2 year olds love puzzles and learning how things work, so puzzle-type games are ideal.
Although toddlers are famous for making a mess, they are learning about the world. Things you take for granted – such as the fact that a square cube won’t fit in a round hole – all have to be learned from scratch, and this type of learning can be fun!
The choice is huge, but here are some of the top puzzle toys for 2 year olds:
Shape sorter toys and stacking rings
2 year old children can be surprisingly meticulous and spend long periods carefully sorting toys into categories or stacking rings in the correct order. This is great for their concentration as well as their hand eye coordination.
Here are some great examples:
- Everearth My First 5 in 1 Activity Cube – A lovely 5-in-1 toy that has a shape sorter and many other activities, plenty to keep a 2 year old entertained for hours.
- Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Cube – a lovely wooden cube that you can store the shapes inside when they’re not being used.
- Toys of Wood Oxford Wooden Pull Along Dog and Wooden Block Shape Sorter – A dog-shaped shape sorter that 2 year olds will also enjoy pulling along.
- Melissa & Doug Rainbow Stacker – A classic wooden set of multi-coloured stacking rings – every 2 year old should have this toy.
Shape matching form boards, peg puzzles and jigsaws
Most 2 year old children love putting things together. A simple shape matching form board or basic jigsaw is suitable for 2 year old boy or girl.
Some nice examples of form boards and simple puzzles for 2 year olds are:
- Melissa & Doug Farm Chunky Puzzle – A cute shape matching form board with colourful farm animals.
- Fruit Wooden Educational Letter Puzzle – A health-promoting and fun form board where 2 year old children match the fruit to the correct shape.
Building blocks, bricks and towers
By age 2, most children can build a tower of several building blocks or stacking cups. They’re past the age where they just want to push everything over (although this is still fun!) and want to create the tower instead. They might even want to do something more creative than a tower, such as an arch.
The best building blocks for 2 year old children are brightly coloured and have pictures or letters on, making them educational in several ways. Choose blocks that are small enough for a 2 year old to hold in one hand, but big enough to make interesting things out of. Duplo or Dado cubes make things even more interesting.
Here are some popular building block toys for 2 year olds:
- Melissa & Doug Classic abc 123 Building Block Cart – A handy cart that 2 year old children can pull along. The cart carries lots of wooden blocks which they can use to practice their building skills.
- Mega Bloks 3-in-1 Play n Go Table – This play table contains lots of easy-to-use Mega Bloks which are perfect for tiny 2 year old hands. The table folds away when they’ve finished playing, helping to avoid the mess that comes with many building blocks toys.
Hammer pound bench
“Terrible twos?” Channel a 2 year old’s destructive instincts with a pound bench they can pound to their heart’s content. Try to buy one that makes a funny noise when the balls/pegs are pushed out.
Some popular hammer bench toys are:
- Tidlo My First Hammer Bench – This is a classic-style hammer bench made in nice bright colours. It does everything that a hammer bench should do, and no more.
- Hape Early Melodies Pound and Tap Bench – An unusual musical hammer bench. Your 2 year old will hammer the balls and be rewarded by the sound of them tinkling over the xylophone underneath. The xylophone also slides out and can be played separately, so this is a good 2-in-1 toy.
- Legler Hammer Bench Lion Preschool Learning Toy – A cute hammer bench shaped like a lion.
- Melissa & Doug Pound and Roll Tower – A tower with hammer that the 2 year old uses to push the balls through the holes, making them roll down the tower. My daughter has this toy and it’s lovely quality.