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Educational Toys Buying Guide

Spanning everything from numbers and letters to life sciences and foreign languages, educational toys can teach your tot in creative ways. There’s a good chance he’ll be having so much fun playing that he won’t realize he’s learning, too!

Types of Educational Toys

There are educational toys geared for every age level, learning style, and interest. So whether you’re looking to teach your child about the alphabet or animals, there are products to help you. You or your child may prefer certain topics. That’s great, but don’t be afraid to experiment with a variety of subject areas and ways of learning.

Alphabet

Teach your tot his ABC’s with toys that introduce the alphabet. Choose from options like blocks, puzzles, electronic toys, flash cards, letter magnets, games, and writing boards.
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Skip Hop
$17.99 at Target

The Skip Hop Alphabet Zoo Stack and Stick Toy includes an adorable trio of stuffed animals that encourage baby to reach, grasp, sq...ueeze and roll. The rotund elephant, zany zebra and colorful owl in this charming baby toy collection can be stacked together with their velcro backs and bellies, performing all kinds of cool tricks! Sensory details like gentle chimes and rattles, tactile fabrics, colorful patterns and playful linen details encourage babies to interact playfully with these soft animal toys, achieving important developmental milestones in the process. Ages 3 months and up. Tested to meet or exceed ASTM, CPSIA, EN71 and applicable safety standards. Skip Hop is a New York City-based designer that creates fun, practical baby products and donates a portion of all its profits to charities benefitting parents and children. Manufacturer's Suggested Age: 3 Months and UpIncludes: Attachable Toys, Rattle, Plush Toys, Animal FiguresFeatures: RattlesEducational Focus: Motor SkillsNumber of Pieces: 3Dimensions: 8.25 " H x 5.5 " W x 5.5 " L Product Weight: 0.55 Lb.Care and Cleaning: Wipe Clean With a Damp Cloth Read More

Skip Hop
$19.99 at Target

Great minds are nurtured early. The stimulating Skip Hop Alphabet Zoo Stroller Bar Toy includes multiple animal-themed toys that w...ill keep your little one active and happy even on the longest walks. Babies will delight in eight developmental activities, including a banana-shaped teether, a baby-safe elephant mirror, a rattling pear and a detachable zebra tugger. This interactive baby toy's velcro straps attach easily to any infant carrier handle or closed stroller bar. Ages 0 and up. Safety-tested to meet or exceed ASTM, CPSIA, EN71 and applicable safety standards. Skip Hop is a New York City-based designer that creates fun, practical baby products and donates a portion of all its profits to charities benefitting parents and children. Manufacturer's Suggested Age: Newborn and UpIncludes: Teether, Rattle, Mirror, Animal Figures, Attachable Toys, Attachable MirrorFeatures: BPA Free, Multiple Activities, Mirror, Phthalate-free, Teether, Rattles, PVC-freeFill Material: 100 % PolyesterEducational Focus: Shapes and Colors, Creative ThinkingNumber of Pieces: 5 Dimensions: 7.5 " H x 3.5 " W x 11.0 " L Product Weight: 0.4 Lb.Care and Cleaning: Clean with Water and Mild Soap, Not Dishwasher Safe, Do Not Submerge in WaterBattery: no battery usedAssembly Details: no assembly requiredMaterial: Polyethylene Read More

Skip Hop
$16.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond

This colorful frame shaped like an elephant is made of plush fabric so it's safe for baby. The elephant's crinkle ears are soothin...g to the touch as baby plays peek-a-boo and learns to recognize herself. See Full Details Read More

Chronicle Books
$14.99 at Diapers.com

Book Details:Format: HardcoverPublication Date: 10/1/2007Pages: 58Reading Level: Age 3 and UpAuthor: Ian FalconerPublisher: Athene...um Books for Young Readers Dimensions: 11.34in length x 8.78in width x 0.4in height Weight: 10.4oz. When all of the performers at the circus are out sick with ear infections, its up to Olivia to save the day! Thats no problem for Olivia, of course, because she knows how to do everything. From lion taming to trampoline jumping, unicycling to tight-rope walking, Olivia is the ultimate performer--with the ultimate imagination. Now in a board book edition perfect for little hands, readers will delight to see how Ringmaster Olivia learns to fly! Book Details:Format: Board BookPublication Date: 9/7/2010Pages: 36Reading Level: Age 3 and UpAuthor: Ian FalconerPublisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers Dimensions: 8.19in length x 6.32in width x 0.83in height Weight: 17.6oz. Author: Ian FalconerPublisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers Dimensions: 11.35in length x 8.81in width x 0.44in height Weight: 17.6oz. Everyones favorite Caldecott Honor-winning porcine diva is back and with fanfare! There are going to be fireworks tonight, and Olivia can hardly wait to hear the band. But when she finds out that there isnt going to be a band, she cant understand why not. How can there be fireworks without a band?! And so Olivia sets to putting a band together herself...all by herself. Using pots, pans, her brothers toys, and even her fathers suspenders, Olivia forms a band spectacular enough to startle any audience. Lavishly brought to life in Ian Falconers signature style, and introducing an eye-catching shade of blue, here is Olivia doing what Olivia does best -- making noise. Book Details:Format: HardcoverPublication Date: 6/6/2006Pages: 50Reading Level: Age 3 and UpAuthor: Ian FalconerPublisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers Dimensions: 11.41in length x 8.64in width x 0.43in height Weight: 16.8oz. Olivia is thrilled to be invited to Francines house for dinner...she just knows its going to be a very sophisticated evening. And then its time for Olivia to have Francine over...but what will Francine think of her familys casual table manners? Book Details:Format: PaperbackPublication Date: 12/8/2009Pages: 24Reading Level: Age 3 and UpAuthor: Emily SollingerPublisher: Simon Spotlight Dimensions: 8in length x 8in width x 0.08in height Weight: 4.79oz. Olivia notices all the attention her mom gets when shes out with baby William. This makes Olivia wonder... what if she had Little Olivias to show off? Before long, Olivias pets are wearing baby clothes and have had their names changed to Little Olivia 1 and 2. A fun new spin on playing house, Olivia style! Book Details:Format: PaperbackPublication Date: 3/23/2010Pages: 24Reading Level: Age 3 and UpAuthor: Jodie ShepherdPublisher: Simon Spotlight Dimensions: 7.66in length x 7.96in width x 0.07in height Weight: 0.16oz. In her first brand new adventure in three years, Olivia takes her discerning eye for style to beautiful Venice on a family vacation that involves dodging pigeons in the Piazza San Marco, gorging on gelato, and barely staying afloat in a gondola. Book Details:Format: HardcoverPublication Date: 9/28/2010Pages: 48Reading Level: Age 3 and UpAuthor: Ian FalconerPublisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers Dimensions: 11.08in length x 8.83in width x 0.49in height Weight: 18.39oz. Olivias lemonade stand is losing customers to the competition . . . Francine! Olivia decides its time to rethink the lemonade stand concept and turns hers into a full-scale backyard restaurant. Olivia and Francine decide there are enough thirsty customers out there for everyone?they just have to work together! Book Details:Format: PaperbackPublication Date: 5/4/2010Pages: 24Reading Level: Age 4 and UpAuthor: Kama EinhornPublisher: Simon Spotlight Dimensions: 7.51in length x 8in width x 0.07in height Weight: 2.08oz. Its OLIVIA...the Caldecott Honor Book and New Yo Read More

