The ULTIMATE Toy List for Preshoolers

Looking for some educational and fun toys for preschoolers?

 

I have some amazing learning and play toy ideas that will be a HUGE hit! My little ones are currently 3 and 5, so I feel like I am an expert in the best toys out there for this age group.

 

It’s the best feeling to give gifts to kids that they will enjoy and use repeatedly. It drives me crazy when toys just sit on the shelves for months, and they don’t get played with. I promise you, with the toys on this list, that won’t happen!

 

This list is for children that are between the ages of 2 and 5 years olds! Let’s get started with The ULTIMATE Toy List for Preschoolers!

 


Toy #1: LeapFrog Smart Building Blocks

 

I wish this toy were around when I was teaching my kids the alphabet! I love that kids can build with these blocks and learn at the same time!

 

This is an interactive toy that will talk to your 2-year-old when they press buttons and place the blocks inside the Smart Star Cube!

 

LeapFrog Smart Building Blocks

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How to help your child learn with this toy:

 

1. 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!

 

2. 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.

 

3. 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.

 

 

RELATED: Alphabet Activities For Preschoolers

 


Toy #2: Elmo’s On The Go Letters

 

Want more of a hands-on toy for your little one? We use these letters for so many learn and play activities!

 

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

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I get asked the question a lot what the secret is to teaching your kids? My answer is always the same daily repetition, even if it’s for a few minutes!

 

Ways to Play:

 

1. Puzzle play– Take all the pieces out and have your little one find where it belongs! I love this method because they see the pictures underneath the letters, which starts the connection to the letter.

 

2. Search and match– This activity is my kid’s favorite! I hide the letters around the house, and they have to search for them. Once they find one, they have to tell me the letter; then they place it in the right spot.

 

3. Sensory play– These letters are PERFECT for sensory play activities since they can be placed in water. We did an activity called Alphabet Soup, where I placed them in water, and the kids had to find specific letters for each recipe!

 

alphabet soup activity

 

Want to grab these recipe cards? I have 36 different recipe cards! 20 are alphabet recipes, and 16 are sight word cards. This is an activity that can work if you have older children too!

Alphabet Soup Activity

 

RELATED: Teaching Resources

 


Toy #3: Letter Learning Popsicles

 

Aren’t these learning popsicles the cutest? My kids love using these popsicles for learning!

 

What a fun way to work on upper and lower case letter matching! I love the bright colors on the popsicles as well.

 

learning alphabet popsicles

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How to help your child learn with this toy:

 

1. First, choose one letter to focus on. Have your child identify that letter! Then, place 3 potential matches in front of them. Have them try to figure out which one is the match!

 

2. 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.

 

3. For older kiddos, you can have them make the sound that each letter makes as well when playing!

 

RELATED: The BEST Toys for 3-Year-Olds

 


Toy #4: Learning Puzzles

 

If you have seen my other articles or a part of my Instagram community, you know about my love for puzzles.

 

Puzzles are how my kids learned their letters, numbers, colors, and shapes as toddlers. I don’t like to brag about this, but I am very passionate about telling you what works so you can do this at home with your kids.

 

learning puzzles

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This set is the best because you get three puzzles, and they are all Disney themed! You can’t beat that.

 

Ways to Play

 

1. Learning– For your child to learn best with these puzzles, you need to work with them and do them quite often. I suggest at least once a day! Even if you just pick one to work on each day, going over the letters, numbers or shapes daily will help teach your little one.

 

 

2. Independent play– Once your child knows some of the letters, numbers, or shapes, see if they can figure out where each puzzle piece goes!

 

3. Games– Hide the puzzle pieces around the house and have your little ones search for them. Once they find a piece, they can bring it back to the puzzle and place it where it belongs!

 

RELATED: The BEST Learning Toys for Toddlers

 


Toy #5: Picasso Tiles Handwriting Toy

 

It’s never too early to start some handwriting skills! I love this toy by Picasso Tiles because there is no pressure for the kids. It shows them how to form each letter by using the attached pen.

 

Work on upper and lower case letter recognition as well as pre-writing skills with this awesome toy!

 

picasso tiles handwriting toy

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How to help your child learn with this toy:

 

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

 

2. 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 use a pencil and paper, they can create the letters easier.

 

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

 

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

 


Toy #6: MEGA Bloks

 

These are my favorite blocks for younger kids! I obviously love LEGOs, and they are mentioned in my articles for older children.

 

Mega Bloks are perfect for toddlers! They are bigger building blocks and easier for kids to be able to build structures.

 

 

MEGA Bloks

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Ways to Play

 

1. Play– Let your little ones explore the blocks! They can build whatever structures they want! See how tall they can make a tower without the blocks falling!

 

2. Creating towers– Place some painter’s tape up on the wall at different spots. Have your little ones use the Mega Bloks to build a tower up to the specific spot where the painter’s tape is.

 

3. Matching alphabet letters- Cut white labels into thirds. Write the upper and lower case letters of the alphabet on the labels and place them on the blocks. Then, have your little ones match up the correct upper and lower case letters!

 

matching alphabet letters

 

I also saw this awesome building table that goes along with the Mega Bloks that I had to mention!

 

mega bloks table

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Toy #7: LeapFrog Leapstart Activity Book

 

I absolutely love LeapFrog products! The kids really enjoy them as well because they make learning so fun.

 

There are so many learning possibilities with this Leapstart Activity Book!

 

leapfrog leapstart activity book

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There is an updated version that’s 3D and has a screen on it. However, I like this because I feel like the kids would get distracted by the screen and the characters.

 

How it works:

 

This set comes up with two sample books for you to see how it works! I recommend grabbing a few other books to work on some other skills to get the best use out of this toy!

 

You can work on the alphabet, shapes, colors, numbers, animals, reading, and much more!

 

leapstart books

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Using the pen, your little one can place it on the books, and it will talk to them! This is also an activity book that can grow with your child. There are different level books available for when they get older! This is a toy that they can use till around 7 years old!

 

RELATED: Best Toys for 5-Year-Olds

 


Toy#8: LEGO Duplo My First Number Train

 

Now, I did mention before that DUPLO blocks are for older children. However, these just aren’t regular blocks.

 

They have numbers on them, so this is a great way to work on number recognition skills. If they can start building with them, great! If they struggle with putting the blocks are the train, it’s a great toy to GROW with your kids.

 

 

Lego train

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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:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

RELATED: SIMPLE Number Recognition Activities

 


Toy #9: Little People Farm

 

Little People are so wonderful for 2-year-olds! They are the perfect size for kids to hold, carry around, and play with.

 

We have multiple Little People sets, and the kids still love playing with them!

 

little people farm

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I really love this set because you can teach your children about animals. Animals are a HUGE passion of ours. Animals are also a big part of the preschool curriculum. Plus, learning about the sounds they make and where they live is just fun!

 

Ways to Play

 

1. Free play– Let them explore the farm, move the characters around, and ask any questions they want to about the farm and the animals! While playing, talk about the different sounds the animals make and what they like to eat!

 

2. Sensory play– Create a sensory bin activity with these animals! The kids will love getting to play around with the different sensory items and the toy animals! We created a sensory bin with our farm toys using several different sensory fillers! I used corn, chocolate pudding, and oats for the kids to play around with!

 

farm themed sensory bin

 

 

3. Baby animals– A big part of the preschool curriculum is talking about baby animals! When playing with each of the animals, talk about what the baby of each animal is called.

 


Toy #10: Sprinkler Splash Pad

 

This is the cutest splash pad that I have seen! I love the fact there are letters on this pad! My mind is racing with all the fun learning possibilities that can happen with this toy!

