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Combining playtime and learning is always a good mix. The best learning toys, whether they're blocks, a tablet, or board game, can make learning super fun for any youngster. The activities are effortlessly engaging and full of so many lessons.
Below are the best toddler learning toys.
Mega Bloks 80-Piece Big Building Bag, Classic
The Mega Bloks 80-Piece Big Building Bag is a great gift for kids at all stages of development, as there are unlimited ways to stack, build, and play.
The Big Building Bag comes filled with 80 multi-colored blocks of various shapes and sizes that are easy to stack and take apart. The pronged Mega Bloks are the perfect size for little hands, and they’re fully compatible with any other Mega Bloks First Builders products.
As children grow, they’ll be able to take on new challenges and build more intricate creations with their blocks, meaning this toy will keep kids entertained years to come.
"The blocks are well designed for small hands, since their large size makes them easy to grasp and manipulate."—Hailey Eber, Product Tester
Melissa & Doug Top and Bake Wooden Pizza Counter Play Food Set
Believe it our not, a milestone for toddlers is learning how to pretend play which generally happens around 18 to 24 months. This fun pizza-making kitchen set is intended for those over three and will have them cooking up their own pizza pie in seconds! Who knows, maybe this will even inspire your little one to become a chef.
LeapFrog Mr. Pencil's Scribble and Write
Scribble and Write, suited for children ages 3 to 7, includes an attached stylus designed for little hands, and the screen lights up to help kids trace both uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as numbers. Kids will start out on Level 1, where scribbling is encouraged as they get used to holding the pencil, and then they’ll slowly progress to Level 2, where the goal is letter accuracy.
Fisher-Price Baby's First Blocks
You probably played with blocks when you were a toddler, and this classic toy is every bit as fun and helpful to young kids today. The Fisher-Price Baby's First Blocks are a great first toy for children 6 months and older, as blocks hone fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. There are 10 colorful blocks in five different shapes, and the box has a sorting lid where little ones can drop the pieces through, improving their problem-solving skills.
Osmo Little Genius Starter Kit for iPad
This toy combines technology with hands-on activities. The kit works with an iPad (not included) so kids can create letters and pictures with the included silicone rings and figures. There are four different games they can play, with each one encouraging creativity and fun.
B. toys Symphony Musical Toy Orchestra
Learning about music and playing an instrument has so many positive benefits for kids. And this symphony set will make kids feel like they’re leading the orchestra. The set plays 15 different songs and has 13 instruments. Kids can select up to six instruments at a time to hear how the sound of the song changes based on what instruments they select. The musical combinations are endless and sure to be intriguing.
VTech Touch and Learn Activity Desk Deluxe
If you’re searching for an activity desk that’s jam-packed with educational content, look no further. This cute, colorful product includes a child-sized stool where little ones can sit and color. The interactive activity desk has five learning pages to teach numbers, counting, letters, fruits, and colors. Toddlers can touch different spots on each page to learn about the pictures, and if you want more skills, additional expansion packs are available.
But that’s not all! Lift the top of the desk to reveal a chalkboard where kids can draw, or press buttons on the built-in music player to hear more than 20 melodies.
Fisher-Price Rollin' Rovee
If you’re in need of a toy that can be used for years to come, here’s an option. The Rollin’ Rovee is great for kids as young as six months and up to five years old. The interactive toy has four levels of play and does everything from playing music and peek-a-boo for young kids and even throws and catches a ball for older tots.
Melissa & Doug Standard Unit Blocks
There’s nothing more satisfying than the sound of a tower of wooden blocks tumbling over, which is why kids will love creating with Melissa & Doug's blocks. The kit comes with 60 natural wood pieces, all smoothed down to prevent splinters, and a wooden storage crate is included. There are more than just squares and rectangles, too! Children will be able to make (and knock down) complex buildings with the kit’s circular pillars, arches, half-circles, and several types of triangles.
Teach My Toddler Learning Kit
If you're gift hunting for a toddler who’s entering preschool soon, the Teach My Toddler Learning Kit will give them a leg up. The kit includes flashcards, puzzles, posters, and board books to keep things fun and interesting for young children. In addition to picking up core preschool skills, kids will improve their spatial reasoning and hand-eye coordination.
Hape Dynamo Kid's Wooden Domino Set
STEM toys are all the rage because they teach children a variety of skills relating to science, technology, engineering, and math. This domino set is more suited for children ages three and up but will help teach them cause and effect as they line up the dominos and watch them tumble down. This set is that it can be used for many years to come.
Fat Brain Toys Shape Factory
This toy looks adorable, but it’s absolutely educational. The Fat Brain puzzle has 10 blocks that kids have to fit into the appropriate slot. They’ll learn all about colors, shapes, and work those motor skills. The pieces are large enough for small hands to grasp and they can be stored inside the factory when not in use.
Coogam Matching Eggs Color & Shape Sorter Puzzle
Now these are some eggs that are meant for cracking, but don’t create a mess. When opened, the eggs reveal colors and shapes and kids have to match them back together. They’re easy enough for small hands to open and close and the eggs conveniently store in their container.
Melissa & Doug Classic Peg Puzzle Bundle
Once your kid enters the toddler years it is a smart time to start thinking about adding a puzzle to their toy repertoire. Puzzles can teach kids a whole range of things like fine motor skills, spatial awareness, shapes, and much more. This favorite from Melissa & Doug provides three different puzzles that help teach them about the alphabet, counting, and colors.
Coogam Wooden Shape Color Sorting Clock
This toy clock can teach kids everything from colors, shapes, numbers, telling time, and coordination. Each wooden piece has a different color and shape that kids have to fit into the right puzzle slot. This is a fun way for a child to learn so many different lessons from one simple toy.
VTech Little Apps Tablet
Kids who love playing with technology will absolutely adore having a tablet all their own, which is why the VTech Little Apps Tablet makes such a great gift. This fun-filled device, designed for kids 2 to 5 years old, lets them feel independent as they explore its numerous features.
The Little Apps Tablet boasts a color-changing screen, alphabet buttons, and a piano keyboard, all of which teach different skills. There are 12 learning activities about letters, counting, matching, math, music, and more, all of which will keep toddlers entertained with cute animations and sound effects.
We bought one of our readers’ favorite toddler learning toys that our reviewers tested for six hours. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using this toy, from skill development to durability. We’ve outlined the key takeaways here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.
Skill development With so much to learn, where does a toddler begin? Some learning toys tackle one area only — like fine motor skills or shape recognition. Other toys will develop a broader skill set as tiny tots learn to use problem-solving skills or improve memory recall. Choose learning toys that will help your child to be well-rounded and develop a variety of necessary life skills.
Stability and durability As any parent will tell you, toddlers have a tendency to throw or drop things. So it makes sense to look for toys that will be able to withstand the habits of your little one as they develop coordination and organization. Many learning toys are made of thick, durable plastics or solid wood to withstand the bumps and bruises that are surely headed their way.
Technology Are you looking for a tech-free toy or a toddler-safe tablet that will get your child learning to push buttons and play interactive games? Some toddler learning toys take a traditional approach, with classic objects like blocks and music used as a springboard for learning. On the other hand, if you want your child to enjoy technology with an educational twist, there are plenty of toddler-age options available that will entertain your little one with screen time that is fun and productive.