24 Best Learning Toys For Toddlers (2022)

Looking for the best learning toys for toddlers?

 

I have a list of my favorite toys to help teach your kiddos right at home. These are also wonderful toys to use in the classroom if you are a teacher.

 

To help narrow down your options, I have created a list of the 24 Best Learning Toys for Toddlers.

 

Let’s get started!

 


#1. LeapFrog Smart Building Blocks

 

The LeapFrog Smart Build Blocks are one of the coolest toys that I have come across lately!

 

LeapFrog Smart Building Blocks

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Kids can build with the blocks and interact with the alphabet by placing the letters in a spot where it will tell them which one it is and a word that starts with the letter.

 

How to help your child learn with this toy

 

A. Focus on learning about 1-2 letters per until your child starts recognizing some of the letters. Keep on repeating those letters they know, along with 1-2 new letters!

 

B. Point out the different letters to your child, and if they are old enough, ask them to find specific letters to place in the playset.

 

C. For older learners, have your child place the letters in order on the playset in a specific spot, just a few at a time because it’s not big enough to put the whole alphabet in one place.

 

Specifically, for alphabet learning, the phonics house is excellent! But, they also make different Smart Blocks, take a look here to see all their products to help with learning skills. 

 


#2. Elmo’s On The Go Letters

 

In my experience with teaching my children, being able to touch and play with letters is the BEST way for kids to learn their ABC’s.

 

Elmo On the Go Learning Letters

View Cost - Amazon

 

Working with this toy daily, even if it was only for two minutes, helped teach my kids the letters of the alphabet!

 

This toy doesn’t have sound, so for your child to learn from it, you will need to work with them 🙂

 

How you can help your child learn using this toy:

 

A. Focus on 1-2 letters a day.

 

B. Repeat past letters that they have learned daily-this is critical. Kids will forget at the beginning of learning the ABC’s if they don’t practice each day. 

 


#3. Letter Learning Locks

 

Most children’s toys focus on upper case letters, which is excellent. However, if kids only know uppercase letters, when it comes time to pre-reading, they will be lost.

 

That’s why kids must learn both upper and lower case letters!

 

Learning locks upper and lower case alphabet

Check Price - Amazon

 

These letter locks work on connecting which upper case and lower case letters go together by putting the correct key in the lock! The lock won’t open unless the right key is placed inside.

 

How to help your child learn with this toy

 

A. For younger children, pick 3 letter locks and put them in a line. Ask your child to find a specific letter if they know their letters already.

 

B. Explain to them that there are upper case and lower case letters. They may see either of them when you read stories to them. Even though they may look different or smaller, they are still the same letter.

 

C. Show them the lowercase letter key for whatever letter lock you are asking them to find. Talk to them about what letter it is and how they can unlock the lock with the key!

 

E. Repeat and show once more the upper and lower case letters before you move onto the next letter.

 

This toy is incredible for working on FINE MOTOR SKILLS!

 


#4. Alphabet Sound Puzzle

 

Realistically, we aren’t able to sit on the floor and play with our kids 24 hrs a day. That’s why this alphabet puzzle is is an excellent addition to your toy collection.

 

MD Alphabet Sound Puzzle

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I like this toy because it tells kids what the letter is, they can work with each letter, and connect the letter to a picture to help them learn beginning sounds and memorize each letter. (confusing sentence)

 

Even though the puzzle tells children what letter it is, you can still work alongside them with it!

 

How to help your child learn with this toy

 

A. If your child knows some of the letters of the alphabet, ask them to find individual letters that they know on the puzzle. If they are beginning to learn, talk to them about each letter, it’s always better coming from you.

 

B.  Phonics: Talk about the pictures behind the letters, tell your child what it is if they don’t know, and make the sound of the beginning letter to help them understand what sound the letter makes.

 

RELATED: 9 Effective Ways To Teach Your Toddler The Alphabet

 


#5. Little Passports Activity Packs

 

We just love Little Passports! They have activity packs as well as monthly subscription boxes that are jam-packed with learning opportunities.

