If you’re a mother of adorable crawlers or toddlers, you better prepare to give them the best educational toys.
This year better be gone with caution as you don’t want to buy any object from stores during a pandemic to keep the virus outside the doors and windows. But things may improve next year, and you might want to consider buying your kids some educational toys then.
The initial 3 years of a child is an essential period in mental development, and as a parent, you want your child to learn from the very beginning of life.
Educational toys for toddlers and crawlers support a parent’s mindset by assisting curious kiddos in learning through play. Companies are continually releasing new electronic gizmos, promising to turn children into early readers or mathematicians, but don’t raise your expectations too high.
The best toy options for this age group should be pretty simple, straightforward, and non-battery.
“The best toys for toddlers are ones that encourage unstructured, creative, interactive play, as this helps stimulate cognitive and language skills,” says Catherine Workman, M.D., a developmental pediatrician at NYU Langone’s Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) discourages electronic toys with screens during this period because they may disrupt the essential adult interaction needed to boost kids’ brain development.
WomenMinds wants to discuss what you should expect from your toddlers to learn during this age, followed by looking into the 16 best educational toys for your toddlers in the year 2021.
Let’s get started!
What Should A 2-Year-Old Know Academically?
When it comes to what kids of this age need to know, child development experts focus on milestones comprising language, cognition, speech, significant movements (also called gross motor skills), hand and finger movements (also called fine motor skills), social-emotional behavior.
You should check with your pediatrician more often concerning your child’s development. But resist the urge to compare your toddler with the other kids in your parents’ group, by all means.
“There is obviously a wide range when children achieve mastery of various milestones,” says Dr. Margaret D. Workman, pediatrics in Indiana.
Here’s what you should focus on with your toddler:
Go ahead and sing the ABC song if your 2-year-old loves it, but there’s no need to push him/her to memorize the alphabet.
Some children may show an interest in learning their letters or numbers at this age, but a similar interest may not be prevalent in every kid.
“And instead, parents should focus on fostering a love of reading, which can be done by sharing books with your child every day,” says Workman.
As your child plays with puzzles, blocks, and manipulative games like Lego Bricks, they’re not only having fun but building early math skills.
About learning through manipulative games, Workman says, “Toddlers will be learning to sort and distinguish objects by shape, color or size, and can start to complete age-appropriate puzzles. They are also working on learning the concepts of size and volume, for example, which is bigger and which pile has more blocks.”
Which Skills Should Toddlers Learn?
Workman says that by the age of 2, children should speak approximately 50 words spontaneously, meaning they should learn words intrinsically and not just repeating what someone else has said.
“They should also be starting to combine words that express two separate concepts, such as ‘mommy keys’ or ‘daddy bye-bye,” says Workman.
By age 2, a stranger should understand about half of the words your child utters. The growth of this ability should jump to 75 percent by age 3.
At age 2, toddlers can typically understand many more things than they can verbally express.
“At this stage, they should be able to point out several pictures of familiar objects in books when asked about them, and also follow a simple, two-step command, such as ‘Take the keys off the table and bring them to mommy,” says Workman.
It’s never too early to stock up art supplies for your toddlers. Those first doodles help your little one build the hand strength to write letters in pre-K or kindergarten eventually.
“At 2, most children will spontaneously scribble when given a crayon or pen and a piece of paper, and between ages 2 and 3, children will progress from random scribbling to making lines and open circles and dots on a page,” says Workman.
It’s not until age 3 that they can master a circle or some letters. “Letting your child experiment creatively with art supplies like crayons, markers, and pencils will help encourage these skills,” says Workman.
4. Imaginative Play
Workman expects 2-year-olds to participate in creative play mimicking what they see in real life, such as pretending to feed a doll or putting a teddy bear to bed.
“As children get older, their ideas become more elaborate and engaging your child in open-ended creative play is a great way to foster language development and collaborative play skills,” says Workman.
16 Best Educational Toys for Your Toddlers and Crawlers
1. Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Piggy Bank
This game is precisely designed for children aging 6 months or up. The intention behind this toy is to teach children counting and preserving through smart ways.
The game has colorful, numbered coins, and kids need to open the piggy bank to remove those coins. Your toddler can listen to more than 40 fun songs, tunes, and phrases to interact with your child.
Your little learner can play with it to practice fine motor-coordination skills while tucking in the coins into the piggy bank. Such practices will help kids develop counting and adding skills as they get older.
Also, the coins have an inscription of several numbers, which reinforces the number learning process. If you want your child to learn addition, subtraction, and numbering in a fun way, go for this toy.
2. Lego Blocks
The traditional 80-piece building set includes blocks of different shapes and colors for kids to construct whatever their minds dream up.
This set is excellent for developing gross motor skills and promoting open-ended creativity. Plus, you can easily pack up the pieces in the travel-friendly bag when playtime is over.
Therefore, this educational toy helps enhance your toddler’s artistic creativity by engaging it in a colorful block game. While reorganizing the blocks, it will teach your toddler or crawler about discipline.
3. Number Lovin’ Oven
This educational supplement aims at children aging 2 and up.
Kids love toys with food or music, so this singing-oven should prove a crowd-pleaser. It’s viable for early math skills, including counting and fractions, as kids count out slices of pizza.
They also learn to set the oven temperature to a certain number. You can stash all pieces in the oven for easy storage and transport.
As a result, this toy won’t only help you boost your kid’s mood by keeping them busy with songs and cooking activities but also enabling them to test their memory by rearranging the entire game.
You can go for this toy if you’re aiming at brushing your kid’s memory.
