Educational toys for babies are great because they are very entertaining and encourage the development of certain skills. During the first few months of life, babies love to explore. That’s why this type of toy is the best way for children to discover the environment around them.

The range of educational toys is ample with multiple options available. You must be taken into consideration that each stage of growth will correspond to one type of toy or another. Having this clear is important for choosing the correct educational toy for your baby. Here’s a guide with tips for choosing the educational toy that fits your baby’s needs.

Key Facts

  • Educational toys have the ability to entertain children while they learn new skills based on their stage of development.
  • Educational toys are the perfect tool for stimulating mental, cognitive, social, linguistic or emotional skills.
  • To buy the most suitable toy, it is very important to make sure that the age range is appropriate, as well as ensuring that it meets all the safety requirements.

Ranking: The best educational toys on the Australian market

If there is a baby in the house, sooner or later an educational toy will be needed. Depending on the characteristics of each model, the toy will contribute to the baby’s cognitive, fine-motor, language or memory development. Here are some of the best educational toys you can find on the Australian market today.

No. 1: Scrabble Junior Game

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This is a classic and all time favourite children’s educational toy. With Junior Scrabble your little one will have fun matching letters to make words on the colourful board. With this game, kids can build their vocabulary and learn new words to take into everyday life such as school. This is also a game that grows with the kids as they can flip over the game board for an advanced game where players create their own words!

Aimed at kids of age 5 and up, this game can be played by 2 or more players and each set includes the 2-sided game board, 101 letter tiles, 44 scoring chips and beginner and advanced rules.

No. 2: D-FantiX Water Doodle Mat

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Let your children enjoy painting and never make a mess again with this mess-free educational doodle toy that gets kids drawing and creating with water instead of ink or paint. To set it up, all you have to do is fill the doodle pens with water and draw on the doodle mat. Colours will magically appear, and then will slowly disappear automatically after about 3-10 minutes. How innovative!

This toy is made of soft polyester material that is eco-friendly and non-toxic. The magic pens don’t require ink nor chemicals, just water! Help inspire your kid’s creativity and imagination as they master writing their graphics, alphabet letters and numbers while doodling.

No. 3: MIBOTE 110 PCS Magnetic Building Blocks

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Here we have an intuitive option from toy manufacturer MIBOTE with their magnetic building block set. The objective of this toy is to improve the child’s colour and shape recognition, creativity and imagination, motor skills, thinking and problem solving abilities as well as their building and design skills.

This product is designed for children above 3 years of age and is made from non-toxic and durable ABS plastic. The round edge design without any sharp edges ensures that there isn’t any chance of hurting your kid’s little hands. What’s more, the bonus storage bag makes packing the toy away much easier.

No. 4: Ausear Magnetic Building Blocks

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Here’s another building block educational toy that is a fantastic for improving your child’s skills and enhancing their natural abilities. The colourful blocks are made from high quality environmental friendly and durable ABS plastic that is non-toxic.

With this education toy, children can insert the letter cards into the square magnetic tiles to learn correct spelling in a unique DIY  learning process! This toy is also a fantastic way for kids to explore the world of geometry and architecture by building and trialing structures. At under $20, this is great present for your little munchkin.

No. 5: FCBB Fidget Ball

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The final product on the list is a great way for kids to learn about colours whilst having a lot of fun. The rainbow ball includes 12 holes corresponding to 11 different colours on the small ball. The objective of the game is to improve the children’s logical thinking ability, hand-eye coordination and colour recognition.

This kids educational toy is made from environmentally engineering ABS material that is non-toxic & lightweight. Weighing a mere 100g and coming in at under $10, this is great low-priced toy for your little boy or girl.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about educational toys

Play is part of every child’s growth. Depending on their stage of development, they will need toys that allow them to learn some new skills. Educational toys are always excellent options for children to have fun and learn about the world around them. Here are some key things you should know.

Depending on the stage of development, the child will need toys that allow them to acquire certain skills.
(Source: Oksana Kuzmina: 93514831/ 123rf.com)

What are the benefits of educational toys?

The first advantage of educational toys is pretty obvious, they help children learn new skills. They are a great source of fun for children, regardless of their age. The best part is that with educational toys, fun and learning go hand in hand. As long as the children stay entertained, without realising it, they are learning certain skills.

In the case of babies, instructive toys encourage the desire for exploration, exercises their overall motor skills and strengthens hand-eye coordination. With these games, little ones train their memory and become excellent at learning how to improve their performance in the games.

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These toys allow them to learn about textures, shapes and colours.

What are the suitable ages for these toys?

An interesting fact of educational toys is they are recommended for children in just their first few months of life. They stimulate children and contribute to the development of important skills appropriate to each age group. However, the manufacturer’s instructions on the age bracket should always be kept in mind.

During their first year, children become natural explorers. For this reason, it is essential to select those educational toys that stimulate fine motor skills and sensory development. It is also an opportunity to enhance their logical reasoning and language development with these toys.

Toys are the perfect tool for children to stimulate mental, cognitive, social, linguistic and emotional skills.
(Source: Famveldman: 61224309/ 123rf.com)

What kind of educational toys are recommended for babies?

