The 9 Best Educational Toys for Toddlers

Combining fun and learning

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Mega Bloks First Builders Bag at Amazon

"A pick that promotes endless play possibilities, this 80-piece set is perfect for little hands and practicing problem-solving."

Best Matching: Kidzlane Egg Toy for Kids and Toddlers at Amazon

"Your tot will get a head start on practicing their numeral skills with this toy egg, designed to teach counting and sorting."

Best For Sensory Learning: deMoca Quiet Book for Toddlers at Amazon

"Baby will stay occupied with this machine washable, hands-on book, designed to promote sensory development."

Best Flashcards: Learnworx Flashcards for Toddlers at Amazon

"Though an old-school learning method, this flashcard set includes large, illustrated cards that encourage counting and spelling."

Best STEM: ToyVelt Dinosaur Take Apart Stem Toys for Boys & Girls at Amazon

"A beginner-friendly STEM toy, it encourages exploration and play that involves invention and problem-solving."

Best For Fine Motor Skills: Learning Resources Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog at Amazon

"This toy hedgehog will simultaneously keep your tot's attention and develop fine motor skills with its removable pieces."

Best For Memory: Banana Panda Super Size Memory Game at Amazon

"Perfect for travel, the portable game has colorful animal illustrations while the thick pieces are large enough for a tot to grab."

Best For Reading: LeapFrog Learning Friends 100 Words Electronic Book at Amazon

"Easily portable for long car rides or grocery trips, it introduces vocabulary words, fun facts, music, and Spanish."

Best For Art: Betheaces Water Drawing Mat at Amazon

"A drawing mat without any post-play mess or ink, it allows for unlimited fun as drawings disappear after a few minutes."

There are hundreds of educational toys and books to choose from for toddlers, but not all of them are worth your money. Before you buy, consider your child’s age and learning ability. Look for toys, like the ones on this list, that combine fun and learning and can stand up to toddler use. 

The best toys store easily, don’t require a ton of parent involvement, and can be used over and over again. If you’re looking for a toy that will add educational value to your child’s playtime, here’s our roundup of the best educational toys for toddlers. 

Best Overall: Mega Bloks First Builders Bag

Mega Bloks First Builders Bag

Courtesy of Amazon

For toddlers, you can’t go wrong with a set of blocks. The possibilities for play are endless. Blocks provide an opportunity for you and your little one to practice problem-solving and fine motor skills as well as provide a great base for non-stop pretend. 

The key to a good set of blocks for any parent is durability, ease of use, a safe and fun size, and the ability to be disinfected. The Mega Bloks are a parent-favorite because they come with 80 colorful building blocks, including special shapes for under $20. They are bright and colorful and a good size for toddlers of any age.

They click into each other nicely without too much pressure (good for little hands) and store easily in the zip bag they come in. 

Best Matching: Kidzlane Egg Toy for Kids and Toddlers

Whether it be with colors, shapes, or even animals, matching is a great skill to work on with toddlers. This affordable egg toy is designed to help your toddler learn to count, sort, and match. The set includes 12 plastic eggs, each of which has a different color and a number of small pegs that match up with another half with the same layout. 

Kids love to click and pull apart these eggs, and they are easy to grab for little hands. They come in a durable plastic egg carton which also acts as a carrying and storage case. You can even use these eggs with pretend play for a fun learning experience in the play kitchen.

Best For Sensory Learning: deMoca Quiet Book for Toddlers

Keeping a toddler busy and entertained is a full-time job. The deMoca Quiet Book makes things a lot easier with nine engaging activities built into a brightly colored fabric, machine washable book. 

The activities include matching velcro-colored shapes, learning to tie shoes and button buttons, and a clock to tell time. The book is perfect for sensory development and encourages dexterity and spatial awareness. This travel-friendly activity book will keep your toddler busy and there aren’t any pieces or parts to lose.

Best Flashcards: Learnworx Flashcards for Toddlers

Flashcards are a little bit of an old-school learning method but are much-loved by parents, teachers, and toddlers because they’re easy, fun, and great for on the go. We love this flashcard set from Learnworx. The set comes with 101 large-print, extra-thick cards that feature cute and bright pictures of objects and scenes like animals, foods, and household items.