 

Your toddlers and preschoolers will love splashing around on this little splash pad on warm summer days.

 

splash pad for toddlers

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Ways to Play:

 

1. Letter search- While playing outside with this toy, practice some letter recognition! While they are playing, ask them to stomp on certain letters. Some other ideas are to have them find the letters of their name, and you can even have them find the letters of the alphabet in order!

 

2. Cover the letters- With some water toys, have your little one cover-up the letter you shout out! They will love searching for the letters through the water. For beginners, start in one section and just do a few letters that are close to each other. For older toddlers, you can say any letter!

 

3. Animal sounds- Practice animal sounds by having your little one step on the animal, you say. When they step on it, have them pretend to be that animal by making the sound or even doing movements!

RELATED: Outdoor Toys for Toddlers

 


Toy #11: Play Kitchen

 

There is an endless amount of activities you can do with a play kitchen and fake food!

 

We’ve had this play kitchen for about 5 years, and the kids still play with it at least once a day.

 

 

play kitchen

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Ways to Play

 

1. Dramatic play- We have played restaurant, grocery store, cooking lessons, baking play, and many more dramatic play scenarios with our play kitchen. The kids love pretending to work in the kitchen to whip things up for us to pretend to eat. I love their imagination that goes into these dramatic play activities. Each time we play, it’s different, making it still engaging and interesting to the kids. 

 

2. Food group sort- Learning how to sort food into their correct category is a great homeschool lesson for kids that is simple to pull off! On a cardboard piece, I wrote the category names at the top, and then we worked on sorting the foods into their groups. This is a great way to teach kids what is healthy and what foods are not healthy.

 

food group sort

 

3. Create recipes- This kitchen comes with measuring cups, pretend condiments, cups, and utensils. Come up with some recipes with the fake food and kitchen supplies for your kids to make. They will LOVE this activity and want to do it over and over again. Plus, it’s great practice for learning how to cook and understand what measurements are.

 

fake food for kids

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Toy #12. Musical Instruments

 

Kids love playing with musical instruments! It’s entertaining to listen to the different sounds each instrument makes.

 

This set is awesome because it includes various instruments, and they are all easy for 2-year-olds children to use.

 

musical instruments

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Ways to Play:

 

1. Explore– Let your little ones explore the instruments. Talk to them about what each one is!

 

2. Sounds– Each instrument will make a different sound. Discuss the differences like higher or lower pitch or what sound it makes!

 

3. Start a band!– Get everyone in your family involved and create your own band. Have each person have a different instrument they can walk around marching as a band would!

 


Toy #13: 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:

 

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

 

2.  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.

 

3. For kids who know their alphabet, ask them to say it in sequential order to 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!

 


Toy #14: Moonlight Stories

 

Do you do a bedtime story with your kids at night?

 

The Moonlight Story set is a different way to tell stories. Turn off the light and watch the story unfold by listening and watching the pictures appear on the wall!

 

moonlight stories

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There aren’t a whole bunch of different ways to play with this toy; I just had to include it on my list because it’s such a neat spin on reading!

 

I can’t wait to see her face when we turn off the lights and start listening to the story at bedtime!

 

 


Toy #15: Dress Up Clothes

 

I can’t even tell you how many times my kids want to play dress-up each day.

 

Currently, while I am writing this article, we have been in quarantine due to the COVID-19 epidemic. Pretend play has saved my sanity many times throughout this time :).

kids dress up costumes

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I love this set of dress-up clothes because it is gender-neutral, and it also teaches children about community helpers! Also, maybe your kids will love these so much, they may want to use it for Halloween, which saves money there, right?!

 

Ways to Play

 

1. Dramatic play- All of these outfits can be used for different dramatic play scenarios. Some examples are to use the doctor’s costumes to get a pretend check-up, pretend to build with the construction outfit, and pretend to put out fires as a firefighter!

 

2. Community helpers- These outfits are a great way to introduce the concept of what community helpers are to your kids. Explain what each of the outfits represents and what the accessories are used for.

 

3. Fine motor skills- Developing fine motor skills is essential to build little hand muscles to do everyday life activities! These include things like buttoning buttons and zipping zippers! Challenge your kiddo to put these outfits on themselves if they are old enough. Encourage them to try to zip and button if they can. Assist when needed, so they don’t get frustrated, but it’s great practice!

 

RELATED: 26 FUN Fine Motor Activities

 


Toy #16: Train Tracks

 

Train tracks are a classic open-ended toy that kids can find new ways to play with each time they pull this toy out.

 

train tracks and trains

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Ways to Play

 

1. Build your own track- Train tracks are so fun to build whatever design you want! Let your little one’s creativity run wild, and let them create a track for the trains ride on.

 

2. Alphabetical order- On dot stickers, write the alphabet letters and place one on each train track. Have your little ones work to put the letters of the alphabet in order to create a long track for the trains to ride on!

 

3. Train track building challenges- Challenge your child to build a specific track pattern like a circle or a track that goes through a bridge! These challenges will allow them to use critical thinking skills to see what train track pieces would fit together to create the pattern you want them to.

 

RELATED: The BEST Open-Ended Toys

 


Toy #17: Matching Egg Shape

 

My son LOVES these shape matching eggs. We actually don’t own them, my sister in law has them at her house, and he actually looks forward to playing with them!

 

It’s a gift that’s on our list this year! I love that it incorporates several learning skills.

 

Matching shape learning eggs

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This toy incorporates color recognition, color matching, shape learning, and fine motor skills! They have to learn how to place the eggs together and pull them apart!

 

How to help your child learn with this toy:

 

1. Show your child how this toy works by matching up the same colored eggs so they can go back together! This is just a different way to do a puzzle.

 

2. Review the shapes on each egg that you play with! Also, ask questions about the colors of each egg.

 

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

 

RELATED: Shape Activities For Preschoolers

 


Toy #18: 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.

 

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

 

2. 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.

 

RELATED: AWESOME Exercises For Kids

 


Toy #19: Step 2 Desk

 

I couldn’t recommend this desk anymore! We have had this since my daughter was 2 years old, and it is used daily!

 

 

step 2 desk

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Features:

 

1. Drawing/coloring– The flat part of the desk makes it an easy space for your little one to practice drawing or coloring! If the marker gets on the white part, it can wipe off very easily! I do recommend if you are using crayons or another supply that isn’t washable, that you place an art tray down!

 

2. Storage– Store coloring books, sticker books, workbooks, markers, crayons, or other supplies right in the desk! I love this feature of the desk because I don’t need to use a ton of my storage space for the kids’ craft supplies!

 

3. Technology– it shows on the pictures that it can hold up an electronic device like an Ipad. You can have your little ones work on an educational app, or even if they are doing virtual learning, they can use this space!

 


Toy #20: Interactive Vocabulary Book

 

When my son was a baby, he was obsessed with this toy. It was so good for his vocabulary to touch the words and hear what each thing was repeatedly.

 

Kids learn through repetition. By playing with this interactive book daily, your child will learn 100 words!

 

learning vocabulary book

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Ways to Play

 

1. Explore– Your little one can go through the pages and press on all the different pictures! When they press on one, it tells them what it is! This will help them learn about everyday objects.

 

2. Search– Ask them to find a specific picture on a page and have them point it out to you! They can also play this game by using the magnifying glass. I used to like doing this, along with my son, to see what he knew!

 

3. Opposites– In the back of the book, there are a few pages of opposites. Discuss why they are opposites and the characteristics of each thing!

