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5 Best Educational Toys for 1 and 2 Year Olds

toddler learning with educational toy

Kids and toys go hand in hand. Take a kid into a toyshop if you don’t believe me, and they’ll come out with a long list of “must-haves” for the next letter to Santa. 

The best educational toys stimulate a child’s senses, inspire them to use their imagination, and help develop social, memory, and motor skills. The right toy does more than just keep kids entertained.

Babies have a natural, insatiable, curiosity about the world, and there’s a lot to discover. Providing your baby with safe, interesting toys can help them develop their senses as they explore the amazing new world around them by engaging with a variety of shapes, colours, textures, and sounds.

As parents, it’s our job to bring interesting, playful objects to our children, so they can develop their senses and motor skills to the fullest. 

Baby toys that produce noise, like rattles and musical instruments, are always a hit. Babies find toys with colourful patterns and lights fascinating and help to develop their vision. Remember, it’s our brains that see, not our eyes. 

Babies of all ages can benefit from toys that encourage them to investigate objects and causal linkages, to develop their fine motor abilities and hand-eye coordination.

Let’s explore some of the most popular toys for girls and boys aged 1 – 2 years. 

Hape Country Critters Wooden Play Cube

Hape leaning cube

This 5-sided activity cube is a hive of activity, with mazes, puzzles, levers, shapes, and a variety of colourful critters that will have your 1-year-old hooked. It targets a wide range of developing abilities in your child, including counting, colour, pattern, and shape recognition, as well as fine motor, memory, and problem-solving skills.

To endure years of enjoyment, it’s constructed with premium wood and painted with safe water-based paint.

Count the numerous creatures or name the colours on the cube with your child to deepen your bond and help them learn. If you want to make it a little more challenging, take turns sorting the pieces by colour and shape to see who can do it the fastest. Interact with your child and the cube, calling descriptive words like “in, out, over, around, under, across” as you play along.

With five sides of entertaining activities, this vibrant Hape play cube will keep your child occupied for hours. There are lots of activities for your child to participate in thanks to the variety of games, including a shape sorter. Your child can play with the many sides to develop fine motor skills, kinesthetic awareness, and problem-solving abilities. The cube’s ample size, vibrant colours, and rotating activities ensure that your youngster will have fun playing with it because there is so much to learn.

Baby Einstein Curiosity Table Activity Station – 1 year+

baby Einstein Curiosity Table

This educational activity table is ideal for children who are naturally inquisitive, stimulating their senses as they spend fun hours exploring its many elements.

Strengthen finger and hand coordination while singing along to any of over sixty-five songs. Height adjustable so the table can grow with your child. 

Use Baby Einstein’s Curiosity Table to promote your child’s innate sense of wonder. The double art and science table features spinning gears, colour-discovery circuits, and flashing lights that will keep your child amazed and engaged.  

See how the gears interlock to turn on the lightbulb, and don’t worry about making a mess as you use the paint pots to paint with colour, without spills.

Your child will be lost in wonder exploring the many components of this multi-use table. There is a volume slider that allows you to choose between a loud, normal, or silent experience as your little one interacts with the audio elements of the toy. 

Turning on the sounds will treat you and your kid to a more satisfying listening experience thanks to the premium speaker. 

The table’s centre art panel can be detached and attached to the end providing even more room for your baby to spread out with his or her art projects. The legs can be easily removed to make the table suitable for use on the floor. There’s plenty of area for siblings to join in the fun with a sketching art panel and a dry-erase whiteboard. Take a seat; even parents may have a good time at this playground, bonding through play.

Related: Best Educational Toys for 3 – 4 Year Old Developing Kids

Early Learning Centre ELC– Wooden Activity Workbench

early learning centre workbench toy

A great way to get your child off of their feet and explore is with the Early Learning Centre Activity Workbench.

Featuring a bar to grab for added support as your child is toddling around this mobile and entertaining activity centre. Made from durable natural wood and painted with vibrant, dazzling colours, giving your baby the courage to take their first steps. 

Among the 22 included toys are a shape sorter, saw, wrench, adjustable clock, coloured spinning beads, a chalkboard for drawing, and much more.  

Discovering the screws, using the wrench, turning the cogs, and spinning the vice on the workbench are all great ways to encourage your child’s creative play. There are bolts to turn and wood to cut, so this early-learning walker will keep kids entertained for hours.

