‘Tis the season to get your holiday shopping started! This may be one of the first holidays that your 2 year old really has an understanding for and it will be so exciting to see the joy in their eyes when they unwrap those thoughtful gifts.
Although you may think that shopping for your 2-year old is tough, they are pretty easy to please!
Now that I have a 2 and 3 year old, I have plenty of knowledge on all-time favorite toys, games, and materials that will keep them more occupied than their typical 2 minute attention span. As an Occupational Therapist, I’m also always looking out for toys that provide the most educational opportunities while strengthening necessary developmental skills at the same time.
Here are my ideas of the best gifts for a 2 year old that they won’t get sick of. Also, check out the Best Stocking Stuffers for your Toddler Under $25
Let your little one get a little messy while they create masterpieces. They’ll have fun making projects, crafts, and seeing what they can use their imagination to build and create.
Crayola Mess-Free Coloring Packets
Mess-Free coloring is a toddler parent’s dream! Of course you want your kids to start exploring with markers, crayons, and paints, but that also requires immediate supervision unless you want their beautiful masterpieces on your walls. These Mess-Free Coloring Packets are perfect because they get the joy of using markers and coloring a picture, but you don’t have the worry of a big mess! There are 18 coloring sheets in a pack so you may want to stock up on a few because they’re cheap!
Picasso Magnetic Tiles
Magnetic Tiles provide my toddlers with hours upon hours of fun and entertainment! We really don’t have any other toys that my 2 year old and 3 year old don’t gravitate toward on a daily basis. The tiles have magnetic strips that allows them to stick together rather than having to stack them on top of each other. The kids love figuring out new ways to build with them and seeing what they can come up with next.
Magnetic Doodle Board
This magnetic doodle board is sure to trigger your child’s interest and stimulate his curiosity towards colors and drawing. It provides plenty of space to allow your kids to fully play with their imagination and creativity while still being easy to carry on-the-go. Your toddler will love drawing and “erasing” with the attached pen and the best part about it is: No Mess!
Melissa & Doug 1″ Blocks
These small and simple 1″ wooden blocks are perfect for little hands to hold and begin to improve their hand eye coordination. They may have already mastered building block towers with MegaBlocks or large blocks, so if they’re up for the challenge, these are the perfect fit. They offer a little more difficulty, but if your 2 year old loves to build, they’ll learn so much from these Montessori-based toys.
Play Doh Starter Kit
This Play Doh Starter Set is perfect for 2 year olds as they learn how to manipulate and play with play doh. It comes with 4 different colors of full-sized play doh and a bunch of little gadgets to play with. Your toddler will love rolling, flattening, pulling, and cutting the play doh in all sorts of shapes and sizes. It’s great fine motor skill practice!
Educational & Skill Building
Most toys and items that you’ll buy your toddler will offer some type of learning experience. This is because young children are constantly learning new ways to play and explore as they develop new skills. Here are some of the best gifts for a 2 year old that provide the most learning and skill building.
Leap Frog “My Own Laptop”
This LeapFrog Laptop is a great way to help your child learn their letters and sounds. My children absolutely love these laptops that make learning fun! As you tap each letter, it tells you the name of the letter, sound, and a word that starts with that letter, building your 2 year old’s vocabulary even more. There’s music, images, and even pretend emails so they won’t even know they’re actually learning! Best of all, it’s small and portable, perfect for long car rides.
Lovevery Toddler Play Kits
Lovevery is a subscription service bringing your child new toys and activities to explore every 3 months. You specify your child’s age and it gives you a box of awesome Montessori-based items that are educational, skill building, and entertaining. You’ll get anything from puzzles and books to games and pretend play activities. Of course you don’t have to maintain the subscription longer than 1 month if you don’t want, but it really helps to build skills in your toddler and helps you not to worry about buying new items to entertain them all the time.
Learning Resources Count ‘Em Up Popcorn
These adorable little popcorn bowls will help your 2 year old learn numbers and counting with food that you can play with. The pieces are large enough for little hands to hold and they get situated in a certain way that only allows that number in the cup. They’ll build number sense and recognition while they practice counting with these jumbo popcorn sets.
Wooden Name Puzzle
My toddlers absolutely love their name puzzles by Bloom Owl. My 20 month old could already spell his name just because he worked on his puzzle daily! It’s a great way to help them learn the letters of their name, identify colors, and puzzles improve visual motor skills as well. Pick your 2-year-old’s favorite colors and customize it to your liking.
Personalized Book with Their Name
The personalized name books from Put Me in the Story are absolutely adorable and my children love them. Your 2 Year Old will love seeing their name all throughout the book and it will help them learn to identify letters of their name as well. These books will stay with them as they grow and learn.
Star Right Flash Card Set
These flashcards are perfect for early learners. With large fonts, bright graphics, and a ring to hold them all together, your child will love seeing all the new pictures, letters and numbers. These flash cards make learning fun and they won’t even realize that you’re actually teaching them new things.
Little Hippo Ready to Rise Sleep Training Clock
While you may be thinking, why would my toddler need an alarm clock? I want them to sleep as long as possible! This is not an ordinary alarm clock, but actually a sleep trainer. The colors change as the night goes on an it will alert your child when it’s “time to leave the room” at your discretion. They’ll get used to knowing what each color means and become aware that they can’t get out of their room (and come knocking on your door). While this may seem like more of a gift for you, your kids will actually love it because they’ll think it’s they’re new pet nightlight!
