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- Best toys for 2-year-olds: under $20
- Best toys for 2-year-olds: $20–$50
- Best toys for 2-year-olds: $50–$100
- Best toys for 2-year-olds: over $100
- Best educational toys for 2-year-olds
- Best outdoor toys for 2-year-olds
Despite the notoriety of the “terrible twos,” 2-year-olds are a boatload of fun.
They’re independent enough that they can feed themselves, get around on their own, communicate their wants and needs, and self-entertain in small doses. In fact, the year after your tot turns two is full of exciting adventures and joyous moments for you both to enjoy.
It’s especially fun to shop for toys for 2-year-olds. They’re starting to grasp a better understanding of the world around them and are learning the ways in which things big and small work.
When it comes to shopping for toys for a 2-year-old, try to home in on their established interests. For example, your 2-year-old is probably fascinated by different shapes and colors, which means they enjoy putting together puzzles and playing shape-sorting games.
They’re also starting to understand numbers and letters and their correct order, and love to practice fine motor skills by fitting objects inside other objects. Toys that make sounds or musical instruments that play songs are also favorites among the 2-year-old set.
To create this list, we reached out to parents of toddlers between the ages of 2 and 3 to learn which toys their children played with the most.
We also considered the age-appropriate guidelines set by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to determine which developmental milestones 2-year-olds should be meeting.
Finally, we combed through copious amounts of customer reviews and heavily relied on ratings to determine which toys were the biggest hits for 2-year-old children.
Whether you’re looking for a holiday gift, birthday gift, or simply a just-because gift for your child or a family member, here are some of the best toys for 2-year-olds on the market today.
Best toys for 2-year-olds: under $20
Melissa & Doug Farm Chunky Puzzle
Toddlers love farm animals and, by 2 years old, your tot can likely name them all. The chunky design of these wooden puzzle pieces is easy for your child’s tiny hands to grasp and manipulate across the board, making it a wonderful gift for a 2-year-old.
Sesame Street Brushy Brush Elmo
Most 2-year-olds are not only familiar with Sesame Street, but are also Elmo-obsessed. That’s why the Elmo plush toys are such a big hit. This one is great for 2-year-olds because it teaches them how to learn to love brushing their teeth. It encourages 2 minutes of brushing by playing music in response to a squeeze of Elmo’s tummy.
VTech KidiBeats Drum Set
Music is so good for young children’s minds, and 2-year-olds in particular love to move to fun rhythms. This music-making toy has three drum pads and cymbals that make their own unique sound so your child can play along to the 9 included melodies that range from dance and rock to pop. In addition to music, this toy also teaches numbers and letters.
Learning Resources Spike The Fine Motor Hedgehog
Help foster your child’s fine motor skills with this odd-looking, yet charming, peg-shaped hedgehog. By grasping at the different pieces that are just the right size for a 2-year-old’s tiny hands, your child can home in on her color recognition and sorting and counting skills.
Best toys for 2-year-olds: $20–$50
LeapFrog Scoop & Learn Ice Cream Cart Deluxe
Chances are, your 2-year-old is already a fan of this tasty treat, so they’ll likely love playing with pretend ice cream. This fun and interactive toy has a magnetic scooper that allows your 2-year-old to make ice cream cones with flavorful toppings.
The playful voice instructs your child to make a certain number of cones, which helps teach counting, and plays songs that your child can sing along to.
Top Bright Car Ramp
Your child doesn’t need to have an established affliction for cars to appreciate this fun toy. It’s designed like a parking lot with three garages, a gas station, and a repair shop underneath four vertical ramps.
Your child will love watching the cars slide down the multicolored racetrack ramps one by one, over and over again. The material used in this toy is free of BPA and has passed the highest U.S. ASTM F963 toy safety standards.
My First Crayola Touch Lights
Toddlers love to doodle and will do so on pretty much anything, from your hardwood floor to your newly painted walls.
To discourage them from doodling where they shouldn’t, buy them this doodle board that lights up by touch and plays six fun songs for your child. It’s interactive, showcasing 12 varying light colors and fun instructions for your child to follow.
Soman Interactive Whack A Frog Game
You may recognize this toy as one of the fairground favorites you might remember from your own childhood. It’s based on whack-a-mole and helps encourage your 2-year-olds hand-eye coordination. It has 38 varying speeds and changing levels that increase in difficulty as your child continues to play with it. The hammers that it comes with are soft, so parents don’t need to worry about their children injuring themselves from it.
Best toys for 2-year-olds: $50–$100
VTech Touch & Learn Activity Desk Deluxe
If you really want to invest in educational toys for your 2-year-old, this activity desk from VTech is a great choice. It features an LED display that illustrates letters and numbers and teaches your child how to draw basic shapes. The desk transforms into an easel and a chalkboard to encourage artistic play as well.