4. Fridge Phonics Magnetic Letter Set
It’s another game designed for your 2-year-old toddlers. Magnetic Letter Set is one of the most typical games on this list.
This set features interactive alphabet-tiles, playable with any magnetic surface. Your kid will hear the letter and related words by sticking a letter on the bus window.
Moreover, it includes fun, kid-friendly songs like the “Alphabet Song” and “Wheels on the Bus.”
5. Scoop & Learn Ice Cream Cart
This set packs a lot: 8 ice cream scoops, 3 toppings, 3 cones, and cards with instructions and challenges. The magnetic scooper identifies the colors and flavors, making it an interactive play experience for children by teaching them 200+ phrases and sounds.
Children love to play games that involve color and food; thus, this ice cream toy is an exciting one to educate your toddlers.
6. Learn-to-Play Piano
So, there’re mothers who are artistic and want to hand it down to their children from a very early stage. This game is for them.
Want to acquire a budding Mozart? With 25 keys encompassing two octaves, kids can play along with high and low notes plus loud and soft tunes. It comprises a color-coded songbook that’s great for older kids to play real songs.
It engages them in color playing through music while teaching them keynotes about music and songs. If you wish to involve your child in music, don’t hesitate to give your kid this playset.
7. Great Creations Art Center
Finally, a decent art-based game for the gentle and sober children of yours.
This art point has it all: an art desk station with built-in storage and a double-sided easel. It comes with a chalkboard at one side and a large whiteboard on the other. The storage is spacious enough to allow for crayons, markers, Play-doh, paint, and more accessible and organized stuff.
Creating art enables a child to interact with the world around them and provides new self-expression and communication skills. Art sharpens the brain’s right side, cultivating critical skills simultaneously that benefit a child’s neural development.
8. Magna-Tiles 32-Piece Clear Colors Set
Offering endless fun, Magna-Tiles are a creative way to introduce educational topics like shapes, colors, engineering, principles of magnets, symmetry, and more.
They’re also great for developing your toddler’s fine motor skills. You can find various sets are available with different piece counts and color options such as clear, colored, glow-in-the-dark, and so on.
So, yeah, if you aim at offering coloring and engineering skills to your child with a fun, then look no further than the Magna-Tiles 32 Piece Clear Colors set.
9. Design & Drill Creative Workshop
You must’ve noticed in your toddlers that they break and build various stuff around them. And this game, Design & Drill, is designed to help your children with that, even making it better.
This construction kit helps process STEM learning as your little builders learn about different drill-bits (Phillips, socket, and flathead) for their motorized drill to use on their colorful bolts.
The toy also includes a screwdriver and combination wrench to help complete the activity cards or create their designs. For younger ones, the Design & Drill Bolt Buddies adds in colorful characters and playsets.
10. Learning Resources Coding Critters
If you want to give a little incentive to your toddler’s mind so he can entertainingly learn complicated stuff, then this educational game is for your kid.
Kids can initiate the basics of coding without using a screen while playing with this toy. The 22-piece set comes with coding challenges like help the bunny find its carrot or pull the cart.
Here, a storybook walks kids through the challenges. Moreover, there’s a “play mode” where kids can use the pieces for imaginative free play.
With this game kit, you will also get different animals, including dogs, cats, and dinosaur.
11. Reality Interactive Globe
Reality Interactive Globe has become one of the top-selling and favored games on the market. Parents love this game for their toddlers and crawlers.
This interactive world map comes with an app that will let kids focus on any region. The various regions on earth interest them and educate them about places. More than 1,000 world facts are loaded up in the app for your kid to explore.
Clearly, you and your toddlers can spend an amusing time together while learning the world’s exciting facts with this educational toy.
12. Reading and Writing System
This toy helps to identify the prodigy readers and writers among your naïve children. The game guides them through letter formation, sounding out words, and vocabulary-building.
The toy consists of 150+ books and activities for interactive learning.
13. Rush Hour Junior Traffic Jam
Adults once loved to tinker with the get-the-car-out-of-traffic riddles. For kids, it helps them develop their logic and critical-thinking skills while entertaining them for solid chunks of time.
14. Harry Potter Coding Kit
Kids can build a wand with codable LEDs and then use it to learn to code 70+ spells, helping them order feathers go airborne, goblets multiply, or pumpkins grow on screen.
If Harry Potter isn’t your kids’ area of interest, this game also has coding kits with Frozen and Star Wars themes.
15. Crayola Color Chemistry Set
This set comes with 18 science experiments that kids can do right out of the box. Besides, it comprises 32 more experiments with the set and some additional, everyday household items. There are two sets: a basic chemistry set and a winter-themed one.
If you want to ignite the inner scientist in your toddlers and watch their exciting experiments, then take cues from this educational toy.
16. Word A Round Game
The premise of this game is simple. A card consists of words with the letters in a circle, and the first one to read the words wins.
In practice, it’s much harder than it sounds! As kids try to figure out where the words begin and end, they’ll practice reading, spelling, word recognition, and vocabulary. It’s playing function makes it more suitable for older toddlers around 4.
1-3 is the perfect time for your toddlers to begin board games and card games with you—especially if you love these games, too.
As listed above, educational toys allow you to teach your preschoolers rules, integrity, and luck. Games can also help increase your child’s focus.
Proper toys sharpen your preschooler’s academic skills while registering in them valuable social skills.
Finally, educational games lengthen your toddler’s vocabulary while allowing them to improve analyzing and matching qualities. Let us know in the comment section if you can suggest better educational toys for kids in your view.