25 Best Educational Toys and Games for First Grade

Toys for music, reading, math, science, and more!

Educational Toys First Grade

First graders are the best. Ready with their tooth-less grins, they are excited to imagine and create, and they are earnest about learning, too. Treat them to games and toys that leave room for a lot of exploration. Here are 25 of our favorite educational toys for first grade students.

1. Discovery Kids Wooden Castle Building Blocks Set

Basic blocks are always appropriate—but fun add-ons like this castle-themed set are perfect for imaginative first grader builders. They offer intriguing geometry and physics connections, too. Will your castle withstand an invasion?

2. Klutz LEGO Gadgets Science and Activity Kit

Extend a love of LEGO to teach kids about simple machines. Directions are straightforward enough for a first grader to follow, but the results are wow-worthy. Win!

3. Straw Constructors

Simple but genius: First graders love working together to build big structures from these flexible straws. As teachers, we love to pull them out to explore 2-D vs. 3-D shapes. Make a square, make a cube, make a circle, make a cylinder … you get the idea.

4. Air Dry Modeling Clay

Squishing, squeezing, and rolling are still good activities for first grade hands—and they still love to do it. Modeling clay is a creative upgrade from traditional play dough to stretch older kids’ creativity. This set comes with a fun step-by-step idea book, too.

5. Melissa & Doug Multi-Craft Weaving Loom

Weaving challenges kids’ manual dexterity, encourages persistence and concentration, and results in a unique and satisfying product. There are plenty of possibilities for continuing to create with this large, sturdy loom for months and years to come.

6. Learning Resources Dominoes

We love how this set does double-duty. Play traditional dominoes and other domino-related math games, or challenge kids to build an epic domino run.

7. Math Dice, Jr.

This simple game motivates competitive kids to practice basic math facts to 12 like no other. Roll the dice and race to make combinations that equal the target number.

8. Learning Resources Hundred Activity Mat

Get kids up and moving while you work on identifying numbers to 100. When we look at the patterns on this mat we think, “Math Twister!”

9. Learning Resources Jumbo Dice in Dice

Kids love dice in dice, and they hold so many possibilities for math practice games; check out this full list!

10. Number Balance Activity Set

Make the idea of equivalency concrete for kids with this adaptable, self-correcting manipulative. Use the activity cards included or devise your own. When math is over, hook cups to the each end and just play with balance!

11. Addition and Subtraction Wooden Magnetic Fishing Game

This is a perfect way to combine play with math practice. It could be a ready-made math center or partner activity. The fish are sturdy enough to adapt to any other practice item. Next up, fishing for sight words?

12. Mastermind

First graders are old enough to actually play this classic code-breaking game strategically, and it’s so, so good. Check out our full list of board games for kids ages 6-12.

13. Trunk Works Story Time Card Game

Kids gain experience with story elements and retelling stories by using picture cards to make up their own tales. We like the mix of straightforward character and setting cards with speech bubbles and other cards that suggest plot twists.

14. Junior Learning Sentence Dice

Educational Toys First Grade

These parts of speech dice are a simple and fun way to reinforce the concept of sentence for kids. We like using just some of the die for kids to fill in sentence frames with high-frequency words, too.

15. Sight Word Swat

Educational Toys First Grade

The makers of this game get it—kids love using fly swatters. Why not use that enthusiasm to their learning advantage and have them smack sight words?

16. Zingo Sight Words

Kids also love the classic picture-matching game Zingo, and this version that involves fast recognition of sight words is the ideal first grade variation. It’s great for playing at home or as a literacy center.

17. Bluetooth Karaoke Microphone

Calling all rising superstars! Kids love the legit feeling of this multi-function microphone. Teachers love how it makes phonological awareness games extra fun and motivates kids to practice reading fluently—books OR song lyrics, of course!

18. Fun With Magnets

Magnets are most definitely fun and fascinating! First graders can enjoy free exploration with this collection of magnetic materials, or use the experiment cards for more focused learning.

19. MaxUSee Kids Telescope

This telescope’s compact size and straightforward operation make it extremely first grade-friendly. Use it to view the moon when learning about the moon’s phases, or check out that cool bird in the distance!

20. Creativity For Kids Shadow Puppets Theater

Educational Toys First Grade

Perfect for at-home fun, a center, or small group exploration, this kit combines creativity and the science of light and shadow. Kids can experiment with puppet and light placement as they put on unique puppet shows.

21. Boomwhackers

Educational Toys First Grade

Combine music and the science of sound with this exceptionally fun percussion product. The name says it best: by whacking the tubes against any surface, kids create different tones. Learn about how sound is created, high vs. low notes, and how sounds combine to create music.

22. The Monkey Mind Meditation Deck: 30 Fun Ways for Kids to Chill Out, Tune In, and Open Up

Educational Toys First Grade

Oversize, durable cards feature engaging invitations for kids to pause and turn inward. The language is developmentally appropriate without feeling babyish. (Psst: We adults could take a few pointers from these cards, too.)

23. Find It Games Kids Edition

Educational Toys First Grade

We’ve never met a kid who can resist this game. (Maybe because it looks like it’s full of ice cream sprinkles?) We love it for a small group brain break, or to keep in a Calm Down area to help kids learn to ride out big feelings or refocus.

24. Orboot Interactive Globe

Educational Toys First Grade

This product is an amazing resource to introduce kids to globes and world geography. Kids discover as they “travel” using the app-based features. We also appreciate that, once you download the app, it’s 100% usable without WiFi.

25. Turtle Steps Balance Stepping Stones

Educational Toys First Grade

There are so many fun possibilities for home and school here, from a simple indoor motor break to all-out obstacle course creation. All you need are sticky notes to add some sight words or math facts to each stone to make it a review game, too.

What are your favorite educational toys and games for first grade? Let us know in the comments.

Plus, the best first grade books and websites.

25 Best Educational Toys and Games for First Grade

Posted by Lindsay Barrett

A former elementary teacher and reading nonprofit director, Lindsay now works as a literacy consultant and freelance writer while wrangling her four young children.

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