Tried and tested – these toys are kid-approved for fun and parent-approved for learning.
Toys are about so much more than just pure entertainment. That’s because children have the amazing ability to learn and absorb so much when they’re young. Their growing brains are like little sponges, which means it’s essential they get the chance to develop as they grow (using a variety of different activities, toys and challenges). It’s been said that the best way to learn (no matter how old you are) is when you don’t even realise it’s happening! So we’ve put together this list of some of the best educational toys available for kids of all ages, that can either be bought online or right here in Hong Kong.
Early Learning Centre (ELC): Sensory Discovery Balls
When it comes to educational toys, start your kids off young! The ELC sensory balls are a wonderful way for your babes to experience different textures and sounds. They shake, rattle, and chime and even have a mirror for your young one to stare into and explore their own face. They also encourage your baby to move around when rolled along the floor. Buy from the Hong Kong-based online shop, Baby Central.
Skills developed: Fine motor skills, curiosity, hand and finger dexterity, plus promotes movement.
Infantino: Squeeze and Stack Block Set
Babies can squeeze, teeth, and stack these colourful and squishy learning blocks that come with fun images of numbers and animals. The blocks have a great texture, and the material makes them safe and fun for young babies. They’re also easy to clean, extremely durable and portable. Purchase directly from the Infantino website.
Skills developed: Tactile feedback and memory, hand and finger dexterity, imagination, plus animal, colour and number recognition.
Melissa & Doug: First Play Jigsaw Puzzle Set Safari
Melissa & Doug is known for its durable and high-quality toys for babies and toddlers, and this First Play Jigsaw Puzzle set is no exception. It’s made of large sturdy wood pieces that are safe for little hands and mouths. The colour images of animals are great for your kid’s imagination and coordination, as well as animal and shape recognition. Get your hands on this set from Baby Central.
Skills developed: Shape recognition, colour coordination, eye-hand coordination, hand and finger dexterity, and memory recall.
Quercetti: Fantacolor Junior
The Quercetti Fantacolor Junior transparent pegboard comes with a selection of fun and colourful mosaic images that your child can engage with. Children can use their imagination to come up with their own images or practice colour matching skills to create the images provided. The pegboard also acts as a lid for easy storage and clean up, and can be ordered to Hong Kong from Amazon Global.
Skills developed: Colour recognition, hand and finger dexterity, hand-eye coordination, creativity and fine motor skills.
Orchard Toys: The Bus Stop
The Bus Stop is an award-winning board game that kids just love. The game is a fun way to encourage children’s basic maths skills as they work to move their bus around the board and pick up and drop off passengers at different destinations. It can help to start a conversation about the passengers and where they are going, encouraging your child to talk about maths and use their imagination. It’s available for purchase at the Toys Club, online or at the Ap Lei Chau store.
Skills developed: Numbers, mathematical problem solving, imagination and early critical-thinking.
Orchard Toys: Pizza, Pizza!
This fun and highly engaging board game is great for children aged 4 to 7. Spin the spinner and make a pizza by matching the slices by colour and shape – but not all pizza slices have edible ingredients! Fun to play as a family or between siblings, kids learn shapes and colour recognition and will laugh over the weird and gross pizza toppings that appear. It’s available for purchase at the Toys Club here in Hong Kong, either in-store or online.
Skills developed: Colour, shape and food recognition, and early critical-thinking.
Kids can build their very own fort, play area, or whatever their imagination desires with Trígonos. This family-sized set comes with 79 wood and fabric pieces that can be assembled to create nearly anything. Trígonos products are meant to encourage a variety of skills for kids while using their imaginations, plus, it’s a great opportunity for siblings to work together. Head over to Tree Children’s Lodge here in Hong Kong to pick up a set, or order online.
Skills developed: Geometry, construction, problem-solving, critical thinking, fine-motor skills, imagination and creativity.
Tree Children’s Lodge, Unit A, 18/F, Vulcan House, 21-23 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Faber-Castell: Magic Bean Garden
As kids get older they have expanding interests and are constantly seeking new challenges. Toy companies have stepped up to accept this challenge with some great and unique educational offerings. Faber-Castell created the Magic Bean Garden for science or garden-oriented kids who like hands-on fun. Youngsters can paint and decorate their own pot with provided paints and can even grow personalised messages and images on their own magical beans! Grab yours at the Toys Club.
Skills developed: Basic science, biology, horticulture, creativity and imagination.
Edu Science Electro Challenge
Keep your tweens entertained with this fun but challenging montage of games. With over 125 different science activities (that they can first build themselves), budding engineers can create LED light puzzles, maze challenges, make a flying disk and more. As educational toys go, this one will keep youngsters busy for hours! Available online or in-store at Toys R Us.
Skills developed: Science, logic, planning, critical thinking and problem-solving.
Thinkfun: Laser Maze
ThinkFun’s Laser Maze is a popular and awarding winning toy that inspires awe and intrigue. With over 60 different challenges suitable from beginner to advanced, children must set up a path using mirrors for a laser beam to bounce through and get to the end of the maze. The Laser Maze requires nothing more than a battery to get started and is a toy that kids will find fun and challenging for many years. Thinkfun’s Laser Maze is available for purchase at the Toys Club.
Skills developed: Logic, critical thinking and planning, basic science and problem-solving.
Thames & Kosmos: Genetics And DNA Kit
Preteens and teens need toys too! Fun is still the best way to learn at this age and there are more and more excellent educational toys out there that are now catered to older kids. If your young adult is an aspiring doctor or scientist, they will love the Genetics and DNA Kit by Thames and Kosmos. This kit actually allows your teen to isolate the DNA of a tomato! All while learning about genetic mutations, gene inheritance, and traits. Get yours online or in-store at Toys Club.
Skills developed: Basic science and biology, critical thinking, attention to details, dexterity, fine motor skills.
Engino: STEM Structures Building and Bridges
Engino specialises in making STEM-based educational toys for older kids. Available at Toys Club, the STEM Structure Buildings and Bridges allows kids to build a variety of dynamic and life-like structures with eight different challenges that are great for aspiring engineers and scientists.
Skills developed: Critical thinking and planning, fine motor skills, creativity, problem solving, logic, critical thinking and planning.