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8 Best Learning Toys And Tools For Home Play

Open-ended play is crucial towards your child's physical and mental development. Here are top eight learning tools that'll have your kids engaged and entertained at home.
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Sensory play is a great way to develop a child's physical as well as mental development. Photo Credit: Within & Co
By Seraphina Khoo
September 14, 2021

Kids love to be engaged and entertained and by doing so, their brain muscles also get the exercise it so critically needs. There is a myriad of fabulous learning tools for home play out in the market and most, if not all of them, serve one purpose – to develop your children holistically. The advantages of open-ended play especially for the younger ones are crucial towards their physical and mental development. Here are the top eight learning tools that both you and your little ones will simply love.

The benefits of sensory play are far and wide, and it is critical for early childhood development as it helps your little ones hone their hand-eye coordination as well as fine motor skills. However, sensory play involves materials like coloured pasta, beads, coloured rice, slime, play dough – basically everything that’s a cleaning nightmare for mums. Enter WITHIN & CO, with their versatile vegan leather mats are perfect for sensory play and keeps all kinds of messes at bay! The Original WITHIN Signature MatTray™ is uniquely-designed such that that the sides of the mat can be snapped up using button studs during play or mealtimes. It is functional and wipes clean easily. These mats blend well with the aesthetics of your home with its Japanese minimalistic style so that you don’t need to keep them away after each use. WITHIN mats help you spend less time cleaning up the big messes and enables you to focus on what’s more important, bonding time with your little ones.

Price: S$45 to S$205. Available here.

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Enstories was founded by two mums who crossed paths in their motherhood journey. They shared their love for wooden toys and how open-ended play has changed the perspective of learning for their little ones. Their products are made of beech wood because it is a wood source that can replenish and sustain itself. Known for its hardiness, wear-resistance, and outstanding bending capabilities, beech wood is a perfect non-toxic material for wooden toys. Have your kids play alongside with you as you work with the super adorable Work-from-Home Play Set or have them pamper you with the Professional Hairstyling VIP Set. Budding chefs will definitely love the Nordic Toy Kitchen Appliances Bundle of Four Set. They’ve just launched the Modleplay Play Gym sets that are handmade in Malaysia and boasts dreamy pastel colours!

Price: S$3.90 to S$619. Available here.

Play From Home features sensory kits that cultivate talent through play and is the brainchild of two mums who are passionate about curating play-focused activities for little ones. Their curated play boxes come in different themes for pre-schoolers to play and discover. These boxes create the perfect opportunity for you to have some one-on-one time with your kids. All the dough is handmade and the colour for their pasta/rice/chickpeas are made with food-grade ingredients that are taste-safe as well as non-toxic. They’ve also an adorable range of party favours and sibling boxes that are great for sharing! Their Make Words With Mouse kit features mini alphabet pasta and comes with a book so you can read with your child and sound out key words before carrying out the activity. Check out their latest Unicorn Beads and Poppers set that’s great for kids ages three to seven. There’s also an Oceanic Animals and Waterbeads set too!

 Price: S$4.90 to S$49.90. Available here.

Yonder is the brainchild of a clinical psychologist and now stay-home mama, Rachel, who curated and created products that not only look good, but more importantly help to foster your little one’s innate curiosities and support their development. Yonder Originals feature products that are proudly made in Singapore given a local twist to make them more relevant to the local context. Their Feelings poster helps you to teach kids to recognise their own emotions and build their emotional literacy. It is also a great way to create conversations about feelings with them. This inclusive poster illustrates 12 common feelings and is drawn with simple faces and clear expressions so that the younger ones can easily identify them. Bring the wonders of nature into your home with Yonder’s Wild in the City poster. It showcases cheery yet simple illustrations of some of the most iconic local wildlife here in Singapore. There are also free printables designed by Rachel on calm down strategies and emotional awareness available on their website.

Price: S$32.90. Available here.

This play-based learning toy store was founded by two sisters and feature Journey Toys that aimed at inspiring children to imagine, dream, and create their own stories. The designs are rooted in stories, defined by versatility, enhanced by your imagination. Their journeyscapes™️ playhouse is a versatile and gender-neutral pretend play house that gives kids the space to imagine, story-tell, and learn. Made of high-quality birch plywood, these furniture pieces can be used interchangeably across the entire playhouse to create different scenarios and settings. Support your little ones’ learning with their handmade chalkboard writing discs that come in a set of 10 with one dust-free chalk included. These versatile teaching tools lets you write and erase over and over again. Teach your kids numbers and Math, the alphabet, spelling, Science and more! With the Space Life wooden toys and playmat, you can also introduce your little tikes to everything about space.

Price: S$22 to S$160. Available here.

Kathy’s Cove is a treasure trove waiting to be discovered with their natural and sustainable furniture and open-ended toys lovingly designed in Singapore. The company was born out of the desire to create sustainable and environmentally friendly furniture, homeware and children’s toys that last for generations. Their ever-popular dollhouse is a huge hit among little girls and the adorable Noah’s Barn and Farmyard is just perfect for animal lovers. We cannot resist the Afternoon Tea and Snacks Cart Trolley that can be wheeled around during pretend play. Take a look also at their range of rattan furniture like the Crafts Cart that encourages kids to organise their stationery and art materials.

Price: S$29.90 to S$299.00. Available here.

Dough N Me handcrafts fresh and toxic-free doughs to bring children on a sensory exploration journey. Their fun-packed kits are sure to ignite imagination and stimulate senses. Each box comes with these kid-safe doughs plus accessories like cutters, stampers, rollers and some even have English books as well as Chinese audio books! They also stock dough play mats that are easy to keep and wash after dough play. We are intrigued by the Audio Bilingual Human Body Book and Dough Learning Bundle which offers a one-of-a-kind compendium of facts and information about our body specially designed for young children to understand. This bilingual audio book contains more than an hour of audio sound bytes depicting the words of every illustration as well as an interesting question and answer section on every page. What’s more, the book comes with USB charging so batteries are not required!

Price: S$5.70 to S$69.70. Available here.

Wooden Joy creates safe and educational toys for little bubs and tots. From rattle toys and teethers to alphabet and number blocks, 3D puzzles, and even a walker that doubles as a mini cart, Wooden Joy has them all. They believe in the philosophy that less is more when it comes to their products – less colour and less complexity equates to more imagination. Just for babies, the Baby Rattle/Teether Set is a popular choice. It’s made of solid wood and no paint is applied. It’s silky smooth to the touch, safe for babies to grasp, and even to chew on. The walker is great for tots and is handmade with solid natural wood. It allows toddlers to learn to walk naturally and encourages independent play. You can also add on blocks to curate a whole different play scenario. For older kids, there are also challenging 3D puzzles to engage them.

Price: S$19.90 to S$159. Available here.