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Best Educational Toy for a 2 1/2 Year Old?

What is the best educational toy for a 2 1/2 year old? Are those Leap Frog toys worth the money?

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My Daughter is now 5 and has always loved the Leap frog things she has had. She has been reading and writing (loves too) for about 7 months. She loved the talking word factory dvds, all the educational toys. they are well worth the investment! And they last for years.

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You! =-) combined with play-doh, finger paints and block puzzles (numbers, shapes, letters). When I played with my kids I had just as much finger paint & play-doh on me as they did! I wasn’t only totally involved but I was supervising 100% of the time. Plus both my kids LOVED their play kitchens. You can buy everything to go with it. Food, plates, cups, pot, pans, etc. Melissa & Doug have a lot of great play food. Besides a lot of the stuff they can use you already have at home…spoons, Tupperware, measuring cups, etc. Save your food boxes (oatmeal, rice, etc), clean them out and let your kids use them for pretend food. My kids didn't have all a lot of fancy toys & games...a few simple toys plus the great outdoors and they were happy. HAVE FUN!!!!!

1 mom found this helpful

they are..my kids loved them. also go to mindware.com they have great stuff!

1 mom found this helpful

The short answers are: 1) None; 2) No. Two and half year olds do not need "educational" toys, and, arguably, older kids don't either. It's the play itself that they learn from. Two year olds need to examine it (whatever "it" may be), chew on it, finger it, bang it, throw it on the floor, drag it around the house, feed it to the dog, etc. etc. If you watch kids, they have the most fun of all (and are learning the most) when they play with ordinary household items. Turn a 2 year old loose in the cabinet where you keep your pots and pans, and he will be totally occupied for hours (if you can stand it!) Let a two year old run wild in the yard with a hose, and he will be in mud heaven. Give a two year old paper and finger paints, put him down on a tarp, and let him go to town. (You do have to supervise more closely with paints!)

1 mom found this helpful

My pediatrician and parents as teachers educator both said anything that encourages their imagination- a kitchen, tea set, doctor kit, work bench, etc.

You need to look for open ended, durable toys. Blocks, cars, etc. You can also visit my website www.discoverytoyslink.com/gsnyder
Everything Discovery Toys sells is educational and has a lifetime guarantee. We also do home parties and catalog shows if you are interested.

My 2 year old loves the Fridge Phonics. We had gotten it for our 4 yr old for her bday and now both kids know their letters and letter sounds. We never pushed them to play with it, they did it on their own.

I have four children and from ages 1-12, the best toy that we buy over and over is the MagnaDoodle. Each of my children have great fine motor skills, learned their alphabets, shapes and just scribbled for hours. The older kids use it all the time for so many things I can't even begin to tell you. It is the best $10 toy ever!!

I think the leap Frog toys are totally worth it, but you can get them used on CL or at rummage sales. The Leap Frog Fridge Phonics taught my 2 year old the alphabet in under a month - sometimes kids learn better from toys than from moms. Love the musical caterpillar too. My older son played with the Leap Frog steering wheel every single day from 10 months old until around 3 1/2; my younger one is not really into that one. The Fridge Farm is cute and funny. I love the fridge toys since they can play in the kitchen while you make dinner.

I also agree with everything else said except about the Leap Frog toys.

Oh!! Little People Town. Not sure the exact name, but it's a fold-able learning town. My 4 year old and 1 year old play with it side by side. Also, the Little People A to Z zoo is great.

Also, the Melissa and Doug toys. The puzzles, cutting food, everything they make is awesome!

if you want a toy that is fun and has much possibilities get magnatiles. Your son will play with them for a decade easily.
If you want something that will teach him letter sounds and recognition get the Leap Frog Letter Factory DVD
if you want to teach numbers get a set of magnetic numbers for the fridge
But the best thing you can do for him is expose him to as many different things in the world as possible.

Building blocks like wooden blocks, duplos. My kids still play with Wedgets. Bristle blocks. There are so many good sets for construction - Tubations are neat, too, and they can be used for building shapes or creating music.

Music toys - drum, maracas, triangle, tamborine.

Fisher Price Little People Farm - there's a reason it's a classic! At 2.5 my kids didn't get as much out of it as they did a year later, but they played with it (at 3.5, they were doing imaginative character play with it.)

There is nothing wrong with leap frog toys. I personally would not buy them, but my SIL has bought a ton of them for my son. He only likes the ones on for the fridge. Some of the best toys for a 2 1/2 year old are the simple ones. Building Blocks, bubbles, plastic animals, and puzzles. One of my favorites is Wedgits. http://www.wedgits.com I was a nanny for twenty years and let me tell you I had more fun with this toys than a lot of other toys. Melissa and doug have tons of great toys for younger kids. I love Magic Cabin and learning express. Most school supply stores have tons of toys that are educational and fun.

good luck!


My Daughter is now 5 and has always loved the Leap frog things she has had. She has been reading and writing (loves too) for about 7 months. She loved the talking word factory dvds, all the educational toys. they are well worth the investment! And they last for years.

Teh Fridge Phonics were great for both of my boys when they were that age. It was nice for them to be able to be occupied while I was in the kitchen cooking/cleaning- there are a couple different ones and we liked them all.

Lakeshore Learning has a lot of things that are traditionally used at preschools / daycares. Manipulatives, dramatic play, early math concepts such as sorting beanbags by color etc.
When I started staying at home w/my son I got the catalog & coveted it!
As far as the Leap products... I bought those too & the only one he ever played with was the Fridge Farm that he got when he was 1yr old.
All have gone unused.

Happy shopping.


At that age my son was WAY into those laptop computers. He has a Phonics one and a Thomas the train one (made by VTech). He knew his ABCs before his 2nd birthday and I know it was from playing with those. He's almost 4 and still loves to play the educational games on them.

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