Animals

Your child can learn about animals that fly in the air, roam on land, and swim in the sea with models, puzzles, games, and habitats that concentrate on the wonders of the wild kingdom.
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International Playthings
$17.93 at Sears

Attach link for on the go fun, then pull down and Hello Kitty wiggles back up in her hot air balloon! Soothing jingle sounds, mult...iple fabric patterns and textures. Sweet embroidered details with satin and corduroy fabrics. Plush Hello Kitty with embroidered face and 3-D bow peeks out of balloon basket. Suitable for ages birth and up. Read More

Infantino
$7.99 at Target

Babies who love their binkies will go gaga for this plush pal and its detachable pacifier. It's textured soft body and pacifier he...lp to comfort baby. The friendly character, vibrant prints and unique textures will make them smile. Manufacturer's Suggested Age: 0-3 Months, Newborn and Up, 0-6 MonthsFeatures: Phthalate-free, PVC-free, BPA FreeTextile Material: 100% CottonFill Material: 100% PolyesterEducational Focus: Shapes and ColorsNumber of Pieces: 1Dimensions: 12.0 " H x 2.5 " W x 5.25 " L Product Weight: 0.5 Lb.Care and Cleaning: Clean with Water and Mild SoapBattery: no battery used no battery includedMaterial: Cotton Read More

Alex Toys
$129.99 at Target

This 4? tall plush monkey is enormous fun; learn to dress him from head to toe It features 11 dressing activities that develop fin...e motor skills This kitty comes with real socks, lace-up sneakers and a removable T-shirt and overalls Features: Multiple ActivitiesIncludes: Shoes, Animal Figure, OutfitMaterial: Cotton, FoamTextile Material: 100 % FabricDimensions: 47.0 " H x 12.0 " W x 15.0 " L Weight: 4.2 Lb.Suggested Age: 3 Years and UpCare and Cleaning: Spot Clean Only Read More

Mobi
$24.95 $29.89 at Casa

MOBI Animal Lamps - Giraffe A colorful character houses this portable light that operates via cool LED bulbs. Adjustable brightnes...s, one-touch operation and built-in rechargeable battery makes it the perfect light for children and parents. Great for desktop, late night changing table and feeding, reading in bed, games, and playtime. Features: Portable Desk/Night Light Great for late night changing table and feeding Reading in bed, games, playtime Soft-Touch Adjustable Brightness Control Up to 8-12 hours per charge Safe and Cool-to-Touch LED technology Built-In Rechargeable Battery Includes AC adaptor / Charger Dimensions:0in length x 0 in width x 0 in height ? Imported- Imported MOBI Animal Lamps - Bunny A colorful character houses this portable light that operates via cool LED bulbs. Adjustable brightness, one-touch operation and built-in rechargeable battery makes it the perfect light for children and parents. Great for desktop, late night changing table and feeding, reading in bed, games, and playtime. Features: Portable Desk/Night Light Great for late night changing table and feeding Reading in bed, games, playtime Soft-Touch Adjustable Brightness Control Up to 8-12 hours per charge Safe and Cool-to-Touch LED technology Built-In Rechargeable Battery Includes AC adaptor / Charger Dimensions:0in length x 0 in width x 0 in height ? Imported- Imported MOBI Animal Lamps - Giraffe A colorful character houses this portable light that operates via cool LED bulbs. Adjustable brightness, one-touch operation and built-in rechargeable battery makes it the perfect light for children and parents. Great for desktop, late night changing table and feeding, reading in bed, games, and playtime. Features: Portable Desk/Night Light Great for late night changing table and feeding Reading in bed, games, playtime Soft-Touch Adjustable Brightness Control Up to 8-12 hours per charge Safe and Cool-to-Touch LED technology Built-In Rechargeable Battery Includes AC adaptor / Charger Dimensions:0in length x 0 in width x 0 in height ? Imported- Imported Read More

Art Toys

Art toys such as crayons, markers, glue, finger paints, easels, sidewalk chalk, pencils, stamps, stickers, and clay help kids express themselves and experience the joys of creating their own masterpieces.
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eeBoo
$6.79 at YoYo.com

eeBoo Turquoise Plaid Crayons Unleash your creativity with eeBoos new line of BIG non-toxic crayons. Large size makes for an easy ...grip for even the smallest of hands. 18 vivid crayons, each with its own individually designed wrapper, provide a smooth, clean finish. Four beautifully designed plaid inspired box covers to choose from. ? Imported- China Read More

Aunt Marthas
$20.99 $27.00 at JC Penney

Get creative and use these ballpoint embroidery paint tubes for any project?ornaments, unique jewelry, personalized gifts, wearabl...e art, quilt block embellishments, tea ...more info Get creative and use these ballpoint embroidery paint tubes for any project?ornaments, unique jewelry, personalized gifts, wearable art, quilt block embellishments, tea towels, tablecloths, pillowcases, and so much more. pastel colorsincludes eight 1oz. tubes of painteach tube has a self-sealing ball point tip that can be used for line drawing and shading remove tip for painting with a brushpermanent oil-based paintworks on fabric, wood, leather, plastic, metal and glasswashablelead free and non-toxicWARNING-FLAMMABLE-Keep away from heat or flamemade in America Read More

