25+ Best Toys for Two-Year-Olds
Choosing toys for two-year-olds can be tricky. They’re too old for “baby” toys, but many of the “big kid” toys are designed for ages 3+. To help you choose the perfect gift, we’ve rounded up our picks for the best toys for two-year-olds. These are the tried and true favourites that have been loved by each of our kids.
I’m going to add a disclaimer right off the top. I’ve had two two-year-old boys, but I don’t yet have a two-year-old girl (my daughter is a year and a half). It may be that she naturally gravitates to different toys than her brothers did, but I don’t think there’s such a thing as “boy toys” or “girl toys” (especially at this age) so I’ve chosen to group them all together.
Some of the toys on this list are designed for ages 3+, but we found that our children were interested in them at 2. Use your best judgment – we often store the smaller pieces until we know our kids can be trusted not to put them in their mouth.
Missed our other gift guides?
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- 67+ Non-Toy Gift Ideas That Kids (and Parents!) Will Love
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1. Play kitchen. This was the big gift that Santa brought my oldest for his second Christmas. Play kitchens can be pricy, but in our house it was worth it. Our kitchen has been one of the most consistently played-with items in our playroom for almost 5 years. We went with the KidKraft Uptown Espresso Kitchen, and it has stood up well to 5 years of heavy use from three kids. I also love the look of the KidKraft Vintage Kitchen. If you watch the sales or the used market you can often score a great deal on these.
3. Play food. I highly recommend Learning Resources play food. We have this set, but any of their New Sprouts sets look fantastic. Originally I was going to go with wooden play food, but picturing my kids using the fruit and vegetables as projectiles made me change my mind. The Learning Resources sets are excellent quality – they’re made of a durable plastic that’s not going to get crushed or cracked like other play food sets.
4. Hide and Squeak eggs. I picked these up as part of my son’s Easter basket when he was a toddler, and was surprised by how much he loved them. They’re a great learning toy – teaching colour and shape recognition – and my kids have gotten countless hours of play out of them. They make them squeak, they match the shapes and colours, they hide the eggs (just like the Easter Bunny!), and they use the eggs in their “baking”.
5. Shopping cart. All of my kids have loved pushing around a shopping cart filled with their favourite toys and stuffed animals. We have this one, and have been very happy with it.
6. Doctor’s kit. A doctor’s kit is one of my go-to birthday gifts for two-year-olds. They’re not only fun to play with, they can also help make doctor’s visits a little bit easier. I’m convinced that part of the reason my middle son had an easier time at the doctor is because he was so used to being the “patient” for his older brother! I looked at a bunch and settled on the Fisher-Price medical kit, which has been a hit with all three of my kids.
7. Melissa and Doug dress-up sets. Continuing the theme of imaginative play, my kids have started getting into dress-up clothes around age two. The Melissa and Doug dress-up sets are great. There are tons of them (doctor, construction worker, firefighter, etc.), and they come with all of the accessories you need. These are designed for ages 3-6, so they will likely be big at first, but they’ll fit for a few years.
8. Broom and vacuum. I don’t know what it is about these, but kids love them! My daughter wants to sweep the floor every day, and when my son was in the toddler class at his daycare, they had three vacuums (for 12 kids!) because they were the highly sought-after toy. We went with a basic broom and dustpan, which has lasted for 5 years through three kids – the Melissa and Doug set looks fun too. We don’t have a toy vacuum yet, but I’m eyeing this one for my daughter’s Christmas list.
9. Tool set. Toddlers want to mimic what they see Mom and Dad doing, and with their own tool set they can do exactly that! We bought the full tool bench and found that the kids much preferred the tools themselves to the tool bench. I suggest skipping the toolbench and buying a self-contained set like this one.
10. Doll. Dolls are a great gift for boys and girls around this age – especially if a new sibling will be arriving shortly! Wee Baby Stella is a sweet little first doll. She’s soft, perfectly sized for little ones, and comes with a magnetic pacifier that my daughter finds quite entertaining.