 

This is a great set to give as a gift. I love Little Passports because it helps teach kids about the world, travel, and different cultures.

little passports

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How to help your child learn with this toy

 

A.  Work on building vocabulary skills by talking about the different objects in the box. The kids can identify each of the objects, explore and play with them.

 

B. Go through the map provided and talk about the various continents that you see, what animals live there, and special landmarks.

 

They also have sets for older kids as well. We grabbed the Create and Play Seal Kit, and the kids loved it.

little passports activity sets

 

The kids built the seal together and played the board game. It was great for them to do together, it challenged them, and they had tons of fun!

 

Check out all Little Passports Products HERE!

 


#6. Touch and Play Word Book

 

This was my FAVORITE learning toy for both of my kids when they were toddlers.

 

I can’t tell you how many hours they spent playing with this book. It has over 100+ letters and words inside.

 

vocabulary toy

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How to help your child learn with this toy

 

A.  The books show objects to your child, and they can click on each one. It will say what the object is and what letter it begins with, shows sounds for each one, and it also has a quiz mode.

 

B. Have your child test their knowledge of the objects in this book by asking them questions to find specific objects.

 

C. Ask your child to find objects in the books that make specific sounds. This will help them make connections.

 


#7. Picasso Tiles Handwriting Toy

 

This is my favorite handwriting toy! The kids actually argue about whose turn it is to play with this learning toy! Can you believe that?

 

What makes this such a great toy is the fact that kids can work on developing their handwriting skills without frustration.

 

 

picasso tiles handwriting toy

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How to help your child learn with this toy

 

A. Have your little one hold the pen as they would a pencil if they were actually writing.

 

B. There are numbers on each letter that tell the kids which lines they should create first. They should follow the steps so when it comes time to actually use a pencil and paper, they can create the letters easier.

 

C. Kids should create fluid lines by not picking up the pen until their line is complete to do the next step.

 

D. Have them practice both the upper and lower case letters! This pad has a front and back to it, which is fantastic so they can practice both types of letters.

 


#8. Vtech Write and Learn Creative Center

 

I am always looking for fun ways for my kids to learn! Children are more likely to engage in a learning activity for a more extended time if they are enjoying themselves.

 

When it comes to writing, it’s a little more complicated because kids need the chance to practice with worksheets. However, there are a few toys out there that are great for early writing skills!

 

Vtech Writing Creative Center Toy

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I asked a family member to get this interactive writing center for my son’s 2nd birthday because I know toddlers aren’t interested in using worksheets, which I get 🙂

 

The writing center has 6 activity modes to practice upper and lower case letters. It also has fun stamps and stencils so kids can practice making shapes and different objects as well.

 

How to help your child learn with this toy

 

A. Show your child how to hold a pencil before they begin!

 

B. Have your child choose which letter they want to practice writing so they can see what it’s supposed to look like on the screen above the writing center.

 

C. If they are just beginners, have them hold the pencil along with you to get a better understanding of how the letter is made.

 

D. Have them practice writing the upper case and lower case letter on the writing center together so they can start connecting that they are the same letters even though they look different.

 

E. You can also practice writing numbers, their name, and making shapes! 

 


#9. LeapFrog Scribble and Write Tablet

 

Leapfrog has so many cool learning toys. I seriously feel like I’ve never gone wrong buying a Leapfrog product.

 

Leapfrog Scribble and Write Tablet

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The Leapfrog Scribble and Write Tablet allows kids to practice their tracing skills, which is perfect for young learners.

 

Kids can choose upper case/lower case letters, shapes, or a game mode to guess what letter the tablet is making with lights.

 

Want to see this toy in action? Check out how it works here!

 

How you help your child learn with this toy:

 

A. Show them how to change the functions at the top of the tablet.

 

B. Ask them to find a specific letter that you ask them to and have them practice tracing that letter. If they are beginners, have them practice both the upper and lower case of that letter to start connecting that they are the same.

C. Have them find the letters of their name and practice them in the correct sequence to start learning how to write their name.

