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    5 Educational Toddler Toys Under $30

    This will be Foster’s second Christmas and I’m so excited to celebrate with him! Last year was so much fun but he didn’t really get the whole present thing. It’s amazing how much things can change in a year. He is now so much more aware and curious about everything. So, I’m pretty sure he’ll be thrilled to rip all the paper and pull open ever box that he can get his hands on this year.

    But, let’s back up a bit. Before having Foster I was teacher for eight years, so education is engrained in me. As a former teacher and current mom I always see a huge importance in making learning fun. That’s why I want to start at a young age with my son and what better time than Christmas?!

    I love toys, all toys, but my favorites are definitely ones that mix in learning and don’t break my budget. That’s why I’m so excited about these 5 Educational Toddler Toys for Under $30

    Rainbow Counting Bears with Matching Sorting Cups


    I used Counting Bears a ton in my classroom. They’re simple little toys that offer such a wide variety of learning. One of my favorite parts is that they are appropriate for so many ages.

    My students always had so much fun sorting, counting, stacking and just using their imagination to create a little bear world (that’s a thing, right?!).

    I also really enjoy that they take a step away from technology and allow children to use their own imagination.

    Educational Benefit: 

    sorting, stacking (cups), color, counting

    Aqua Doodle Drawing Mat 

    If your little one is anything like mine they have newly discovered everything that involves ink or colored wax. Foster is all about any sort of pen, marker or crayon. I want him to be able to discover the beauty of drawing/writing but I also don’t want a new mural on my walls.

    That’s the first thing that attracted me to the Aqua Doodle Mat… there’s no ink, just water!! All of the pens work soley from water, so you don’t have to worry about any mess or permeant damage done to your home.

    Plus it allows your child to work on the fine motor skills of holding and using a writing utensil.

    Educational Benefits: 

    fine motor skills, imagination, communication, creativity

    Children’s Calendar Wall Chart

    Calendar time was my favorite time of day in the classroom! The opportunities to learn felt endless and it offers many ways to differentiate for your child depending on their age and skill.

    Where I plan to start with my son is colors, counting, days of the week and seasons. Even though much of this will be too advance for him to do himself there is a lot to be said for routine and introducing things to our little ones.

    Their minds are literally like little sponges. It’s amazing how much they can understand if we just expose them to it.

    Educational Benefits: 

    counting(skip counting, odd/even numbers), colors, days of the week, months, seasons, patterns, prediction

    Primary Lacing Beads

    I pretty much adore all things Melissa & Doug, but these lacing beads hold a special place in my heart. I love the simplicity of them yet there are still so many educational benefits kids can gain from using these multi colored beads.

    Developing fine motor skills can be a challenge for most kids, but these beads make practice fun! Plus they have the end result of their own little creation. Once they have mastered the mechanics of this they can move onto things like sorting or patterns.

    Educational Benefits: 

    fine motor skills, counting, colors, patterns, shapes, sorting

    Elmo On the Go Letters

    The number one thing I love about these On the Go Letters is that they are just that…on the go. Car rides have been one of my son’s least favorite activities since he was born. So, I’ve resorted to being “prepared” when we leave the house.  Prepared means having plenty of snacks and toys on hand.

    This little beaut is the perfect toys to take to restaurants, car rides, trips, stores…pretty much anywhere. While my son is still too young to totally learn the alphabet that doesn’t mean I can’t expose him to it. This way he will be familiar with letters when we start getting a little more serious about the alphabet.

    We’ve started with just his initials and so far he can at least recognize those (usually) and I’m pretty darn proud of him! But, let’s be real..I’d be proud of him for taking a poo.

    The letters pop out and your child can fit them back in to the correct slot for at least minutes of learning fun ( I won’t promise hours :))

    Educational Benefits: 

    letter recognition, letter sounds, fine motor skills

    Thank you for allowing the teacher side of me to nerd out for a bit there. I hope you find some of these helpful in making learning fun for your little one! And of course in keeping within your budget.