Nothing attracts a baby’s attention more than bright colours, interesting sounds or luminous objects. That’s why children in their early years will have a great time with toys that satisfy their desire to touch or grab. Especially those toys that are made from pieces or blocks of different sizes, shapes and textures.

Toys that fit together or stack blocks will be fun for them, whilst also stimulating their logical reasoning skills. There are educational games that allow them to recognise numbers, letters or animals while they have fun listening to new and different sounds. The toys with flashing lights are also very interesting to babies.

Are there any regulations for educational toys?

These toys are subject to specific regulations, so that parents can be sure that their children are never playing with anything dangerous. Absolutely all toys must meet certain conditions in terms of their physical, chemical and mechanical properties. The aim is to avoid as many risks as possible.

In the event that the toy is not suitable for children under 36 months, it must be suitably indicated. The requirements for toys for children up to and including 36 months in Australia is based on certain sections of the voluntary Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS ISO 8124.1:2002 ‘Safety of toys Part 1: Safety aspects related to mechanical and physical properties’. Also, if the toys contain chemical substances, this must be clearly displayed on the packaging.

R. Keith Sawyer, Ph.D.Arts & Sciences at Washington University

“Playing with toys, even something as simple as blocks, allows children to create their own play environment and stimulate their imagination”.

Shopping Criteria

Choosing the best educational toy involves considering several factors. On the Australian market there are so many options that making a decision can be difficult. That’s why we encourage you to take a look at the following shopping criteria to select the right item for your little one. By following this shopping criteria, you’ll be sure to get it right.

  • Ages
  • Type
  • Security
  • Theme
  • Objective

Ages

The first and most important thing to look for when choosing an educational toy is the age of use indicated by the manufacturer. Considering this purchase criterion will allow your child to get the most out of the toy. Choosing a toy that does not fit their age range will result in the child becoming bored and giving up on the toy.

During the first year of life, educational toys that contain snap-in pieces that are colourful and soft are recommended. Between the age of 2 and 3, stackable toys, interactive books or simple musical instruments are great options. From the age of 3, construction toys and puzzles are more suitable.

Sensory stimulation toys, such as musical instruments, help to improve a child’s coordination.
(Source: Oksana Kuzmina: 48969678/ 123rf.com)

Type

Another important factor to consider is the type of game. There are several different types of games in the field of educational toys. To start with, there are sensory stimulation toys, intended to enhance their senses (hearing or sight). Those linked to motor skills allow them to exercise their hands and movements.

There are also toys of an emotional type, which help to build their sense of responsibility and care. Construction toys stimulate children’s minds and logical reasoning. Finally, it is worth mentioning intellectual toys with rules, that introduce children to problem solving.

Types of educational toys Benefits
Construction and fitting pieces Stimulate motor skills and hand-eye coordination
Sensory stimulation Enhances their auditory and visual memory. Improves attention. Enhances the sense of touch
Emotional toys Emotional toys awaken the sense of responsibility and stimulate decision making
Symbolic or imitation Develops their imagination and creativity
Intellectual toys Improves problem solving and logical reasoning skils

Security

Security is a factor that should not be overlooked. An educational toy that is safe will guarantee that your child is safe while playing. This means looking at aspects of the toy such as the materials of manufacture, the existence of small pieces or if there are a sharp edges or corners.

As a recommendation, you should confirm that the product is accompanied by the AS/NZS ISO marking. You should also check that it has clearly been checked and approved by Australian authorities and is not a Chinese product as this may not meet the same standards. You should also read the manufacturer’s recommendations and check that it does not contain any substances that may be toxic to children, such as phthalates.

Theme

The theme is linked to the design of the toy. As children grow up, they develop their own preferences, which is why it is important to know what they like in order to pick a toy that will interest them. For example, you could select an educational toy that is related in some way to their favourite cartoon or fictional character.

The range of educational toys on the Australian market is endless. There are themes that include animals, numbers, letters or colours that are ideal for learning new concepts. Standard shapes such as blocks, triangles and circles will allow your little one to become familiar with these shapes. Games that feature everyday scenes, such as a farm or home, are also common themes.

Objetive

Finally, it is important to know the learning objective of the game and the skills and abilities that it will intend to teach the child. For example, an age-appropriate abacus would be an excellent option for learning and practicing math skills meanwhile construction toys are ideal for developing motor skills.

If you’re looking to stimulate hand-eye coordination, models with stackable pieces or geometric shapes are a great idea. Stimulation of the senses is also very important for babies. For this reason, toys that emit sounds when touched or are made from different textures will be key for their development.

Summary

Often, educational toys are seen as less fun than conventional toys. However this could not be further from the truth. The benefit of educational toys is that they help a children’s education as well as being just as entertaining as normal toys. Keep in mind that this is only valid if you choose a product for the right age.

The variety of options is endless, not only in terms of age of use, but also in terms of types and designs. In the case of babies, the importance lies in the fact that they are tools by which they will begin to discover the world around them. Don’t forget that the the best way for children to learn is by playing.

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(Source of featured image: Oksana Kuzmina: 77756445/ 123rf.com)

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