Best Educational Programs for Toddlers

Are you looking for a program that will guide you in teaching your toddler or preschooler how to read?

I’ve found the best educational programs for toddlers that you can grab from Amazon & have at your door ASAP.

The links in this post may contain affiliate links. This just means that at no cost to you, if you make a purchase – I’ll make a commission. Read More Here.

Is your toddler starting preschool soon, & you are wondering if he/she will be ready?

It’s a real concern for parents & as a teacher, I know how important education is for kids. Let me help!

My favorite from the list is the 4 Weeks to Read system you can find here.

What age do toddlers start preschool?

A toddler is ages 1-3 – once your toddler hits 4; they are considered a preschooler.

Lots of kids start preschool as early as 2 years old, although it’s usually not a formal preschool & there’s not as much learning going on.

Some schools start preschool at 3 years old. However, Four years old is the typical age for kids to start preschool within a school system.

Is my toddler ready for preschool?

Here’s a list of 5 things that your child should be able to do before entering preschool:

  • Make sure your child is potty trained (the occasional accident will happen – I had them in my classroom as a 2nd grade teacher!)
  • Your child should be able to spend some time alone.
  • It’s important to be able to socialize with other kids.
  • Your child should be able to sit at a desk or table for a decent amount of time.
  • Your child should be able to recognize some letters, shapes, and colors.

Will my child cry when I drop him off at school?

This depends on your child. Some children are used to being at daycare and won’t have a problem switching to a school setting.

If your child has stayed home and it’s the first time, then I would imagine so. It will be hard for them to be away from mommy or daddy for the entire day.

Your child will mostly likely cry at first – they will adjust and they will be okay!

Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is a real thing, especially with young kids who have never been away from their family.

This is why I highly suggest starting at a daycare when children are 3 for just a couple days per week.

It’s good to get their feet wet before really diving in. When I started Jolene in daycare at 3, she struggled. I struggled. Oh man – it was not fun.

It was the first time she wasn’t at home all day long; she would come home and literally BEG me not to take her back!

I actually started to worry that something wasn’t right – but the daycare had a camera system and I checked in regularly!

Skip ahead about four weeks in && she was BEGGING me to go to school!

She ended up loving her daycare, her teachers, and her friends! It just took some time to get used to, as does anything new.

Now, she can’t wait until quarantine is over so she can go see her friends again!

What should my child know by the time she is 4?

There is a ton of information on the internet. One of my favorite articles is over on Grow by WebMD.

They list a whole bunch of milestones your child should know by 4.

Your child should know his/her name and age. This is really important for any child that will be out of the home.

I’ve made sure that Jolene knows my name and her dads name! This was very important to me (just in case!).

You’re child will be completing a ton of activities in preschool – starting this summer would be valuable.

My opinion on YouTube and/or Screen time

Jolene gets as much screen time as she wants.

There it is. I said it. I don’t monitor her screen time. If she wants to sit down and watch her tablet – that’s fine with me.

When she goes into her room for her daily “quiet time” – she watches Youtube.

Honestly, YouTube has taught her so much. She’s in quiet time right now && she just yelled out the entire plot of the show she is watching.

What educational programs for toddlers will help my child be ready academically?

I say academically because these educational programs will help with school work.

The educational programs in this list aren’t going to help your child socialize or behave, two other HUGE factors in doing well in preschool.

Those behaviors will really be heavily dependent on how you’ve run your home before sending them to school.

Don’t want to put that much pressure on you – but it’s true.

Are you looking for some great activities that your toddler or preschooler can do over the summer?

Jessica over at the Primary Parade has a great list of activities (both free and paid!)

Find the best educational programs for toddlers. Ways for toddlers to learn.

4 Weeks to Read | Reading System

What’s included –

  • Lesson Manual
  • 53 full-color books
  • 34 songs (CD and digital)
  • Workbook
  • Flash Cards

Why you should buy it –

This is the program that I use with JJ so naturally it would be at the top of my list of best educational programs for toddlers! It’s packed with stuff to help her learn to read. First, you get the lesson manual that tells you exactly what to say for each mini lesson! This is perfect if you don’t really know how to teach. It also comes with songs for each letter && a cool version of the ABC’s.

The books are PERFECT for preschoolers. They are short and sweet; but super cute and in full color!

Touch and Learn Activity Desk Deluxe | & Expansion pack 

What’s included –

  • Learning Desk
  • Chalkboard
  • Art Station
  • Light-up Display
  • Music player
  • Toy phone
  • Storage

Why you should buy it –

This is a great choice because it’s a desk that your child can work at. They will need to get used to this once they enter into school; so it would be a great idea to practice sitting and working at a desk at home. It’s also a fun place for them to call their own.

