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How to Choose Educational Toys for Toddlers

July 7, 2019

You’re big on educational toys for toddlers but don’t want a million toy cluttering up your house.  This list of criteria of toys for toddler brain development will help you know which educational toddler toys to keep and which to skip.

This post is sponsored by on behalf of LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc.

Toddler boy playing with LeapBuilders Elephant with text overlay - How to Choose Educational Toys for Toddlers

As someone who strives to keep the clutter out of her home, I know I have to be intentional about toys my sons own.  Since each toy we bring into our home adds to the number of things we have to clean up, I try to keep that number on the smaller side.  One way I make sure our toys are worth keeping in the home is to have a checklist that I use on each of my boys’ toys.  Since it is important to me that they are toys for toddler brain development, these are the criteria I use.

Toddler boy playing with LeapBuilders Elephant

My Tips for Choosing Educational Toys for Toddlers

Some Sort of Learning Activity

Um…  Yeah, this one is kinda obvious.  If you’re looking for educational toys for toddlers, you need to find a toys that have some sort of learning activity.  This might be a toy that helps the child learn their ABC’s or it might be a toy that helps the child learn hand-eye coordination.  Some will be more technologically advanced than others but learning activities can range anywhere from a game on a tablet to large blocks.  The key is that you are introducing toys for toddler brain development to your kid.

Doesn’t Have a Screen

I know this is personal preference and some parents love to encourage learning games on computers for their toddlers.  I prefer to keep my kiddos off computers and tablets for as long as I’m able and focus on learning activities that are more tangible.  My four year old has even picked out a block of wood that he calls his tablet and pretends to play games on it since he doesn’t get the screen time he’d like.  But hey, that block of wood is causing him to use his imagination and that’s an aspect of learning so I’d say it’s a win!  😉

No Annoying Sounds

I have three boys so I’m surrounded by sounds.  Whether it’s singing, crying, asking “why?” over and over and over, bickering, or playing…  It’s just a lot!  Toys with annoying sounds do not last long in my house.  Now, I totally understand that a lot of educational toddler toys make noise and I’m ok with that.  They just can’t make ANNOYING sounds.  This is definitely subjective but it’s necessary for mama’s sanity.

Multiple Ways to Play

If a toy doesn’t spark imagination, it’s not long for my home.  I am not a fan of toys that have only one way they can be played with since my boys get bored with those toys quickly and then they just end up messing up my house.  I love open ended educational toddler toys because they cause my boys brains to work – not just help with a little bit of learning.

Keeps My Boys Entertained

Haha.  Obviously this is a key factor in choosing educational toys for toddlers – they have to keep my boys entertained.  Even if a toy fits all the other criteria, if my boys don’t enjoy it then it’s not worth it to have it in our home.

One of Our New Favorite Educational Toddler Toys

My boys are currently obsessed with the LeapBuilders® Fruit Fun Elephant™ and, thankfully, it fits into all the requirements I have for toys for toddler brain development.

LeapBuilders Fruit Fun Elephant

Some Sort of Learning Activity – The LeapBuilders Elephant has ten double-sided learning blocks that you put into the interactive Smart Star™.  It will respond with educational songs and phrases about the numbers and colors that aid with learning.  As your kids learn all these blocks have to teach, you could even purchase other learning blocks from other LeapBuilders sets to unlock more content responses!

Doesn’t Have a Screen –  This block toy doesn’t have a screen.  Check!

No Annoying Sounds –  Although this is certainly not a quiet toy, the phrases and songs that come out of it don’t annoy me!  Woohoo!  The voice is engaging for kids but isn’t too whiney or high pitched like other educational toys for toddlers.

Multiple Ways to Play – The LeapBuilders Elephant is an interactive 21-piece animal-themed block toy.  It’s fun that my boys can build all sorts of different shapes and animals while also using the interactive Smart Star™ to learn.  Building on the Smart Star™ cube triggers sounds, the questions button on the Smart Star™ shares learning phrases about animals, and the music button plays five melodies and four learning songs.  Building, singing, and learning in one toy?  Yes, please!

Keeps My Boys Entertained –  Like I said, my boys are currently obsess with the LeapBuilders Elephant so it definitely fills this requirement.  Since this building toy is intended for ages 2+, it’s perfect for toddlers!

Toddler boy playing with LeapBuilders elephant

Want to start building?  LeapFrog is giving away five set of LeapBuilders toys and you could win them!  Click here to enter the LeapBuilders Sweepstakes!

Your Turn:
Do you have any favorite toys for toddler brain development?
What tips do you have for choosing educational toddler toys?

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