Best Educational Toys and Gift Ideas for Children 2021 – By Age

Toy Store
Updated November 21, 2021
by Ronaldo Tumbokon

Educational toys engage your child for a longer time, as they feed his or her brain hungry for neural stimulation. Your child is a natural learner and the best toys are those he can learn from, while he enjoys and have fun with them. More importantly, the impact of educational toys lasts a lifetime. These toys give him a head start in reading, math and science. They develop his love for learning, the most important attitude that will make your kid grow up smart. A great educational toy may even inspire your child, and trigger what will be his or her lifelong passion.

The following are suggestions for the latest and best fun educational toys and gifts available online – for babies to school age kids. The descriptions for each toy give a hint as to what skills or knowledge your child can potentially learn from the toy. Toys that interest your child are more likely to teach him something. Every child is different, so go through the the whole list to find which will benefit your kid‘s intelligence the best.

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You can jump to recommendations based on your child’s age:
Babies (0 to 1 year old)
Toddlers (1 to 3 years old)
Preschoolers (3 to 5 years old)
School-Age Kids (5 to 12 years old)

Educational Toys For Babies (0 to 1 year old):

The First Years Stack Up Cup Toys
Toys that your baby can enjoy can be simple and inexpensive. Stacking cups are classic baby toys that will keep her engaged and entertained. Your baby will enjoy fitting them together, stacking them up, turning them over or hide them underneath each other. In the process she will experience a lot of developmental play – including developing hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills, motor control, and if you play with your baby, even developing her language.

Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle and Sensory Teether Toy
In addition to soothing your baby’s sore gums and teeth, this toy will delight and stimulate your baby’s vision with its many colors. This toy is made of BPA free continuous plastic loops that also promotes clutching and two-handed play. There is also a center cube that is a pleasant rattle that teaches your baby about sound cause and effect.

Fisher-Price Rattle ‘n Rock Maracas
This colorful toy is meant to be shaken so your baby can be rewarded with rattle sounds. The grasping and ratting will workout your baby’s gross motor skills. In addition, the toy’s colorful design with a variety of colors, textures, and fun rattle sounds will stimulate your baby’s developing senses.

VTech Baby Lil’ Critters Moosical Beads
This “moosical” cuddly toy cow offers visual, sound and tactile stimulation to help fire up your baby’s brain neurons. It features a variety of fabric textures that stimulates your baby’s sense of touch. It plays 30+ songs, melodies, sounds and phrases. It also has a grasp bead ring with light-up buttons and a spinning square to stimulate your baby’s fine motor skills development.

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Puppy
Your baby will love hugging this cute brown puppy. In addition to being a cuddly friend, the toy also stimulates your baby’s brain by teaching her more than 100 first words, including parts of the body, colors, numbers and more. Pressing the puppy’s hands, foot, ears and light-up heart makes the puppy sing a catchy tune related to the body part. For example, pressing the ear makes the puppy sound off fun phrases, and songs about listening and counting. The toy also provides an early introduction to ABC’s, 123’s, shapes and more. The toy comes with 3 levels of play that you can adjust to the age of your baby up to 36 months.

Sassy Developmental Bumpy Ball
The best toy for your baby is one where she gets the most age-appropriate sensory and mental stimulation, and develop her motor skills. This inexpensive toy has bright colors and bold patterns to provide visual stimulation, multiple color beads inside a clear plastic end that makes a rattle noise when shaken, and easy to grasp bumps that encourage your baby to hold and toss or roll the ball.

Fisher-Price Baby’s First Blocks and Rock Stack Bundle
Bright colored blocks are great toys for babies because it gives him experiences of colors, shapes and sizes. Babies love putting blocks in the bucket or just tossing them around. The shape sorter introduces them to early problem-solving skills in a fun way. The stacking toy teaches babies the concept of seriation, a mathematical concept that involves organizing or ordering things in a logical way. A study even found that a semi-structured block play among preschool-age children has the potential to improve two skills – mathematics and executive functioning – critical to kindergarten readiness. For best effect, play with your baby and show him the many creative ways to play with this classic toy.

Sassy Stacks of Circles Stacking
This fancier stacking rings comes not only in a variety of sizes, as it should, but also have varying textures and colors. One of the rings even have beads inside and can be used as a rattle. In addition to teaching your child the concept of seriation, sorting, distinguishing weight and sizes, and creative building, this toy adds sensory stimulation to your baby’s stacking play, which makes it even more fun.

VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker
Parents love this unique and colorful walker toy from VTech because it encourages their 9 month old or older babies to stand and walk. Plus this colorful toy with a lot of activity centers engages the crawlers in sensory stimulating play for long periods of time whether they are sitting or standing. Toys like these that make sounds and react to babies’ actions give babies sense of control and develop their sensory skills and coordination. And of course babies love pushing this walker all over the house.
Walker Educational Toy

VTech Turn and Learn Driver
For babies 6 months and older, this pretend steering wheel will delight an older baby or a young toddler who loves to ride cars and see his parents drive. The toy’s design and many interactive features will encourage imaginative play. Pretending to drive using the steering wheel makes the cute dog character move back and forth. Pressing buttons, shifting gears, honking the horn, and using the signal lever introduce her to different animals and vehicles, 60+ songs, melodies, sounds and phrases.

Fisher-Price Deluxe Kick & Play Piano Gym & Maracas
Baby gyms and activity centers stimulate vision from colorful objects and encourage reaching and grasping. This gym is special because it also surrounds your baby with musical stimulation as she interacts with it. One of the best ways for babies to learn is through music. With this toy, the learning content changes with your baby’s age and stage. In the earliest level, your baby enjoys 20 minutes of continuous music with playful lights, the latter level introduces your baby to playful songs that introduce her to colors, shapes and numbers. This musical gym also includes a detachable keyboard with 5 light-up keys which your baby can play with her feet, 5 repositionable activity toys and 2 rattle maracas!

Baby ToysClick here for more smart toys for baby development

Educational Toys For Toddlers (1 to 3 years old):

Learning Resources Spike The Fine Motor Hedgehog, Sensory, Fine Motor Toy, Ages 2+
A toddler favorite, this friendly hedgehog has attractive, colorful quills that kids can remove and replace in any order. The quills consist of chunky, easy to grasp pieces that fit in the back of the hedgehog. The toy helps your toddler develop fine motor skills, build color recognition, sorting and counting skills through fine motor skill games. Your child can also get creative designing her own colorful hedgehog, and use her imagination in using the hedgehog as her pet in make-believe play.

Oaktown Supply Building Blocks for Toddlers – Toy Wagon Included
Wooden blocks are classic baby toys that triggers childhood memories. That’s because kids often get their first exposures to individual letters and numbers from the blocks. It is a great toy to help introduce your child to numbers and the alphabet. This toy contains 30 large, stackable blocks with letters – both upper and lower case – numbers and colorful graphics etched on every side, totaling 216 unique sides. Your child is encouraged his imagination to stack these blocks in a fun way. Also, it comes with an easy-pull wagon that makes this toy even more fun.

Mega Bloks 80-Piece Big Building Bag, Classic
This simple toy consisting of big building blocks with primary bright colors, offers hours of fun for your toddler as she builds whatever her creativity inspires her. In addition to using her creativity, your toddler exercises her fine motor skills and engages in open-ended play. The best toys for your toddler are those that involves open-ended play since it leaves playing to the imagination.

Melissa & Doug Wooden Building Blocks Set – 100 Blocks in 4 Colors and 9 Shapes
For your older toddler, this toy provides hours of fun as he constructs towers, towns, castles and more with a variety of shapes including rectangular prisms, triangles, cubes, cylinders, arches and more. Encourages creative play, practice his fine motor skills and basic engineering skills as he figures out the combination of what builds and what falls. This toy also involves open-ended play.

Deluxe Pounding Bench
The toy has 8 brightly colored, non-removable pegs. These pegs in the bench play peekaboo with your toddler when he hits them with the mallet, showing their friendly smiles. It’s fun for toddlers to practice fine motor skills, learn cause and effect and colors.

Latches Board
This toy is perfect for toddlers who love to open and close doors and covers. To play, your child undo a lock or latch, open a numbered door to discover a picture behind it. The latches board build fine motor skills while getting your child to learn about colors, numbers, animals and more.

VTech Busy Learners Activity Cube
This very engaging, feature-packed toy will encourage your toddler to explore by pressing buttons, twisting and spinning with its 5 sides of discovery and manipulative features, and help him develop his fine motor skills. It also 25 playful songs and melodies that gets triggered by your child’s manipulation of the toy. It also has 4 light-up buttons that introduce animal names, animal sounds and shapes.