Alex Toys
$23.79 $27.99 at AfterSchool.com

Alex Craft Giant Art Jar Alex Craft Giant Art Jar has multicolored pom-poms, glitter pom-poms, pipe cleaners, fringed crepe paper,... feathers and more for creating collages, greeting cards and other paper crafts. Kids can imagine and create lots of crafts. Why Youll Love It: If kids can imagine it, they can craft it. Age: 3 to10 years Features Creative craftwork Encourages creativity Engaging and fun Includes: Reusable storage jar Recommended Ages:3 ? 10 Weight: 1.39 lb Read More

Pacon Creative Products
$0.78 $1.19 at AfterSchool.com

Pacon Natural Wood Craft Sticks, 4 1/2 x 3/8 - 100 Count Available in small (ice cream stick) size. 100 sticks per package. Not fo...r health care purposes. Read More

Colors & Shapes

Learn colors and shapes with blocks, puzzles, sorting toys, and electronic toys.
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Melissa & Doug
$22.99 at Hayneedle

For endless entertainment and stimulation, give your toddler this Melissa and Doug Personalized Stacking Train. They can learn sha...pes and colors by stacking the brightly hued blocks onto the train. Each of the wooden blocks has holes to fit onto the pegs of the train, serving as an opportunity for your child to develop fine motor skills. The train cars can also be connected and detached, so they can be played with in a long chain or individually for added variety. About Melissa and Doug Toys Since 1988, Melissa and Doug have grown into a beloved children's product company. They're known for their quality, educational toys and items, and have grown in double digits annually. The Melissa and Doug company has been named Vendor of the Year by such great retailers as FAO Schwarz, Toys R Us, and Learning Express, and their toys have been honored as "Toys of the Year" by Child Magazine, FamilyFun Magazine and Parenting Magazine. Melissa and Doug - caring, quality children's products. Read More

VTech
$12.19 at Target

Choo, choo! Here comes the VTech® Roll and Surprise Animal Train? with loads of learning excitement! Your little one will enjoy pe...ek-a-boo fun and develop fine motor skills through turn, slide and press activities. Animal friends introduce animal names, animal sounds and colors. This educational toy also rewards curiosity and teaches cause and effect with pop-up surprises and 55 songs, melodies, sounds, and phrases. The train is ready to go, all aboard! Manufacturer's Suggested Age: 6-36 MonthsIncludes: InstructionsFeatures: Pop-up motion, Music, Sound Effects, Automatic Shut-Off, Lights UpEducational Focus: Music, Shapes and Colors, Motor Skills, Teaching AidNumber of Pieces: 1Dimensions: 5.0 " H x 5.3 " W x 11.4 " L Product Weight: 0.9 Lb.Care and Cleaning: Wipe Clean With a Dry ClothBattery: required, included Read More

Melissa & Doug
$23.99 at Target

What a perfect way for baby to play! The Melissa and Doug Classic Toy Bead Maze offers multi-shaped and brightly colored beads tha...t swoop and slide along roller coaster wires. This Melissa and Doug toy uses carefully constructed movement and design to encourage color and shape recognition and fine motor development. A sturdy wooden base and heavy duty wires make this learning toy one that will keep your baby busy for a long time. Manufacturer's Suggested Age: 1 Year and UpEducational Focus: Shapes and Colors, Motor SkillsDimensions: 13.0 " H x 11.5 " W x 11.5 " L Product Weight: 2.9 Lb. Read More

Smart Games
$44.99 at Target

Add LED light to the magnetic structures you build with SmartMax Lighthouse! SmartMax allows children to explore magnetism safely.... The oversized pieces are specifically designed for handling by young kids as they learn about the effects of magnetic attraction and repulsion, while older children will have fun using the pieces to construct towers, bridges and other creations. They magnets are strong enough to carry up to 60 times their weight! Lighthouse features 27 pieces, including 2 LED-lit magnetic bars. Manufacturer's Suggested Age: 2 Years and UpIncludes: Toy Building ComponentsNumber of Pieces: 27 Material: PlasticEducational Focus: Shapes and Colors, Memory Skillls, Creative ThinkingDimensions: 13.9 " H x 2.36 " W x 8.0 " L Product Weight: 1.0 Lb.Care and Cleaning: Wipe Clean With a Dry ClothBattery: no battery used Read More

Computers & Laptops

From kiddie laptops to toddler tablets, there are a number of computers geared for little ones. Most come with drop-proof cases, kid-friendly controls, and educational content suited to their young audience.
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Lexibook
$239.97 $239.99 at Wayfair

Features:8'' screen SoftMaker Office 2008 with Word processor, Spreadsheet and Presentation, easy to use and compatible with Offic...e standard format My Homework folder with hundreds memos to learn and succeed in all subjects 50 educational games: logic, memory, strategy, puzzle, and more! Windows CE Messenger and Windows CE Media Player Internet access via cable or WiFi dongle (sold separately) with Internet Explorer 6 Parental control function with a black list words to block the access to sensible web pages 6-language translator included Read More

VTech
$12.19 at Target

Introduce your little one to numbers, shapes and more with this Bear's Baby Laptop from Vtech. When pressed, the buttons light up ...and play sing-along songs. A four-directional mouse and peek-a-boo action add to the fun. Manufacturer's Suggested Age: 0-6 Months, 6-36 MonthsIncludes: InstructionsFeatures: Lights Up, Folds for Storage, Travel Size, MusicEducational Focus: Shapes and Colors, Letters and Numbers, Teaching Aid, MusicNumber of Pieces: 1Dimensions: 10.2 " H x 1.8 " W x 9.1 " L Product Weight: 1.01 Lb.Care and Cleaning: Wipe CleanBattery: optional, included: 3 alkaline AAA Read More

