Best Educational Toys For Babies And Toddlers 

Kids & Baby

The best educational toys for babies and toddlers may be electronic or simple, old-fashioned rattles or games. A toy doesn’t have to be expensive or have many different high-tech features to help infants and toddlers develop motor skills, eye-hand coordination, or learn how the alphabet. 

 

We did extensive research and found educational toys that are fun, engaging and beneficial to a child’s development. 

​Comparison Table

How We Chose Our Ratings

Image of a girl holding a tablet while the boy lying on the carpet of pictures

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We look at several factors when determining the best educational toys for infants and toddlers. Kids’ developmental toys range from the latest computer-based gadgets to old-school wood and plastic playthings, but all products should share a few basic features.

  •  The toy can be used while traveling
  • Cost
  • Customer Service
  • Can be used by several age groups
  • Teaches more than one skill
  • Made of safe or soft material
  • Easy for small hands to hold/use
  • Solid construction

15 Best Educational Toys for Babies and Toddlers

A toddler sitting down playing tablet and the best educational toys

​Image Source: Unsplash

Check out our list of the 15 best educational toys for infants and toddlers. We included a cross-section of toys for babies, toddlers, and a few that cater to both age groups.

Pinkfong Baby Shark Official Sound Book
  • Baby Shark doo doo doo doo doo doo - Official Baby Shark merchandise!
  • Ten abridged songs with colorful illustrations
  • Tailor-made for small baby hands with a child-friendly grip

Books made of soft materials are often rated as the best educational toys for babies by parents and educators. The Pinkfong Baby Shark Official Sound Book is one of these books. Every page has vibrant illustrations of the Pinkfong characters. 

 

The pages won’t glare and are easy on your baby’s eyes. Your child presses buttons and touches the sound book to hear and sing along to Baby Shark songs. The Pinkfong Baby Shark Sound Book plays ten melodies and rhymes. They include “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Shark,” “Shark ABC,” “Shark 123” and “Christmas Shark.”

 

The soft buttons and the rounded edge pages are easy on baby’s small hands. 

 

Your child can switch on the book using the safety lock on the back cover. The safety lock preserves battery life and protects your child from accidents. The book has inlaid Aria Speakers for crisp, clear sound. The sound is safe for your baby, as it is no louder than 83dV from a distance of 12 inches from the source. 

 

The Pinkfong Baby Shark Official Sound Book needs two AAA batteries, which are safely placed under the front cover. 

 

The songs and the book itself are very engaging for children around a year old, according to parents who've bought the book. "My 15-month old loves the book, likes pushing the buttons and will spend about half-an-hour with the book, writes one reviewer. 




Green Toys Sand Play Set Green, 0.6 Pounds
  • For 18 months and above
  • Includes bucket, shovel, rake and sand mold
  • Made from curbside collected milk containers

This bucket is a great way to introduce your child to imaginative but fun outdoor play. A sand mold, shovel, and rake are included.  The set is made from recycled plastic milk jugs to preserve the environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The bucket and accessories contain no BPA, toxins, PVC, or phthalates.

 

Your child can use this study play set in the sandbox or at the beach. The bucket has a durable cotton rope handle that won’t snap or fray when the bucket is filled with sand. 

All accessories fit into the bucket for travel or storage. 

 

The tools are made for small hands, with nubs so your child can easily pull or push. The shovel is rigid, and the tines on the rake are slightly flexible. Even pint-sized kids can flip and fill the sand castle mold without struggling.

 

The package containing the bucket set is made of recycled boxes, and it has no plastic film or twist ties. 

 

The Green Toys Play Set is designed for children 18 months or older. The set promotes motor skills, creativity, and outdoor play. The bucket and accessories are made in the U.S.A. and dishwasher safe.

 

The Green Toys Sand Play Set won the Best Bet award from the Canadian Toy Testing Council. The product weight is slightly over one pound.  

Baby Einstein Discovering Music Activity Table
  • Empowers baby to make their own magical music
  • Features piano, drum, guitar and French horn
  • Piano keys teach numbers and colors

The musical sounds include French horns, piano, and drums. There’s a musical inlay where your baby can listen to seven popular melodies. 

 

The Baby Einstein Activity Table is easy for infants to use, and helps them develop motor skills. Your baby activates the sounds by tapping, strumming, or spinning the instruments.  

