If you're looking for an unforgettable present that will both entertain and educate, we've got you covered, with this comprehensive list of the best educational toys gift ideas.
The best way to stimulate your child's mind in an enjoyable way and get them interested in learning is, of course, by combining it with their favourite play material.
But with such an extensive variety of novelties choose from, it can be hard to find a gift that will simultaneously captivate and benefit the child's mental development.
Which is why it is so important to find a toy that will nurture the child's growth, bring out their creativity and keep them busy all at the same time. Keep reading for our top picks!
1. APITOR Superbot Robot
STEM, an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, describes a set of skills which are invaluable to developing the minds of our kids as the adult generations of the future.
Educational toys which employ STEM are an excellent investment in a child’s future. The APITOR Super Robot is one such toy. It’s a programmable mini robot which can be built from 400+ pieces from easy-to-follow directions.
Once assembled and programmed, the robot can be controlled by a smartphone using the free app available on iTunes and Google Play.
The bot can be assembled in 18 different ways and is compatible with most building block brands such as Lego.
This means it can be used to create even bigger designs and characters or vehicles, all able to be controlled and programmed to take directions such as following lines, avoiding obstacles and playing games with friends’ robots. The app supplies heaps of online resources and lessons.
2. Buoyant Forces
Engino has produced a brilliant and educational Multi-Level Learning System of learning called Buoyant Forces, which develops a child’s STEM skills as they create four different buoyancy models including a submarine and a Polynesian boat.
STEAM skills are Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths.
The kit includes laminated surface panels, building pieces, an extraction tool, Instruction Booklet and Learning Guide.
A free app supplements the kit to assist with learning and to provide online sharing opportunities. The child uses these to firstly build the various buoyancy models by following the instructions supplied.
After completing that stage, they are taught how to draw their own designs for new models to be made out of the plastic skins in the kit.
By adding their own water bottle they then get to test their models’ buoyancy in water, using various techniques, to experiment with the theories around buoyancy, writing notes and making observations.
And finally, there’s an online quiz to test their knowledge about buoyancy and to teach them some exciting new facts.
3. 4M Magnetic Levitation Train
With all parts included, the 4M Build Your Own Magnetic Levitation Train is an exciting and educational toy to add to your child’s collection.
The kit is inspired by the Maglev train in Shanghai, the fastest train in the world, which can reach speeds up to 276 miles per hour through the use of magnets alone.
Help your child learn all about magnetic forces and how they’re used to lift and propel this train by building their own.
The kit includes a model train, tracks, and all the magnets required to re-create this engineering wonder. Full and easy-to-follow instructions are also included.
This model will teach your child all about the theory of Magnetic Levitation, where there is no friction due to the opposing forces of the magnets, and therefore a greatly reduced inertia allowing for greatly increased speeds.
Once it’s built the 40cm long train zooms smoothly along its special tracks, delighting the child and making an important educational memory.
4. 3M 6-in-1 Solar Construction Kit
The 6-in-1 Solar Construction Kit from 3M is an educational toy that teaches inquisitive minds all about solar power through building their own solar-powered devices.
In the kit, there’s everything they need to construct six different completely operative toys, all using solar power to function. There is a windmill, a revolving plane, a running puppy, a glider, an airboat and a car.
The 21 parts all snap together and have spring terminals for the wiring. The parts are interchangeable for all six of the models, bit only one model can be made at one time.
Full and detailed diagrammatic instructions make the construction easy for even quite young children (recommended for 8yrs and older). There are no batteries required or used, and no need for any tools or messy glue either.
The solar power can be sourced from either direct sunlight on the supplied solar panel or from a 50W halogen globe.
5. Crystal Growing Experimental Kit
With seven different experiments for growing real crystals, the Crystal Growing Experimental Kit is an excellent educational toy for your child, helping him/her to learn some basics about chemical compounds while having some fun as well.
The kit has all they need to make some really fun experiments with the supplied ingredients to create different colourful crystals for display.
The ingredients include a white crystal compound, a seeding agent and some colourings. By mixing them together in different proportions they can watch different sized, shaped and coloured crystals grow and sparkle in front of their eyes.
A mixing bowl and spoon are included as well as several ring-shaped templates – one large, two medium and four small ones – as the bases for starting the process of growing the crystals.
The kit also has 3 display bases with hexagonal transparent covers – again, one large, two medium and four smaller ones so they’ll have plenty of places to keep, watch and show off their creations.
6. CLIP Circuit Electro Lab Kit
Ideal for the aspiring electrical engineer, the CLIP Electro Lab Kit is an amazing toy with over 80 electrical projects for your child to undertake, including making a doorbell, flashing lights and so much more.
The kit contains 25 parts designed for quick and easy assembly by children aged 7 and over.
A 32-page Instruction Manual contains all that the child will need to make 80 small electrical projects, including basic circuit boards (with both series and parallel circuits), using colour-coded component symbols.
This colour-coded system (which shows the part’s electronic symbol) helps the child to learn how the current travels through the circuit they’ve built.
Each piece has a function, eg switches, speakers, battery packs, lights etc.
The simple clip together system means that the parts easily make multiple combinations with no need for soldering.
4 x AA batteries are required (not included).