Winfun
$45.99 at Target

Give your child his own computer with this WinFun Techno Smart Laptop. Typing on the QWERTY keyboard and using the mouse to do the... 50 activities helps your child learn Spanish and English. Simply wipe the laptop clean when needed. This cartridge-driven bilingual laptop has 50 learning activities, a large LCD screen, 3 levels of difficulty, a QWERTY keyboard and a working mouse Manufacturer's Suggested Age: 5 Years and UpEducational Focus: Vocabulary, Computer SkillsLanguages: English, SpanishFeatures: Lights UpLevel of Difficulty: BeginnerPower Source: Battery-PoweredCare and Cleaning: Wipe Clean With a Dry ClothBattery: required, included: 3 AA Read More

VTech
$14.19 at Target

The VTech tote and go laptop web connect is close to the real thing with a basic ABC keyboard and a working mouse. With 20 educati...onal activities, this kids learning laptop will teach your kids letters, spelling, vocabulary, numbers, counting, logic and shapes. It can even be connected to a computer so you can download stories and educational exercises. It even has a pretend social network of animals and a virtual fish tank. This kids teaching tool is a great pick for preschoolers and kindergarteners. The mouse stores on top of the laptop for convenient portability. It runs on 3 AA batteries. Manufacturer's Suggested Age: 3 Years and UpGrade Level: Kindergarten, PreschoolEducational Focus: Math, Vocabulary, Letters and NumbersFeatures: FoldableNumber of Activities: 20.0Number of Players: 1 PlayerNumber of Pieces: 1Languages: EnglishPower Source: BatteriesMaterial: PlasticCare and Cleaning: Wipe CleanWarranty Description: 30 Day Limited Manufacturer Warranty, 1 Year Limited Manufacturer WarrantyBattery: Required, included: 3 zinc carbon AA Read More

Discovery Toys

From teaching about the human body to showing what happens when you mix baking soda and vinegar, discovery toys help kids pick up knowledge through hands-on activities.
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Baby Einstein
$14.99 at Target

The Baby Einstein My Discovery Buddy will soon be baby's most treasured friend. Press each section of the soft, fabric tummy to he...ar classical melodies and language discovery. 1,2,3's and shapes are recited in English, Spanish and French while dancing lights engage your little explorer. Plus, stain and crinkle add fun textures to playtime! Certifications: Meets ASTM StandardsManufacturer's Suggested Age: 3 Months and UpFeatures: High-contrast Color, Music, Travel Size, Sound EffectsEducational Focus: Letters and Numbers, Music, Motor Skills, Shapes and ColorsDimensions: 9.25 " H x 4.0 " W x 7.5 " L Product Weight: 0.5 Lb.Care and Cleaning: Spot Clean only Read More

VTech
$29.99 at Target

Enhance your child's interactive learning with this two-in-one Discovery Table from VTech. With colorful designs and interactive s...witches, this toy set helps improve your child's ability and skills to recognize letters, numbers, shapes, and colors. Read More

Baby Einstein
$14.99 at Target

The Baby Einstein My Discovery Buddy will soon be baby's most treasured friend. Press each section of the soft, fabric tummy to he...ar classical melodies and language discovery. 1,2,3's and shapes are recited in English, Spanish and French while dancing lights engage your little explorer. Plus, stain and crinkle add fun textures to playtime! Certifications: Meets ASTM StandardsManufacturer's Suggested Age: 3 Months and UpFeatures: Travel Size, High-contrast Color, Sound Effects, MusicEducational Focus: Music, Shapes and Colors, Letters and Numbers, Motor SkillsDimensions: 9.25 " H x 4.0 " W x 7.5 " L Product Weight: 0.5 Lb.Care and Cleaning: Spot Clean only Read More

Calico Critters
$39.95 at Target

Critter babies enjoy playing with all of their friends in the Baby Discovery Forest. Includes: acorn, carousel, leaf seesaw, baske...t swing, movable slide, tree stump with flipping top and berry pie, mushroom steps, and 11 decorative flowers. Forest measures 8½" x 8" x 9". Critters not included. Manufacturer's Suggested Age: 3 years and UpFits Doll Size: 3 inchesMaterial: PlasticEducational Focus: Creative ThinkingNumber of Pieces: 1 Dimensions: 9.5 " H x 10.25 " W x 9.88 " D Product Weight: 2.3 Lb.Care and Cleaning: Spot Clean OnlyBattery: no battery used Read More

Electronics

Exposed to remote controls and cell phones from a young age, kids have a natural affinity to electronic educational toys. These include battery-operated and outlet-powered devices such as laptops, tablets, handhelds, robots, and video game systems.
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VTech
$17.49 at Diapers.com

VTech Pop and Surprise Animal Train Choo, choo! Here comes the VTech Roll and Surprise Animal Train with loads of learning excitem...ent! Your little one will enjoy peek-a-boo fun and develop fine motor skills through turn, slide and press activities. Animal friends introduce animal names, animal sounds and colors. This educational toy also rewards curiosity and teaches cause and effect with pop-up surprises and 55 songs, melodies, sounds, and phrases. The train is ready to go, all aboard! Requires 2 AAA batteries. Product Measures: 5.2 x 11.8 x 9.5 Recommended Ages: 6 months -3 years Read More

VTech
$12.19 at Target

Choo, choo! Here comes the VTech® Roll and Surprise Animal Train? with loads of learning excitement! Your little one will enjoy pe...ek-a-boo fun and develop fine motor skills through turn, slide and press activities. Animal friends introduce animal names, animal sounds and colors. This educational toy also rewards curiosity and teaches cause and effect with pop-up surprises and 55 songs, melodies, sounds, and phrases. The train is ready to go, all aboard! Manufacturer's Suggested Age: 6-36 MonthsIncludes: InstructionsFeatures: Pop-up motion, Music, Sound Effects, Automatic Shut-Off, Lights UpEducational Focus: Music, Shapes and Colors, Motor Skills, Teaching AidNumber of Pieces: 1Dimensions: 5.0 " H x 5.3 " W x 11.4 " L Product Weight: 0.9 Lb.Care and Cleaning: Wipe Clean With a Dry ClothBattery: required, included Read More

