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Play has many levels. Sure, it's great to keep the kids busy and happy, but play is also helping toddlers figure out the world. Toys can help kids make order out of the universe. Stacking toys and puzzles are essential for toddlers, they can also help children with pattern recognition, memory, and both gross and fine motor skills. 

Related: Why Your Family Needs to Puzzle Together

New Toys to Help Toddlers Play and Learn

Recently we got to review the Classic Hardwood Learning Toys Complete Set from Lakeshore. This fun set came with 3 hardwood puzzles. The Color Rings Sorting Board, Sort-A-Shape Activity Board and the I Can Count Puzzle Board. Each board measures about 8 inches and contains 15-24 pieces.

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This well rounded set will help toddlers learn new skills like colors, numbers, motor control and logical thinking while playing with these colorful and fun boards.

My 16 month old loved his new puzzles and even learned a new word this week. He now says "play" whenever he spots them, and play we do! His favorite was the Color Rings Sorting Board. I think because of his young age it was the easiest for him to figure out. He already loves his ring stacker and this board takes that to the next level with the different color rings to sort. At first he loved stacking the rings on any of the pegs, but after playing with it for a little while he started to figure it out a little. This board offers a great way to learn the basic colors for toddlers.

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Shape Sorting for Toddlers

The Sort-A-Shape Activity Board was a little harder for him because of his age but he still enjoying figuring it out and testing out his hand eye coordination. This board includes 16 big wooden shapes, 4 of each color (red, green, blue and yellow) and the board with matching pegs. Toddlers can learn about circles, triangles, rectangles and squares while exploring sorting and colors at the same time.

The Sort-A-Shape board definitely helps build hand-eye coordination and logical thinking skills. You could practically see the gears turning as he was testing out which shapes went on which pegs, and figuring out how to turn the shapes so they fit on the pegs.

Get a sorting board on Amazon here

The hardest activity board in this set is the I Can Count Puzzle Board. This one is definitely for the older toddler/preschool age. Practice counting from 1-5 with these brightly patterned puzzle pieces. Create fun shapes and learn fractions while putting together this puzzle. This puzzle is on a 8" board with 15 raised painted wooden puzzles pieces.

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Each of these puzzles comes in its own sturdy box for storage. Great for keeping all the pieces together and putting them away when they aren't being used.

We also love this Number Sorting Toy for starting off with math play.


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Need more ideas on what to do with the kids? Be sure to follow our Activities to Do with the Kids board on Pinterest here.

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