Educational Toys for Toddlers

I’m really excited about today’s post! If you saw my Instagram, you know that its sponsored by Moonlite. But honestly, I’m super proud to say that I’m able to work with a brand that I’m so passionate about! I think it’s super cool when my absolute favorite brands want to work with me to promote their products. And this one is so good! This one meaning the Moonlite Storybook Projector. But I’m also gonna talk about some of my other favorite educational toys that Molly has been loving lately.

Moonlite Story Book Projector

First, let’s talk about Moonlite. This thing has absolutely changed the game in my household. Not only has it made bedtime special and magical for Molly, but for Kevin and myself as well. It has also become a tool we use to help keep Molly on the right track all day long. Let me explain.

The very first night we used the Moonlite projector, Molly had an absolute ball! She kept asking, “How does it do that?” And I told her, “Magic!” And ever since that night, we call it “magic.” And honestly it is kind of like magic. I say that because when we use it every night before bed, she is transported into another world! If you saw the video of her on my Instagram post today, you know she giggles and gets so excited with every slide in the story. I can’t even really put into words what this time is like at night, but I will say that it’s creating moments with Molly that I will absolutely never forget! It’s not only magical for her, but It really is magical for me too!

OK let me explain what it is, it’s a small device that you clip to your smart phone, that uses your phones’ flashlight to project images onto a wall or any surface really. But what makes it extra fun is that you use the app that has the stories and plays the cutest sound effects to go along with each story. Molly gets so excited when she sees a ducky in the story and then hears quacking on my phone. We read The Hungry Caterpillar with the Moonlite projector and at the end of the story I flash the projection onto the ceiling and all around her room when the Caterpillar becomes a butterfly. She loves seeing the butterfly flying all over her room. Now whenever an animal comes up in a story, she asks for that animal to fly around her room. Anything from horses to doggies to Mickey Mouse! It’s the cutest thing ever! She’ll say, “The horsey wants to fly!” So stinking adorable!

And this is a perfect product to talk about when sharing my favorite educational toys because it was also named the number one educational toy of 2018 and the winner of the Gold Mom’s Choice Award and Family Choice Award! Love it so much that I got one for my sister to use with her kiddos! I know she’s loving it just as much as we are.


OK what else!? Well she’s at an age where her imagination is really starting to develop. In fact, the other day I witnessed her doing imaginary play for the very first time. It was so fun! So I want to give her things that help encourage her to use that imagination to create things! So we love Bunchems! Have you heard of these things?! The reason I love them so much for her is because she can’t quite put building blocks together yet. Well, she tries but it’s hard for her to put two blocks together. Although she is getting better at it. But with Bunchems, it’s so easy for her to stick the two pieces together and create anything she wants. Right now her favorite things to make are ice cream cones & cookies. Somebody is wishful thinking and craving all her favorite sweets! Ha!

Etch a Sketch

We loooove Etch A Sketch. This is an oldie but goodie! She loves it because she’s be able to create something, watch it magically disappear, and then keep creating! And we love it because it’s perfect to use to keep her busy when we’re on the go. Molly loves to color and draw but paper and crayons don’t exactly travel well. Can you imagine giving your child markers in the car? There would be marker all over your seats and windows! Ha! But I, like many parents, have to bring my kids with me when I’m out running errands or stuck in traffic. And we need something to distract them during those times! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve definitely handed her my phone to play a game many times. But what I love about Etch A Sketch is that it’s just as portable as a phone but limits their screen time. We have a larger one for car rides, and a little one for plane rides. In fact, we just got back from New York and you probably saw Molly playing with the little one on the plane. It’s the perfect thing to throw in a carry-on bag that doesn’t take up that much space and can keep her occupied. There’s a reason it’s been around for years! It’s simply one of the best!


Some of you guys have asked me how I keep my house so clean when I have a toddler and an infant. Well, one of the ways is having her play with toys that don’t make a mess. And as you can see from all the toys on this list so far, none of them really made a mess. AquaDoodle uses water to color instead of markers or crayons. She does get markers and crayons that we confine to the kitchen counter or even in her highchair if she wants to paint. But we can put the AquaDoodle on the floor in the living room and let her go to town! I truly believe, and I’m sure there’s research out there, that kids brains need freedom to create and be creative in order to develop. We’ve been practicing Molly’s letters on the AquaDoodle lately. She can do an L and is kind of starting to understand how to draw an M for Molly. But she definitely has a ways to go. She is only two after all 😉

Anyways guys, those are just a few of my favorites that I wanted to share on the blog with you today! Let me know what you think in the comments below and tell me some of your favorite educational toys that you give to your kiddos!