VTech
$63.99 at Target

Little ones will love learning and exploring in the VTech Grow and Discover Tree House. There are activities inside and out to kee...p the fun and development going. This tree house features an electronic learning panel and encourages skills with balls for color sorting and shape recognition, turning gears and a clock arm that spins to teach numbers. The window flaps open and close for peek-a-boo fun, and there are 5 chunky piano keys that play over 40 tunes. With the flashing lights, songs and sounds, this tree house will keep your little one engaged in fun and learning for hours. Ages 6 to 36 months. Manufacturer's Suggested Age: 6-36 MonthsIncludes: Instructions, TunnelMaterial: PlasticFrame Material: PlasticDimensions: 35.4 " H x 31.5 " W x 47.2 " L Care and Cleaning: Wipe CleanBattery: optional, included: 2 alkaline AA Read More

VTech
$17.49 at YoYo.com

VTech Pop and Surprise Animal Train Choo, choo! Here comes the VTech Roll and Surprise Animal Train with loads of learning excitem...ent! Your little one will enjoy peek-a-boo fun and develop fine motor skills through turn, slide and press activities. Animal friends introduce animal names, animal sounds and colors. This educational toy also rewards curiosity and teaches cause and effect with pop-up surprises and 55 songs, melodies, sounds, and phrases. The train is ready to go, all aboard! Requires 2 AAA batteries. Product Measures: 5.2 x 11.8 x 9.5 Recommended Ages: 6 months -3 years Read More

Flash cards

Flash cards are cardboard or plastic cards for teaching letters, numbers, words, math, and more. Some companies even let you customize your own set of flashcards with the words, places, and faces to which your child will best connect.
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Mudpuppy
$10.29 $12.99 at YoYo.com

26 double-sided cards with a reclosable rings Dimensions: 4.5in length x 2.5in width x 7in height

LeapFrog
$14.99 at Target

Mix and match letters on interactive flash cards to build more than 100 words with short vowel sounds. Age 4-6 years Features Turn... letters into words at the Talking Words Factory by playing 5 rhyming, spelling and singing games. Touch letters to hear them pronounced. 400+ audio responses and sing-along songs reinforce the learning. Spot spelling patterns and swap out beginning letters (onsets) and ending letters (rimes) to create new words. Includes storage box. About the Series The Early Reading Series is designed to build core phonics skills and support children as they proceed at their own pace toward independent reading. Learning Difference LeapReader books tap into children's natural curiosity and inspire them to explore. By connecting LeapReader to a computer you can see your child?s progress, expand the learning with fun activities and get personalized skill insights. Works With Tag Reading System and LeapReader Reading and Writing System (sold separately) Manufacturer's Suggested Age: 4 Years and UpGrade Level: PreschoolEducational Focus: VocabularyFeatures: Travel SizeNumber of Players: 1 or More PlayersNumber of Pieces: 1Includes: CardsPower Source: ManualMaterial: PaperBattery: no battery used Read More

Munchkin
$4.95 $4.99 at Babyhaven.com

Do you know how to say rabbit in Spanish? With the help of these colorful Traveling Flash Cards, your little one will be learning ...animals, shapes, colors and numbers in English and Spanish in no time! 40 cards have 80 stimulating and memorable images to help kids learn. The images of real animals are a fun way to practice sounds and learn about the world around them. And, the easy-grasp handle allows kids to use them on their own. Read More

eeBoo
$9.49 $12.79 at YoYo.com

eeBoo Alphabet Phonics Flash Cards Give children a faster and easier way to master the ABC?s with eeBoo Alphabet Phonics Flash Car...ds. Each set comes with 45 bright and large cards that are 4.5 x 6 inches in size. Each cards display lower and upper case letters with an object starting with that letter in a colorful picture. Enhances a child?s learning ability right from the beginning with cards that are clear, colorful and bright. Why You?ll Love It: This card set makes a great fun way to make children learn the ABC?s from an early age. Age: 5 years and up Features Comes with 45 colorful and bright flash cards in 2-inch font size Includes two parent cards with 2-inch font size Comes in a sturdy sliding tray box All cards are 4.5 x 6 inches in size Comes with an instruction booklet Builds early reading skills Author: Dr. Sarah Brown Read More

Gardening

Gardening toys help kids learn about plants, weather, and healthy food by providing the tools and knowledge to take care of plants. They include toys for pretend play and pint-size versions of the real thing,
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HomePlace Structures
$4,999.00 at Home Depot