Wooden Inset Puzzles
Wooden peg inset puzzles are great to get your toddler learning the concepts of letters, numbers, and animals, as well as improving their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills for placing the pieces in the hole. These puzzles have bright and bold colors and numerous learning opportunities.
Pretend play is so much fun for a 2 year old. At this age, they want to imitate everything that they see you doing all day long. Whether it’s cooking, cleaning, talking on the phone, brushing your hair, or working at your computer, you’ll find your little imitating you all the time. Here are the best gifts for your two year old that encourage pretend play and imitation.
KidKraft Play Kitchen
This KidKraft play kitchen helps bring cooking to life for your 2 year old. They can pretend to cook like mom and dad in their own little kitchen. This one comes with a microwave, refrigerator, dishwasher, sink and much more for a truly realistic feel. Don’t forget all the kitchen accessories as well, including play food, plates, and utensils that will make their kitchen feel complete.
Melissa & Doug Wooden Cleaning Set
Although a realistic wooden cleaning set may not be a typical toy for a 2 year old toddler, you would be surprised how many kids love helping with the household chores! According to the Montessori method of education, all you need to do is to provide them with the tools appropriate for their age and skills. Also, participating in everyday household activities helps children to refine their fine motor skills and learn responsponsibility and independence. Maybe the result won’t be perfect immediately, but they’ll definitely get the feeling of accomplishment. Not to mention there’s a lot of fun involved!
Soft Baby Doll
Get your toddler starting to learn how to take care of a baby of their own. These dolls are great if you’re already expecting another one in the family, but even if not, your little one will love the feeling of caring for a little one. They can feed the baby a bottle, change it’s diaper, and rock it to sleep. There are so many accessories you can also find for these dolls so the options are endless for future gifts!
Princess Purse Set
With this play purse set, your daughter will love pretending to be mommy as she takes her purse everywhere she goes! This set comes with keys, a phone, make up, a credit card, sunglasses, and a little change purse. The perfect set for your little girl!
Melissa and Doug Scoop & Stack Pretend Play Ice Cream
This Ice Cream Cone Magnetic Pretend Play Set includes magnetic ice-cream scoops, cones, and magnetic scoopers. The magnets make it super easy for your 2 year old to scoop and play. You don’t need a full play kitchen either to use pretend play food. Your toddler will love scooping the ice cream any way he can!
Role Playing Dress Up Clothes
Although Halloween might be over, that doesn’t mean your child can’t dress up anymore. Now that they’re learning about all the different roles in their community and environment, they’ll love pretending to be their favorite character, superhero, or community worker. They may want to be a princess, fairy, masked superhero, or even a cop or doctor. The options are endless so give them a full closet’s worth of options! Who knows, it may even end up being their future profession!
Gross Motor Skills
If your child is right smack in the middle of the terrible twos and has constant energy, getting some gifts that involve gross motor skills might be very beneficial to both you and them!
What better way to get your toddler burning off energy than with a trampoline? They’ll love bouncing off the trampoline instead of bouncing off your walls! The handle bar helps to keep them safe, as well.
Step 2 Climber and Slide
This small climber and slide is small enough to be used indoors in the winter time and can help get your 2 year old’s energy out. They’ll love climbing up and sliding down and I love that this one also features a small basketball hoop for additional fun.
For the younger 2 year olds, this bike is great to get them started with learning to balance on a bike. They will love scooting around the house on it as they push off their feet. If you have an older 2 year old, a regular balance bike might be best to actually learn how to ride a bike on.
Radio Flyer Scoot to Scooter
I love that this scooter converts from a ride on vehicle to a full scooter as your child grows. A younger 2 year old would probably enjoy the ride-on best, but still could get plenty of use out of the scooter once they’re taught.
Just for Fun
Even though most items do provide some kind of education and skill building, some can really be just for fun! These toys below make great toys for your two year old that they’ll be excited to have fun with daily.
Remember that fun game Whack-A-Mole at the arcades when you were a kid? This Whack-A-Frog game is along the same concept! Your 2 year old will love trying to whack the frogs as they pop up as it helps them to develop their visual motor skills and increase reaction time and processing speed.
Electric Big Toys Drum Set
Your child will improve their musical abilities as well as their hand eye coordination by beating on this drum all day long. Although it may hurt your ears a bit, they’ll have a blast making noise and learning how their actions produce sounds on the drum.
Who doesn’t love a bubble gun? Toddlers will enjoy hours of fun using this bubble gun and they’ll actually be able to operate it by themselves. Watch them run, jump, and swat as they try to chase and catch the bubbles. It’s so much fun!
These projectable nightlights are so cool and toddler absolutely love them. You can choose your 2 year old’s favorite character (there are a bunch to choose from), plug it into an outlet in their room, and it will project that light onto their ceiling or wall. They each have a few different options of pictures to choose from. Not only do they provide a night light for them but they’ll love seeing their favorites lighting up their room.
Glow Race Car Track
This race car track with battery powered cars makes a great gift of 2 year olds. They’ll love watching the electric car go around and around the track and up the hills. My kids can watch this thing go for hours!
I hope you got some great ideas of gifts for your 2 year old. They’re bound to find all of these toys and games fun and exciting as they learn and explore!