 

The Baby Einstein Discovering Music Activity table is designed for children from six to 36 months. You can use it in English, Spanish or French or switch between all three languages. 

 

Reviewers comment that the legs aren’t that sturdy, but overall the Music Activity Table is a great toy that keeps kids entertained.

 

Music is an important part of early childhood development, and this activity table will help your child learn about rhythm, pitch and become happier and healthier. Music also foresters a sense of community as young children sing with their peers.   

Baby Einstein Discovering Music Activity Table
  • Empowers baby to make their own magical music
  • Features piano, drum, guitar and French horn
  • Piano keys teach numbers and colors

This classic rattle is perfect for little hands to grab, and fosters motor skills like reaching and grasping. The Skwish Rattle and Teething Grasper looks like a variation on a toy molecule at first glance. The shape and colors are suitable for newborns who have learned to turn their heads.

 

The wooden beads have a soft, muted sound that won’t bother parents or other adults. Your baby will learn about sounds - and cause and effect – without bothering you with electronic chirps. Infants will be able to shake and touch the rattler. Adults even like squishing the toy and watching it regain its shape. 

 

The beads slide back and forth on a wood dowel.  The construction has elastic ties that let the teether and rattle flatten and return to its regular shape. The wood is non-toxic, sustainable and has a water-based finish, so it's safe for your baby. 

 

This baby development toy gives your infant a geometry lesson with its dowels and elastic ties.  

VTech Smart Shots Sports Center
  • 2-in-1 kids basketball hoop sports center; play on the toddler basketball goal or score goals with the toddler soccer...
  • Animated light up LED scoreboard counts baskets up to 10 and plays encouraging animations, sounds and phrases; purple...
  • Shape buttons introduce shapes, numbers and sounds; early learning center comes with 50+ songs, sounds and phrases

Toddlers play soccer or basketball with this electronic sports center. The device has sounds, phrases, and animations to encourage your child to make baskets or goals and improve their scores. The LED scoreboard lights up and counts the baskets your child makes. The game helps children develop motor skills.  

 

The sports center also teaches your child shapes, phrases, and numbers, and has over 50 songs and sounds. The purple lever on the side of the game brings the scoreboard back to zero. 


Kids from one to three years old should use the V-Tech Smart Shots Sports Center. The toy runs on 3 AA batteries (not included in the package). The sports center needs to be assembled, and you’ll need a small Phillips screwdriver. Most pieces snap into place.

 

One reviewer commented that the toy is easy to install, and keeps her daughter engaged for ten minutes to a half-hour at a time. 

 

The toy has a sensor on it that counts and cheers on the player when a ball goes through the hoop or on the goal. The soccer ball and basketball are sized well, and not choking hazards, but a few parts are smaller and may be a hazard for younger children. 

Light-Up Lion Stacker

Fisher-Price Light-Up Lion Stacker
  • Sparkly lights and music stimulates baby's senses of sight and sound.
  • Placing stars on the post and the lion on top encourages eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills.
  • Colorful rings for younger babies to grasp, hold, shake and explore with 7 songs reward stacking

The music and lights boost your infant’s senses, and the bright rings allow babies to hold shake and grasp for better motor skills. Seven songs play to reward baby for stacking the rings. 

 

Babies learn about sizes by stacking the rings from big at the bottom to small at the top. Placing stars on the post and the lion on top encourages eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills. 

 

Babies can place four colorful stars on the post and the lion at the top of the stack. Putting the stars on the post and lion encourages hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. 

 

Several reviewers mention that their babies love this toy, and enjoy making it light up by removing and replacing the rings. Babies as young as four months are intrigued by this toy, according to reviews submitted by parents. 

Melissa & Doug Classic Bead Maze - The Original (Wooden Educational...
  • Multi-shaped and brightly colored wooden beads swoop and slide along 3 roller-coaster wires
  • 18 wooden beads in a variety of shapes and sizes are easy to grip and feel great in little hands
  • Sturdy wooden base

The Classic Bead Maze from Melissa and Doug is another wood toy with brightly colored beads. The maze isn’t too big or small, and older infants (around 18 months) can easily carry it from place to place. 

 

Kids one years and older can slide beads across the toy's three wires to identify patterns, sizes, and shapes. This bead maze encourages several skills, including:

  •  Fine motor skills
  • Math skills
  • Patterning 
  • Visual perception
  • Creativity 
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Shape and color recognition 

 

Babies sitting in high chairs can play with these beads by sliding and spinning them. The bead maze is important for promoting free play, imagination, and creativity in young children.

