20 Best Educational Toys for Kids & Toddlers In 2018

Everyone knows that toys are the necessary instruments that kids need to grow and develop to their optimum. Unfortunately, like any other object in this world, not all toys are created equal. As consumers, we must be very meticulous in our choices of playthings as our kids are quite dependent on our judgment.

We have come up with a list of the world’s top 20 educational toys that we are sure you and your kids will love. These playthings are guaranteed to be so useful that parents who are also teaching in grade school can use these tools as learning instruments for the teaching of their students.

Our Top 3 Picks

Snap Circuits Jr.
  • Snap Circuits Jr.
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • No Tools Required
  • Price: See Here
Learning Resources Building Set
  • Learning Resources Building Set
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • 150 Pieces
  • Price: See Here
Scientific Explorer Science Kit
  • Scientific Explorer Science Kit
  • 4.3 out of 5
    Our rating
  • 6 Years and Older
  • Price: See Here

Criteria Used in Evaluation of the Top 20 Educational Toys

Educational toys are important to developmental skills because they stimulate learning. Different toys are intended and used for different educational purposes, but each with the goal of assisting a child to develop a skill. While some toys are intended for skill building others teach children about a particular subject. Educational toys often take simple tasks and turn them into a learning experience or teach a developmental skill.

Children are learning all the time as they interact with others, play with toys, and explore the world around them. It is important for children to have educational toys to learn different developmental skills through their childhood. Toys teach them everything from cause and effect to how the sun is used to make solar power. Toys that are designed today have more educational purposes than ever before.

The toys that make up the list of the 20 best educational toys are carefully selected. Each of the toys on the list is for educational purposes only. They can also include a fun way to learn, but the thought behind each of the toys was with the intention of learning. Experts all have their own ideas on what are the best educational toys, but we take the science of selecting only the best toys by our own experts.

Our panel of experts consists of three groups of people; parents, toy experts, and child psychologists. Each of these groups is carefully picked and they all know the goal of the list. The goal of the list is to provide the best educational toys that we can find with the best ratings and the safest products. Each toy is selected because it teaches something and has a target age of the group of kids it is for. So our goal is to provide you with the best toys our experts have put on the list. We always hope you are able to find something on the list that will interest the child in your life.

Benefits of using educational toys in a social setting

The benefits of using educational toys in a social setting are allowing children to come together to interact and stimulate learning. When you place toys in a social setting with children you giving them a tool to stimulate their interactions with others and help them find a common ground to learn. Providing children with engaging toys that are suited for their age allows them to express their interests, experience their emotions, and it encourages their developmental skills.

When children are able to have fun in a social setting they are more likely to enjoy the experience and feel comfortable around others. Providing toys for the children to interact with each other creates an experience that they can enjoy and will want to engage in time after time. Using toys in a social setting allows children to learn and have fun.

Developing a child’s love for learning

When a child develops the love for learning it helps them develop a healthy relationship with education and allows them to progress through school with fewer struggles and more rewards. Teaching a child that learning is fun by encouraging their imagination and inspiring them to learn through everything they do during the day sets them up for great success. Children want to explore and discover instinctively so encouraging them is the best support you can offer.

Make learning fun. Helping children learn new things and experience the environment around them helps them develop a love for learning. Inspiring them with books, blocks, paints, crayons, and doll figures make the experience a rewarding one as well. As children continue to learn and find the experience rewarding their love will grow and they will find it more and satisfying.

What Determined Top 20 Educational Toys in Our List

Coming up with a shortlist of the top 20 educational toys is not easy simply because of the sheer number of so-called educational toys currently available in the market. Additionally, the understanding of what can be rightfully considered as educational is purely academic. Teachers and education experts can also have their own respective personal preferences as to what type of toy can be rightfully considered as educational. This do not make the determination of the world’s top 20 educational toys any easier. However, to come up with the shortlist is something that we have set out to do.

To help us in our endeavor, our team of researchers had to carefully examine each of these so-called educational playthings and identify what features they provide that can be considered as truly educational. We then subjected each toy to a series of tests to try and determine the breadth of learning usefulness especially when played by its intended or target age group of kids. We then had to look for any indications of remarkable achievement such as toy design awards or even learning toy awards which may have been awarded to the toy. In cases where there are none, we had to look at what other people are saying and how such toys were able to help their respective children. Of course, company reputation also matters a lot especially when considering any warranties or guarantees that are provided with the product.

It was never easy coming up with the list of the world’s top 20 educational toys. Nevertheless, we were able to pull it through and hopefully, you were able to find something that you can give as a birthday present or a holiday gift to your own kid or the kids of a family friend or neighbor.

What Makes a Toy Educational?

It is quite easy to label something as educational. But do toy manufacturers really understand what it means to have an educational toy? Furthermore, do we, as parents, have the correct idea of what constitutes an educational plaything?

