Toys that will help your child learn
These are toys that help your child learn through play.
In this review toys are divided into three categories: counting, alphabet and science & nature.
It is good for your child to learn their ABC’s and numbers from a young age. There is a great selection of toys available covering these topics.
Science & nature is very important. Toddlers will enjoy the toys you will see here, that introduce these areas.
All educational toys need to include an element of fun. Learning should not be boring and with these educational kid toys they will want to learn!
Learning to count is such a key skill and it’s marvellous if a toddler can do this through play.
Many of the counting toys available today take an interactive approach. They require your child to point levers to the right answer or to fit the correct part of the puzzle together. An advantage of these educational kid toys is kids are able to play with them at any time.
Self-correcting puzzles and games mean a grown up does not have to sit with the child and correct them. It also means these toys can be used anywhere.
Clip-in puzzles encourage your child to use their manipulative skills in order to clip the different pieces together. This type of play builds dexterity.
The things that count…
In great educational kid toys
- There is a wide range of counting toys on the market for young children. It is important, therefore, to choose one that suits your child’s counting ability.
- There is no point in picking a counting kit for number 1 thru 10 if your child can already do this. Likewise, they need to know the basics before they can progress onto addition, subtraction, etc. It is not necessarily about age and more to do with ability – you must judge this correctly.
- I really like the idea of self-correcting toys. All parents are busy and are pulled in many directions at once. It is important to select toys that your kids can play with and that don’t need you there at the same time.
- This is especially important with educational kid toys. The more children can play with them the more they will learn.
- Features such as levers, clip-in pieces and talking toys are wonderful. They will increase your child’s interest and interaction with the toy. Levers and clip-in pieces will allow your child to build their manipulation skills.
- Some counting toys come with small pieces. It is important that you check for such hazards and if you think that your child would put them in their mouth (or they have smaller brothers and sisters) then you should try to find an alternative.
Here are the Numbers toys we have reviewed…Sesame Street Rockin’ Shapes & Colors Elmo
What a super toy for learning! This educational kid toy will help your child in 3 separate areas: counting, shapes and colors.
This toy features Elmo from Sesame Street. Even if your child is not a Sesame Street fan they will still enjoy this adorable toy. The toy is very brightly colored, adding appeal for your child.
Elmo will help your little one count from 1 through to 10. When they reach 10 they are rewarded with a song.
If your child pulls the lever then they can hear Elmo identify the different numbers. This type of interactive toy is a great medium for learning. Kids will enjoy engaging with this toy.
With Elmo’s help they can be learning valuable lessons in numbers, shapes and colors whilst playing on their own. Your child can also use the lever to have Elmo identify shapes and colors. Use of the lever of this toy will allow your child to use and develop their manipulative skills.
The ‘quiz’ mode is a special feature. Your child can be ‘tested’ (in a fun way!) and this will show you and them what they have learned. This type of feature can be a great incentive for your child to learn – they will want to get all the questions right and will continue to learn until they can do this.
I really like this toy. It is good value and your child will have great fun with it.
Make your own numbers and alphabet
A good learning play idea for your child can be to get them to draw out their own alphabet and numbers.
For the numbers, get them to watch you draw the number and write the name and then ask them to make a pictorial representation of that number.
So, for number 1, draw and write it and then get them to draw, say, one snake. This helps them remember and associate written and numerical values together. You can then place these pictures around the house so your child can use them as visual aids.
Do the same for the alphabet. Draw the letter and then draw something that starts with that letter. So for “A”, draw it and an apple.
This is a really fun way to get your child to interact with the alphabet and counting.
Beautiful puzzle cards to help with counting and addition.
With these cards your child can learn to count, add and match. An advantage of this toy is that you can buy it when your child is trying to learn how to count and then it can also be used when they want to learn addition.
Long term usefulness makes this toy good value for money.
Since the puzzle cards are kept in a beautiful wooden box it’s easier to keep track of all the pieces and not to lose any of them.
This Puzzle set is so ascetically pleasing. It will catch the eye of your child and they will really want to play with it and learn from it.