 

Infants can use this maze upright or on its side writes one reviewer, and the toy is so well-made that there is no fear of splinters or damage.  

TOMY Toomies Squeak Toy, Hide & Squeak Eggs
  • Hide and squeak eggs: This squeak toy contains six colorful squeaking eggs for kids to play with.
  • Crack them open: shells crack open to reveal colored chicks
  • Interactive toys: the colored chicks chirps when their heads are pressed down gently

Put these Hide and Squeak Eggs in your child’s Easter Basket or give as a gift any time. The eggs are easy for small hands to hold, and the shells crack to show green, red, yellow or purple, orange or blue chicks. Your child will have fun and learn about shapes, sizes, and colors using these eggs.

 

Kids press down on the chicks' heads to make them chirp. Each egg (six in total) has a different-shaped base inside the container, and your child sorts the eggs back into their compartments. Sorting the chicks back into the correct space helps your child improve manual dexterity and improve their knowledge of shapes.    

 

Parents think this set is adorable and comment that their children like to play peek-a-boo with it. One reviewer comments that it is multi-purpose and encourages her daughter to solve problems. 

deMoca Quiet Book for Toddlers - Montessori Basic Skills Activity -...
  • NO LOSING PARTS – All pieces are tethered to the activity book. Features 9 Montessori toddler activities, helps kids...
  • MONTESSORI TOY – Montessori toys for toddlers with 9 Quiet Time activities to focus on like matching the velcro...
  • TRAVEL TOY – Full of real challenges, these car & airplane activities travel toys for toddlers will keep your kid...

This interactive, Montessori-related book stimulates your toddler’s thinking process and improves practical and motor skills. Your child’s problem-solving ability will be challenged. The book is sewn and stitched neatly and nice to touch, yet durable.

 

The nine tasks in this book help kids learn how to tie their shoes, tell time, match Velcro shapes by color and buckle or zip up clothes.

 

The games in this book contain colorful images and activities that will hold your child’s attention when traveling or waiting in a doctor’s office.

 

The book is machine washable and has a zippered travel bag to keep it clean. The pouch will help keep the deMoca Toddlers Activity Book in excellent shape. The book comes with a Digital Guide with games and advice on how to improve your child's learning experience and creativity. 

 

This soft to the touch book is recommended for kids two years old and older. Autistic and anxious children can benefit from using this soft, sensory book.  

VTech Little Apps Tablet, Black
  • Color changing screen; letter buttons and piano keyboard
  • 12 learning activities with progressive learning levels
  • volume control and automatic shut-off to save battery

The apps tablet has a piano keyboard, a screen that changes colors, and letter buttons. The screen is backlit and can change colors (purple, blue, red or pink).

 

Your child can choose from 12 activities with various learning levels. Your child can learn counting, the alphabet and play music, spelling and rhyming games with this tablet. 

 

The Little Apps Tablet helps kids develop basic skills to help them succeed in preschool and kindergarten.  

 

The VTech Little Apps Tablet is made for two to five-year-old kids. The tablet includes two AA batteries and has an automatic shut-off to extend battery life.

 

Some parents commented that the tablet is more appropriate for ages three or four to seven, while others let children as young as one year use the tablet successfully.    

Bright Starts Giggling Gourmet Shop 'n Cook Walker
  • 4 modes of play to grow with baby: sit & play removable cook top; stand & play activity table; push & walk behind; and...
  • Popcorn really pops when baby walks or pushes button
  • Light up button causes sizzling Cooking sounds

Your child is never too young to learn about cooking and grocery shopping. The 4-in-1 Giggling Gourmet Shop ‘n’ Cook Walker offers four components to introduce your toddler to food and cooking. 

 

The walker's short, sturdy legs assist your baby when he or she is learning to walk. There's a removable cooktop that pops popcorn, and there's even a sizzling sound to accompany it. Take the top off to load the grocery cart, just like at a grocery store. 

 

A sandwich pops up when your child slides the lever. The light up button spins the egg roller or starts sizzling sounds. Your child can stand and play, sit and play, sort shapes, or use removable toys.

