Top 5 Educational Toy Gifts for Preschoolers

Preschoolers are natural learners. They are curious about the world around them and learn so much through play, and they find simple things fascinating. (Is it just me, or does anyone else's preschool age child prefer to play with my kitchen utensils and tupperware containers over their toys?)

Choosing good toys for preschoolers does not have to be complicated. When buying toys for 3 to 4 year olds, there are so many options for toys that are just simply fun to play with and promote hands on learning at the same time.

Here is my top 5 list of toy gifts for preschoolers that will both entertain and teach:

1. Blocks

Blocks help fine motor coordination through stacking, and they foster imaginative play through creative building. Depending on the block set, they can help with learning colors, letters and numbers as well.

There are so many different kinds of blocks that preschoolers love. Traditional stacking wooden blocks and snap together type like LEGO DUPLO Sets are two great choices.

For wooden blocks, this Alphabet Blocks Wooden Truck is one of my all time favorite block toys for children and both of my children loved it as preschoolers. I love the colorful alphabet blocks and how easily they can be stored on the truck.

For snap together blocks, one of our favorite sets is this Lego Duplo House. It is great for imaginative play and can be used to help reinforce daytime and nighttime routines with the special printed blocks that come with it.

Melissa and Doug Alphabet Block Truck
Lego Duplo Playhouse Set

2. Play Food

I believe that this is a favorite toy of all preschool children. Learning Resources brand makes some very sturdy play food pieces like this Fresh Picked Fruit And Veggie Tote that is fun for imaginative play. Other food toys like  this Super Sorting Pie help with color recognition, fine motor skills, and sorting.

learning-resources-play-foo

3. Little People Sets

We love Little People! There are so many different sets that are fun and imaginative for preschoolers.

Our favorites are two that you may remember from your childhood: the Fisher-Price Little People Animal Friends Farm and the Little People House.

Little People Animal Farm

4. Puzzles

Preschoolers enjoy puzzles. I think both the board puzzles and jigsaw puzzles are good for this age.

For board puzzles, we really like both the Melissa and Doug Wooden Chunky Puzzles and Wooden Peg Animal Puzzles Set. I have seen preschoolers have great fun in just working the puzzles alone, and also with playing this puzzle game that helps with learning to taking turns.

These Melissa and Doug Sound Puzzles are really neat, too.

While jigsaw puzzles may be advanced for some 3 and 4 year olds, others enjoy them as an activity to do with help from an older sibling or adult. There are even beginner jigsaw puzzles available with as few as 12 pieces.

Wooden Board Puzzles

5. Magnets

Magnets are just fascinating. Magnetic alphabet letters and numbers can be purchased to play with on the refrigerator, or there are magnetic chalk board sets that come with letters and numbers.

Magnetic Blocks are also another fun magnetic toy to consider.

melissa-and-doug-alphabet-c

There are some really great choices for preschool toys out there that are both fun and educational. Here are some other educational toys that you may consider for preschoolers:

Melissa & Doug On the Go Water Wow! Activity Book, 3-Pack - Animals, Alphabet, and Numbers
Play-Doh Fun Factory Set
Learning Resources Pretend & Play Teaching Cash Register

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