VTech Chomp and Count Dino
The dinosaur toy provides lots of interactive fun and learning for your toddler. In meal mode, your toddler feeds the Dino with any of the 8 brightly colored pieces, and the Dino responds by saying loudly what it has been fed. In counting mode, the Dino counts the number of pieces it has been fed. Your child is introduced to colors, counting, food, and shapes. It has 5 shape buttons that teaches shapes and numbers when pressed, a question button where the Dino asks your what to feed him and responds when he’s fed correctly, and a spinning disc that plays sing-along songs, among others. It features 130+ songs, melodies, sounds and phrases that gives your child a delightful learning experience.

VTech Musical Rhymes Book
Nursery rhymes provides an entertaining way for your child to have a head start in language development, reading and speech skills. This talking book contains 6 classic nursery rhymes with bright pages and a light-up star that flashes with sound. It also features 5 colorful piano buttons to introduce your child to musical sounds. Your child will enjoy listening to and playing nursery rhymes with you!

TOYVENTIVE Wooden Kids Baby Activity Cube
This activity cube offers your toddler a variety of fun and learning experiences. It consists of a bead maze (that exercises fine motor skills), a learning clock, shape sorter, spinning gears and abacus. It also comes with colorful stacking cups, which can be stored in the cube itself, and an Essential Words board book that teaches vocabulary. It’s an all-in-one early learning toy.

LeapFrog Learning Friends 100 Words Book
Language development is one of the fundamental ways to develop your toddler’s brain, and the more words he hears early in life, the more likely you are building your child’s future language skills and her ability to learn. This toy introduces your toddler to 100 age-appropriate words while she enjoys playing. Touching the words on the pages plays the words, exciting sound effects and fun facts. Hear two learning songs by pressing the light-up star button. There is even a Spanish option if your toddler is bilingual.

This also comes in Scout and Violet version

Pinkfong Baby Shark Nursery Rhymes Sound Book
Learning nursery rhymes is one of the best ways for toddlers to learn words and improve his vocabulary, and this nursery rhymes sound book featuring lovable Baby Shark characters make listening to the nursery rhymes engaging, interactive and fun for your toddler. It features 20 shark-themed sing-along songs that your toddler can play for several minutes by pushing play buttons. This sound book also prepares him for the journey of reading and literacy by including text with delightful illustrations of the nursery rhymes. Parents claim that their kids love this book, and always carry it around.

CoComelon Sing and Learn Laptop Toy
If your pre-schooler loves the popular YouTube and Netflix series CoComelon, then this toy is for her. This CoComelon themed toy resembles a laptop that your child can fold up and with a built-in handle, can easily take with him most anywhere. It uses lights, sounds, and music to encourage your child to learn letters, numbers, shapes, weather, and names of animals. It is a simple, interactive toy that perhaps works best when played with an adult.

VTech Spin & Learn Color Flashlight
Toddlers are fascinated with light, and this toy combine your toddler’s delight in playing with flashlight with learning. Your toddler can have fun changing the color of the light, and will also be entertained and learn from engaging songs and music that teach about animals, colors and numbers. A ladybug button activates sounds and interacts with your child.

M SANMERSEN Piano Mat, Musical Keyboard Playmat
This piano mat is a great way of introducing your toddler to create musical sounds that may lead to her interest in performing music. Multiple studies suggests that an experience in music-making may have a benefits on a child’s brain. The piano mat can also encourage movement because your child has to step or crawl through the big keyboard keys to sound the individual musical notes. There are other sounds to explore as well, such as songs and animal sounds that could also be activated by touch. A cool interactive toy that introduces your toddler to the world of music and sounds.

VTech Smart Shots Sports Center
Introduce your toddler to sports, and at the same time make him learn about shapes, numbers and sounds. This sports center features a toddler basketball goal and a soccer net. The score can count up to 10, and plays motivating animations, sounds and phrases. This toy also teaches your toddler to numbers, shapes, sounds and 50 plus songs.

My First Crayola Touch Lights, Musical Doodle Board
A beginner creativity toy with a lot of possibilities for your toddler. One of the early ways for your toddler to explore and build her creativity is by doodling – and this electronic toy will make it a delight. The tablet enables your toddler to doodle with 12 colored lights and accompanied by 6 songs. She just needs to use her finger to create all kinds of swirls, lines and shapes in a soft gel surface, an activity resembling finger painting. But there is no mess, and the number of doodles she can make is only limited by her imagination.

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Game & Learn Controller, Multicolor
This pretend video game controller for your toddler enables your toddler to pretend that he is a gamer like you or his siblings. It is actually a fun hands-on teaching toy with 2 game modes. As your little “gamer” move the joystick or press the ABCD and the number buttons, exercising his fine motor skills, he’ll hear songs, sounds, and phrases, and see colored lights. The toy introduces him to numbers, shapes, and colors. Using the other sound option makes the toy produce a variety of video game sound effects – just like from a real gamer.