 


Toy #21: Bowling Pin Set

 

Got a little bowler on your hands? This is a perfect set for your 2-year-old because you can add in some learning along with it!

 

You also get to work on the skills of rolling and aiming. Learning and practicing these skills early on will help them as they get older and interested in sports!

 

 

bowling pin set

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Ways to Play: 

 

1.  Practicing rolling– Set all the pins up and have your child stand close to the pins. Have them practice rolling the ball to the pins to knock them down!

 

2. Number practice– Instead of setting the pins up like normal, set them up in a straight line. Say a number and have your child stand in front of that pin and roll the ball at it to knock it down! Go through all the numbers this way!

 

3. Challenge– If they are starting to get the hang of rolling and knocking the pins down, have them take a few steps back and attempt to roll it from a further distance!

 

RELATED: ENTERTAINING Indoor Activities For Toddlers

 


Toy #22: Sand Table 

One of the most beloved toys that we use outdoors is our sand table. I especially love the one that is shown below because there is a space for sand and water!

 

My kids always want me to add water to our sand table because we don’t have a special area for water like this one. This is the one I would get if I were to do it all over again.

 

 

sand table for kids

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Ways to Play:

 

Materials to extend play: magnetic letters/numbers

 

1. Sand handwriting- Have your kids practice upper and lower case letters, numbers, and writing their own name in the sand! Grab my FREE letter and number traceable, so they can look at each letter or number’s shape so they can recreate it in the sand. 

 

Upper Case Traceable Letter Cards

Lower Case Letter Traceable Cards

 

Traceable Number Cards

 

2. Alphabet search– Do your kids love to play searching games? Hide some letters or numbers in the sand. When they come across one, have them tell you which one they found! You can also use my FREE Alphabet sheet so they can match it up like a puzzle.

 

3. Bury toys– This is kind of the same concept but with toys that they love! We hid our play bugs in the sand, and my son wanted to do this over and over again. Find some toys that won’t get ruined if you put them in the sand and see if your kids can find them all! They can also count the items they found to add some learning into play.

 

RELATED: FUN Handwriting Activities For Preschoolers

 


Toy #23: Basketball Hoop

 

This toddler basketball hoop is one of our favorite outdoor toys. I love it because it works on so many fantastic skills for toddlers!

 

A basketball hoop helps kids with their hand-eye coordination, aiming skills, and shooting skills. This is the first introduction your kiddo will have to the game of basketball!

 

basketball hoop for kids

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Ways to Play:

 

Materials to enhance learning: poly spots and small basketball.

 

1. Lay-up practice– Set the poly spots up in a curved line heading towards the basket. If your child is right-handed, set them up on the right side and vice versa for the left side. Have your child dribble the basketball, starting at the first spot down to the last place closest to the basket.

 

To practice proper lay-up skills, have them attempt to shoot with one hand (give them the cue to aim for the square of the basket). After they can successfully make the shots with one hand, you can add the tip of bringing the opposite leg up from the hand they are shooting with. Have them put both of these steps together to complete learning how to do a lay-up shot!

2. Hot spots- Set up poly spots around the basketball hoop. Have your child try their luck at each of the different spots! Depending on your child’s ability, you can move the poly spots closer or further away from the net.

 

Hot spots

 

3. Timed shooting– Set a timer for 3 minutes to see how many shots they can make in that amount of time. As they get older, you can also do this and shorten the amount of time!

 

RELATED: 14 PROVEN Basketball Drills for 5-Year-Olds

 


Toy #24: Bubble Wand Set

 

Speaking of bubbles… this bubble wand set for kids will be one of your kid’s favorite toys.

 

Whenever we pull this bubble wand set out, my kids come running over! I’m not exaggerating either. Your kids will get so pumped up to try the different bubble wands out.

 

bubble wand set for kids

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Ways to Play:

 

1. Strike the bubbles- This is a HUGE hit at my house. I use the larger bubble wands to create a ton of bubbles, and the kids chase them and hit them with their own bubble wands or hands. As simple as it is, I promise that it’ll be a winner!

 

2. Blowing bubbles- Let the kids have fun exploring all the different types of bubble wands! They will enjoy checking out the differences between the bubbles that each wand will make!

 

3. Counting bubbles- Sometimes, toddlers have a hard time blowing bubbles. If you blow the bubbles for them, they can attempt to count how many they see! This is a fun way to work on counting skills.

 


Toy #25: Water Table

 

Are you looking to have some summer fun with your little ones? A water table is your perfect outside addition to your toy collection.

 

Playing with water always adds more fun to any play. Toddlers and kids gravitate towards it!

 

water table for kids
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Ways to Play:

 

Materials to extend learning: water beads, fine motor tools, tear-free soap, sponges, or toothbrushes.

 

1. Free play- Sometimes, you don’t need to plan a specific activity. Just let the kids lead the play! Let them enjoy just splashing in the water and creating their own fun. They may learn some new ways to play as well!

 

2. Add water beads- Water beads are such a fabulous sensory play filler! With this specific water table, they would be SO much fun. Kids can work on pouring and scooping skills. You can also add some fine motor toys so the kids can work on building those tiny muscles!

 

3. Toy wash- Grab some of your little one’s favorite toys and put them in the water table. Add some tear-free soap inside the water table so they can wash their toys. Give them a sponge or a toothbrush to clean the toys! Make sure to have some clean water available in another container or bowl so they can wash off the soap.

 


Toy #26: Radio Flyer Tricycle

 

If you’re like me, you won’t be able to wait for your kids to start learning how to ride a bike!

 

I have dreams about going on family bike rides together in the Metroparks when my kids all know how to ride their bikes! This tricycle is the perfect start to your toddler’s journey to riding a bike.

 

 

radio flyer bike for toddlers

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Ways to Play:

 

Materials to extend learning: toddler’s helmet and cones.

 

Always have your little one wear a helmet when riding a tricycle, bicycle, or scooter! 

 

1. Gently push- You’ll have to help your little one at first get the hang of what they are supposed to do with their legs and their arms to steer. At first, have them place their hands on the handlebars and their feet on the pedals. Gently push them, so it makes the tricycle move. They will see that the pedals start to move, and their legs will too! You also will have to help them steer at the same time.

 

2. Riding alone- Once they get the hang of what to do, the next step is to let them try it independently. I suggest having them do this on a straight away, so they don’t have to turn until their skills improve.

 

3. Set up obstacles- When your little one gets the hang of things. Set up come cones for them to practice weaving through them or set them up in a circle formation so they can practice steering to make turns!

 


Toy #27: Inflatable Easel

 

WOW, is this not the coolest toy that you’ve seen?

 

I’m obsessed with this inflatable easel that kids can play with outside! I can just imagine the possibilities of playing and learning with easel.

 

 

inflatable easel

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Ways to Play:

 

1. Draw your family- I always love it when my kids draw pictures of our family members. By drawing features of people’s faces, kids learn how to draw different shapes, lines, and it shows they understand parts of the body!

 

2. Create lines- If your toddler isn’t able to make shapes quite yet, creating lines is also such a great activity. Have them dip their brush into the paint and put it on the easel. This is such great practice for handwriting skills! 

 

3. Number/Letter/Shape/Color Recognition- You do the painting this time! Paint some letters, numbers, shapes, or colors on the easel. Ask your little one to identify some of the things that you want them to go over. This is a fun way to do some learning!

 

RELATED: SIMPLE Number Recognition Activities

 


Toy #28: Me Reader

 

We’ve had our Me Reader for about 3 years. In the beginning, my daughter just listened to the stories; now, she is actually reading the stories without the Me Reader.

 

These stories have been her favorite ones to read lately! She is so proud of herself for reading these books, and I am proud of her too!