On the back of the cards, there are prompt questions that encourage counting, spelling, and more like “How many lions do you see?”. They wipe clean and store easily in a toddler-friendly box. 

Best STEM: ToyVelt Dinosaur Take Apart Stem Toys for Boys & Girls

Even though the concept of STEM might seem a little advanced for your toddler, encouraging exploration and play that involves invention and problem-solving are all part of it. This colorful set includes 6 dinosaurs, 6 screwdrivers, and 6 wrenches.

The idea is for your toddler to take apart and reassemble the dinosaurs using kid-friendly tools. Although this toy may not be right for a 1-year-old, a child between 2 and 3 years old will love the process of taking apart and fixing the dinosaurs. They will be working on their hand-eye coordination, creative problem solving, and patience, all while having fun.

Best For Fine Motor Skills: Learning Resources Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog

Want to know how to work on your toddler’s fine motor skills? Find a toy that keeps their attention! Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog gets rave reviews because kids love it just as much as parents and grandparents. The brightly colored peg-shaped pieces can be placed in and out of the friendly hedgehog and are easy for kids to grasp. 

With this cute toy you can also work on color recognition, sorting, and counting skills then simply store it away as one piece. Good for a young toddler and your budget, and your toddler will love this fun little hedgehog.

Best For Memory: Banana Panda Super Size Memory Game

Best for ages 2 and up, this giant Banana Panda memory game is a good way to practice matching, focus, and sorting. The game itself is easy to learn and fun to play. You can also use the cards as flashcards to introduce new words. 

The Banana Panda game has adorable colorful animal illustrations and the pieces are made of thick cardboard and are large enough for a toddler to see and grab. These easily store and are portable for travel or play on the go.

Best For Reading: LeapFrog Learning Friends 100 Words Electronic Book

You can count on Leapfrog to make an interactive educational toy that both you and your toddler will love. With the Learning Friends Interactive book, your toddler will be introduced to 100 vocabulary words and be able to touch the words and pictures on each page. The book also has fun facts, music, and sounds and can be turned to Spanish for language learning

The word categories in the Learning Friends Book include pets, animals, food, mealtime, colors, activities, opposites, outside, and more. Take this book with you in the car or while you grocery shop and your toddler will be happily entertained.

Best For Art: Betheaces Water Drawing Mat

As any parent will tell you, any toddler art activity that doesn’t involve mess is a sure winner. With the Aqua Doodle Magic Drawing Mat, there is no mess, no toxic ingredients, and no ink. The magical pen transforms water into mess-free color and disappears after a few minutes so the fun doesn't have to end,

The AquaDoodle also includes six drawing templates, three pens, and four shape stencils. The mat itself has a bright and colorful border and is large enough to be shared and played with outdoors (but it also folds up and is easy to take with you).

Final Verdict

For an educational toy that is sure to please and last throughout toddlerhood, the Mega Bloks (view on Amazon) is an ideal choice. Some toddlers like a little challenge to develop their creativity and problem-solving skills. The ToyVelt Dinosaur STEM toy (view on Amazon) is a great option for that.

What to Look for When Buying Educational Toys for Toddlers

Age

The toddler age group ranges from a year old all the way up to 3 years old. Depending on their age, you'll want to choose a toy that they will find to be fun and challenging, as well as developmentally appropriate.

Developmental Stage

Every child hits milestones on their own schedule. Offering your toddler a toy that will challenge them while also fitting within their developmental abilities will help them learn and sharpen their skills.

Entertainment

Though these toys are designed to be educational, they should still be fun and entertaining for your tot so that they actually want to play with them. Whether your kiddo is dino-obsessed or a little budding artist, choose a toy that aligns with their interests.

Why Trust Verywell Family?

Deanna McCormack is a freelance writer & creative consultant based in Scottsdale, Arizona. She enjoys working with startups and regularly covers product launches in the lifestyle, beauty, and motherhood space. A self-proclaimed expert at baby registries and gift ideas, Deanna has two kids and is the co-founder of Loonie Kid, a Canadian clothing company for kids and toddlers.

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