7 Educational Toddlers Toys. [w/ video review]

It seems like all the kids we know are all turning 2.  With that in mind, here are 7 educational toy ideas for toddlers.  Most of the age ranges on these toys fall within 1-3 years. We worked to keep these gender neutral as well.

Sesame Street Elmo’s On the Go Letters
24 months – 4 years

This toy is a great option for little ones to help them learn their letters.  The toy is a puzzle where the letters fit into their designated slot, and below each is the image of a word that starts with the corresponding letter.  At the bottom of the board is a slot that can fit 3-4 letters to spell simple words.  All of the letters fit back into their spots and the whole case fold closed with handles for easy on-the-go transport.

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Chair
12 month – 3 years

This is a very interactive toy for ages as young as 12 months.  The chair can be programmed to match the age of your child, from the simple concept of “up and Down” at 12 months, to more imaginative play from 24 months and up.  It has songs, a remote, says phrases, and includes a book to flip the pages.  The fact that this chair grows with the child and adapts to their new abilities, makes it a great option for any toddler.

VTech Little Apps Tablet, Black
24 months – 5 years

This toy tablet offers 8 activities for your toddler to play with.  From a keyboard for playing music, to learning letters, numbers, and matching this toy packs a lot of options into a smaller package.  We always have mixed feelings on these digital noise making button pushing toys – but this has always proven to be a popular best seller so we wanted to include it.

Melissa & Doug Deluxe Pounding Bench
24 months – 4 years

All toddlers love to hammer (our little boy does, at least!) This toy offers them endless hammering fun, teaching coordination and colors.  As you hammer down one peg the opposite peg begins to rise. I love this idea as it helps to avoid the meltdowns we have encountered on similar toys that need to be manually reset.

Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Crawl Around Car
6 month – 3 years

This car is a great toy that grows with your child.  Starting out early at 6 months it teaches the most simple of concepts (open/close) and grows to pretend play (let’s drive to the zoo!) From sitting/crawling, to walking/climbing, this toy really is fun for all ages.  We wrote a full review of this when our tyke hit one year and it’s still a winner now that he’s two.

First 100 Words (Board Book)
by Roger Priddy
1 to 3 years

This is a fun book with 10 pictures on each page for you to teach and then quiz your child.  Photos are of everyday items that they would see outside (animals, vehicles) to inside (bath time, mealtime, toys.) Something your child will have fun flipping through and pointing out the pictures they know.

Make sure to also check out Roger’s other bestseller books in this series: First 100 AnimalsNumbers Colors Shapes.


Fisher-Price See ‘n Say The Farmer Says Toy
18 months – 4 years

The good Ol’ See ‘n Say.  This toy has been around for ages and stays a great classic.  Kids love to pull the lever handle and see the cause and effect of arrow spinning in the center.  Which animal will it land on? What sound does the animal make? Tons of fun for toddlers and nostalgic for adults.

6 Great Toys for Travel

Sticker books
It didn’t occur to me to introduce stickers to my toddler until I thought of the long car trips we’d be taking at the holidays. Once I ordered some, he immediately took to playing with them.  He puts them in a sketch book, or all over the furniture, but no matter where they go he loves picking out which ones to peel off and it never gets old.  We purchased the Melissa and Doug Sticker Collection-Blue for Jr, which had a ton of stickers and lasted us quite a while. We have since bought another book. We also tried the Melissa and Doug Reusable Sticker Books, and I think this one will be great for when he is older. Right now he wants the stickiness of a real sticker versus the static cling of the reusable ones (they don’t stick as well to Mom’s pants!), but I still like them a lot and I think he will too, in time.


Fisher Price makes a mini version of the old classic Magnadoodle called doodlePRO Trip. My sons LOVES this toy. He loves drawing on it and scribbling away and he loves being able to erase and start over again. The best part about it is that it doesn’t make a mess! No fear of crayon ending up on the seat and the in-flight television screens. It still provides the satisfaction of creating a drawing.  This was the best item I’ve bought for traveling. Works great in a car or on the plane.


You can never go wrong with a puppet, not with my son at least.  Playing peekaboo or making the puppet draw or dance leads to long stretches of entertainment. We have particularly liked the Folkmanis brand of puppets with their realistic animals. Our most recent favorite is the Folkmanis Baboon Hand Puppet whom we have named Chester. Our son loves it too. We can get him belly laughing with a single look.  😀


Magnet toys
Magnet toys are great on trips for obvious reasons, the pieces stick to the pages!  The Mickey Mouse Magentic Zoo set is a fun little toy, compact, with lots of magnets and little scenes for your tykes to set up and move around. There are many options out there for tons of playtime fun, and if you live somewhere where you own a car (unlike us in Brooklyn,) keeping this in the back seat is a great option for your child’s entertainment when you’re on the go day to day.


Shape Sorters
Melissa and Doug K’s Take-Along Shape Sorter is a great option for a car trip. This toy is exactly as it’s named, a shape sorter, something Jr loves playing with and it helps him practice saying his shapes; “Dar!”  “Owoval!” (Star and oval.)

This might work on a flight too, but just thinking about parts dropping to the floor might become a bit of a headache. In the car you at least know it’s there to be found when you get to your destination, as opposed to a flight where it might travel down the aisle….
With a convenient carrying handle and a compact case this will pack away nicely in luggage or a carry on bag. Great for any trip you have coming up!


Buckle Toy
The Bizzy Buckle Toy has proven to be a winner on trips with our little guy. He loves trying to snap the buckles together, and though it can be frustrating for him at times, it is great practice. He is still a little young to have the dexterity of fitting the buckles together without help, but he has never gotten so frustrated that he hasn’t wanted to play with it. The Bizzy Buckle Toy is simple, easy to pack and has proven to have longevity.