 

me reader books

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Ways to Play:

 

1. Listening– The Me Reader is designed for your little one to flip the book’s pages and click on the shape that matches the page to hear the story. If your little one is too little to do this, you can do this part for them.

 

2. Looking at the pages– Looking and imagining what’s happening in the story is an excellent activity for kids. They will create ideas about the story, discover different characters, and learn about different settings.

 

3. Reading– Once your child gets old enough, they can start reading the books on their own without the Me Reader. Even if they have memorized the words to the book, this is still helpful because they see the words on the page and recognize them.

 

RELATED: Engaging Sight Words Activities For Kids

 


Toy #29: Vehicles

 

Toy vehicles are the best because they can be used both indoor and outdoor play!

 

My kids have played with cars on our carpet, kitchen floor, outside on the grass, on tables, you get the drift. They can be used anywhere, which makes them a fantastic open-ended toy.

 

cars for kids

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Ways to Play

 

1. Painter’s tape road- This is fun and easy to create. Race cars by creating a road with painter’s tape! Have the kids race little vehicles, remote control cars, or even robots if they have them!

 

2. Cardboard box play- We had a giant cardboard box, and we created a little town set up with it! We used markers and do-a-dot markers to make the town. The kids used trains and cars that we had to play with! They played the entire day with this set-up.

 

3. Car washing Sensory Bin- I created this color car wash sensory bin for my kids to play with. It was the biggest hits with them. To pull this bin off, I mixed men’s foam shaving cream and food coloring together. I scooped it out of the bowl and placed it all in a container. If you don’t want to color it, you can just use white shaving cream; it’ll work just as well!

 

car washing sensory bin

 

4. Car Track Set– I wanted to include this because it is such an awesome first car track for toddlers!  I love that this track has twists, turns, and even a circle where the cars can go upside down! Your little ones will love this.

 

race track set

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Toy #30: Mess-Free Art Set

 

Have you ever checked out Crayola’s Mess-Free collection?

 

It’s a MUST try art activity. I actually make sure I grab a set each time we travel for long car rides or on a plane! 

 

mess free art set

 

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Ways to Play

 

1. Scribbling– The first step in handwriting is learning how to hold a writing utensil and scribble on paper! This is a wonderful way for your child to learn how to explore art in a mess-free way!

 

2. Stamps– Play and explore with the stamps! They can place the stamps into the ink, and it shows up on the paper! Again, this is so nice that ink won’t get all over the place, only shows on the paper!

 

3. Stickers– Have your little ones color the stickers and place them on the coloring pages! They will love peeling their creations off and placing them on the pictures!

 

RELATED: Travel Activities For Kids


Toy #31: Magnetiles

 

I’ve done a few of these articles for younger ages, and Magnetiles are always the number one toy on the list.

 

We choose Magnetiles are the best ones out there because they have larger blocks than others!

 

Kids can build many different structures with them, make patterns, create shapes, put them on the fridge, the list can go on and on.

 

magnetiles

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Ways to Play

 

1. Build structures- Build amazing structures with Magnetiles! Let your little one’s creative juices flow by allowing them to come with their own design ideas or help them come up with a plan. Create castles, a car garage for their vehicles, or a home for their toys!

 

2. Practice letter/number learning- Place some dot stickers on the tiles or write directly on it with a dry erase marker (don’t worry, it’ll wash off!). Practice number/alphabetical order, build letters/numbers or create a game to find the missing number/letter.

alphabetical order magnet tile

 

3. Make mazes- Create a maze with Magnetiles by standing them straight up, connecting them, and make two rows for an object to make it’s way through. We use cars to go through the maze whenever we do this, but you can use any toy!

 

These are just a few examples of how kids can play with Magnetiles! There is no specific way to play with this toy, which is why it makes it a great open-ended toy for kids!

 

RELATED: BEST Open-Ended Toys for Kids

 


Toy #32: Osmo

 

When I talk to teachers that have Osmo in their classrooms, every one of them has said GREAT things about it!  This is currently on my list of things that I want to purchase as well.

 

Osmo is an interactive gaming system for learning! Say what?!

 

Yes, kids love Osmo because they are playing games. I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel too badly about some screen time when it engages my kids in learning.

 

osmo

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When children play with Osmo, they are doing hands-on learning games that involve math, science, and art! The tablet doesn’t come along with the Osmo; a piece goes on top of your tablet.

 

Want to learn more about Osmo? Take a look at the following review!

 

 


Toy #33: LEGOs

 

LEGOs have quickly become one of our favorite toys around here. We have these regular sets of LEGOs along with the DUPLO blocks. My kids love both! This set is perfect for 5-year-olds since they are a little smaller.

 

This is a great set because you can build a whole bunch of different things; it’s not a themed set.

 

LEGOS

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Ways to Play

 

1. Build structures- We buy LEGOs to build, right?! Let your kiddos go to town and build whatever structure they like. It doesn’t even have to be anything specific. My kids love to be creative and make their own buildings from video games they like to play, imaginary castles, etc.

 

2. Letter building- Play and learn by creating letters of the alphabet with my LEGO letter building worksheets! Letters A-Z are available!

 

LEGO Letters Mat

 

CLICK HERE TO GRAB THE LEGO BUILDING WORKSHEETS!

 

or… if you have older ones, you can practice

 

Word building- I love using LEGO blocks to work on spelling and sight word building with my 5-year-old. What a fun way to practice sight words, right? Write letters on the blocks with a dry erase marker to build specific words. You can write the full word on a bigger LEGO piece, and then they can use the blocks to match up the letters to create the word.

 

3. Bath time with blocks- You will thank me after this recommendation! Bring your LEGO blocks into the bath with your little ones. They will love filling them up with water and also creating things that can float in the water!

 

RELATED: Teaching Resources

 


Toy #34: Crayola Color Chemistry Set

 

So there’s another term out there in education land called STEAM. The only difference between STEM and STEAM is the A for Art. 

 

The Crayola Color Chemistry Set focuses on both science and art with it’s 50 different experiments that you can try, including making your own colorful volcano, bouncing colored bubbles glow in the dark worms, and of course, slime!

crayola chemistry set

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Age Level: This toy does say that it’s for 7+, but my daughter was doing the experiments with us at age starting at age 3.

 

Adult supervision is needed for them to do these safely and correctly!

 

I will advise that some of these activities can be quite messy! Place an art tray down to help with the cleanup.

How this toy can help your child learn:

 

1. This toy helps your children learn about mixing colors to create a new color! Kids can discover how to combine two colors to make a new color.

 

2. By doing experiments like the erupting volcano, your child will learn how mixing certain elements can cause a chemical reaction.

 

 


Toy #35: Insect Lore’s Butterfly Garden

 

Every Spring, my kids ask me several times a week if it’s time to get the butterflies and ladybugs for our habitats!

 

These kits have been something we look forward to getting every year. The kids get to learn about each insect’s lifecycles and learn how to take care of each one to set them free outdoors when they are ready!

 

Insect Lore Butterfly Garden STEM toy

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The picture you see above is what the kit comes with and the caterpillars in their chrysalis! 

 

How your child can learn from this toy:

 

1. They will get to the life cycle of a butterfly see up close! How cool is that? They will learn how a live caterpillar turns into a chrysalis and then transforms into a beautiful butterfly!

 

2. Your child will be able to take care of butterflies by providing them with nourishment.

 

3. They will learn why it’s important to let the butterflies go in their natural habitat, and they can also learn about flowers that could provide them with nourishment outdoors!