7. 4M Kidz Magnet Science Kit
Educational toys are always popular and the 4M Kidz Magnet Science Kit is one which will help your child to understand all about magnets and the science behind them while building toys and playing games.
The kit includes everything they need to create 10 experiments with different magnets, including fishing games, a wand, a magnetic racing car and a magnetic yacht.
In the kit are 2 super power bar magnets, 2 ring magnets, 1 set magnet handle, a magnet fish, a car/boat chassis, 4 wheels, 1 long axle, 1 fishing mast rod and joint, 2 ring magnet joints, metal screw nuts and a roll of thread.
There is also a detailed Assembly Manual as well as Instructions for games.
8. KidzLabs Crystal Mining Kit
Containing a large plaster block (which looks like beach sand or soil) with 8 natural crystals buried deep inside it, the Crystal Mining Kit from Kidzlab is a fun and educational toy for kids aged 7+.
The fun of digging for the crystals with the supplied tool is followed by brushing it off just like a jewel-hunter would. All the crystals are real and look different.
The magnifying glass, also included, is used to study the treasure and then identify it and read about it in the Instructional Guide book.
After that, it can be kept in the special camel pouch or displayed in the museum case with its own transparent cover.
The genuine crystals include rose quartz and tiger’s eye. All are beautiful and will delight any child once dug up, cleaned off and displayed. And learning about them will expand their knowledge of and interest in geology.
9. i-Poster Interactive World Map
Multi-Award winning Taiwanese Best Learning Materials Corp was founded in 1984 and is devoted to developing educational toys and games.
The i-Poster Interactive World Map is one of their recent releases and is a fun way for kids aged 5+ to adults to learn about world geography.
This an interactive talking world ma which is supported by only 3 x AAA batteries – no internet is required.
The large (91.5*68.5*2.5cm) map of the world can be hung on a wall or set on the floor and talks to whoever is playing.
It’s essentially an interactive quiz game with 200+ built-in quizzes to play and 1,000’s of facts about the 92 countries of the world and their cities, landmarks, languages, populations, flags, fun facts and more.
If you ask it to Repeat, it will repeat its last statement, making learning more effective. What better aid to a child studying Geography or simply as a fun way to expand the family’s general knowledge?
10. Bits and Bytes Coding Game
Another STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) educational game is Bits & Bytes Coding game for Kids.
This teaches kids aged 4 – 9 the fundamentals of computer programming – something which will certainly stand them in good stead for their future, whatever that may be, in this increasingly internet-driven world.
Programming is also becoming a required part of primary school curriculum's around the world, so this is an invaluable learning aid because it makes this education fun.
This is a fun card game that’s fun and very easy to play, with vibrant characters and rules which require them to apply basic logical and strategic thinking, as well as problem-solving skills.
It also uses basic programming concepts such as Walls, Bugs, CPU, Grid etc to familiarise them with the terminology early in life.
It can be played by 2 - 4 players so is a fun game for the whole family.
11. The Pocket Rocket
The cheapest pocket bike you'll find in Australia, perfect for teaching your kids about mechanics including maintenance and riding.
Powered by a 49cc, 2 stroke single cylinder air cooled motor, this pocket rocket is automatic and packs a lot of grunt from 0 to the top speed of 45km/h (rated for a 50kg rider).
Suspension is pretty decent considering the price, built out of steel and a single shock. You get a front and rear disc lock for the brakes which wrap around racing tyres.
This mini moto comes with an electric pull starter motor, fold up pedals and a straight exhaust. The handlebars are foldable which reduces your shipping cost dramatically.
While it's more expensive than the other educational toys on this list, it's definitely a present they'll remember for many years to come.
Related: Best Pocket Bikes
12. 4M Green Rocket Model Kit
Teach them how to build their own water rocket using soda bottles and different pressures, perfect for teaching them all about physics.
This green rocket fires up to 25 meters into the air and requires zero technical knowledge.
Related: Best Rocket Gift Ideas
13. ROKR 3D Shotgun Puzzle
Perfect for older children who want to build and fire their own rubber band gun. Teach them how to build the gun using the step by step instructions which takes over 2 hours.
Then get ready for war, with the ability to fire 5 rubber bands in quick succession thanks to the pump action shotgun design.
With range of over 9 meters, there's plenty of target practice to be had with the included 5 targets, and once they're done, be sure to purchase one of the many other ROKR 3D puzzles available.
How To Choose Best Educational Toys?
When it comes to choosing an educational toy, you first need to consider the age of your recipient? Are they old or young enough for the gift you're buying?
We've made it easy by telling you who the product is specifically intended for, however some kids are more mature than others and might want something more technical.
There's a wide range of toys out there to suit every child, and we've just mentioned our top 13 picks, there's many more available on sites such as Yellow Octopus and Amazon.com.au.
Where To Buy Educational Toys?
We like online retailers who offer fast shipping and even offer gift wrapping services, which is perfect if it's a birthday or Christmas gift. Most Australian toy stores offer educational toys, as well as sites such as Amazon, Yellow Octopus and Gifts Australia.
Other stores such as kidsstuff.com.au, discounttoyco, kidzinc and edresources are also goo places to checkout. A personal favourite is also entropy.com.au which offers lots of educational toys.