Best Educational Toys for NYC Kids

3/7/07 - By Anna Fader

Nowadays it seems like every hunk of plastic they sell at a toy store is marked educational. Sure, LeapFrog Toys are probably good and all that (I don't know if they'll teach your kid to read or anything), but what a NYC kid really needs is toys that will teach him to survive and thrive in the City. So Mommy Poppins' intrepid shoppers have gone out to find some of the best educational toys for NYC kids.


NYC Educational Toys: Music for Aardvarks CDs are packed with songs that teach kids what they really need to know about life in New York - taxi etiquette, bagels, going to MoMA - it's like a musical primer for the urban child - and adults will love the songs too.

Everyone knows the classic New York line about how you get to Carnegie Hall - practice, practice, practice. Well get the little one going in style with an adorable Schoenhut Toy Baby Grand Piano.

This Retro NYC Taxi Pedal Car puts a city kid spin on a classic toy. Yeah, the kid can pretend to be a taxi driver, but the educational part comes in when you teach him to haggle over fares, new swear words, and to overcharge out of town teddy bears.

Buildings in NYC are big. They tower over children. So, while NYC kids are exercising their coordination and imagination, they should have Giant Building Blocks - those tiny little wooden ones don't build anything like what your kid knows. With these big building blocks he can experience the same claustrophobia he feels outside, in the comfort of your home.

Every NYC child needs to learn how to "tag." Why not get them started with some Official MTA subway car electric train dummies. They can practise their graffiti on these toys until they're big enough for the real thing.

Recently New York is pretty much a constant construction zone, especially if you live downtown or in Brooklyn. So why not get the kid this 100 Piece Construction Play Set. They can learn what all those big machines do, and maybe even prepare for a future job. Seems like a pretty secure career path right now.

This Wooden Play Kitchen is the perfect toy kitchen for urban toddlers. It's portable for when you get evicted from your rent-controlled classic 6, and it's so small it will prepare the kid for how to cook in their own first NYC kitchen - hey, it's pretty much life size if you live in a studio.


Find more great gift ideas in our NYC Shopping Local Gift Guide and lots of other seasonal fun in our Holiday Guide.