Expansion pack (additional cost) includes: Numbers Get Ready for Preschool; Nursery Rhymes; and Animals, Bugs & Critters

Osmo – Little Genius Starter Kit for Ipad

What’s included –

  • 4 ways to learn: ABC’s, Squiggle Magic, Costume party, and Stories

Why you should buy it –

Let me first note that you have to already have an iPad for this system. Of course you can always buy one too, but those are pretty pricey. This kit is awesome though, it’s completely hands on and I’m not entirely sure how it works – but I’m sure I’ll find out soon! I am planning on buying JJ an iPad for her birthday. This won’t be too far behind that!

Testingmom.com || Kindergaten-in-A-Box

What’s included –

  • Math Concepts
  • Thinking & Problem Solving
  • Working Memory
  • Following Directions

Why you should buy it –

This program looks really interesting! They are flash cards – but there are a while bunch of them && over 1500 challenges on more than 250 cards! This would be a great on the go activity as well; you could practice in the car or anywhere! As a teacher, I LOVE that it has the “following directions” cards! This is such an important skill to have before entering into school!

Teach my Preschool | Activity bundle

What’s included –

  • Reading: 10 readers, 60 flashcards and a reward tin
  • Printing: Magic drawing board, Transparencies and print guide
  • Numbers: Matching book, Poster, train flashcards, and foam numbers
  • Math: matching book, double sided poster, foam counters, equation signs and counters

Why you should buy it –

Did you see all that is inside it? That is so many different ways to teach your child! I used the “Teach my Toddler” kit with Jolene and she loved it. It came with puzzles, books, flashcards, and more. She got good use out of it. Jolene does know her letters, colors, and shapes. This is your one stop shop for so much (and it’s more affordable than the others!)

Your Baby Can Learn || Deluxe Kit

What’s included –

  • 11 Your Baby Can Read videos on 5 DVD’s
  • 5 lift-the-flap books
  • 5 sliding word card sets
  • Teaching cards (166 words)
  • 23 milestone cards
  • Digital book
  • Parent instructions

Why you should buy it –

Just read the reviews! When I was looking for programs this one stood out to me && then I scrolled down to the reviews! Parents love it! They say that their kids love to watch the videos and they are learning while watching! You can even start these videos as young as 5 months old!

LeapFrog LeapPad || Ultimate Ready for School Tablet

What’s included –

  • 100$ worth of school readiness apps
  • Reading, music, problem solving, and creativity apps
  • Kid safe tablet

Why you should buy it –

This one has “just for me” learning technology, which means it will adapt to your child’s needs! That’s HUGE! The tablet has a 7-inch screen and can be used for other websites as well (all at your discretion!). It’s completely kid friendly and kid “tough”.  Which means it can take a beating. If I wasn’t planning on buying Jolene an iPad – I’d be getting her this (it’s more affordable!).

LeapFrog LeapStart 3D || Interactive Learning System

What’s included –

  • LeapPad Book with stylus
  • Sampler Book

Why you should buy it –

This is another product that I’ve purchased for Jolene && she loves. You’ll have to buy the books that go along with it. There are more than 25, but they are each sold separately. The prices aren’t too bad && you can start with a couple books and get more for holidays or birthdays. It’s really cool because there is a 3D image that pops up in a little screen; Jolene gets so excited when this happens! It’s great for learning because it has different learning books (numbers, letters, math, vocabulary, ect).

#1 My pick of the educational programs for toddlers

ABC Mouse || Early Learning Academy

This is my number top pick from this list of top educational programs for toddlers!

Why you should subscribe – ABC Mouse is an online app that your child can play on the computer, tablet, or phone. I’ve paid for a full year for Jolene && she plays it almost every day. She’ll ask me for my iPad so she can play “ABC Mouse”. There are so many different things to do. First and most importantly, there is a learning path that your child starts. They progress at their own pace.

ABC Mouse is an online app that your child can play on the computer, tablet, or phone. I’ve paid for a full year for Jolene && she plays it almost every day. She’ll ask me for my iPad so she can play “ABC Mouse”. There are so many different things to do. First and most importantly, there is a learning path that your child starts. They progress at their own pace.

While on the learning path, your child earns “tickets” that can be redeemed to decorate his/her virtual room, hamster cage, or take care of the fish tank. It’s pretty cool to see a reward system put into place – that way they are learning and earning for their hard work!

