We select and review products independently. When you purchase through our links we may earn a commission. Learn more.

The Best Educational Toys

Oksana Kuzmina/Shutterstock.com
🕚 Updated March 2022

Children are like sponges: they're constantly soaking up new information and new skills. These educational toys for kids of various ages are made to pique children's curiosity and help them learn more in an exciting way.

Scroll Table to Left
  Best for Words/Spelling Best for Writing Best for Science Best Geography Game Best Logic Learning Game
 
  Officygnet
See & Spell Learning Educational Toys
VTech
Write & Learn Creative Center
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
Earth Science Kit
Imagimake
Mapology USA
ThinkFun
Gravity Maze Marble Run
 
Our SummaryYour child can learn sight words, spelling, and matching with this cute and colorful toy set.Great for travel and no-mess fun, this battery-operated writing pad helps your child learn to write and draw.Your child's imagination will ignite with more than 10 scientific experiments to do in this box.With five play modes and an interactive app, this geography game helps kids learn social science, problem-solving, and hand-eye coordination.Your child will love building critical thinking skills with this challenging, colorful maze.
ProsAppealing bright colors, good for beginner readers, dozens of activities, storage bag.Durable, fun songs and sounds, letter recognition, early reader skills.Multiple experiments, good for families, magnetic putty and sculpting sand are great for kids with sensory issues.Sturdy, good for hands-on learners, state flags and facts, helps with hand-eye coordination.Challenging, clear directions, can be played alone or together, 50+ challenges, helps build self-esteem.
ConsThin cards may get damaged by little hands.The string for the stylus is short.Instructions could be clearer.Tedious assembly.Only one marble.
Scroll Table to Right
Who is LifeSavvy?
LifeSavvy is an independent publication focused on a single goal: helping you make the best purchase possible. We don’t just recommend the best Dutch oven for your needs, we show you how to take care of it so it lasts a lifetime and we recommend delicious recipes to help you get the most out of owning it too! Read More »
How Did We Research?

16 Models Evaluated

6 Hours Researched

35 Reviews Analyzed

The Best Educational Toys

Little girl child playing with lots of colorful plastic digits or numbers on floor indoors.
Oksana Kuzmina/Shutterstock.com

Better than TV and electronic devices, hands-on educational toys can open a world of discovery for kids. From learning early phonics, reading, and writing skills to opening up a world of science and engineering, educational toys are built to expand young minds. Every child is different, learns differently, and has their own interests, talents, and curiosities. That’s why we’ve looked high and low for the best educational toys across a variety of subjects. Check out our list of favorites below.

Buying Guide for Educational Toys

An older boy smiles as he builds a maze with gravity defying colorful bricks.
ThinkFun

Why buy educational toys?

Whether you’re buying a gift or supporting your child’s interest, an educational toy is a fantastic buy. Children can learn new things while having fun and bonding with siblings, friends, parents, or caregivers. These days, kids are bombarded with screens. Give them something else to focus on and have fun with that will engage their minds.

What should you consider in educational toys?

  • Age Appropriateness: Before you purchase an educational toy as a gift, ask yourself if the toy is appropriate for your child. Smaller children may not be able to handle small parts or potentially harmful and overcomplicated elements of scientific toys. Older children will be bored if the toy is too simple for them.
  • Subject Matter: What does your child love? Is he intrigued by science? Does she enjoy geography? Do they love art? Consider what your child enjoys before deciding on a toy, especially for older children.
  • Mess Factor: While messy toys are fun, they often need to be monitored. If you’re looking for a toy for independent play, you may want to avoid a messy toy. However, if you’re looking for a fun experiment and don’t mind the mess, go for it!

Are there educational toys for children with sensory issues?

Absolutely. Educational toys with texture, soft materials like putty or clay, or stacking elements are great for children with sensory issues. Avoid toys that are exceptionally noisy or that have bright or flickering lights since they may not be a good choice for sensory disorders.

Our Picks for the Best Educational Toys

Best for Words/Spelling

KMUYSL See & Spell Learning Educational Toys

Your child can learn sight words, spelling, and matching with this cute and colorful toy set.

Pros: Kids can learn a lot about letters with this toy set! The bright colors are very appealing to younger kids. The set comes with dozens of sight words to spell with the included colorful letters, so it’s ideal for beginner readers. Plus, it comes with a storage bag so that all the letters don’t get lost.

Cons: The thin cards may not stand up to kids for very long.

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for an educational toy for early readers, check this one out. It promotes motor movement for preschool-aged children, and the early sight words can give your child a leg up before kindergarten.

 

Best for Writing

VTech Write & Learn Creative Center

Great for travel and no-mess fun, this battery-operated writing pad helps your child learn to write and draw.

Pros: This writing pad is a great option for younger children because it’s durable. It can survive being stepped on, tossed, and all the other rambunctious things preschool-aged kids like to do with toys. The songs and sounds are appealing and can keep your child intrigued for hours. Plus, it helps with letter recognition, which is great for building pre-reading language skills.

Cons: The string for the stylus is short.

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a high-quality magnetic writing pad, this is a great option. It’s perfect for preschool and kindergarten kids, keeping them entertained on road trips while learning. Plus, it has a long battery life.

 

Best for Science

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Earth Science Kit

Your child's imagination will ignite with more than 10 scientific experiments to do in this box.

Pros: There are a variety of experiments in this kit to pique different interests. It’s a great choice for families with multiple kids, and it makes a great family activity. Plus, the magnetic putty and the sculpting sand are great activities for kids with sensory issues.

Cons: The instructions are not as clear as they could be.

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a fun science toy for kids 5 and over, check out this kit. It’s well organized, keeping all the pieces secure. Plus, it will last you more than one use since there are multiple ways to play.

 

Best Geography Game

Imagimake Mapology USA

With five play modes and an interactive app, this geography game helps kids learn social science, problem-solving, and hand-eye coordination.

Pros: Unlike some other map toys, this one is very sturdy. It’s a great selection for kids who are hands-on learners. And it comes with cute state flags as well as other facts about the states that kids will love to learn.

Cons: The flag assembly is tedious and time-consuming.

Bottom Line: This is the toy to get if your kid loves geography or traveling. Kids who are learning states and their capitols will flourish with this fun, interactive toy. Plus, there are other parts of the world you can select.

 

Best Logic Learning Game

ThinkFun Gravity Maze Marble Run

Your child will love building critical thinking skills with this challenging, colorful maze.

Pros: This game is challenging, which is great for older kids. It comes with clear directions for each challenge. And it’s engaging, perfect for siblings or friends to play together.

Cons: It doesn’t come with extra marbles.

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a fun and challenging game for older children to enjoy, this may be a great option for you. The pieces are sturdy, and they have their own place in the box so they don’t get lost. Some of the games are even challenging for adults!

Final Thoughts

Educational toys don’t just entertain your kids. They help to develop your child’s brain development, according to scientists. Instructive toys can help a child learn to read, write, or memorize new subjects. And hands-on toys help with motor development and developing new skills.

Stacy Rounds Stacy Rounds
Stacy is a freelance writer. She has created a variety of web and print copy, from lifestyle and dating advice to small business reviews and short stories. She has a degree in business and marketing and has worked for several years as a social media manager. Through writing creative fiction, satire, and advertisements, she developed a passion for the written word. She enjoys cooking and painting in her free time. Read Full Bio »
LifeSavvy is focused on a single goal: helping you make the most informed purchases possible. Want to know more?