 

This Shop ‘n' Cook Walker uses 3 AA batteries, which are included in the package. The BPA-free toy can be used on any flooring but is easiest to use on carpet.  

 


 

LeapFrog My Own Leaptop, Green
  • Learn about the alphabet, spell your name and more on a pretend play Leapfrog computer built for kids.
  • Customize My Own Leaptop to help your child spell his or her name.
  • Leapfrog new, larger screen makes the pretend computer play even bigger, featuring 26 fun animal animations! Tap away in...

LeapFrog’s pretend computer offers a large screen and four learning modes. Your child can learn numbers and letters, send and receive pretend emails, and perform many other tasks to prepare them for school and life.

 

The Game mode enables kids to play trivia that teachers them about animals and letters. The Music mode features 16 songs and melodies for fun sing-alongs. The Alphabet mode teaches kids letters, letter sounds, and shows them words using those letters. There are also 26 animal animations to help kids learn their ABCs. 

 

You can customize the Leaptop to show your child’s name, and teach him or her how to spell it. 

 

This toy is recommended for children two years to four years. It has a carrying handle so your child can use it anywhere. The volume has high and low settings, and some parents comment that the low setting is barely audible. 

 

This computer is great while traveling in the car because it keeps my daughter occupied writes one reviewer.  

LeapFrog My Own Leaptop, Green
  • Learn about the alphabet, spell your name and more on a pretend play Leapfrog computer built for kids.
  • Customize My Own Leaptop to help your child spell his or her name.
  • Leapfrog new, larger screen makes the pretend computer play even bigger, featuring 26 fun animal animations! Tap away in...

This 68 piece learning kit includes 55 flashcards, four posters, four board books, and seven puzzles. The set doesn't promote just one skill; it features lessons in spatial reasoning, hand-eye coordination, motor skills, reading, and simple math 

 

This all-in-one educational set teaches numbers, shapes, colors and the alphabet. A teaching guide is included for parents and caregivers. 

 

One reviewer writes that her granddaughters love the book and carries the box around the house. The project materials - flashcards, posters, foam cutouts, and cardboard books – help kids learn colors, letters, and numbers through repetition. 

 

A few mixed reviews mention that some cards are missing and children need adult supervision to use the cards. One reviewer wrote that the animals on the cards are strange-looking and confused her child.    

LeapFrog Mr. Pencil's Scribble and Write
  • Explore six activities that introduce writing, drawing and spelling with the help of Mr. Pencil
  • Write numbers, shapes, uppercase letters and lowercase letters step-by-step
  • Use the stylus on the touch screen to trace each step while getting instant feedback from Mr. Pencil, or get creative...

Leapfrog’s Scribble and Write teaches your child how to draw, write and spell. The stylus on the touchscreen helps toddlers practice tracing numbers, shapes and letters. Your child will learn how to write uppercase and lowercase letters and numbers in easy to follow steps with the help of “Mr. Pencil.” 

 

The screen shows kids how to write one line at a time. Your child can make the background darker or lighter, but letters or numbers with curves, like zeros or "Os", may be hard to see.     

 

The stylus lets kids draw or write, and Mr. Pencil gives feedback and encouragement on what they've done.  A congratulatory animation appears on the touch screen after your child traces a shape, number or letter correctly. 

 

The youngest users can press buttons and hear letter names and their corresponding sounds. The touchscreen and animation make practicing letters and numbers easy for kids who usually have trouble sitting still for long periods. 

 

Kids can match letters to sounds or find missing letters to easy words.

 

Leapfrog’s Mr. Pencil is recommended for ages 36 months to seven years. The lightweight tablet weighs one pound, and three AA batteries are included.  

 

One reviewer wrote the Scribble and Write may be appropriate for special needs children. Consult the Lekotek website for an evaluation of toys appropriate for special needs kids. 

Buyer’s Guide

baby girl playing purple camera toy

​Image Source: Unsplash

Consider your child’s age, personality, and the other toys they enjoy before buying an educational or developmental toy. Different toys may achieve the same objective, such as teaching motor skills. 

You don’t have to buy a different toy for each skill, as many toys, especially the play-computers or sing-along toys, teach motor skills, numbers, letters, animal names, and melodies.  

Many simple toys, such as sand buckets and wooden mazes, encourage creativity as well as hand-eye coordination and motor skills. It is important to choose simple as well as high-tech toys to give your child a range of activities.    

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