The best math toy for preschoolers

From bestreviews.com
By
Ashley Clayton Kay

Children learn through play and they like to be challenged with games. Many preschool math toys have features that encourage children to discover, analyze and solve problems all while having a good time pairing shapes, colors and puzzles together. 

Toys like the Think Fun Zingo Bingo game can teach preschoolers number recognition, order, counting, sorting, comparing and problem-solving. Here’s a guide to the best math toys out there for preschoolers of any age and interest.

What to know before you buy a math toy for preschoolers

What are educational toys?

Educational toys are one of the first ways children get to know abstract concepts in the real world. Toys that teach concepts such as math, critical thinking, reading and language skills are considered educational because they encourage cognitive development. Early education utilizes toys as a way to meet children at their current developmental stage through visual, tactile and other sensory learning processes. 

Preschool math concepts

Knowing what a preschooler is capable of learning will help you decide which toys will be best for them. Children will quickly lose interest in a toy that teaches a concept beyond their development so it’s important to choose a toy that will interest them as well as help them learn math concepts. These concepts can build on one another and include:

  • Number recognition: Learning the names of numbers.
  • Order: Reciting numbers in the correct order.
  • Counting: Understanding the value attached to each number as they count.
  • Sets and Sorting: Creating sets of five or sorting objects by size.
  • Comparing: Looking at two numbers or two sets of objects to compare size, length, amount or value. 
  • Problem Solving: Thinking of ways to find and imagine an answer. If we have one apple but we need three apples, how many more apples do we need? This leads to addition and subtraction.

Math toy for preschoolers features

Appearance

Kids love lots of colors and often will want to explore the different looks and textures of their toys. Since they’re learning their colors alongside other concepts, colorful educational toys are most appealing.

Age level

All kids’ educations toys have a recommended age listed. While this is a guide, there is always wiggle room for your child to play with toys that are a little out of their age level or developmental stage. Pay attention to which age group toys your child likes so that you can make the best decision for their new math toy. 

Safety

While there are opportunities for younger kids to play with educational toys above their age level, it’s very important to check the safety of toys for older preschoolers. Some toys may come with small pieces that can become a choking hazard. Also, keep in mind the other children in your home. While most children of preschool age no longer put small objects in their mouths, younger siblings may be in the vicinity.

Math toy for preschoolers cost

Expect to pay between $15 and $25 for most quality math toy sets for preschoolers. 

Math toy for preschoolers FAQ

What ages are considered preschool?

A. In general, preschool begins at age 3, so finding toys appropriate for ages 2-5 years old is best. Five-year-olds with fall birthdays are still considered preschoolers because they must wait until the following August or September to start kindergarten.

What can I do as a parent to encourage math skills?

A. Be curious and enthusiastic about the different parts of the preschool math game or toy. If you sit down to it with an instructional rather than playful approach, your child may resist joining in or push you away. Later on, bring up concepts learned in the game during other parts of the day.

Which math toy for preschoolers should I get?

Best of the best math toy for preschoolers

Think Fun Zingo 1-2-3 Number Bingo Game: available at Amazon

Our take: Zingo games are described as Bingo “with a zing” and include number bingo as well as sight words.

What we like: Easy to play, minimal set-up and can include up to six players.

What we dislike: May be best for older preschoolers 

Best bang for your buck math toy for preschoolers

Boogem Rainbow Counting Bears: available at Amazon

Our take: There are a lot of rainbow counting bear sets and this one has it all: sorting cups, activity prompts, a board game, a balancing scale and a carrying case.

What we like: Good price for variety of play, bright colors and addresses multiple age-appropriate math concepts.

What we dislike: Many parts and pieces can be hard to keep track of with young children.

Honorable mention math toy for preschoolers

Euclidean Cube Store Wooden Number Puzzle: available at Amazon

Our take: This colorful wooden puzzle uses fine motor, shape and color recognition and math skills by having kids place and stack puzzle pieces.

What we like: A magnet fishing game and puzzle all-in-one.

What we dislike: Many small parts and pieces that could be a choking hazard for younger siblings.

Honorable mention math toy for preschoolers

Nueplay Dinosaur Math Game: available at Amazon

Our take: There are a number of companies that make similar number weight games with monkeys, frogs and pigs, but dinosaurs are always a big favorite among preschoolers across the board.

What we like: Weighted numbers give physical and visual connection to concepts such as deciding which numbers are bigger, smaller or the same.

What we dislike: Small pieces are a choking hazard for younger siblings.

Honorable mention math toy for preschoolers

Lydaz Number Robots Transforming Toy: available at Amazon

Our take: Kids won’t even realize they’re learning numbers and using problem-solving skills while playing with these transforming robots.

What we like: Great price, includes numbers 0-9 and incorporates STEM concepts.

What we dislike: Some parents report that these robots were hard to assemble out of the box. 

Honorable mention math toy for preschoolers

MerryHeart Wooden Math Learning Toy: available at Amazon

Our take: A hands-on numbers and counting tool that allows preschoolers to practice ordering and finding patterns. 

What we like: Inexpensive, Montessori-based and can be used for several years after preschool.

What we dislike: Small pieces are a choking hazard for younger siblings.

Honorable mention math toy for preschoolers

Learning Resources Super Sorting Pie and Counting Cookies: available at Amazon

Our take: The perfect way to incorporate preschool math into kitchen and cooking play. 

What we like: Encourages counting, sorting and fine motor skills.

What we dislike: Pricey, though it is a combination of two educational toys.
 

Ashley Clayton Kay is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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