Not sure what to buy a 2 year old for Christmas or a birthday?
I have written this article to help you to choose the best toys to buy for 2 year old boys and girls. These toys will make good Christmas or birthday presents. I have tried to include toys to suit different budgets. I hope this helps if you’re stuck on what to buy for a 2 year old.
What sort of toys are suitable for 2 year olds?
2 year olds are at a special point in their development, and this affects what to buy them. They’re learning more and more about the world around them, and are learning how to use their bodies in more accurate ways. As a result, they love imaginative play toys and toys that help to develop their new-found mobility and dexterity skills.
I have chosen the toys in this article based on their suitability to buy for 2 year olds. The best toys for 2 year olds strike the right balance between being educational and fun. 2 year old children shouldn’t be restricted by toys that are overtly educational, as they can learn from all sorts of toys.
This article covers a wide range of toys for 2 year old children from you to choose from. These focus on lots of different types of activity suitable for this age group and will boost their development without spoiling the fun. This makes them a great choice of what to buy for a 2 year old.
Outdoor toys for 2 year olds
When I was a child, outdoor play equipment was really expensive and most people couldn’t afford anything very exciting. How things have changed! Nowadays you can buy fantastic garden toys for 2 year olds without having to spend much.
If you’re not sure what to buy a 2 year old then outdoor toys and play equipment are always popular. With children spending more and more time inside watching the TV, we need to get them active with toys that encourage them to walk, run, jump, crawl and climb.
The choice is endless and includes outdoor playhouses, swings and slides, ball pools, paddling pools, climbing frames, see-saws, sand pits and tunnels. You can even get your own playground equipment surprisingly cheaply – outdoor climbing frames, kids swings, children’s slides and more. Some beautiful wooden outdoor play equipment is available if you don’t want the cheaper plastic versions.
Of course, outdoor toys for 2 year old children don’t have to take up lots of space. You can’t go wrong with balls, a simple toy bowling set or a classic bucket and spade.
A popular slide to buy a 2 year old
Top pretend play toys for 2 year old toddlers
2 year old children are likely to be more and more interested in imaginative play. They are fascinated by the adult world. When they watch their parents doing everyday activities such as housework, they want to be grown up and help. Pretend play toys that seem boring to adults can provide hours of fun!
The best pretend play toys to buy for a 2 year old are those that mimic the adult world. This helps them make sense of the world around them, while being fun at the same time. This works by allowing the 2 year old to act out different roles and situations in a safe environment. The situations become more and more complicated as the 2 year old gets older.
- Toy cars and garages
- Toy play kitchens, cooking utensils and pretend play food
- Toy farms
- Soft toys and dolls
- Animal toys are always a good thing to buy for a 2 year old
- Toy washing machines, vacuum cleaners and cleaning toys
- Dressing up toys and costumes
- Toy phones and computers
- Another good type of toy to buy for a 2 year old is toys that facilitate imaginative play such as play mats
One of the top farm toys to buy a 2 year old
Puzzle toys to buy a 2 year old boy or girl
Puzzle-type games are some of the best toys to buy 2 year old children. They’re not expensive and provide hours of fun for a 2 year old’s curious mind.
A 2 year old can understand more and more of what you say. They’re likely to be able to follow basic one or two step instructions and understand simple games and puzzles. The best puzzle toys to buy for 2 year olds help them to explore simple concepts such as matching up colours and shapes.
The average 2 year old is easily distracted and they often start learning to focus for longer at this age. Puzzle toys can help with this as they’re a quiet activity that make children want to concentrate for longer. But don’t set them up to fail – a puzzle toy with 2-5 pieces (certainly no more than 9) is realistic. This makes them a better bet in deciding what to buy for a 2 year old.
Puzzle toys such as shape sorter toys and building blocks also lay the foundation for learning important maths concepts – but don’t tell your 2 year old that!!
A unique puzzle toy to buy a 2 year old
For more toys like this, please see my other article on unique toys for 2 year olds.
