The global educational toys market size was valued at USD 23.06 billion in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 45.63 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 7.91% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
Educational toys, sometimes called "instructive toys," are designed to impart academic learning, instill creativity, and promote intellectual and motor development in children through play. These toys also support physical and cognitive development in children and help them cope with academic pressure. Educational toys promote the development of social and emotional skills in children. Different types of educational toys and games equip children with diverse skill sets at different ages. In addition, educational toys can promote various skills in children, such as problem-solving, academic, social, physical, and school readiness skills.
Educational toys frequently oversimplify, undersize, or even imitate adult-use activities and items. The purpose of an educational toy is to teach. The best educational toys spark children's curiosity and creativity. Educational toys come in various forms, each offering a unique learning opportunity. These include open-ended, electronic, app-enabled, building, sports, and sensory toys. Instructional toys are crucial to children's growth and development.
Aspirational and inspirational toys aim to spark interest in a variety of occupations. These toys can aid in broadening the children's understanding of many vocations. As parents want their kids to learn about many job opportunities, the demand for these toys is increasing quickly. Many children enjoy engaging in pretend play or role-play of their favorite personalities or any profession. Hence, to support this role play and make it look real, they ask their parents to get them several toys and games, including doctor sets and others.
Moreover, parents also encourage children to play with these toys to learn more about different elements of a specific profession. For instance, the doctor's playsets include a stethoscope, syringe, and others. Inspirational and aspirational toys create curiosity among children and help them explore skills that could help them choose their career path. Hence, all of these variables are anticipated to fuel the market growth during the anticipated period.
Educational toys for toddlers focus more on motor skill development and educational opportunities. These educational activity toys also instill creativity and imagination and help children develop social and emotional intelligence. Toys and games designed for preschool and school-aged children are inclined to enhance language, letter, alphabet, and number skills. Business games, strategic board games, puzzles, and word and card games are highly preferred for developing numerical skills. In addition, the more the children play with educational toys, the higher the progress they acquire through different development stages. Several role-play games can help develop self-esteem, thereby improving the child's judgment, problem-solving, reasoning, and negotiation skills, thus, driving market growth.
The laws of the nation where the items are to be marketed significantly impact educational toy vendors, despite their readiness to enter new markets. Further, the testing requirements demanded by local guidelines could be complex and expensive. The procedure also implies products sold through online platforms and e-commerce sites. Most large toy retailers worldwide, including Target, have customized protocols and laboratories for their vendors, restricting market expansion.
Smart educational toys, also known as connected toys, leverage the latest smart technologies to interact with an individual. The interaction can be in two forms: open-ended suggestions and reacting to the child's actions. There has been a significant need for interactive toys in the last few years, especially with the increasing trend of nuclear family households where children are left alone to play. Therefore, AI-based smart toys are increasingly becoming popular worldwide. These toys have an inbuilt microcontroller that uses Wi-Fi or Bluetooth technology, allowing children to access them using smartphones. The development of these technologies and rising awareness of them will likely provide several growth opportunities for vendors of educational toys during the forecast period.
The global educational toys market is bifurcated into the educational toy type, educator type, age group, distribution channel, and category.
Based on educational toy type, the global market is divided into academic, cognitive thinking, motor skills, and others.
The academic segment is the most significant contributor to the market and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 6.92% over the forecast period. Academics are increasingly becoming popular among parents as they help children acquire skills. These academic toys enable children to think and actively engage in learning rather than just observing. Furthermore, these toys play a prominent role in making the little ones understand complex concepts in no time, along with fun factors. Although a variety of academic toys are available in the market for different age groups, the choice of the correct toy is often made by parents as per their children's age. Academic toys which enhance STEM skills are increasingly gaining momentum and are driving the educational toys market.
Based on educator type, the global market is divided into STEM activities, after-school, classroom games, brain breaks, gifted and talented, and lesson plans.
The STEM activities segment contributes to the highest market share and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 6.52% over the forecast period. STEM activities are becoming increasingly popular among children. STEM-based careers have become widely popular and account for a significant part of the global economy. Exposure to STEM activities since childhood is imperative in today's world of technology and information. Also, children must be innovative and understand different approaches in terms of functionality. Parents are increasingly looking for ways that create children's interest in STEM activities since childhood, as children develop an interest and learn things faster at a young age compared to later years in life. Hence, STEM toys are expected to boost the demand for educational toys during the forecast period due to the growing demand for STEM skills in the workplace.
