The concept of using teaching aids to help kids grasp complex ideas is an age-old practice. Teaching aids that simplify math concepts are even more helpful as there’s a general misconception that math is hard and numbers are not for everyone. These days, many math toys are available with varying skill levels for kids of all ages starting from 6 months. These math toys make for perfect gifts to kids as they serve the dual purpose of keeping them engaged in a fun activity for hours and enhancing their skills with numbers. Among the thousands of online options, we’ve picked the ten best math toys for kids based on the age range, design, concept, execution, and ease of usage.
- Different Types of Math Toys for Kids
- Top 10 Best Math Toys for Kids 2023
- 1. Learning Resources MathLink Cubes
- 2. Melissa & Doug Abacus Developmental Toy
- 3. Skoolzy Rainbow Counting Bears With Matching Sorting Cups
- 4. ThinkFun Math Dice Mental Math Game
- 5. CoolToys Monkey Balance Math Game
- 6. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Count & Rumble Piggy Bank
- 7. Learning Resources View-Thru Geometric Solids
- 8. CozyBomB Wooden Number Puzzle
- 9. Skillmatics Educational Game Math Master
- 10. Learning Resources Sum Swamp Game
- Final Thoughts
Different Types of Math Toys for Kids
Different types of math toys are available in the market to cater to the needs of varying age groups. Even in similar age groups, some toys are aimed towards those with learning disabilities, while others are targeted for advanced learning. So how does one go about choosing what kind of math toy to buy for their little ones? To help you narrow down your search, we’ve listed the different factors to consider before purchasing these math toys.
There are a variety of math toys designed to cater to all ages, from babies to teenagers. Usually, different ages are bracketed together to create age ranges like 6 to 36 months, 3 to 5 years, etc. Toy manufacturers always mention this in bright and bold fonts on the toy packs. It’s essential to make sure you follow this recommendation as certain toys might pose a choking hazard with small items included in the package for kids below a certain age.
However, sometimes you can let advanced learners play with toys recommended for a level above, and vice versa for kids who take their time learning and require special attention. In either case, you’re helping your kids learn faster than they would without these STEM-based learning toys.
Math Skill Level
A toy designed for kids in a particular age range might not appeal to all the kids in the said age range. If your kids have already mastered addition and subtraction, a simple activity-based game that helps beginners with addition and subtraction won’t cut it.
Similarly, a complex game of multiple moving parts, geometric equations, etc., designed for 8-year-olds might sometimes be challenging for kids even in the 10-year-old bracket. Assess your kids’ math prowess before choosing a toy, lest you make them dread numbers instead of learning to enjoy them.
Mathematical Concept or Game Design
The same math concept can be explained or learned via various means. For example, addition can be taught with the help of simple direct sums or by using a basic counting numbers game, stacking rings, an abacus, or a board-based activity game. The common theme here is that a singular math concept can be taught in multiple ways.
Some kids are visual learners, while others need action to retain what they’ve learned. Some kids require repetitive exercises before they have thoroughly grasped the concept being taught, yet others just need a simple explanation, and they’ll figure it out. Before you buy a math toy for your kids, understand their learning style and skill level so you can choose games that align with their skills and spark their interest.
Quality and Build
Most math-based toys are usually made of high-grade plastic free of BPA, lead, phthalates, and harmful synthetic dyes. Some are also made of lightweight wood and use water-based natural colors. Although all of them are advertised as durable, easy to use, and easy to clean and store, pay attention to the design and make of the toy to pick the right one.
Make sure that the math toys you buy are safe to play with, do not employ any toxic or harmful substances in the make and design, and have a mark of quality that’s approved by acclaimed international authorities. Sticking to well-known brands is also a good idea. They are known to invest in proper research to develop unique gameplay ideas and concepts designed to boost your kids’ math skills while also keeping an eye out for quality and durability.
Now that we have listed all the necessary pointers about choosing a suitable math toy for your child let’s look at a list of the ten best math toys for kids.
Top 10 Best Math Toys for Kids 2023
This set includes 100 cubes in total in 10 different colors, 2 cm. each in length, width, and height, featuring five geometrical shape cutouts on the sides. The cubes can be snapped together top to bottom and side to side. A good quality zip lock bag is also included in the package for storing the cubes. They’re so lightweight that they float on water, snap together easily, and are sturdy enough to not break with rough usage.
But, how are these blocks different from regular building blocks? Well, it’s the combination of shapes, colors, and the ease of snapping them together that makes them ideal usage for encouraging mathematical learning. You can use these cubes to teach your kids about simple concepts like counting, skip counting, counting to 100, addition with carry-over, or subtraction with borrowing, to name a few.