 

RELATED: 20 Proven Plants that Attract Butterflies (2019)

 


Toy #36: STEM Building Blocks

 

STEM building blocks are TOO much fun!

 

There are so many different objects that you can build and create with these blocks. What I love most about these is that toddlers can even use the tools to make designs! My 3 year old helps me build what he wants, and he is always very eager to do it himself.

 

STEM building blocks

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Ways to Play

 

1. Create objects in the booklet- There are 42 designs provided in this booklet for you and your little one to create. There are things like animals, cars, letters, and numbers. What a fun way to practice letter and number learning! These are varied levels of designs for a variety of ages.

STEM building blocks

 

2. Race vehicles- Create two types of cars and race them around the house. You can even make a painter’s tape track like the one you see below to make the race more realistic!

 

3. Design your own ideas- One of my favorite things to do with these blocks is to let kids create whatever they want. Often, we end up creating homes or vehicles for their toys to ride or play in!

 

RELATED: STEM Toys For Kids

 


Toy #37: Marble Run

 

Some open-ended toys are excellent because they teach children how to use problem-solving skills.

 

Marble run is a fun toy for kids! It challenges them to build structures to allow the marble to go through the tubes to make it to the bottom. However, kids need to use critical thinking skills to create the structure, so it stands and allows the marble to make it through the towers.

 

marble run

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Ways to Play

 

1. Ideas from the book- There is a booklet that shows different designs that you can create for the marbles to go through. These designs can be helpful in the beginning when learning how to work with the blocks with this toy.

 

2. Create your own- Most of the time, we create our own marble track. What I love about this is that there are a lot of fails in the design. I stated earlier that this is a great toy to practice problem-solving skills. Have your kiddos try to figure out how to fix any issues.

 

Marble Run STEM engineering toy

 

3. Marble races with two towers- Create two separate towers; they can be the same or different, and see which marble can make it to the bottom first! The kids will go WILD for this activity. They won’t want to stop doing it :).

 


Toy #39: Doll Houses

 

We use our dollhouse for an unbelievable amount of play scenarios!

 

My kids just come up with new ways to play with different figures/dolls each time we play.

 

doll houses

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I know there are a ton of different dollhouses out there. I like this one because there is SO much room to place the dolls and play. Some of the houses are too small, and the kids can’t actually play with their Barbies or other figures!

Ways to Play

 

1. Free play- Let the kids have fun playing with the toys included with the house and their toys. They will have so much fun just playing out a variety of different play scenarios on their own! My kids just love lining up their toys in a row on our dollhouse.

 

2. Play games about things that happen at home- Play bedtime routine, dinner, practice talking about the potty, etc. These real-life situations that occur at home are so much fun to play out with their little toys.

 

3. Add something new into play- Bring in some other toys for different types of play with the dollhouse. For example, you can bring in a tea set, doctor’s kit, or animal toys to engage with the dolls to bring new play experiences in.

 


Toy #40: Teaching Time Clock

 

A wonderful skill to start teaching is how to tell time! My 5-year-old is constantly asking me what time it is or how long is it until we leave to go somewhere!

 

It’s a life skill that we use EVERY DAY!

 

teaching time clock for kids to learn how to tell time

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This clock’s name is Telly. He’s an interactive teaching time clock!

 

Ways to Play

 

1. Exploring the clock– First, just let your child move the hands of the clock. Telly will tell them what time it is when they stop moving the hands. This will give them the feel of how this toy works!

 

2. Teaching– To start, teach your child about each o’clock (1:00, 2:00, 3:00, etc.). After that, I showed my daughter the half hours, then 15 and 45 minutes. Then we went into going around the clock counting by 5’s.

 

3. Show digital and analog time– You can show your kids both the digital and analog time on this clock! They should try to read the digital clock’s time and then move the hands on the clock to show what it would look like on the analog clock.

 

Interested in some FREE printables about clocks?

 

clock learning packet

 

Click HERE for your Clock Learning Packet!

 


Toy# 41: Botley: The Coding Robot 

 

Introducing the concept of coding to your child is wonderful! It’s something that they learn now in school, so giving them a start to understanding how it works at home is an excellent experience!

 

This is Botley, the coding robot! It’s a perfect robot for children ages 5-8 years-old! It’s a toy to start to learn how coding works!

 

botley the coding robot

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Take a look at this video to see how Botley works and all the fun things you and your child can do with him.

 

 

How your child can learn from this toy:

 

1. Your child will gain coding skills by learning how to use the remote to program Botley to do specific things like moving forward, backward, spin, follow lines, go through an obstacle course, and more.

 

2. They will use problem-solving skills and critical thinking skills if they aren’t doing it correctly to try to figure out what to do to make Botley do the things they want him to do.

 

3. Learn about Botley’s hidden features and see how they can use those features to have even more fun learning how to code him to do those secret features!

 


Toy #42: Doctor Kit

 

It’s so funny because when it’s actually time to head to the doctors, my kids are NOT excited most of the time. But, when it comes to playing doctor, well, that’s a completely different story.

 

We love to play doctor at our house. We have these fun toys that we use on each other to play and also our other toys!

 

 

doctor kit for kids

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Ways to Play

 

1. Stuffed animal check-ups– Bring in the toys for a check-up! Use their favorite toys to go to the doctor’s office to feel better again!

 

2. Play dentist– There are also some dentist tools inside this doctor’s kit! Pretend like one of you are the patient, and one is the dentist. Talk about the importance of keeping our teeth clean by flossing and brushing!

 

3. Talk about health– Talk about ways to keep your body healthy when playing with these toys. Discuss with your little ones why people go to the doctors to get well checks, and when they are sick. Also, talk to them about the importance of taking medicine to feel bad if they are sick (we struggle with this sometimes because they are scared to take medicine), so if you role play it, it might be easier!

 

To go along with this toy, I also have a packet on community helpers! Talk about what community helpers are and what they do for a job.

 

community helpers prints

 

Click here to check out my Community Helpers Learning Packet!

*14 pages with 3 different activities included.*

 

Activity #1: Color in the community helper and circle which career they have. Then color in the pictures at the bottom that go along with that community helper!

 

Activity #2: Community helper match-up: Draw a line from the community helper to the correct supply.

 

Activity #3: Community helper puzzle cards- Cut out both the community helper and the description. Match up the community helper to the right description!

 

RELATED: Teaching Resources


Toy #43: Water Beads

 

Fine motor activities are essential for kids to practice because they help develop the small muscles in your child’s hands to help them to important daily activities.

 

These include things like zipping up their jacket, buttoning buttons on a shirt, tying their shoes, and handwriting!

 

As you see below, playing with fine motor toys will help your little ones build those muscles to do these things!

 

water beads

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I would not use these with kiddos that still put a lot of objects in their mouth. They are small marbles that are not meant to be eaten! 

 

How to use water marbles

 

1. You have to let the water marbles sit in water for a while so they can grow. The longer you let them sit, the bigger they will become!

 

2. Once they reach full size, dump them out into a sensory bin.

 

3. Have your kids use the fine motor tools provided to play with the water beads! When we play, I like to have them sort them out by color. We use silicone cupcake holders to play and sort with! 

 

RELATED: Best Sensory Bins For Kids

 


Toy #44: Barbies

 

Barbies are such a HUGE hit over here at our house at the moment. My 5-year-old just can’t get enough of all her Barbies and changing their outfits!

 

What I love about Barbies is the fact that they are open-ended. She has brought them in the bathtub, in our pool, on vacation, and plays with them in her dollhouse.

 

barbies

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Ways to Play

 

1. Dress up– Change the Barbies outfits! It’s so much fun putting on different outfits and pretending to play in different scenarios with your little ones.

