As a conscientious parent, isn’t it one of your hardest tasks to figure out what educational materials your child should be exposed to when raising him/her? Educational toys are an excellent way to help your child develop skill-sets ranging from hand-eye coordination to cognitive skills.
A child’s brain/physiology naturally focuses on developing certain sets of skills at different periods in the child’s growth phase. You will have to provide your child with the proper education material depending on what stage your child is at. We have tried to make your task a little easier by evaluating some of the most popular, high quality, and innovative products in this category, with a few tips and tricks to help you maximize your child’s learning experience. We hope you find exactly what you are looking for with us!
Top 10 Learning Toys for Babies
1. Funskool Activity Ball
This innovative product has been designed to challenge your baby with a bit of hand-eye coordination and motor skills before being a fun ball to play with.
The product comes with 12 pieces that need to be assembled into a ball. The exterior of the ball is colorful and designed to attract your baby to the activity. This product has been recommended for children aged 12 months and above. After the fitting is complete, your baby can enjoy rolling, pushing, and throwing the ball.
The assembly of the ball is designed to also teach your baby basic counting. The practical aspect of the assembly will improve your child’s spatial reasoning skills as well since the parts need to be rotated to fit the core of the ball.
The bright coloring of the ball will allow you to teach your child the basic colors as well. The parts fit onto two circular structures at the core and are easy to detach so that the game can be played over and over. This product is great for children that are just starting to play with fitting games.
This action-packed toy house by Cable World has so many activities included in the product that it is sure to become one of your child’s favorite toys. As there are activities for many development stages in the game, this product is suitable for children of ages 1 to 3.
Counting beads allow for your child to learn to count while also fine-tuning his/her motor skills as the beads are moved to and from the sides. There’s an additional simple arithmetic game next to the beads for advanced learning. This versatile toy also has a musical organ on the side that will keep your child enthralled for hours on end.
In addition, there is a small door on the side that allows your child to use the toy as a playhouse. There are also detachable animals and shapes that can be fitted onto the sides of the house. A dial on the side of the house acts as a dazzling rotating wheel.
Overall this amazing playhouse has 22 sound effects, six animal sounds, eight musical scales, and eight songs. The sheer number of activities available ensures that your child develops motor skills, visual skills, hand-eye coordination, tactile skills, and hearing skills. We definitely recommend that you buy this toy if your child is in the proper age range.
3. Grizzly Wooden Geometric Shape Matching Toys
This simple retro learning toy by Grizzly will be sure to provide your child with hours of fun while developing his/her skills. It has been recommended for children that are learning colors and shapes.
There is a block of wood with wooden columns on it where specific shapes are to be fitted. There are holes in the differently shaped pieces that fit into the wooden columns. The different shapes are circles, rectangles, triangles, squares, and pentagons. They come in five different colors: red, blue, green, yellow, and orange.
The pieces are large and easy to handle for toddlers and infants that are learning spatial reasoning. They are also differently colored, which allows a parent to teach colors to his/her child. This game is sure to enhance your child’s hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
It will also increase your child’s concentration and visual/color recognition skills. This is a great product for parents looking for cost-effective entertainment that will help their child grow.
This simple yet attractive product by Funskool will surely keep your baby enthralled for many hours per day. It is designed for infants that are learning to develop their hand-eye coordination. The toy consists of 12 vibrantly colored pieces with knobs and distantly resembles molecules of atoms.
The knobs fit together so that your baby can make more and more complex structures with the pieces. It can also be used to teach your child colors.
The cognitive skills of your child are also improved as he/she has to figure out how to fit the pieces to create a structure that is complex. The product has been made from non-toxic materials and is safe to use with children.
The pieces are lightweight and easy to hold so that even a young infant is able to grasp the pieces and enjoy fitting them together. As there are 12 pieces, the product can also be used to help teach your child to count as he/she fits the pieces together. This is a high-quality, low-cost product that we can recommend for the development of your child’s motor and spatial reasoning skills.
5. Jiada Swirl Ball Ramp Educational Toy
This is a great fun toy with a lot of movement to keep your child engrossed by Jiada. The product has been manufactured for children over the age of 18 months. The toy’s design of bright colors, intricate shapes, and interactive sounds are sure to improve your child’s fine motor and problem-solving skills.