You can even use these cubes to help your child develop a love for mathematics by deploying them in more imaginative ways. For example, you can help them construct 3D cubes, squares, cubes, square roots, and cube roots, understand place values, and use them to work out different kinds of problems in their math textbooks.
The blocks can also be used as teaching aids for basic ideas like color identification, grouping by color, shape, and numbers, pattern recognition, matching similar cubes, creating new patterns, and as regular building blocks to create enormous and exciting structures. Playing with these cubes improves visual and tactile learning, especially about STEM concepts.
Besides building mathematical skills, these cubes also help your child develop better motor skills, improve their hand-eye coordination, challenge them to think outside the box and keep them occupied for hours. These blocks are perfect for group play activities, homeschooling, classrooms, gifting, and cutting down on your kid’s screen time.
The size and weight of these cubes allows children to assemble and take them apart with ease, and they are especially helpful for visual learners.
The abacus is one of the earliest known calculators made by man, and it was used in ancient times to solve mathematical problems. It’s only fitting that your preschoolers should begin their mathematical journey with a similarly helpful toy. Manufactured by well-known toy brand Melissa & Doug, it is made of a solid hardwood frame, and the design doesn’t have any sharp edges. It’s pretty lightweight, so toddlers can hold it up with ease as they move the beads around. There are ten wires with ten beads on each wire in attractive colors.
Although it’s recommended for ages three and above, there are no loose parts, so you can let kids younger than three use this classic toy. The beads are coated with non-toxic paint, making them completely safe to play with. The construction of the toy is simple, and so is the ease of use.
Use the abacus to introduce your toddlers to simple concepts like counting numbers, addition, and subtraction. It even lends itself well to basic multiplication and helps them understand the commutative property of multiplication with simple visualization. It’s an excellent tool for visual learners who struggle with reading.
Besides encouraging your kids’ mathematical prowess, this abacus from Melissa & Doug also encourages kids to use their logical reasoning skills, promotes dexterity, motor skills, and helps them understand and visualize math concepts with ease. It also helps them approach higher mathematical concepts with confidence.
This colorful toy set is a great way to get your kids interested in mathematical games and activities. The set consists of 60 bears in rainbow colors, 6 cups in matching vibrant colors, one colored die with bears in one of the six rainbow colors featured on each face, one tong for scoping up the bears, and one drawstring storage bag.
The bears can be used to teach children about counting, addition, and subtraction. The coordinating cups can be used to practice sorting by color and color identification. Children may also learn about other geometrical arrangements by stacking the bears, and the cups, in unique shapes and patterns. You can look for some standard patterns for kids online, download the templates, and then help your child create these patterns with the help of the bears.
The basic gameplay involves rolling the die, and based on the color of the bear, picking one up with the help of the tongs and dropping it in the matching cup. Up to six players can play the game by assigning one of the six colors to each player. While these are the standard gameplay rules, your kids can come up with their own unique take on this game or create an entirely different set of rules to make a new game.
This toy set has many loose parts, and parental supervision is advised when toddlers are around. All the pieces are made of durable plastic, free of BPA and phthalates, and coated in non-toxic, bright colors. It is a teaching aid that can be used in classrooms, homeschooling, and group activities for kids.
Color recognition, improved hand-eye coordination, and better motor skills are a few other benefits that this toy set provides. If you want to make the most of this toy, you can download the ‘Activity Guide’ eBook released as a companion to the Rainbow Counting Bears set.
Thinkfun is a brand that enjoys worldwide popularity for its kids’ games. It’s especially well-known for games that encourage STEM learning, build math and logical reasoning skills, and also happen to be equally fun for adults as they are for the kids. The ‘Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research’ has deemed this game a helpful teaching aid for elementary mathematics, and it’s used in classrooms across the United States.
This particular Math Dice game is simple enough with the pack containing very few items – five dice, a storage bag, and a lesson booklet – that’s it! Two of these dice are for the target, while the other three are used for scoring. The game booklet contains clear instructions about the rules and is easy to follow for kids 8-years and above. It also contains helpful equations for different numbers, so kids have some examples, to begin with.
This is a multiplayer game that can be used to teach kids about various properties of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and powers and exponents. The goal is to get close to the number displayed on the 12-sided dice by creating equations. Using all the colored dice available to write the equation is ideal for progressing in the game. The first person to create the equation wins the round and moves ahead on the board.
Players can even create new and exciting ways of advancing in the game by making up new rules, like limiting the equations to multiplications only or the compulsory use of one exponent.
