If you could use a little help picking out toys for the kids on your list this holiday, we’re about to make things a lot easier for you with a mini holiday toy gift guide, starting with the best educational toys for kids. This is the first in a three-part series dedicated to great toy gifts for kids, brought to you by the amazing folks at Fat Brain Toys. If you’re a long time reader of our site, you know how thrilled we are about this, because we’ve been recommending the carefully curated collection of toys from this family-owned business for years now. They’re like the little company that’s made it big, but never lost sight of what was important to them, and we love them for that.

-Don’t miss a chance to win a huge holiday toy shopping spree from Fat Brain Toys!
Details below. –

Fat Brain Toys always has the newest, coolest toys from brands we feature on our pages all the time. But hey, we know you’re busy. So we’ve gone through their list of more than 7,500 toys (no kidding!) and made it easier for you by paring it down to just a few (a very very few) of our favorites.

Today, we’re starting with a category so many parents ask us about, so take a look at our sleighful of smart picks for kids of all ages on your shopping list, from toddlers through teens. But don’t be surprised if you want to jump in on the fun too.

Cool Mom Picks readers save 10% at Fat Brain Toys by entering discount code ND-5626 at checkout on all purchases through 12/15/15. Whoo! 

Best Educational toys for kids: Tobbles stacking toy

Best educational toys for babies and toddlers:
Tobbles

When it comes to toddler learning, we’re a fan of tactile toys over screens. Babies need to grasp, clutch, stack, and figure out how the world works through trial and error. That’s why we love the brand new Tobbles which we think will be a hit with a lot of new parents. It’s a modern twist on the traditional stacking toy for toddlers, with wibbly, wobbly, colorful  shapes that teach kids about balance and helps strengthen motor skills. It actually happens to be made by Fat Brain’s sister company, Fat Brain Toy Company, which manufactures some of other favorite building toys for kids like Dado Squares and Twig, so we know this one will be awesome too.

 

Best

Best educational toys for toddlers:
Petit Collage alphabet flash cards

Amazing educational toys for kids don’t always have to be high-tech! We absolutely love these beautifully designed alphabet flash cards by one of our favorite designers, Lorena Siminovich of Petit Collage, to help toddlers learn their letters. Use them as story starters or spread them out from A to Z before little hands mix them all up again. Repeat 10,000 times. Or, you can mount them to a wall at eye-level for your toddler in a playroom or bedroom. They’re pretty enough to serve as decor, and there aren’t a lot of toys we can say that about.

 

Best Educational toys for kids: Inchimals math game teaches measuring to preschoolers

Best educational toys for kids 3-5:
Inchimals

Way cooler than a ruler, we absolutely love the colorful Inchimals number blocks which teach kids about measurement using adorably illustrated animals that represent different sizes. It starts with a one-inch block (a ladybug) and goes up to to twelve inches (a giraffe of course) with so many cute creatures in between. We can see our kids stacking the ostrich onto the to see if it’s taller than their LEGO tower, or adding the tree frog to the bunny to see how it compares to the height of the penguin. What we really like though is the wipe-off booklet with 100 puzzles inside that helps families get the most out of this educational toy. Though knowing kids, we think they could create 100 more ideas in a day.

 

Holiday toy gift guide: Tiggly Math is a fantastic educational toy for kids 3-7

Best educational toys for kids 3-7:
Tiggly Math

We are so excited that Fat Brain Toys has just added the awesome new Tiggly Math iPad game (also shown at very top) to their roster! This innovative company has figured out a really smart way to combine the online fun of iPads to the tactile play that’s so essential for kids to really learn, which is why we’ve named their toys to our list of top tech toys for kids each year since they launched in 2013. The squishy manipulatives get kids thinking mathematically while they play one of three high-quality apps that you can download for free to your iPad. It’s a great way to insure that screen time is feeding their brains too. Also be sure to check out Tiggly Words and Tiggly Shapes, which help build other skills in just as engaging ways.

 

Best educational toys for kids: Alphabuild from Kid O

Best educational toys for kids 3-6:
Alphabuild

Interesting shapes and colors come together in this clever Alphabuild Toy by Kid O that helps kids learn their letters by building them with 20 magnetic shapes. After the letters have been built, they can use the different pieces to create pictures, their own mini sculptures. We love educational toys that also flex the creativity muscle.

 

Best educational toys Boogie Board Play-n-Trace eWriter

Best educational toys for kids 3 to 93:
Boogie Board eWriters

The popular and oh-so-cool Boogie Board LCD eWriting tablet is still one of our top toy picks for kids of all ages — in fact, our own tweens are huge fans whether they’re using it to pass notes at home or pass time in the back of the car. Now there’s a brand new junior version specially younger kids called the Boogie Board Play-N-Trace eWriter. It’s easy for kids hang onto as they take it all over the house, and its surface is nice and wide so less steady hands they can practice writing letters, numbers, or just tracing images they place underneath it. Then, with a push of a button, their “canvas” clears, and they can start drawing all over again.

 

Best educational toys for kids S.T.E.M. Puzzle Set

Best educational toys for kids 6-10:
STEM Wooden Puzzle Set

We’ve seen STEM promoted on just about everything lately, but this  aesthetically pleasing, beautifully constructed STEM Puzzle Set really delivers, with four individual puzzles, each one directly related to Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics. This is a great tactile gift for kids who like to use their hands to figure things out. Don’t be surprised if the grownups in the home can’t resist this one either.