It will also help with developing your child’s hand-eye coordination. The game has five layers of multi-colored ramps, three balls, and one monkey head. Just fix the ramps together and put the monkey head on top, and the games can begin!
The toy has been made from high quality and durable ABS material that is non-toxic. It can also be disassembled easily for storage when cleaning up your baby’s play area. The smooth edges of the layers, as well as the balls, ensure that your child’s hands and body are safe while the game is being played.
The ball that is put into the monkey’s mouth to roll down independently has three options for coming out at the bottom, and attempts at guessing the right outcome will improve your child’s spatial reasoning and cognitive abilities. This is a great fun product with many different outcomes that will keep your baby entertained while learning.
6. FunBlast® Wooden Digital Colourful Train
This amazing little train by FunBlast will make any child ecstatic if given as a gift. The game has been recommended for children aged two years and above. While providing a fun toy train for your child, there are large, differently colored numbers on top of each of the carriages to help your child learn.
Your child can learn different colors using this toy while learning the basic numbers as well. There are ten carriages and one engine included in the product, with each carriage having four wheels at the bottom so that the train can be pushed along easily.
The train has been made from wood, which will provide a happy change for tactile learning from the normal plastic material. The classic construction has been made using unique craftsmanship and non-toxic paints, making it safe for use by children.
The child is also able to improve his/her motor skills and cognitive abilities as the carriages and engines are assembled and disassembled. The carriages have to be attached in the correct sequence for the numbers to be arranged properly from 0 to 9. This is a fantastic product that is sure to help your child learn basic numbers and colors.
This is another innovative product by Grizzly that is sure to keep your child entertained for prolonged periods of time. There are different levels of skills required to play on the three boards that are included, which means that it will appeal to a wide range of ages for infants and toddlers.
The simplest of the boards have cut-outs on the wooden board where single shapes fit into them.
The intermediary board requires the child to fit two fitted shapes into each cut-out.
The advanced board has cut-outs that either fit single pieces, two fitting pieces, or three fitting pieces each. The pieces are either whole geometric shapes or parts of geometric shapes.
There are nine cut-outs per board, while the number of pieces that fit together varies according to the board.
The product has been made from durable wood using non-toxic paints to ensure that your child can use the product for a long period of time in safety. The intellectual nature of this geometric puzzle fits into the Montessori school of learning.
It helps develop cognitive and spatial analysis skills while improving fine motor skills. It also helps children learn the concept of fractions while increasing color and shape recognition. This is a great game that will help prepare your child for a Montessori course at a reasonable cost.
This colorful board game package by FunBlast is sure to enhance a wide variety of your child’s skills. This product has been recommended for boys and girls above the age of 3.
There are five board games that are designed to teach your children about fruits, numbers, shapes and symbols, animals, and vehicles. The shapes of these items are cut out of the wooden board, and your child has to fit the blocks into the proper shape for the design to be completed properly. Each board game has 9 to 12 items that have to be individually recognized and fitted onto the wooden board.
Your child will improve his/her hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, spatial reasoning skills, and problem-solving skills while enjoying the product. These games will also help with letter-recognition, color recognition, visual senses, and phonemic awareness.
The product has been made from wood using non-toxic paints to ensure that your child is safe and healthy. The manufacturing process has been done in an eco-friendly manner to help conserve the environment. This product is great for teaching your child about basic objects in the world while providing great entertainment.
9. Play Panda Learn to Spell Magnetic Board and Spelling Guide
This fantastic magnetic product has been designed to help your child spell while having loads of fun in the process. This product is recommended for children that are starting to learn how to spell simple words.
The game comes with 32 picture magnets and 72 letter magnets. The colorful pictures enable the child to connect words to objects. It helps children develop early reading skills through letter recognition, word formation, and spelling.
The manufacturers recommend using the product to play five different games: identifying the objects, matching the object to a starting letter, matching a letter to an object starting with the letter, spelling words and asking the child to place the correct object next to it and spelling the word next to the object.
The effort required to create words using different letter magnets helps develop your child’s concentration ability. Grabbing and placing the magnets in the proper sequences help develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
The magnets are made from thick easy-to-grasp materials that are durable. The materials used in the manufacture of the product’s pieces are also child-safe and free of toxicity. A spelling guide and two magic seal pouches have been included with the product to help you play and clean up.
