Activity cubes are a good choice for improving your child’s development because they offer a variety of activities to babies and toddlers. They have moving parts that engage your little one and help them practice their fine motor skills. Most are also durable, making it possible to pass down to a sibling later on or another family member.
Below, you’ll find our list of the best activity cube for babies and toddlers in 2021. You’ll also find a handy guide to help you choose an activity cube and information on how we chose the winners.
Best Wooden Activity Cube:
Manhattan Toy Tree Top Activity Center
Best Activity Cube for 1-Year-Old:
Battat Wooden Activity Cube
Best Activity Cube with Bead Maze:
Victostar 10-in-1 with Bead Maze
Best Activity Cube with Sound:
VTech Sort and Discover Activity Cube
Best Wooden Activity Cubes
Manhattan Toy Tree Top Adventure Activity Center
The Manhattan Toy Tree Top Adventure Activity Center is full of motor skill activities to entertain your little one for hours. Unlike the traditional cube design, this is shaped like a tree with the base being a stand and the top being packed with activities.
Some of the activities on this fun center include springy flaps, spinning dials, bead runs, and gliders. Your child can learn shape recognition while they practice their fine motor skills. The Manhattan Toy company recommends this toy for children ages one and older.
The wooden stand is about 22.5″ tall, making it significantly larger than the others listed so far because it sits on top of a base. This also makes it less likely to tip onto your child. In addition to the various activities, this also has detailed graphics and bright colors to keep your child visually engaged. The water-based paint is non-toxic.
Since this is bigger than some of the other cubes, it does require assembly after shipping. It can be a little frustrating to get the screws into place as recommended but they stay sturdy after it’s been assembled.
- Taller than other activity cubes
- Comes on its own stand
- Graphics show good attention to detail
- Loaded with fun activities
- Safety features like rounded edges and non-toxic, water-based paint
Battat – Wooden Activity Cube – Discover Farm Animals Activity Center
The Battat – Wooden Activity Cube – Discover Farm Animals Activity Center has five sides with fun activities for your little one that will introduce them to animal friends. It has durable wood construction with rounded edges and bright colors to engage your little one.
This activity cube is designed for use by children ages 1 and older. Some of the activities include zig-zagging beads up and down, spinning tiles with animal friends, doors that open to reveal animals, and more. With so many different movements, your child gets to explore the world through cause-and-effect.
The Battat company has been around since 1897 and has a reputation for producing high-quality toys. This durable wood block is well worth the price because it will last well beyond the years when your child plays with it. Even the high-quality paint lasts without chipping. It features gender-neutral colors including red, green, blue, and yellow.
If your child is still learning to pull themselves up, you’ll want to stay nearby while they play with this cube. It might tip over on top of them or cause them to fall if they try to use it to support all their weight.
- Made of high-quality wood
- Wood, paint, and moving parts are durable
- Several activities to keep your child entertained
- Makes it easy to learn about different animals
- Comes in gender-neutral colors
See more toys for 1-year-old girls and toys for 1-year-old boys in our gift round-up articles.
Alex Discover My Busy Town Wooden Activity Cube
The Alex Discover My Busy Town Wooden Activity Cube Kids Art and Craft Activity has five interactive sides and bright colors. It was the winner of the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award winner.
Some of the fun activities on this cube are the curvy wires with beads, animals that spin and match, spinning ABC word tiles, and peek-a-boo doors. This is designed for ages one and up. Younger babies are likely to pull themselves up on the cube and may knock it over or pull it on top of themselves.
One thing to note is that the design of this cube has changed over time. There were complaints with the earlier model about sharp edges even though the corners were sanded down but the edges are sanded now as well. This also had a spinning base, however, that was found to have safety issues and it was removed.
- Fun, bright colors
- Plenty of activities
- Many ways to learn, especially with parent interaction
- Updated model has better safety features
- Winner of the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award
- Some safety issues with earlier model, buy the updated one
Country Critters Wooden Activity Play Cube by Hape
The Country Critters Wooden Activity Play Cube by Hape is a little larger and heavier than the other wooden activity cubes mentioned so far, making it less of a tip-over risk for kids who may pull themselves up on it. The cube features fun activities like a shape sorter, wooden ball maze, beaded maze, and more. These all have a fun animal theme.
The ball maze is unique and comes with several wires. Your child sets the ball on them and hits it with a mallet to move them forward and make them drop down. Something to note is that these wires can be bent, which makes it harder for the ball to drop down or stay on the track.
The bright, bold colors make this visually stimulating for your little one. The ball maze also helps them understand gravity and cause-and-effect, while many of the other activities help with recognition and fine motor skills. One nice feature of the shape sorter is a knob that opens a ‘door’ so the shapes can be easily retrieved. Younger kids may have trouble turning this knob.
This toy is recommended for ages 1-6. The rounded edges on this toddler activity cube are nice because your little one won’t get hurt if they fall against it. Additionally, while the paint may chip over time with rough play, it is a water-based non-toxic paint that won’t harm your little one.
- Fun shapes to sort
- Teaches colors, shapes, animals, and more
- Rounded edges to prevent harm
- Made using non-toxic materials
- Slightly larger than other wooden cubes
- Lower tip-over risk
- Paint chips over time
- Can be hard to turn the shape sorter release knob
Best Activity Cubes with Bead Maze
Victostar Round 10-in-1 Activity Cube
The Victostar Activity Cube, 10 in 1 Bead Maze Multipurpose Educational Toy Wood Shape Color Sorter for Kids is loaded with fun activities. Unlike the traditional cube-like design, this has a round base and top with several panels that encourage your child to learn, play, and have fun doing one of ten different activities included in this cube.
