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Inspiration: The Best Educational Toys to Help Prepare Children for Nursery and School 

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Starting school or introducing your little ones to a nursery based environment for the first time may seem somewhat of a daunting experience (for both of you).

Help to make this milestone event a memorable occasion, for all the right reasons, by supporting young learners with inspiring, educational toys that will help prepare them in the run up to their school years and way beyond.

Read on to discover our top toy picks for young Einsteins and mini masterminds, and open up a wonderful world of play based learning that spells fun for all.  

Playtime Paradise

Noah’s shape sorter is a wonderful early years toy that will help to support little ones sensory, fine motor and dexterity skills as well as teaching them all about the different animals. This delightful, plastic free toy is made from solid wood and comes complete with a carry handle for on the go imaginary play adventures. 

And how about this adorable sensory shape sorter. Painted in bright primary shades, this award winning toy promotes colour and shape recognition in a fun and stimulating way. Comprising nine unique shapes, each with a sensory activity to discover, it is sure to entertain and educate young learners. 


These ABC Wooden Blocks are just the ticket for introducing little ones to the letters of the alphabet.  Each chunky wooden play piece features a sweet, hand printed design on each face, including a letter and numbered illustrations. All decorated in pretty, colourful hues. A great multi tasker for learning based activities, youngsters will adore building the blocks high and watching them tumble back down again.  


A book always makes a lovely educational gift to treasure and we can’t think of a sweeter example than this gorgeous counting book. Recommended for 12 months+, it would make a really thoughtful first birthday present. Highly durable, thanks to the natural rubberwood materials, it will withstand rough play. Each page is beautifully illustrated with the numbers 1 to 10 accompanied by cheerful images in a nature theme. All bound together with hand sewn, decorative felt leaves. 


Next up, take a look at this classic mega building blocks set. With no less than 60 wooden play pieces, decorated in a mix of pretty pastels and cheerful brights, this timeless toy is a real whopper! Unlimited adventures await as little creators set about building their own mini masterpieces, from toy towns to towering buildings and bridges - the sky's the limit. There's even a handy cotton storage bag included for easy storage and tidy up. Now that’s what we call fun at its finest. 


How about setting up a mini school scene where little ones will love playing the different roles of teacher and student. Great for immersive play with an educational twist, all you need are a few props and the classroom awaits! This stunning table and chairs set is just the ticket for tiny pupils. The perfect spot for crafting, drawing, reading and role play fun! Its timeless design is full of charm and will ensure it looks right at home in any playroom or kids space. A real heirloom piece, built to withstand the test of time. 


Learning and honing vital communication skills is one of the key developmental areas in early childhood. Help to make friends with the Honeybake Tea Set, a sweet role play toy that’s perfect to encourage sharing and social skills. Painted in the prettiest polka dot design, this traditional toy is sure to be a firm favourite with its teacups, saucers, teapot and even a selection of biscuits for dunking. All served on a sturdy wooden tea tray. One lump or two? 


Playing shops is another fantastic role play based scenario that will assist with those all important counting and number recognition skills as well as help to build confidence with numbers. This handsome retro style Cash Register makes for a lovely gift that little shopkeepers will love, for day after day imaginative play. 


That’s all for now. We hope you enjoyed this little read and wish your future scholars many happy years of learning ahead. 


You can shop our beautiful collection of sustainable wooden toys and treasures at our online store. From early learning, traditional dolls houses, classic toys, roleplay and play foods, children’s furniture and more. Our beloved curation is waiting to be discovered, with unique pieces that inspire the magic of childhood, through a lifetime of play. 

Thanks for stopping by. Be sure to stay in the loop on all things Le Toy Van by signing up to our newsletter. Don’t forget to come and say hello over on Instagram too @letoyvantoys.


A little bit about us

We’re Le Toy Van. A big hearted, honest talking family business with a lifelong passion for creating traditional wooden toys.

Georges Le Van, our founder,  created the first ever Le Toy Van toy, our beloved wooden Dolls House, over 25 years ago. 

Our team of talented toy makers design right here in the UK. And, we only partner with ethical manufacturers where every piece is mindfully made, crafted from solid, repurposed wood. Read the full story.