Being a home educating Mum means I like to think I know my shit when it comes to learning through play and what kind of toys really hit all the educational spots when it comes to toddler home learning. While Lily is only 3 years old so nothing is official in terms of home education like Eloise who is 8, we still make a big effort to do lots of learning through play with her because she doesn’t attend nursery or pre school. Eloise didn’t either, not that I have anything at all against nursery because I’ve not had enough experience with it as a parent to form a balanced opinion on it but because I work from home and home educate Eloise, it just seemed like the right thing to do with Lily too.
Anyway, enough story time and more getting to my original point for this blog post and that is educational toys! Pretty much any toy can be educational but these are some of our current favourites!
From previous Lily Loves posts, you will probably have already seen that Lily is a huge train set fan and also that we are huge fans or BRIO. This has got to be her
Play trays are the absolute epitome of educational toys for toddlers in my opinion. There are a plethora of different ideas, all of which can be tailored to your child’s age or developmental stage and they are a huge part of our educational toy rotation. I have recently written about our current play trays if you fancy having a look if you are in need of some inspiration! The possibilities reall are endless!
For Lily’s birthday back in January, I made her a bunch of little granny squares to use as blankets for her little toys. I included thing in one of her play trays and she has loved it so much we have had to keep this tray as it is instead of mixing all three of them up. She loves tucking in all her little wooden animals and Rex from Toy Story, obvs.
Lily is a huge, HUGE fan of playdough. I hate to think of just how many tubs we have gone through over the last couple of years but it’s fantastic stuff! We love this playdough from Little Munchkins! It’s not your regular run of the mill playdough because not only is it handmade but it’s scented too. This is the unicorn set and it smells amazing! They have pretty flecks of glitter through it as well and nice chunky star glitter in the swirl one too!
Playdough is great for so, so many learning through play type activities from letter or number recognition to colour sorting and just plain old fine motor skills and sensory play! Defintely one to make sure you have in your play cupboard!
So many trays I know, haha! These bad boys are for when you want to pull out the big guns (or the messy stuff you don’t want on your rug). Again, these have an endless array of possibilities when it comes to playing and therefore education. A tuff tray is basically a big ass tray builders use to mix cement in I believe? I could be wrong there but it’s definitely a builder thing but they just so happen to be the perfect size for messy play or for containing a lot of loose parts (well, most of them). Pinterest has a hell of a lot of ideas for various topics and I have a blog post with a few tuff tray ideas to help get you started but honestly, these are a must for baby and toddler home learning!
What are your favourite educational toys? I’d love to know because I’m always on the look out for more things to add to our home learning stash!