The classic Vintage Garden Building makes a wonderful addition to any property, with its obvious curb appeal and efficiency. This ...garden building kit is brought to you by the nation's premier supplier of quality outdoor products. HomePlace Structures' Amish craftsmen combine quality workmanship and the finest materials to create an upscale, versatile garden building. Kit includes garden building components, all hardware for assembly, internal storage system items and a fully illustrated step assembly manual. Before ordering, check with your local building, zoning or neighborhood association to obtain all applicable permits Building kit is designed with unique ease-of-assembly solutions, utilizing framing systems that ensure correct placement and simple flexibility for various configurations of windows and doors (doors may be placed at four different locations left, center, or right position on front wall, or centered on an end wall) Kit, as designed and packaged, is engineered to with stand wind speeds of 130 MPH and ground snow loads of 12.6 PSF, simple customer additions and modifications may be made to achieve higher snow ratings, if needed Shingles and paint not included this allows complete flexibility for you to customize your unit with paint and shingles that match those on existing buildings on your property, you will need to buy 8 bundles of shingles and approximately 4 gal. of paint to finish the garden building 10 ft. x 14 ft. footprint; 11 ft. overall exterior height 7 ft. walls with 2 in. x 4 in. studs 24 in. on center; hurricane brackets included for connection between wall framing and rafters 7/16 in. thick LP engineered wood siding, featuring insect and rot resistance and innovative TechShield radiant barrier on inside surface (for brightness, ease of cleaning and interior temperature impact) Gable ends of garden building accent the overall appearance, using the same TechShield material with a unique installation that provides a cedar-shake-type look Double 3 ft. x 6 ft. wood doors for ease of entry (70 in. wide opening); doors highlighted by arched glass windows Two 2 ft. x 3 ft. sash windows constructed with maintenance-free materials; with screens, hinged at bottom inside (tilt in) 4 ft. x 10 ft. interior storage loft Suncast interior storage solutions provide practical, flexible enhancements (sections of slat wall provided, along with an assortment of hooks, brackets, etc) Wooden vents on both gable ends of garden building Steep (8/12 pitch) A-frame roof for optimum storage capacity; roof built with 2 in. x 4 in. roof rafters and 1/2 in. roof sheathing with radiant barrier Trim package includes boxed-in eaves, 8 in. soffits on long sides of building, and 12 in. overhang on gable ends Floor is included floor system is designed to be used with a firm, solid surface underneath the 2 in. x 4 in. pressure treated joists; 5/8 in. slip-resistant floor decking is engineered wood product specifically designed for garden buildings Optional cupolas are available to enhance the roof appearance and provide additional venting (HomePlace Lexington cupola model # RLX, or Windsor cupola model # LCC) Allow 3-4 weeks for delivery shipping arranged by HomePlace structures provides delivery to driveway curb only Instructions / AssemblyYou will need Adobe® Acrobat® Reader to view PDF documents. Download a free copy from the Adobe Web site. SPECIFICATIONS Approximate Shed Depth (ft.) 10 Approximate Shed Width (ft.) 14 Assembled Depth (in.) 137.5 in Assembled Height (in.) 132 in Assembled Width (in.) 192 in Assembly Required Yes Door Opening Width (ft.) 6+ Floor Options With Floor Lockable Door/Gate Latch Yes Manufacturer Free from manufacturer and material defects - 5 years Number of Doors 1 Number of Windows 2 Product Depth (in.) 137.5 Product Height (in.) 132 Product Weight (lb.) 2660.000 lb Product Width (in.) 192 Returnable 90-Day Roof Color Family Light Brown Wood Roof Material 1/2" roof sheathing with radiant barrier (cu Read More

Teamson
$109.70 $129.00 at Hayneedle

It doesn't get any cuter than this, folks. This is a hand-painted, child-sized valet for hanging coats and things before getting d...own to some serious play. Crafted from very durable, non-warping, medium density fiberboard, it's a fine piece of nursery furniture that can weather the wear that the kids will no doubt deliver. Lightweight and very stable, there's no chance of accidents from overturning it or breakage. The bottom features a nice enclosed bin for storage of playthings, boots, etc. We can't promise it will organize the romper room, but it will help. About Teamson Design Based in Edgewoood, N.Y., Teamson Design Corporation is a wholesale gift and furniture company that specializes in handmade and hand painted kid-themed furniture collections and occasional home accents. In business since 1997, Teamson continues to inspire homes with creative and colorful furniture. Read More

Little Tikes
$27.99 at Target

Interactive and engaging, Little Tikes Activity Garden? Plant ?N? Play combines essential infant play patterns with fun and whimsy... to help baby grow and develop. Kids will have fun maintaining their garden, planting vegetables, watering flowers and listening to the garden sounds. Children can ?plant? veggies and flowers in the shape-sorting garden. When veggies are ?planted,? the garden will tell kids the colors of the veggies for learning play. They can "water? the plants with the pretend hose. Veggies and flowers can be ?picked? off the trellis. Press down on the bumble bee to see lights and hear fun sounds. Pull the spider to see it scurry back up to its web. Also features clicking bugs and a flower mirror for "peek-a-boo" play. Easy to carry with its molded-in handle. Manufacturer's Suggested Age: 1 Year and UpIncludes: Instructions, Shape Sorter, Attachable ToysFeatures: Sound Effects, Easy-to-grip, Lights UpEducational Focus: Shapes and Colors, Motor SkillsNumber of Pieces: 8Dimensions: 18.2 " H x 20.81 " W x 12.06 " L Product Weight: 3.04 Lb.Care and Cleaning: Wipe Clean With a Damp ClothBattery: required, not included: 3 AA Read More

Woodland Imports
$80.85 at Wayfair

Introducing this classy styled polystone solar planter that will add style to your room space. This fancy Polystone solar planter ...is made of quality polystone and thus durable. This Polystone solar planter features metal finish. You can bring home a farming theme. If you are fanatical about planters then this Polystone solar planter surely going to fascinate you. You can add this exclusive Polystone solar planter to your showcase, bare space, on a plain table top else a place of your choice.This Polystone solar planter will make you win appreciations from many. Besides, you can also gift this exclusive Polystone solar planter to your near and dear ones. Put an end to your thoughts and get this Polystone solar planter right away. It is worth owning. Did you get one? Read more Features:Material: Quality polystone Durable construction Mesmerizing collection Dimensions: Overall Height - Top to Bottom: 15 Inches Overall Width - Side to Side: 14 Inches Overall Depth - Front to Back: 17 Inches Read More

Geography

Countries, states, capitals, rivers, and more can be learned with geography–based educational goods, including globes, models, electronic games, puzzles, and maps.
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Adams
$8.95 at YoYo.com

From North Americas mountains to Africas deserts, this book will help kids learn the locations of states, countries, and continent...s around the world. They will also learn about the features that make up each region, including: Whats growing in the Amazon Rainforest; The longest river in the world - the Nile in Africa; The frozen Ts of Asia - the tundra and the taiga; Shelves of ice in Antarctica; The uniqueness of the Australian Outback; And more! With exciting puzzles and activities, this book is a great tool for teachers and parents who want to make learning fun for kids. Before long, young readers will be reading maps and navigating tough terrain like bona fide geographers! Book Details: Format: Paperback Publication Date: 1/17/2009 Pages: 144 Reading Level: Age 9 and Up Author: Jane P. Gardner Publisher: Adams Media Dimensions: 9.24in length x 8in width x 0.45in height Weight: 9.11oz. Read More

