We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Some Good Educational Toys?

By S. Mithra
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Everyone wants their children to excel at problem solving, creativity, sharing, and reading. Educational toys are a great opportunity to combine play, social interaction, practice, and new knowledge. You might picture flashcards full of useless factoids as boring examples, but good educational toys really are fun, entertaining, and adapt to your child's age and interests.

Toys that reinforce the connections children already make between colors, shapes, words, and pictures will strengthen their understanding of building, reading, following directions, specializing in tasks, and motor coordination. The toys that you remember spending hours with as a child are your best bet, including puzzles, building blocks, clay, interlocking logs or other plastic pieces, coloring books, and puppets. You're striving for toys that appeal to different age groups and don't strictly work in one way, not necessarily ways to make him or her learn rote knowledge.

As a child's brain develops, he or she is always making associations between shape, size, and color. Especially pre-verbal children need to learn things we all take for granted: round things roll away, square things stay still, hidden things can be uncovered, and small things can fit inside larger ones. For example, building blocks whose colors correspond to specific shapes, such as blue cylinders and red triangles, help toddlers grasp objects, make sophisticated shapes out of simple ones, and learn balance and rigidity. Encourage your child to arrange square blocks in order from smallest to largest or in the rainbow from red to purple.

Older toddlers will have finer motor coordination and a more advanced imagination. Smaller, complicated pieces, such as wooden logs, plastic snowflakes, tubes and gears, or foam shapes will advance their construction abilities. They'll probably make up stories to go along with their creations, such as a castle getting attacked, a train coming into town, or a family going to the zoo.

Once school-aged, children will benefit from interactive toys that complement their new skills at alphabet recognition, writing, drawing, and reading. Coloring books combine information, such as plants and animals of Australia, with creative expression. Allow your child to color with markers, crayons, and poster paint on specially designed coloring books so they'll learn about realistic versus fantastic color schemes, how colors mix, shape recognition, and connecting ordered pictures to a narrative story.

Older children are still attracted to seemingly simple games, such as putting together a puzzle. Any kits that enable a completed project will give a creative child more confidence in his or her ability to create a permanent, finished product. Some kits let kids design and bead jewelry, make their own autobiography, or fashion pottery like a dog's water dish. They'll read and follow directions, tell their own stories, and create a gift for a beloved family member. Follow your intuition on what your child already finds fascinating to reward their natural curiosity.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Animandel — On Aug 22, 2014

@Drentel - I disagree with your low opinion of educational toys. Studies have shown that the toys a child plays with influence who he or she will become later in life.

Giving a child a toy stethoscope won't guarantee that he or she will grow up to be a doctor, but the toy will have some influence on the child. So I would much rather my children play with some of the fun educational toys instead of playing with a stick.

By Drentel — On Aug 22, 2014

Too much time is spent talking about children's educational toys. Anything a toddler picks up is educational to him. Give him a stick and that's educational because he doesn't know what a stick is and he is learning from the experience.

A parent's main concern should be seeing to it that the toys are as safe as possible. Nothing is completely safe, but we all know there are some obvious things we should keep out of reach of kids. If they aren't going to injure themselves then let them at it and they will learn something.

By Sporkasia — On Aug 21, 2014

My parents felt that all toys and 99 percent of all fun should be educational. Even beyond the toddler years and early childhood, they insisted our holiday gifts and birthday gifts have some educational value. I can remember trying to convince my father that the electronic game player I wanted was going to give me a better understanding of changing technology.

As I remember it, I never quite convinced him on that one, but in most cases I was able to show there was some educational value to most of the toys and games I wanted.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.