21 of the best toys for 2 year olds in 2022

Toys for 2 year olds
(Image credit: Emily Stedman)

The best toys for 2 year olds will keep them entertained and help them learn through play. 

At 2 years old, a child will have a vocabulary of around 50 single words. So, when choosing a birthday gift or the top Christmas toys (opens in new tab), look out for educational toys (opens in new tab) that develop their use of language. Games and toys that will help them recognise and practice words will be both stimulating and fun.

At this age your child may also begin to show an increased interest in playing with other children. So, encouraging sharing and co-operation through play is also a good idea. Child development expert and psychologist Dr. Amanda Gummer (opens in new tab) told us: 'Building a tower with bricks develops hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness. 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.'

The best toys for 2 year olds 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 childhood development stages. (opens in new tab)

At the age of 2 when kids are learning and growing so quickly, parents should try to spend at least 10 minutes each day giving their child their full, undivided attention. 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.

Best toys for 2 year olds

1. SmartMax My First Vehicles

smartmax toys for 2 year olds my first vehicles

Age suitability: 1 - 5 years | Batteries: No

Boys and girls of this age love playing with cars, trucks and just about anything on wheels really. The 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. GoodtoKnow asked a few mums to give this toy to their 1 year olds and see how they reacted. They told us how much their children seemed drawn to the colour and shape of the vehicles, which are just the right size for a 1 year old to grip easily. The mums also like the simple styling and how easy to store the toys are too.

If your child is into dinosaurs they may prefer the SmartMax My First Dinosaurs or My First Tractor Sets instead. You can also get your hands on a My First Construction Toy 'totem' set. All of these are similar in styling to the My First Vehicles, just themed differently to engage a 1 year old.

VIEW AT AMAZON | £25.20 (opens in new tab)

2. Munchkin Bath Beats Musical Gift Set

Munchkin Bath Beats Musical Gift Set

Age suitability: 12months+ | Batteries: No

A colourful and interactive toy, the Munchkin Bath Beats Musical Gift Set comes with everything little ones need to let off steam in the bath. It will appeal to older kids as well as younger ones. It's certainly one of the best toys for 2 year olds as it is easy and fun to play with.

The set features a Dingray Xylophone with metal keys in a rainbow of colours, as well as a mallet. There’s also a starfish shaker and a three-in-one Octodrum, which acts as a drum, tambourine and maze game in one. This toy is a great way to make bath time more fun and nurture their inner musician. Made for the, it has great durability and will last bath after bath.

When we asked mums for their feedback on the Munchkin Bath Beats Musical Gift Set they told GoodtoKnow how much they liked the uniqueness of this product. 'Most bath toys get filled with water and it's really hard to get the water out and as a result they collect a lot of limescale, but this toy seemed to be durable and maintain its finish well,' says Gemma, mum to Oliver and Sienna. 'I like the way this toy is easy to wipe clean and the fact that it encourages kids to nurture their musical skills.'

VIEW AT AMAZON | £19.99 (opens in new tab)

3. Lewo City Building Blocks

children playing with toys for 2 years and a play city set

Age suitability: 2 years+ | Batteries: No

These Lewo City Building Blocks help develop creativity and hand-eye coordination. We think it's a great choice in our best toys for 2 year olds round up. This set includes over 100 blocks featuring different buildings, people, letters, numbers and mathematical symbols. We think its a great toy for adults and children to play with together to develop imaginative play - with no annoying sounds in earshot. It's also a toy that will last through the years as your child gets older and develops their imagination and fine motor skills.

Our tester mums really like the classic feel of this wooden toy (opens in new tab). They thought that it has a good mix of different shapes and items to keep kids engaged - including a school, hospital, fire station, hotel and more. Each piece can be configured in a different way so kids can experiment and create a new scene each time they use it.

