As parents, we often create negative associations between kids and electronics - games, TV, screentime, oh my! The truth is, electronics can also have a very positive impact on children's growing minds when they are used properly. There are plenty of nifty electronic toys on the market that are designed specifically to make learning fun. These are some of the best you'll find for a variety of different age groups.
Best for reading and writing
Both of my kids learned to read on the LeapReader system before they were reading at school. The smart little pen works with specially designed books to help young children learn letter sounds, sound out words, and practice reading comprehension. The books also come with lots of fun games and information on subjects from science to math and beyond.
Build your own fully functional robot!
This STEM robot system from Lego is educational in so many fun ways. Kids can hone problem-solving skills and coordination as they build the robot and his accessories out of legos, and then develop coding skills as they code him to function from the companion app. The kit includes bricks and instructions to build Vernie the Robot, Guitar4000, Frankie the Cat, and an AutoBuilder, along with hundreds of functions that they can code through the app.
Best for babies
Babies love this soft interactive plush puppy. The Laugh & Learn Puppy talks, sings, and interacts with babies with a variety of soft buttons in the ears, feet, hands, and tummy. Great for babies that are just learning to speak, the puppy teaches them words for different parts of the body, as well as colors and songs. Classic kids' songs like "If You're Happy and You Know it" and "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" keep babies entertained well into toddlerhood.
Best for tiny photographers
Here's a great gift for budding little photographers that are always asking to use their parents' cameras. Kids have a blast shooting photos and videos that are actually of decent quality. Over time, they will develop photography and creative skills as they play. The best part? This camera is built for kids so it will weather a bit of rough treatment.
Best for learning letters
Is your preschooler ready to learn their letters? This cool Write and Learn Creative Center is simple to use and understand, so even young toddlers can use it. Kids can practice writing letters and drawing different types of shapes to improve hand-eye coordination.
Best for math
Math lovers rejoice! Here's a fun, interactive way for kids to practice math skills like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. The system offers a variety of different games that kids love to play, but there's a catch. Math activities are integrated into the gameplay so kids learn as they play - the best way to learn!
Best for learning colors
Another great learning toy for babies, this egg carton will keep little ones occupied for hours as they open each egg to reveal its contents. As they play, babies learn to recognize colors and understand basic counting skills. It is simple, but entertaining and effective even for young babies.
Best for app learning and e-books
Limiting kids' screen time is necessary to some extent, but why not make sure that every minute of screen time is spent in the best way possible? Amazon's Fire Kid's Edition gives you absolute control over what your child watches, hears, and plays. Choose from thousands of educational apps, games, e-books, and videos for the best kind of screen time.
Best for little coders
It may look simple, but Wonder Workshop's Dash robot is capable of all sorts of interactive activities! Using companion apps, the robot can be coded to perform a wide variety of commands. Learning how to use and code the Dash robot is an excellent adventure in coding and problem-solving.
Electronic Learning FTW!
Be sure to take a careful look at manufacturer age recommendations for each electronic toy on this list. Some are suitable for babies while others are targeted at older children. This will have a significant bearing on which you decide to buy. My favorite is the LeapFrog LeapReader System for younger kids because I saw first-hand how much this system helped my kids learn to read. It's a fun, comprehensive learning system that includes a variety of subject matter besides just reading.
If you're looking for educational toys for babies, definitely take a look at Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Puppy because it's entertaining and encourages little ones to start speaking. It's also super cute! Older children, on the other hand, will enjoy a more sophisticated playset like the LEGO Boost robot. This is great building and coding fun for kids aged 7 - 12 years.