Motherhood,  Parenting

Must Have Toys for Toddlers

When birthdays and holidays roll around one thing that I look for are toys that my son will love but also hold some kind of educational value. Over time, I’ve been able to find some great toys for toddlers that my son has really grown to love; some of them being toys he has rarely gotten bored with. So, I’ve put together this list of must have educational toys for toddlers. In turn, I hope it’ll make birthdays and holidays a little bit less crazy and easy for you mommas out there.

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must have toys for toddlers

Below is my list of must have educational toys for toddlers.

A quick note, quite a few of these are Melissa & Doug toys, simply because we love Melissa & Doug when it comes to what they offer in the toy department. One of the reasons why I love their toys is because they’re wooden and seem to last longer.

Melissa & Doug Play Food with Cutting Board

This was one of the first Melissa & Doug toys I think we purchased. The pieces of food stick together with velcro. Then your little one can use the wooden knife to make the cuts. My son loved playing with this one for the longest time. It has helped teach him about fruits and cooking and how to properly hold the food still so he can use the knife to make the cuts. I love that it comes with a cutting board and knife, too. That little feature adds so much more to this food play set. If they have a play kitchen it makes this little set even better because they can slice, cook, and serve!

Melissa & Doug Upper & Lowercase Alphabet Puzzle

By far, one of the best toys we have ever purchased. When we bought this one we were in the midst of a 10-hour road trip on our way to a convention for my husband’s work. I’m so glad we did. It helped keep him content during the trip. And after we got home he played with it for months and months. He still loves playing with it. Not only has this helped him learn his alphabet (which he’s a pro at now) but behind every letter is a picture. So, there are multiple ways your toddler can play with this toy. Another awesome feature is the fact that it comes with upper and lowercase letters.

Melissa & Doug Wooden Latches Board

This wooden latches board found a spot on our must have toys for toddlers list because it was another we grabbed while we were on the road. Again, it helped keep him content. And this one is great for motor skills being that they’re able to latch and unlatch all of the different style locks on the board. Each also has a number and inside there are animals that match the number, which also makes this great for counting. The third feature on top of it is that the animals inside each are colored the same as the outside.

educational toys every child needs

VTech Chomp and Count Dinosaur

Why did this Dino end up on my list of must have educational toys for toddlers? Did you look at the picture? There is so much learning that can happen with this toy. Your little one can learn numbers, shapes, and colors. On top of that, each circular disc you see has a food on it. During play, the Dino asks for certain foods to eat and your toddler has to feed him that food. And with the string that’s attached, it can be pulled around. My son often searches for the food discs so he can play with this Dino. It’s great with keeping him content for longer periods of time compared to some of his other toys.

Workbench with Shape Starter Tools


The shape feature on this workbench is a big part of the reason why it’s on my educational toys for toddlers list. It’s a big reason why my son loves playing with this toy so much. When he was in the middle of learning his shapes, he dragged this toy around the house almost every day. But, it was great for him to get a handle on the tools that come along and how to operate them with the little screws and nails that you see on top. I love how colorful it is too.

Of course, this is only a small list of educational toys for toddlers. There’s a lot more out there, but I wanted to share what has worked for us and what my son has grown to love over time. For me, it’s nice to know that these toys are offering a little more than just something to play with for my son. Rather, they’re enhancing his learning experience and offering the tools he needs as he gets older like knowing his shapes, colors, numbers, and letters.

I hope this list helps you when it comes to picking out the best toys for your toddler. At the very least, I hope it gives you some ideas for educational toys for your toddler. What items are on your must have educational toys for toddlers list?


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  • Denise at

    This looks very interesting thank you for sharing this I have a toddler myself and I’m always looking for ways to entertain her while educating how the same time.

  • Kayla Haas

    I cant believe my little girl is almost a toddler & I’m looking up toddler toys right now 😭
    I think she’ll love that Melissa & Doug cutting board toy! She likes to watch me in the kitchen. I’m so excited for her to be big enough for a play kitchen!

    • SimplyTallary

      The cutting board toys were big hits for us! And yeah, the time really goes by super fast. Thanks for reading!

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