VIEW AT AMAZON | £33.99 (opens in new tab)

4. LEGO DUPLO Bubble Bath Submarine

LEGO DUPLO Bubble Bath Submarine Adventure

Age suitability: 2 years+ | Batteries: No

This bath toy for toddlers includes a brightly coloured submarine, two diver figures and three animal figures. Kids can play with this toy both in and out of the bath. We consider it one of the best toys for 2 year olds as it encourages early learning through play, fine motor skills and creativity for kids.

Kids love to play with water and buying them a toy that is specifically designed to be submerged in water means they won't be disappointed. 'My kids are always throwing their toys in the bath,' says Jenny, mum to Logan and Becky. 'Then they complain if the toy gets ruined and say a sticker comes off or a part falls off. Their toys often end up looking like the misplaced toys in Toy Story! But I love the fact that this Lego Duplo set is made from water. It means they can put it in the bath and play with it to their heart's content, without having to worry about it getting damaged.'

VIEW AT JOHN LEWIS | £17.99 (opens in new tab)

5. Melissa & Doug Safari Shape Sort Truck

Melissa & Doug Safari Shape Sort Truck - one of the best toys for 2 year olds

Age suitability: 2 years+ | Batteries: No

2 year olds love playing with toys on wheels, so you can't go wrong with a motor such as this Melissa & Doug Safari Shape Truck. This safari truck does one better by including a whole host of colourful animals inside! It is simply great for imaginative play and fine motor skills. Parents who have bought this toy have loved how long it kept their children captivated.

'While it may be a simple toy with just a few animals and safari rangers to play with, I like the fact that everything can be compactly stored on the toy after use,' Catherine - mum to Oliver - told GoodtoKnow. 'It's simple, but an effective toy in that it is a colourful design with popular animal characters that kids love. It's a good way to teach kids about colour too as each piece is bright and bold.'

VIEW AT JOHN LEWIS | £16.99 (opens in new tab)

6. Janod Magnetic Rocket

small magnetic rocket toy for 2 year olds

Age suitability: 2 years+ | Batteries: No

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.

JoJo Maman Bebe sells a range of wooden toys (opens in new tab), but this Magnetic Rocket has to be one of our favourites. Made from Chinese cherry wood, it can be deconstructed into 3 pieces with the little astronaut sitting snugly inside. For something equally enticing, with an attractive - attention-grabbing, finish we also like the Janod Silver Magnetic Rocket (opens in new tab). JoJo Maman Bebe also sells a range of spaceman-inspired books including a First Flaps and Facts: Super Space book.  (opens in new tab)

VIEW AT JOJO MAMAN BEBE | £14.99 (opens in new tab)

7. TADPOLE MINI by Frog Bikes

Child on a balance bike

Age suitability: 18 months + | Batteries: No

When it comes to the best balance bikes for kids (opens in new tab), there is no question that Frog bikes (opens in new tab) are some of the best on the market, and among the best toys for 2 year olds. 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.

For balance bikes you can also try companies such as Airo Hornit (opens in new tab) and the Rothan by Isla Bikes. (opens in new tab) It's important to remember that every child is different and some may not enjoy the feel of a balance bike, and maybe best suited to starting their cycling journey with a trike or a small bike with stabilisers. If they take to it, however, a balance bike can be excellent at helping a 2 year old gain confidence and make it easier for them to make the leap from balance bike to riding a bike without stabilisers when the day comes.

VIEW AT THE LITTLE BIKE COMPANY | £170 (opens in new tab)

8. Play kitchen

play kitchen toy for 2 year olds plus

Age suitability: 2 years+ | Batteries: No

This wooden play kitchen is full of lovely little details and it looks gorgeous too. This is an importance consideration 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.

'There are a lot of garish toy kitchens out there,' says Gemma, mum to Oliver and Sienna, but I think this one has a very stylish design, which is an important consideration for me when buying such a permanent fixture as this. I've come across a range of wooden toy kitchens that are all finished in tasteful colours including pale blue and bold red, but this grey and white design seems to be the most neutral. It comes with lots of fun features too including the cute microwaves on top and oven, sink and kettle. I think owning a toy kitchen gives parents a great opportunity to encourage kids to learn how about nutrition and how to cook too!'

