Top 10 Educational Toys for Children Ages 2-4 2021
Toys for tots ages 2 to 4 are not only entertaining but educational, helping them develop fine motor skills, concentration, dexterity, problem solving, creative play, and imagination. As we looked at a number of toys for children in this age range, we looked for a number of important factors, including:
1. Educational value
3. Easy storage and cleaning
4. Long-lasting play
5. No dangerous parts
6. Fun colors, sounds, and textures
7. Suitability for boys and girls
8. Value for the price
Ages 3 to 5 years
With seven textured, detailed farm animals to arrange and play with, the Melissa & Doug Fold and Go Mini Barn is sure to provide hours… read more
Red/yellow easel with dry erase board and chalkboard
Bring out your kid’s inner artist with this Easel for Two from Step 2. The red double-sided easel has a magnetic dry erase board on … read more
Golf set includes a cart, 2 clubs, 3 balls, and a hole
Your little kids will love learning to play golf with this golf set from Little Tikes. The rolling pull cart, 3 balls, driver, putter, and “hole” are made of heavy-duty … read more
Includes launch stand and 4 9-inch yellow foam rockets
A fun toy for the whole family, this Stomp Rocket Jr. kit includes 4 glow-in-the-dark foam rockets that shoot 50 feet when you stomp on the … read more
10 sturdy cardboard nesting blocks and carrying case
A classic toy comes back to life with Melissa & Doug’s deluxe 10-piece alphabet blocks. Toddlers will delight in stacking the blocks into a tower as … read more
16 wooden pieces with Velcro inserts in a wooden crate
A company known for its fine craftsmanship when it comes to classic wooden toys, Melissa & Doug made a hit with the wooden sandwich-making set … read more
5 magnetic figures and 3 magnetic balls
These whimsical Stacrobats from Kushies immediately grab kids’—and their parents’—attention with their unique colors, shapes, and magnetic … read more
10 colorful blocks with storage box
Watch your little ones focus on putting the colorful blocks through the correct hole. With this Fisher-Price block set, they’ll develop dexterity … read more
Accessories include 1 Coffee Pot, 2 Plates, 2 Cups, 2 Forks, 2 Knives, 2 Spoons, 1 Frying Pan, and 1 Phone
This Little Tikes Super Chef Kitchen may inspire a lifelong love of cooking in your little ones. Its solid construction promises hours of imaginative play for even the most… read more
Single-piece constructed cardboard playhouse
There are so many playhouses available, but not many that kids can color and decorate themselves. My Very Own House Cottage is blessedly … read more
Toys for Children Ages 2-4 Buying Guide
Picking Toys that Help 2- to 4-Year-Old Children Learn and Develop Skills
Toddlerhood is a fun, important stage for your kids. Not only are they walking and talking, but they’re learning new things every day, imitating everything they see, exploring, and developing unique personalities.
Kids of all ages love toys, and toddlers aged two to four are no exception. Not only should toys for tots be safe and entertaining, but they should help kids develop new skills, such as:
• Fine motor skills, like being able to pick up, stack, and balance blocks;
• Dexterity in the hands and fingers;
• Hand-eye coordination as they throw and catch balls;
• Creative play and imagination;
• Recognizing colors, shapes, letters, and numbers;
• Imitating real life as they play make-believe and mimic adult actions;
• Problem solving as they work out puzzles.
There are currently so many toys on the market that it can be overwhelming for parents to know what to buy. Also, you run the risk of overwhelming your kids with too many toys that only get a couple hours of playtime before being forgotten. However, there are some sure-fire toy categories that almost certainly grab and hold toddlers’ attention and allow them to learn as they play.
Toys for the outdoors
As you know, little kids love to run around, and they have seemingly endless energy. Outdoor toys let them work off some of that energy and help them learn balance, coordination, and sports skills. Look for balls they can roll, bounce, and toss. Sports sets made specifically for toddlers will foster a love for popular games like T-ball, soccer, golf, and basketball.
Toddlers can pick up the basic rules of simple games like Candyland and Chutes and Ladders. With a little parental help, they’ll learn to love working out puzzles, identifying and matching shapes and colors, and taking turns with siblings. Games also help young children’s brain development.
Imitating real-life and make-believe
Toddlers are always observing the world around them, imitating adult actions and behaviors (with mixed reactions from their parents). Many toys let kids pretend to be grown-ups, such as playhouses, kitchen sets, miniature cars, tools, and musical instruments. Not only do your kids love acting like miniature versions of mom or dad, they also develop their imaginations. Creative play makes toddlers ready for learning about the real world when they enter school.
Building and creating toys
Stackable blocks have remained an age-old classic toy for the simple reason that kids love to create and destroy their own towers. Playing with blocks, be they simple wooden pieces or interlocking LEGO blocks, helps toddlers develop dexterity in their fingers, fine motor skills, balance, and hand-eye coordination. Plus, when they knock their cities over, it’s no big deal—they can simply start all over again.
Similarly, artistic toys help children grow creatively. Toddlers love to color, paint, and play with clay, and many new art sets are easy for parents to clean up afterward.
Toddlers aged two to four have a firmer grasp on language and love being read to. At this age, they’re ready for longer, more engaging storybooks. You can share classic books from your own childhood, such as Goodnight Moon, Where the Wild Things Are, and Dr. Seuss stories. Children will learn to identify the basic components of the story, such as characters and plot, and they’ll begin to understand the lessons imparted from classic fables and fairy tales. Illustrations also help spark their imaginations.
|Brittany Rowland researches new developments in Appliances, Kitchen and CE products features with a vigor to which few would aspire… but someone has to do it. See more about Brittany|
Featured Educational Toys Articles
More and more parents today are handing over their smart phones and tablets to their children. Kids are little pros when it comes to pulling up videos, downloading apps, and navigating…[more]
In recent years, parents have become increasingly aware of dangerous materials found in common children’s toys, often those made overseas. We now have regulations on what materials are safe and which ones should be avoided in children’s toys and other consumer products. BPA, or Bisphenol A, is an organic compound found in many plastics…[more]
Kids naturally clamor for your smart phone or tablet because they like the fun games. You yourself probably enjoy a few mindless, addicting apps when you have time to kill. Fortunately, there are also several apps that serve an educational purpose, and kids will still find them entertaining. 1. Word Book and Puzzle Box HD: For preschoolers to first-graders, Aids with … [more]
Children learn about the world around them and develop mentally and physically through play. Researchers have found that unstructured play not only keeps kids occupied and entertained, but it’s key to a children’s natural development. It’s so important, in fact, that in 1989 the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights… [more]
Children have always loved storybooks, and today’s e-readers and tablets take advantage of children’s natural affinity for technology. You and your kids will enjoy reading stories together on an iPad or Kindle Fire with all the brilliantly colored illustrations… [more]
More Top 10 Lists
As children advance from the 3rd grade to preparing for middle school, they learn even more complex subjects in school: history, science, social studies, health, etc. We looked for educational toys that not only enhanced the skills kids possess from ages 8 to 12, but made learning and discovering new things fun and entertaining. Our top 10 toys involve: 1. Fun for … [more]