In addition to the various panels, the bead maze can be inverted for different types of play. Some of the activities include rainbow gears, shape matching, counting beads, flying chess, a digital clock, animal flip, and more. This also has a fishing function where your child lies down several magnetic fish and tries to catch them. With so many different activities, many children spend hours fixated on this toy.
This toddler activity cube is designed for ages three and older because of the smaller parts. It comes with pieces for the flying chess game and the shapes for the shape sorting are around 1-inch in diameter each. In addition to developing problem-solving skills, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skills, your child can learn to recognize clocks, characters, shapes, and alphanumeric letters and numbers.
This is designed safe for toddlers. The high-quality wood construction is durable and covered in a water-based paint. There is a rounded finish around the entire activity center.
- Unique, rounded design
- More activities than some of the others
- Bead maze can be removed
- Games for older children
- Rounded edges and water-based paint for safety
- Comes with a lot of small pieces and no way to store them
Play22 Activity Cube with Bead Maze – 5 in 1 Baby Activity Cube
The Play22 Activity Cube with Bead Maze – 5 in 1 Baby Activity Cube has five sides and activities like abacus counting beads, sliding shapes, counting numbers, shape sorting, and more. Another unique feature of this toy is the bead maze, which can be completely removed from the top of the cube for play.
The abacus is a great tool for teaching your child about basic addition and subtraction as they enter the toddler years. Additionally, this tool teaches fine motor skills and logic. When you play with your child, you can introduce them to colors, shapes, and basic early vocabulary.
Like most of the other activity cubes mentioned so far, this is ideal for children one year and older. It comes assembled but is a little smaller than some of the others, being 8″ x 8″ x 7″ while many of the other wooden cubes are 12″ in width and length.
The wooden shapes are also a little small, so you’ll want to keep an eye on your toddler while they play. Additionally, the edges and corners of this block could be more rounded.
- Bead maze is removable
- Comes with shape sorter and other fun activities
- Abacus teaches early addition and subtraction
- Great for recognition and learning colors, shapes, and numbers
- Smaller size has some advantages, depends on preference
- Edges are not as rounded as they could be
- Wooden shapes are a little on the small size
EverEarth Garden Activity Cube
The EverEarth Garden Activity Cube. Wood Shape & Color Sorter, Bead Maze & Counting Baby Toy has six sides of fun activities instead of five because of its unique shape and a bead maze on top. It is made using hardwood and painted with a water-based, non-toxic paint making it perfect for babies who are still chewing.
The six-sided design sets this apart because its unique shape makes it less of a tip-over risk if your baby pulls themselves up using it. Each side has a fun activity, including shape sorting, an abacus to practice counting, addition, and subtraction, animal mazes, moving gears, and more. Parents should note that the educational shape sorting does not work traditionally. Instead, there are magnets that attach the shape to different areas of the board. This can be harder for younger kids to figure out.
The smaller shapes and pieces make this ideal for children ages 18 months and older. This cube is the perfect size for your toddler to sit next to it or stand next to it while it’s on a table and play. Its measurements are 15.7″ x 14″ x 15.9″, making it larger than some of the other cubes mentioned. This also comes completely assembled, making it ready for playtime right out of the box.
Something else to note is that the EverEarth Garden company makes toys with sustainable wood and materials, down to the packaging. This is good for parents worried about the footprint of toys. As an added benefit, they plant a tree for every toy that is sold.
- Large-sized cube
- Plenty of fun activities
- More sides than the other cubes
- Lower tip-over risk
- Sustainable wood and materials used
- A tree is planted for every EverEarth Garden toy purchase
- Shape sorter uses magnets instead of traditional holes
Victostar 7-in-1 Activity Cube
The Victostar Activity Cube, 7 in 1 Bead Maze Multipurpose Educational Toy Wood Shape Color Sorter for Kids is designed for kids ages three and up. It is about the size of a football, however, it has several fun activities that aren’t included in some of the other cubes since it is designed for older kids.
One unique feature is the doodle board found on one of the sides, which lets your toddler use a dry erase marker and their imagination to practice writing, draw pictures, and more. There are also two different ‘chess’ games to lay, gears, counting beads, an animal flipboard, and more. Not only does this help your child with their fine motor skills and recognition, but it also encourages logical thinking and problem-solving.
This has a recommendation for children ages three and up because of the small size of some of the parts. The cube has rounded corners to keep children safe and is constructed using high-quality wood, and water-based paint that is both child-safe and environmentally-safe.
In addition to the cube itself, this comes with small pieces for the chess games and a dry erase marker. Something to note is that the top of this cube is removable, which can frustrate some kids while they are playing. There is no way to secure it to the cube.
- Has a doodle board that is perfect for practicing writing and drawing
- Designed for older kids
- Comes with fun games
- Encourages logical thinking and problem solving
- Child-safe and environmentally-safe
- Comes with game pieces and a dry erase marker
- Top of the cube comes off sometimes during play
- A little smaller than some of the other activity cubes
Lewo Wooden Activity Cube
The Lewo Wooden Activity Cube Bead Maze Shapes Sorter Educational Toys for Toddler Kids comes with five different activities. It also has a removable bead maze that can be taken off and stored upside down, making the activity cube more compact for storage. The shapes can also be stored inside which prevents them from going missing.
One activity on this cube that isn’t found on some of the others is the clock. The clock has hours and minutes listed by fives so your child can practice telling time. This also has a magnetic shape sorter, spinning gears, mazes, and more. Playing activities helps with fine motor skills, recognition, and problem-solving.
