27 Educational Toys That'll Keep Your Kids Entertained at Home

Eager to keep your kids learning while schools are out? These educational toys are the perfect fit.

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With schools closing across the nation, countless parents are trying to figure out how to keep their little ones learning. In these uncertain times, it's especially important to maintain academic routines, which help reassure kids that the world hasn't completely turned upside down. So, rather than putting on Frozen II for the thousandth time (hey, no judgments), try offering your kiddos one of these exciting educational toys that'll keep them engaged—so you can cook a meal, hop on that conference call, or get some badly-needed down time.

Best Life's editors have scoured the internet to bring you the best products out there, and we're hoping you'll love them as much as we do. Full disclosure: we may earn a commission for anything you purchase through links on this page, but that doesn't mean you'll pay more for them (we'd never do that to you!). Pricing and availability are accurate as of the piece's initial publication date, but it's the internet and we can't guarantee that these sweet, sweet deals will last forever, so scoop them up before someone else does!

1
Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Cube Classic Wooden Toy

wooden shape sorter toy
Walmart

This Shape Sorting Cube Classic Wooden Toy is a perfect fit for toddlers. Featuring sturdy wooden construction and a slide-off lid, this colorful educational toy promotes fine motor skills, problem-solving, plus color and shape recognition.

$15 at Walmart
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2
Melissa & Doug Wooden Latches Board

wooden boards with pictures of houses and metal latches
Melissa & Doug

If your little one constantly tries to outsmart your childproofing techniques at home, they'll love Melissa & Doug's Wooden Latches Board. Encourage them to open the metal clasps and count the animals hidden underneath the brightly-colored doors. The game, made for preschoolers aged 2 to 4, promotes number recognition and problem-solving, helping those little brains flourish, even if the rest of the day has a little more screen time involved than you'd hoped.

$25 at Melissa & Doug
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3
My First Discovery Scope

play microscope in bright colors
Fat Brain Toys

Seeing is believing! Inspire your toddler's love of science through sensory play with Fat Brain Toys' My First Discovery Scope. Just press the blue button and the musical science lab reveals close-ups of a butterfly, snail, and ladybug!

$22 at Fat Brain Toys
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4
Osmo Little Genius Starter Kit

kids toy kit with plastic shapes and boards with letters
Walmart

Osmo mixes digital learning with hands-on play for hours of fun—the hand-held pieces interact with an iPad or Fire tablet and Osmo Base to bring your child's creative imagination to life. This Little Genius Starter Kit, appropriate for ages 3 to 5, includes four open-ended games that encourage creativity, promote early literacy, and build social-emotional skills.

$78 at Walmart
Buy Now

5
Kid K'NEX Dino Dudes Building Set

k'nex dinosaur building kit
Walmart

If your preschooler knows everything there is to know about dinosaurs— from Ankylosaurus to Zephyrosaurus— they'll love creating their own dino buddies with the Kid K'NEX Dino Dudes Building Set. This educational toy, perfect for ages 3 to 5, contains 100 Kid K'NEX pieces that can be combined to create 30 different dinosaur-themed friends.

$45$36 at Walmart
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6
Brain Quest

brain quest deck
Walmart

Parents may feel a serious dose of nostalgia when they flip through Brain Quest—the fast-paced question-and-answer game that became an instant classic in the mid-'90s. Featuring updated questions that align with Common Core Standards, Brain Quest can reliably provide hours of enriching entertainment. This particular deck is customized for second graders, but they're available for kids from Pre-K to 6th grade.

$11 at Walmart
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7
Skillmatics Animal Kingdom

box with "skillmatics animal kingdom" and pictures of animals
Amazon

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! The Skillmatics Animal Kingdom educational game for ages 3 to 6 will teach your little one all about the amazing world of animals. Featuring 15 learning activities, 6 double-sided activity mats, and a Skilly Billy Achievement Certificate, this engaging game builds focus, creative thinking, as well as a love of nature.