You’ll find that children will start creating more complex equations with time, incorporating different mathematical properties to arrive at the correct number. If, at first, they limit themselves to using only two dice, let them be. Teachers have observed that kids challenge themselves to improve their gameplay overtime when they gain confidence in their skills, especially through repetition. It leads to faster mental mathematics and counting.
The game comes in three different iterations; this one is for kids above eight years and adults. The other two variations cater to kids in the 4-6 age groups, with ThinkFun Math Dice Chase and ThinkFun Math Dice Junior. This compact math skill game would be a fantastic option for a Christmas stocking stuffer.
This is a 65-piece set that comes in a large storage box. It has a monkey-balance scale that can be affixed to a base and one pan in each of the monkey’s hands to place the numbers and miniature monkeys in. There are 19 tiny monkeys in attractive colors and 30 colorful double-sided cards printed with numbers and equations that need to be realized using the scales, monkeys, and numbers. An instruction booklet is also included in the box to help with different levels of gameplay.
Setting up the game is easy. Just affix the scale and then arrange the cards according to the skill level of the participants. It has three skill levels, counting for beginners and simple to complex equations for advanced math gameplay. For preschoolers, counting out the number of monkeys on the card and picking out the correct number from the set is the goal. Balancing these on either side of the scale is another step.
This game has a lot of small parts and requires adult supervision while playing. All the pieces are made of high-quality plastic free of lead, BPA, and phthalates. The box provided is quite durable and doubles up as storage for the various pieces.
Besides basic counting, this game also improves kids’ memory by promoting number retention via repeated gameplay. You can fast-track your kid’s math prowess by using this game as a visual aid to teach about counting numbers, addition, subtraction, balancing equations, and repetition. The creative graphics and bright colors attract kids’ attention while the game also helps them improve their motor skills, interactive skills, and keeps them busy for hours.
This piggy bank by Fisher-Price is a straightforward yet creatively designed toy that will help you introduce your toddler to the world of numbers. The central piece is a big pink piggy bank that can count aloud correctly as the coins are dropped in, makes funny sounds, and utters funny phrases when its nose is pressed. Ten large coins in various colors, big enough that small children can’t swallow or get them stuck anywhere, are the perfect size to be picked up with ease, are also included in the package.
As the coins are dropped into the piggy bank, the piggy counts the numbers aloud. The repetitive sounds will ensure that your baby is familiar with numbers and begin to repeat them back. Besides learning about numbers and counting, children will also enjoy identifying the different colors of the coins. As the kids learn to grab and put the coins in the piggy bank, they develop their fine motor skills.
Babies can play with this toy as soon as they’ve learned to sit on their own. The musical notes include 30+ songs, sounds, and educational phrases to keep your baby hooked. The piggy also performs a bumble motion to make your kids laugh and keep their attention for long durations. Music and sound can be turned off, and the volume turned up or down at your convenience.
There are no sharp edges to the piggy, which also doubles up as storage for the coins. Numbers 1-10 are displayed on one side, so your kids can also learn to identify these mathematical symbols. The piggy’s tummy can be opened with ease to retrieve the coins. Fisher-Price is known for making the most durable and long-lasting toys, and this one, with its sturdy build and creative design, reduces wear and tear and can be passed on to siblings and cousins for years and years.
This geometric solids pack contains 14 3D geometric shapes in six bright colors. All the figures are transparent, and there’s a hole at the top if you want to fill in the shapes with water or other contents to conduct volume-based experiments. All the shapes come with tiny stoppers inside that stop the liquids and other materials like rice or grain from falling out when an experiment is in progress. The attractive and bright colors enhance the look of the various shapes and make them irresistible.
These high-grade plastic pieces are made to exact dimensions, with the larger pieces in the set being twice in size to the smaller pieces. This ensures the integrity of all mathematical and geometric calculations and helps kids understand relational geometry fundamentals with 3D figures.
This toy set will help you introduce your kids to geometry and basic geometric concepts with ease. You can demonstrate simple volume-based sums by filling in the smaller-sized shapes with water and then pouring them into the larger ones to balance the sums. Pour the water out and let the figures air-dry once gameplay is over.
Besides geometry, you can also explain concepts like strong foundations by stacking the pieces vertically. Due to the transparent design, these solids fare much better than wooden shapes as it’s easier to compare and contrast volumes in different structures visually.
