Do your kids like toys? I bet they do! (Honestly, I love them, too.) In our family, we do a lot of learning through play, and we have quite a few educational toys around the house.

Every year, I like to see which books and educational toys are most popular here on the Rolling Prairie Readers blog. Which ones received the most clicks, and which ones were purchased?

Keep scrolling to see the top 12 educational toys for this year!


12 Fun Educational Toys for Young Kids


(Reminder: Rolling Prairie Readers uses affiliate links at no additional cost to you. You can see our full disclosure policy here.) 

Must-Have Sensory Bin Accessories | tactile activities, hands-on learning, sensory materials, learning through play, sensory exploration

I shouldn’t have been surprised that each of these toys are in our house right now. (I guess I talk about our favorites a lot.)

Must-Have Sensory Bin Accessories | tactile activities, hands-on learning, sensory materials, learning through play, sensory exploration


The bristle blocks were actually given to our oldest child on her first birthday — 12 years ago. We still love to bring them into the living room when we’re watching a movie because they are SO quiet and still bring my little tactile learner immense joy.

The pegboard and Mental Blox game have been around for at least a decade, too. They were perfect for toddler-sized hands when my kids were little, but we also have used them frequently for geometry lessons as they have gotten older.


Cookie cutters are a classic! We love to use them with playdough, and they also make a fantastic first sensory bin for babies. I found this set at the grocery store when our kids were little, and we have used them for years.

We also love this lacing set and animal counters. Both of my children loved learning more about animals during their toddler and preschool years. Using these fun toys helped them build their fine motor skills and work on early math skills, too.

As I’ve mentioned before, our youngest child is a tactile learner. She loves every kind of sensory play, so kinetic sand is a big hit! We use a plastic tray to contain the sand (and the mess). Definitely wait until your kids are past the mouth stage — preferably when they can clean up the sand themselves!

Lacing buttons are one of our favorite toys for learning “on the go.” Our set came in a little carrying case, which made them perfect for overnights at the grandparents! Sort them, count them, lace them…the possibilities are endless. And who doesn’t love LEGOs?


If you haven’t noticed by now, I love toys that can be used to learn more than one skill. These lacing letters were a hit during the late-preschool and early elementary school years. My kids loved making jewelry, using these in a sensory bin, or bringing them out with the playdough.

Wooden puzzles have been a favorite around here for years. We love the letter and number puzzles from Melissa and Doug, but my kids’ favorite is the magnetic one that comes with a fishing pole. 

We also love the wooden letter stamps from Melissa and Doug. When my youngest was in preschool, she wanted to keep up with her big sister, but she didn’t really like writing. Stamp pad to the rescue! These days, we use the stamps in our playdough. (Playdough is still really popular, even though my kids are big now.)

Looking for more toy recommendations? Click here for our top 100!

What are your favorite educational toys?

(Let us know in the comments below.)