 

Best Educational toys for kids at Fat Brain Toys: Root Viewer Planter

Best educational toys for kids 6 -12:
Deluxe Root Viewer Veggie Growing Kit

When we first saw this a while back, we knew our kids would be instantly captivated. Which just proves that even the pickiest eaters will think that veggies are pretty cool when they start growing their own using the the Deluxe Root Viewer Kit. We think it’s pretty cool to show kids how root vegetables grow by seeing them actually forming in the soil — something kids don’t tend to get to see whether they live in an urban apartment or have a garden in their own suburban backyard. Bonus: Maybe seeing the beautiful colors poking through the dirt will entice them to actually eat those carrots and radishes and green onions when they’re through.

 

 

Best Educational toys for kids: Roominate School House

Best educational toys for kids 6 and up:
Roominate Battery-Powered Build Sets

Wow are we all fans of Roominate kits around here, and we’re thrilled to see the new Roominate School House at Fat Brain toys!  This is definitely not your grandmother’s dollhouse; it combines architecture, imaginary play, and beginner electronics, so it will definitely be one your kids play with for a good long time. Perhaps you’ll even hear your kids teaching their dolls how to string lights, or wire the real working fan.  Or, they can switch subjects and focus on math and reading too — it is a school house, after all. But be sure to check out the other Roominate educational building kits for kids including projects like a townhouse,

Cool Mom Picks readers save 10% at Fat Brain Toys by entering discount code ND-5626 at checkout on all purchases through 12/15/15. Whoo! 

 

Educational toys for kids: Edible Chemistry Kit at Fat Brain Toys

Best educational toys for kids 8 and up:
The Edible Chemistry Kit

We love all kinds of chemistry kits for kids for the holidays, because kids are naturally curious about what happens when you combine this one thing with this other thing, so this is a great time to get them really excited about science. The smart-but-fun Edible Chemistry Kit will let kids have a blast trying 16 different experiments with non-toxic food grade ingredients and everything else you need right down to the cups, stirrers and plastic bags. We can imagine our own tweens and teens daring each other to eat their lab results. But kids:  don’t try to do that in regular chemistry class!

 

 

Best educational toys for tweens and teens: Snap Circuits circuitry kits. So fun!

Best educational toys for kids 8 and up:
Snap Circuits Jr

Playing with electricity is safe and fun with Snap Circuits, and the Snap Circuits Jr  31-piece set is a great place to start. And then keep going, considering you can engineer 101 projects including actual electronic gadgets (Flying saucer! Light police siren! Voice-controlled lamp!), or build-your-own electronic games. The colorful, easy-to-follow format of the instruction manual makes circuit assembly stress-free — for both your kids and you. You don’t even need any additional tools. We venture even Edison would be intrigued. If your kids are a little older or more experienced in the world of circuitry, check out the Snap Circuits 300-in-1 set. Whoa.

 

 

 

Best educational toys for kids: OWI 14-in-1 Solar Robot Building Kit

Best educational toys for kids 10 and up:
OWI 14-in-1 Solar Robot Kit

We know, we had you at robot. Because what could be cooler than kids building their own solar-powered robot toy? Well, how about being able to build 14 different robots? That’s what you can do with OWI’s 14-in-1 Solar Robot Kit, which contains 190 pieces that come together to make vehicles or moving creatures that can operate on land or on water. You can even put engineering skills to work with more complex bots like a surf bot or a zombie bot. (Zombie bot! Yes!)  It’s like the best of a building toy, a STEM toy, and a super fun lesson in solar power all in one.

 

 

Best educational toys for kids: Name Chase historical figures edition is an awesome trivia game for the whole family. (Be warned, your kids may beat you!)

Best educational toys for kids 12 and up:
Name Chase Card Game

If you want a fantastic, challenging game for family game night with your older kids, we are dying to give the highly rated Name Chase Card Game: Historical Figures Edition by Geotoys a try. Also known as, “Are You Smarter Than a Seventh Grader?”  This trivia game gives you clues about more than 500 historical figures from politics, literature, pop culture and more. The fewer clues you need to figure out the answer, the more points you get. Kind of like a cross between Trival Pursuit and Name That Tune. And if your kids whoop you at this, well, let’s see if they’ve heard of Name that Tune!

 

 

Best educational toys for kids: Map of the USA made from recycled materials

Best educational toys for kids 12 and up:
Map of the USA Puzzle

Before you’re like, “really? A puzzle?” we think there are a lot of things that make this Map of the USA puzzle so special. First, it’s designed in Seattle and entirely manufactured in the USA using sustainable practices. As for the puzzle itself, well each state is actually its own mini-puzzle! Then you combine all 50 of them to make one large colorful puzzle made up of 850 pieces, for an excellent geography lesson in handy puzzle form. (It will be nice knowing that someone in the family can distinguish between Vermont and New Hampshire, or Alabama and Mississippi.) Think you can get it done before the holiday break is over? A Nice touch: a portion of the proceeds are donated to children’s organizations like Plan International USA and the Worldwide Orphans Foundation.

 

Thank you to our fantastic Holiday Toy Gift Guide sponsor, Fat Brain Toys, for making it easier to find well-vetted, truly wonderful educational toys for kids. 

Cool Mom Picks readers can save 10% at at Fat Brain Toys by entering discount code ND-5626 at checkout. Offer expires 12/15/2015.

 

EXTRA-COOL: WIN IT!

Enter for a chance to win Fat Brain Toys’ $300 Ultimate Holiday GiveawayEvery Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from now through 12/22/15, Fat Brain toys will give away a $300 shopping spree to one lucky winner. That’s a whole lot of winners! Visit the site to register and for full details and official rules. No purchase necessary. One entry per household per day. 19+ to enter. Void where prohibited.

To keep up with all their new product offerings this holiday season, follow them on Facebook at Fat Brain Toys.

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