When shopping for educational gift toys for toddlers, the kid’s learning abilities, interests, and safety should be at the top of your list. In fact, it’s a good idea to get to know the little one before you begin shopping.
Are they into cars or building things? Do they love games or run around in the backyard? Whatever their passions are, there are plenty of educational toys that will help them explore their interests and learn new things along the way!
The right toy can keep your child entertained for hours, which saves you time in the long run. But educational toys offer a different activity for your toddlers to engage with, which is good value for money. And better yet, as well as keeping your kid engaged and entertained. Most educational toys will also improve their fine motor skills, problem-solving, imagination, and hand-eye coordination while playing. Plus, it encourages them to recognize shapes, colors, animals, and more – all of which are valuable life skills.
We researched the best options available, considering each pick’s educational factors, entertainment value, and age appropriateness. Our favorite picks include sorting & stacking toys from PEBIRA, versatile arts and crafts desk with a stool easel from Step2, and a Xylophone from ENNBOM to introduce your kids to “making music.”
The Best Fun Educational Toys and Gifts for Toddlers
We have surveyed the market and found some great toys ideal for Christmas gifts, birthday presents, or holiday stocking fillers.
1. PEBIRA Toddlers Educational Wooden Sorting & Stacking Toys
Shape-sorting educational toys can introduce 2-3-year-olds kids to puzzles early by helping them work on their problem-solving skills. Over the years, this PEBIRA Educational Toy has been an excellent gift for keeping active toddlers amused if you’re a huge fan of Montessori-style toys.
It has all the bells and whistles: the quality of the wood is outstanding; it’s smooth and safe. Little tots can learn numbers, colors, shapes, and hand-eye coordination, and the different-shaped offer more of a challenge as toddlers become preschool. The PEBIRA toy also ticks many boxes for not too much money considering anything “Montessori.”
2. HABA My Very First Games – First Orchard Cooperative Board Game
HABA My Very First Games—First Orchard is a cooperative board game, so players work together towards the same goal. It has an excellent application to teach young children the basics of board games: how to set up the board, roll a die, make choices, take turns, and the idea of random luck and winning/losing together as a team.
The fruit pieces can also help learn colors, pattern recognition, and counting. Designed for kids as young as 2, the My Very First Games rules are clear, simple, and easy to understand. This board game gets the family talking positively as they work together to find the best way to win.
3. ENNBOM Basic Beat 8-Note Resonator Bells with Case
Introduce your kids to “making music” with this adorable ENNBOM Xylophone. The ENNBOM Xylophone comes with 2 mallets, eight resonators, and a xylophone. The selling point for us is the fact that the notes are accurate. They’re durable, sound great, and allow for all sorts of musical exploration.
It does play a REAL musical scale, too. Your youngsters will be off on a load of adventures! Many parents also find themself playing little tunes on it from time to time, even when their kids aren’t around! It is precisely what it’s supposed to be. Toddlers love it, parents want it, and it’s a winner.
4. Radio Flyer Play & Fold Away Pirate Ship
If you’re looking for splurge-worthy gifts to spoil your favorite youngster, consider this pirate ship climber that includes a slide, telescope, and hideaway space. It’s easy to assemble, sturdy, and can handle up to 50 lbs in weight. It also easily folds down and stores in a small area.
The Radio Flyer Toddler Climber is the perfect size for safe exploration and perfecting climbing and sliding skills. It is fantastic if you don’t have playground areas for a permanent jungle gym. The best part is that kids can enjoy it as they grow, starting as young as 2 years.
5. Educational Insights My First Game: Bears in Pairs
With flick to spin and twist on hiding and seek to find the coordinating bear set, My First Game Bears in Pairs is a perfect introduction to memory-matching games. It involves absolutely no reading or shuffling cards. The aim is to match the three sets of twin bears by turning them over and finding the coordinating bear set. You win the game when you find a match at the most accessible level.
This educational game is the perfect first gaming experience for toddlers, and it’s brightly colored and fun to watch them learn how to use the spinner. We also think it would be an excellent Birthday or Christmas gift for any kid.
6. LeapFrog 100 Animals Book
This LeapFrog book is a hit educational toy in many houses going into Christmas. It has 3 interactive modes: words, sounds, and fun facts about each animal. If you flip a switch, it will do it in Spanish or alternate between English and Chinese! The images are bright and colorful yet remain responsive to the lightest touch.
The LeapFrog 100 Animals Book is a great way to build an autistic child’s vocabulary. There are 100 animals included in the book, so you can be sure that there will be plenty of new discoveries to be made by your child! A simple press gives toddlers information about words, colors, and more. But the best part is this book is made from sturdy plastic, so its pages can’t be torn.
7. WOOD CITY Wooden Toddler Car Ramp Racer Toys
Wood City racing ramp toys are fun for 2-year-olds to play around with. So much so that kid played with it for two hours straight, an eternity in toddler time. It’s a fun, effective cause-and-effect toy, and kids laugh as they watch the cars glide down the ramp. The satisfying clicking sound at every turn draws the kids’ attention.