Dolls and soft toys for 2 year olds
2 year old children love pretend play and make believe. Most 2 year olds particularly enjoy pretending to be mummy or daddy as this helps them feel like they’re in charge! It also teaches them abstract thinking and develops their nurturing side. This is a good skill for any child to have, but is especially important for 2 year olds who will have a younger brother or sister soon.
All 2 year old children should have dolls and soft toys – ideally ones with different skin colours. They can look after their dolls in lots of different ways – pushing them in a pram, putting them to bed in a toy cot or even using a doctors kit when the doll is poorly.
Although most 2 year old children still play alone for much of the time, they might be starting to involve other children in their play. Toys such as tea sets that can involve several children can help them learn how to share without too much falling out!
Don’t worry too much about getting toys for the right gender. Dolls are important to 2 year old boys and girls, and most little girls love playing with cars and garages. Although if you’re buying a gift for a 2 year old, it’s best to check their parents’ views on this first!
A lot of dolls have small parts and aren’t suitable to buy for 2 year olds. Check the box to make sure it’s safe for 2 year olds. Soft toys are often a good alternative, although you still need to check they’re suitable in case there are small parts such as beads for the eyes. My dolls and soft toys articles will help you to find suitable toys.
Top music toys for 2 year olds
2 year old children girls and boys love music toys. Whether they’re in a creative mood or just want to make lots of noise, you can’t go wrong!
You can get some lovely musical instrument toys, often for just a few pounds – a kids drum kit, toy drum, toy guitar, toy piano, toy keyboard, toy trumpet, toy xylophone, toy tambourine or even a microphone toy to show off their expanding vocal skills!
Lots of 2 year olds don’t have any music toys at all. If you’re buying a birthday or Christmas present for someone else’s 2 year old then this is an important factor in deciding what to buy. It reduces the risk that you’ll buy a toy they already have.
An easy-to-use guitar for 2 year olds
Best ride-on toys for 2 year old
2 year olds love zooming around. Most children of this age are now fully mobile, which brings opportunities for lots of fun!
Kids ride on toys are ideal to buy for a birthday gift or other special occasion.
There are loads of ride on toys for 2 year olds including baby trikes and balance bikes, toy ride on tractors, electric ride on cars and ride on animal toys. They all help 2 year olds to improve their balance and coordination. You can choose between traditional styles and modern inventions such as the Ybike, which glides beautifully in any direction. Or for something a bit more rustic, how about a toy ride on tractor or ride on train? And if you really want to splash out then your year old will love an electric ride on car!
Whatever you choose, ride on toys are fun to ride. If you buy the most basic ride-on toy for a 2 year old then they can still have hours of fun by imagining they’re riding a pony, a dragon, a unicorn – the sky’s the limit!
A 2 year old who is still a bit nervous on their feet can benefit from a ride-on toy that keeps their feet firmly planted on the ground. This can build their confidence in a fun yet safe way.
My favourite ride-on toy for 2 year olds
Push-along and pull-along toys
A 2 year old who is constantly on the move will enjoy pulling toys they can tug behind them, or push in front of them.
A traditional push-along baby walker is usually aimed at younger children who are still learning to walk. However, they can still be great fun for a 2 year old – particularly if the walker is multi-purposes and has buttons, music or building blocks.
The best push-along toys to buy for 2 year old children can also be used for imaginative play. For example, a dog that can be pulled on a lead can be used for more games than a simple circular pull-along toy. As they become more advanced in their imaginative play, many 2 year olds love pull-along toys that can give a ride to their other toys!
If your 2 year old hasn’t quite got the hang of pushing or pulling their toys yet, look for toys that offer some kind of incentive. If the toy makes a noise when the child pushes or pulls it then it gives them a reason to play with it.
My 2 year old loved this wooden push along lion!
Frozen Toys to buy for a 2 year old
And when all else fails and you don’t know what to buy for a 2 year old, Frozen toys are an easy fallback. Most 2 year olds – especially girls – love Disney’s blockbuster film Frozen.
Most Frozen toys are aimed at children older than 2, but I have found plenty for 2 year olds. Read my other article about the best Frozen toys to buy for 2 year olds.