ABC Mouse has a whole bunch of other features; I can’t even begin to name them all. You can try it for free (always the best part!)

Get 30 Days Free of ABCmouse.com!

BONUS: Free Educational Program for toddlers!

Khan Academy Kids – I couldn’t wrap up my list of educational programs for toddlers without seeing if Khan Academy has anything to offer, && they do! I use Khan academy with my 6th graders, so I had to see if they offered anything for toddlers and they do! It’s completely free and you can download the app today to get your preschooler learning ASAP.

Well – about 2600 words later. Let me know which one of these educational programs for toddlers you decided to grab!

Best educational programs for toddlers

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    Mom teaches Mindset – Featured Blogger

    educational programs for toddlers. Learning programs. Education.
    Photo by Tamara

    Meet Tamara. She blogs over at Mamma-Tribe.com. Tamara is from my home state – Texas, and she is a former Elementary teacher just like me! She has 2 kids (3 & 4) whom she is currently homeschooling!

    I am passionate about inspiring others to live and love greatly and be the best Mamma and person they can be. My blog includes lots of motivation, inspiration, educational resources, fun activities, and creative ideas that you can do with your family and I hope my words speak other Moms souls to live a positive passionate life.

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    52 Comments

    1. ashley May 18, 2020 at 10:07 am

      These are some really great learning programs. My daughter just turned 2 and I will definitely look into these for her.

      1. Josephine May 19, 2020 at 8:23 pm

        They will work wonders! 🙂

        1. Surabhi May 21, 2020 at 3:13 am

          These are great especially the learning programs. My 2 year old had a lot of separation anxiety but soon he coped up.

    2. Kristen @ Our Little Home Style May 18, 2020 at 10:49 am

      Great suggestions and information to know when/if your child is ready for preschool. Thank you for sharing these!

    3. Tamara May 18, 2020 at 1:41 pm

      AWWW YAY! I love this article. I plan to share it a lot! Thanks for featuring me. I love all the options you gave and educational resources. Wow you worked hard on this! Great article!!

      1. Josephine May 19, 2020 at 8:23 pm

        Your picture looks AMAZING! 🙂 Thank You!

    4. Jazmin May 18, 2020 at 4:11 pm

      My daughter is supposed to be starting preschool in August, so thanks for the tips!

      1. Josephine May 19, 2020 at 8:23 pm

        I hope it one of these helps! 🙂

    5. Monica May 19, 2020 at 6:45 am

      This is a great resource. I’ll be saving it! My daughter is at this age right now.

      1. Josephine May 19, 2020 at 8:21 pm

        Yes! I hope it helps you!

    6. Shayla Marie May 19, 2020 at 7:56 am

      I would love the kindergarden in a box kit, and the Your Baby Can Learn kit for mine. Those look amazing!

      1. Josephine May 19, 2020 at 8:21 pm

        The cool thing about the K in a box is the price! It’s the most affordable option && it still has amazing learning materials!!

    7. kim May 19, 2020 at 8:42 am

      I love that you included the anxiety paragraph. It’s hard to go from staying home with momma all day and then being dropped off and left. My son cried for a few days. I was looking through the window and it broke my heart. Mom’s, don’t look through the windows. you will regret it.

      1. Josephine May 19, 2020 at 8:20 pm

        Yes! It was heartbreaking leaving JJ at daycare at first. She would scream and cling to me, I had to hand her off && it broke my heart! But after a few weeks, she LOVED it there!

    8. Cyndi Buchanan May 19, 2020 at 11:17 am

      These are great tips. I think it’s important to keep things fun when they are in preschool.

      1. Josephine May 19, 2020 at 8:19 pm

        Yes! Fun, but with some discipline! 🙂

    9. Mimi May 19, 2020 at 1:04 pm

      These sound like amazing tools for parents!

    10. Sarah May 19, 2020 at 1:21 pm

      I’m the same about screen time. My kids get what they want. They’ve learned so much from it.

      1. Josephine May 19, 2020 at 8:19 pm

        Right? They learn a ton from YouTube!

    11. Marta May 19, 2020 at 1:26 pm

      I’m going to share this with my friends with toddlers. It’s such a wealth of information.

      1. Josephine May 19, 2020 at 8:18 pm

        I would love for you to share this with them! I hope it helps!

    12. Ayanna May 19, 2020 at 1:46 pm

      This is great! I wish I had this resource when my girls were younger.