 

RELATED: 15 FUN Handwriting Activities For Preschoolers

 


#10. LEGO Duplo My First Number Train

 

This Lego train is one of my son’s favorite toys!

Lego train

Check Price - Amazon

 

It has blocks that connect to make a train and has numbers on the blocks so toddlers can learn how to put them in order!

 

How you can help your child learn with this toy:

 

A. Tell your child what each number is on the blocks when they are playing with it.

 

B. Put a few number blocks in a line and ask them to find a specific number.

 

C. If your child is old enough and knows how to count, have them count to ten while you put the number blocks in sequential order.

 

D. If your child knows how to count and knows their numbers, have them to try put the numbers in order!

 


#11. Wooden Number Puzzle

 

I can honestly say that both of my kids learned their alphabet and their numbers by using Melissa and Doug puzzles.

 

1-20 Melissa and Doug Number Learning Puzzle

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When your child feels the numbers and can put them in a specific spot, they start to memorize what that number is.

 

It’s just a matter of repeating the information over and over again so they remember it.

 

How you can help your child learn with this toy

 

A. When your toddler picks up each number, tell them what it is, and talk about the picture behind it.

 

B. Focus on the same 1-2 numbers each time you play with the puzzle until they start recognizing those numbers. Once they begin remembering some numbers, you can move onto 1-2 more.

 

C. Say each number to them out loud in order, so they start understanding number order.

 


#12. Monkey Balance Math Game

 

This math game is on my wish list for Christmas for my kiddos this year!

 

What I love most about this toy is that you can use it for years! You can work on number recognition, counting out items, balancing items, and you can create an addition/subtraction game using the numbers and monkeys!

 

Math Monkey Balancing Toy

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How you can help your child learn with this toy:

 

1. For young learners, focus on first learning the numbers by talking about 1-2 each time you play with the toy.

 

2. If a child knows their numbers, start adding in the monkeys by putting a number on one side of the balance and that amount of monkeys on the other side, counting the amount out loud.

 

3. Give your child a flashcard and have them find the correct number and count out the right amount of monkeys on the balance.

4. For preschool and older: Pick two numbers to add or subtract together. For example, if you pick an 8 and 2. Have them count out 8 monkeys and 2 monkeys. You can talk about adding them together or subtracting 2 to come up with the solution!

 

See this toy in action below!

 

RELATED: How To Teach Your Toddler Numbers (9 SIMPLE Strategies)

 


#13. LeapFrog Fridge Phonics

 

Anyone else’s kids love taking magnets off the refrigerator? My husband collects magnets from every place we travel to, so we have a ton.

 

The second I saw this toy. I knew we had to get it because I knew it would be a hit.

 Fridge Phonics

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I love this toy because it practices letter recognition, tells you the sound of each letter, and helps sentence building skills.

 

How you can help your child learn with this toy

 

A. Ask them to find a specific letter and place it on the bus.

 

B. This toy is interactive, so it does say what each says, have your child repeat what the letter says after it tells them.

 

C. If you press the letter twice, it says a word with the specific letter and a sentence with that word. To expand on this, you can ask your child to come up with a sentence with that same word. If they are older, you can ask them to come up with another word for that specific letter and come up with their own sentence.

 


#14. LeapFrog My Own LeapTop

 

The LeapTop is one of my favorite toys that we have. I even have two because both my son and daughter wanted their own.

 

Leapfrog Leap Computers

 

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It’s a great on-the-go toy, which can be super helpful even on a 15-minute trip to the store if your child doesn’t enjoy car rides.

 

The LeapTop computer laptop is excellent for your child to work with individually, which is essential, too because kids also need to have the chance to play without you. 

 

How you can help your child learn with this toy

 

A. If you are working alongside your child, you can have them search for a specific letter.

 

B. There is a game mode on the computer; it will ask your child to find the beginning letter of a picture that comes across the screen. For beginners, help them figure out what the picture will be and see if they can figure out what letter it starts with.

 

C. In the message section, the computer asks questions to your child. Challenge them to answer the questions.

 


#15. Vtech Alphabet Apple

 

I have talked to several parents that have this toy, and their kids love it. We don’t have it yet, but it’s on my list of toys to ask for, for Christmas this year.