The Lewo cube does not have edges that are as round as some of the others, however, it does have a softer plastic safeguard. It’s slightly smaller than some of the others, however, the shapes are not too small. This is recommended for children ages one year and older.
- Removable bead maze inverts for easy storage
- Several fun activities for kid
- Can be used to help your child learn how to tell time
- Has plastic safeguard around the edges
- Designed for children ages 1 and older
- A little smaller than some of the others
- Edges could be rounder
Top Bright Activity Cube
This Top Bright Activity Cube is made of plastic but does not have lights or sounds. It has several fun activities for your child and is designed after a cute elephant friend.
Some of the activities on this cube include counting beads, sliding insects, and spinning gears. It also has a bead maze that rotates and a spinning ball that visually stimulates your child. The cute elephant design has rounded edges and is safe for kids to play with.
This is another smaller cube, however, it is recommended for ages 1 year and older. It is constructed using BPA-free, non-toxic plastic. The bead made can be removed, which is nice because this is smaller and either part would make a good travel cube.
- Smooth, rounded edges
- Cute elephant design
- Counting beads, spinning gears, and more activities are included
- Made of non-toxic materials
- Bead maze is removable and spins around
- A little on the small size
Woby Musical Activity Cube Play Center
The Aokesi Educational Musical Activity Cube Play Center features lights, sounds, and fun ways for kids to play. It is recommended for use by ages one and older and features a wide range of musical activities that will delight your toddler.
In addition to the musical feedback that your child gets from pressing buttons, this comes with a microphone that your child can sing into and a fun hammer and drum. They can make the activity cube produce different sounds by hitting different areas with the hammer, pulling or pushing buttons, twisting parts of the cube, and more. A working and removable phone is included so your child can push buttons and learn about numbers and there is a bead maze on top. This also has a side with driving features including a car key, car horn, and steering wheel.
With so many activities on a small cube, your child will easily delight in playing with this for hours. It is perfect for increasing visual and auditory sensory feedback and encourages your child to use their fingers in ways that will improve their fine motor skills. You will need batteries to power this cube.
- 15 different ways to play
- Many working buttons and fun activities
- Great for the child who is interested in music
- Bead maze on top
- Comes with a phone, steering wheel, and more
- Encourages fine motor development
- We couldn’t find any!
Best Activity Cubes with Sound
VTech Sort and Discover Activity Cube
The VTech Sort and Discover Activity Cube is a plastic activity cube that lights up and makes sounds. It is recommended for ages 9 months to 36 months.
This VTech activity cube is smaller than the wooden cubes and perfect for setting down next to your child once they have learned to sit up. It has over 75 sounds, songs, melodies, and phrases that are activated as your child plays with the cube.
There are five different sides and seven types of activities, including piano keys that introduce colors, music, and numbers, electronic panels with numbers, colors, and animals, book pages that can be turned, spinners, sliders, and more. It has many activities that improve hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills while encouraging early learning.
You will need to keep the buttons and pieces clean for them to continue working without sticking. Use a damp cloth to clean them periodically. You’ll also need 2 AA batteries to operate this cube, though it does come with demo batteries.
This cube also has a shape sorting activity. Something to note is that there are stickers on the shapes included for sorting and if your child puts them in their mouth or chews on them, they are likely to come off.
- Many activities for learning fun
- Over 75 songs, words, melodies, and phrases
- Introduces colors, shapes, animals, numbers, and more
- Improves hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills
- Easy to clean
- Stickers will come off shapes if your child chews on them
Style-Carry Baby Activity Cube
The Style-Carry Baby Activity Cube has a unique design because it the panels of the activity come apart and can be reattached to build other structures. It also has working lights and sounds including animal musical sounds, a piano, and more.
Some of the other activities included with this cube include a mirror, gears and beads, an animal clock with working hands, shape matching, and more. The plastic is easy to clean and made using BPA-free non-toxic materials. Another fun element is being able to make several structures with the interlocking pieces- there are plenty of ideas on the box.
Something to note is that this is significantly smaller than some of the other activity cubes on the list. Even though it is recommended for ages one and older, the plastic shapes included are a little on the small size and may be a choking hazard. The small size and the way the pieces interlock make it a great travel toy. It teaches early recognition of animals, shapes, music, and colors and promotes fine motor development.
- Interlocking pieces can be taken apart and put together
- Makes several sounds and lights up
- Has a mirror for self-recognition
- Easy to clean
- Small size is good for travel
- Shapes are on the small size for a one-year-old
Comparing Activity Cubes
The table below compares only the recommended products on this page. A low or high Price means it is low or high compared to the other products listed. The Popularity Score reflects how often readers click on and buy the product. The Quality Score is our assessment of the overall performance and satisfaction with the product compared to others in the table.
How We Selected Activity Cubes
Physical and Sensory Development
The major benefit of activity cubes is the way they engage your baby and encourage their physical and sensory development.
Larger blocks encourage your child to pull themselves up or hold onto them, encouraging them to use the core muscle groups necessary for crawling and walking.
Playing with the various elements also improves fine motor development and helps your child understand how they can manipulate the world around them using their hands. Fine motor skills are important for stimulating the neuron pathways in the brain and early learning.
Many activity cubes also begin your child’s learning journey. Some activity cubes might make sounds or say letters, numbers, shapes, and/or colors. Others are not electronic, however, you can sit with your child and point out the different letters, numbers, and other elements on the cube. As you repeat different things, the repetition encourages early learning.
