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I don’t know about you, but I am constantly searching for educational toys for toddlers. I prefer educational toys that can really teach him something rather than just simple, cheap toys. Kids learn through play, so the toys you provide are super important for them.
This article is filled with toys we already have for my son, toys that he loves and plays with A LOT with.
Please be aware that, depending on your child’s age, some of these may not be a perfect fit for him/her. Just be careful with little pieces, if your child is a young toddler.
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I absolutely love these wooden building blocks. But we didn’t have them from the very beginning.
We’ve introduced them at around 10 months. We had an old Jenga game around the house and we decided to let him play with the pieces.
So why stacking blocks is beneficial for your baby? It develops hand-eye coordination, but most importantly this will teach your baby the basics of geometry. Always a bonus, no?
Shape sorting cube
A shape sorter is a perfect toy to develop baby’s problem-solving skills. It also encourages logical thinking in order to solve a problem or a puzzle.
I introduced him with one of these at around 12 months and he loved it.
Of course, he didn’t really know what to put where, but I used to show him what piece to put where. Sometimes he would stack them one on top of each other to create a little tower.
Now, a year later, I can say that he knows all the shapes and where to put them. So it has helped him a lot.
There are many benefits of this toy, besides the obvious ones like learning about colours and shapes. It can also teach them about the “cause & effect”, it can develop problem-solving and fine motor skills.
Another great thing about this little toy is that you can create one of your own at home. It doesn’t really need to be perfect, as long as it’s safe for your baby, you’re good to go!
I’m mostly referring to early learning puzzles. We have similar to these ones at the moment, but obviously, any puzzle work just fine.
This used to be one of my favourite toys for him. I guess I enjoyed them more than he did, but he’ll have plenty of time to learn.
At 12 months, your child doesn’t know to “play” with them yet. We used to have our own little game that involved him throwing the pieces on the floor for mommy to put on the board. It’s the perfect little game, believe me!
These puzzles are meant to develop fine motor skills and what’s really important is that they develop a baby’s tiny brain.
These can be any books. We have quite a variety of them and he loves them all:
Be aware that your baby might get bored with books very easy. I know for sure that these can get really expensive in time. Therefore I would recommend checking out your local library. It can be a HUGE lifesaver and pocket saver as well.
It’s not a secret that books are meant to teach your baby stories, words, sounds, textures, colours, numbers and lots more. They can also stimulate curiosity and feed their imagination.
Personally, I think books are essential in your baby’s life, but it’s up to you of course.
Bath time crayons
We were gifted some bath time crayons by one of my mommy friends. I never knew they existed before! I don’t live in a cave, I promise!
My little one loves drawing with them. So easy to clean, they don’t leave marks on the bathtub and they don’t contain any harsh chemicals. Which is always a plus.
You don’t have to use these specific crayons, but you can always use a regular pencil and a piece of paper and let your baby “get creative”.
I saved up his first ever “drawing” which was at 10 months. It’s only a mixture of lines, but it doesn’t really mater. We had so much fun that day!
So, how is drawing good for children?
Well…that’s how they express their feelings and it also prepares them for writing.
Ever wondered why psychologists exams involve drawings? What we draw can say a lot of things about our desires, inner thoughts and what we truly wish for.
I won’t bla about this too much, but in summary, psychology is related to what people are drawing.
Such an interesting subject! Maybe is just me.
Magnetic board + magnets
Magnets can be extremely dangerous for young children. However, if you watch them closely and you don’t leave them unattended while playing you won’t have any issues.
I am also aware that these might be too advanced for a 14 month old toddler, but it can be very entertaining for them.
It’s a good activity for a rainy day and I can assure you that your little one will be busy!
We have animal, letters and numbers magnets. I plan on buying some fruit and veggie magnets as well (not quite sure yet). These are really good to show and teach them various animals, numbers and the alphabet.
Magnets are also a good way of teaching them the “cause & effect”, which is another problem solving skill.
Playing cards or Flash Cards
Similar to flashcards, but specially designed for toddlers. These are meant to teach your child new words and their associated picture.
I created some FREE Printable Alphabet Flashcards for you to download and print out for your child. I love creating teaching materials for my toddler.
These are never to early to introduce them to your child. Young kids have very high attention span, so they don’t need to spend too much time looking at the cards to learn.
Later on, when he’s old enough you just show them the card and they can name whatever they see on it.
I found them very useful and I love that we can all play together.
It’s a different and more enjoyable way of teaching your toddler. It most certainly captures their attention and they get more excited of this way of learning.
To be honest with you I didn’t “understand” the role of the cup stacker at first. But now I do and I love that it keeps my toddler busy for a while.
This is one of the best open-ended toys, very versatile and your child can play in numerous ways with it. This is one of those toys that grow with your child.
I remember I used to stack them for him, and he’ll always destroy my little tower.
As simple as this toys seems to you, it’s very beneficial for your baby’s development. Fine motor skills, visual and spatial perception, balance and creative play are some of them.
If you didn’t know Lego Duplo is the “smaller” version of Lego. Meaning that they are designed for children that are 1/5 years old. The pieces are a lot bigger, making them perfect for younger kids as well.
Lego has many benefits not only for your child, but for you as an adult as well.
Here are some of the main benefits:
- Constructive skills
- Fine motor skills
- Organisational skills
- Better focus and concentration
- Creative skills
- Sense of accomplishment
- Lateral thinking and planning ahead
- Develops problem solving.
I remember that I also had something similar to Lego when I was little. I loved playing and building stuff.
Many people are inclined to think that Lego is a boys toy. That’s totally wrong! Girls enjoy Lego too, so don’t be reticent to try it out.
Wooden Ring Stacker
This is one of the simplest, yet very effective toy I grew up with. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I wanted one for my little one.
All its benefits are similar to the cup stacker and the building blocks, so I won’t repeat myself here.
But I wanted to mention it so you have more options to choose from.
A Final Note
This is everything I wanted to share with you in this article. I hope you found it helpful. Are there any other toys that you recommend for young toddlers (12-18 months old)?
Comment down below with your ideas.