An excellent feature of this educational kid toy is that they puzzle cards are self-checking and this means that your child can play and learn with this toy even if you don’t have time to sit with them.
This is a beautiful toy that will engage your child from the moment they see it.
Easy as A B C
Here you’ll find some marvellous toys that help this type of learning and that will suit all levels of abilities.
I think the interactive toys are tremendous. They will also give you a little bit of freedom as your child can play and learn even if you are busy with something else.
Some of the alphabet toys come in the shape of blocks, wooden letters and clip-in puzzles. Besides teaching shapes and letters these also encourage your toddler’s manipulative skills
Checkpoints for alphabet toys
What to look for in these educational kid toys
- If are picking an alphabet toy that includes removable letters then it is important that these are large enough not to pose a choking risk. If you are choosing for small toddlers then small parts of any kind should be avoided.
- You should select a toy that matches your child’s ability. All children learn at different speeds and have different abilities. It is important not to pick a toy that is too advanced for your child (even if it is in the right age group). Likewise, if your child is more able than their age group then you should try and find a toy that suits their ability and challenges them.
- Features such as talking toys, levers, games, cards and puzzles all help to make learning more fun. They can increase your child’s interest in the toy and make them want to play with it.
- Levers, buttons, blocks and alphabet pieces also make your child use other skills and they are therefore learning more than just their ABCs.
ABC- where did it come from?
The term “ABC’s” refers to our 26 letter alphabet.
An alphabet is the series of letters used in writing a language. The word comes from alpha and beta, the first two letters of the Greek alphabet.
Most books, magazines and newspapers are printed in the 26-letter alphabet called Roman. But the Romans did not invent it. They put the finishing touches on a system that had been growing well before their civilisation developed.
In early times, there was an oral culture. Things were not written down but only spoken. The first stage in writing came when people learned to draw pictures to express their ideas.
Ideography enabled people who did not speak the same language to be able to communicate with each other. Gradually, people learned to use a symbolic system, in which a sign could be used that stood for one word –an object or idea.
There have been, generally, six evolutionary phases to the development of the English alphabet. They are the Egyptian (circa 3000 BC), Semitic (circa 1500 BC), Phoenician (around 1000 BC), Greek (about 600 BC), Roman (around AD 114) and Modern.
We have the Romans to thank for capital letters. The letters J, U and W were not added to the alphabet until the Middle Ages.
Today’s alphabet is not particularly suited to writing words in English. It does not have a separate character for every distinctive sound in English and it has several characters with more than one sound.
Many other languages written with Roman letters use accent marks to show changes in sounds. Linguists use an almost perfect alphabet, the International Phonetic Alphabet, which has more than 80 characters.
Here are the Alphabet toys we have reviewed…I Can Spell Wooden Puzzle
Such a great toy for learning your ABCs
I WANT THIS TOY! While it is certainly not the cheapest toy available, I think it is wonderful. It looks wonderful and is a brilliant learning toy for your child.
This toy is an alphabet made out of wood which is held in a tray. The letters are brightly colored, helping it appeal to your child.
A real bonus with this toy is that the letters are 3” high – they will be easier for younger child to grasp and will not pose a choking hazard to your child.
The holding tray holds letters in alphabetical order- this is great for a child who is learning their ABCs. When your child has grasped the basics they can they move onto the harder task of learning words. With the included 45 basic vocabulary cards, your child can then learn words.
This alphabet learning toy is excellent.
I feel this is everything that you could want from an educational kid toy although it is a little expensive.
This review of Educational Kid toys
was written by ..
– Favorite aunt from Ireland. Storyteller and playmaster.
The Learning Journey Letterland Shape Sorter Remote Control School Bus
Learning on the bus!
This alphabet bus is a great educational kid toy. It looks lovely and has several features that will encourage your child to play and learn.
It shows all the letters of the alphabet (in both lower and upper case), meaning that you can use it just as a visual aid while you are teaching your child the alphabet.
