Finding the best toys for 2 year olds isn’t easy. That’s because there’s a reason they’re called the terrible twos. By age two, according to the CDC, your little angel is showing some defiant behavior and craves more independence. So you need to find the best gifts for 2 year olds that encourage their development, and also, are just plain fun.
But your kiddo is also developing into a full-functioning little human who’s starting to run, not walk. She can point to pictures when you name them or things he sees in a book, can say four-word sentences, and starts to sort shapes and sizes. She can build towers with four or more blocks, can name animals, and kick a ball.
See more: Best Gift Ideas for 1-Year-Olds
We found the best toys for two year olds that foster your child’s development, without cutting back on the fun.
Best Toys for 2 Year Olds
Kids learn fine motor skills by placing vivid, colorful flowers and insect pegs onto this garden pegboard.
They learn about colors. They engage in imaginative play. And they don’t get bored, because this set comes pre-loaded with 15 flowers and 12 insects including lady bugs, butterflies, dragonflies, and bumblebees.
When it rains, it pours ... thanks to this rainmaker, which kids flip over to see rain beads and hear rain sounds.
It’s a next-level rattle, that also teaches kids about colors and shapes and the basics of gravity.
Little guys and gals arrange these easy-to-connect segments to create endless combinations, which send the Code-a-pillar in different directions depending on the configuration.
As entertaining as it is educational, kids have a blast deciding which way to send the toy and love its colorful lights as well as its music. It’s durable and gives kids a fine motor skills workout.
So, little Thomas Keller, you need an oven? Then you need this Play-Doh set, which lets chef cook up pretend foods like muffins, casseroles, pizzas, and cakes. Just don't eat it. Please.
Kitchens are key to fostering pretend play. And this Play-Doh cooking set comes with cutters, a knife, fork, spoon, plate, six cans of Play-Doh and food attachments. Dinner is served.
When they build this puzzle tower, kids develop fine motor skills, logic and hone their logical thinking skills.
Not only does it take concentration to put this wooden puzzle together, but kids get a huge sense of achievement when they make it all work out. It helps teach them patience and critical thinking, too.
These are magic and magically fun blocks that stick together, almost like Velcro, so kids can build whatever they want with zero frustration.
Plus, these bristly blocks help develop dexterity and hand-eye coordination. And they foster endless, limitless imaginary play.
Music is an integral part of child development, and that's one of the many reasons we love this all-in-one music machine, with a xylophone, a drum, a cymbal, a guiro, a clapper and drumsticks.
This gorgeous musical set is easy to clean (you just wipe it down) and helps kids with hand-eye coordination, and developing an ear for melody.
This toy teaches kids cause and effect when they spin the garden-go-around, because as it rotates, blossoms spin and sprout.
Not to mention, smaller flowers make noises when kids spin them around, and they can help the bee get to the top of the flower mound. When kids push down one mushroom, the other one grows. Cause and effect. Boom.
If you don't love bunnies, you're dead inside. Especially Flora the bunny, whose ears flap when kids play with her.
When kids press on her left foot, she plays peek-a-boo. When kids press the right foot, she sings a song, and waves her ears around.
Weird-looking toys are a favorite, and this Afghan hound not only looks ugly-cool, but helps kids develop hand-eye coordination and sensory skills thanks to all his different textures and colors.
Kids can spin the bead rattle in the hound tummy and squeeze the squeaker in the dog’s nose. The dog has a ton of interesting features that keep kids occupied.
LeapFrog's counting train lets kids insert the 10 double-sided learning blocks into the train to hear sounds and phrases that introduce professions and colors. Plus, when kids press buttons, they hear questions about colors and professions, as well as melodies and songs.
This toy combines music and learning to help kids with building and hand-eye coordination. A singing train? What could be better?
Trains help kids explore and learn about their environment. And you really can't get much better than this Brio set, which includes a railway engine, animal wagon, five wooden animal characters, an interactive farm, two curved railway tracks, and two ramp tracks.
Kids learn the basics of building and connecting things together with this classic train set, which encourages open-ended play.
Kids learn coordination and color-recognition with Hoot, whose coins come in five colors and reinforce matching skills.
Your toddler will have a hoot (sorry, we can’t help ourselves here) inserting coins into the owl. And then, rotating his eyes, poking his beak, and flapping his wings.
This starter laptop teaches toddlers opposites, rhymes, shapes, colors and numbers.