This cute little innovative product by CrazyCrafts combines time-telling with shapes, numbers, colors, and fitting blocks. It has been recommended for use as an early learning tool by the manufacturers. The product has a giraffe scene in the middle with clock hands that the child can move around to designate specific times.
There are blocks with numbers from 1 to 12 arranged around the clock to help tell the time. Each numbered block has to be fitted onto the correct hole in sequence around the clock so that the time is told correctly.
The wooden blocks have been made from durable material, and the coloring has been done using non-toxic paints. There is a dial just inside the circle of blocks to help the child tell the minutes according to the clock’s hands.
The blocks also have different shapes and colors that will help your child learn their differences. The design of the game is sure to help with hand-eye coordination, spatial reasoning, and cognitive abilities. The toy will also help with learning how to count, number sequences, and learning to tell the time. This is a great toy that combines different disciplines for improving a range of skills in your child.
Your child naturally focuses on developing different skills at different times in his/her life. However, exactly when your baby develops in a certain area varies greatly depending on your baby’s genes.
Generally, development starts by identifying different objects through sight, sound, smell, and touch. Then it moves onto developing motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Your baby might concurrently develop certain speech skills during this stage.
Developing these basic skill-sets is the groundwork for developing higher cognitive abilities such as spatial analysis, analysis of emotions, higher language skills, and holistic thinking.
Identify which stage your child is at and select educational toys that will augment the development of skills that suit your baby’s age and current skill level.
The development of hand-eye coordination is essential for your child to function in a very physical world. This is basically the ability to manipulate physical objects in the world in real-time.
Any toy that helps teach your child catch, push, or move objects of different shapes after observing it using his/her eyes helps develop this skill set. Choose games that have moving pieces or that need your child to react to movement in the game to help train him/her.
As your baby grows bigger, he/she will focus on developing the ability to move around independently in this world. This skill set generally refers to your baby, developing the ability to use his/her larger muscles such as the ones in his/her chest, shoulder, back, arms, and legs.
As these muscles grow and your child masters the use of his/her appendages, he/she will be able to tumble, crawl, run and walk, generally in that order. Choose toys that entice your child to use his/her legs and arms to elicit a positive response to help your baby’s motor skills develop faster.
Your baby will start to develop the ability to identify different sounds and attach those sounds to different ideas and thoughts in his/her mind at an early stage. He/she will also act on the human instinct to verbalize his/her own thoughts using his/her mouth.
In the beginning, the vocal cords, tongue, and lips get trained and develop due to the baby’s crying. After that, the baby tries to mimic sounds that he/she hears, further developing those muscles.
During this stage and further on, there are toys that can help your child develop these skills faster. These might range from toys that help children identify animal sounds to games that help sound out the alphabet.
Spatial Reasoning Skills
These skills allow your child to put together hand-eye coordination and mental simulation to manipulate objects in a much finer manner. For example, when the game is designed around the child, figuring out what shapes and objects fit into what type of holes.
These games also train your child to be content when objects fit well into holes designed specifically for them, which encourages the proper organization of his/her environment as he/she grows up.
The world is increasingly based on written language, from using smartphones to reading signs on the road. Some might argue that these skills might be even more important than speaking skills overall.
The love for written language is inculcated when your child is a baby. Having fun games where your child learns the alphabet and figuring out simple words will help your child develop in this area independently as he/she grows up.
Joy for creativity and left-brained activities start when the child is a baby, and music is a great catalyst for this kind of behavior. Certain games are designed to allow your child to fill missing letters to melody, and others are designed to help put words into a melody through simple songs and word patterns.
Choose games that are simple enough for your child to follow along so that he/she doesn’t get frustrated, but have enough complexity to increase his/her skill-set
Colour Coordination/Fine Motor Skills
As your child has more of the basic skills under his/her belt, you can move him/her onto the development of more fine motor skills such as drawing and writing. These skills need more precision and adjustable application of pressure to get the job done.
Colouring books help in this respect while allowing your child also to develop creative color coordination. If you have dreams of your child being involved in marketing, branding, or artistry, this age is critical for the development of this skill set.
Types of Learning Toys for Babies
These types of toys help with hand-eye coordination, development of motor and fine motor skills, and spatial analysis. Toys in this category include building blocks, fitting in the hole, swirling balls, and Lego.
The trick is to get a toy that will grow with the child. Some toys allow for more complex arrangements and will last a couple of years, rather than boring the child after just a couple of months.
