by Anna Karsten

Best Toys for a 2-Year-Old

Choosing toys for a 2-year-old can be difficult not because there aren’t any good gift ideas out there. It’s because, at this age, toddlers are interested in nearly everything, but quickly lose interest at the same time.

Their mind is bursting with curiosity, and they’re moving from one development phase to another overnight. 

Whether it’s for your own toddler, a niece, grandson, or a friend’s child, you want to choose a toy that’s not just entertaining in a silly way.

You might aim for one that helps them build problem-solving skills, gross-motor skills. Or that encourages them to exercise memory or learn about this beautiful world that always fascinates them.

So, I’ve put together a list of some of the best gifts for a 2 year old. They are timeless and can interest them when they’re older, as well. Consider yourself all prepped for the holiday season or birthday.

Also, check out my best toys for a 1 year old and best gifts for 3 year old, as you might have missed some that are still fantastic to gift for a 2nd birthday.


Best Gift Ideas for a 2 Year Old

Top Picks

• Best pretend play toy: Dyson Toy Vacuum or Playkitchen
• Best for walks with a toddler: Tricycle
• Best toy for outdoor play: Little Tikes T-Ball Set or Electric Car
• Best for a curious toddler: Learning Tower
• Best toy for an active toddler: My First Trampoline
Best for a little individual: Playtent or Bilingual Books


Little Tikes T-Ball Set

This set could be the toddler’s first contact with baseball. It will help them learn how to play baseball.

Whether they will like baseball or not, the game offers a great way to practice balance, hand-eye coordination, and just be physically active.

We got the T-Ball set when Dylan was about 1,5 years old and he’s been getting a hang of it. By 2 he was proficient so I think it’s a perfect gift.

T-Ball Set
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Tricycle, Balance Bike

Any one of these three is an excellent gift for a toddler because they are starting to be drawn to outdoor sports.

Whether you choose a tricycle or balance bike, these vehicles encourage coordination. They’re fun and keep them engaged in physical activities.

Also, knowing how to ride a bike is a reliable long-term skill that can turn out to be useful. Toddlers can start learning it by exercising balance on such a vehicle from a young age.

We actually have both – tricycle and balance bike and the second was a bit of a bust. He’s not using it almost at all, but the tricycle is a big hit.

Since we got one with parental control and push Dylan wants to go for walks pretty much exclusively with it instead of a stroller.

Radio Flyer Tricycle
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Electric Car

I ended up getting Dylan an electric Mercedes Benz for his first birthday. it’s technically for 3+ and everyone recommends getting a ride-on instead.

Ride-ons are cheaper and more age-appropriate, but I don’t see him playing with this as enthusiastically as with this one.

Most electric cars have no parental remote and even if a child cannot fully reach the pedals yet, the remote is fantastic.

We drive him around (it turned out to be a great gift for dad as well!) and he totally thinks he’s driving the car himself. He even honks at neighbors.

But, if you’re looking for a fun ride-on Cozy Coupes are great, as well as Step2 Coasters.

Electric Ride On Car
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Magnetic Drawing Board

This is a classic toy that most toddlers find very engaging.

It’s basically an erasable pad with a stylus. It’s light, so parents can take it anywhere, making it a great traveling toy.

The magnetic drawing board helps toddler develop their imagination, creativity, and their fine motor skills.

We have this and it’s been a blessing since Dylan stopped painting all over the floor with his crayons 😉

Magnetic Drawing Board
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Little Trampoline

Jumping on a trampoline could be both indoor or outdoor. So, depending on space availability, you can choose a larger or smaller one.

A trampoline gives toddlers the chance to exercise balance and burn some energy.

Bouncing always brings joy to toddlers, so you really can’t go wrong with this one. 

Trampoline
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Lego Duplo

From all the Lego series, Lego Duplo is the most age-appropriate for a 2-year-old.

It’s bulky enough to be easily grabbed and maneuvered.

There is a large selection to choose from that cover multiple toddler obsessions: trains, farms, diggers, police stations, or dollhouses. 

We used to have Mega Blocks from Dylan’s 1st birthday, but he wants more possibilities these days, so Legos are just perfect.

P.S. My parents kept my own Duplo sets for 30 years and when we unpacked them they were as good as new – it’s something you can keep passing on 🙂

Duplo Blocks
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Dyson Vacuum Toy

Toddlers like to accompany us in our housework and often imitate how we do our errands.

They want to practice real-life skills at this stage, so offering age-appropriate tools to participate in cleaning or cooking is essential to help them feel included.

A Dyson Vacuum is a great practical gift that looks realistic and even vacuums some small objects, so the toddler will get to see the results of his effort.

It does work a bit, not with a force of the real Dyson naturally, but it can suck up confetti.

Toy Vacuum
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Art Easel

Painting and crafting are always attractive to toddlers because it implies mixing colors, dipping their fingers into the paint, tearing colorful paper, or learning how to draw their favorite objects.

An art easel can offer them more freedom to explore art and parents more peace of mind regarding having a dedicated space for the messy work.

Art easels can also have 2 sides, a magnetic one or a blackboard on one side and a paper-based on the other, which makes them even more interactive. 

Art Easel for Toddlers
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Playtent

Toddlers love to have places to hide in or hide their toys. A teepee tent is a fantastic gift, just as a 2-year-old is getting more into imaginative role-playing.

It also provides a great place to retreat to read, calm themselves, and acts as a safe space. The height of the tent depends on your home and whether it will be shared with older siblings.

Also, some tents come with a matching mattress, some don’t – research thoroughly. 

If you’re into camping you can also get a full-on camping set instead. It’s been a hit in our house (works as a gift for the cat too, Poofy uses it as much as Dylan does!)

Playtent
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Learning Tower

Having a learning tower around the house could be the best gift not only for a 2-year-old but also for parents, as well.

It could be one of the most practical gifts. A learning tower is a piece of furniture that resembles a high chair that allows your toddler to stand higher in a safe place.

You can cook together with your toddler and involve them in personal hygiene routines by encouraging them to become more independent.

There are many options on the market, from more basic ones to multi-functional ones. You can find a full guide at this link.

Kitchen helper tower
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Construction Tiles

To build is a natural skill that children are always looking to cultivate. Magnetic construction tiles are great at encouraging that.

They help toddlers exercise their fine motor skills, recognize patterns, identify symmetries, and it completely spurs their imagination.

The most popular ones are Magna Tiles and Mag Player. 

Magna Tiles
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Bilingual Books

Whenever in doubt, books can save the day. They can be holiday-related, about Christmas, new brother or sister – anything you can think of!

Books are the most effective way toddlers improve their vocabulary, develop empathy, and nourish their brains.

Many can teach vocabulary in another language as well.

Plus, you get to read it together, so you can steal a couple more minutes of cuddling.

Bilingual Books
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