I love having a preschooler. Preschoolers have such curious minds. They’ve learned how to communicate and they’re learning about our world through play. The sound of a plane in the sky sparks their interest. They spot a bug crawling on the grass, and they ask more questions. As their imagination grows, they share made-up stories about unicorns and princesses and superheroes.
It’s such a fun age. As a mom, I’m always on the lookout for fun, educational toys that help them build their imagination.
Toys get a bad rap sometimes. When you walk down the toy aisle, there’s so many options. I’ll be honest. I hate the loud and flashy toys. My kids might enjoy them for a day or two, but then they turn to the toys that kick start their imagination.
Legos and blocks are great toys for kids from a very young age, but as they grow they use them to learn more complicated concepts. In the above picture, we learned about lines by creating one with wooden blocks and driving cars on them. This activity lasted a good twenty minutes.
Often, my daughter pulls out the Legos and builds cakes and Rapunzel’s hair–imaginative play.
You can teach patterns by teaching them to use colored or sized patterns to make their projects. It’s also a great activity for their motor skills. I like all three sets above because it keeps things interesting.
My daughter dresses up as a princess, fairy, or a doctor. I’m sure we’ll add more boyish dress-up clothes as my son gets older. While the princess set I shared isn’t the best quality, I like the price–and my daughter still feels like a princess. After Halloween is a great time to check stores. Often, the remaining Halloween costumes are for sale.
Tactile Letters & Numbers
Tactile letters and numbers are textured. It helps young children learn how to form the letters and numbers correctly. My daughter has a blast using these each day. While it’s less of a toy than the others, it’s still fun.
Pattern Blocks and Boards
I don’t have this set yet, but it’s on my list. This is a math manipulative that teaches some important early skills. You can discuss colors, shapes, and it also teaches logic.
See & Spell Educational Toy
Brookie loves this toy. While she’s only beginning to learn letter sounds, I can focus on what we’re currently learning. I pull out the words that start with a letter sound she’s learned. We don’t move past the first letter, but as she learns we can use it to sound out the words. It’s a hands-on manipulative that I highly recommend.
One caution: the pieces are small. When my son was a baby, I worried. Brookie knows that she can only play with this toy at the table so that we don’t lose the little pieces. The moment she’s done, the whole set has to be put away.
I have an easel similar to this. We use the white board and black board side, but I’ve yet to use it for painting. The kids have a blast using chalk. It’s a great outlet when it’s raining outside or they want to draw, but they’re tired of coloring. In fact, my daughter wrote her name for the first time on the chalkboard.
Magnetic Letters & Numbers
Pretend play is just as important as educational play. As a writer, I’m all about encouraging my kids’ imaginations. Toy food just happens to be both. Counting, food groups, life skills, and pretend play can all be learned through this.
One great way to cultivate a child’s interest in music is to allow them to play with musical instruments. I have a love/hate relationship with these. They might induce a headache for me, but they allow my kids to learn and play.
Always remember that kids don’t need the world. Keep it simple. They’ll learn from spending time with you and exploring the world. These toys can add to their learning and allow them to have fun. I always prefer to get non-electronic toys because they allow them to activate their imagination a little more.
What are some of your favorite toys for preschoolers?