Learning about the various parts of this Activity child’s workbench is an ideal place for them to exercise their imagination, as well as their hand-eye coordination and motor skills.

MEGA BLOKS Build ‘n Learn Table toy

Mega Blocks build and learn

Use this movable table to construct a lively town centre and watch their imagination take them to a mini wonderland. Stack the blocks to build a petrol station and road with lights, then take the little car for a drive around the new town.

Matching blocks with intricate designs can help teach children about colours and numbers. The table’s legs fold up, and it has a place to store blocks and an ergonomically designed handle, making it ideal for families on the go.

The Mega Bloks Build ‘n Learn table is a useful educational tool that combines play with development in mind.  The handy table makes for a great spot to spread out a few First Builders blocks and some bright stickers for creative construction.

The Build ‘n’ Learn table is a three-in-one construction wonder that’s both colourful and plentiful. Quickly unfolding from its compact folded state, this table provides a sturdy surface for construction and doubles as a storage place for all the blocks. As parents, you’ll soon find a house full of toys, but this has been designed with compact storage in mind. 

Let your child’s imagination run wild as they construct a mini-metropolis, complete with a multi-story home, garage, hidden tunnels, and towering arches. Stacking and separating the blocks will help develop coordination and grip strength.

The set includes 30 large, colourful plastic Mega Bloks, a figurine, a car, stickers, and four different sceneries to play with, but of course, your child will create all kinds of scenes. 

Mega Bloks is one of the few block sets available for children as young as 12 months old, with a recommended age range of 1 to all the way to 5. To parents who worry that their children would choke on tiny blocks, these are too large to swallow. Always monitor their play though, because children can always find a way to hurt themselves. 

Older children who are practising their block-building skills may find the Mega Bloks uninteresting due to their great size and simplicity. Yet, you can bypass boredom by introducing new block sets, as this is compatible with the rest of the Mega Bloks line. And the plastic pieces can be cleaned with a damp cloth or washed under running water after playing with grubby hands, making them a long-lasting set.

4-in-1 Hammering Montessori Wooden Educational Toy Shape Sorter Xylophone

beach Montessori toy 1 - 2 years

This hammering and pounding toy is a classic Montessori toy that can help kids improve their fine motor skills.

In this activity, toddlers use a light wooden mallet to hit coloured balls through holes which then drop down and knock the keys on a xylophone, making a sound.

It’s a fun way to encourage parent bonding and interaction through playtime with your toddlers. Parents should always be present when their infant plays with this type of toy to prevent any injuries or ingestion.

The high-quality beech wood used to make the Montessori toy is completely free of harmful substances like BPA, lead, and phthalates. Each and every one of the quality standards for wooden toys has been met or exceeded by these products.

Instead of just banging away at the xylophone with a hammer, this one has a slide that kids can use to practise their hand-eye coordination. Treat toddlers on the autistic spectrum to this on their birthdays and other special occasions.

What Makes a Good Educational Toy?

Toys are so much more than just fun, they’re educational, helping children learn as children play. A child’s first opportunity to discover and engage with the world on their own terms occurs through play with toys. Toys are the instrument through which children engage in exploration, connection, creation, and problem-solving; the experience of the play itself is what yields the learning outcomes.

Seeing our children revel in the wonder of childhood is one of the greatest joys of parenting. However, knowing that kids are gaining knowledge through play is what makes observing them so enjoyable. 

Any toy that teaches our kids something new, whether it’s about themselves, the world, or more academic themes, is considered an educational toy. Recognizing that children learn best when they are interested and having fun, it becomes clear that many toys can be used for educational purposes.

How Educational Toys Help Children’s Development

To sum it all up, your child’s development can benefit from educational toys because they stimulate his or her mind and senses while also fostering the formation of new neural connections in the brain.

An important way in which play benefits kids’ growth is by

  • Developing their creative potential
  • Developing more dexterity
  • Acquiring a sense of poise through physical development
  • Improve both your fine and gross motor skills.
  • Facilitating mental processing
  • Promoting Internal Control
  • Assisting with communication and social skills

Choosing educational toys for infants, toddlers, and kids is a simple approach to aid in a child’s growth and development.

Your child’s individual personality will determine which toys will be most beneficial to your child’s development, but the best educational toys are those that capture your child’s interest and inspire their creativity. However, there are many varieties of toys, each with its own set of potential educational benefits. There are toys for the senses, toys for movement, toys for building, toys for use with apps and electronics, and toys that encourage creative play.