Little girl surprised by blue butterfly

11 Top Educational Toys for Toddlers

Jean Boylan
Jean Boylan

November 16, 2019 3 min read

 “Play is the highest form of research.” - Albert Einstein

Toddler Time! 

During this year your child will focus on what is immediately in front of them.  But, get ready! They will be on the run. They will carry large toys, stand on their toes and throw a ball.  They will climb on furniture, walk stairs and scribble on follow instructions. They will fill and dump, build towers (and knock them down!), repeat what they have heard, and find hidden objects. There is no reason to give toddlers toys with batteries because they are powered by their own thirst and imagination!  Here are our top choices for fun with toddlers.

This is the time to invest in a play kitchen and a child’s table and chairs. They are at the top of my list because they can be the focus of hours of play pretend and play and table work.  If you purchase a quality ones now, they will get years of play with it.  

In addition to basic pots and pans, I love the Green Toy Tea sets. Not only are they made from 100% recycled plastic, but the size is nice to hold for both kids and adults.  They are well designed and balance well with just the right number of pieces for a tea party.

Other activities for the table include Do a Dots paint dobbers, a must have art supply because these bingo-style dobbers are easy to use, washable and get a lot of color on the paper. I also love toddler puzzles byJelly Cat. These are just right because each box contains 4 puzzles ranging from 2 piece to 8 pieces - these are hard to find!  Magic Water Color cards are my favorite travel item. The no-mess water paintbrush reveals the pictures on the cards, thendries and disappears - perfect for restaurants!

For the build and crash contractor in every child, the KaBlocks Blast is a clever way to combine the fine motor skills of building with the gross motor of stomping to create a crash!  The lightweight blocks will go 6 feet in the air! Now that is fun for the whole family!

The wooden Doorbell House is the top of my grandson’s list.  Each side has its own colored door with a unique doorbell and lock.  The attached keys open the door to reveal a room just big enough for a party of the four wooden dolls that come with the set. I enjoy just sitting back to listen to the conversations as the dolls welcome each other at the doors.

Smart Max is the best construction set at this age.  The pieces are large enough for their little hands and large magnetic ends holds everything together so that is is easy to build height fast.  The add-on pieces, such as the cards and animals are fun addition. I prefer the First Safari Animals because at this age they love learning the animal sounds and names.  Each animal is made from a three matching colored set so thy child can learn their colors while problem solving the puzzle.   

The 1-2-3 Build it Sets are great for the little engineers.  They can build a digger, a dump truck, and a bulldozer using the big snap-together pieces.  Sized just right for little hands, the pieces double as fine motor tools, boosting hand strength, coordination, and other fine motor skills that kids need for preschool success. Just like all other trucks they can pretend todig, push and carry around the worksite.

By age two, their vocabulary will start to explode with a new word every day and short sentences will emerge. Use lots of words with your child.  They are little sponges and you can start to build vocabulary now! The Toddler Scavenger Hunt Cards are awesome for indoor semi-supervised play, combining hide and seek with running around the house building vocabulary.  Each card shows a picture of a common household item to go find such as a shoe or ball. When they bring the item back, you can celebrate and discuss all the colors and other attributes on the card.

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