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!
We spend loads of time finding cool stuff kids will love! Just a heads up that the links on this page take you to Amazon and if you buy something through a link, we may get a small commission (but you don’t pay more – Fist Bump!). Read more about how that works here.
Top Learning Toys for Toddlers
VTech Pull and Discover Activity Elephant
VTech makes some of the top learning toys for toddlers on the market. Their Pull & Discover Activity Elephant is brand new and packed with fun learning activities for little ones. Here’s a few reasons why it makes our list:
- Teaches animal names, sounds and facts
- Teaches colors, shapes and numbers
- Includes a shape sorter in the back
- 90 songs, sounds and phrases
- 2 volume settings
- His ears flap when pulled!
He’s new on the market, but so far, parents and little ones are loving this adorable learning toy for toddlers!
Age: 12-36 Months
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 learning toys for toddlers!
Age: 18 Months – 5 Years
Other Educational Blocks for Toddlers
Below are some other block sets that are excellent learning toys for toddlers.
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.
The wooden blocks pictured in the center have numbers, letters, objects, words and even math signs. If you click the link to go to Amazon, you can see pictures of all the sides. These are nice too, because they are a little larger than other wooden blocks.
And the Match and Build Soft blocks on the right have peek-a-boo surprises and picture matching games to further toddlers’ thinking skills.
VTech Touch and Learn Activity Desk Deluxe
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 there are expansion packs for reading, math and kindergarten preparation, so your child can continue to learn from it up to 5 years old.
Parents have great things to say about this toy! For all of these reasons, it makes our list of the top learning toys for toddlers.
Learning toys for toddlers come in all sizes. Below are a few smaller sized electronic learning toys that teach counting, letters, words, colors and a variety of other things. These all have great ratings and are portable, too!
My Busy Town Wooden Activity Cube
We feature activity cubes in our best toys for babies article too, because they are such versatile toys!
The My Busy Town Activity Cube by Alex Discover is a big seller with lots of educational activities for toddlers and babies. Here are a few reasons we love it:
- Teaches letters and matching skills
- Fun mazes for reasoning and fine motor skills
- Peek-a-boo doors
- Sturdy wood construction
- Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Award winner
This engaging top learning toy for toddlers will last for years and hold up under multiple kids!
Age: 12 Months+
Below are three more educational activity cubes for toddlers. They are all so cute and colorful, you won’t mind keeping them out in the living room!
VTech Touch & Teach Word Book
Parents are raving about the Touch & Teach Word Book by VTech! Toddlers love to be read to and this interactive book keeps them captivated as they listen and react to the words and songs.
Here’s a few reasons why it’s one of the top learning toys for toddlers:
- Teaches over 100 words
- 12 Colorful pages
- 4 Modes of play
- 90 Sounds and melodies
- Engaging early education tool!
Besides all the instructional value of this top learning toy for 2 year olds, it’s also a great price!
Age: 18 Months – 4 Years
Below are a few other electronic books that help toddlers with language skills and color and letter recognition. These are all getting great feedback from parents as well.
Melissa & Doug 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 learning toys for 2 year olds and toddlers:
- It’s colorful and intriguing to little ones
- 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 few more, similar learning toys for toddlers that parents like.
Alpha Pops teach letters, numbers and fine motor skillsTobbles can be configured multiple ways and teach colors and dexterity skillsThis Alphabet Foam Puzzle teaches words, letters and fine motor skills
Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Servin’ Up Food Truck
Fisher-Price consistently releases top 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 few more top learning toys for toddlers that are similar to the Food Truck. They are all loaded with learning activities that help toddlers learn colors, counting, letters and more.
Melissa & Doug Wooden Chunky Puzzles
Wooden puzzles are marvelous learning toys for toddlers! The Melissa & Doug Wooden Chunky puzzles 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 Fresh Start Wooden 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.
Below are a some of the highly rated Melissa & Doug Fresh Start Wooden Chunky puzzles that are excellent learning toys for 2 year olds.
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 series 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 2 year olds. Below are a few of their popular sets.
VTech Sit-to-Stand 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 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 are some more top learning toys for toddlers that are also walk or ride-on toys.
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!) 😉
The Hape Wooden Turtle Shape Sorter Pull Toy is a good one because it’s cute, durable and two toys in one.
I also like the Melissa & Doug Dump Truck Shape Sorter for all the same reasons.
This 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!
VTech Magic Star Learning Table
Activity tables, like this 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 feature activity tables in our holiday toy guide of the best baby toys because I like them so much! 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 few other highly-rated activity tables that are top learning toys for toddlers.
Toddler Beginnings Board Books
What’s better than snuggling with your little one for story time? These Toddler Beginnings Board Books are terrific for combining story time with learning. Here’s some more reasons I love these books.
- Durable to withstand little hands
- Teach letters, shapes, colors and other lessons
- Toddlers can enjoy them alone or with mom or dad
- Great price for all 8 books!
The pages are colorful and the stories short enough that toddlers can easily follow along too!
Age: 12 Months+
Below are some other really nice board books with high marks from parents.
I know firsthand that the First 100 Words book, below in the center, is a winner with toddlers. I know this because I read it about 54281 times to my niece and nephew, who were 2 and 4 years old at the time. Every time we finished it, they wanted to read it again, unless I got lucky and they fell asleep before I finished it, which was usually the goal 😉
TOYK Funny Cottage
This Funny Cottage Baby Funhouse is a fabulous learning toy for toddlers. I’m amazed at how many learning activities are packed into this little toy! Here’s a few of them that will delight your toddler:
- Shape sorter with 11 different shapes
- Several sounds and songs
- Musical keyboard
- Teaches numbers and math
- Colorful bead spinner
- Open door with key
- Lots of ways to practice fine motor skills!
Parents are loving this toy and many are saying it really holds their toddler’s attention, making it one of our top learning toys for toddlers!
Age: 18 Months+
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 and other skills.
And they might just slow your little runner down for a hot second so you can catch up! 😉
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