This toy board is a fantastic creation that helps your preschooler learn numbers, shapes, and colors. The wooden board is about 15” long and comes with wooden numbers from 1-10, ten different geometric shapes and mathematical symbols, and 55 stackable rings, all in ten different colors. Unlike regular brightly colored toys, this toy has a soothing pastel theme that’s very pleasing to the eyes. Dyes used for these colors are non-synthetic, non-toxic, and water-based, and none of the shapes, numbers, or the board have any sharp edges. The wooden puzzle board also sports 10 bars to stack the rings.
This toy has many small parts, and adult supervision is strongly recommended when toddlers below the age of three are playing with it. This toy can be used to help your kids learn to count, identify numbers from 1 to 10, learn the names of a few shapes like circle, square, triangle, and math symbols like plus and minus. You can also teach them about stacking, counting rings, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
The sturdy wooden puzzle board can hold all the moving parts in one place when you need to put them away. This box is also beautifully designed with bright pastel colors and adds to the attractiveness of the toy.
Puzzle boards for numbers, shapes, and letters are age-old creations used to introduce kids to numbers, letters, shapes, and colors. Several such boards are available online, but this particular set stands apart from the crowd due to the compact design, sturdy and durable build, quality of wood and dyes used, and the unique color scheme that makes it a delight to play with.
Skillmatics’ games are all about enhancing particular skill sets in kids. The Math Master focuses on math skills and isn’t an introductory game. It’s targeted at kids aged 6 to 9 and requires kids to be acquainted with fundamental math concepts like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Once they understand these concepts, this game will polish their skills, encourage mental math problem-solving skills, quick thinking, get them acquainted with factors and multiples, and much more.
This package comes with a couple of components – two pens, a.k.a. The Skilly Billy pens, six activity mats that are printed on both sides, one duster for wiping the mats, and a certificate of achievement that can be filled in with the latest scores, level of expertise, and the name of the player. The certificate is the cherry on top as it encourages your kids to give the game their complete attention and work on their skills.
Each activity mat includes easy-to-understand instructions for different math-based activities. There are a total of 16 activities that can be performed repeatedly. The repetition will result in quicker responses, faster mental calculations, and more creative approaches to problem-solving. The duster provided in the pack does an excellent job of wiping the activity mats clean, so none of the previous games’ numbers are visible.
Children can either play this game by themselves or have fun competing with other kids in finishing a set number of activities. Some kids might find the activities challenging if they’re not accustomed to addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication. But, that shouldn’t discourage you from buying this math set. Play along with them until they get the gist of it. It will enhance their understanding of the math concepts they’re struggling with. Kids above the age of nine can also work at these activities to polish their basic math skills.
Your preschoolers have mastered counting numbers, understanding shapes, and identifying numbers. It’s time for the next step in their mathematical education, addition and subtraction. This is where this multiplayer Sum Swamp board game comes in. It is designed to introduce kids to both these concepts with the help of a story-based game.
The package includes a thick game board that’s 17×12”, four plastic swamp creature toys, two dice displaying numbers from 1-6, and another dice that displays symbols for addition and subtraction. The board is printed with a math puzzle amidst a swamp. The goal of the game is to exit the swamp. Since it’s a multiplayer game, whoever escapes the swamp first wins the game.
As per usual, all the players roll the die and whoever gets the biggest number plays first. Gameplay involves rolling the three dice together and forming a mathematical equation. The biggest number displayed is placed first, then the operation symbol, followed by the smaller number. The player works out the equation and moves ahead, stays at the same place, or moves backward according to the result of the equation.
Other pit stops, shortcuts, odds, evens, and tricks in the game make it more enticing. The instructions leaflet included in the kit makes it very easy to understand the game. The swamp creature toys are markers for kids to play with. Getting to move them forward and backward on the board adds to the fun factor of the game.
The game doesn’t get repetitive as the equations keep changing with the numbers displayed when the dice are rolled. It’s like your kids are working out a book full of addition and subtraction sums without making it feel like studying. This repetitive drill will improve their understanding and speed when attempting sums with single digits. It will also boost their confidence when they move on to multiple-digit numbers as they are now experts at adding and subtracting single integers in an instant. You can also raise the stakes of the game by buying a 12-sided number dice and taking the skill level a notch above the limits of the game.
Whether it’s a simple number counting game for a toddler or a challenging 3D geometry skills game for tweens, using mathematical toys, game boards, and stackable toys makes it easy for you to teach and for your kids to learn fundamental mathematical concepts.
Introducing children to math-based ideas and concepts via toys boosts their confidence in numbers and math and deconstructs complex concepts into simple and enjoyable terms. Math toys demystify math and help your kids become comfortable with STEM concepts. Gift a math toy to help your child become an enthusiastic learner and grow up into a well-rounded individual.