VTech Touch and Swipe Baby Phone
If your toddler loves to grab and play with your phone, give her this educational toy phone instead. It will not only free you from sharing your phone with your toddler, but this pretend phone can also give her educational benefits – like introducing her to letters, numbers, and first words. Other pretend apps include calendar, clock and weather apps where your child learns about the day. In music mode, the toy phone plays sing-along songs and instrument sounds. Your child will have fun pretending to call people and even animals, while being introduced to early learning concepts.

Toddler ToyClick here for more best smart toys for your toddler.
See also the toys, tools and guide for teaching your child to read early.

Educational Toys For Preschoolers (3 to 5 years old):

Just Smarty Electronic Interactive Alphabet Wall Chart, Talking ABC and 123s and Music Poster
A colorful, attractive alphabet poster displayed in your home is a great way to introduce your child to the alphabet and numbers. It sets him off on letter and number recognition, which is the first step to building his reading and math skill. This electronic poster is even better, as it has an interactive feature that would make your child spend more time learning with it – pressing a button on a letter tells your child what letter it is, and what begins with that letter. It even plays kids songs (including the Alphabet song, of course) and has a quiz mode! A great addition to your child’s room – decorative, fun and educational.

LeapFrog 100 Animals Book
Kids love of and fascination with animals can be their introduction to learning about the natural science. This interactive book has six double-sided pages featuring animals from categories based on their habitat from the rain forest to the ocean. The 3 play modes teach them animal names, sounds and fun facts. It is even bilingual so your child can learn about animals in English and Spanish. There’s even a light-up star that plays learning songs.

ThinkFun Zingo Bingo Award Winning Game for Pre-Readers and Early Readers Age 4 and Up
This preschooler version of Bingo is a board game that can be played by the whole family, or up to 7 players. The simple game makes kids compete on who would be the first one to fill the Zingo cards based on the tiles drawn from the dispenser. Each tile has a simple image labelled with the word describing the image. The game teaches kids letter-word association as they match common words with the pictures while playing the game. It is the winner of an Oppenheim Gold Award, Parents’ Choice Gold Award, Astra Best Toys for Kids Award, and more.

BEST LEARNING INNO PAD Smart Fun Lessons – Educational Tablet Toy
An alternative to screens, this multi-award winning toy is an interactive touch pad that teaches your preschooler child 16 interactive lessons about the alphabet, numbers, time, colors, fruits, shapes, animals, weathers, emotions, professions, music, transportation, and more. The fun activities and colorful, attractive artwork in the learning cards will captivate your child for hours. It even challenges your child with basic and advance quizzes to reinforce learning. A winner of Family Choice, Mom’s Choice Gold Metal & Tillywig Parents’ Favorite Products Award and others.

LEGO Classic Medium Creative Brick Box 10696 Building Toys for Creative Play; Kids Creative Kit (484 Pieces)
Building blocks are creative toys that exercise his creativity, train his imagination and teach him how to work towards a goal – and Lego is a classic brand that has been delighting child builders for ages. In addition to basic building bricks in 35 different colors, this kit includes windows, toy eyes, tires, wheel rims, and more. Your child can mix and match a total of 484 pieces to build all kinds of creatins limited only by his imaginations! Your child will spend countless hours having fun honing his creativity.

Star Right Flash Cards Set of 4 – Numbers, Alphabets, First Words, Colors & Shapes – Value Pack Flash Cards with Rings for Pre K – K
Flashcards are classic tools for rote learning, but these Star Education Flash Cards Set makes learning fun. The 4 sets of cards cover the learning basics – Colors & Shapes, First Words, Alphabets, and Numbers. The colorful realistic illustrations and large fonts make for an attractive teaching, reviewing and practicing tool for sight words and numbers. Each set of cards come with a metal ring, and can be used to play games suggested in the product, or you can come up with your own games for your toddler. One of the basic learning toys in a box.

VTech KidiZoom Smartwatch DX2
This highly sophisticated watch toy does not only introduce your child to the concept of time and how to tell and manage time, it also offers a lot of advanced audio-visual interactive features. Your child can customize his watch with 55+ analog and digital watch faces. It also has a timer, alarm and calendar. In addition to functioning as a cool watch, it also allows your child to capture videos, snap selfies and take pictures anywhere! It also has a cool augmented reality game where your child capture monsters in the real world, while solving brain teasers. What’s more, it includes a pedometer to track steps and encourage active play.

