Educational Toys & Gifts – Tot Gift Guide
Rather than being seduced by flashing lights and enthralling sounds next time you’re searching for a child’s present, give them the gift of learning with these amazing toys…
Kids love toys that buzz, beep, sing, spin, talk, dance and laugh. But what do they get out of these types of playthings? The truth is: not much. Like screens, toys that mesmerize children into passivity don’t tend to foster creativity, encourage imaginative play, improve problem-solving skills or enhance fine motor skills. Small minds get so much more out of toys that require them to manipulate, explore, ask questions, investigate, problem-solve and persevere.
And while it’s wonderful to get on the floor and play with your little ones (especially when they’re still young), it’s also important to give them plenty of unstructured and unscheduled play time. Free play not only develops their imagination, creativity, dexterity and decision-making skills, it also builds their confidence and contributes to their social and emotional development.
Here are some of our favorite educational toys that encourage children’s bodies and minds to grow and develop while they play.
The Lovevery Play Gym features five developmental zones designed to help your baby learn to focus, reach for objects, explore colors and more. There’s so much fun to be had! From birth.
The Petit Collage Multi-Language Alphabet Tray Puzzle lets little ones practice their ABCs and learn how to say them in English, French, Italian and German! The puzzle is ideal for developing language and fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, letter and shape recognition and dexterity. From 3 years.
The Planetari Ocean Adventure Makerzine is a 46-page booklet full of engaging and educational content, lesson plans, games and activities for kids based around ocean conservation. From 7 years – 12 years.
Teach your tot to count to 10 and sort colors with Tender Leaf Toys’ Counting Carrot set made from natural wood. It improves hand-eye coordination too! From 18 months.
Tender Leaf Toys’ wooden alphabet tray features three-dimensional letters that can be lifted to reveal the corresponding word and image. Perfect for developing language skills. From 18 months.
Perfect for the littlest puzzlers! Match your favorite Eric Carle characters with their colors with Mudpuppy’s Brown Bear My First Puzzle Pairs. Ages 2 and up.
Keep your child busy while you travel with Mudpuppy’s Map of the U.S.A. puzzle. It fits easily on an airplane tray table when assembled and comes with a handy storage pouch. Ages 3 and up.
There’s nothing your crafty kid won’t be able to build with Moulin Roty’s 14-piece tool set. Each piece is fashioned from high-quality wood and steel for strength and durability. Ages 6 and up.
Copernicus’ erupting volcano makes science fun! Place the paper cut-out in the tray, add the solution, and watch crystals that look like smoke and lava appear all over your volcano. Ages 6 and up.
Little nature lovers will adore Moulin Roty’s beautiful botanist case that includes a wooden flower press, a magnifying glass, three small boxes to store treasures in and more. Ages 6 and up.
Copernicus’ wooden robotic arm kit comes with all the pre-cut wood pieces and hydraulics your big kid needs to build a robotic arm in under an hour! Ages 12 and up.
The Cubelets Discovery Set is the perfect introduction to the world of Cubelets® robot blocks. The world’s first robot blocks, these little robots teach big lessons such as robotics, engineering, design thinking, tactile coding, and computational thinking to builders of nearly any age. Ages 4 and up.
- Interested in Montessori toys? The best Montessori-friendly baby toys are simple with a calm aesthetic. See our guide on how to choose Montessori toys for babies through to big kids.
- Arts & crafts are a wonderful way to help encourage and develop your child’s fine motor skills, imagination and creativity. But what if the supplies they’re using are toxic and potentially harmful? See our guide on how to choose non-toxic art & craft supplies.