9 Educational Toys Your Kids Want to Receive

Selecting an educational toy for children that keeps them engaged can be challenging. With the right tools, you can make the toy shopping experience a lot less stressful.


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Educational Toys #9: Scientific Explorer Mind Blowing Science Kit

The Mind Blowing Science Kit by Scientific Explorer invites elementary-age kiddos to get their feet wet (and hands dirty) in the world of STEM. The experiments are fun, easy, and captivating—think color-changing "volcanoes" and test tubes overflowing with purple fizzy liquid. A few extra supplies from your kitchen and a bit of adult guidance will enhance the longevity of this kit. ($16; walmart.com)

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Educational Toys #8: Snap Circuits Junior Electronics Projects Kit

The brightly colored assortment of gadgets and gizmos in the Snap Circuits Junior Electronics Projects Kit box is a feast for the eyes, but this set is much more than that. Your child (8+) can choose from 101 easy-to-complete electronics projects that involve fans, fuses, alarms, and sound effects. Parts snap together easily, and kids reap the rewards of their diligent direction-following with the sights and sounds of their cool electrical creations. ($30; walmart.com)

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Educational Toys #7: Makey Makey - An Invention Kit for Everyone

Using the alligator clips in the Makey Makey invention kit and your PC or Mac, kids can turn ordinary household objects into functional devices. A banana transforms into a computer space bar. A staircase becomes a piano. Your child will explore the concepts of coding, electricity, and out-of-the-box thinking with this novelty kit. Because Makey Makey requires synchronization with your computer, setup takes some computer know-how. ($28; walmart.com)

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Educational Toys #6: Playbees Magnetic Building Blocks Toy Set

Playbees markets its 3-D magnetic building blocks toward kids age 3+, but don't let that number—or the eye-catching blocks in fun primary colors—fool you. Everyone in the family will want to play with this set of 3-D magnetic blocks. It's not a cheap toy, but kids love wrapping their hands around these buildable, stackable, collapsible, colorful magnetic blocks. Aside from encouraging creativity, these bright blocks help develop your little one's fine motor skills. ($80; jet.com)

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Educational Toys #5: Melissa & Doug Magnetic Human Body Anatomy Play Set

For the preschooler or early elementary student curious about human anatomy, Melissa & Doug's Magnetic Human Body Anatomy Play Set aims to please. Kids visualize and manipulate different body systems using colorful, sturdy wooden pieces in the traditional Melissa & Doug style. Your little future doctor will learn about the skeleton, muscles, organs, and more. The set includes an anatomically correct boy and girl, so you may field a few questions—but the visuals are subtle. ($13; walmart.com)

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Educational Toys #4: Meade Instruments Infinity 70mm AZ Refractor Telescope

You don't have to spend hundreds of dollars on a telescope to thrill the aspiring astronomer in your life. The nicely priced Infinity 70mm AZ Refractor Telescope by Meade Instruments is a low-risk holiday surprise that delivers crisp images of celestial and earth-bound objects near and far. With a telescope of this aperture, kids can check out Saturn's rings, the moon's craters, and other fascinating celestial objects. ($100; jet.com)

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Educational Toys #3: EACHINE E010 Mini UFO Quadcopter Drone

Are your couch potatoes getting cranky? Nothing propels a child off the furniture and into the fresh air like a brand-new drone. EACHINE's E010 Mini UFO Quadcopter is designed with kids in mind—kids who will most certainly crash and burn the first 10, 20, or 30 times they fly. Designed to take multiple beatings, this hearty flying friend introduces your child to the concepts of robotics, electronics, engineering, hand-eye and fine-motor coordination, and yes, perseverance. ($46; walmart.com)

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Educational Toys #2: AmScope Beginner Microscope Kit

Complete with petri dish, slides, and a lens that magnifies up to 1,200X, your ambitious young biologist can view brine shrimp eggs (included with kit) at the cellular level using AmScope's Beginner Microscope. As a low-price introductory microscope, this isn't an instrument your doctor would use by any means. But it's perfect for your scientist-in-the-making who wants to tinker with specimens and create up-close-and-personal slides. ($100; walmart.com)

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Educational Toys #1: Jenga Classic Game

Strategy meets structural engineering in one of the world's simplest yet most beloved games, Jenga. Kids compete against one another to not be the one to topple a tower of wood blocks. At the same time, they inadvertently absorb the wisdom required to build a stable structure and the knowledge that one ill-placed block—in conjunction with the force of gravity—can bring it all tumbling down. If you've got a budding architect on your hands, you'll want this simple yet entertaining game. ($12; walmart.com)

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