Educational Toys for Kids

educational toys for children's development

Educational Toys for Kids

Gift-giving for children can be a bit challenging. Most kids will likely love whatever you give them, but it’s us parents that can sometimes be tricky to please. In this post, you’ll find some gift ideas that even parents will love. How can I be so sure? Well, what parent doesn’t love getting great quality and engaging educational toys for kids?!

The toys listed in this post are perfect for teaching kids at home. They won’t even know they are learning and everyone will be having so much fun!

And, if you are looking for gift ideas for your grandchildren, nieces or nephews, friends, or even your own kids, read on! I’m sure you will find a great gift for your loved one!

Educational Toys Gift Guide

Board Games

There are so many developmental benefits to playing board games. Kids learn to work with others, take turns, come up with strategies, and practice math and language skills. Here are some of the best board games out there:


This game is great for language development and building concentration. There are also versions of this game that help kids tell time, build words, and count and read sight words. You get to choose which one your kiddo will most benefit from!

The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game

This game is great for even the youngest player. My son started playing when he was two, and older kids enjoy it too. This game helps with color identification, fine motor skills, and matching.

Peek-A-Doodle Doo! Memory Game

Peek-A-Doodle Doo has a similar concept to the other flip the card memory games that many children enjoy. This game, however, involves little plastic chickens, eggs and nests. It’s a fun game and is great for helping kids with concentration and information retention. And those little chickens are so darn cute!

Did you know that working memory can be improved? You can read more about that here. So, if you know a child who is struggling with retaining information, this game could be a great gift option for them!

Race to the Treasure

This is a really fun educational game for kids that involves some teamwork. Unlike many games that have each person playing for themselves, this game has the players cooperating to win. The kids strategize and build a path together to beat the ogre to the treasure!

Animal Bingo

If you know a child who is fascinated with animals, or if you are doing a unit on a specific animal, this could be a great purchase! There are many different variarions, depending on what your child is interested in. There is bird bingo, ocean bingo, bug bingo, dog bingo, cat bingo and even monkey bingo!


Of course books need to be on the list of best educational toys for kids! There are SO many benefits from reading to and with children even at the youngest ages. If you want more information on this and a great list of book and activity suggestions to help kiddos develop strong reading skills, check out my post on reading here.

You know your little one best and will be able to pick out the books that interest them most, but I do want to include a couple suggestions that are family favorites for us!

Bob Books

Before seeing these books, I didn’t really understand the hype. Now I do! There are SO many books that are labeled as “beginner books,” or “level 1” books, but when a beginner reader starts reading them, there are many words that the child cannot pronounce because they have not been introduced to the the rules that they need to know to sound out the words.

Bob Books truly start with the most basic words that emergent readers can sound out and gradually progress to more difficult words as the children learn new reading skills. These books are great for building fluency and confidence in young readers.

National Geographic Sticker and Activity Books

National Geographic sticker and activity books are a wonderful educational gift for kids. They include information on a multitude of topics, stickers, mazes, “connect-the-dot” pictures, and many other activities for kids.

There are MANY different topics to choose from including In the Jungle, Things that Go, Sports, Pets, Cats, Dinos, Super Space, Ocean Animals, World Atlas, and more! The best part-they are inexpensive and provide hours of fun!

Highlights Magazine Subscription

Highlights are an all-time favorite in our household. They have a magazine for ages 0-2, 2-6, a Spanish/English biligual magazine for 2-6 year olds, and a magazine for 6-12 year olds.

We gifted my daughter with a subscription for Christmas last year and she LOVES getting them each month. We got the “High Five” magazine (for ages 2-6). It has fun activity ideas, stories, poems, hidden pictures, and educational activities.

Highlights offers subscription boxes for the youngest kiddos (2 and under). There are also “clubs” that children can join, suited to their age group. After joining, your child will receive books that include puzzles, games, and tons of engaging educational activities!

Highlights offers great promotions and freebies regularly, so be on the lookout! I love a gift that keeps on giving all year long (or as long as you want!)

Non-Toy Gifts

It is possible that the child you are trying to gift already has All. The. Toys. So, why not try a non-traditional gift and give them an activity instead of a toy? If you are worried that this will not be exciting enough for a young child to open, you can give them a small toy or book to open along with one of the following suggestions:


Give the child, or better yet, the whole family, a pass to the zoo, the aquarium, a museum, or a park. This will save so much money for the family and will provide so many memories and learning opportunities for the family. My little ones can’t get enough of the Georgia Aquarium.

Extra Curricular Activities

Extra curricular activities are expensive. You can consider gifting music, dance, swim, or horse-back riding lessons. You can also consider covering sports team fees that often end up costing quite a bit as well.

Make sure that you talk to the parents before gifting a gift like this. They will likely be able to tell you exactly what would work best for their family and be so appreciative about you wanting to step in and support their kiddo!

Sensory Bin Fillers

Sensory bins are magical bins that keep kids busy for hours and provide them with numerous development opportunities. For parents who want educational toys for kids, sensory bin fillers will be a great hit!

Even if the children already have some of these items, they can always use more since eventually the fillers get gross and need to be replaced.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • kinetic sand
  • water beads
  • floof
  • instant snow
  • birdseed
  • shredded paper
  • poms
  • buttons

If you want to, you can get more creative and put together some complete sensory bins as a gift. You can put a filler and an add-in (little toys or scoops that are fun to play with alongside the filler) inside a plastic shoe box. Put a couple shoe boxes together, and now the kiddo has some sensory bins to rotate through! You can make seasonal bins, thematic bins or even bins that go along with the child’s favorite books!


STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. There are many great educational toys for kids that are created to help children develop those skills. Here are some options:

Magnetic Tiles

These magnetic tiles are sturdy, offer many shapes, and have great connectivity! This toy is perfect for children of various ages since the youngest builder can start out with something basic, and the older kids can build more advanced creations.

Take-Apart Cars

This set provides pieces for putting cars together and taking them apart. A safe, working drill for the kids is included. Once the cars are put together they can light up and make sounds for a fun and rewarding playing experience. This toy is designed for children 3 years old and up.

City Engineering and Design Building Set

This toy allows kids to use their creativity to build bridges, sky scrapers, and cranes. Activity cards are included to keep little ones engaged and challenged.

Straw Constructor Toy

This toy provides straws and connectors to create and build so many cool things! Your child can learn and practice fine motor skills without even realizing it!

Educational Engineering Construction Blocks and Gears Building Set

This is another educational toy for kids that develops creativity, imagination, problem-solving, hand-eye coordination, and science and math skills. This set includes bricks and gears for a child to build whatever their hearts desire.


There are many, many benefits to children playing on vertical surfaces. Also, kids LOVE it! They can draw with chalk or use dry erase markers. This easel is also magnetic, giving your little one more options to create. They can paint, draw, or place stickers on the roll of paper. So many fun options!

Also, if you know a home-schooling mom who does not have an easel, get her one! She will thank-even love- you forever! I use mine almost daily during school time.

And if you know a mom who is just starting out or is considering homeschooling, this post and this easel will help her get started!

Educational Toys for Kids Wrap-Up

Regardless of which educational toy or gift you give, no doubt the kiddo and their parents will thank you!

What are some of your favorite gifts to give? I’d love some more ideas, so drop a comment below!

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