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Top of the Class Toys for Your Tot
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Top of the Class Toys for Your Tot
March 28, 2018
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Family Family
Top of the Class Toys for Your Tot
March 28, 2018
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The toys we choose can make such a difference to how our children learn. The right ones can unlock creativity, develop their logical thought and problem solving, as well as encourage empathy… It also helps if said toys can hold your child’s attention for long enough to give you more than five minutes’ peace. So what are the best brain builders that won’t be shoved under the bed? Here are our favourites:

Log House Set

Little hands love exploring shapes and patterns as well as building 3D constructs with these vibrant, magnetic shapes. As they play, they are also developing eight of their essential forms of intelligence, including sensory development, curiosity, mathematical thinking, reasoning and creativity. You’ll love that it keeps them occupied for hours.

Age 3+

Buy here!

Fisher-Prices Think & Learn Teach ‘n Tag Movi

Get ready to roll with this flashing, talking, engaging little robot from Fisher Price. As well as getting children up on their feet dancing, it asks questions, encourages them to follow directions, and even does silly dances – they’ll be thinking, moving and listening. We love that it is so expressive (with 60 facial expressions that change during play); an entertaining addition to any play room.

Age 3+

 

Buy here!

Lottie Doll

Step aside Barbie, Lottie is the doll for the modern mini-feminist. Not conforming to gender stereotypes, Lottie likes fishing, body-boarding and even fossil hunting. Stargazer Lottie, endorsed by the European Space Agency, accompanied Tim Peake on his mission to the International Space Station. You will love that she mirrors an average child’s body, rather than a supermodel’s – Lottie rocks.

Age 3+

Buy here!

Chad Valley PlaySmart Magnetic World Map

Pint-sized world travellers will relish planning their next adventure with this engaging jigsaw and magnetic world map. Easy to understand, with clearly labeled countries, oceans and continents, it’s colourful and not too busy for little ones to explore – great for hanging on their bedroom wall.

Age 3+


Buy here!

 

Melissa & Doug Lacing Beads in a Box

Stringing beads is a milestone development for children: it hones their fine motor skills, hand-eye co-ordination and cognitive skills and it also really helps when it comes to perfecting their pencil grip. We love Melissa & Doug toys, and this set with its vibrant colours, numbers and shapes, is a simple way to play without being overstimulated.

Age 3+


Buy here!

Osmo Genius Kits

There is such onus on teaching children the building blocks of computer programming it’s hard to know which to choose. Osmo Genius kits were named as one of Time Magazine’s best inventions. The premise is to turn screentime into play/learning, teaching the concepts of logical thought and problem solving. Simply set your tablet on the base provided and clip a mirror over the camera for the game to see what pattern the child is making with the physical pieces. Little ones think it’s magic.

Age 4+

Buy here!

Shape Sorting Wooden Clock: Melissa & Doug

Learning to tell the time will fox even the smartest little ones, but it’s worth getting them familiar with a clock face as early as you can. This sturdy wooden clock, with its bright clear face and bold hour and minute hands, allows them to explore shape and colour (honing those cognitive and motor skills) and encourages interactive play.

Age 2+

 

Buy here!

Grimms Small Stepped Counting Blocks

Start their journey into the world of numbers with this rainbow block set from Grimms. Based on the principle that children will understand and memorise more easily anything captured with both their hands and their eyes, it inspires thoughtful, creative play at an unhurried pace. We love that the collection is made from hand-sanded wood from sustainably managed forests in Europe. One to treasure.

Age 2+

Buy here!

Curiscope Children’s Virtual-Tee T-shirt

The Science Museum shop is brimming with toys for future STEM stars and one of our favourites is this augmented reality-enabled T-shirt that allows you to look inside the human body and see how it functions. Simply scan a free app in front of the T-shirt and dive into the bloodstream, the lungs and the liver – it really brings the human body to life.

Age 3+

Buy here!

Leap Start Refresh

A lifesaver on long journeys and a great alternative to back-to-back cartoons – this learning system has been getting rave reviews. Children use the stylus (great pencil grip practice) to trigger interactive audio on each page, whether it’s launching into space with science or making music from around the world. Each book is packed with 30 activities, and comes to life with games, jokes and songs getting children excited about problem solving and learning to read.

Age 2+

Buy here!

Geosafari Junior My First Microscope

Rocks, plants and insects – budding young scientists will never tire of examining a hidden mini world with this easy-to-use microscope. Bright and robust with up to 8x magnification, it’s perfect for little ones. Two eyepieces mean they can examine with both eyes and an LED light enhances the detail. It’s one of the Science Museum’s best-selling pre-school toys.

Age 3+

Buy here!

 

Playfoam Shape Numbers

If you have ever had to pick Play-Doh out of carpets/clothes/car seats you will appreciate the mess-free appeal of the award-winning Playfoam. Children can create bright, colourful sculptures for hours and it only sticks to itself and never dries out. This set is great for encouraging numeracy – they simply follow the cards to mould shapes and numbers – and there’s an alphabet set too.

Age 3+

Buy here!

Claire Brayford
@clairebrayford
Lifestyle journalist/copywriter. Former Vogue Australia Harper's BAZAAR Australia contributor
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