10 Educational Toys to get little brains thinking
Early Childhood expert, Anastasia Moloney lists her top 10 educational toys for babies through to bigger kids.
There are so many wonderful toys on the market to choose from these days so where do we start when choosing as a gift or for our kids? I personally love to find new items that allow us to work on important developmental milestones while also having fun. Here are my top 10 educational toy picks geared towards 2-5 year olds.
Children can learn a lot through music! They enjoy listening, moving their bodies and creating their own sounds. All ages can benefit from listening to and exploring with instruments. Babies will begin by listening and then shaking instruments, which is great for learning cause and effect (if I do this, this happens). As children get older you can explore how different instruments sound, rhythm (fast vs. slow), pitch (high vs. Low) and have fun creating your own songs and dancing to them. These instruments by Baby Noise are a great introduction to music for babies as they are made from sustainable wood and non-toxic water-based paints. Age recommended: 8+ months
The Lovevery Play Gym includes everything you need – from batting to teething to learning to focus – for your baby’s first year of play. The play gym features five development zones that reveal or conceal, to prevent over-stimulation, and promote everything from making sounds, learning to focus, hiding and finding, exploring colors and more! Age recommended: From birth
Puzzles are great for all ages! They help with problem solving, hand and eye coordination, self esteem, problem solving, social and fine motor coordination. This wooden dots puzzle is great for young toddlers as it introduces them to the concept of different sizes. Age recommended: 12+ months
These Bug Blocks are a great way to encourage problem solving, imaginative thinking and enhance fine motor skills, so your little one will love exploring patterns and etymology with a block set where nature meets design. Age recommended: 2+ years
There are many benefits of memory games for toddlers including improved concentration and attention span, exercise for the brain, and training for visual memory. Games also allow children to practice turn taking, following rules or steps and having fun while doing it. Age recommended: 3+ years
This Doctor’s Set is great for encouraging creativity and imagination, but it’s also something realistic that children occasionally have experience with. So being able to recreate their own ‘trip to the doctor’s’ experience is the first step to creative play. As their pretend play skills develop they can expand and create their own ideas. In addition to exploring imaginatively, children are able to work on literacy skills by using the different medical equipment and when tending to their patients. Age recommended: 3+ years
Balance bikes are wonderful for developing kids’ gross motor skills and confidence while also encouraging physical activity outdoors. The Kiddimoto Super Junior will enable your young rider to learn to scoot along using their feet while getting to grips with the basics of balancing. Age recommended: 3+ years
This chore system encourages independence, responsibility and empowers children. The cards are created for daily routines such as getting ready and going to bed as well as age appropriate tasks throughout the day. Introduce your toddler to the concept of helping out with chores and once they familiarize themselves with them they will become more independent. Age recommended: 3+ years
While these blocks are recommended for bigger kids, block building at all ages is great for developing hand eye coordination, spatial awareness, fine motor skills and enhancing logical thinking capabilities. The Wise Elk Bridge is a construction kit that creates a multi-colored brick bridge and is a fantastic family or solo activity that can be assembled over and over again! Age recommended: 5+ years
Another great toy for encouraging creativity, imagination and developing fine motor and vocabulary skills, this mini work bench is so realistic right down to the nuts and bolts! The set includes a functioning vise, tool rack, wooden tools and hardware and a storage shelf. I love that it also doubles as a desk for a playroom which ensures its longevity. Age recommended: 4+ years