Based on age group, the global market is divided into 3-8 years, 8-12 years, 12+ years, and 0-3 years.
The 3-8 years segment accounts for the largest market share and is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 8.15% over the forecast period. The parents of children of 3-8 years age group focus on improving their children's communication skills. Moreover, they also start teaching their children about language, numbers, and letters. The market is flooded with numerous educational toys such as alphabet puzzles, building blocks, construction toys, and others which is likely to drive the growth of educational toys in this segment. Children of this age must develop multiple social and emotional competencies.
In addition, the parents make use of several educational toys such as emotions flashcards, emotion pieces toys which children attach on the surface to create certain emotional figures (happiness, sadness, and others) to educate their children about various emotions and inculcate the habit of sharing, waiting, bonding, caring, and others among them. Hence, toys based on social and emotional intelligence will likely boost educational toy sales for 3-8 years.
Based on distribution channels, the global market is bifurcated into online and offline channels.
The offline segment owns the highest market share and is predicted to exhibit a CAGR of 6.91% over the forecast period. Offline sales are expected to grow significantly due to the high demand for experiencing and using the toy before making the final purchase. Children look forward to buying toys that interest them while browsing the physical stores. The high offline share is also attributed to the huge influence of impulsive buying. In addition, children often demand toys from their parents when they see toys on display while visiting stores and malls along with them. Hence, proper placement of toys and bringing them in front of children is the main growth driver for the offline sales of educational toys across countries.
Based on category, the global market is bifurcated into indoor and outdoor.
The indoor segment dominates the global market and is predicted to exhibit a CAGR of 7.37% during the forecast period. Parents of children, especially those of 0-5 years, must pay special attention to their children's actions to avoid mishaps. Hence, they prefer toys that keep children in front of their eyes. Musical Toys, Stacking Toys, Arts and crafts, and several others remain popular among children under five. Hence, this is likely to boost the indoor educational toy market.
Based on region, the global educational toys market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
North America is the most significant global educational toys market shareholder and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.52% over the forecast period. North America is the leader in the global market owing to the increasing focus of parents on educational play concepts that helps children to learn quickly. Moreover, the majority of the population in the US belong to below 20 years of age which is a significant contributor to the market for educational toys. Parents in the US and Canada increasingly focus on enhancing their children's IQ and problem-solving skills, which is difficult to teach them theoretically. Hence, parents rely on various educational toys to improve and instill these skills in their children. This is likely to grow the educational toys market in the region. In addition, the population in this region is an early adopter of any new technology introduced in the market. Children are becoming increasingly interested in the continuous innovation and development of new toys with cutting-edge technologies by toy manufacturers. Hence, children are increasingly getting attracted to robotic and 3D-shaped toys. This is projected to push the demand for educational toys during the forecast period.
Asia-Pacific is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 10.72% over the forecast period. Asia-Pacific region is projected to see the highest growth in the educational toy market during the forecast period due to the high concentration of toy production in countries like China, India, Vietnam, and others and the growing importance of education and child development. The accelerated urbanization caused by the migration of people to cities is resulting in an increase in living standards in a country like India, which presents numerous opportunities to expand the global market in the region. Moreover, visuals have a greater influence than auditory; as a result, various educational toys are built with colorful pictures and bright colors. The colorful text increases the willingness to read by more than 75%. This influences parents to purchase educational toys that help their children learn and develop faster, thereby contributing to the growth of educational toys across countries in the region.
Europe holds a considerable market share and is growing substantially. A few top-performing toy categories in the European market include arts and crafts, building sets, games and puzzles, and others (preschool toys). Traditional toys are witnessing a low growth rate, and electrical toys are witnessing a rise in demand. In addition, the rapidly expanding technological infrastructure and high awareness of smart products are accelerating the demand for robotic and electronic educational toys across European countries. Thus, all these factors are driving the educational toys market in the region.
Latin America and the Middle East and Africa contributed to a narrow revenue share. Factors such as Brazil's economic crisis and weather-related natural disasters are expected to affect the market growth in the region. On the other hand, improving lifestyle and disposable income in several countries across Latin America will fuel market growth during the forecast period. In the Middle East and Africa, the concept of educational toys has not gained popularity in many countries, which will affect the development of the market during the forecast period. However, many vendors are strategizing to boost their sales in these regions.
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