Some of these activity cubes also have more advanced activities that you can use for teaching toddlers. For example, there are several activity cubes that have clocks with working hands that can be used to teach them to tell time. Abacus beads may be used to teach basic addition and subtraction.
When parents get involved in playtime, it makes it easy for children to learn more.
With any toy designed for younger children, it’s important to consider if it is age-appropriate.
The biggest concern for babies and toddlers is the overall safety of a toy. Most activity cubes have working parts that might include beads that can be moved along a track, doors that can be opened, and other pieces your child can manipulate.
For younger kids and especially children under three, small pieces that break off can easily become a choking hazard.
Another factor in the age appropriateness of a toy is the amount of stimulation offered. When children are young, their sensory system is still developing. Babies may be overstimulated by an activity cube with flashing lights and loud noises, while toddlers are more likely to enjoy it without being overstimulated.
The overall design includes factors like how sharp the corners and smaller parts are, the durability of the activity cube, and how entertaining it will be for the recommended age group.
We compiled this information on those cubes we did not try by looking at real parent reviews from different sources around the Internet.
FAQs about Activity Cubes
What is an activity cube?
Activity cubes for babies and toddlers are large block-like structures that usually have several moving parts and activities that your child can do.
They usually have plastic or wood construction. Some cubes require batteries and make noise or light up, while others are fun to play with because of the wide range of activities included in them.
It might have features like doors that open and shut, spinning gears, beads that can be moved along, and many others.
Activity cubes may be designed for older or younger children depending on the size of different parts and the activities included.
For example, some of the cubes mentioned above are ideal for babies because they have larger pieces that are fixed to the cube. Some others have small pieces for games or shapes for the shape sorter, which makes them a better choice for ages three and older.
Should I buy an activity cube for my child?
Activity cubes are a great investment that helps your child improve their fine motor skills. As they manipulate the different pieces like opening doors and pushing beads along a track, they are learning how they need to hold smaller objects and the way that their physical actions affect the world around them.
Activity cubes can also be used as a learning tool as you explain shapes, colors, animals, numbers, letters, and more to your little one.
As most are durable on top of benefiting your child in numerous ways, activity cubes are a great investment that can be passed on in the future.
Are wooden activity cubes or plastic activity cubes better?
The choice to buy a wooden or plastic activity cube for your toddler is a matter of preference.
Wood cubes are usually heavier and more durable. While some plastic cubes have working lights and sounds, wooden activity cubes usually do not. However, they have other activities that can still engage your little one.
When choosing wood vs. plastic activity cubes, you’ll want to consider the materials used for construction.
Wooden cubes are usually made with durable wood that has been sanded down for smoother edges. Something else to consider is the environmental sustainability of wooden materials. Most also have water-based, non-toxic paint, which is important. You’ll also want to consider the durability of the paint and if it is likely to chip.
When choosing a plastic activity cube, consider the activities included and if batteries are required. You’ll also want to be sure the company uses BPA-free, non-toxic plastic. This is important for preventing exposure to dangerous materials or fumes that could harm your child.
Are all activity cubes heavy?
Many activity cubes are heavy compared to the size of your child because they are designed largely to fit plenty of moving pieces.
They can be played with on the floor or set on a tabletop. Most also do not require your child to pick them up. However, they are light enough that parents will easily be able to pick them up and move them from room to room in the house.
Some activity cubes are also designed smaller. These are nice when you want a cube that can sit in your child’s lap or go along with you in the car, on playdates, to the doctor’s office and more.
There are many great activity cubes on this list for babies and toddlers, so what it comes down to is a matter of preference.
Our favorite was the Manhattan Toy Tree Top Adventure Activity Center. I liked how the design was taller, especially being a mom of two boys who doesn’t always get along. They can each take turns on either side of the table and switch on those days when they don’t want to play nicely. I also appreciated the attention to detail and the fun design.
Hopefully, these best activity cube reviews and buying guides have been helpful in helping you choose one for your baby or toddler, too!
Share and Visit
- The Benefits of Shape, www.parenting.com
- Fine motor skills: birth to 2 years, www.chrichmond.org
Samantha Davis is a part-time writer and a full-time mommy of two boys, Apollo (age 5) and Adrien (age 7). She has been working as a writer for seven years and loves the freedom it gives her to spend time with her boys and fiance.and do things like camping, swimming, and painting. She is also a parent to three fur babies- two dogs and a cat!
Parents naturally want the best for their babies. If you’re a new parent, you understand that those first months of life are critical to your child’s development. Stimulating the brain is an essential part of fostering your child’s development.
Many parents turn to activity cubes to help their children learn and grow. With so many options on the market, you might be unsure which is right for your baby. This article will give you nine different options to help you make that choice.
Best Activity Cube Reviews
Activity cubes offer plenty of tactile and pattern-based activities your baby can enjoy. They commonly include beads to push, gears to spin, or doors or flips to switch. They come in all sorts of sizes, shapes, and themes, so you should be able to find the perfect one for you.
EverEarth Garden Activity Cube
The EverEarth Garden Activity Cube boasts six different sides, each with a new activity. On top, it has a brightly-colored bead maze to work on tactile skills at a height that is perfect for babies and toddlers. Made with non-toxic materials and natural hardwood, you can rest assured knowing that your child is safe.
Because this is so much larger than many other activity cubes, it is perfect for parallel play. Your child will have plenty of space to play. This activity cube is recommended for ages 18 months and up.
If you want an option that is big with more variety, this is a perfect choice. It’s full of patterns, shapes, numbers, and colors that will help your child learn while having fun. It is built to be durable and last.
