Baby and Kids

The Best Educational Toys For Toddlers

When buying toys for Margot, I look for ones she’s likely to play with for more than a few months, and ones that will benefit her development. These are toys she’s played with for months now, and ones that (bonus!) keep her busy. After sharing a few videos of Margot identifying letters, colors, and animals, I have received a lot of questions about her favorite toys and what we’ve done to help her become so verbal. And the answer? Play. Here are the best educational toys for toddlers.

The Best Educational Toys For Toddlers

None of her “practice” is forced. Margot loves her letters and colors, and wants to play with them. It’s really all about following her cues, playing with the toys that interest her, and talking as we play. We spend a lot of time talking, reading, and playing with toys that teach shapes, letters, and colors, but we also only spend as much time as she wants to on those things. Margot’s farm and animal magnets are how she learned all her animal sounds. So here are our favorite learning toys that your toddler will actually enjoy playing with.

Wooden Letter Magnets

Never thought I’d be into having magnets all over my fridge but Margot LOVES them and learned most of her letters playing with these. They keep her busy while we’re in the kitchen and are something she’s enjoyed playing with for months.

Animal Magnets

I added these into the mix when Margot got really into animals (and animal sounds) and she loves them!

Little People Farm

I’m not usually into musical toys but there’s just one button so it’s fine. I found this on busy toddler and she was right about this toy. Keeps toddlers busy for forever.

Wooden Toaster

Wooden food/kitchen toys are the best! Margot plays with her toaster and coffee maker almost daily and bonus – there is nothing cuter than a toddler saying honey.

Tea Set

Green toys sets are great because they work well in the bath or at a sensory table. This set is eco-friendly and durable. Both my kids love it.

Letters and Numbers

Ok, it’s starting to make sense why at 16 months Margot can identify all the letters in the alphabet. She loves sticking these to the sides of the tub and pointing out the colors, too.

Wooden Alphabet Puzzle

I know, I know. Another Hape toy. But really, they’re that good. If your toddler is into their letters, they’ll love this one.

Learning Friends 100 Words Book

I could keep this in the house but chose to get it specifically for the car. It’s something fun Margot gets to do when she’s in her car seat and like everything else in this list, keeps her entertained.

Learning Resources

Fine Motor Hedgehog

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Fat Brain Toys

Stacking Spoolz

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Fine Motor Hedgehog

I probably introduced this one a little too early, at around a year old, but within a few months she had gotten the hang of it. Margot probably uses it less now that she’s mastered it, but it kept her occupied for a while, so I’d recommend it.

Stacking Spoolz

Stacking was not Margot’s thing, so if your toddler struggles with stacking or isn’t interested in it, I highly recommend this stacker. They’re fun, will grow with your toddler (our friend’s 4 year old plays with this!) and they seem to make stacking a little easier.

Counting Caterpillar

I got this before Margot turned 1, and the solid wood pieces are great for stacking, learning colors, and counting. Highly recommend it, and it’s under $10!

Portable Play Yard

This isn’t a toy but it will keep your toddler safe and alive while you get things done. The other day, I needed to shower and put Margot in here with her farm. Full disclosure that I also put Moana on my laptop next to (but outside of) the play yard but I was able to wash and dry my hair so this really is the gift that keeps on giving.