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Play to Learn Toys that Make Learning Fun

Play & learn toys. Play to Learn Toys

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.

Paint sticks are fun (and less messy) than traditional paints. They also come in larger sets or even metallic. They are a fun way for children to be able to enjoy painting at home!

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.

Magic Spelling or Pass the Word are fun games for children ages 5 and older to have fun practising spelling. These games are also great for developing social skills.

Magnetic Alphabet & Dry Erase Board can be a fun way for children to practice spelling and writing. There is also a simpler version which we also like to use at home.

Washable Window Markers are fun for children who love to draw on things other than paper. My children love drawing on the windows, and it’s a great way to get children writing and drawing. There are also versions with more colors.


Math

Ten Frame Towers is a game where children can practise math skills such as sublimising, adding and number bonds based on numicon. This is an excellent game for children ages 5 and up.

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.

Orchard toys have many fun maths games such as The Game of Lady Birds. This is one of my children’s favourite counting games, but there are many other great games to help children learn to count such as Counting Catch and Count, Giraffes, Incy Wincy, Spotty Dogs, Rockets and more!

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.

The Melissa & Doug Balance Toy is a fun way to explore weight. It is a way to visually see when something is more than, less than or equal. It can also be fun to add in weighing scales into children’s play such as children’s mud kitchens.

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 Pyramid Block Tower Set is a lovely open-ended toy. They are beautifully made and care great for construction, or they can also be used for mathematical purposes as they can be used like a gigantic version of a Cuisenaire set.

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.


Imaginative Play

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!

Pretend Tool Sets are great for imaginative play, and this workbench set is ideal for children who like to play construction. We had this in my nursery class, and it is a very popular toy.

Children love dressing up, and my children particularly love dressing up as a Fire Fighter. My children also love role-playing as vets, doctorsastronauts, construction workers, or chefs.

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.

Children love acting out things they see adults do, so they will enjoy serving lots of coffee with this set, or lots of tea with this Wooden Tea Set. Children love pretending to make everyone tea with their tea set.

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.

Fairy Tale Castle or Toy Castle Blocks is fun for imaginary play! Children can build different castles and then use it for imaginary play.


Science & Engineering

Botley the Coding Robot or Botley 2.0 is a fun learning toy for children ages 5 and up. It will help children learn basic coding, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills.

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 exciting science experiments for children ages five and up. My niece particularly enjoyed the Rainbow Lab, but there is also a Glow LabMagnetic LabSlime Lab, and more.

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.

Children can get excited about astronomy using this telescope. It’s portable so children can use at home or pack up and take with them. Books such as, Look Up, will also excite children about astronomy.


Outdoor

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.

Mud Kitchens are great for open-ended play. My children love using their mud kitchen for imaginative play, and it also provides opportunities to develop fine motor skills and practice early measurement.

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.

Children can learn how to measure using the award-winning Measure Mate. Children could also start learning to measure using a child’s tape measure.

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.


Motor Skills

This large weaving loom is a fun way for children to develop fine motor skills.

Natural Blocks are fun for children to be able to build and construct. They are great for making a natural scene that children can then use to act out and role play with toys. Adding in some Natural Loose Parts can also stimulate children’s imaginations and inspire a range of different play.

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.

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