When schools all around the island had to temporarily close in the first half of the year, parents had to rack their brains to find entertaining ways to educate their young children at home – some of us at AVENUE ONE sure did!
Now that schools and daycare centres have reopened, it’s still vital that you keep your toddler’s brain challenged by incorporating fun yet educational toys and games in your child’s everyday life.
Ahead, we rounded up the best educational toys for toddlers you can get your hands on to make learning an enjoyable experience for both you and your little one – whether it’s building blocks or musical toys, we’ve got you covered!
1. Mega Bloks 80-Piece Big Building Bag
It’s never too early for your child to practice his motor skills. With Mega Bloks 80-piece Big Building Bag, it is a perfect choice to unleash their imagination and creativity as the building block set encourages your child to match, count, and sort the blocks to different things.
In addition to developing motor skills, studies show that building blocks also help a growing toddler enhance their cognitive flexibility which is needed for a child to multitask well. Building blocks are also found to help children foster better language and social skills when they engage in regular block play.
In short, this toy increases your child’s ability to identify the varied blocks, visualise what they want to create out of the block pieces, and even communicate with you – the parents!
Another plus point? The building blocks come in a handy bag which you can bring anywhere, making it a must-have for every growing baby.
Mega Bloks 80-Piece Big Building Bag retails for S$20.21 on Amazon.
2. Leapfrog 100 Animals Book
It’s never too early for your child to practice bilingualism, and with this interactive 100 Animal Book by Leapfrog, your toddler can learn both English and French vocabulary while on a safari adventure.
Available for children age 18 to 72 months, this can help develop your child’s animal vocabulary just by exploring the colourful pages to learn exciting facts about the animal kingdom and the various sound effects, from a lion’s roar to a busy bee’s buzzing noise.
Enable the Fun Fact mode by touching the pictures to activate animal sounds, or press the star button at the bottom of the toy which will light up and play two educational songs.
Leapfrog 100 Animals Book retails for S$45.99 at Toys”R”Us.
3. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Time to Learn Smartwatch
Want to keep his little hands busy? Give your toddler his very own smartwatch from Fisher-Price!
This interactive pretend smartwatch latches on comfortably with an easy-grasp band, making it safe for your tot to wear all day long. Let him talk with Puppy, learn how to count numbers, identify different colours and greetings, and sing many exciting new songs.
This toy can help develop your child’s fine motor skills using different features such as the toggle switch and the dial turn-up. You can also strengthen your baby’s dexterity and hand-eye coordination by playing with the colourful clacker beads at the side.
Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Time to Learn Smartwatch retails for S$17.90 at Lazada.
4. Early Learning Centre Wooden Shopping Trolley
This shopping trolley is perfect for any roleplay set up in your home. Play and pretend to be shopkeeper and customer with your child in this interactive toy from Early Learning Centre.
It features a shape sorter to sort and match the building blocks, and the trolley handle is sturdy enough and perfect for your tot’s little hands to hold. You can even teach your kid how to wind up the cogs at the side to reveal a mirror!
Social skills aside, it also helps improve your child’s math skills with a string of six colourful beads installed right in front of the trolley handle. You’d also be happy to know that the toy is protected with rubber rims on the wheels to prevent slipping.
Early Learning Centre Wooden Shopping Trolley retails for S$80 at Mothercare.
5. Hape Pound and Tap Bench
Having won The Crisbie Award for “Favorite First Musical Toy” in 2018, this multi-functional and engaging bestseller is truly a must-have for kids around the world.
The Hape Pound and Tap Bench is a wooden musical set that features a xylophone and a pounding station perfect for encouraging musical exploration as your kid dances and grooves to the tune using the instrument!
Not only is the toy adorned with bright rainbow colours to appeal to toddlers, but it also uses sturdy materials that are sanded down to avoid rough edges, making it perfectly safe for your child to handle.
Aside from playing music and practising colour identification, this entertaining toy also allows your toddler to develop motor skills by fostering hand-eye coordination, spatial relationships, and problem-solving skills.
Hape Pound and Tap Bench retails for S$39.90 at Pupsik Studio.
6. Lalaboom Activity Tree
Winner of the 2018 Creative Child Awards “Top Toy of the Year Award” and 2019 National Parenting Product Awards, it is suffice to say that this toy is indeed a worthy addition in every growing baby’s toy collection.
The Lalaboom Activity Tree has a total of five interesting features that lets your child discover and assemble shapes, colours, and textures without getting bored that easily.
With this gadget, you’ll help your child’s psychomotor development as it advances fine motor skills while fostering creativity and dexterity.
Lalaboom Activity Tree retails for S$44.90 at Shopee.
7. VTech Shake and Sounds Learning Pup
There’s a reason why we call a dog a man’s best friend. Or in this case, a VTech Shake and Sounds Learning Pup for your growing tot.
This innovative educational toy moves and does tricks just like a real puppy, your bub would hardly notice the difference!
Shaped buttons on the toy’s back activate over 40 playful songs, melodies, and phrases, which you can watch your child groove and play along with the puppy robot’s flashing lights to stimulate their visual awareness and interactive nature.
8. The Learning Journey Learn With Me – Count and Learn Cookie Jar
An award-winning learning tool suitable for kids age two and above, this happy-go-lucky cookie jar is what your child needs to learn the basics of numbers and counting.
It has two play functions – all you have to do is push the nose of the jar to activate the Let’s Learn Counting! mode and Find It! quiz mode. Get the right answer, and watch the toy reward your bub with fun phrases and words of encouragement!
The toy’s educational benefits include preparation for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects, cognitive development and motor, listening, as well as learning skills – all of which have earned the product Dr. Toy’s “Best Classic Award” and Creative Child Magazine’s “Top Toy of the Year” award.
Not only does it reinforce your child’s listening and problem-solving abilities, but it also builds his or her self-esteem and confidence in every achievement, helping your kid to grow with a healthy frame of mind.
The Learning Journey Learn With Me – Count and Learn Cookie Jar retails for S$36.38 at Amazon.
9. Melissa & Doug First Bead Maze
Pediatricians usually recommend toys that encourage wholesome interactions between parent and child and with the Melissa & Doug First Bead Maze, you can achieve just that.
This brightly coloured, multi-shaped object is an eye-catching interactive toy that your bub won’t get easily sick of as it will introduce your child to a variety of shapes and colours sliding along the winding wired pathways, encouraging his or her fine motor development and hand-eye coordination to thrive while helping to get familiarised with different shapes and colours from an early age!
You’ll also be pleased to know that the fun educational toy comes equipped with a strong suction cup at the base, which allows the toy to adhere easily onto any high chair or table. The wired paths are also soft-coated for a safe and smooth slide of the rest of the elements.
Melissa & Doug First Bead Maze retails for S$23.50 at Pupsik Studio.
10. Early Learning Centre Giant Wooden Activity Cube
Want to get an all-in-one toy for less hassle and expense? The Early Learning Centre Giant Wooden Activity Cube may just be what you’ve been looking for!
This wooden box makes your child’s learning experience a lot more entertaining and imaginative because of the five different activities it offers, namely a chalkboard, bead maze, flip board, xylophone, and a clock.
The chalkboard allows for creative expression as your tot is encouraged to scribble and colour drawings – with parental supervision, of course. Meanwhile, playing with the bead maze can help strengthen your child’s motor skills. Or perhaps your bub may just discover the musical genius within by playing along with the wooden xylophone!
With activities that promote dancing, drawing, counting, and playing, this educational toy is surely something your child sure will never get tired of interacting with.
Early Learning Centre Giant Wooden Activity Cube retails for S$80 at Mothercare.