 

Vtech Phonics Apple Learning Toy

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How you can help your child learn with this toy

 

A. For beginners, start with letter recognition, asking your child to identify a letter and press that button.

 

B. This toy is interactive, so it will say what each letter says, but have your child repeat the sound, so they start memorizing what it sounds like.

 

C. For kids that know their alphabet, ask them to say it in sequential order so they can start memorizing the order of the ABC’s.

This toy also has a clock feature, so it can be used for several years to work on telling time!

 


#16. Farmer’s Market Color Sorting Set 

 

My kids still love playing with this set, and they are now 5 and 7! I love when toys can last the test of time.

 

This farmer’s market color learning toy set is great on so many levels.

 

color learning toy

 

How to help your child learn with this toy

 

A. Have the kids work on color sorting skills by placing the garden objects in the correct color buckets.

 

B.  With toddlers, you can focus on one to two colors until they start grasping the concept, and then they can move on to more.

 

C. The kids can work on developing their color vocabulary by practicing what color each fruit or vegetable is.

 


#17. Melissa and Doug Color Puzzle

 

Clearly, you can see I am a huge fan of puzzles.

 

The reason why is because they work!

 

I have had success teaching both my kids about the alphabet, numbers, shapes, and colors through these Melissa and Doug puzzles. All it takes is a little time and effort to play with these toys each day.

 

melissa and doug color puzzle

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How to help your child learn with this toy

 

A. Start with talking about 1-2 colors. Once your child has started learning 1 color, you can attempt to teach them another one.

 

B. Show them different objects throughout the day about the 1-2 colors you are focusing on.

 

C. When introducing a new color to your child, show them one color that they know and put the new color next to the one that they know to show the difference between the two. Ask them to point out the color they know. Then, introduce a new color to them.

 

RELATED: 9 Easy Ways To Teach Your Toddler Colors

 


#18. Shapes Chunky Puzzle

 

Yes, another puzzle 🙂 the count is up to 5.

 

Shapes are typically the first thing that parents and teachers focus on in preschool classrooms!

 

This puzzle is a perfect way for toddlers to learn their shapes. They get to feel the pieces the connect them to a specific spot.

Shape puzzle

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How to help your child learn with this toy

 

A. I think a circle and star are the easiest shapes for children to recognize first, so that is my recommendation on what shapes to start with.

 

B. Focus on 1-2 shapes at a time, then start adding others in once your kiddo can start recognizing those.

 

C. Show your child other objects around the room that are the same shapes that you are looking at with them. For example, if you are looking at a circle, find a ball or a car wheel to show them different objects of that shape.

 

D. Review at least once a day (just the ones you are focusing on or the ones that they know) to ensure they recall the information!

 


#19. Matching Egg Shape

 

Does anyone else’s kids love playing with plastic easter eggs? Mine are obsessed. That’s why I figured these matching shape eggs would be a hit.

 

Matching shape learning eggs

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These eggs come in a plastic carton, which makes it super easy to store!

 

How to help your child learn with this toy:

 

A. Explain what making a match means to your child if they don’t know.

 

B. Show your child 1-2 shape eggs and by breaking open the egg and explain how to match the color and shape up to close the egg back up.

 

C. For older kids, talk about how many sides each of the shapes have.

 


#20. Shape Beanbags

 

I’m a physical education teacher, so I try to incorporate some movement in my learning activities with my kids.

 

Adding some movement patterns or gross motor skills into learning will keep kids interested for a more extended time, which is essential when trying to teach them!

 

Shape active beanbags for learning shapes

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How you can help your child learn with this toy

 

A. Scatter the bean bags around a room and ask your child to find specific shapes. You can make this a little more active by asking them to skip, gallop, side slide, run, walk, hop, or leap from bag to bag.

 

B. Create a starting line and place all the bean bags at the line. Set up three bins (laundry bins or storage bins). Write a 2,4, and 6 on a piece of paper and tape it to each storage bin. Have your child use an underhand or overhand throwing strategy to try to make a bean bag into one of the containers. Before deciding to throw the bag, ask them what shape it is. This can be a great math activity for older kids to add up the points that they earned at the end!