- It is very durable and well made
- Offers a variety of activities
- Made with non-toxic materials
- Wood is sanded, and corners are rounded; no sharp edges
- Magnetic shapes are on the smaller side, and you may want to put those away until your child is older
- It is very sturdy but can topple over if kids pull up on it
Country Critters Wooden Activity Play Cube
The Country Critters Wooden Activity Play Cube is an adorable option. It features four sides and one top, all featuring different activities for your child. It offers a maze, wooden balls, and even a shape sorter along with the usual activity play options, such as bead mazes.
This activity cube is designed with cute animals and bright colors to attract your child’s attention. It keeps it fun with activities that help develop vital coordination and physical skills. True to Hape quality, this option safely provides durability.
This particular option is designed for children between 12 months and 6 years of age. It is built using sustainably sourced wood with non-toxic paints.
- It has a variety of activities
- Minimal assembly required
- Built from sustainably sourced wood and non-toxic paints
- It has lots of educational components
- The pull knob to release the shapes can be hard for kids to do on their own
- Some customers complained that shapes don’t always fit inside their designated holes
Battat — Wooden Activity Cube
The Battat Wooden Activity Cube is expertly crafted to keep your child’s attention. With beautiful colors and plenty of adorable illustrations, it teaches children about cause and effect, logic and boosts fine motor skills. It also shows many different animals and objects found on a farm, expanding vocabulary as you play.
With many different doors, beads to push, and spinners to spin, this toy has five different sides to play with. With movable characters and an adorable barn, the top offers your child an opportunity for storytelling and creative play.
Battat is known for producing high-quality wooden or natural products, which is no exception. Your child will love pushing around characters.
This particular option is recommended for 12 months and up. Corners have been rounded to prevent injury. You can also rest assured that this toy is safe and non-toxic.
- It has a good variety of activities
- Comes fully assembled
- Great quality and made with non-toxic materials
- It has lots of educational components
- It is heavy, and you will need to be mindful that it may topple over if kids pull up on it
- Some pictures and characters are placed low on the cube and would be hard to see unless your child is lying on the ground
BATTOP 10-in-1 Multi-Play Activity Cube
The Battop 10-in-1 Multi-Play Activity Cube is actually an activity cylinder. It is packed with many different exciting activities that help teach children. With some of the activities offered, it works well for older children.
This toy has all of the typical activities, such as shape sorting, a bead maze, counting beads, and gears to spin. Where this toy really excels is in offering Flying Chess, a clock, and a fishing game built into it as well. Because these games have smaller pieces, this toy is recommended for ages 3 and up under direct parental supervision.
This toy excels with high-quality wood while maximizing utility thanks to its round design. Each game and activity gets its own separate panel around the cylinder.
- It comes with 10 different activities for your child
- Great for traveling
- Great for fine motor skills
- It has a lot of educational components
- It has smaller pieces and would not be good for younger children
- It is a lot smaller than other activity cubes
LUKAT Musical Activity Cube
The LUKAT Musical Activity Cube creates a plastic option that plays music and lights up. It is advertised as a 4 in 1 keyboard, piano toy, and activity cube with several different activities, sounds, and phrases. It can teach your child about colors, numbers, animals, and more.
Children love the ball ramp, the piano, and the ability to assemble their own ramps. It fosters creativity, coordination, and other essential fine motor skills.
If you’re worried about the plastic build, don’t be! This is built with BPA-free plastic. It has been fully tested to comply with several stringent safety measures.
Keep in mind that for this particular toy, you will need batteries. You can convert the toy into several different modes to find something suitable for any child.
- Easy to assemble
- It has sounds and phrases
- Great for fine motor skills
- Offers a variety of activities
- It needs batteries
- You can’t adjust the volume
TOYVENTIVE Wooden Activity Cube
The TOYVENTIVE Wooden Activity Cube is a phenomenal option if you are looking for versatility. Your child will be kept engaged with a maze, shape sorter, counter, clock, and gears. Stacking cups fit neatly inside the top, offering another fun and exciting way for your child to play.
This compact activity center is slightly smaller than a soccer ball (not counting the bead maze on top). However, it manages to pack a lot in such a small space. This option is perfect for on-the-go fun.
This design is created from sturdy wood that is expertly crafted. The entire design is painted brightly with non-toxic paint, making it perfect, even if you have a child prone to chewing.
- Made from non-toxic materials
- Offers a variety of activities
- The top maze part detaches and can be used separately
- You can flip the cube over to store everything
- It is a lot smaller than other activity cubes
- It has a lot of pieces that could potentially get lost
VTech Sort and Discover Activity Cube
If bright lights and sounds are your child’s jam, the VTech Sort and Discover Activity Cube has you covered. It offers over 75 sounds, songs, and phrases. Your child can play with a piano, turn pages on a book, sort shapes, and more.
This toy combines several traditional baby toys, such as the piano, a see-and-say spinner, and a toy sorter, saving space. It is built to be engaging and interactive for children between 9 and 36 months.
This toy is easily cleaned. Keep in mind that it will require 2 AA batteries.
- It plays music and has phrases
- Great for introducing numbers, colors, and music
- Great for hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills
- It has a variety of activities
- It is noisy
- Requires batteries
Manhattan Toy Tree Top Adventure Activity Center
The Manhattan Toy Tree Top Adventure Activity Center is quite large, coming in at 22.5″ tall and 18″ wide. You may need to make sure you have space to store this option before purchase. However, it is worth every inch of space it takes.