    13. Emily May 19, 2020 at 6:55 pm

      I think one of the biggest things that helped me decide which preschool to send my kids to was talking to parents to see how prepared they felt their kids were for Kindergarten after preschool.

      1. Josephine May 19, 2020 at 8:18 pm

        This is a great way to see if the preschool program is worth it or not!

    14. Tracy @ Cleland Clan May 20, 2020 at 7:04 am

      There are a lot of great resources here. The best thing you can do for your preschooler is read to him or her. There’s just no substitute for an adult reading to a child.

    15. Blair Leggatt May 20, 2020 at 8:13 am

      We had both our kids in preschool. It gave them the opportunity to experience social environment and the structure of a class room so that they were ready for grade school.

    16. Cristina Petrini May 20, 2020 at 8:22 am

      I think kindergarten is important, but I admit that I have never considered pre-school …

    17. Katie May 20, 2020 at 8:25 am

      My son is only one, but I try to read a book or two and sing with him everyday. I’m definitely not ready for preschool. Lol

    18. Patricia Turk May 20, 2020 at 8:51 am

      My youngest started preschool this year. The first 2 weeks were tough with separation anxiety because he had never been in daycare or away from me often. He got over it within a week or 2. Now he is sad he can’t be at preschool 🙁 He’s currently doing ABC Mouse (his idea) and is loving earning the tickets.

    19. Alabi Victoria May 20, 2020 at 9:17 am

      These are really great programs, and huh! The anxiety of whether or not your child will cry if you take him to school is overburden

    20. Monica May 20, 2020 at 10:56 am

      I love that you said “there I said it.” It made me laugh. I go back and forth between caring about screen time and not.

    21. Ashley J Newton May 20, 2020 at 11:01 am

      These are solid tips. It can be hard to navigate this time for our littles and determine if they’re ready.

    22. Samy May 20, 2020 at 11:03 am

      A million thanks for the freebies and the valuable insights!

    23. Lisa Favre May 21, 2020 at 3:00 am

      What a wonderful resource for us because we’re considering pre-school as well! I’m with you on the screentime thing, too – I’ve never been too strict on screentime myself.

    24. twuss May 21, 2020 at 3:23 am

      these are such great ideas! thank you so much for sharing!

    25. Charlotte Jessop May 21, 2020 at 3:40 am

      What a fab article! Thanks for sharing my daughter is 3 in July so we’ve ben thinking about this a lot.

    26. Ina May 21, 2020 at 4:31 am

      Oh wow that’s very valuable. Thanks for sharing!

    27. Harmony, Momma To Go May 21, 2020 at 5:38 am

      My kids are in upper elementary but I remember stressing about those days Oh should i send them to school (yes!) and am I doing educational stuff with them (who cares) plenty of time for that. Do what makes your comfortable and what keeps you and your kid happy!

    28. Jennifer Gainer May 21, 2020 at 6:47 am

      I started preschool at 2 years old because I was the youngest child, it helped with socialization since my siblings were older.

    29. rosemary | a hint of rosemary May 21, 2020 at 10:22 am

      So much valuable information here! My youngest grandchild is just about 2-years-old. Sharing this article with my son and daughter-in-law. Thanks!

    30. Michelle May 21, 2020 at 12:18 pm

      Thanks for all the tips! In our house we love the leapfrog products, they are a nice mix between toy and education.

    31. Megan | The ABC Mom May 21, 2020 at 6:11 pm

      My youngest just started preschool this past fall and she absolutely loved it! Thanks for sharing your tips 🙂

    32. Aliya May 21, 2020 at 8:22 pm

      These are great learning programs. My daughter loves her leapfrog products. But, I’ll definitely look into these also. Thanks, for sharing.

    33. Demetrice Macalma May 22, 2020 at 7:56 am

      This article is great! If it help, you can teach your child to read,
      this video reveals how any child aged 2-9 can quickly learn to read at home:
      https://bit.ly/36nmkge

    34. Anuradha Srinath May 27, 2020 at 8:48 am

      My twins are starting school this September, and this article is really helpful. Thanks for the tips 👌

      1. Josephine May 27, 2020 at 9:03 am

        Your welcome! Mine is starting too! I am super excited for her to start school (that’s the teacher in me!) 🙂

    35. Pinterest Strategies to get Traffic (2020) Mom teaches Mindset June 3, 2020 at 1:17 pm

      […] to see us. We need to be ranked. What I mean by this is – when someone searches for the best educational programs to teach a toddler to read – I want my post to come up on that very first page. Those are people who want to buy […]

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