Lovevery The Buddy Stroller
Two-year-olds love to push things around and get objects from point A to point B. That’s why this buddy stroller by Lovevery is such a big hit.
This toy helps encourage pretend play which is so important for just about every stage of your child’s life, but especially at this age. It’s crafted from 100 percent baby-safe material including FSC-certified sustainably harvested wood and water-based nontoxic finishes.
Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Servin’ Up Fun Food Truck
Here’s a toy that the whole family can have fun with, as you encourage your child to name all of the toy foods that come with this truck.
This toy is interactive and introduces toddlers to sizing, sequencing, taking turns, number counting, and songs and phrases they’ll repeat over and over. It comes with 20 removable play pieces that your child can use with other toys, too.
LEGO DUPLO Steam Train
This LEGO toy includes a full steam train track with 16 pieces that your child can play with via hands-on activity or remote control. It helps encourage learning through pretend play and spatial thinking and teaches your child about locomotive movement, animals, and travel.
Best toys for 2-year-olds: over $100
Step2 Classic Chic Kitchen
Two-year-olds are at the perfect age to enjoy play kitchens, which are a great investment because they’ll likely be interested in playing with them for the next few years.
This particular play kitchen is designed for children as young as 24 months while many others are for children age 3 and up. It features realistic kitchen parts all made from an easy-to-clean plastic material.
KidKraft Waterfall Mountain Train Set and Table
This train set makes a very special gift for your 2-year-old. It comes complete with 120 colorful pieces, including 3 train cars, 8 people, 1 engine, and 3 storage bins to encourage cleanup and make it a streamlined process. It’s particularly great if you have more than one child because it’s so large that several children can play with it at once.
Strider 12 Sport Balance Bike
Balance bikes are miraculous when it comes to teaching active little ones confidence on two wheels. You can get your toddler riding as early as 18 months with the Strider balance bike.
What we love about Strider bikes in particular is that — unlike other balance bikes on the market — the strider has real rubber wheels. And the no-tool adjustable handlebars and seat make this a bike that will grow with your child until they’re ready for the real deal.
Step2 Deluxe Workshop
Pretend play is wonderful for your 2-year-old’s development, and this play workshop encourages it fully. It includes 50 accessories to go along with the workbench and work surface, including an electric drill, drill bits, screws, nuts, pliers, and more.
Best educational toys for 2-year-olds
Sometimes the simplest toys are the best toys, and the Bilibo is no exception. It offers endless imaginative possibilities for little minds, including spinning, sitting, standing, filling, and dumping. Designed by Swedish child development professionals, the Bilibo will open up your child’s creativity.
Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Pull & Play Learning Wagon
This toy wagon offers not only physical fun but also educational activities. Your child will enjoy counting, sorting shapes, practicing the alphabet, and even learning Spanish words!
Fat Brain Toys Teach and Talk Learning Clock
Start them young telling time using this fun clock from Fat Brain Toys. It teaches shapes, numbers, colors, and early math skills while giving your child a chance to practice their fine motor skills. What’s more, the clock operates in both English and Spanish, so your little one will begin to hear vocabulary in two languages.
HABA Symphony Croc
Foster your child’s musical development with this whimsical toy that includes a drum, xylophone, guiro wooden block and a bell. It comes with the tools they’ll need to play tunes and hone in on their fine motor skills.
LeapFrog Learning Friends 100 Words Book
This interactive story book introduces your children to 100 words, including animals, furniture, eating utensils and more. Its touch-sensitive on every single page and has a light-up star button that plays a fun theme song.
Best outdoor toys for 2 year olds
Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table
At this age, for hours of summertime fun, there’s nothing better than a water table. Between pouring, filling, splashing, and submerging, your kid will have plenty to keep them busy with this sensory, stimulating toy.
Step2 Anniversary Edition Up & Down Indoor Outdoor Roller Coaster
The best part about this roller coaster from Step2 is that it can be used inside or outside, as long as you have the space. Kids as young as 24 months will love playing with it for hours as they practice climbing the stairs, stepping over the car seat, and taking off down the ramp.
The car can come off the track for additional play as a ride-on toy. And pro tip: Bring this toy out at your child’s next birthday party to make it one every kid will remember.
Step2 Whisper Ride II
This push toy is a great way to give your 2-year-old the feeling of independence they crave with the safety of knowing you’re really the one in the driver’s seat.
It has a sleek automotive design (complete with a horn that beeps!) and an easy-to-fold handle so you can tuck it away for easy storage. There’s a safety belt included and spacious storage under the seat to keep belongings.
Kidzlane Bubble Machine
Few activities excite young children more than bubbles. This machine is great for outdoor activities. It’s easy to transport and comes with a bubble solution that will last you several uses.
There’s so much fun to be had with a 2-year-old. Choosing the right toy for this age is easy when you remember how enthusiastic they are to explore the world around them. As they grow more independent and confident, you’ll see their curiosity, wonder, and excitement grow.