Children naturally love getting new toys. Those same children also decide quickly whether or not they think that a toy is a joy to play with or a bore to have. Just because a toy is on a the store shelf, or advertised on TV doesn’t mean it’s an educational toy. This guide will help you find the best educational toys-- the kind that children will want to play with over and over. All prices listed are approximate.
Best toys for toddlers:
Twirlie Tots Bristle Blocks ($35)
This award winning toy for toddlers is a brightly colored construction block set dubbed Bristle Blocks. The building blocks are made from flexible, washable, and soft plastic. They’re both colorful and easy to stack and connect. This is a great learning toy and one that can put your toddler well on its way to earning a spot in the most prestigious New York colleges.
The Twirlie Tots Bristle Block block set has 75 pieces, including wacky building platforms that spin, wacky shapes, and funny face blocks. The entire set of 75 blocks comes in its own storage bin,
Chicco Talking Video Phone ($40)
The Chicco Talking Video Phone is much different from other pretend phones. This phone has a screen that lights up to show six different pictures: a tree, a dog, a mountain, a pond, a park, and a duck. The toddler can make up to three pictures light up at once. Once that happens, a pre-recorded voice will put them all together and make up a story. “Hi, I’m in the park. Who is swimming in the pond? The duck is!” As a bonus, this phone can teach in both English and Spanish.
For the school-age child:
Rokenbok Power Chutes Start Set ($70)
Some remote controlled cars will just zoom around the room. The RC Power Chutes Skip Track front loader has a special purpose: deliver red and blue ROK balls from the vehicle to the “power chutes factory”. Of course, before a child can do that, they have to first build the power factory. Not only is this a fun toy but it also provides the opportunity to spend time with your child working together on a fun project. This can be exceptionally beneficial for troubled teens who can benefit most from the extra parental care and shared time. The construction project set for that is over a hundred pieces that snap together. A child starts with literally nothing and then by assembling their own building, get to build up something great.
The Skip Track front loader is controlled with something that looks like it would be right at home on a video game console. The remote control lets the child adjust the scoop and the direction on the front loader. Children will have a very fun challenge in maneuvering the Skip Track into the correct position to drop the red and blue ROK balls into the chute. This starter set is a wonderful way to “test drive” the complete Rokenbok line of products. The remote control Power Control Center can handle as many as 8 vehicles at a time, and everything in the Power Chutes set is compatible with any other product in the Rokenbok series.
Cranium WonderWorks Talking Picture Book ($20)
Finally, a look at the WonderWorks Talking Picture Book. It's a remarkably portable electronic drawing pad that uses reusable stickers and easy to wipe dry erase markers. The Talking Picture Book also uses spinners that a child can spin to get started with story line ideas. However, the most unique and amazing part about this toy is that the child can record a short story for each of the four pages they draw. They then can play back the recording, one page at a time, in any order. This feature is sure to bring smiles to a child's face as they hear their own voice narrate in their own words. It just goes to show you how something so simple can also be a lot of fun.