Friday 29 October 2010


Educational Toys for Toddlers 18 – 24 months

I am a firm believer in learning through play. Play can be activities, but many activities need props, and that is where well-designed toys come in. However, not all toys are necessary. Some are expensive, but bad. Some are inexpensive, but still not worth having. Others are expensive, but worth investing in, as they are very educational, while some are inexpensive, but very good.

Here is a list of toys for toddlers 18 - 24 months, which I believe are beneficial, although some can be very expensive and some are fortunately inexpensive. Some can be home-made to save cost, while some can be from recycled house-hold items, with some creativity.

When looking for a day care centre, look around that they have all these toys. I cannot afford all the toys, but the good thing is that most of the toys are available at J's day care centre, so that the children can share.

If I am to open a day-care one day, these will be the toys I will stock up in my day care centre.


1. Board books

2. Picture flash cards

3. Alphabet magnet phonics (Leap Frog)

I have got to say something about this toy! It is a brillant toy. The latest development in childhood education advocates teaching children the sound of the letters, and not emphasizing the name of the letter. This toy teaches the sound of the letter and the name of the letter in a song. Because it is in a song, and so catchy, even children with short attention span such as Autism and ADHD manage to learn their alphabet. It is with regret, that this toy was not available for my nephew who has ADHD. He is now 10 years old. I discovered this toy, when I visited my friend Wimin. I have now ordered one from Amazon for J. It is rather expensive, but I would rather forgo more hand-bags, make-up and clothes to buy this for J.

I only wish that Leap Frog would develop something like this for the Chinese in Mandarin. Hopefully, some Chinese companies would do it. But Chinese toys are way behind those of US and Europe. For this reason, it is important for J to learn English, because the best tools and techniques are available to learn the English language.

Here is the link to the US Amazon:

Here is a link to the UK Amazon:

4. Training doll - Can be a teddy bear + save some of your child's old newborn clothes, shoes, hats, socks, etc. for the teddy bear

5. Pouring containers

6. Stack-a-ring (IKEA)

7. Shape-sorter (IKEA)

8. Nesting blocks

9. Magnetic sketch board

10. Balls

11. Sand tools

12. Lego Duplo My First Set

13. Train-set

14. Cutting-food set

15. Wooden blocks

16. Wooden beads with holes in the middle to string the beads through

17. Wooden puzzles (where a whole object fits inside a matching slot, not jigsaw puzzle)

18. Play dough (Home-made)

19. Paints (Home-made)

20. Paint brush

21. Crayons

22. Toddler-size table

23. Toddler-size chair

24. Toddler-height closet

Good to have, if you a little extra budget:
1. Foldable tunnel (IKEA)

2. Water pistol

3. Tricycle

4. Musical instruments

5. CD with nursery rythmes

6. Toy mobile phone or an used old mobile phone

7. Aquadoddle – no mess art-&-craft

8. Trucks/Cars

9. Little People

10. Alphabet magnet phonics word-builder (Leap Frog)

Nice to have, but not essential:

1. Sleds

2. Kitchen stove

3. Easel

4. Water-pool

5. Scooter

6. Slide

7. Animal figurines (this this should not substitute the trip to the zoo to see the real thing!)

8. Pretend vacuum cleaners

9. Bicycle without pedal

10. Jack-in-the-box

11. Toddler-size toilet seat

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