 

2. Dollhouse play– Barbies fit along perfectly with a dollhouse. We have played for so many hours having the Barbies go to different rooms in the house.

 

3. Bathtub play– We bring some of our Barbies into the pool or tub with us! We don’t like to get their outfits ruined, so we make sure it’s a swim Barbie. Bring in a toy boat for even more fun!

 


Toy #45: Action Figures

 

Here are some action figures for the kiddos who love superheroes! We recently just watched the entire Marvel movie series, and I couldn’t recommend it more!

 

These action figures just make me so happy! These are on my list for my little guy this year!

 

action figures

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I just love that you get ALL the action figures in this set! I can just imagine all the fun we would have with these.

 

Ways to Play

 

1. Playtime– just let your little one’s imagination run the play! Allow them to come up with ideas on situations where the superheroes will save the day!

 

2. Playhouse– So I went on searching for a superhero-themed playset, and I found the cutest one!

 

boys superhero house

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These dolls would go along well with this house! Plus, you get the other items included, which makes it more fun to play along with the characters! What great imaginative play.

 

3. Learn and Play– Kids LOVE when you bring in their likes during learning. While practicing some sight words or math facts, have the kids talk like the figures to answer the questions. Believe me; they will love it!

 

RELATED: Sight Words Activities For Preschoolers

 


Toy #46: Cash Register

 

Looking for a fun way to introduce the concept of money to your little ones?

 

A toy cash register can be used for so many different play scenarios to show your child about the different coins, dollars, and how to give change.

 

toy cash register

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Ways to Play

 

1. Coin sorting- Coin sorting activities are a great way to introduce the concept of money to your kids. I have a Money Learning Packet available for you to work on these skills with your kids. Use the coins and the dollars to bring these worksheet activities to life to help your kids learn about money.

coin sort worksheet

CLICK HERE to grab your FREE Money Learning Packet

 

2. Play store- This can be any type of store! The grocery, ice cream shop, restaurant, Starbucks, Target are some of our favorite pretend scenarios. Have your child ring up the items, type it in the cash register, and then return change if needed! This is a play-based learning strategy that will help teach the concept of money.

 

3. Add money- While playing store, switch roles, and have them be the person who buys the products. Work together with your child to add the money to see if they have enough to buy each item. Inside the Money Learning Packet, there are also activities to add pennies, dimes, quarters, and dollars, along with this fun who has more activity! 

 

adding money

 

RELATED: Teaching Resources

 


Toy #47: Jumbo Droppers

 

I just got these for us to use at home, and we are LOVING them!

 

The kids enjoy their colors, and they know when they get brought out that they are doing a fun art or science project.

jumbo droppers for kids

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Ways to Play

 

1. Mixing colors- Kids loving creating their own “potions” by combining colors with these droppers. The best thing about this is that it’s super simple to set up. You need a few clear cups, depending on what colors you want to use, food coloring, and a larger clear jar our cup to create the potion in. Put some water and a few drops of food coloring in each small cup. Place the color droppers inside the cups with the food coloring. Let your little one choose which ones they want to add into the larger jar, and let the fun begin!

 

2. Rainbow cloud experiment- This is one of my favorite experiments to do with my kids! In a clear glass, fill it 3/4 of the way full with water. Then, squirt a thin layer of men’s foam shaving cream on the top. Drop a few drops of food coloring on the top of the shaving cream, and voila! Check out this beautiful rainbow in a glass! Your kids will love watching the colors in the glass.

 

 

3. Dropper learning- Break a longer piece of paper towel off and write a few numbers or letters with different colors scattered all over it. In a few separate cups, fill the cup 1/2 full of water with a few drops of food coloring, depending on what colors you want to use! Call out a number or letter you want your little one to find. With the dropper, they will squeeze up the color liquid and squirt it on the paper towel! This is a fun and great way to practice recognition skills.

 

dropper number activity

RELATED: How to Teach Toddler Colors (9 SIMPLE strategies)

 


Toy #48: Slime Kit

 

Are your kids obsessed with slime as much as mine? The Nickelodeon slime kit is the best! I don’t know why this isn’t actually at the top of my list!

 

My kids play with this slime kit almost daily! Slime is just a blast to play with! 

 

slime kit for kids

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*There are some parts in this toy, so make sure to have a parent watching children who are younger playing with this toy.*

When playing with slime, I also suggest grabbing an art smock. This way, your little ones’ clothes won’t get slime all over it when they are playing!

art smock

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Ways to play

 

1. Create blends– There are SO many different colors to choose from in this set. Mix colors to see what they would change into! See if you mix the colors if they would make a new color!

 

2. Add in the extras– You get some little foam balls, pom-poms, and sequins to add in the same. This will change the consistency. This is a great sensory activity for the kids to explore!

 

3. Cover toys– Grab those TOOB toys or other small figures and cover them with the slime! My kids love doing this activity the most. They love pretending and imagining by doing this activity.

 


Toy #49: Interactive Globe

 

Into traveling? Or have a little one interested in learning about our world? This is the BEST interactive globe out there.

 

We just got this globe a few months back, and we really enjoy learning about all the different countries.

 

interactive globe

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Ways to Play

 

1. Exploring the globe– Let your child use the interactive pen to click around the globe and start learning about different areas of our world!

 

2. Buttons to learn– Use the buttons at the bottom of the globe to guide learning. There are 5 functions (nature, continents and oceans, countries, cities and capitals, and U.S.A Cities and States.

 

3. Questions– There is a find it mode on each of the categories on the globe! This tests kid’s knowledge about what they have learned, and you can earn points! I love this way of checking for understanding.

 


Toy #50: Sports balls

 

Yes, that simple, a ball!

 

There are ENDLESS amounts of gross activities that can be done with a ball for kids. I am a physical education teacher, and one of the must-haves in my gym is a bunch of playground balls.

 

 

sports balls

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Ways to Play

 

1. Throw and catch- Practice throwing and catching skills with the football and basketball! Show your child the correct way to throw the ball underhand and overhand. These are critical gross motor skills that will help them later when playing sports and games at school with their friends. Make sure to have them step with one foot towards their target, throw with one hand, and aim for their partner’s hands!

 

RELATED: 14 PROVEN Basketball Drills For 5-Year-Olds

 

2. Kick and trap- Soccer is one of the best games for little ones because it’s all about running and kicking! Also, work on trapping and passing skills by passing back and forth with this soft soccer ball!

 

5 year old soccer spot shot

 

RELATED: 26 Soccer Activities for 5-Year-Olds

 

3. Aiming skills- With the soccer ball, practice how to kick the ball to a target like a soccer goal or in-between cones. If you also have a smaller basketball hoop, you can practice aiming skills in the basket! Your kiddo will be a step above the rest if they start practicing these gross motor skills at a young age. Plus, it’ll boost their confidence if they practice these skills! They will be more willing to play in the future if they know some skills already.

 


Toy #51: Fit Bit for Kids

 

My 5-year-old just loves her Fitbit! She loves to check it to see how many steps she has gotten for the day.

 

Wearing a Fitbit helps kids want to move and stay active! They will get excited to see if they could beat their previous steps from the day before.

 

fitbit for kids

 

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Ways to Play

 

1. Exercise together– Challenge your children to exercise with you! It’s a great way to bond together and teach your kids the importance of staying active to keep your body healthy. They should wear their Fitbit to see how their steps will increase when they move.

