Our Favorite Educational Toys for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Our favorite educational toys for toddlers and preschoolers | alsoknownasmama.com

We play A LOT at our house.  It’s pretty much always playtime.  When buying toys, I look for things that are educational, and that both of my kids can enjoy together.  {Take a look at my week’s worth of activities for babies and toddlers here.}  Learning through play doesn’t have to be restricted to toys that are labeled as “educational.”  Here you will find a list of our family’s favorite educational toys for toddlers and preschoolers, along with how we use them to incorporate learning time into playtime.

Mega Bloks

My three (almost four) year old LOVES Legos.  I mean, to say that he is obsessed would be an understatement!  But, there’s just one teeny tiny (adorable) problem… his baby sister.  We have a rule in our house that we can’t play Legos unless the baby is sleeping.  So what’s my Lego-obsessed little man to do in the meantime?  Play with the big “baby” blocks instead.  Mega Bloks are a great compromise for toddler and preschooler siblings.  When we get out the Mega Bloks, I use them as an opportunity to teach Audrey colors and simple building.  For Jackson, we focus on cause+effect games, aka build build towers and knock them down.

Thomas Wooden Railway

I love love love wooden toys.  In today’s digital age, there’s something so pure and refreshing about simple wooden toys.  There are so many limitless lessons that can be played with Thomas Wooden Railway trains.  A few examples include sorting, color-matching, engineering, following directions, pattern building, role-playing, etc.  Just make sure to be extra careful with the small wheels on the trains around the little ones! {Thomas Wooden Railway can be pricey, but it’s a good investment because they never go out of style and become collector’s items.  Buy a starter kit here for only $23!}

Pattern Blocks

You might remember this one from your own preschool days.  We love having our own set of these geometric pattern blocks at home.  When Jackson was a little younger, he didn’t quite understand the concept of pattern building, so we used this toy as a tool to teach him about colors and shapes.  Now that he’s of preschool age, I can get this out and he can entertain himself for at least an hour building different patterns.  
VTech Fly and Learn Globe

This might be the easiest learning toy on my list because it requires no work on mama’s part.  My son received this VTech Fly and Learn Globe from Grandma for Christmas.  He absolutely loves it!  He’s learning where different countries are and how to say hello in a variety of languages.  This is a great toy to get out while I’m making dinner, or working on another task around the house.  I love a good electronic toy that isn’t mindless and doesn’t require any “screen time.”

Play Kitchen

The number of learning opportunities that a play kitchen offers is endless.  We play house and restaurant a lot.  We also have a shopping cart, and toy food that we use to play grocery store.  I give Jackson pretend money (Monopoly money is perfect!) and let him shop the store that I set up.  When he gets to the checkout lane (aka me), I pretend to scan everything with my phone, and then put his groceries into a shopping bag.  I love that this teaches him to count money and also how to be a functioning member of society (something that is not taught in school!).  

Water Table

Of course the water table is fun outside in the summer, but have you ever thought of bringing it indoors?  There are so many sensory and learning activities you can use it for.  Fill it with oatmeal and construction toys to make your own construction site.  Fill it with sand and dinosaur bones for a lesson in paleontology.  Or throw some towels down and let the kiddos have some water fun indoors on a cold day.  Water tables also make great surfaces for playing Play-Doh and keeping it contained in one area.  {I love this miniature water table that comes with toys for under $20!}

What are your favorite educational toys for toddlers and preschoolers?  I’m always looking for new ideas!

 

Our favorite educational toys for toddlers and preschoolers | alsoknownasmama.com

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