Educational toys nursery | 15 top toys to choose from

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  January 2, 2021

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Most educational toys that are suitable for a daycare center will fall between these two age categories:

When choosing the best toys for your class or childminder stay at home, remember that simplicity is best.

Children learn better in an environment that is not full of toys, but in a space that is clean, simple and leaves room for their imagination.

Best educational toys for a daycare center

Here are our top 25 picks for educational toys for your nursery.

In creating this list, we focused on each area of ​​learning and the best toys for a group.

Melissa & Doug wooden blocks

Wooden blocks are great for preschool building sessions. This is the ultimate for open-ended play. Children are free to use their imagination and creativity.

Wooden blocks can also be used in a number of ways to practice shapes, colors, counting and more.

View this building set here at bol.com

Duplo Town set

For toddlers, DUPLO is the perfect size, and it's great as a math tool for learning about shapes, patterns, counting and measuring.

For your daycare center you naturally want to have enough to stimulate teamwork and there is no set that can work as well as with this town set.

Check the latest prices here

Dress up masks

Fancy dress doesn't have to be fancy.

Make it as simple as costume jewelry, hats, bandanas, scarves, gloves and masks and capes and let them combine nicely.

Here are some nice masks to start the dress-up party.

Puzzles

Our favorite puzzles are from Mudpuppy and Melissa and Doug. Melissa and Doug make the best chunky wood block puzzles that are great for little hands.

The pieces make for nice figures and also for imaginary play.

Mudpuppy has the best puzzles! Our favorites include the seek and find puzzles, my very long puzzles and glow in the dark puzzles.

Muddy puzzles Nice puzzles for your guest shelter
View all Mudpuppy puzzles View all Melissa & Doug puzzles

Thread toys

Fine motor skills such as lacing are perfect for little hands and pre-writing skills.

We love these Small Foot Company lace beetles because they are sturdy and the perfect size for preschool hands.

In addition, you immediately get a few so that several children can participate at the same time without a fight.

These string beetles are available here (oh! available)

Chalkboards

This is our newest preschool obsession. These handy chalk boards make it possible for children to draw with chalk on their own boards.

This way everyone has their own sign and you can help the little ones yourself.

Or you use them at a party to indicate different things, the possibilities are endless and reusable.

This toy can be used over and over by children and would be a great addition to any nursery!

They are for sale per 12 and available here at bol.com

Learning Resources Fine motor skills exercise set

This tool set is perfect for playing in a sandbox or on a water table.

These fine motor tools help strengthen little hands to prepare kids for writing.

It includes:

Check prices and availability here

KidKraft Vintage Wooden Play Kitchen

Kidkraft retro play kitchen
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Another thing all children can join: the wooden play kitchen and cooking fantasy game and it is one of our favorite play kitchens.

Children love to play fantasy games and playing in the kitchen always seems to be a favorite. We love KidKraft's play kitchen.

It's affordable, durable and the perfect size for a daycare center.

Check the most current price here

Melissa & doug hand puppets

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Hand puppets can be used by children in the group for fantasy play or also used by daycare to supplement teaching.

Using dolls to talk to children adds an element of fun to teaching important development.

Melissa and Doug sell a variety of high quality hand puppets that are perfectly tailored for the preschoolers.

Available here at bol.com

Magna Tiles

This is the ultimate in STEM learning. They are a bit of an investment, but will bring your kids hours and hours of learning and creative fun!

Kids can build everything from roads to castles with Magna-Tiles, making for a beautiful open-ended toy!

And there are a ton of variants, extras, and expansion sets to have enough for everyone.

Great if, for example, you have a lot of children of the same age in your group and you want to offer enough to keep everyone busy.

View all sets and expansions here

Play-Doh magic oven

Who doesn't like playing with clay?

Novice chefs, bakers and biscuit bakers can't beat their fun with the magical Play-Doh oven.

It has real lights and baking sounds to give extra stimulation to clay and fantasy play.

With the supplied clay, different types of food can be prepared and then placed in the oven to bake and prepare for the customer (which can be a fellow companion or you as a childminder or companion).

Then press everything down and watch the Play-Doh oven finish your dinner or dessert.

When the light turns red, the food is ready with a recognizable ping signal. It looks like a real oven.

There are 5 molds that you can use, for example, to make fantasy muffins and cakes.

This way they can easily prepare the tastiest dishes and when it is ready they can even serve it on plates with cutlery.

There is also a handy idea card to start the inspiration.

What's Included:

The Play-Doh clay is of course 100% safe and a super soft modeling material for your little creatives.

Check the prices here

Lelin Toys Blackboard Magnetic Chalkboard

We love this donkey for its simplicity.

With a chalkboard, whiteboard, tray and bar for a roll of chalk, this is the best and makes a wonderful addition to a preschool learning space.

The price is right and it is the perfect length and size for toddlers through to early infants.

View it here at bol.com

Tidlo Wooden Magnetic Letters

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These letters are perfect for word recognition and reading. We also like to use these for naming exercises, sight words and word making.

This is a great set as it contains multiples of each letter making word spelling a lot easier.

Check prices and availability here

Wooden Train Track Set

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We all know that play is the most important thing a toddler can do.

They use their imaginations to put themselves in "adult" scenarios that prepare them for those situations later in life.

We would like to play as many fantasy games as possible to keep them entertained from time to time.

This train set is simple and offers hours of fantasy fun!

View this train set here at bol.com

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Speelkeuze.nl is a content marketer, father and loves trying out new toys. As a child, he came into contact with everything around games when his mother started the Tin Soldier in Ede. Since 2016, he and his team have been creating helpful blog articles to help loyal readers with fun play ideas.