Play and Learn with the Best Play to Learn Toys
The following are some of my favourite play to learn toys. They are toys that children enjoy playing with, and they also help children learn and develop. They are great to have at home and school. We have some of these at home and others I’ve used in school and nursery. In addition to being lovely learning toys, they also make lovely presents.
Toys to explore
Reading & Writing
This Self-Correcting Letter Puzzle is a fun way to help children learn letter sounds for reading and writing. It’s ideal for preschool & Kindergarten age children.
Letter and Number Stamps are a fun way for children to practice identifying letters and numbers. They can also be a fun way for children to practice spelling and writing and develop hand-eye coordination.
This Tangram set is great for supporting children’s early math development. They can learn about shapes and colours as well as develop skills like mental rotation.
This Geoboard will allow children to make lots of different pictures using a variety of different shapes. It is a fun way for young children to explore shapes.
Magnetic numbers can be fun to add to children’s play. They can also use it to do homework or practise making and writing numbers.
There are also a number of math games that can help slightly older children practice arithmetic such as Magic Maths. There are lots of other fun games such as Counting Mountain, Money Match Cafe, Mammoth Maths, Bus Stop, First Times Tables, What’s the Time Mr Wolf and more!
This Play Cash Register is a fun way to add in some math into a play kitchen or other role-play activities. Cash registers are great play to learn toys as they will enhance children’s play and help them learn about money and counting.
These Unit Blocks are a wonderful open-ended toy. They are great for construction and developing spacial rotation.
Using a play kitchen is a great way for children to use their imagination and role play with other children.
Children love using props in their play, and this Doctor Kit is perfect for stimulating children’s imaginations. We have an older version of this, and our children still love playing with it!
This Wooden Pizza Counter is ideal for children who enjoy pretend play and pizza, of course! There is also a great pizza kit too. It’s perfect for children in preschool and they are highly recommended play to learn toys.
Peg Dolls are lovely for small world play. Children can play with them in many ways and act out different scenes. As they are made of wood and painted with non-toxic paint, they are also lovely for younger children who might still put toys in their mouths.
Science & Engineering
Artie 3000 is a great programming toy for children ages 7 and up. They can use it to draw pictures, and it is excellent for further developing coding skills and programming skills.
This construction set is ideal for children around ages 4-6. This type of construction play encourages planning, problem-solving and helps promote fine motor skills, counting and sorting.
Galt has some fantastic science experiments for older children to do some hands-on learning. The Explosive Experiments is popular as is Really Rotten, Frightful First, and Chaotic Kitchen experiments.
Magformers are a fun STEM toy and children can use them to make a range of 3D objects using 2D shapes. They are also a fun way to experiment and play with magnets.
Bugnoculars are a fun way to be able to see minibeasts and other garden creatures up close. They also work as binoculars! Microscopes are also a great way for young children to observe things close up! This is great for developing children’s early scientific skills.
Target games are fun outdoor activities for children. The whole family can join in, and it also helps children develop gross motor skills and coordination.
Water and Sand Trays are a wonderful open-ended activity where children can play in so many different ways. They are lovely for sensory play, but they also offer the opportunity to use mathematical and scientific thinking.
Skittles and Bowling Games are fun games to play with young children. Not only are they great for developing motor skills, but they will also allow children to identify numbers and practise counting and subtracting.
Giant Chalk is a fun way for children to write and make marks in the outdoors.
Tuff spots are great for containing children’s play! They are excellent for messy play activities.
This large waffle block construction set is perfect for building outdoors. Children can build a range of structures and use it for imaginative play.
This large weaving loom is a fun way for children to develop fine motor skills.
Grimm’s Stacking Rainbows are beautiful toys that are fun to use as tunnels for trains, arches with blocks or for balancing. They also have a Pastel Rainbow, smaller 6 piece Rainbows and Flower Stacker.
These Large Wooden Beads and Lacing Set are great for developing fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. They also include numbers and dots. They are ideal for children in the Early Years and helping them develop skills that will be needed for writing.
Balance Boards are a fun way for children to develop coordination and balance. Children can also use them to make bridges, slides and more.
These Montessori Sensory Bin Tools are lovely for very young children and babies. They can scoop, fill and empty containers.
This Fort/Den Set is a fun way for children to construct a fort where they can play either indoors or out. Children can work collaboratively to build it, and they will also need to plan and use spatial awareness to able to construct it.
These magblocks are a fun way to build and construct. Children can use them to make cars and trucks, as well as buildings.
I hope that you find some wonderful ideas for play to learn toys from this list. If you would like some more ideas for learning through play, you may want to see my posts such as How to Dye Chickpeas, Colored Rice Recipe, Non-toxic Slime Recipe, Deliciously Smelly Playdough Recipe, Cornflour Messy Play Activities or Shaving Foam Sensory Play Ideas.