 

2. Create a family fun day– Due to COVID-19, I created a Virtual Field Day for my physical education students. I also created it to share with all of you! Check out my field day activities that you can do at home with your kids to exercise and have a great family fun day. Have the kids wear their Fitbits so they can track how many steps they took throughout the day!

 

CLICK HERE for the Virtual Field Day Link!

 

3. Try to beat the previous day– Have a calendar set up so your child can track their progress throughout the week! Set goals together to see if they can beat their previous day’s score.

 

RELATED: 20 AWESOME Exercises For Kids

 


Toy #52: Tricycle

 

We love getting outside as a family to take bike rides! It’s so nice that my daughter can ride her tricycle on her own now!

 

Learning how to ride a bike is something all children learn how to do! Building their skills by getting a tricycle is a critical step in learning how to ride a bike! This is how they learn how to steer, keep balance, and use those legs to move the pedals.

 

tricycle

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Ways to Play

 

Materials to extend learning: sidewalk chalk and toddler’s helmet

 

1. Start slow- Whenever you introduce a new concept, have your little ones start slow. Show them how to use the tricycle correctly. Also, show them the importance of putting on a helmet correctly whenever using the tricycle.

 

2. Practice on a flat wide surface- I’d recommend starting in your driveway or a wide-open area. This way, they won’t steer themselves right into the grass. Once they get the hang of learning how to steer, they can go to narrow areas like the sidewalk.

 

3. Hills– Once they get more confident riding, have them try to ride up some small hills. This will challenge them a bit more and get them a little more exercise!

 

RELATED: Outdoor Toys for Toddlers

 


Toy #53: 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

Check Price – Amazon

 

This 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:

 

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

 

2. 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.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

RELATED: FUN Handwriting Activities For Preschoolers

 


Toy #54: Hot Wheels

 

I love my Instagram community so much. I posted my 3 and 4-year-old best toy articles, and I asked everyone what their child’s favorite toys were.

 

Many people mentioned Hot Wheels!  I love being able to share ideas with everyone!

 

hot wheels garage

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How cool is this set?! I’m so excited to grab this for my little guy; I know he’s just going to love it. He loves dinosaurs and cars! The fact too that it’s a storage area and has tracks is awesome.

 

Ways to Play

 

1. Race cars– Put the cars on the tracks and watch them! See them go through the dinosaur’s mouth!

 

2. Storage– My son loves lining up toys and having particular spots for them. He’s going to love just placing the cars back in their specific spots!

 

3. Connecting tracks– This set can also connect to other track sets if you have others. This is a really cool feature of Hot Wheels products! I love that you can mix and match them.

 

hot wheels set

 

This is an example of how other tracks can be connected to this garage! This would seriously be hours of playing time for my kids! 

 


Toy #55: Sensory Table

One of the most beloved toys that we use outdoors is our sand table. I especially love the one that is shown below because there is a space for sand and water!

 

There are so many ways to play with this table! I love that it has two sections and there is a cover for it so it won’t get dirty inside if you want to keep it outdoors!

sensory table

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Ways to Play:

 

Materials to extend play: magnetic letters/numbers

 

1. Sand handwriting- Have your kids practice upper and lower case letters, numbers, and writing their own name in the sand! Grab my FREE letter and number traceable, so they can look at each letter or number’s shape so they can recreate it in the sand. 

 

Upper Case Traceable Letter Cards

Lower Case Letter Traceable Cards

 

Traceable Number Cards

 

2. Alphabet search– Do your kids love to play searching games? Hide some letters or numbers in the sand. When they come across one, have them tell you which one they found! You can also use my FREE Alphabet sheet so they can match it up like a puzzle.

 

3. Bury toys– This is kind of the same concept but with toys that they love! We hid our play bugs in the sand, and my son wanted to do this over and over again. Find some toys that won’t get ruined if you put them in the sand and see if your kids can find them all! They can also count the items they found to add some learning into play.

 

RELATED: FUN Handwriting Activities For Preschoolers

 


Toy #56: Preschooler Trampoline

 

Does your child have a lot of energy that they need to burn off positively?

 

Look no further! Toddlers can jump their little hearts out in a safe way since this trampoline has netting around it to keep them inside the trampoline while they play!

 

 

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Ways to Play

 

Materials to enhance play: mini basketballs and inflatable pool basketball hoop.

 

1. Free play- Let your kiddo jump their little hearts out! They will love just getting the chance to explore the trampoline and see what fun tricks they can do on it! They will burn off some energy and get some great exercise by using the trampoline.

 

2. Basketball play- Set up the inflatable pool hoop on the trampoline. Your little one will LOVE jumping and shooting it into the hoop. They can work on aiming skills from farther away as well!

 

3. Practice types of jumps- Practicing jumping skills develop gross motor skills! Here is a list of jumps to practice: straight, tuck, straddle, half turns, whole turns, and frog jumps!

 

RELATED: 20 AWESOME Exercises for Kids

 


Toy #57: Arts and Crafts Kit

 

If you have a little one who loves arts and crafts, this set is AMAZING!

 

This art set has everything you could want when making crafts, art projects, or just creating whatever they want!

 

 

arts and craft set

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Ways to Play

 

1. Threading– There are a bunch of bright colored pipe cleaners and beads in this kit. Practice some fine motor skills by threading the beads on the pipe cleaners! You can even have them find the letters of their name and put them in order on the pipe cleaner.

 

2. Popsicle stick crafts– Popsicle stick crafts are so fun to make and simple! Create fun faces using the googly eyes and pom-poms! These are some that we made during Halloween time. They were so fun to make!

 

popsicle stick crafts

 

3. Get creative– Put all the pieces and parts out and let them go to town and create whatever they want to make! Having a kit like this will be exciting for the kids to experiment with new supplies!

 


Toy #58: Kids Camera

 

I asked my Instagram community what gifts they were thinking about getting their little ones and a kid’s camera was one of the responses that I heard the most!

 

This way they won’t take your phone to take photos, am I right?!

 

kids camera

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We have this camera, and it has been a major hit with my daughter! She can take as many pictures as she wants! It’s really heavy-duty too, which is nice in case it gets dropped.

 

Ways to Play

 

1. Take photos– The main reason you want the camera is for the kids to take photos! Upload their pictures to the computer if you want to save any.

 

2. Add fun backgrounds– Kids have the ability to add on some fun backgrounds or silly pictures into their photos. They can have fun adding their face into the backgrounds!

 

3. Games– There are a few games that they can play on the camera. 3-year-olds may struggle to play some of the games, but it’s nice that they can use it for years to come, and they will get better at it.

 


Toy #59: Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet

 

While this is not really a “toy,” this tablet has educational games and hundreds of FREE books!

 

We have this tablet for our kids, and it is perfect for young children to use. You can also link your Amazon account to the table so all the items you download from your account will show up on the Fire!

 

amazon fire

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Ways to Play

 

1. Play educational games– There are tons of educational games that your little ones can play. When you choose to do screen time, it always feels better when they are learning, doesn’t it?

 

My favorite learning games

 

a. ABC Mouse- you have to have a monthly subscription for this program, but it has 100’s of educational age-appropriate games for your kids.

 

b. Teach Your Monster To Read- this is a phonics and reading game!

 

c. 123 Numbers- Trace and counting game

 

2. Read books– My favorite part about having the Amazon Fire is having access to an incredible amount of FREE books. It’s fun to look through them and read them with your little ones.

 

3. Watch shows– Going on a road trip or plane ride? We use this tablet for the kids to be able to watch shows when we are traveling. We don’t like to use it the entire time, but it is nice to have something for them to do when they are just sitting there for a while.

 


Toy #60: Chutes and Ladders

 

Chutes and Ladders is a great game to introduce to 5-year-olds and it’s jam-packed with learning!

