Learning Through Playtime: Top 10 Critical Thinking Toys

Looking to incorporate some critical thinking toys into your kids’ playtime routine? I’ve found some great options to share with you today.

Learning Through Playtime: Top 10 Critical Thinking Toys

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Why choose critical thinking toys? Critical thinking skills help with real-life problem solving, making connections between ideas, logic, and reasoning. Those skills make a difference in everyday life for all of us, so why not incorporate critical thinking toys into your kids’ playtime?

Here are ten great critical thinking toys to get your kids thinking through playtime.

Top 10 Critical Thinking Toys

1. Magnetic Building Tiles

My kids have loved these Magnetic Building Tiles ever since they received them for Christmas last year. Our local library has a similar, more expensive set of them and both of my kids love experimenting with them each time we go.

This 64-piece set is a little different from the ones we enjoy at the library, but they’re affordable and I know they’re great critical thinking toys all the same.

2. Classic Jenga

Without any bells and whistles, this classic Jenga game promotes strategic thinking and building skills. It’s also tons of fun and a great match for family game night.

No matter how you stack them, these Jenga blocks make great critical thinking toys. Pun intended.

3. Pattern Play

Pattern Play is another great choice of toys that promote critical thinking skills.This set includes 40 pattern blocks, 40 challenge cards, and promotes pattern recognition, strategy, and spatial skills.

Similarly, Melissa and Doug’s Pattern and Blocks Boards promote the same math skills, but provide pattern boards.

4. 3D Pens

Incorporate critical thinking into your art projects with IDO3D Vertical Pens. The ability to draw into the air with these pens is super cool, but it definitely takes some consideration and planning. 
If you’ve got older tweens or teens, the Atmosflare 3D Pen would also be worth considering. It was the first 3D pen we tried and it’s still our favorite.  Either way, these STEAM tools both encourage critical thinking for kids who love to create.

Want to learn more about these 3D pens? Check out my reviews on Atmosflare 3D and IDO3D Vertical.

This List Is On Amazon!

Want to see images while you shop? You’ll find these critical thinking toys — along with some others — waiting for you on Amazon.

5. Brain Teasers

My husband keeps Brain teasers on his office desk and my kids grab them every time we drop by to see him. These puzzles are fun, but also promote problem solving and creative thinking.

Another great thing about these Brain Teasers is that they make great stocking stuffers and small gifts.

6. Snap Circuits

How cool is it that we live in an age where learning about electronics can be fun? A Snap Circuits gives kids the chance to get hands on with electronics and understand them like never before.

This specific Snap Circuits kit promotes STEM and includes instructions for plenty of electronic projects.

7. Marble Run

Get your kids thinking outside the box with a Marble Run kit! This kit promotes critical thinking in several ways because problem solving, geometry, and science skills are all needed to create a successful build.
Aside from the critical thinking aspects, this Marble Run would be great to keep around for rainy days and cold winter months when kids are stuck inside.

8. Zoob Builderz STEM Challenge

The 40 building challenges included with this Zoob BuilderZ STEM Challenge make this one of our favorite critical thinking toys.

Not only does this building kit encourage STEM thinking, it also promotes critical thinking imaginative building and following instructions.

9. Suspend Game

Balance is the name of Melissa and Doug’s Suspend Game. This critical thinking game can be played alone or with friends and family.

This often intense game encourages hand-eye coordination, problem solving, and creative thinking because the weight shifts each time a new rod is added.

10. Mental Blox

Have your kiddos experienced Mental Blox yet? I can’t wait to check this game with my kids. It can be played a couple of ways: giving verbal instructions while the kids recreate a building challenge or by building the structures on the challenge cards.

The game comes with 20 challenge cards and 20 plastic blocks of assorted shapes and colors.

Looking for more gift inspiration? Check out our favorite drawing gifts, Pokemon-inspired gifts, and gifts for creative kids.