Editor’s Choice: 50+ Of The Best Educational Toys & Gifts For 2020 [Updated]

by TeachThought Staff

Ed note: The following links are affiliate links. You can read more about our affiliate policy here, but the general premise is that we receive a very small % of revenue from anything you buy via clicking. If you want to make sure Amazon, for example, receives 100% of any revenue, you can search for the product without using the link.

We worked hard on this list. Though we’re still updating it (with more info, age recommendations, etc.), we tried to collect a wide variety of ‘widgets’ that teachers and parents might find useful when shopping for children. To that end, we’ve got everything from horticulture kits to video games to books to microscopes, engineering kits, and more.

If you’re still shopping for Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, or any other holiday or celebration that involves children, we hope this list is useful. We’ll update it regularly so that you can find value in it not just for the holidays, but anytime throughout the year.

Editor’s Choice: 50 Of The Best Educational Toys & Gifts For 2020

1. 100 Thought Provoking Conversation Starters for Great Parent-Child Relationship Building

2. K’NEX Education: Intro to Structures

With 207 pieces and 13 different models, kids have a variety of ways to experiment with building structures and exploring their creativity.

3. Wildcraft! An Herbal Adventure Game

A cooperative board game that explores healing herbs.

4. IQCREW Microscope & Camera Kit

The upgraded all-metal frame microscope has high-quality optics to make viewing easy for your child and with multiple magnifications, two light sources, and color filters your child can view all types of specimens with this one microscope.

5. Thoughts & Feelings

This card game will aid in teaching children how to express their thoughts and feelings with a variety of issues, including changes within the family, trauma, grief, anger, fears etc.

6. Periodic Table Playing Cards

A double deck of regular playing cards that are designed to not only teach them the Periodic Table of Elements but also multiple languages at once. These cards feature the element in English, Spanish, and French, the atomic number, the category, the mass, the boiling and melting points, period and group, natural state and common usages.

7. GoPro HERO9 Black

8x slow-mo and 5K resolution? This one is a bit pricey, but if you’re buying for a child that will actually use this camera, they can film almost anything, anywhere, for any reason.

Compatible with all GoPro mounts, this high-quality video camera is waterproof, small and lightweight, and is (mostly) user-friendly. Quikcapture mode turns your camera into a one-button camera, too.

7. Osmo – Genius Starter Kit for iPad – 5 Educational Learning Games; Ages 6-10 Math, Spelling, & Creativity

8. LEGO Architecture Skyline Collection 21043 San Francisco Building Kit

9. Art 101

This wood art set comes with 142 pieces to let creativity flow. The wood case conveniently stores every piece in a perfectly organized way.

10. AeroGarden Harvest-Black Indoor Hydroponic Garden

https://amzn.to/37iwBdd

11. Nancy B’s Microscope and Activity Journal

Bring hands-on science experiments to life with this dual-microscope and a twenty-two page journal. The microscope has a light and zoom features.

12. LEGO Super Mario Adventures with Mario Starter Course 71360 Building Kit

13. The Civil War For Kids

Kids can learn about history in an all new way with 21 activities designed to make learning fun.

14. Nintendo Switch

Nintendo’s latest gaming console (Nintendo —> Super Nintendo —> Nintendo 64 —> Nintendo GameCub —> Nintendo Wii —> Nintendo WiiU—> Nintendo Switch), the Nintendo Switch is focused on gaming that can happen anywhere—in the living room or on the go. Nintendo’s systems never have the wide range of games enjoyed by Sony PlayStation or Microsoft’s Xbox, but the quality of the games for these systems is generally high—and less violent, aggressive, and ‘competitive’ than other systems, too.

We’ve linked to the version of the Switch with the uber-popular Animal Crossing but any version of the Switch will work. (Note, there are two versions of the Nintendo Switch–the standard version shown in the image and the ‘Lite’ version which is less expensive but among other changes, cannot be played on television and is used as a handheld device only.

You can read more: What’s The Difference Between The Nintendo Switch And Switch Lite?

15. Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Nintendo Switch game)

16. Mastermind for Kids – Codebreaking Game With Three Levels of Play

17. Spirograph

Inspired by the original 1965 Spirograph, this set is sure to entertain for years. With Spirograph’s interlocking wheels and gears, anyone can draw beautifully intricate designs

18. Holy Stone HS210 Mini Drone RC Nano Quadcopter

This is a great drone for beginners we’ve flown for dozens of hours ourselves. With three batteries, you can fly for around 20 minutes. And with a rugged design, it can withstand a decent amount of abuse before breaking (at least in our experience).

19. Same Here Sun by Silas House

In this extraordinary novel in letters, an Indian immigrant girl in New York City and a Kentucky coal miner’s son find strength and perspective by sharing their true selves across the miles.

20. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl 

Roald captured a world that captured the imagination of millions, and a boy who captured their hearts.

21. Mini-Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre

Start a mini-farm on a quarter acre or less, provide 85 percent of the food for a family of four, and earn an income. Mini Farming describes a holistic approach to small-area farming that will show you how to produce 85 percent of an average family’s food on just a quarter acre.

22. Ourlife Kids Camera, Selfie Waterproof Action Camera

23. Toysmith Euler’s Disk

24. Melissa & Doug Deluxe Standing Easel

Multi-use easel to inspire painting, drawing, and countless ways to play creatively.

25. The Way Things Work Now by David Macaulay

Macaulay updates the bestseller, “The Way Things Work” to capture the latest developments and technology trends that most impact our lives.

26. National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of the World

Help kids explore the world. Packed with more than 100 colorful photos and activities to get them exploring and thinking, this book is sure to spike curiosity. 

27. Bug Catcher & Viewer

Easy to use design helps kids of all ages explore the earth and insects around them.

28. PLUSINNO Kids Portable Telescopic Fishing Rod

29. Shrimp Bubble Aquatic Ecosystem

Self-sustaining, semi-closed bubble ecosystem comes pre-assembled and ready for live marine shrimp.

30. Guidecraft Arts and Crafts Center: Kids Activity Table and Drawing Desk with Stools, Storage Bins & More

31. VTech KidiBeats Drum Set

Learning drum set has three drum pads and cymbal each with its own unique sound for sensory development.

32. 4M Green Creativity Pressed Flower Art Kit

33. Pirate Navigation

Fully functioning, 6” brass telescope with a wooden box!

34. Code and Go Robot Mouse Activity Set

This set turns coding into a hands-on analog activity for tactile and visual learners.

35. Osmo – Detective Agency: Solve Global Mysteries (Ages 5-12)

36. Melissa and Doug Suspend Family Game

An exciting balance game, fun for the whole family that will have everyone “hanging” on the edge of their seats.

37. Gravity Maze

A marble run and logic game all in one. With 60 challenges, there is sure to be hours of fun.

38. Minecraft Stop-Motion Animation Studio

Bring the Minecraft world into your own. Create in a whole new way with a smartphone app and your imagination.

39. Chain Reactions

Build 10 different moving machines with LEGO.

40. Magnifying Glass

Suitable for everyone on your Christmas list, this large magnifying glass can bring illuminated clarity to any project, lesson, or reading material.

41. The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game

This game can help with learning colors, matching skills, and fine-motor skills. The first to collect 5 acorns wins!

42. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

A popular choice got young male readers, follow the adventures of Greg Heffley from Kinney’s imagination. This time, Greg goes electronic free and tries the “old school” life.

43. Minecraft Story Mode

Take Minecraft to a whole new level with a story that you create.

44. National Geographic Geodes

Complete with a learning guide and 10 different rocks to break open, this kit will be sure to inspire the scientist within.

45. Kids First Science Laboratory

This kit comes with 24 tools and 10 illustrated learning cards to help your little scientist discover the world around them.

46. The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen

Deborah helps kids turn frowns upside down in this rhyming bestseller.

47.  Little Kids First Big Book of Space

National Geographic helps kids explore space in a colorfully illustrated and fun way.

49. Snap Circuits Jr.

Help kids explore electronics with over 100 projects to create.

50. Magic Science

Let children discover the magic of science with their own at-home chemistry set.