VIEW AT GREAT LITTLE TRADING CO | £162 (opens in new tab)

9. Orchard Toys Farmyard Heads and Tails Game

Orchard Toys Farmyard Heads and Tails Game

Age suitability: 18 months+ | Batteries: No

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 people. This is a great way to encourage them to share and take turns.

Orchard Toys has such a great range of imaginative toys for under 10s and we think you can't go wrong with gifting one of these. We think the Post Box Game and Smelly Wellies would also among the best Best toys for 2 year olds.

VIEW AT AMAZON | £7.73 (opens in new tab)

10. Wooden Doctors Set With Carry Case

Children playing with a toy doctors set and a rabbit

Age suitability: 3 years+ | Batteries: No

Playing doctors has never looked so cute 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.

'I always love playing doctors and nurses with my kids as it means I can lay on the couch and relax for a few moments, while the kids play around me,' smiles Jenny, mum to Logan and Becky. 'This set is one of the more tasteful designs I've come across, with wooden pieces that have a classic feel and feel like they will last a few knocks, scrapes and bumps.'

VIEW AT JOJO MAMAN BEBE | £40 (opens in new tab)

11. LeapFrog Learning Friends 100 Words Book

LeapFrog Learning Friends 100 Words Book

Age suitability: 18 months+ | Batteries: Yes

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.

‘This is quite a bulky toy but it comes packed with a lot of fun features,’ says Gemma, mum to Oliver and Sienna. ‘I like the fact that it encourages learning a different language and gets kids used to a different sound – you can slide the language switch and hear the words and songs and instructions in French, for example. My kids particularly loved the silly sound effects in the Fun Sounds mode.’

VIEW AT BOOTS | £20 (opens in new tab)

12. Wooden Shape Sorting Snake

Colour Me Happy Snake educational toy

Age suitability: 2 years+ | Batteries: No

This bright wooden puzzle is great for teaching 2 year olds about shapes and colours. It will really test and help grow their logical thinking and problem solving skills. Once they have managed to complete it for the first time, they will no doubt feel such a sense of achievement, which is why it makes a great gift for a 2 year old.

If kids love this, they may also like the stacking effect of the Tender Leaf Toys Wooden Rainbow. (opens in new tab) Equally educational, with that strong and durable wooden finish, it encourages kids to crack the puzzle by placing the rainbow in the correct position.

VIEW AT AMAZON | £24.50 (opens in new tab)

13. Personalised Cascading Wooden Car Game

Cascading Wooden Car Game

Age suitability: 2 years+ | Batteries: No

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. Such as simple, yet effective game that will leave 2 year olds mesmerised for ages.

'I've had six kids and each one has loved playing with wooden toys,' says mum Karleen. 'It may look simple, but this is a traditional toy that you can't go wrong with buying for your own kids or gifting for someone else. I've seen them with a simple wooden finish, but I particularly love the colourful nature of this design, which includes all the colours of the rainbow.'

VIEW AT NOT ON THE HIGHSTREET | £48 (opens in new tab)

14. Little Tikes Fountain Factory Water Table

Group of children playing with Little Tikes Fountain Factory Water Table in the garden

Age suitability: 24 months + | Batteries: No

2 year olds will just love playing with this great outdoor toy (opens in new tab).  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. It's one of those toys for 2 year olds that can be played with alone, but it's even better with friends.

Like Tikes has mastered the outdoor play area with its range of colourful toys for kids. As well as this Fountain Factory Water Table, the company sells a very popular Anchors Away Pirate Water Playset (opens in new tab), which is equally fun in design. This Fountain Factory Water Table, however, is slightly taller in design and more colourful. For a slightly smaller option you can choose the Little Tikes Spinning Seas Water Table, (opens in new tab) instead.

VIEW AT AMAZON | £60 (opens in new tab)