 

I also remember playing this around that age when I was little too! Isn’t that amazing? It’s been around for so long, but it’s just a classic that is fun for kids to learn how to play board games!

chutes and ladders

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How this game involves learning:

 

1. Number recognition– This board game goes all the way up to 100! Counting to 100 is a skill that kids are asked at the beginning of the year in Kindergarten. What a fun way to practice counting, right?

 

2. Counting– They have to spin the spinner and count how many spaces they are supposed to move! This is a great way for them to work on counting correctly.

 

3. Taking turns- Half the reason I love playing board games with the kids is that it teaches them how to take turns! This is an important skill they will need for the rest of their lives.

 

4. Following rules– They have to follow the game rules and learn they can’t cheat to win! They need to understand that they can’t take extra turns or move their player to different spots on the board to get ahead.

 

RELATED: Kindergarten Activities For Kids

 


Toy #61: Vtech Watch

 

Here is another great toy to help your little one learn how to tell time! I actually just got this one for my daughter; I know she’s just going to love it.

 

It is very similar to the camera that I mentioned above. However, it is a watch, so kids can wear it all the time and check the time!

 

vtech watch

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Ways to Play

 

1. Practice telling time– Check in with your little ones every now and then to see if they can read the time on their watch!

 

2. Take photos– This watch has a feature where the kids can take their own photos! There are also some fun picture effects that they can add-on to their photos for more fun!

 

3. Action challenges– There are several active challenges on this watch! This is a fun way to get kids moving! Try the 3 challenges and see if they can beat their score each time.

 


Toy #62: Kinetic Sand

 

Kinetic sand is one of my favorite sensory bin fillers! I use it for letter and number learning sensory activities.

 

Not only is it great for learning, but it feels AMAZING! Every time I have it out for my kids and my husband is around, I always catch him playing with it too!

 

kinetic sand for kids

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Ways to Play

 

1. Building with sand toys- Included in the pack are a few sand toys that your kids can use to build castles in the sand. Building castles is easy for even toddlers to do with this type of sand! You can also use sand toys that you play with outside too! The kids also enjoy hiding toys inside the castles we make to search for them with the tools.

 

2. Sight word sensory bin- I created a construction themed sensory bin for both my kids to play with. My younger one (2 yo) worked on alphabet recognition with the stones, while my older one (5yo) worked on sight word building. I have FREE sight word cards available for download! This was such a hit with both kids. Along with the kinetic sand, there are small stones and construction vehicles in this bin.

 

FREE Sight Word Cards

construction sensory sight word bin

 

3. Shape puzzle- Create a shape puzzle by putting shape blocks inside the kinetic sand! Use shapes from a shape puzzle to create the design of each puzzle piece into the sand. Pick up the pieces and have your kids try to match up the shapes in the correct spot.

 

RELATED: The BEST 22 Sensory Bins For Kids

 


Toy #63: Easel

 

Do you have a child who loves art? Easels are a perfect toy for kids to work on a bunch of different art projects!

 

The best part about having an easel is the giant paper. Having the large butcher paper is great for your kids to do art projects on the easel, and I also use the paper for different projects, not on the easel.

easel for kids art

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Ways to Play

 

1. Free Draw- Let your little one draw, paint, or color with different supplies! Let them create whatever they want! This is an excellent way for kids to show their creativity and imagination!

 

2. Draw/paint the season- This is one of my favorite activities on BIG paper! Write the season at the top of the page. Brainstorm with your little one what objects, foods, weather, clothing, etc. remind them of the season that it is.  We used our watercolor set to paint for this activity. This is an excellent homeschooling activity for preschoolers!

season water color art

 

3. Spray the letters/numbers- There is a chalkboard on the other side of the easel! How awesome is that, right? Write the letters of the alphabet or numbers that you want to work on with chalk. Fill a spray bottle with water and ask your child to squirt a specific number/letter!

 

RELATED: 23 SIMPLE Number Recognition Activities

 


Toy #64: Candy Land Board Game

 

The first game that we introduced by daughter at 4 years old was Candy Land!

 

I also remember playing this around that age when I was little too! Isn’t that amazing? It’s been around for so long, but it’s just a classic that is fun for kids to learn how to play board games!

 

candy land board game

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How this game involves learning:

 

1. Color recognition– If you have never played this game before, there are colored squares on each card. They will flip over the card on their turn and move to the color it shows. This will help with color recognition and matching skills on the board!

 

2. Counting– On the card, there will be one or two colored squares; they will have to move their player the correct amount of times on the board! It is challenging in the beginning because they have to learn how the board works with the twists and turns it has on it.

 

3. Taking turns- Half the reason I love playing board games with the kids is that it teaches them how to take turns! This is an important skill they will need for the rest of their lives.

 

4. Following rules– They have to follow the game rules and learn they can’t cheat to win! They need to understand that they can’t take extra turns or move their player to different spots on the board to get ahead.

 

RELATED: Kindergarten Activities For Kids

 


Toy #65: Princess Dresses

 

Just like the superhero capes, these princess dresses can be used in so many different ways!

 

Your little ones will love putting on these dresses to pretend like they are Disney princesses!

 

dress up girls costumes

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Ways to Play

 

1. Play salon– They can get dressed up and you can do their hair and make-up like they are at an actual salon! We have the cutest little pretend make-up set that is perfect for 3-year-olds.

 

2. Tea party– Set up a tea party using a toy tea set or items you have. They can dress up and bring other fun characters like stuffed animals to the party.

 

3. Play Disney– Yes, this is a game my daughter loves to play! She pretends she is one of the Disney princesses and we have to take our photos with and she signs our autograph books. Hey, what a fun way to work on handwriting skills!

 


Toy #66: Super Hero Costumes

 

Both my son and daughter love putting on these fun costumes! They pretend they are superheroes fighting all the bad guys!

 

Costumes are open-ended so kids can play differently each time!

 

super hero capes

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Ways to Play

 

1. Play superheroes– Pretend to fight off the bad guys in these fun costumes! If your little one knows about the different powers each superhero has, they can use those powers!

 

2. Toy rescues– Put toys up on the wall using painters tape! Trap them inside so the kids have to rescue them but taking the tape off of them. They will love this challenge and feel like they are saving something!

 


Toy #67: Number Robots

 

What a cool way to learn numbers! These numbers change into robots! How engaging for kids to learn.

 

Getting kids to sit down and learn is the hardest part. I always am looking for new ways to get my kids excited about learning, and this is one way I know will work!

 

number robots

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Ways to Play

 

1. Learning– Before they can change each number into a robot, have them say which number it is. After they say the number, they can transform it into a robot!

 

2. Giant robot– Challenge your little one to build a giant robot using these numbers! This toy is a STEM toy since it works on building, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills!

 

3. Larger numbers– Got an older child? Put two numbers together and have them say the number. I love you can use these for so many years to come as well! You can build numbers in the hundreds and even the thousands!

 

RELATED: Number Recognition Activities 

 


Final Thoughts and Conclusion

 

There are so many toys out there; it feels overwhelming to choose the right gift for kids!

 

All of the gifts that I mention in this article are open-ended toys. That means that if you choose to give one of these as gifts, it can be used in an endless amount of ways. These won’t sit in a closet for a year; I can promise you that!

 

I hope this list of The ULTIMATE Toy List For Preschoolers helped you narrow down your choices! Do you have any toy recommendations for preschoolers that you didn’t see on this list that you think should be added? I’d love to hear about them! Please share your ideas with our community by commenting below!

 

Happy Toy Shopping!

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