See & Spell Learning Toy
Your preschooler will have a jumpstart for school if she already recongnizes and knows the sounds of letters in preparation for reading. Melissa and Doug’s See & Spell Learning Toy helps your child master letter sounds and develop a sight-reading vocabulary in a fun way. There are lots of letters and words to work with, so your child can spend hours playing while learning. The letters can also be used as patterns to create other learning games.

VTech Write and Learn Creative Center
Although typing in gadgets to communicate is now ubiquitous, actual handwriting is still a skill that is important to learners. In fact, some studies suggest that when kids write notes, the processing that occurs improve learning and retention. This Write and Learn Creative Center toy encourages your pre-schooler to learn and practice uppercase and lowercase letter-writing in a fun way. Your child can also practice drawing skills by following instructions on how to draw different lines, shapes and objects. This may jumpstart your child’s interest in creative drawing and arts.

SGILE Magnetic Drawing Board Toy
Alternatively, this is larger, and more suited to imaginative freestyle colorful drawing, but without the animated demonstrations for writing letters.

VTech Touch and Learn Activity Desk Deluxe (Frustration Free Packaging)
The Vtech Touch and Learn Activity Desk enables your preschooler to pretend to have a work desk, although this one is made for fun and learning. This is a colorful, interactive desk that displays 5 activity pages on the surface of the desk teaching numbers and counting, music, alphabet and letter sounds, the human body and fruits and color. It features a light-up letter and number display, a music player with 20 fun melodies, and a toy phone that introduces numbers. The desk can also transform into a chalkboard and an art station. A versatile educational toy for your preschooler.

LeapFrog LeapStart 3D Interactive Learning System, Green
This electronic learning system becomes an interactive toy when loaded with a LeapStart book. The interactivity makes all kinds of learning fun. There is an on-screen 3D-like animation which your child responds to and interact with by using a stylus to tap on images on the book. Tapping on the images trigger questions, challenges, songs, jokes and more, and your child becomes engaged in learning activities such as reading, counting, and problem solving while playing. The activities are highly replayable, and the stylus also helps train your child proper writing grip. (Note that a computer with internet is required to download books onto the LeapStart system). There are more than 25 activity books available that can be loaded in the system, and each book has its own attractions, and one of the most popular one is….

LeapFrog LeapStart 3D Around Town with PAW Patrol Book, Great Gift for Kids, Toddlers, Toy for Boys and Girls, Ages 3, 4, 5, 6
This book based on children’s favorite Paw Patrol series teaches your child about the pups and places in Adventure Bay. Featuring Ryder and the Paw Patrol, It teaches position words, maps, and professions through logic and problem-solving games.

VTech Drill & Learn Toolbox
This Drill and Learn Toolbox enables your child to pretend that she is a handyman, and provides hours of imaginative role play. It includes an electronic fix-it tray, working toy drill, hammer, wrench, nails and screws. The working drill spins the gears and drill screws into the electronic tray holes. Light-up buttons in the interactive toolbox produce fun songs about tools, how they are used, and the sound they make. Another cool interactive feature are the two double-sided cards that fit over the holes and teaches your child colors and numbers as she hammers or put in screws. This toy could stimulate your little one’s interest in being a fixer around the house.

LIKEE Alphabet Number Flash Cards Wooden Letter Puzzle Matching Games Animal Counting
This toy combines flashcards and puzzles into one toy for your preschooler to learn alphabets and numbers while having fun. With this toy, your child matches the wooden carved letters and numbers into their respective delightfully illustrated flash cards. The toy promotes familiarity with letters by actively associating them with the objects the letter starts with. It also does the same associating number symbols to the quantity of the object. This alphabet-wooden puzzle toy also teaches vocabulary and simple counting.

OBUBY Real Binoculars with 8×21 High-Resolution Optics
Your child learns about the world by looking and watching, especially when she is outdoors, and with nature. This toy binocular that acts like a real one allows her to see more clearly things in a distance like birds, critters, wildlife, landscapes and more. This binocular is made for kids, and is therefore lightweight, fits their hands, with adjustable eyepiece distance and focus, and equipped with non-slip grip. It magnifies 8x with 7.2” viewing angle. It also folds and comes in many colors. A great outdoors educational activity companion!

Stomp Rocket Glow Rocket Launcher, 4 Foam Rockets and Toy Air Rocket Launcher
This multi-award-winning fun toy encourages active outdoor play, and provides an alternative to screen time and less active play. At the same time, this could trigger your child’s interest in physics, rockets and space. Your child discovers how the angle of rocket launch and force of the stomp affects the direction and how far the rocket flies.