LeapFrog
$10.02 $11.79 at Target

Visit landmarks, meet children from around the country, explore state capitals, find fun facts and play 10+ games on a jumbo 2-sid...ed U.S. map puzzle. Age 4-8 years Features Climb volcanos, fly planes, navigate lakes and learn about animals from coast to coast?with 300+ audio responses. Hear kids from across the country tell you about how they live, play and eat on the Great Plains, in Alaska and around the United States! Locate cities, measure distances, compare regions and find the 50 states and their capitals. Touch the compass rose to go on a musical journey across the United States and listen to regional songs. About the Series The Learn through Reading Series supports reading development by providing children with knowledge-building opportunities in areas of personal interest. Learning Difference Interactive maps are a great way for young children to explore the world and build basic map skills. Fun facts and engaging games inspire children to make real world connections with the settings of their favorite stories. Works With Tag Reading System and LeapReader Reading and Writing System (sold separately) Manufacturer's Suggested Age: 4 Years and UpGrade Level: PreschoolEducational Focus: Social Skills, ScienceFeatures: Travel SizeNumber of Players: 1 or More PlayersNumber of Pieces: 21Includes: Storage BoxPower Source: ManualMaterial: PaperBattery: no battery used Read More

Ravensburger
$11.95 at Serious Puzzles

Ravensburger has been in the puzzle business for over 125 years, and not only do they make challenging and expertly crafted jigsaw...s for adults, but also fun and educational puzzles for kids; Extra durable pieces have been designed specifically to withstand the demands of a curious child. Piece shapes, images, and activities have been crafted to hone fine motor skill development, shape and color association, task completion, problem solving, and independent play! This colorful US map features little pictorial examples of something each state is known for as well as the name, and a starred point for the location, of the capital city. Teach kids a little about the United Stated while engaging their developing motor skills and spatial recognition. Ravensburger has been in the puzzle business for over 125 years, and not only do they make challenging and expertly crafted jigsaws for adults, but also fun and educational puzzles for kids; Extra durable pieces have been designed specifically to withstand the demands of a curious child. Piece shapes, images, and activities have been crafted to hone fine motor skill development, shape and color association, task completion, problem solving, and independent play! Read More

John N. Hansen
$19.99 at Target

Material: CardboardNumber of Pieces: 1000 Manufacturer's Suggested Age: 12 Years and Up

Musical Instruments

Help your child get into the groove with educational toys that teach about rhythm, sound, and melody. Options Include drums, percussion, flutes, guitars, harmonicas, kazoos, keyboards, pianos, rattles, shakers, and saxophones.
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Peavey
$143.99 at Sears

Great for beginners! The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Junior drum set is designed to emulate an adult drum set. Includes bass drum... with sock pedal, snare drum, two headed tom-tom, crash cymbal, throne and drum sticks. . Read More

Janod
$77.29 $89.99 at YoYo.com

Janod Grand Piano Colorful Baby Grand Piano With Great Music Sounds.

B.
$22.99 at Target

Boost your child's love for music with the Woofer hound dog guitar. Quirky and colorful, it plays 20 familiar songs and nine doggi...e ditties. This kids' guitar toy has realistic strings, so your little one can strum to his heart's content. Manufacturer's Suggested Age: 2 Years and UpFeatures: BPA Free, Automatic Shut-offNumber of Pieces: 1 Material: PlasticProduct Weight: 2.07 Lb.Battery: required, included: 3 AA Read More

B.
Pyle
$152.95 at Sears

Pyle Electronic Table Digital Drum Kit Top w/ 7 Pad Digital Drum Kit This electronic table top drum kit is an all-in-one wonder. I...t's super-customizable, lightweight, and portable - the ultimate tabletop kit for the drummer on-the-go. Each of the seven pads has touch sensitivity for an accurate response. Use one of the built-in 25 presets, or create and store your own kit by choosing from 215 different percussion voices. Use the internal speakers, or envelope yourself in percussive rhythms by plugging in your own headphones. There's more: this kit comes with two pedals so you can get the real feel of a kick drum and hi-hat pedal. You can connect this unit to your computer using the USB cable - it'll function as a MIDI controller for your favorite computer software to get even more functionality! You can also play along with the built-in songs. This kit includes a built-in metronome and reverb effect. It runs on batteries or the included AC adapter. With the PTED01, you'll be making beats in no time. * 7 Drum Pads with Touch Sensitivity * 2 Pedals Pad Layout * 25 Preset Drum Kits * 5 User Kits * 215 Percussion Voices * 100 songs * 1 Demo Song * USB Port (MIDI In/Out) Read More

Numbers & Counting

Numbering and counting toys teach children their 123’s through flash cards, discovery toys, and electronic games.
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Melissa & Doug
$24.79 at Diapers.com

Easy to position and reposition on any magnetic surface, these shaped wooden magnets are a playful way to introduce letters and nu...mbers! A terrific tool for hands-on exploration of these key early learning concepts?the building blocks for writing and math skills?this brightly colored collection naturally encourages sorting, matching, fine motor skills, and hand-eye coordination, too. Each set (Letters and Numbers) is housed in a sturdy wooden case with a see-through, slide-shut lid. Read More

Alex Toys
$61.99 $69.99 at YoYo.com

BUSY BARN 6 sides of fun in a unique barn shape! Wooden activity barn includes peek-a-boo doors, turn and learn ABC tiles, spinnin...g gears, silly sliders and roof with counting art. Measures 12.25 H x 9.5 W x 12.75 D (31 cm x 24 cm x 32.4cm). Read More

Fisher-Price
$13.29 $14.99 at YoYo.com

Fisher-Price Sing n Learn Shopping Tote The Laugh and Learn Sing n Learn Shopping Tote is an adorable soft tote with sing-along so...ngs and learning fun! Press the apple button on the tote to be rewarded with songs and phrases about colors, counting, fruits and veggies, and recycling! There are four fun play pieces each with a unique feature to help foster early role play. The two eggs toggle up and down when pressed. The colorful clacker veggies include a carrot, tomato and peas. The purple grapes are beads that can be moved on the vine. And there are five squishy bananas. The play pieces easily fit inside making it a perfect on-the-go tote! Product Measures: 9.75 x 14.5 x 3.5 Recommended Ages: 7 months-2 years Read More

Melissa & Doug
$25.79 at YoYo.com

Melissa and Doug Catch and Count Fishing Game Catch some laughs and learning with this wooden magnetic play set--complete with wor...king wind-up reel! The 10 magnetic fish are numbered and patterned to enrich matching, sorting, and counting activities, and two wooden rods make collecting them a blast! Kids can use the spinner to play as a game, or just have fun collecting the pieces over and over again. Either way, theres plenty of fun in this sea! Read More

Reading & Writing

From C-A-T to SAT words, toys that teach reading and writing skills include flash cards, electronic devices, computers, software, puzzles, magnets, games, stamps, and word blocks.