$25 at Amazon
Buy Now

8
Hey Clay Bugs

clay bug making kit
Fat Brain Toys

Got a budding entomologist on your hands? Then pick up this Hey Clay Bugs set. Pick one of the six bugs—the spider, caterpillar, praying mantis, snail, ladybug, or dragonfly—and follow along with the interactive 3D step-by-step directions to mold it into a creepy crawler using colorful non-toxic clay.

$17 at Fat Brain Toys
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9
Shake Make Words

white hands holding blue letter toy
Fat Brain Toys

This is hands-down the simplest word game your kid will ever play. Shake the dice dome to reveal a random set of four letters. Play in pairs by racing to find three and four-letter words—or play solitaire by trying to find as many words as you can in five minutes with as few shakes as possible.

$6 at Fat Brain Toys
Buy Now

10
Think Box Inventors' Box

green inventors box
Target

Did you know that the inventors of bubble wrap were originally trying to create 3D wallpaper? That's because the best inventions are often made by accident. This Thinkbox Inventors' Box, perfect for kids 8 and up, is the ideal gift for the little inventor who's eager to design and build creations. It features an inventors' guide and over 700 pieces to use along with everyday household objects to make the next world-changing creation.

$25 at Target
Buy Now

11
Kano Star Wars the Force Coding Kit

star wars coding kit
Amazon

Even the littlest Jedi Master can learn to code with this Kano Star Wars The Force Coding Kit. Designed for kids 6 to 14, this kit allows kids to build a sensor, compose an epic movie soundtrack, and create their own adventure stories about baby Yoda and the rest of the gang using a compatible computer or tablet.

$30 at Amazon
Buy Now

12
Creativity for Kids Grow N' Glow Terrarium

make your own terrarium kit
Target

Mini scientists of all ages will love decorating and filling this Grow N' Glow Terrarium from Creativity for Kids. Create your own mini ecosystem with soil, sand, river stones, and seeds. Then, add the glow-in-the-dark decorations and adorable garden figurines, and watch it flourish!

$13 at Target
Buy Now

13
Crankity Brainteaser

multicolored gars attached to board
Fat Brain Toys

Get those wheels turning! Choose a puzzle at the appropriate level of difficulty (easy, medium, hard, and extra-hard), place the red gear and yellow wheel on the board as indicated, and then try to engineer a solution—you'll know you've won when the whole contraption spins!

$20 at Fat Brain Toys
Buy Now

14
Nancy B's Stir-It-Up Chemistry Lab

purple and green chemistry set
Amazon

What kid doesn't love making potions? Keep them busy with Nancy B's Stir-It-Up Chemistry Lab & Kitchen Experiments Journal, which teaches them to extinguish a flame with invisible gas and make "lava" in a bottle. The set includes a beaker, four test tubes, rack, graduated cylinder, as well as an activity journal filled with experiments using common household ingredients!

$20 at Amazon
Buy Now

15
Ravensburger Gravitrax

gravitrax building kit
Target

Experiment with magnetism, gravity, and kinetics with the Ravensburger Gravitrax Starter Set, perfect for ages 8 and up. Design a race course out of the 100 pieces and 18 different construction elements—then, watch the marble fly over the curves, junctions, free falls, and even through a magnetic cannon.

$60$55 at Target
Buy Now

16
Engino Buoyant Forces Kit

block building STEAM kit
Amazon

If steel sinks, why does a boat float? Most parents don't know the answer—but your middle schooler will after learning about buoyancy, weight, and density with Engino's Buoyant Forces kit. Use a sink or bathtub to test your model's buoyancy, then alter its density to discover whether it will sink or float. The kit also features an interactive 3D building app that lets children play in virtual reality for some added fun.

