We’ve rounded up the best toys for 2-year-old kids, so whether you’re looking for gifts for 2 year olds that they’ll love or to treat your little one to a new toy that’s both fun as well as an educational toy that’s great for their development, we’ve got you covered.
Most parents will tell you that the ‘terrible twos’ is definitely more than a myth, but along with the tantrums and testing times also comes an amazing age that sees a child’s personality really start to shine through.
As your toddler continues to grow and develop, their toys will need to change with them too. Sensory baby toys will no longer keep these tots with endless energy entertained.
What are the best toys for 2 year olds?
The best toys for 2-year-old kids will allow them to practice their newly learnt skills as a toddler whilst helping them develop new ones.
‘Most children will take their first steps and say their first words by the time they are 18 months old,’ says Geraldine Butler, who is a health visitor and author of Teach Yourself Successful Potty Training.
So when buying toys for 2-year-olds you want to keep in mind that this little one is a walking, talking, explorer with bags of energy.
The best toys for two year old children will depend on what stage they have reached in their development. Research shows that boys often reach physical milestones earlier, while girls tend to learn to speak at a younger age and have better fine motor skills. So buying toys for 2 year old boys may differ from the best toys for 2 year old girls at the same age, if they are at different stages.
No matter what developmental stage they are at however, children thrive on love and attention. So choosing toys that can be played with together with loved ones is always a great idea.
Especially at the age of two when kids are learning and growing so quickly, parents should commit to spending at least 10 minutes each day giving their child their full, undivided attention.
Best toys for 2 year olds
1. SmartMax My First Vehicles
Age Suitability: 1 – 5 years | Price: £25.20
Boys and girls of this age love playing with cars, trucks and just about anything on wheels really! They great thing about these toys from SmartMax is that you can mix and match the vehicles by removing the front and/or back of the car. This will stimulate creativity and enhance motor skills when played with. Plus, as blocks can be rearranged over and over again it will provide endless entertainment. There are four different vehicles in the set – including a Fire Engine and Cement Mixer – made up of 13 large and tactile pieces.
2. My 1st Years Personalised Tenderleaf Wooden Bunny Counter Stacker
Age Suitability: 18 + months | Price: £26
With this stacker, young minds will learn to count to 10 using the cute numbered carrot rings. Each ring is painted in a soft orange gradient to encourage colour sorting and hand-eye coordination. Designed by wooden toy specialists Tender Leaf, this toy is both educational and adorable and will make a beautiful addition to any nursery.
3. City Building Blocks
Age Suitability: 2 years+ | Price: £33.99
These city blocks help develop creativity and hand-eye coordination. This set includes over 100 blocks featuring different buildings, people, letters, numbers and mathematical symbols. A perfect toy for adults and children to play with together and one which will last through the years as your child gets older and develops their imagination and fine motor skills.
4. LEGO DUPLO Bubble Bath Submarine
Age Suitability: 2 years+ | Price: £17.99
This bath toy for toddlers includes a brightly coloured submarine, 2 diver figures and 3 animal figures.Kids can play with this toy both in and out of the bath. Plus, it encourages early learning through play, fine motor skills and creativity for kids.
5. Melissa & Doug Safari Shape Sort Truck
Age Suitability: 2 years+ | Price: £16.99
Toddlers love playing with toys on wheels and this safari truck does one better by including a whole host of colourful animals inside! Great for imaginative play and fine motor skills. Parents who have bought this toy loved how long it kept their children captivated.
6. Janod Magnetic Rocket
Age Suitability: 2 years+ | Price: £14.99
This charming wooden rocket by Janod is ready for take-off using magnets for easy construction and play. Made of 5 parts and complete with an astronaut ready to shoot to space, this toy promises hours of fun. 2 year olds will love building this rocket so it’s ready for blast off and we love that the sturdy wooden parts guarantee it will be treasured for years to come.
7. TADPOLE MINI by Frog Bikes
Age suitability: 18 months + | Price: £170
When it comes to the best balance bikes for kids, there is no question that Frog bikes are some of the best on the market. Designed specifically with kids in mind, Frog Bikes have a lightweight but sturdy frame. As they’re top quality bikes, you’ll be able to pass this bike on through the family or sell it on in the future for a good price, too.