These types of toys are involved with helping your child develop fine motor skills, language skills, color coordination, and creativity. Some toys in this category include laptops, coloring books, letter-writing books, look-and-copy diagrams, and word copy books.
These types of toys are critical for your child to be able to progress to nursery and kindergarten levels, as these skills will be further developed in those more regimented courses. Helping your child get used to the shapes of letters and numbers as well as the basic color palette will help him/her get prepared for formal education.
These types of toys are focused on developing your child’s sense of hearing, vocal cords, sound-related parts of the brain, creativity, left-brain, the brain’s bridge, speech, and melody. Some toys are designed for the basic level of sound identification, such as specific animal sounds when certain keys with the animal’s picture are pressed.
More advanced toys allow your child to sing along to popular nursery rhymes and even fill-in with the child’s own melody and creative words.
Make sure that your child’s toys are kept clean as children have the tendency to put things into their mouths while rubbing them against the floor. This is a time-consuming task, but all of your child’s toys need to be periodically cleaned, no matter how tedious this activity may seem. This goes a long way in preventing infections, sores, and skin issues for your baby.
Many of the toys your baby will use for the development of motor skills will also have the potential to hurt your baby due to improper use. Since your baby isn’t aware of how painful it can be when pressing certain objects against his/her body, be careful of objects such as blocks that can have edges that might hurt your child if pressed too hard against him/her.
Babies also have the ability to smash a toy into the ground, so keep some of the more breakable toys away from him/her if the baby’s in a friskier mood.
Certain toys have the ability to continue to help develop your child for several years. However, this can only be done if they are taken care of properly. While your child certainly will be the bigger variable in the longevity of his/her toys, improper storage and transportation also play a role.
Make sure that toys are stacked in a manner that doesn’t crush the more delicate ones at the bottom. When transporting, pack the toys tightly so that there is not enough space for movement.
1. Are electronic learning toys such as laptops recommended for ages below two years?
Your electronic devices might be a little battered for children that are too young to understand how delicate some of these devices are. However, specially designed children’s laptops and other products that are designed to withstand a child’s energy will help your child learn about electronic communication and design.
2. What are the best learning toys for developing motor skills?
Almost any game that you buy will help with motor skills. However, bigger wooden blocks that stack up are good for improving muscle mass in children. Games involving balls and spring-loaded games are also great for the development of motor skills. As long as the child’s arms and legs need to be worked, the child’s motor skills will improve.
3. How long should my child play with learning toys per day?
The more your child plays with learning toys, the better it is for your child. Since your child will be developing several skills concurrently, it’s good to allow your child to play with multiple types of learning toys.
Forcing your child to play with learning toys might have unexpected and adverse effects on the child’s energy level, happiness, and interest in learning. It is better to provide your child with learning toys that he/she likes rather than force him/her to play with games that are less appealing.
4. At what age should learning toys for writing be introduced?
The younger the age your child is introduced to the shapes of letters and numbers, the better for his/her long-term development. After the initial period of being interested in sounds and colors, your child is able to identify specific shapes and their meaning after a few months. When your child gets interested in drawing, writing games can be introduced to help him/her with language skills.
5. How many learning games should I buy for my child?
Children are extremely versatile, and they will move on to the next toy as soon as he/she has mastered whatever toy or activity he/she worked on. Some games will resonate with the child, and he/she will continue to play them for different reasons such as comfort and familiarity.
The more learning toys your child plays with, the better your child will be with learning skills. As long as your child respects his/her toys and doesn’t break them, you can buy your child as many games as you can afford, as long as your child keeps showing interest in those games.
There is an almost endless supply of learning toys that are available for babies. It is critical that you allocate your limited resources to products that will provide your child with the most benefit. If you choose ones that are below your child’s skill level, then it won’t be that beneficial.
If the product is too advanced, then it’s a little better because you can keep the toy for later. Try to go for toys that will last your child as long as possible. Games that allow for rearrangement using almost endless combinations help with cognition and will help develop your child for a longer period of time.
We hope that our buying guide helped shed some light on what aspects to look out for when choosing a learning toy for your child. You can also go for combinations that will ensure that all the child’s skills are being developed as per his/her development stage.
Please make a note of the safety tips to ensure that your child gains the maximum possible benefit from his/her learning toys. Good luck with your purchases, and we hope your child achieves all that he/she is capable of!