Kindergartners are starting to get excited about academic skills, but they still love to—and need to—learn by doing and playing. Give them materials that allow them to play, learn, and build with this list of our favorite educational toys for kindergarten learning.
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Kindergarteners are master block builders, and they’ve got the imagination, patience, and spatial skills to make some pretty awesome creations. Up their block game with some fun additions to a classic set of wooden blocks like these colorful window blocks. They also invite science exploration of light and color.
These large pieces beg to be added to next-level block creations. Kids can start to investigate shape and balance, too.
This stuff is amazing! Give kids free rein to create their own peel-and-stick road systems. Use it on the floor or table and inspire racetracks, block towns, map and sign-making, and more.
Kindergarten fingers are ready to create with standard-size LEGO. Building sets with directions to follow are fun, but an open-ended, basic set of bricks has exceptional staying power. Add a couple of baseplates to keep things structured and organized. LEGO play encourages kids to explore math concepts like measurement and fractions, too.
As we said on our list of favorite preschool learning toys and games, Magna-Tiles are an investment worth making. Kindergarten kiddos naturally explore geometry and engineering concepts as they make more elaborate structures.
Deceptively challenging but oh-so-satisfying, setting up a successful marble run is an ultimate STEM challenge.
Kindergartners still love to pretend, especially where food is involved. Whether it is a restaurant, picnic, or grocery store, they’re usually down. This little set is fun for all ages, but we love how it encourages kindergartners to write down “orders” and think more carefully about ingredients and sequencing. Would you like extra pickles with that?
The appealing—but not overly annoying—beeps and dings make this cash register a perfect pretend play prop. Plus, help kids work on number recognition and begin thinking about monetary amounts. Cha-ching!
Beautiful in their simplicity, pattern blocks are a true multipurpose math manipulative. Use these sturdy blocks to investigate shapes, fractions, patterning, and design.
Snail mail, both real and pretend, is the ultimate context for authentic early literacy skill practice.
This old favorite board game allows kids to learn to follow directions, count, add, and practice winning and losing gracefully. Check out other favorite board and card games on our list of Best Board Games for Kids 6-12.
The name of this awesome Dutch math tool means “counting rack.” It helps kids visualize and subitize (break down) numerical amounts into components of ones, fives, and tens using its rows and bead colors. Have kids use it to practice representing numbers, work on addition and subtraction problems, or even a scorekeeper during a game.
13. Wooden Geoboard
This classic classroom tool is a huge draw for kids. Stretch rubber bands to create shapes and pictures while exploring geometry concepts.
Integrate science and math learning with this simple but fascinating tool. Use the weights provided, or compare kids’ toys or nature finds.
Alphabet manipulatives help kindergartners focus on spelling without the added burden of handwriting. Magnetic letters are useful for practicing sight words, and working with word families. We like the straightforward colors and storage in this set, and that it has numbers for representing math problems, also.
Understanding how a calendar works takes plenty of practice. An engaging magnetic version encourages kids to manipulate a calendar’s components, and create a personally-relevant representation of each month.
For drawing, showing math thinking, or practicing writing, an LCD tablet feels way more fun than regular paper. Need to start over? Just tap the button to erase!
Yoga has amazing benefits for children. These kid-, family-, and teacher-friendly cards make it easy—and fun—for anyone to be a yogi.
Scooping, squeezing, and creating are important for kindergarten hands. Use this beach-themed set for open-ended creation or for plenty of fun learning activities.
The only thing better than squishing dough or sand is stamping in it! Use this convenient set for kids to learn letterforms and practice spelling in a multisensory way.
Writing is hard work, and kindergartners’ fine motor strength and coordination have to be up to the challenge. This activity set offers so many practice opportunities. (Every kindergartner we know LOVES tongs.) Encourage spatial thinking by following the pattern cards.
Get a glimpse at what happens below the soil as plants grow. This fool-proof set-up makes observing the magic of plant growth easy for young botanists. See more of our favorites for gardening here.
Learning one’s place in space is an important skill. This magnetic puzzle eases kids into working with maps.
Kindergartners are still figuring out how their bodies work, and the gross motor challenge of these rope stilts encourages risk-taking and persistence.
Giant bubbles are tons of fun no matter how you make them, but we love how this set encourages kids to wonder and experiment with changing the shape of the wand. Good clean fun!
What are your favorite educational toys for kindergarten? Let us know in the comments!