8. Play kitchen
Age Suitability: 2 years+ | Price: £162
This wooden play kitchen is full of lovely little details and it looks gorgeous too. This is important to consider if it’s going to become a new addition to your living room decor! Using toys that replicate items from the real world is a great way to develop a child’s speech, language and communication skills. This set has endless imaginative play potential and comes with an oven, dishwasher, washing machine, microwave and sink. There’s also a clock with movable hands and a storage cupboard – for all those little pots and pans!
9. Orchard Toys Farmyard Heads and Tails Game
Age Suitability: 18 months+ | Price: £7.73
This award-winning farm themed game teaches toddlers matching and memory skills whilst being fun and engaging. You’ll love seeing little one’s faces light up when they complete the challenge and the game can be played with up to 4 – so it’s inclusive.
10. Wooden Doctors Set With Carry Case
Age Suitability: 3 years+ | Price: £40
Playing doctors has never looked so cute than with this toy doctors set. The set comes complete with a stethoscope, thermometer, reflex hammer, healing ‘lotions’ and a blood pressure gauge to really bring you child’s games to life. No soft toy will go without treatment when the kids set up their own surgery at home with this set!
11. LeapFrog Learning Friends 100 Words Book
Age Suitability: 18 months+ | Price: £20
A great interactive toy for toddlers, this digital book encourages educational development in a fun and engaging way, teaching children over 100 words through three different learning modes: words, facts and fun sounds.
12. Wooden Shape Sorting Snake
Age Suitability: 2 years+ | Price: £24.50
This bright wooden puzzle is great for teaching kids about shapes and colours and it will really test and help grow their logical thinking and problem solving skills. Just wait until they complete it for the first time – they will feel such a sense of achievement.
13. Personalised Cascading Wooden Car Game
Age Suitability: 2 years+ | Price: £48
Little ones will love watching cars zoom down a cascading wooden car game. The bright colours are a great sensory stimulant and help with colour recognition, too.
14. Little Tikes Fountain Factory Water Table
Age suitability: 24 months + | Price: £60
Kids will just love playing with this great garden toy. It’s also a really great sensory and educational toy. The water stimulates the touch sense, whilst the interchanging pipes and fittings also introduce science learning to preschool children in a fun and visual way. One of those toys for 2 year olds that can be played with alone or with friends.
15. Fisher Price Little People Helpful Neighbor’s Garage
Age Suitability: 18 months+ | Price: £10
Many toy garage sets aren’t suitable for children as young as two, which is why we like this set from Fisher-Price. It’s suitable for kids aged 18 months all the way up to 5 years. Children will love playing with the cars, moving the elevator up and down and learning about the world around them with this toy.
16. Micro Mini Micro Deluxe Scooter
Age suitability: 2-5 years | Price: £75.95
Adjustable handlebars mean that this scooter can grow with your child. Lightweight and ideal for negotiating pavements, this update to the classic Micro Scooter is also foldable and comes with a brake that works by bringing the scooter to a gentle halt with just the slightest pressure for easy handling. (Also comes in purple, navy, red and aqua).
17. Hey Duggee Flip and Learn Phone
Age Suitability: 18 months+ | Price: £10.99
Toddlers will love having their own phone, just like the adults around them, to play and interact with. Helping with colour and number recognition, this play phone is also great for building communication skills and keeping little ones away from the real phone in your bag!
How do I stimulate my 2 year old and keep them busy?
The best toys for 2-year-olds will do both of these things and more. The key to keeping a 2 year old occupied and busy for long enough to give you a break – or at least finish a cup of tea – is for them to be engaged in what they are playing with.
Two year olds also have a wider vocabulary of around 50 single words by this age. Encouraging them to play with toys that develop their use of language and where they can practice these words will be both stimulating and educational.
At this age too your child may begin to show an increased interest in playing with other children. Interacting with other kids is not only highly stimulating and enjoyable for two year olds but is also educational.
Child development expert and psychologist Dr. Amanda Gummer explained to us the benefits of children playing with their peers at this age.
‘Building a tower with bricks develops hand eye coordination, and spatial awareness etc when done alone,’ Dr. Amanda Gummer said. ‘But when children are playing together to build the tower, there’s a lot more going on – communication, collaboration, turn taking, discussing strategies, imagination, and a shared sense of achievement.’
Learning to share, take turns and communicate with others are all-important lessons for little ones. However you may need to supervise along the way to make sure not every play date ends in tears.