Gift Ideas for 2 year olds (2021)

Updated: Nov 17, 2021

Here are our gift ideas for two year old toddlers based on typical development and the way children this age generally explore the world through play.

At two children are still very much into their own world and enjoying lots of solo play. They are full of personality and continue learning new skills just by looking and listening. You'll see them engage in more complex physical, sensory, and constructive play as they become more independent and confident in their abilities. Their language develops in leaps and bounds and their imaginations begin to soar. Pretend play is the new black and they love imitating what they see in real life.

 
Ways to Play: Breaking down the big categories of play by the types of activities children engage in
 
Here are our 2021 top toy picks for 2 year olds (not in any particular order). Scroll down for more on each recommendation and the associated developmental benefits:

[Please note that this post does contain affiliate links. This means, at zero cost to you, we may receive a small affiliate commission when you click through our links and make purchases. We try our best to be fair and only share products that we truly love and recommend.]

*Products mentioned on this page are meant for toddlers under adult supervision. (Manufacturer's age recommendations are noted when available)
 

Duplo

LEGO DUPLO Classic Brick Box. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon


LEGO DUPLO Classic Brick Box 10913 First Set with Storage Box, 65 Pieces (18 months & up)


This open-ended build and play set has been a staple in our playroom. It's a toddler friendly introduction to Legos and comes with simple instructions and ideas. The colorful, chunky, easy-to-hold interlocking bricks invite little ones to explore hands-on creativity and imaginative play.


BENEFITS:

  • Hand-eye coordination

  • Spatial skills (where objects are in relation to each other)

  • Strengthens problem solving

  • Focus and concentration

  • Natures creativity

  • Develops physical strength; engaging fine motor (small muscles like fingers, and hands) movements

  • Encourages communication and language development

 

Chunky Puzzles

Melissa & Doug Wooden Chunky Puzzle Click the photo to see the price on Amazon


Melissa & Doug Safari Wooden Chunky Puzzle, 8 pcs (2-4 years)


This simple 8 piece puzzle with large and chunky pieces is the perfect next step for toddler puzzle fun. The colorful matching pictures underneath each piece offered great visual clues. We loved that the pieces were chunky enough to stand upright and encourage imaginative play. There are several versions of this same puzzle and totally worth having multiple sets.


BENEFITS:

  • Hand-eye coordination

  • Visual perception skills

  • Focus and concentration

  • Encourages communication and language development

  • Strengthens problem solving

  • Develops physical strength; engaging fine motor (small muscles like fingers, and hands) movements

 

1st Train Set

BRIO Classic Figure 8 Set Click the photo to see the price on Amazon

BRIO World 33028 - Classic Figure 8 Set - 22 Piece Wood Toy Train Set with Accessories and Wooden Tracks (2 years & up)


This wooden starter set is the perfect introduction to railway play. The simple Scandinavian design has no plastic parts, magnets hold the cars together, and the set can be easily expanded with all other BRIO trains and track. Our little one adores her classic set and plays with it regularly.


BENEFITS:

  • Hand-eye coordination

  • Focus and concentration

  • Develops physical strength; engaging fine motor (small muscles like fingers, and hands) movements

  • Spatial skills (where objects are in relation to each other)

  • Strengthens problem solving

  • Natures creativity

  • Encourages communication and language development

 

1st Game

Think Fun Roll and Play Game. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon


Think Fun Roll and Play Game (18 months & up)


This is a great first game parents can play with their little ones. Kiddos toss a large colorful plush cube and act out whatever is on the card of the corresponding color rolled. Toddlers get to practice listening, following directions, and taking turns while bonding with their favorite grown-ups.


BENEFITS:

  • Develops physical strength; engaging gross motor (big muscles like arms, trunks, and legs) movements

  • Coordination and balancing skills

  • Learns colors

  • Builds confidence

  • Strengthens problem solving

  • Natures creativity

  • Encourages communication and language development

 

Blocks


Uncle Goose Classic ABC Blocks.. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon


Uncle Goose Classic ABC Blocks (2 years & up)


These classic blocks are a gorgeous addition to any playroom. Their open ended awesomeness make them perfect for stacking, sorting, matching, building, and knocking down. We love their size and heirloom quality.


BENEFITS:

  • Develops physical strength; engaging gross motor (big muscles like arms, trunks, and legs) and fine motor (small muscles like fingers, and hands) movements

  • Coordination and balancing skills

  • Spatial skills (where objects are in relation to each other)

  • Hand-eye coordination

  • Learns colors, uppercase letters, numbers, animals, cause-and-effect

  • Strengthens problem solving

  • Focus and concentration

  • Natures creativity

  • Encourages communication and language development

 

Sort and Stack


Melissa & Doug Stack and Sort Board. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon


Melissa & Doug Stack and Sort Board (2-4 years)


This is a great introduction to shapes, colors, and numbers. Our little one started with just stacking the pieces then moved on to sorting and stacking by color. Eventually we used the pieces as counters and large beads for threading fun.