Adorably designed as a tree and complete with bead mazes, painted details, gears to turn, and more, this toy keeps kids entertained. The designs are simple and eye-catching without being overstimulating. Your child can enjoy moving ladybugs, bees, monkeys, and more throughout the leaves for pretend play.
Aimed toward children 1 and up, this toy can keep your child busy for hours without breaking. Without any stickers, details are sure to last on this design.
If you want your child to get an activity cube without bright colors, this is for you. The colors are muted enough to be eye-catching without being overbearing or obnoxious.
- Easy to assemble
- It comes with legs so your child can stand while playing
- You can wait to assemble the legs until your child is older, which allows them to play on the floor
- Sturdy and won’t tip over with the base attached
- It is large and will take up space in your home
- Two pieces on the top slide into each other but do not connect. Because of this, the top part can be a little wobbly
BrainUpToys Busy Activity Cube
The BrainUpToys Busy Activity Cube might look strange at first glance, but it is a treasure trove of fine motor skill development for your toddler. Its compact design lets your child take it anywhere. Your child can spin gears, experiment with fasteners, and move beads around.
It’s lightweight to keep your child engaged while still developing fine motor and cognitive skills on the go. Weighing just 5 ounces, you can easily take this toy on-the-go. It will keep your 1-3-year-old learning happily without even realizing it.
This toy boasts gear wheels, a lock, a bell, beads, learning lace, a wheel to spin, and an hourglass clock. The edges have been smoothed out to prevent accidental injuries. All paint has been selected to be safe and non-toxic.
Your child has many options to enjoy, from discovering how to open a door with the lock to enjoying the sensory stimulation. And, they may even find new, innovative ways to entertain themselves while they play.
- Great for travel and long car rides
- Offers a variety of activities
- Smooth edges and made from non-toxic materials
- Great for fine motor skills
- Plastic pieces break easily if the cube is dropped
- The small size limits amount of activities available
Benefits of an Activity Cube
When you give your child an activity cube, you give them a gift to help them for a lifetime. These toys are built to teach those crucial skills necessary for children to learn that adults tend to forget about or take for granted. You might know how to grip a pencil properly to write, but that requires developing skills such as fine motor skills.
Your child needs these crucial skills to grow and thrive, and it is up to you to provide them. The three primary benefits that activity cubes teach are fine motor skills, understanding cause and effect, and learning letters, numbers, shapes, and more. By introducing an activity cube, you have an easy option that helps introduce and foster these skills naturally while still encouraging fun.
Fine Motor Skills
Fine motor skills are those involving fine movements of your fingers and hands. Most activities that you perform during the day require some degree of these. Your child needs fine motor skills to function independently, from eating to writing or otherwise manipulating objects.
Children develop rapidly from birth to age three, and as the parent you can help facilitate this. This is where toys come in. Children primarily learn through play in those tender years, so providing the right toys becomes crucial.
Choosing an activity cube will help dramatically with fine motor skills. Your child will learn how to pinch and grasp beads to push them around, spin gears, and push shapes through a shape sorter, requiring fine motor movements.
Cause and Effect
Children are hardwired for logic. They understand the idea of cause and effect, and it is endlessly fascinating to them. This is how they begin to understand consistency and rules in the world around them.
Have you ever seen a child sit and try the same thing over and over again? They do this to see if things change over time. They want to know if the same result will happen every time, and if it does, they come to expect it.
By providing your child with an activity cube, you provide a toy that explores these concepts. Your child may try to push shapes into a shape sorter and see that, no matter how many times he or she tries, that square is not fitting in the circle hole. This is learning about cause and effect– they learn that some shapes fit and fall in while others don’t.
From pushing beads over the edge of a bead maze to watching as gears spin together, these toys can provide your child ample feedback that can be used later on. Your child will explore those actions to see what happens and strengthen the foundation for future logical thought as a result.
Learn Numbers, Letters, and Shapes
Finally, activity cubes teach some combinations of shapes, numbers, letters, colors, animal names, and more. This development of cognitive abilities sets the foundation for learning a language. Learning to sort between categories and recognize that each thing has a name allows children to start communicating better and clearer.
Most activity cubes help build this, but your child has to actively hear the language associated with the item to begin understanding them better. This is where some of the battery-operated options do excel since they actively state the colors, numbers, letters, etc., for the child to hear and eventually repeat. However, you can teach this simply by playing and engaging with your child without the need for a battery-operated toy if you prefer.
Learning numbers, letters, and shapes isn’t something to wait until your child goes to school for. It is best to start to set that foundation from an early age to prepare your child for success. This can be enjoyable for both you and your child while fostering your relationship.
When trying to choose out the best activity cube for you and your child, you might feel a little lost. After all, with so many options, which one is truly the best? It all depends on the features that you want in your child’s toy.
Generally, parents look at three factors to choose the right activity cube for their children. They focus on safety, the variety in activities, and the age-appropriateness of the toy. If you consider each of these three factors, you’re bound to find the right option for your own child without much hassle.
Most parents look first to safety to ensure their children get the best. Look at the materials that the activity cube is made of before settling on it. They ought to be made out of non-toxic paints and plastics to be as safe as possible.
You should also look at whether the edges are safe for children. Many wooden cube toys have sharp edges that can hurt when your child slips and falls. However, these edges can be rounded out, and some manufacturers prefer to do so.
You must also make sure that there are no choking or other hazards on the toy. Small pieces that come loose easily or are separate may not be appropriate for young children to use unsupervised.
Variety in Activities
You must also take a look at the various activities that options offer. The more of a variety offered, the more skills are developed, and the more likely the toy is to keep your child’s attention longer.