11. Doll Accessories. I will admit that the world of doll accessories is still very new to me. We recently got this doll stroller, which is absolutely adorable! Both my 1.5 year old daughter and my 3-year-old son love pushing it around.
12. Play-Doh. Once they can be trusted not to eat it (or even before, with close supervision), Play-Doh is an excellent toy to exercise little hands and imaginations. Watch for sales on this – I often pick the small kits up at a great price.
13. Crayola Color Wonder. You want to give your little one the chance to explore their artistic side, but don’t want them to do so all over your walls or furniture! Crayola Color Wonder is a perfect solution. The markers only colour on the special Color Wonder paper, so there’s no mess.
15. Duplo. Duplo is a fantastic building toy. It’s perfect for two-year-olds, and even my 6-year-old still plays with it. Start with a basic set to see if your child takes to it.
16. Blocks. Blocks are another building toy that’s great for this age. Choose from classic wooden blocks, foam blocks, or larger cardboard blocks – I don’t think you can go wrong with any of them.
17. Magnetic tiles. These aren’t a two-year-old toy, and they weren’t on my original list, but then I watched my 1.5 year old daughter sit and play with them for more than 10 minutes and decided I had to add them. We LOVE PicassoTiles in our house. They’re a pricier toy, but in my opinion they’re worth every penny. We bought them for our kids last Christmas, and have since bought another 100-piece set. My only regret is not buying them sooner! This is one of the very few toys that my 1.5-year-old, 3-year-old, and 6-year-old will all sit down to play with together.
19. Trains. We got our kids a train table when my oldest was two and was obsessed with Thomas. We have a very similar model to this one. The train table was fun, but it took up a LOT of space, so give some serious thought to whether or not you have the room before you buy it. My kids went through stages where they played with it constantly, then would neglect it for months at a time. On the plus side, it makes a great Lego table, so I don’t see us getting rid of it any time soon. If I was doing it again, I think I would go with a train set, but not a table. Setting up the tracks seems to be half the fun, and that’s not as easy to do with a train table. Ikea sells a basic train set that would make a good starter set and a good way to figure out if it’s worth investing the money in a larger set.
20. Green Toys Build-a-Bouquet. We don’t have this yet, but it’s on my list for my daughter for Christmas (I’ll update this post if it ends up being a dud!). Green Toys are excellent quality, and this one gets great reviews and looks like a fun toy to inspire creativity.
21. Trampoline. This trampoline is a fantastic way for toddlers to burn off energy, especially during the winter months when they’re cooped up inside. Ours is a permanent fixture in our living room (unfortunately!), and all of my kids will wander over and jump on it often.
22. Little People. Little People continue to be a huge hit for two-year-olds. We have the Surprise & Sounds Home, and older versions of the school bus and farm, as well as some other sets that have since been discontinued. My daughter plays with them most often right now, but my three-year-old regularly joins in as well.
23. Puzzles. The Melissa and Doug chunky puzzles are perfect for two-year-olds. We love this shape puzzle, as well as their numerous animal and vehicle-themed puzzles that you can choose from to match your child’s interests. The Learning Journey 4-In-A-Box puzzles are another puzzle set our kids have enjoyed starting around age two – these help them build up to progressively more difficult puzzles.
24. Outdoor toys. There are so many wonderful outdoor toys for toddlers that I wrote an entire post about it! Check out my picks for the 16 best outdoor toys for toddlers here.
25. Table and chairs. This isn’t a toy per se, but a child-sized table and chairs will get a lot of use over the next few years. IKEA has a ton of options for durable, pint-sized furniture – we have the Sundvik table and chairs.
26. Character toys. Finally, age two is when my children started developing an interest in particular characters, and any toy featuring their favourite character was guaranteed to be a winner. Whether it’s Paw Patrol, Mickey Mouse, Disney princesses, Thomas, Peppa Pig, or Bluey, you can’t go wrong with their favourite character toy.
What are your favourite toys for two-year-olds?