Preschooler toyClick here for more smart toys for preschoolers

Educational Toys For School-Age Kids (5 to 12 years old):

SNAEN Science Kit with 30 Science Lab Experiments
This kit will delight the future scientist. The kit consists of 47-piece materials to perform 30 fun scientific experiments that impresses your child that science is fun. The kit contains materials to enable her to make experiments like creating volcanic eruptions, ice gems, rainbow rain, colorful fountains, bottle blowing balloon in his toy lab. Your child learns about scientific cause and effect, how mixing chemicals work, and more. The kit stimulates your child’s scientific interest and introduces her to lab work, which can lead to a lifetime passion.

ThinkFun Circuit Maze Electric Current Brain Game and STEM Toy for Boys and Girls Age 8 and Up – Toy of the Year Finalist, Teaches Players about Circuitry through Fun Gameplay
A brain and puzzle game that uses real electrical circuits. The goal is to light up designated LED lights indicated in each of the 60 increasingly difficult challenge cards by forming circuits using pieces or components on a board, and let electricity flow where it’s needed. In the process, your child learns basic electricity concepts such as how circuits – series, parallel and combinations thereof – really work. It exercises her logical thinking and planning skills, and perhaps could even stimulate her interest in electricity or physics.

Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Electronics Exploration Kit
This building toy can stimulate the minds of the budding engineer who likes to work with electronics. With 30 color-coded, real circuit components that snap together, the package enables your child to build more than 100 projects including working models of a photo sensor, a flashing light, an adjustable volume siren and more. And once he has mastered using the components, he can create his own customized circuits and electronic devices! The package comes with an easy to understand illustration manual and requires no tools. Your child will understand what goes on behind everyday electronic gadgets and will feel accomplished and proud when he builds simple gadgets of his own.

Light-up Terrarium Kit for Kids with LED Light on Lid
This will warm the heart of the future botanist or nature lover. This kit enables your child to build a miniature garden inside a container that simulates a natural environment. She plants the seeds, water the soil, decorate the environment, and watch the plants as they grow every day. The terrarium even glows at night with the LED light on the lid, creating a beautiful sight. While being engaged and having fun, your child discovers how a plant grows and what it takes to take care of plants. This toy was evaluated by to meet the highest standards of STEM learning.

A less expensive option, but without the attractive LED light and other decorative features, except for glow-in-the-dark stickers:

Creativity For Kids Grow ‘N Glow Terrarium

ZOOB BuilderZ S.T.E.M. Challenge
This is a building toy with many differently shaped pieces, but what makes it different is that the pieces include gears, axles and joints that rotate, spin, and extend so that the kids’ creation can actually move and have moving parts. Kids can design, invent and build their own toys like vehicles, monsters, or monsters that turn into vehicles. This toy also enables kids to design and create objects to solve challenges such as hitting targets and making balls bounce. It teaches and make kids apply science, technology, engineering and math (S.T.E.M.) principles.

ThinkFun Gravity Maze Marble Run Brain Game
Gravity Maze is a puzzle game where your child builds a maze tower so that the marble falls from the start position to the target. It offers 60 challenges that progresses from beginner to expert. The game helps train your child’s spatial reasoning, problem solving and planning skills, which are important in fostering engineering thinking and design. This toy won the Good Housekeeping Best Toy Award 2014, among other awards, and was featured in the Purdue University Engineering gift guide.

Scientific Explorer My First Mind Blowing Science Kit
Kids love to mix it up, and they are curious what happens when they combine substances. This toy introduces your kid to the science of chemistry. It teaches her the basics of chemicals like the difference between acids and bases, nature of chemical reactions, as well as how to use science tools like the test tube and the pipette. Some of the fun experiments she can play while learning is how to create a color-changing volcano and how to grow colorful crystals.

AmScope 120X-1200X 52-pcs Kids Beginner Microscope STEM Kit with Metal Body Microscope, Plastic Slides, LED Light and Carrying Box
The future doctor or biologist may discover his passion with this toy. Although it is as a toy for beginners, this kit is packed with advanced features for exploring and learning about the microscopic world. This microscope provides magnification from 120x to 1200x. Its viewing head has LED light and mirror illumination with built-in color wheel. The kit also comes with items that will start your child exploring like a shrimp hatchery and brine shrimp eggs, as well as lab tools like specimen slicer, petri dish, and tweezers that will help him prepare specimens for examination.

Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet, 7″ Display, 16 GB, Blue Kid-Proof Case – a variety of technology-driven intelligent games and books
Amazon offers a really fast, feature-rich high-tech tablet that is fun for kids. What’s more, this Kids Edition tablet includes a year of Amazon Kids+ that gives your child unlimited access to thousands of educational books, audiobooks, videos, apps, games, and educational content from PBS Kids, Nickelodeon, Disney, and more. You can also limit your child’s use of the tablet through personalized screen time limits and educational goals. It even has a kid-proof case to withstand rough handling and ensure that it will last for a long time. And even if it gets broken, Amazon will replace the device from its 2-year worry-free guarantee.

The Fire HD 10 Kids Pro tablet, 10.1″ is a fully-featured tablet that has a larger screen which makes digital content consumption more fun, and also includes all the benefits of its smaller version

All-new Kindle Kids Edition – Includes access to thousands of books – Reading is, of course, one of the most important activity that makes your child succeed not only in school, but also in life. This device is built solely for reading – without games, ads, or videos as distractions. It motivates kids to read and learn vocabulary words with tools like Word Wise and Vocabulary Builder. It is thin, light, with battery that last weeks, and offers more than 250,000 children’s titles. With the included year of FreeTime Unlimited, kids can explore thousands of popular titles and series, including Harry Potter, The Boxcar Children, and more. The e-reader comes with a kid-friendly cover and a 2-year worry-free guarantee, which means that if your child breaks it, you can return it and Amazon will replace it for free, no questions asked.

See also: 101 Best Children’s Books of All Time, by Age

This special chemistry set can stimulate your child’s interest in chemistry by enabling her to create magic, such as changing the color of liquids and make snow magically appear in her hand. The kit contains all the tools and chemicals that your child needs to perform science experiments designed to be performed as a magic trick. The included experiment guide not only provides illustrated, kid-friendly instructions but also explanations about the science behind the experiments, techniques used by real scientists, and fascinating facts. Another high-quality educational toy from the renowned National Geographic.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Hobby Rock Tumbler Kit – Includes Rough Gemstones, 4 Polishing Grits, Jewelry Fastenings and Detailed Learning Guide
National Geographic, the magazine that popularizes geography, natural science and exploration, offers a children’s toy that could set off or further enhance your child’s interest in mineralogy, earth science, or even crafting with colorful rocks. The rock tumbler polishes any rock your child puts in it, and turns it into gemstones. It is a hobby kit that helps your child create beautiful homemade jewelry or an attractive rock collection. Easy to follow instructions and full-color information guide with cool facts about each of the gemstones are included. Your child might even yearn for additional knowledge and start researching about rocks.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Break Open 10 Premium Geodes – Includes Goggles, Detailed Learning Guide & 2 Display Stands
Another way to explore rocks and learn geology is by breaking up open geodes that has a wide variety of beautiful crystal inside. The kit includes a 16-page full color learning guide that teaches how the geodes are formed, a safety googles to protect the eyes when cracking open the geode, a magnifying glass, and 3 display stands. It’s a great introduction to learning what goes on under the earth.

Learning Resources Mathlink Cubes, Set of 100 Cubes
The Mathlink Cubes is a building toy your child will enjoy, but it is also a tool for teaching math, that’s why it’s very popular with homeschooling moms. It consists of blocks that your child can snap together, and in the process your child learns math skills. The toy illustrates the shapes of numbers, addition and subtraction of bricks, square numbers (2×2=4, 3×3=9), cube numbers, fractions, area, volume, and how numbers relate to each other. It also teaches one-to-one correspondence, counting to 100, skip counting, as well as geometric shapes, and more.

Insect Lore Butterfly Growing Kit – With Voucher to Redeem Caterpillars Later
Growing butterflies, and watching them develop through various life stages, is a great way to introduce your kid to the fascinating world of nature. When your child witnesses firsthand how caterpillars transform into chrysalis, then into butterflies, it stimulates her mind to further learn how nature works. By observing, she learns to be a scientist. It consists of a pop up, reusable 11.5 inch tall mesh habitat that enables your child to witness one of nature’s most spectacular transformations up close – caterpillars transforming to chrysalides, then into butterflies! The kit also includes all the food caterpillars need. This toy, authenticated by as an Educational Product, can ignite a love of nature and science exploration and discovery in your child. It could also foster a love of nature, which may lead to your child making a positive contribution to the environment in the future.