BENEFITS:

  • Strengthens problem solving

  • Visual perception skills

  • Hand-eye coordination

  • Focus and concentration

  • Learns shapes, colors, counting, numbers

  • Develops physical strength; engaging fine motor (small muscles like fingers, and hands) movements

  • Encourages communication and language development

 

Sorting Loose Parts



PlanToys 5360 Sort & Count Cups. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon


PlanToys 5360 Sort & Count Cups (18 months & up)


Playing with loose parts is a wonderful way to practice sorting and matching. The pieces are great for stacking, pouring, transfers and their open-ended-ness make them perfect for anything else your toddler can imagine.


BENEFITS:

  • Strengthens problem solving

  • Visual perception skills

  • Hand-eye coordination

  • Focus and concentration

  • Learns colors, counting

  • Develops physical strength; engaging fine motor (small muscles like fingers, and hands) movements

  • Natures creativity

  • Encourages communication and language development

 

Chunky Vehicles


Melissa & Doug School Bus Play Set. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon


Melissa & Doug School Bus Wooden Play Set With 7 Play Figures (36 months & up)


My little one has loved this set from the moment she saw it. Its fantastic for building, sorting, matching, counting, and has been included in hours upon hours (and we're talking not the most gentle hours) of imaginative play! All the pieces are veeeeeeery well loved and our adorable little bus is just as sturdy and secure as ever!


BENEFITS:

  • Hand-eye coordination

  • Develops physical strength; engaging gross motor(big muscles like arms, trunks, and legs) and fine motor (small muscles like fingers, and hands) movements

  • Coordination and balancing skills

  • Spatial skills (where objects are in relation to each other)

  • Natures creativity

  • Encourages communication and language development


 

Balance Bike

Strider - 12 Sport Balance Bike. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon


Strider - 12 Sport Balance Bike (18 months -5 years)


This was a great first bike to learn balance and improve dexterity, cognitive ability, and spatial awareness. We started our little one around one year old with the 2-in-1 Rocking bike and today she continues to work on her two-wheeled balance, coordination, and confidence on the 12 Sport. We love the adjustable features and how it's grown with her.


BENEFITS:

  • Hand-eye coordination

  • Develops physical strength; engaging gross motor(big muscles like arms, trunks, and legs) and fine motor (small muscles like fingers, and hands) movements

  • Coordination and balancing skills

  • Builds confidence

  • Spatial skills (where objects are in relation to each other)

 

Noise Makers

Ehome Toddler Musical Instruments. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon


Ehome Toddler Musical Instruments, Natural Wood Percussion Instruments with Storage Bag (0-6 years)


Toddlers learn a ton making their own music. A set with various instruments like this one exposes them to different sounds, tones, and volumes. Noise makers are a great hands-on way to introducing them to expressive play and spark a love of music.


BENEFITS:

  • Hand-eye coordination

  • Focus and concentration

  • Engages the senses: enhance auditory, tactile and visual sensory development

  • Develops physical strength; engaging gross motor (big muscles like arms, trunks, and legs) and fine motor (small muscles like fingers, and hands) movements

  • Encourages communication and language development

 

Baby Doll

Miniland Educational Newborn Baby Doll. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon

Miniland Educational - 12.63'' Anatomically Correct Newborn Baby Doll (10 months - 6 years)


Baby dolls are a phenomenal open-ended toy that inspire creativity and imagination. Through caring for dolls, toddlers practice social interactions important for developing their sense of empathy and social-emotional skills.


BENEFITS:

  • Hand-eye coordination

  • Develops physical strength; engaging gross motor (big muscles like arms, trunks, and legs) and fine motor (small muscles like fingers, and hands) movements

  • Natures creativity

  • Cultivates social skills

  • Encourages communication and language development

 

Ramp Racers

EverEarth Jr. Ramp Racer. Race Track. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon

EverEarth Jr. Ramp Racer. Race Track for Toddlers and 4 Wood Cars, Race Car Ramp Set


We've played with this in many settings and it's always a hit. A fun variation on a ball run, little ones send colorful wooden cars zig-zagging over and under down the race track. We love that this is 100% kid powered and makes the most satisfying click-clack sounds as the cars zoom towards the finish line.


BENEFITS:

  • Strengthens problem solving

  • Visual perception skills

  • Hand-eye coordination

  • Focus and concentration

  • Engages the senses: enhance auditory, tactile and visual sensory development

  • Learns colors, counting, cause-and-effect

  • Develops physical strength; engaging gross motor (big muscles like arms, trunks, and legs) and fine motor (small muscles like fingers, and hands) movements

  • Encourages communication and language development

 
When choosing what we add to our playroom, we prioritized products that will engage our little one's social, physical, and intellectual development. We also look for items that are open ended, gender neutral, celebrates diversity, and made from natural materials whenever possible. Our recommendations are based on what we've learned along the way, our first hand experience with these or similar products, and our comparison of ratings and reviews.
 
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