First Toy Store Tantrum!

I recently went browsing at a local children’s consignment shop for a spring coat for my son. While we didn’t find a coat, my son found the Fisher Price Little People Fun Sounds Farm on a shelf.  This is something he has played with at our local library, and he has recently become very interested in the Little People toys.


Well, he started in on a major tantrum when we tried to move the toy from the shelf to the floor so he could play with it.  When I asked the lady how much it was she said, “8 dollars.”  …Um, SOLD!

After several more tantrums we finally pried it from his tiny, yet surprisingly strong fingers.  He didn’t understand the concept that we needed to actually take it to the register and pay for it before bringing it home.  My husband contributed by taking photos of the meltdown as it happened and saying, “To show him when he’s older.”

Fisher Price Little People Fun Sounds Farm

While we paid close to nothing for this toy, but I would have paid full price now that I see how much he loves it. If your child likes pretend play with doll houses or toy people/animals, this is great for them!  Our life has basically become a rotation between this and his kitchen set.

I haven’t put batteries in it yet, and I may not, but I know it makes animal noises when the fences and doors are opened. So far the sounds are not necessary for us to have fun. The Little People Fun Sounds Farm has given us hours of play and we highly recommend it.


5-Point Harnessed High Chair! [VIDEO]

I purchased the Fisher Price Space-Saver High Chair for my son at around 12 months of age.  We live in a small Brooklyn apartment and do not have space for a standard high chair, and this one straps to one of our kitchen chairs, saving us a ton of space.  He had previously been using a much older version (about 11 years older, handed down to us by family,) that he was decidedly destroying at mealtimes.

This chair has been a life saver for us.  Mealtimes can be a headache, a mess and with the previous chair my son was able to literally rip it apart whenever he would get angry about the food I was insisting he eat.  This chair is solid.  The tray is solid too; it stays locked on and he can’t rip it off (yet…).

AND this high chair has a FIVE POINT HARNESS.  Which means he cannot get out of the chair!  It’s like strapping him into a stroller. The tray requires two hands to put it on and take it off, but that’s ok.  I will take that over having to pick it and all of my sons food off the floor.

Note from Dad/Jeff:  This seat was really easy to un-install and re-install from our kitchen chair when I needed to take photos of it for the website.  You can easily bring this highchair over to grandma’s, a restaurant, etc.

Maybe this is overkill, but for a kid who does his best to squirm out of every high chair he encounters (restaurant chairs and the ancient chairs owned by family being the main culprits here,) this one holds up against his tirades.

One thing I have not yet tested is how well the seat comes clean, and boy do I need to test this! [UPDATE BELOW] I do laundry once a week at the laundromat, it’s easy to forget the high chair as I am gathering and putting giant bags of laundry into a cart, and packing up my son with toys and lunch and anything else we might need for an afternoon at the laundromat, aaah… city life… In any case, I will update this review once I give the seat a wash.

5-Point-Harness and the chair fabric in need of a major scrub down.
5-Point-Harness and the chair fabric in need of a major scrub down.

I give the Fisher Price Space-Saver High Chair a 4 out of 5 stars because as a stay at home mom, who is feeding my son most of his meals, I have found this chair to perform great for us.  He can’t get out of it and he can’t rip the tray off, which is all that matters to a strung out Mommy! I will update this post once I wash the seat.

Update: Since writing the above review of this highchair, I have washed the seat cover twice.  The first time I sprayed the cover down with a stain remover shortly before washing and it came clean beautifully.  The second time I washed it I did not use the stain remover and it still came perfectly clean!  So I still stand by my originally rating.

Rainforest Melodies and Lights Deluxe Gym

The Fisher-Price Rainforest Melodies and Lights Deluxe Gym was a big hit for our son.  He spent a lot of time laying under this as an infant swatting and kicking at the toys and staring at the lights.  For us this toy was especially important for development due to an injury my son ended up with at birth, leaving his left arm weak at the earliest stages of life.  (Thankfully he has recovered completely and is an extremely strong little man!) Seeing him lift his arm to reach for the toys as he regained his strength day by day was wonderful.

I also liked this toy because it entertained him for long periods of time (in baby minutes.)  The lights and music, along with the moving butterflies kept his attention well, and the spinning and rattling toys were particularly attractive to his developing mind.

I would recommend this activity gym for any newborn.  It is currently being used by a cousin’s newborn son, who also gives it a high rating!

5 out of 5 stars

You can purchase the Fisher-Price Rainforest Melodies and Lights Deluxe Gym on Amazon.com


Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Car Review [VIDEO]

We purchased the Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Car for my son at the Holidays when he was just about six months old.  He is now 12 months and he has loved playing with this toy from day one.  It was delivered in frustration free packaging and we found it very easy to assemble.  As our son has developed over the past 6 months this toy has grown with him and gets plenty of use! Even the cat plays with it… But only when we are trying to sleep.

Cat playing with toy car

Every aspect of the toy has been explored from the shape sorting to the spinning back wheels, and the rotating dashboard.  It was even tested by a slightly older friend (at 15 months, he is the mature friend of our group) and was given a high approval rating by the car loving boy!  As with most children’s toys, the songs can get repetitive, but that’s what we get for purchasing battery operated toys in the first place, right?!

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Car Review-p4

I give the Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Car 5 out of 5 stars for its ability to grow with the child and provide plenty of entertainment.  I expect my son to continue playing with this toy for many months (maybe years??) to come, making it a worthwhile purchase!