JUNIOR EDIT: 10 of the Best Educational Toys

1. The Phive Enchanting Learning Phonics & Storytelling Cards, £44.99, The Phive

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  • Suitable from age 3+

These beautifully illustrated phonics and storytelling cards designed to help make learning at home or in schools a more engaging experience for children. The unusual square shape, detailed illustrations, clever phonic prompts and beautiful hard card presentation box all came together to create a pack that makes sitting down together feel like a special moment rather than a chore. The Phive also make beautiful posters as seen above. Perfect for framing and using as a study prompt! READ MORE >> See their Junior Design Award winning entry here


2. Tonies Audio Player, from £79.95, Tonies

  • Suitable from age 3+

This portable, digital audio player is activated by placing a Tonie - one of a huge cast of figurine characters - on top. We love the tactile quality of the Toniebox and the ever growing range of Tonie figures that trigger an exciting audio adventure, be it a story, some favourite music or a child’s own recorded creation. Tonies now have a collaboration with National Geographic Kids and their animal figures open up a whole world of incredible facts from the natural world. Research shows that audio platforms can play an important role in the first steps of helping young children learn to read and that for pre-reading children, Tonies can accelerate their exposure to a wide and interesting vocabulary, helping to improve speech. READ MORE >> 8 Ways to add magic to bedtime including Tonies

Part of the Tonies x National Geographic Kids collection

3. Little OMO Parts of the Body Flash Cards, £16.99, Little OMO

  • Suitable from age 3+

This inclusive toy brand is all about representation and teaches kids about cultural awareness. The Little Omo Parts of the body flashcards feature beautiful illustrations of key parts of the body and provide a fun way of learning their names as well as developing skills in areas such as, language and literacy, speaking, memory and many more. The flashcards showcase an inclusive range of skin tones, so that every child feels represented. We also love the fact that all the cards have a durable finish and rounded corners that have been tested to make sure they are just perfect for little hands. READ MORE >> See their Junior Design Award winning entry here


4. The Little Coach House Number Counting Trays, £48, The Little Coach House

  • Suitable from age 3+

These wooden counting trays, handmade in the UK from locally sourced sustainable European Beech wood, are works of art in their own right. The smooth, beautifully carved wooden trays make counting a tactile and visually stimulating activity, turning the often abstract concept of numbers into something physical and easy to comprehend. The trays have been designed to help children develop their number recognition and formation skills, one to one counting skills and basic maths, including addition and subtraction. The counting trays come with a handy storage stand which keeps them tidied away nicely but can also be integrated into play, showcasing the value of numbers in terms of height when they're stacked in order. READ MORE >> See what our Junior Design Award judges thought of The Little Coach House


5. Happy Little Doers Ocean's Logic Game, £10.95, Happy Little Doers

  • Suitable from age 5+

For kids who love card games and using their observation skills against the clock, this Oceans Logic Game will make the perfect gift. We love the fact that this card game gets the whole family involved, being suitable from age 5 – 99! A great compact game option for keeping kids entertained and engaged on journeys, stop overs, holidays and any time in between. READ MORE >> See why Junior loves Happy Little Doers


6. MindShot Activity Packs, from £13, Digital Detox Kids

  • Suitable from age 5-10

These beautifully designed, pocket-sized eco activity packs are a fantastic way to guarantee that kids take a 20 minute break from screen-time to do something stimulating, educational or creative. The tactile matte paper packages are perfect for little hands and the element of surprise in each sealed pack is really exciting. The eco-focussed Nature + Now series that includes puzzles, stickers provides a great selection of activities and would be perfect for taking on journeys. READ MORE >> See more screen free and mindful products here


7. Edx Education Rainbow Pebbles, £30.83, Amazon

  • Suitable from age 3+

These soft edged pebbles in a range different colours and sizes are designed to encourage creativity and the development of fine motor skills. The pack of 36 coloured pebbles, which come with 20 double-sided activity cards are great for counting, sorting and creating, while the smooth edges and tactile nature of the pebbles have proved to be incredibly calming and soothing for kids. The pebbles also come in an eco-friendly version, made from rice husks - a great option for eco-conscious parents. Edx is a fantastic resource for a broad range of educational toys to use within schools and at home, all of which can be found here.


8. Moon Picnic Me & the Moon Moon Phase Calendar, £78, Blue Brontide

  • Suitable from age 3+

We absolutely love this beautiful heirloom toy, which is perfect for all mini astrologers. A puzzle and lunar calendar in one, children can observe the moon & change the magnetic moon discs accordingly each day and learn how the moon phase cycles every 28 days. A great way to demystifying that ever changing night light in the sky, while adding a whole new layer of excitement! The calendar can be played with on a table or hung on the wall creating a gorgeous focal point for your child's play space. READ MORE >> See our pick of the best Wooden Toys


9. Boss Babs Mr And Miss Match The Equal Pairs Memory Game, £20, Boss Babs

  • Suitable from age 3+

Who doesn’t love a game of pairs? The oh-so-simple, brain training memory game that gives so much satisfaction has been given a brilliant twist by Boss Babs, who have themed this version of the classic game around careers. Each matching pair of cards is made up from a boy and a girl in their chosen profession. A great way to say goodbye to stereotypes and provide the positive reinforcement that girls and boys can choose whatever career they like, regardless of gender. READ MORE >> See what our JDA judges thought!


10. My First Bingo at Home, £12.99, Laurence King Publishing

Suitable age 3+

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Bingo is such a brilliant way of engaging kids and giving them a real sense of achievement when they can shout out, "House!". This beautifully illustrated bingo set contains 4 game boards featuring a different household scene on each, including the bedroom, the bathroom, the kitchen and the living room. Each board has ten objects to find and the first to find all ten is the winner. Competitive grown-ups participating, might need to remind themselves to hold back so that the little ones can feel even more proud of their brilliant matching and observation skills - all developed and strengthened by this fun game! READ MORE >> Traditional games for kids

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