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.
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!
Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Cube Classic Wooden Toy
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.
Melissa & Doug Wooden Latches Board
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.
My First Discovery Scope
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!
Osmo Little Genius Starter Kit
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.
Kid K'NEX Dino Dudes Building Set
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.
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.
Skillmatics Animal Kingdom
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.
Hey Clay Bugs
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.
Shake Make Words
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.
Think Box Inventors' Box
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.
Kano Star Wars the Force Coding Kit
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.
Creativity for Kids Grow N' Glow Terrarium
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!
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!
Nancy B's Stir-It-Up Chemistry Lab
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!
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.
Engino Buoyant Forces Kit
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.
Discovery MINDBLOWN Toy Dinosaur 3D Fossil Excavation Kit
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!
Klutz Maker Lab Arcade Claw Game
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!
Kano Computer Kit
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!
Proof! Math Game
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.
Thames & Kosmos Candy Chemistry Science Kit
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!
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.
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.
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.
Tavern Puzzle Iron Heart
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.
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!
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.