Educational toys are a great way for toddlers and preschoolers to develop and grow in their skills through play. Of course, no toy can top the benefits of running, climbing, and exploring outdoors or using the imagination to create and make-believe. However, educational toys can be a great way to occupy your little one’s time while you are homeschooling your older kids.
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I compiled a list of my favorite educational toys that I’ve used with my little ones. Then, I asked my readers what their favorites were and shared those as well. I’d love to hear what educational toys have been a hit in your home. Leave a comment and let me know!
These magnetic building blocks are a huge hit in my home. My kids ages 3 years old to 12 years old have been found playing with this set. My preschooler will hide away under a table with these magnetic blocks and his bag of plastic bugs and build them homes and take them for rides on the train. I’m adding a few more sets to my Christmas list!
I love that this toy is made from wood and still smooth to the touch. It’s a great sorting toy that also teaches shapes, colors and motor skills. My little one has found numerous ways to play with this sorting board!
When I first started homeschooling, another homeschool mom passed on a peg board to me that was very similar to the one pictured above. She encouraged me to make it a special, school-time toy for my toddler to play with while I homeschooled my oldest child. I was thankful for her generosity in offering up a free toy that my youngest loved playing with. I was even more thankful for this veteran homeschool mom’s wisdom to have some toys just for school time. It made playing with the peg board a special treat and it allowed me more time to work on school with my older one.
I can’t even tell you how often we use these bears around my house! We sort them into the cups, use them for math problems, create patterns with them and pull them out just to play with. We have to be careful about using them with the baby around as these bears are small enough to choke on. But, they are definitely an affordable way to enhance our preschool lessons.
Learning how to lace beads onto a string is great for hand-eye coordination and I love that this set includes beads with numerals and dots to add in a little math as well. I haven’t purchased this particular lacing bead set but I do have a different one from Melissa & Doug that has gotten lots of use.
This activity board was a hit with my oldest son. He loved opening up all the doors and locking and unlocking all the latches. I passed it on to another family several years ago and am now wishing I still had it for my other little guys. I might have to buy another one!
Blocks of any kind are a great way to develop skills like stacking and sorting and to engage the imagination. I like to sit down with my preschooler and talk about the different colors, build towers in a color pattern and count how many blocks we can stack up before they come crashing down.
I asked my blog readers what their favorite educational toys were for toddlers and preschoolers and complied the list below. Check them out and then leave a comment with your favorite educational toy for little ones.
- Spelling Puzzles and Alphabet Puzzles
- Good old dirt and a shovel!
- Magnetic letters and numbers
- Dress up clothes from a thrift store.
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