For most of us, a very simplistic definition of an educational toy is something which a child can learn something from. Technically, this can mean virtually anything. For example, a piece of stick may look nothing more than an ordinary stick to most of us adults but for a child, it can already be the whole world to him or her. This stick can become the Jedi’s light saber that is used to combat the forces of evil in the galaxy. Or, it could very well be the magic staff of Jack Frost as he tries to become one of the newest member of the Guardian. Or, it can very well be the lean tower that juts the scenic landscape of a prime real estate property. What we are trying to say is that even ordinary objects can mean the whole world to the imagination of a child.

There are educational toys the way we envisioned them to be. These are learning toys for young children – those playthings that play the alphabet, nursery rhymes, and come in different light shows, colors, and shapes – all help to define the sensorimotor development of young children. It is through nursery rhymes and children’s songs that babies learn and expand their vocabulary. This helps them master the different colors including patterns, forms, and shapes. This provides the backbone for their language and communication skills. And as children become more and more confident about their semantic and pragmatic language skills, they become more adept at conveying and communicating with other children as well as adults in their family. This helps boost their sense of confidence and help enhance their self-esteem and self-worth.

Of course, there are instances when toys are really designed for the purpose of learning more specific concepts. For example, science-themed toys such as play microscopes, laboratory experiments, telescopes, and other miniature scientific gadgets can be very useful tools in helping children understand certain scientific principles. Giving children building blocks which they can build into robots and other mechanized objects as well as beautiful structures can help them understand certain principles of science, technology, mathematics, and engineering. These are toys that are primarily designed to help develop children’s logical reasoning, counterfactual reasoning, deductive thinking, critical thinking, and creative thinking skills. It allows them to harness their complex problem solving skills in ways that would otherwise be difficult if not for these types of toys.

Craft toys and playthings that allow kids to create something can teach kids about patience and perseverance. While these may not be the kind of education that you have in mind, these are valuable life lessons which children can use later in life. They are also able to learn how to make full use of their manual dexterity, visual motor coordination, balance, and sense of proprioception. More importantly, they tend to become resourceful and highly creative, substituting things for another. This cannot be taught in school. Only life experiences coupled with the correct set of toys can help prepare children to think out of the box.

The Bottom Line

One’s preconceived notions about what should constitute an educational toy can affect future choices. What is perhaps more important for us to understand is that toys are merely instruments for our kids’ optimum development. They will still require our guidance especially in terms of using these toys. We may have provided you with a list of the world’s top 20 educational toys but we would strongly recommend giving a more hands-on approach to enhancing the playtime activities of your children so they will maximize the many benefits of these playthings.


Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What makes toys educational for children?

A: Toys are educational for children when they stimulate learning. Most toys are intended to have some educational value. Whether they are learning directly for the toy or if interacting with the toy is allowing them to developmentally learn certain skills. When toys are created today they are designed with educational value in mind more than any other time is history. Children are learning more from toys than ever before.

Q: What is the age range for each of the toys?

A: The age for each toy is marked on the packaging for both safety and age appropriateness for their skills set. When reviewing the packaging of educational toys their ratings will be placed on the packaging. There are also guides online that help you decide what would be the best toys for a child as certain age ranges. So, using both the safety and age appropriateness along with buy guides is a good way to make sure that the toy you are purchasing it best for their age range.

Q: When are educational toys safe for younger children?

A: Educational toys are safe for young children as soon as they range the age that it is safe for them to engage with each specific toy. Toy manufacturers are required to label each toy for a safety rating and when it is best to allow a child to play with those toys. So when picking educational toys for younger children just check the box and see what the rating is. When introducing educational toys to younger children always check for small loose parts. Toys for children under the age of three should not have any small pieces. It is a choking hazard.

Q: How do toys teach cause and effect?

A: Playing with toys teaches cause and effect early in a baby’s life. When they push objects out of there sitting area and are no longer able to reach them and become upset. This is their first introduction to the cause and effect, then with interactive toys, they are able to move on to a more complex understanding of, if I push this button it makes that sound and if I push this button it lights this up. This is a great way for them to learn and master cause and effect.

Q: Why is it important to encourage children to play with toys together?

A: It is important for children to engage and play together with toys because it allows them to use their creativity to play together. When children play together it also helps the development of skills like fine and gross motor skills, emotional skills, stimulate their imaginations. Playing with others is important for healthy development of the brain.

Q: When is the best age to buy educational toys for children?

A: It is best to start buying educational toys for children when they are babies. The first three months of a baby’s’ life is when their sensory development starts. Using toys like rattles, mobiles, and cloth books to interact with a baby is the best when to use toys at that point to educate them. As they progressively get older then move on to other things. Each toy has an age rating and safety rating right on the packaging. So, if you are wondering what to move onto next then visually researching toys is the best way to start.


  1. Admin, Your Guide to Age-Appropriate Toys, Online Article,
  2. Kenneth R. Ginsburg and the Committee on Communications, and the Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health, The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds, Online Article,
  3. Dr. Bettye M. Caldwell, Understanding Cause and Effect, Online Article,
  4. National Association for the Education of Young Children , Good Toys for Young Children by Age and Stage, Online Article,
  5. Admin, Educational Benefits of Providing Toys To Children, Online Article,