The bus can also be used in an interactive way- there are 2 learning games that will help teach your child about the 26 letters of the alphabet.
Another outstanding feature are the two friendly characters in the bus – they will help engage your child and encourage them to learn and play.
This bus is brightly colored, making it appeal to kids and they really will want to play with this toy.
This toy features nine pre-programmed melodies – singing is a great way to remember and makes it more fun for your child.
The game of having to put the shapes into the correct place is a boon. Besides aiding shape recognition it will help develop your child’s hand-to-eye coordination and improve their dexterity.
Another great feature of this toy is that it is remote controlled. I feel this adds a fun element – when your child tires of learning (and we all get fed up of learning!) they can use this as a remote control toy. It will encourage them to play with this toy.
This is a wonderful toy. It has many features that make it slightly unique in the area of alphabet learning.
It’s well priced at around $30 and could be a fantastic tool for teaching your child their ABCs.
Seeing the world around them
Science and nature educational kid toys
By choosing science and nature educational kid toys you are helping your child learn about the world in which we live. It’s important that children learn from a young age about animals, nature, bugs and the world in general.
Learning about such things helps expand your child’s mind, triggers their imagination and leads them to want to know more about our world.
Many of the toys available in this category involve a visual approach. They encourage your child to memorize and learn as well as expanding their knowledge.
A lot of these educational kid toys are interactive – the toys can talk to your child. This feature really engages children and will make them enjoy their toys and want to play.
These toys often come with levers and buttons to press – this will help encourage your child to use their fine motor skills.
What to look for
- I think that, at this age, learning about nature and science should be fun! I think it is most important to encourage the idea of fun in learning toys – your child should be happy to play with their educational toys and not become bored with them.
Watch out for the small pieces
The main safety point to note for these types of toys is that there may be small pieces in some of them. Make sure that you check this out before picking a toy for your child.
With Alphabet letters, the bigger the better is the rule, as your child will not be able to swallow them and it is easier for them to grasp. This is something to remember no matter what type of toy you are buying.
It is especially important if your child tends to put things into their mouth – most children go through a phase of doing this. Be careful and your child should be safe, having fun playing with their toys.
- Science and nature educational kid toys offer a unique opportunity for you to interact with your kids. There is so much to talk about. They can tell you about the interesting things they have learned. You can ask questions and suggest additional ideas for them to check out.
Here are the Science and Nature toys we have reviewed…
Talking microscopic fun!
This is such a sweet toy. I think a toy like the Talking Microscope will excite an interest in science and nature from an early age.
It is brightly colored and fun looking toy and so will encourage your child to play with it. Max will talk to your kids as they look through his lens at the magnified pictures.
This is an amusing little toy that is well priced.
A great addition to any toy box.
A popular matching game which helps kids learn about animals.
I really like toys such as this one. I used to have a Disney version of this type of game and loved it! I would make my Mom and Dad play too – it was a competition to see who could remember where the pairs were.
This type of toy is very versatile – it can be used to show your child all the different types of animals there are in the world inspiring an interest in the world around them. They can also try to match the cards together helping to improve and develop their memory and association skills.
These cards are lovely to look at and children will want to play with them. You can help your child develop other games to play with these cards. It is amazing the fun you can have – match species eg, big cats or even play snap .
Very reasonably priced.
Is there an alternative to Educational Kid toys ?
You’ll find some interesting alternatives to Educational Kid toys in our review of Math Educational toys or you may select another toy category from the sidebar.
Or for something completely different ..
Get out and kick the ball!
While educational toys are great, it is important to also let your kids outside and just have fun!
I think this Portable soccer net used with a Huge Ball is a great toy for all the family. Any age range can enjoy this toy – it is fun for everyone.
The large soft ball means that even small child can happily join in as it will be easier for them to kick the ball and they won’t be hurt by the softer ball.
Playing outdoor sports is great active play for your child. It is fun and tremendous exercise. Toddlers just love running about having fun.
This toy can be played with by more than one child (in fact, its better if it is) so your youngster will gain some great social interaction experience and learn about sharing.Check the alternative