Insect Lore Butterfly Garden with Cup of Caterpillars – Plus Butterfly Life Cycle Stages
As an alternative, this kit, a recipient of Newsweek’s prestigious “Best in Stem 2021” Award, contains 5 baby caterpillars, a mesh habitat, a chrysalis holding log, and a flower-shaped feeder, caterpillar food, and even a butterfly life cycle stages food figurines. What’s more, this kit contains a journal where your child can record the changes she’s been seeing – like a real scientist!

Shifu Orboot (App Based): Augmented Reality Interactive Globe For Kids (No Borders, No Names On Globe)
This smart globe enables your child to gain knowledge about a lot of things about the world – the countries, culture, animals, cuisine, monuments, and more. You download the app on your Android or iOS phone or device, and when opened, the app uses augmented reality to show your child hundreds of facts about the areas of the globe your child puts the device in front of. There are also puzzles and other activities. With this toy, your child becomes a virtual world traveler, and it even comes with a travel kit that includes a passport and lots of stickers.

K’Nex Toys – creativity, concentration and problem solving skills
For future engineers or builders, K’NEX have building toys that your child should have fun putting together to build anything he can imagine, honing his creativity and problem solving abilities in the process. These toys are even used in schools to teach science, technology, engineering and mathematics concepts. Dynamic K’NEX models offer hands-on learning opportunities that encourage scientific inquiry,investigation and experimentation. Models are fully-functioning replicas of real-world machines.

Osmo – Coding Starter Kit for iPad – 3 Educational Learning Games (Osmo iPad Base Included)
Learning to code has many benefits for kids and students, including learning to use logic, problem solving, and computational and structural thinking. This coding kit for beginners (ages 5 to 10+) provides a great introduction to coding concepts in fun ways. There are 3 coding activities available. Your child can code to control a playful character called Awbie whom he guides on problem-solving adventures. He can click together a series of coding commands to create musical beats. And he can solve 60+ side-by-side coding puzzles with a team to unlock new worlds. The kit though requires a iPad (with iOS 10) or a Fire Tablet.

STEM Solar Project Toys 11-in-1, 231 Pieces Solar and Cell Powered 2 in 1
This is a great gift for your school-age child who loves to build and imagines himself as a future engineer. The toy comes with 231 parts and accessories that can be combined to create projects included in the instruction manual, or he can create his own unique robots. A solar power panel and battery engine compartment powers the motor that drives the gears that runs the machine. The toy introduces your child to design concepts, gear transmission knowledge, hydraulic transmission knowledge, mechanics, robotics and more. It also teaches your child that solar power can provide free energy, and introduces him to green energy.

Makeblock mBot Coding Robot Kit, DIY Metal Robotics Kit with Arduino & Scratch Coding, Electronics Coding
This entry-level robot coding kit provides even more learning opportunities. The mBot is a robot that looks like a car, which can be controlled via app or remote control. At first, your child learns to build the robot, and in the process gets introduced to electronics, machinery and robotic components. Then he learns to program its movements by using the easy to use drag and drop mBlock Blockly App and playing 60 engaging programming games. The mBlock platorm also supports the popular open-source Scratch and Arduino coding which enables your child to share his real-life electronics programming project to the worldwide platform community. The robot also connects to hundreds of electronics modules and parts for your child to be able to use his creativity to customize his creation.

Sight Words Bingo – Language Building Skill Game
This simplified Bingo game promotes learning of as much as 46 common sight words. You can adapt the toy to your school-age child skill level by choosing among 6-way formats. Learning sight words is an important step for your child to master reading.

Magazine for Kids – The many benefits of reading
Magazines start off your kid on a life-long passion for reading. National Geographic Kids, for example, caters to your kid’s love for animals, and this will make her learn about geography, adventure, wildlife, science, and youngsters of special distinction from around the world. With magazines, your kid’s special interests will lead her to a love of reading that will open her up to more knowledge.

Other magazines that you can subscribe to at a great discount are Children’s Playmate (for beginning readers, it also contains puzzles, games, activities, simple recipes, comic strips and book reviews.) and Sports Illustrated Kids which covers sports the way kids like it – interviews with sports heroes, hilarious comics, awesome action photos and much, much more.

Your kid will eagerly await the next issue of her magazine! The anticipation will just fuel her hunger for knowledge.

Kids Magazines

Video Games
Video games, when played in moderation, can give your child’s brains a great workout, and may improve his problem solving, hand-eye coordination and other thinking skills, according to studies. See this article for details and find list of 23 video games that can make kids smarter.

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