Looking for the perfect toys for 2-year-olds? We’ve got you covered. Read on for our favorite picks and discover why play is so important at this age.
We probably don’t need to tell you that your toddler is developing at a rapid-fire pace.
Suddenly, they’re kicking, chatting (in something that sounds awfully close to very short sentences), and waving (at everyone).
And while toddlers don’t come in a one-size-fits-all model, there are some key points to consider when it comes to getting the most out of their playtime.
You don’t have to do this alone.
If you’ve got a 2-year-old birthday party coming up, or are looking for the perfect Christmas gift, we’ve got you covered.
We’ll take you through our top picks for toys for 2-year-olds so that you can find the right fit for your unique little person (and your budget!).
In this article: 📝
- What is the best toy for 2-years-old?
- What educational toys do 2-year-olds need?
- What do 2-year-olds like to play with?
- Best learning toys for 2 year olds
- Best active toys for 2 year olds
- Best dinosaur toys for 2 year olds
What is the best toy for 2-years-old?
Well, that depends on the 2-year-old.
But here is a rough guide to follow to keep your little one safe while they learn and play:
Choose toys that are free of sharp edges and small parts — and it’s always a good idea to do research on a product’s safety before purchasing.
Also, steer clear of toys that are broken or really old.
(That adorable vintage wooden horse may have some splinters in it.)
And make sure that anything battery operated has a proper enclosure for the batteries that little hands can’t macgyver.
(Here are the full guidelines on choosing safe toys for toddlers from Nemours Children’s Health.)
And a practical consideration?
Look for toys that are easy to clean.
Luckily, there are so many toys for 2-year-olds that pass these tests with flying colors.
Right now, playing is your toddler’s full-time job.
(Sure, they also have some side hustles, like tantrum-throwing, messy eating, and showing off their extreme cuteness.)
And while nobody needs a reason to play, it’s about more than just keeping them entertained.
It helps them grow on all levels, building those brain cells and strengthening and developing those little bodies.
Play also helps them evolve socially and emotionally.
Consider it their way of rehearsing for the task of being a human in this world — and having a lot of fun while doing it.
With that in mind, here’s how to home in on toys that can be their trusty sidekicks on this journey.
What educational toys do 2-year-olds need?
By the time your little one hits two, they can do all sorts of neat tricks.
These include pointing out things in a book and the parts of their bodies, playing with more than one toy at a time, and kicking a ball.
They can also understand facial emotions, like when someone is looking sad.
So educational toys for 2-year-olds are all about finding things that encourage their development in these directions.
At this stage, your little one is likely still doing what’s called parallel play where they play next to other children but don’t actually play with them.
This is a totally normal part of their development and in the coming years, they’ll move on to a more collaborative approach.
And now for the big question:
What do 2-year-olds like to play with?
Well, here’s the thing.
2-year-olds like to play with everything from pots and pans to your make-up to all the light switches in the house.
And this general curiosity for the world can actually play in your favor when it comes to entertaining them.
Provided they’re exploring their senses and getting to know a bit more about how their minds and bodies work, the toy’s doing the trick.
At this point, they may have started to pretend play.
They might be imitating you cleaning, taking care of a little sibling, or talking on the phone.
So any toys that can help them in their pretend play go a long way.
Another thing to consider?
Along with helping them develop their physical skills, the right toys will give all that energy a place to go!
With that in mind, here are our top picks:
Best learning toys for 2 year olds
1. Melissa & Doug ABC-123 Abacus
Get them started on number, letter, and pattern recognition early with this fun wooden abacus.
The visuals are adorable, featuring everything from whales to socks to falling leaves.
2. Skoolzy Plastic Peg Board
With this popular matching toy, they can practice their all-important sorting and stacking skills while getting to know their colors all at the same time.
And you get the choice of either a foam or plastic board.
3. Farmer’s Market Color Sorting Set
This toy’s a hit on Amazon.
And it’s not hard to see why.
The set comes with 25 toy fruits and veg in five colors.
Your toddler’s job is to sort them by color into the little buckets provided.
Not only does this toy help out with important skills, but it also encourages a love of healthy food from early on!
4. LeapFrog Learning Friends 100 Words Book
It’s never too early to foster a love of reading.