Kids open this “laptop” and say hello to Violet, and learn about colors and numbers while doing it. When kids press her name tag, they can play peek-a-boo.
A classic toy that never loses this appeal, this spinning saucer teaches toddlers to sit, spin, and balance themselves.
Sometimes, we forget that simple can be spectacular. This spinning saucer is not only fun, but it teachers two year olds about controlling speed and helps them practice balance, coordination, and motor skills.
A water table fused with a sprinkler? Yes, this miraculous toy does exist. And here it is.
You fill your barrel to the top, and then spray other players. Just connect a hose to activate the water shooters. This toy is great for kids two and up, but actually, just try and keep adults away.
So your kid is asking for a pet? Give him or her this Fingerling monkey instead. It's fun, it's affectionate, it's responsive, and it doesn't need to be walked.
This monkey fully interacts with your child. He burps, he farts, he laughs, and he repeats what your kid says using a funny voice. Plus, he’s huggable.
Kids build their own toy train track and push cars around the track to hear a variety of sounds. The talking train set includes an electronic train station, bridge and tunnel, and a conveyor belt hill.
Start that language training early, as this train greets passengers in Spanish, German, and French. But even cooler is the brand’s SmartPoint technology, which adds an interactive element to the toy. When you roll the train or any other SmartPoint vehicle over a SmartPoint location, your child hears phrases and sounds.
Your kid will get an early education in the world of medicine with this seven-piece kit. It includes a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, thermometer, otoscope, syringe, a bandage plus a fabric doctor bag. And when or she presses the button on the thermometer, the patient goes from sick to well.
House calls, anyone? This medical kit encourages pretend play and helps kids understand the vital purpose doctors serve in their lives.
Not only is this push bike mad-cute, but it has rubberized wheels to protect your floors and ensure that the wheels last longer. And it's a solid choice for kids starting to test their mobility and develop their motor skills.
This push-along scooter, from one of the toy industry’s best brands in terms of quality, is a great choice for developing muscle strength and balance, as a lead-up to an actual bike.
Your child can built forts and castles and anything else under the sun with this set of 60 natural-finished, smooth-sanded hardwood blocks by Melissa & Doug.
At this age, you want to encourage kids to sort shapes. And this Melissa & Doug set, made up of 60 wood pieces, is ideal for encouraging imaginative play. The blocks also help develop hand-eye coordination.
This toy, from one of our favorite brands, teaches fine motor skills, boosts concentration, and helps your child learn numbers 1-5.
This maze is brilliantly, deceptively simple. Your child uses a magnetic pen to move the balls around and match them with the corresponding animals and numbers. And when she’s done, you tuck the pen into a storage slot.
At this age, kids start to play simple make-believe games, so arm them with this solid and fun set.
Kids are encouraged to use their imagination and go to town with a child-sized broom, mop, duster, brush, and organizing stand. The red dustpan clips into all handles. They learn coordination, and how to complete a task.
We love this brand because the toys are eco-friendly, and seem to last forever.
This deceptively simple and colorful set helps your two year old develop and build motor skills, and recognize different hues.
We can't say enough good things about this stellar building block starter set.
At age two, your child is starting to build towers of four or more blocks. He or she can go wild with this vibrant, solidly-constructed bag o’blocks, which comes with its own storage bag.
Help your child learn to sort shapes and colors with this fun wooden set.
By age two, your child can identify some shapes and shades. This wooden shape sorter hones those skills. You get eight blocks in four colors and four shapes, which fit into a corresponding opening.
Yes, kids love pounding things. But this genius bench actually serves a larger purpose.
We apologize in advance for the noise, parents, but this bench helps your two year old hone his or her fine motor skills, with the pegs going up and down when your kid nails each one with the mallet.
This set encourages imaginative play, which is crucial at age two.
To boost your two year old’s imagination, you get toddler-safe tools made from durable, soft plastic. The set includes a saw, hammer, screwdriver, wrench, drill, and toolbox.
Kids feed chickens, tuck in the horse, and hear tons of songs and phrases with this interactive farm set.
This set keeps two year old kids engaged because of all its (literal) bells and whistles. Your child rings a ball to call to his or her animals, opens the stall door to let the horse graze, and tucks the critters in for the night.
It's a fun and easy way to introduce your child to the joys of moldable toys.
This dough is solid because it’s made from actual ingredients we recognize (like flour) and lets your kids go nuts by making whatever they want, from simple ball they can now throw overhead, to ice cream cones and cars. Sorry in advance for the mess.
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