One of the most important aspects to consider with variety is whether you want a battery-operated activity cube or if you prefer to skip the electronics altogether. This will help you to narrow down your decision.
Finally, consider just how age-appropriate an option is for your child. If you have a 1-year-old, an activity cube marked 3 and up probably isn’t the best choice. Likewise, you want to make sure that the skills that your child will be working on are age-appropriate as well.
By paying attention to the target audience of activity cubes, you will be able to find one that allows your child to develop and learn. Toys that are too advanced are likely to cause frustration, while toys that are too simplistic likely won’t keep attention long enough.
Final Thoughts about the Best Activity Cubes
If you’re shopping for activity cubes for your child, don’t stress! Think about what your child would love, what you want to instill in your child, and which cubes will provide those lessons. Choosing a cube is important, but your child is ultimately benefitting if they are playing and learning.
And, if you’re feeling the pressure, remember that the most valuable learning resource that your child has is you!
Looking for more gear for your little one? Head over to our Gear Guides Section to see more comparisons.
This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, we make a small commission – at no cost to you – which helps to keep this blog running. Thank you for your support!
Krissy lives in California with her family of three that make up “The Hadicks.” With a passion for research and helping others, The Hadicks was developed as a resource for other parents and parents-to-be!
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Top 7 Wooden Activity Cubes To Keep Baby Busy (Play & Learn)
Busy babies are happy babies — and activity cubes do precisely that. Wooden activity cubes are a worthwhile investment in your 1 to 2 year old’s learning, development, and entertainment.
When shopping for an activity center for your baby, look for baby-safe design and materials with a variety of activities for your child to explore.
Between 9 to 18 months is the time when most babies are ready for a play cube.
So here’s your guide to an excellent first- or second- birthday gift.
Affiliate Link Disclosure – If you see a product you like and click through to buy it, I would genuinely appreciate it. I may earn a small commission — at no extra cost to you. It would mean a lot, thanks!
In a hurry?
You’ll miss out on all kinds of helpful activity cube tips and tricks that I’ll share later…
But if your baby’s birthday is coming up and you’ve got no time to waste — here’s your fast-track to finding the right activity cube.
- (01)Battat Zany Zoo Wooden Activity Cube is the world’s most popular wooden baby activity cube.
- (02)Hape Country Critters Wooden Play Cube is great for shape sorting and has a cool hammer peg activity.
- (03)Manhattan Toy Creative Activity Centers are my personal favorite because of their creativity.
- (04)EverEarth Garden Activity Cube is a six-sided alternative to the Anatex activity cube.
- (05)Laser Temple Large Wooden Sensory Cube is made to keep babies and toddlers busy all day.
- (06)TOP BRIGHT 5-in-1 Shape Sorter Activity Cube is a small activity cube perfectly sized for 12 months.
- (07)Boobo Toys Montessori Busy Cube is perfect for playing house and learning practical skills.
5 Reasons To Love Wooden Activity Centers
If you’re wondering whether or not a wooden activity center is worth it — here are five and a half good reasons to consider an activity cube for your 12 to 24 month baby.
(A) All-Afternoon Entertainment
The activity cube comes with loads of different games for babies and toddlers to play with.
(B) Fine & Gross Motor Skills
The activity cube keeps your child’s hands busy with all kinds of puzzles, fidgets, sensory experiences, and zany surprises.
Most activity cubes come in a shape and size that allows your child to interact with it both standing up, on hands and knees, or sitting down. That means your little one’s legs will get moving too.
(C) Engagement From Baby To Toddler Years
Most activity cubes are recommended starting at 12 months old. It’s a first birthday gift that will get playtime even into the toddler years.
(D) All Kinds Of Learning Objectives
From cognitive skills like cause and effect to school-ready skills like the ABCs, 123s, and basic shapes — the activity cube is a holistic learning experience for growing minds.
(E) Wood Is Better
An activity cube is exactly the type of toy that’s better when made of wood.
Plastic activity cubes are more affordable. Many of them include flashy electronic lights and sounds.
Choosing a wooden activity center is like a high-five with Mother Nature.
With eco-friendly toys, you’ve just got extra peace of mind knowing it’s chemical-free and baby-safe. Not to mention — wooden activity cubes are magnificently beautiful.
Top 7 Wooden Activity Cubes (Review & Recommend)
(01) Battat’s B Toys Zany Zoo Wooden Activity Cube
The world’s favorite wooden baby activity cube.
See it on Amazon
Battat brand’s Wooden Farm Animals Activity Center is the world’s most popular wooden activity cube.
If you need a 1 year old’s birthday gift now and don’t have time to shop around — get Battat’s.
With over 6,000 five-star reviews (at the time of writing) — you can rest assured you are buying a kid-tested parent-approved play toy.
This is an incredibly fun way for your little one to learn all the farm animals.
Made of solid wood with a classic farmhouse feel — it’s a reminder of a simpler time when more childhoods were spent interacting with nature and our furry friends.
The chunky wooden play pieces are perfect for tiny hands.
The classic primary color scheme sets the mood for your baby to learn — and looks great in your home too.
(02) Hape Country Critters Wooden Activity Play Cube
Awesome for shape sorting and has a cool hammer peg activity.
See it on Amazon
What’s not to love about Hape brand’s wooden play cube with colorful and friendly critters to play with.
The cube has a full five sides for the full spectrum of playability. Your baby can take a beaded adventure, sort shapes, turn knobs, and hammer pegs.
Made for kids from 12 months up to 6 years — it’s a toy to revisit through the years.
Accompanied by little wooden bug characters, your little one will put together puzzles and learn logic skills.
