When toddlers discover their legs and leave babyhood behind, it’s time to introduce them to some of the top learning toys for toddlers.
With the newfound ability to walk and run, there also comes a longer attention span and an increased ability to focus. Why not take advantage of these with some entertaining learning toys that will keep your little one planted for a few minutes?
Oh and also, you no doubt want them to learn a thing or two. 😉
Our list of the top learning toys for toddlers centers on toys that promote congnitive skills in your little runner. These toys help toddlers develop specific pre-preschool skills, like:
- Language skills
- Object recognition
- Shape, color, number and letter recognition
- Thinking and perception
Here are our picks of toddler toys that encourage these skills and will help your toddler’s brain cells develop as quickly as those leg muscles!
To help you find the best educational toy for the little one in your life, we’ve divided our list into two categories. The first is non-electronic toys and the second is electronic learning toys for toddlers. Each toy offers a valuable learning experience for kids between 1 and 3 years old.
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Top Learning Toys for Toddlers
Before we share our favorite learning toys for toddlers, here’s a few very popular, big sellers in toddler toys that teach the skills little ones need to prepare them for preschool. These are all educational, entertaining, and judging from sales and ratings, parent-approved. These include both simple and electronic learning toys for toddlers.
And now, scroll on down for our own top picks with some details about why we recommend them.
LEGO DUPLO All-in-One-Box-of-Fun
Blocks have been among the best learning toys for toddlers for generations. It takes some cognitive thinking skills to stack those puppies just right!
This set of LEGO DUPLO blocks are perfect for toddlers because they’re designed for small hands and are easy to connect and separate. Here’s a few more reasons why this set is a great learning toy for toddlers:
- Helps with color recognition
- Has numbered blocks for number recognition
- 65 pieces for lots of fine motor skill practice
- Includes toy figures for some imaginative play too
The DUPLO blocks have been around for ages, but they are still one of the top educational toys for two year olds!
Age: 18 Months – 5 Years
Mega Bloks Build ‘n Learn Table
The Mega Bloks Build ‘n Learn Table provides a nice, large, sturdy surface for toddlers to build on. Plus, it comes with colored blocks featuring letters and numbers that are similar to the DUPLO blocks. You can check it out below.
Age: 12 Months+
- Portable, folding table building set with a tabletop track and 1 rolling...
- 30 pieces include big building blocks to match and count to learn colors...
- Ideal for ages 1+, and endorsed by Fisher Price, First Builders toys are...
Other Educational Blocks for Toddlers
Playing with blocks helps toddlers develop their hand-eye coordination, color, number, and shape recognition, and even learn about gravity.
Below are some other block sets that are excellent learning toys for toddlers.
These Oaktown Wooden Blocks have numbers, letters and objects on them to help little ones with word recognition. These are nice too, because they are a little larger than other wooden blocks.
And the Match and Build Soft blocks have peek-a-boo surprises and picture matching games to further toddlers’ thinking skills.
Hape Country Critters Wooden Activity CubeCountry Critters
Activity cubes that include beads, shape sorters, mazes, and other games are both entertaining and educational toys for 2 year olds and younger toddlers.
Little ones learn problem-solving and logic skills, as well as perseverance and concentration as they work through the challenges.
The Hape Country Critters Play Cube is adorable with its animal theme and each side features something for little ones to tap, turn, spin, or push. It has excellent reviews from parents and offers a variety of learning opportunities and entertainment for toddlers.
Melissa & Doug Counting CaterpillarM&D Counting Caterpillar
The Melissa & Doug Counting Caterpillar encourages that repetitious play that toddlers love so much.
Little ones can remove and place the cute caterpillar’s colored parts to their heart’s content, while learning at the same time. Here’s some of the reasons this simple toy makes our list of the best educational toys for 2 year olds and older toddlers:
- It’s colorful and intriguing
- Teaches number recognition and counting
- Teaches colors
- Helps fine motor skills
- Durable wooden toy that will last!
On top of all these pluses, this cute little learning toy is inexpensive too!
Below are a couple more learning toys for toddlers that help with color recognition, counting and other skills.
Melissa & Doug Wooden Puzzles for ToddlersM & D First Shapes Jumbo Puzzle
Wooden puzzles are marvelous learning toys for toddlers! The Melissa & Doug wooden puzzles made for littler kids will capture your toddler’s attention with their bright, happy colors. Here’s a few reasons I love these puzzles for toddlers.
- Chunky shape is easy for small hands to grasp
- Pieces stand up on their own for more ways to play
- Helps fine motor skills and dexterity
- Helps toddlers cognitive skills as they fit the pieces
- Quality wooden toys made to last!
