Educational toddler gifts can be important tools for your child instead of just more clutter in your playroom (preach)!
Before becoming a Stay at Home Mom I was a teacher for eight years. Education and the love of learning is engrained in me. I want to pass that along to our children.
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 by introducing educational toys that give toddlers the opportunity to learn through their play.
Toys are pretty much their world and we have control of what kind of toys they play with (for now). So, why not let it be a positive, educational influence.
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Educational Toddler Gifts that Encourage Learning
I know, I know…don’t write me off just yet. The first toddler gift I want to talk about is Counting Bears because I used them a ton in my elementary 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 including our toddlers.
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?!). Toddlers can do the same thing. This is a great age to introduce a great tool that they may even see in their classroom one day.
I also really enjoy that they take a step away from technology and allow children to use their own imagination.
sorting, stacking (cups), color, counting
If your little one is anything like mine they have newly discovered everything that involves art (aka crayons, markers, paint). It is pretty inevitable that they are going to be curios about these majestic objects. That’s why we as parents need to harness that interest into a positive direction.
By giving them an easel we are enabling them to discover the beauty of drawing, writing and creating art.
I remember having an easel as a toddler and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. This one is definitely an upgrade from mine.
The added feature of the butcher paper roll is one of my favorites.
fine motor skills (while holding writing utensils), imagination, communication, creativity
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.
counting(skip counting, odd/even numbers), colors, days of the week, months, seasons, patterns, prediction
These magnetic wands are a toddler gift that offers exploration. You can give your toddler a plastic bin full of objects. Then instruct your little one to go through them using the want to find out what is magnetic and what is not.
If you want to extend the activity you can have them sort the objects into piles of magnetic and non-magnetic piles.
sorting, exploration and problem solving
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 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 making patterns with the beads.
fine motor skills, counting, colors, patterns, shapes, sorting
It allows our toddlers to come up with games, have thoughts, be creative and think outside the box.
Unleashes their imagination.
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 toy 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 ABCs.
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 :))
letter recognition, letter sounds, fine motor skills
Related: Toddler Restaurant Kit
Magna – Tiles are another toy I used inside the classroom. They are simply tiles that have magnets in them. So, they will attract each other and allow children to create endless shapes or towers by using their imagination.
This is a gift that will grow with them as they continue to figure out more and more things that they can create.
helps develop math, science, spatial and tactile skills
You can use them when you first introduce letters (or numbers) by placing them on your refrigerator. But, you can also mix it up by creating a sensory bin and placing the letters in the bin. Then asking your toddler to find the A, B, C, you catch my drift.
Toddlers love magnets so they will enjoy touching and manuring the different magnets. As they are forming a relationship with letters and numbers.
letter and number recognition and relationship
Thank you for allowing the teacher side of me to nerd out for a bit there. I hope you find some of these toddler gifts helpful in making learning fun for your little one!
Go get ’em mama!!