Your baby will have a blast with this bright-colored fully-featured activity play cube.
(03) Manhattan Toys Creative Activity Center
Like imagination times 1,000 and creativity times 1,000,000.
See it on Amazon
To be perfectly honest, Manhattan Toy’s wooden activity center is my absolute favorite.
It’s the perfect blend of creativity, imagination, and art.
The Tree Top Adventure Activity Center is a best-seller for hands-on learning.
The Deep Sea Adventure Toddler Activity Center is a deep-sea dive into under-the-sea imagination.
The Playful Pony Wooden Toddler Activity Center is like an adorable piñata that your little one can play with for years to come.
With limitless creativity — I really love the purpose and direction behind the Manhattan toys brand. For a baby activity center that sparks a vivid imagination, here’s where to look.
(04) EverEarth Garden Activity Cube
An Anatex-style activity cube just like at the doctor’s office.
See it on Amazon
EverEarth brand’s Garden Activity Cube is a 6-sided activity center with a colorful wooden shape sorter, winding bead maze, and a number counting abacus all built into one.
People that like Anatex activity cube’s “at the dentist office waiting room” vibe should definitely take a look at EverEarth.
EverEarth is a less expensive option with comparable play features (at the time of writing). EverEarth is a money-saving alternative.
(05) Laser Temple Large Wooden Sensory Cube
A sensory busy cube with tons of different activities.
See it on Etsy
If you’ve never heard of sensory cubes before — you’re in for a treat.
They’re a type of activity cube that’s just a little bit busier. This single 11.8-inch cube includes a total of 17 enriching sensory activities.
Each face of the cube is fully playable with a tutti frutti assortment of clocks, locks, doors that open, gears that turn, a usable drawing board, and a percussion instrument.
Designed for child development for ages 8 months to 4 years — Laser Temple brand’s large wooden sensory cube has all that in just one toy.
(06) TOP BRIGHT’s 5-in-1 Shape Sorter Activity Cube
The best small-sized activity cube for those early months.
See it on Amazon
Sometimes choosing a simpler toy turns out to be a whole lot less expensive too.
TOP BRIGHT brand’s 5-in-1 Shape Sorter Activity Cube is a simple and affordable pick for 1 to 2 year olds.
With basic shape blocks (square, triangle, circle), rotating gears for baby-sized hands, and a simple caterpillar-themed 3D bead maze on top — it’s a little less busy than some of the other activity cubes we’ve looked at.
It’s smaller than other activity cubes too.
But it’s at an affordable price and enjoys over 2,500 five-star ratings (at the time of writing).
2,500 people can’t be wrong!
Leo & Friends brand makes a pastel-colored alternative for your daughter’s first birthday.
(07) Boobo Toys Montessori Busy Cube
Montessori-aligned, perfect for playing house, plus teaches practical skills.
See it on Etsy
This is the activity cube for kids who love to play house.
Boobo brand’s adorable house-themed busy cubes take a Montessori-inspired approach — encouraging young children to learn practical life skills.
These play activities teach your child to use everyday objects like doors, drawers, cupboards, and locks.
It’s got a total of 20 activities in 1 cube.
Not to mention — Boobo brand’s mini activity cube is the perfect travel partner for your toddler. It’s a small activity cube perfect for a weekend day trip.
Activity Cube Alternatives (Worth A Peek!)
(A) Baby Teether & Grasping Activity Baby Toy
If you loved Manhattan Toy’s imaginative activity center, but your baby’s not quite old enough — check out Manhattan Toy’s beautifully geometric baby teether and grasping toy.
(B) Wooden Shape Sorter
Sometimes simple does it. Melissa & Doug’s wooden shape sorting cube is an ultra-simple activity cube — just for shaping blocks. I’s recommend a simple baby shape sorter like this one if you feel you need a trial run before buying a full-featured activity cube.
(C) Wooden Baby Walker
What do you get when you put wheels on an activity cube? A baby activity walker! It’s no coincidence babies learn to walk at approximately the same time they really start refining their fine motor skills! We reviewed all the best baby walkers — and which ones to avoid.
(D) Set of Building Blocks
Building blocks are an open-ended toy for all ages. For 12 to 24 months, look for a set with large chunky blocks made for baby hands. We wrote a full review of America’s best building blocks where you can learn more.
(E) Toddler Play Table
For some kids, it’s all about the bead maze. Hape’s Toddler play table takes the classic doctor’s office waiting room play equipment and remixes it into a modern playscape for your home. Get ready for a more involved bead maze that will entertain toddlers and older kids too.
Bonus: Activity Cube Cleaning Tips (Baby-Safe Solution)
Since baby activity cubes offer a full sensory experience — you better expect some baby slobber once in a while.
Yes, wooden activity centers can be sanitized — and it’s pretty straightforward to do.
How do you clean a wooden activity cube? Just make a mild mixture of baby-safe soap and water. Dampen a washcloth or clean sponge, wipe it down, and let it air dry before giving it back to your little one. Never use hard household cleaners for the job.
Alternatively, you can use a natural vinegar solution. We wrote an entire post on washing wooden toys the natural way.
Over to you!
You would have never wondered so much about the wooden activity cube, would you?
Thank you for stopping by to learn all there is to know about baby activity centers.
They’re a good investment in your 1 to 2 year old’s learning, development, and entertainment.
Through smiles and giggles, your baby will learn a whole bunch!
Here at Oddblocks, our top picks focus on baby-safe toys and responsibly sourced materials. Let us know if you found the right one with us today.
Cheers to healthy active learning babies!
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