Science

Science-based educational toys expose children to aspects of life, earth, and physical science. They include models, experiments, microscopes, magnifying glasses, habitats, aquariums, science kits, magnets, and more.

Software

Educational software can teach nearly any topic through games, videos, and activities. Some versions come on a CD or DVD, while others may be downloaded from the Internet to any computer, laptop, or tablet.
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VTech
$19.99 at Target

Help Minnie, Daisy and Figaro get ready for a party with Disney Minnie's Bow-Toons MobiGo cartridge. This MobiGo cartridge has 5 l...earning games that help kids build skills in colors, counting, memory, math and matching. MobiGo touch learning system makes learning fun. Kids can help Minnie and her friends decorate for the party and prepare for a fashion show. Manufacturer's Suggested Age: 3 Years and UpEducational Focus: Shapes and Colors, Letters and NumbersLanguages: EnglishLearning Platform: VTech InnotabComputer Platform Compatibility: MobiGo Read More

VTech
$13.39 at Target

Portable handheld gaming system lets kids enjoy learning on the go Touch screen technology Features favorite Mickey Mouse Clubhous...e friends and the voice of Mickey Mouse!6 Fun Learning games use the touch screen and QWERTY keyboard Learn skills such as numbers, counting, colors, shapes and more! Manufacturer's Suggested Age: 4 Years and UpEducational Focus: Letters and Numbers, Shapes and ColorsFeatures: Color Screen, Touch Screen, Travel SizeNumber of Activities: 6.0Languages: EnglishIncludes: Software CDLearning Platform: Vtech MobiGo TouchInteracts With: Electronic Learning SystemComputer Platform Compatibility: Windows, PC, MacBattery: no battery used Read More

MobiGo
$19.99 at Target

Make learning a fun pastime for your child with VTech's MobiGo game based on the Disney movie Brave. The game follows a storyline ...that encourages your child to continue through the activities to find out what happens next. The Brave game is designed to help children improve their spelling skills, vocabulary, problem-solving skills and more. It's an enjoyable supplement to early education. Manufacturer's Suggested Age: 4 Years and UpEducational Focus: Science, VocabularyLanguages: EnglishLearning Platform: Vtech MobiGo TouchComputer Platform Compatibility: PC, Mac Read More

VTech
$14.99 at Sears

A great gift for ages 3-5 Years. The Dora the Explorer educational game for the VTech MobiGo Touch Learning System will keep your ...child entertained for hours. Dora and Perrito head to the Play Park for the Twins Day celebration and need help finding Perrito's twin. Children will hone their preschool skills all with the touch of a finger while playing with their favorite learning toy! It's Twins Day! Dora, Boots and Dora's puppy, Perrito, set out on an exciting journey to Play Park for the Twins Day celebration and to look for Perrito's twin brother! With this VTech MobiGo Touch Learning System game, kids can play with their favorite learning toy and will learn about colors, shapes, beginning letters, counting, and matching while building their basic Spanish vocabulary. Vamonos - Let's go! Contains 5 separate learning games Preschool curriculum includes colors, shapes, beginning letters, counting, matching and more Basic Spanish vocabulary is introduced Touch screen adds to the play pattern by allowing children to tap, swipe or flick to answer questions on the MobiGo electronic learning toy Read More

Product Features

A wide variety of educational toys exist. But that means it’s even more important to choose ones that are the best suited to your child’s age, personality, interests, and learning style.

Recommended Age Range

For each toy, manufacturers provide a recommended age range or grade level based on the appropriateness of the product’s content, required background knowledge, and size of the included pieces.

Independent vs. Supervised Play

While your child may be able to enjoy some educational toys on her own, there may be others such as flash cards, science experiments, or CD-ROM software that will require adult supervision or participation.

Learning Style

Toys can teach through a variety of methods, including auditory, visual, kinesthetic, or tactile.

Additional Supplies Needed

Some educational toys may require additional accessories, such as batteries, construction paper, soil, or a computer. Be sure to check the toy’s box beforehand to see what is included and what you may need to purchase separately.

Single vs. Multiple Right Answers

Certain educational toys -- including those that teach spelling, shapes, math, and geography -- pose questions with a sole correct answer. But other learning toys – such as musical instruments and art supplies -- may allow for a variety of correct responses -- or have none at all. A combination of both styles can help develop a child’s creativity, rote knowledge, and critical-thinking skills.

Auditory Volume

Learning isn’t always quiet. Computers, laptops, electronic devices, software, musical instruments, and some other kinds of educational toys can be noisy. Consider looking for toys that come with a volume control or headphone jacks.

Cleanliness

Art goods, science experiments, and gardening can get messy. Be prepared by choosing your child’s location and attire accordingly. 

Purchase Considerations

Before you buy an educational toy for your child, keep in mind the product’s age range, durability, battery usage, and storage needs. Consider your 

Age Range / Age Level

While some educational toys have a clear age range, others can be used by various ages. This is beneficial for keeping a toy relevant as a child grows, 

Durability

Kids can be rough on toys, so keep in mind the material and quality of the toys you purchase. Look for items that can handle the bumps, drops, and other accidents of childhood.

Battery Usage

If the educational toy uses batteries, consider investing in rechargeable batteries or researching whether another power source, such as a plug-in wall adaptor, is available for it.

Storage

Some educational toys require special storage conditions. For example, do you have room for that large floor puzzle? Or where will you put that lizard habitat? Before you buy a toy, make sure you know if and where it can be safely kept in your home.

Single Topic vs. Multiple Topic

Single-subject toys keep kids focused as they practice a skill, limiting the amount of information they can access at one time. Multi-topic toys allow kids to learn about a variety of subjects and continue playing even if they master or tire of one aspect of the toy.

Interests

As the saying goes, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” So even if your child only seems interested in animals, try toys that allow him to explore other topics, too. You never know what he’ll discover.
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