Which electronic learning toys are best?
With so many advances in technology, learning, and toy development, it comes as no surprise that parents are interested in purchasing electronic learning toys for their kids.
Above all else, electronic learning toys are interactive and engaging. They offer a fun, stimulating way to learn new information, whether it’s boosting reading skills or mastering trivia or music games. Most electronic learning toys are designed to “grow” with kids, too, which is why they have a variety of levels and challenges.
To find the right electronic learning toy for your kids, take a look at our guide. We’re covering essential features to compare, plus we’re sharing a few of our favorites at the end. Our top choice, Vector Robot by Anki, is a nifty little robot that is controlled via Alexa and the Cozmo app on compatible iOS and Android devices.
What to know before you buy electronic learning toys
Electronic learning toys clearly mark their intended age range. Still, some parents may wonder whether specific toys are appropriate for their kids. Advanced learners may have already outgrown certain toys for their age, while budding learners may require assistance early on with the same toys.
General vs. targeted learning
General learning toys refer to those that don’t have a specific focus for play. Rather, they help kids develop or learn several skills at the same time. An electronic learning toy like a kids smartwatch, for example, helps them learn to tell time, use devices, and develop fine motor skills.
Targeted learning toys offer a focused approach to a specific skill or skill set. Many STEM toys, such as coding or robotics toys, help kids explore these subjects in-depth through a well-developed assortment of activities or challenges.
Many electronic learning toys are battery-powered, which means they’ll require regular replacement. To offset the cost, many parents invest in a set of rechargeable batteries.
Other electronic learning toys have rechargeable lithium batteries. Charge them when the battery is low to ensure they’re ready for the next play session.
A few electronic learning toys need to be plugged into an outlet. While they don’t require battery replacement or charging, the power cord may limit the play area of the toy.
What to look for in quality electronic learning toys
STEM toys are one of the most popular categories of electronic learning toys. These toys focus on science, technology, engineering, or math themes. Some of the bestselling toys in this group include coding games, circuit boards, and robots.
While they’re a subset of STEM toys, robots are unique and popular enough to warrant their own discussion. These interactive toys are brought to life with electronic and mechanical activities, many of which can be programmed or controlled via an app. Some robots are highly interactive and expressive.
Interactive reading devices
Interactive reading devices are popular among kids who are still developing their reading skills. They teach kids through interactive storybooks, alphabet games, music, or read-along pens. Many interactive reading devices are expandable with interchangeable cartridges for additional stories or games.
Music toys are an incredibly diverse category. They include simple toys like keyboards or music boards or more advanced devices like DJ equipment or digital drum sets. Besides teaching kids music theory, they also aid in pattern recognition and motor control.
How much you can expect to spend on electronic learning toys
Simple electronic learning toys with limited functionality cost between $20-$80. Coding and robotics toys, many of which have many games, activities, and challenges, cost up to $150. High-end options run $200 or more, and mostly include well-developed robotics or coding toys that offer a high level of interactivity.
Electronic learning toys FAQ
How do I know whether my kid has outgrown an electronic learning toy?
A. Boredom is a key indicator of lack of stimulation. Another sign it’s time to upgrade to a more challenging device is when kids progress through games or activities too quickly without mistakes.
What is the best way to clean an electronic toy?
A. Always refer to the user manual regarding surface cleaners, especially for electronic learning toys with touchscreens. Generally speaking, many of these toys can be cleaned with electronic cleaning wipes, preferably those that are nontoxic and kid-safe.
What are the best electronic learning toys to buy?
Top electronic learning toy
Our take: A capable little robot that helps kids have fun while they learn to code.
What we like: Controlled via Alexa or the Cozmo app with iOS and Android devices. Designed with cutting-edge AI and realistic expressions and reactions. Highly durable and provides endless hours of fun.
What we dislike: Pricey, but justifiable considering its high level of engagement.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top electronic learning toy for the money
Our take: A great introductory smartwatch for kids that is feature-rich and highly durable.
What we like: Equipped with educational games, a camera and a voice recorder. Has practical features like a calendar, calculator and stopwatch. Helps younger kids learn how to tell time.
What we dislike: Camera resolution isn’t the best.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
Our take: A robust first laptop for ages 2-4 with a wide variety of role-playing features.
What we like: Has four fun learning modes, including spelling, educational games, messaging, and music. Oversized keys are easy for little fingers to manipulate. Great travel toy.
What we dislike: Volume is a bit loud, even at its lowest setting.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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