It’s hard to find good wooden puzzles for toddlers. Most wooden puzzles are rated for ages 3 and up because the small pegs on the pieces could come off and pose a choking hazard.
But the Melissa and Doug Jumbo Knob Wooden Puzzles have extra large pegs, safe and easy for little hands to grasp. These are rated for toddlers age 12 months and up.
There are also the Melissa and Doug Wooden Chunky Puzzles which have chunky pieces that are raised up, so they are easy to grasp without a peg and perfect for toddler hands. These are rated for toddlers age 24 months and up and are excellent educational toys for two year olds. Below are two popular ones.
The Learning Journey Puzzles for Toddlers
The Learning Journey brand also makes quality learning puzzles for toddlers. Their puzzles are very thick cardboard with bright, appealing pictures.
Their My First Match It puzzles are 2 piece puzzles where toddlers have to match two parts to create the whole object. There are several different categories, like colors, pets, foods, etc. Each set comes with 15 puzzles in a box.
These are getting great reviews and are very well priced, putting them on our list of the best learning toys for two year olds. Below are two of their popular sets.
Shape Sorters are Classic Learning Toys for Toddlers
A good ‘ole fashioned shape sorter is a great learning toy for toddlers. They not only teach shapes, but also colors, motor skills and how to reason (Oh, so pounding the shape isn’t going to make it fit!) 😉
Melissa & Doug make two highly rated shape sorters that I love. One is the top-selling classic Shape Sorting Cube and the other is their Dump Truck Shape Sorter which is a fun vehicle toy and shape sorter in one.
This Tomy Barnyard Shape Sorter is a winner too, because it also has animal shapes and a handle to carry it. It’s a great price too!
Brand new on the market just this summer is the Fat Brain Toys Shape Factory early learning toy for toddlers. This one is unique because little ones can turn the top and change the shape of the opening, adding an additional challenge and learning experience to their play.
Shape sorters come in all, well…shapes! You can check out a wide selection of shape sorters here, to find the right one for your toddler.
First 100 Words Board BooksFirst 100 Board Book Set
What’s better than snuggling with your little one for story and learning time? The First 100 Words Books are terrific to teach young ones objects, colors, numbers and other concepts.
I know first-hand this one is a winner with toddlers and preschoolers because I read it about 54281 times to my niece and nephew, who were 2 and 3 years old at the time. Every time we finished, they wanted to read it again, unless I got lucky and they fell asleep first, which was usually the goal 😉
I love the board book style because they are durable enough for little ones to look at them alone, if mom or dad aren’t available. And they are just the right size for little hands.
You can buy the books separately, or get all three in this boxed set, which is really nice. These are one of my favorite learning toys for toddlers.
Age 12 Months+
Tasty Jr. Bake ‘N Share Kitchen
You might not think of a play kitchen as a learning toy for toddlers, but they provide so many wonderful learning experiences for little ones. The Little Tikes Bake ‘N Share Kitchen is one of the few play kitchens designed for little ones under the age of 3. Here’s some features and lessons of this toddler play kitchen.
- Adjustable height to grow with your child
- Large enough for multiple kids
- Includes 40+ play food and accessories
- Little ones can learn shapes, colors, and objects just from playing
- Teaches cooperative play, sequencing, motor skills, problem solving, and many other skills
This little toddler play kitchen is a real bargain, considering all of the accessories that come with it, and the fact that it grows with your child!
Age: 12 Months +
Below are two more highly-rated play kitchens designed for little ones ages two years old and up. They come with lots of accessories to help young ones learn through imaginative play, making them top educational toys for two year olds.
Electronic Learning Toys For Toddlers
Along with the classic toddler learning toys, electronic educational toys have their place in the toddler learning experience too. They are wonderfully entertaining which is very helpful when mom or dad need to accomplish something without their little one demanding attention.
At the same time, parents should be mindful of signs of overstimulation in their toddler from the lights and sounds of these toys. Also, parents should make time to share in the child’s learning experience with these toys by interacting with their child while playing.
That said, here are our picks for the top electronic learning toys for toddlers, based on research, consumer ratings, and our own experience as parents.
VTech Touch and Learn Activity Desk DeluxeTouch and Learn Activity Desk
The Deluxe Touch and Learn Activity Desk by VTech holds tons of learning opportunities for toddlers!
Here’s just a few of the engaging learning features of this toy:
- Teaches 100+ vocabulary words
- 20+ Learning activities
- Desktop converts to chalkboard and easel!
- Expansion packs available for more focused learning
- Great for families with multiple young kids
- Best learning toy for 2 year olds!
