bear

Toddlers love to do things for themselves. So, a Linzy Plush Education Bear is perfect for toddlers to get their hands moving to learn how to button, zip, and snap. This bear can even stick around the playroom to help when it’s time to learn how to tie shoes. The bear is also a super-cuddly buddy.

Wooden peg puzzle set

Help toddlers learn letters, numbers, shapes, and more while working vital fine motor skills with a set of wooden peg puzzles. Built to last, wooden peg puzzles can be passed down to younger siblings. The puzzles are a great teaching tool and develop problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, too. Chafin’s four puzzle set makes a fun addition to the playroom.

Play kitchen

Imaginative play toys like kitchens are another playroom fixture and one that can grow with your child. Step2’s Fun with Friends Play Kitchen is for ages 2 and up and will definitely get a lot of use. Toddlers, preschoolers, and even older kids love to get cooking just like their mom and dad. Imaginative play develops social and language skills while stimulating the imagination. Toddlers will love the sounds the set makes, too.

Piggy bank

It’s never too early to learn money skills, and what’s more fun than a singing piggy bank? Fisher-Price’s Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Piggy Bank actually grows with your toddler. It offers two levels of play that teach numbers and animals. A bonus is the fine motor work handling the coins and opening and closing piggy.

Fine motor hedgehog

How cute is Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog? Fine motor skills really get a workout as toddlers learn colors and problem-solving skills while taking the quills on and off. Quills store right inside Spike.

Toddlers love to play and with educational toys specifically designed for ages 1 to 3. They are learning important concepts that form the foundation for language development, basic reading and math skills, and much more. The wonderful thing about educational toys for toddlers is that they are learning while having a blast.

Editors' Recommendations

Dawn Miller
Dawn Miller began her professional life as an elementary school teacher before returning to her first love, writing. In…
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