$23 at Amazon
Buy Now

17
Discovery MINDBLOWN Toy Dinosaur 3D Fossil Excavation Kit

two toy dinosaurs and fossil digging kit
Walmart

Dig up the past with the Discovery MINDBLOWN Toy Dinosaur 3D Fossil Skeleton Excavation Kit! Use the paleontologist's tool kit (which includes a hammer, chisel, and brush) to unearth a velociraptor or T-Rex skeleton. When you're done, assemble the bones into a 3D puzzle!

$13 at Walmart
Buy Now

18
Klutz Maker Lab Arcade Claw Game

arcade claw game kit
Fat Brain Toys

Bring the arcade home with this Klutz Maker Lab Arcade Claw Game. Follow the illustrated instructions to build the machine, fill the three prize capsules, and test your dexterity as you try to retrieve them. The kit—ideal for kids 8 to 14—features an instruction book, pulleys, wheels, dowels, and everything you need to build a functional arcade game at home!

$25 at Fat Brain Toys
Buy Now

19
Kano Computer Kit

orange keyboard and electronic device
Amazon

If you can build a LEGO tower, you can build a computer with the Kano Computer Kit, which features a step-by-step instruction book, power button, wireless keyboard with track pad, and operating system. Once it's built, use the machine to learn to code, play Minecraft, or make art, music, and games!

$92 at Amazon
Buy Now

20
Proof! Math Game

blue box with picture of wizard and word "proof!" on it
Amazon

Work that mental math magic as you race your opponents to find equations hidden among the nine number cards. Each box of Proof!, designed for kids 9 and up, includes 100 cards and instructions for game play options, including solo play, gameplay for groups from 2 to 6 players, or modifications for younger players.

$18 at Amazon
Buy Now

21
Thames & Kosmos Candy Chemistry Science Kit

candy chemistry kit
Target

Explore chemistry and satisfy your sweet tooth with Thames & Kosmos Candy Chemistry Science Kit, which teaches kids ages 10 and up about physical science principles. Discover the mysterious phenomenon of triboluminescence with wintergreen candies, or learn about specific heat and phases of matter by molding chocolates!

$33 at Target
Buy Now

22
GoCube

multicolored cube
Amazon

For anyone who has ever been outsmarted by a Rubik's cube, the GoCube is the educational toy for you. Part game, part coach, GoCube is an app-enabled Rubik's cube that allows you to track your progress, learn from mistakes, and level up your game once you've mastered the cube.

$100 at Amazon
Buy Now

23
Backyard Ballistics

backyard ballistics set
Fat Brain Toys

Once the nice weather hits, aspiring engineers 10 and older can take their learning outside with Backyard Ballistics— a bestselling DIY handbook that teaches them to safely build potato cannons, paper match rockets, Cincinnati fire kites, and more.

$17 at Fat Brain Toys
Buy Now

24
ColorKu

rows of colorful marbles on wooden board
The Grommet

ColorKu allows you to solve any Sudoku puzzle using color. Featuring 81 balls in 9 different colors, as well as 104 puzzle cards in 5 levels of difficulty, this game provides hours of fun for the whole family while helping little ones hone their problem-solving and logic skills.

$37 at The Grommet
Buy Now

25
Tavern Puzzle Iron Heart

iron puzzle
Amazon

Who needs screens when you can sharpen your problem-solving skills with these old-fashioned steel brainteasers? Try your hand at the Iron Heart puzzle, a more basic challenge, which asks you to remove the metal heart from the attached loop without using force or tricks.

$27 at Amazon
Buy Now

26
Codenames

codenames game box
Amazon

Codenames is, hands down, one of the most thrilling word games you'll ever play. Get your teammates to guess your randomly-assigned words by giving one-word clues. The challenge? If they guess the wrong word, it could be game over!

$15 at Amazon
Buy Now

27
TrueChallenge

3d puzzle truechallenge
Amazon

Spin and twist to solve this 3D puzzle, which uses the principles of attraction and repulsion to challenge players. As addictive as a fidget spinner but more educational, this puzzle helps kids 10 and up master hand-eye coordination, spatial thinking, and overall cognitive skills.

$20 at Amazon
Buy Now
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