 

C. Place all the bean bags at the end of one hallway in your house. Have your child start at the opposite side and have them run to get a specific bag that you tell them to.

I honestly have so many ideas for this toy, if you need more, comment on this post, and I have plenty of fun ways to incorporate physical activity in teaching your kids!

 

RELATED: 6 Proven Ways To Teach Your Toddler Colors

 


#21. Spike the Hedgehog

 

Kids love fine motor activities, and it helps build their concentration skills.

 

This specific toy is for kids 18+ months old, your kids are going to love this one.

 

fine motor kids toy

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How you can help your child learn with this toy

 

A. This toy works on color learning skills as well as fine motor skills! Practice naming colors while playing with this toy.

 

B. Practice numbers when they place the quills into the hedgehog. Numbers 1-12 are on the hedgehog. Ask them to place a purple quill in the number 5, for example.

 

C. Practice using fine motor skills to place the quills in and pull them out.

 


#22. Learning Basic Life Skills Set

 

My daughter goes to a school that focuses on real-life lessons, and these dressing boards are something they use.

 

fine motor learning boards

https://amzn.to/3DBYldT

 

Learning how to use fine motor skills to be able to zip a zipper, button their clothes, and tie shoes can be difficult and take some time, so this is why these boards are good to practice from time to time to help them learn!

 

How to help your child learn with this toy

 

A. Focus on one board each time you play with this toy unless your child is picking things up quickly; then, you can introduce more.

 

B. Start with easier skills, like snapping or buckling, before moving on to zipping and tieing.

 

C. For the lacing and tieing boards, try using a poem like, “Over, under, pull it tight, make a bow, pull it through to do it right.”

 


#23. Crocodile Hop Floor Game

 

In my opinion, making learning fun and active will make it more memorable for kids!

gross motor floor activity learning game - learning toys for toddlers

 

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My son is one of those kids who loves to move around constantly. Trying to get him to sit in one spot for 5 minutes barely happens, so this toy is perfect for him.

 

How you can help your child learn with this toy

 

*This may be a toy that is an excellent addition to other learning toys. I believe it would work best after using a manipulative toy like a puzzle first, then using this to check for understanding.

 

A. You can work on color, shape, and number recognition with this toy! There is a set of dice that your child will roll to know where they should go on the learning pad.

 

B. Demonstrate how to do different motor movements if your child doesn’t know. They can hop, leap, spin, jump, slide, gallop, skip, or walk to different shapes, colors, or numbers.

 


#24. Fisher-Price Smart Cycle

 

If my kids saw this toy at Target, I know they’d be on it in one second. It looks awesome!

 

kids indoor exercise bike

 

*You can download the app to play the game on a tablet or your TV. Please note this toy doesn’t come with a tablet*

 

Your child will play along with the game by pedaling and steering the bike. What I like about this toy, too, is that it’s an excellent first step in learning how to ride a tricycle. Since it’s stationary, it’s safe, but kids get the idea of how to move the pedals, so when they are introduced to the tricycle, it will be easier for them!

 

How you can help your child learn with this toy

 

A. Watch them while they are on the bike to make sure they are safe!

 

B. There are a few different games on the app that the kids can play.  There are different levels that kids can choose to play that focus on letters, phonics, spelling, vocabulary, reading, and writing. Sit alongside your child while they are playing to be a part of the learning process because they made need help identifying the answer.

 

 


Final Thoughts and Conclusion

 

There are tons of toys out there, and trying to pick the right toy can be challenging because you want your child to like the toy and be able to use it for years to come.

 

By reading my 24 Best Learning Toys for toddlers, you will have no questions about what learning toys will work best for your kids.

 

I would love to hear about any learning toy that has worked for you and your family! Every child learns differently, so certain toys may work for some children and not others.

 

If you need more ideas on how you can help teach your children with these toys, please comment below!

 

Happy shopping!

 

Deena

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4 Comments

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