There are so many entertaining ways to learn with this one little desk, that toddlers will never be bored with it and parents have great things to say about it too. For all of these reasons, it makes our list of the top electronic learning toys for toddlers.
Electronic educational toys come in all sizes. Below are two popular toys that teach counting, letters, words, colors and a variety of other things. They have great ratings and are sized to be portable.
LeapFrog 100 Words BookLeapFrog 100 Words Book
The LeapFrog Learning Friends 100 Words book fosters language and communication skills in toddlers and was a Toy of The Year finalist in 2019. This interactive book keeps toddlers captivated as they listen and react to the words and songs.
Here’s a few reasons why it’s one of the top electronic learning toys for toddlers:
- Teaches over 100 words
- 12 Colorful pages
- 3 Modes of play plus songs
- Plays in English or Spanish
- Engaging early education tool!
Besides all the instructional value of this top educational toy for 2-year-olds, it’s also a great price!
Age: 18 Months – 4 Years
Below are two more electronic educational toys that help toddlers with language skills and color and letter recognition. These are all getting great feedback from parents.
Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Servin’ Up Food Truck
Fisher-Price consistently releases top electronic learning toys for toddlers and one of their newest additions is the Laugh & Learn Servin’ Up Food Truck.
This toy combines pretend play with learning activities for a super entertaining and educational toy that toddlers are loving! Here’s some great features of this toy.
- 125+ Songs and phrases
- 20+ play food pieces and accessories
- Cash register for numbers and counting exercises
- 3 age settings
- Teaches word and letter recognition
- 2-sided play for multiple kids
There are so many ways toddlers can play and learn with this toy, that it’s our current favorite learning toy for toddlers!
Age: 18-36 Months
Below are a a couple more electronic learning toys for toddlers from the Laugh & Learn line that are similar to the Food Truck. They are all loaded with learning activities that help toddlers learn colors, counting, letters and more.
- Loaded with activities inside and out for immersive, 360-degrees of play!
- So much to explore: interactive “hub”, crawl-through door, porch...
- Home office area with light-up thermostat, office light, and...
- Interactive musical toy with "magical" seat that rewards toddlers ages 12...
- Tap the light-up lamp to turn the lights on and off and to hear fun music!
- Press each of the crayons to hear a colorful song
VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning WalkerVTech Learning Walker
The VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker is a HUGE seller! When toddlers get tuckered out from pushing it, they can take a breather and absorb all the learning activities it has to offer. Here’s some reasons why this top electronic learning toy for toddlers is getting such great reviews.
- 70+ Songs, sounds and phrases
- Teaches shapes, colors, numbers and animals
- Speed control feature
- Works on tile or carpet
- Develops fine motor skills
- Removable panel for floor play!
This toy has so many educational and fun features, it’s no wonder parents and toddlers are absolutely loving this toy!
Age: 9-36 Months
I like toys with multiple functions because it’s like having several toys in one, so you really get more bang for your buck. Below is another electronic educational toy for toddlers that is also both a walking and ride-on toy.
- This VTech sit-to-stand ultimate alphabet train is an online exclusive...
- Learning toy comes with 10 activities including a storybook, clock, gears...
- For toddler role-play toy fun, the included walkie-talkie and number pad...
VTech Magic Star Learning TableMagic Star Learning Table
Activity tables, like the VTech Magic Star Table, offer tons of learning opportunities for toddlers. Most of them convert to a floor toy for younger babies too, which is nice.
We love activity tables for toddlers and babies because they are so versatile and offer so many learning opportunities in one toy. Here’s some features of this VTech activity table that make it one of the best learning toys for toddlers.
- 65+ Songs, sounds and phrases
- Teaches letters, numbers, colors and more
- 6 activities to help fine motor skills
- Speaks in both English and Spanish
Users love this activity table! And because it’s rated for babies as young as 6 months and on into toddlerhood, parents get lots of use out of it!
Age: 6-36 Months
Below are a two more highly-rated activity tables that are popular electronic learning toys for toddlers.
- 4 fun places for baby to visit Puppy’s home, the market, the zoo and the...
- Press the interactive phone button for fun phrases that add to the...
- 9 lights and more than 120 songs, tunes & phrases
- The Touch and Learn Activity Desk Deluxe is an interactive desk and...
- Extend the fun with expansion packs (each sold separately) that include a...
- Transforms from a desk into an easel and chalkboard with storage space for...
Toddlers learn important lessons from all kinds of play, so just about anything can be a learning toy for toddlers. But the toys listed here will give your toddler a good start to learning the basic concepts taught in preschool – namely, colors, letters, numbers, object recognition, language, reasoning, and social skills.
And they might just slow your little runner down for a hot second so you can catch up! 😉
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