The 8 Best Preschool Toys of 2021

Toys that help your child's imagination run wild while learning

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks
Allows kids to build whatever they imagine.
A great way to get your kids to be active and burn extra energy.
This can help teach your child colors, counting, and more.
Turning colorful gears into fluid creation helps build STEM skills.
A great way to inspire your child to create music at a young age.
Affordable and inspires countless hours of fun.
Kids place letters into slots to complete puzzles.
This wooden puzzle helps children learn geography skills.

Best Overall: PicassoTiles 61 Piece Set 60pcs Magnet

These Picasso Tiles top our list for their affordability, versatility, and huge fun factor. This set comes with 60 pieces in all and includes brightly colored geometric tiles that snap together magnetically. They allow kids to build whatever they can imagine and learn important skills about cause and effect, design, creativity, and more along the way. This set can also be combined with various other tile sets to take the building to new, greater heights as well. 

Recommended for ages 3 and up, they’re fun for kids of all ages and are a great way to teach kids about shapes, colors, and building and to start enhancing those important STEM skills.

Best Budget: Kidoozie Foam Pogo Jumper

Kidoozie Foam Pogo Jumper

For hours of active fun, there’s foam pogo jumper for Kidoozie. Kids put their feet on the foam base, hold onto the handle and bounce, bounce, bounce about. It’s a great source of exercise and a way to help develop important coordination and balance skills, without the same risks as traditional metal pogo sticks. Designed for kids ages 3 and up, it can hold jumpers up to 250 pounds, so mom and dad can have a go at if they like too. It can be used indoors or out, and the price is surprisingly affordable. 

Best Educational: Skoolzy Rainbow Counting Bears with Matching Sorting Cups

Skoolzy Rainbow Counting Bears with Matching Sorting Cups

Scoop up the fun with this 70-piece set. It comes with six sorting cups, scooping tongs, dice, and 60 colorful little plastic bears. You can use them to teach colors, counting, sorting, stacking, and other preschool skills, or kids can use them for open-ended free play and let their imaginations run wild. They’re plastic, so you can even take them in tub come bathtime or out in a kiddie pool when temperatures warm up. It comes with a storage container and lid for easy cleanup, and an ebook activity download provides lots of great ideas for fun and educational ways to play with the set. 

It’s a fun way to teach kids valuable skills and a lot of fun to boot. Note that because the bears are all small, they can be a choking hazard for little siblings, but for older kids, this is an excellent educational toy.

Best STEM: Learning Resources Gears! Gears! Gears! Deluxe Building Set

Learning Resources Gears! Gears! Gears! Deluxe Building Set

This set will get their learning in gear quite literally with fun building that goes beyond blocks. The set features colorful gears that can all be connected to make unique, fluid creations, fostering important STEM skills along the way, including design, sorting, counting, and even physics as they set spinning gears in motion. There are 100 pieces in all, including colorful gears, pillars, bases, and a crank handle. They can build on their own or use the activity guide to inspire their creations. 

Best Sensory: Small Fish Xylophone for Kids

Small Fish Xylophone for Kids

This toy xylophone will strike a chord with kids who love a good beat. It’s made just for them with colorful keys marked with the letter of each note, and it comes with cute mallets with teddy bears up top. Song sheets for a couple of tunes are included as well, so they can bang out their own rendition of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” As a bonus, it also comes with a harmonica so a friend or sibling can play along and join the band. 

Best Pretend: KidKraft Waterfall Mountain Train Set and Table

KidKraft Waterfall Mountain Train Set and Table

All aboard for fun. This train set and table from KidKraft comes with everything they need to take their creative adventures on the road. The table measures 48.75 x 34.38 x 16 inches, and it comes with three plastic storage bins that can slide underneath to keep everything contained. There are 120 pieces in all including trains, people, cars and trucks, trees, a helicopter and helipad, buildings and everything they need for pretend play

Best for Speech Development: Melissa & Doug See & Spell Learning Toy

Melissa & Doug See & Spell Learning Toy

To learn letters and basic words, parents love this See & Spell toy from Melissa & Doug. It comes with 50 wooden letters in bright colors and eight two-sided wooden puzzle boards that spell out a variety of three- and four-letter words. Kids place letters into the slots to complete the puzzles and develop their spelling, fine motor skills, and vocabulary along the way. Once they’ve mastered the included boards, they can use the letters to spell more complicated words on their own. Even better—all the pieces fit into one wooden storage case making clean up easy. It’s also a great toy to take on the go.

Best Puzzle: Pottery Barn Kids USA Map Puzzle

This wooden puzzle from Pottery Barn Kids brings the 50, nifty United States to life for little ones. The board is made of plywood, and there are 50 colorful pieces that fit inside—one featuring each state. 

It’s a great way for kids to learn geography and show them where various relatives live and points of interest are located. It’s also great for building fine motor skills and encouraging spatial planning.

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