26 Thoughts

26 thoughts on “Educational Toys for Toddlers

  1. When I was young, we had Creative Playthings which were educational toys. I like all the ideas you shared. The catalog, “Country Door” has a pink big big wheel. Molly might like that as well. That catalog has such adorable toys and child furniture. I take notes for when I have Grandchildren!!!!! Maybe check that out. The Muk Luk unicorn child slippers are great for Christmas morning!

  2. My daughter loves bunchems too. Until she got them Tangled in her hair. Luckily I was right there so it wasn’t to bad, but I’ve heard of kids having to cut their hair super short to get them out. I’ve seen the story thing at Target and always thought it looked really cool! I’ll have to look into the etch a Sketch. My daughter loves coloring too, I never thought about that for the car.

    1. Yes! Be careful with the Bunchems! My friend’s daugher got them tangled in her hair and had to cut her hair to get them out.

      1. Bunchems are a nightmare! The school nurse called me after working on my daughter’s hair for an hour after her friends got some stuck in her hair. We had to cut some of her hair off and it was a long, painful process getting the rest of them out. I’m surprised they are still for sale because everyone seems to have a nightmare story with them.

        The story projector sounds amazing though.

  3. You should try out a Boogie Board for her. They are mess-free and super portable, and they allow for more freedom for drawing than an Etch-a-Sketch.

    My daughter loved those Bunchems when she saw them at a friends’ house …. until they were thrown in her super curly and thick hair. It was a nightmare getting them out. We had to cut some, but luckily with her volume of hair the cut sections blended in.

  4. Thank you for posting this! We have kids the same age as yours and I’m always struggling to find toys that our daughter will enjoy. As you find additional toys, please continue to post about them because I will buy them all haha

    One additional suggestion is a Hot Wheels track. My daughter just turned two and I wasn’t sure if she would be able to figure out adding cars to the track and not letting them run into each other, but she got it right away and she absolutely loves it. We just have to be careful that when the cars inevitably run into each other and go flying off the track that they don’t hit our 5 month old 🙂 I guess he’ll just learn some agility that way.

  5. Ali, you are a lifesaver! I am on top of my little family’s gifts but getting stuff for other kids like nieces and nephews it is so difficult for me. You just took a lot of pressure from me, definitely getting the Buchems for the kids.

    1. Beware of the Bunchems! They get stuck in hair very, very easily. Especially girls hair…I’ve seen it first hand and it’s not pretty. They are a very cool toy but just be aware! Just google bunchems and hair and you’ll see what I mean!!

  6. Thank you so much for these ideas! I’ve been really struggling with my daughter who is also 2 and is just not ready to talk yet. The moonlight story projector seems perfect for her! Thank you❤️

  7. Love it! If Molly is into ice cream making (playing) try They have a sensory ice cream set with kinetic sand, icre cream cones and cups that she can make! They have lots of educational toys (pretty cool toys) that go by ages!

  8. Molly is so very smart!!! Can’t say it enough, and she speaks so well! You two are doing a fantastic job as parents😊 Riley is adorable 😊. Love watching your and your husband’s Instagram videos!

  9. I love these! Definitely getting the Moonlite projector for Christmas. Have you ever tried any of the Learning Resources toys with Molly? They have so many fun, educational toys for every age!

  10. So fun! Thanks for sharing these Ali! I’m a Elementary teacher and a momma to a 19.5 month old and I have been looking for some great educational toys for her! So cute!! I was in aw watching the video myself!


  11. Thanks for linking it. Had no idea you could get it at Target! The “magic” is something you can take on the road and have when you need it. Thanks for the idea!

  12. Ali, thank you so much for giving these ideas! I love educational games/activities. I have a couple that I would like to share with you as well! My first are books, the brand is called Usborne . There are sooo many great options out there. My favorite is the all better book. You take a bandaid (the book give it to you) and on each page you put the bandaid on the hurt animals. Please let me know if you are interested in these so I can help you 😊 I also love love the simple wooden blocks. They are a great way for children to use their imagination and who doesn’t love to knock down a huge tower?!

  13. Oh my gosh the moonlight magic is AMAZINGG. I purchased it for my nephews for Christmas (shh don’t tell) and I am actually giddy waiting for them to see it. Such an awesome “toy” that lets you be a part of the story and make memories instead of something they do on their own. Love your blog xoxo

  14. Thanks for this post, Ali, I am totally getting a couple of these things! Been looking for great gift ideas for my 2 yr old from the grandparents. I hadn’t seen the Moonlite projector – fantastic!

  15. We’re thankful for surviving major medical problems in our family. There is nothing better than being surrounded by family and friends who truly care about you. You’re an inspiration Ali ❤️

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