And this fun book is the perfect way to do so.
With the help of their learning friends — a turtle, a tiger, and a monkey — your little one will get to explore 100 words chosen by educational experts.
Through hearing sound effects, seeing the book light up, and touching the words on the page, this book encourages your child to engage all their senses in the learning process.
5. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Toddler Toy Vacuum
This adorable toy vacuum promotes a combo of pretend play, sensory stimulation, and sheer enjoyment.
Complete with educational songs and phrases, as well as on and off switches, it’s a great addition to your play corner.
Plus, you can encourage a love of cleaning at the same time. Win-win.
6. Learn-A-Bee Little Genius Kit for 2-Year-Olds
This learning kit is a one-stop shop for educational fun.
With games, board books, and flashcards, it teaches everything from manners to numbers and more.
It also includes a craft set so they can flex those creative muscles.
7. BABLOCVID Magnetic Drawing Board
Inspiring creativity (and possibly starting out a lifetime of a passion for the arts), this magnetic drawing board allows your little one to explore colors while educating them on numbers and writing all at the same time.
And the really good news?
It’s erasable — unlike that permanent marker on your newly painted walls.
8. VTech Drill and Learn Toolbox
Your little one can get an early handle on handiwork with this fun toolbox.
Encouraging pretend play and honing fine motor skills, the tools in this adorable tool box light up and spin for added fun.
And if you need some help around the house in a few years time, you may just have a volunteer.
9. Busy Board for Toddlers
Consider this a baby briefcase.
With an array of different activities to keep your little one entertained, the bag opens out to boards filled with sensory play.
They will be introduced to animals, numbers, the alphabet and so much more.
Consider toddler entertainment in the bag with this option.
10. VTech Touch and Learn Activity Desk
While this is on the pricier side, it may just be a fixture in your home for a few years to come.
This is your toddler’s workstation — chair, desk, and work/play included.
It comes with a suite of interactive learning materials that will help your child learn new words, shapes, colors, sounds, and so much more!
Best active toys for 2 year olds
11. Radio Flyer Scooter
Get your toddler their very first set of wheels with this fun scooter.
It’s got four wheels, making it perfect for little ones who are just finding their feet.
And they can scoot from a seated position.
12. Move2Play Interactive Soccer Ball
You can’t go wrong with a toddler soccer ball.
And this one takes the original idea and makes it even more fun!
With songs and sounds, this ball may not only have them moving but also have you giggling.
(Yep, it does shout “GOALLLLLLL!”)
13. Triangle Climbing Toys
Bring the park home with this 3-in-1 Montessori toy set.
They get to explore how their bodies work in space while flexing their curiosity and imagination.
This one’s also likely to be in your life for the next few years, so it’s a good longer-term investment.
14. AugToy Soft Bowling Set
If you’re a bowling family, now’s the time to introduce your kids to your love of the lanes.
This set has soft balls and pins to keep things safe and is a great way to practice hand-eye coordination.
Best dinosaur toys for 2 year olds
Because who doesn’t love a bit of prehistoric play?
15. LeapFrog Dino’s Delightful Day Alphabet Book
Let Dino guide your little one through a world of letters and words in this interactive playbook.
With songs, light-up letters, and entertaining stories, this book may just become your toddler’s favorite.
16. Spike the Fine Motor Dinosaur
Help your little one practice their fine motor skills with this adorable ankylosaurus.
With a mouth that opens and shuts, and spikes that can be grasped and sorted to help build his body, the sweet Spike will help them learn their colors while keeping them well entertained.
17. V-Tech Chomp and Count Dino
Feed this dino toy food and he’ll respond to you.
What an exciting way to be introduced to color, shapes and counting!
He sings songs, can be pulled along with a string, and is just downright cute.
Can’t go wrong with this chomper!
18. Veslier Dinosaur Transport Carrier Truck
Why have one dinosaur when you can have a whole truckload?
And the best part?
Each one of the little dinosaurs that go inside the dino truck has wheels themselves.
There’s no stopping these freewheelin’ relics.
19. Koonie Remote Control Dinosaur
Okay, this toy puts together a few of our favorite things: sequins, a talkback function (yep, it will copy what you say), and dinosaurs.
Let him roar through your house, causing endless delight!