The toy cars and the racetrack are bright rainbows which is also a great learning tool for children learning colors. Of all the educational toys in most pediatric audiologist’s waiting rooms, this basic wooden car ramp racer toy set is the one that draws the biggest and most competitive crowd of toddlers. It is also suitable for visual scanning, fine motor, taking turns, pretend play skills, and much more.
8. HELLOWOOD Wooden Activity Cube Toys Set
This HELLOWOOD Wooden Activity Cube is a convenient and fun way to get your child’s energy out. It has all favorite toys for 2-year-olds, including a bead maze, xylophone, learning clock, shape sorter, spinning gears, sorting & stacking blocks, e,t,c. The 8-in-1 set challenges young minds to recognize colors and shapes.
The HELLOWOOD toys provide many educational activities for toddlers to do on their own. It’s also small enough for little ones to grab and turn easily, so they can play with any side they want. This toy will quickly become your 2-year-old’s new BFF as it keeps them entertained.
9. Animal Island Aila Sit & Play Plus Preschool Learning System
Said to be “colorful and engaging,” you can introduce the world of Award-Winning AILA Sit & Play to your child with this virtual learning system. “I think it’s the cutest – great quality, perfect for a toddler,” one reviewer said. “I can surprise my son with videos or pictures from my phone to his Animal Island Device!”
All the educational material is terrific! Includes impressive animation, shapes, numbers, ABCs, sound, teaching instruction, and more!! It’s interactive and delivers a nice balance between learning, music, and storytime.
10. Munchkin Float and Play Bubbles Baby and Toddler Bath Toy
Don’t neglect bathtime when thinking of educational toys for 2 3-year-olds: It’s the perfect opportunity for good, clean fun. Kids love watching the Munchkin bath toy spin, shine, and rattle – they’re just fun to shake, roll, and play with! It is completely sealed tight (unlike traditional rubber duckies), and mildew will not form within the toy since it will not get moist inside and dry up quickly.
The little objects inside the balls are adorable and colorful and float, bob, and spin, capturing a child’s attention. These fascinating water balls come in four different characters, which can entertain and stimulate any munchkin’s sense of sight, hearing, and touch.
11. Click N’ Play Purse Toy
This Click N’ Play Purse has everything your child needs to expand their imagination: car keys, smartphone, and pretend makeup. The smartphone and car keys are great and look real. Kids love that the keys make realistic sounds, and the bright flashing lets them know someone is calling. The makeup is fake, though, which is good for a 2yr old.
“The bag is a type of canvas-y, and the zipper function is fine. The little cellphone is cute, made from cardboard and plastic, and the hairbrush is lovely to have been just an accessory. The credit card is just card stock”. Overall, I’m satisfied with the little pink purse, said one reviewer; “it’s something my granddaughter always digs out of the toy box to play with.”
12. Step2 Flip & Doodle Easel Desk
“Kids love to paint,” says Dr. Roberta Golinkoff, a professor of child psychology at the University of Delaware. Start your toddler early with this Step2 Flip and Doodle Desk. It has everything your little artist needs to organize and perform artwork. It is also the perfect toddler toy and gift for birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions!
Compared to the other toys available, these are by far the best educational easels for toddlers! It’s sturdy, easy to put together, and has immense storage capacity. We all loved its magnetic whiteboard, the ability to flip the easel to dry erase, and the fact that kids can either sit or stand — making it easy for a 2-year-old to experiment with colors and textures on a large-scale canvas.
13. Melissa & Doug Jumbo Extra-Thick Cardboard Building Blocks
Building blocks are a fun way for toddlers to exercise their creativity and develop fine motor skills simultaneously. Blocks allow children to create whatever they want while encouraging them to think outside the box regarding problem-solving. This 40-piece set offers a fresh take on traditional building blocks.
The Extra-Thick Cardboard Building Blocks are the perfect gift for toddlers. The Melissa & Doug Jumbo Blocks come with 40 durable, premium, extra-thick cardboard that is ergonomically made for a toddler’s hands to easily manipulate. They effortlessly snap together for hours of building and rebuilding fun.
14. ROKO Superhero Capes for Kids
Dress-up clothes give kids a chance to be someone else for the day — even if it just pretends! Toddlers love pretending they’re superheroes or princesses, which can help foster confidence in their identity and encourage creativity through playtime. So let your little one don superhero capes and superhero masks while they play heroes occasionally. “You may be the Super Parent, but they’re a Super Kid, too.” Roko Superhero Capes for Toddler.
These capes come in various colors, so your child can choose the one that best matches their favorite superhero. They also make great gifts for birthday parties or other occasions where kids will be dressing up as their favorite heroes. The capes should fit most 2 years, but it’s recommended for kids from ages 3 years old.
The Importance of Play
“Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination and cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being,” as stated in the American Academy of Pediatricians report, The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds.
Whether it’s Wooden Designs, Melissa & Doug, or LeapFrog Toys, there are plenty of great products. They’re all entertaining and educational. It just depends on you and what they need. We’ve always been partial to the classics like wooden puzzles, blocks, and stackers. But whatever you choose makes your day a little brighter: go for it! If you’re up for further ideas read our blog article, “The Best Ways To Entertain A Toddler On A Road Trip” to keep your youngsters busy and entertained.