a collage of some of the best toys for 2 year olds

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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 2 is full of exciting adventures and joyous moments for you both to enjoy.

It has a lot of growth and development going on, so it is no surprise that your child might be interested in certain toys.

“In your child’s first year of life, their interests can change at the drop of a dime. It is important to keep them entertained and interested in the toys that occupy their time and energy.”

Parents know which toys are most appropriate for their child at any given time, thanks to the fact that toy manufacturers label their toys. Most toys on the list should be used with parental supervision, especially small parts that may be a choking hazard.

It is fun to shop for toys for young children. They are starting to understand the world around them better and are learning how to do things.

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 2-year-olds.

To create this list, we contacted the parents of toddlers between the ages of 2 and 3 to find out which toys they 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.

We combed through a lot of customer reviews and used ratings to determine which toys were the most popular for young children.

There are some of the best toys for 2-year-olds on the market today, so whether you are 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.

The best toys for young children are under $20

Melissa & Doug Farm Chunky Puzzle

By 2 years old, your tot can probably name farm animals, and at least know the sounds of them.

The wooden puzzle pieces are made of sturdy wood and are easy for your child to grasp and manipulate.

It is ideal for children two to four years old.

Sesame Street Brushy Brush Elmo

As your child enters year two, you may have to change your nightly routine by having a brushing regimen.

This familiar and beloved Sesame Street character may help a young child brush their teeth.

He wants to teach your child how to love brushing their teeth and encourage at least 2 minutes of brushing by playing music.

VTech KidiBeats Drum Set

Music is good for young children and they love to move to fun rhythms.

The nine included melodies range from dance and rock to pop and the three drum pads and cymbals make their own unique sound so your child can play along.

This toy is also designed to teach numbers and letters.

Learning Resources Spike The Fine Motor Hedgehog

This peg-shaped hedgehog may help your child with their motor skills. The spikes fit in the shell of the animal.

By grasping at the pieces that are the right size for a toddler, you can help them improve their skills.

This may be a good gift for children with visual impairments.

Wooden Puzzles for Toddlers

The small wins are worth celebrating, and your child can feel accomplished each time they master one of the five small puzzles. Each has a different design.

The pack of puzzles has a set of 6 and 36 pieces.

The fun part is figuring out which pieces go with the puzzle. You may be surprised by how well this toy is being used.

VTech Drill and Learn Toolbox

The tool set looks like it could be from a mom or dad.

It comes with a fix-it tray, a toy drill, hammer, wrench, and nails and screws that your child can use to drill into place.

There are buttons that play songs and teach your child about the different tools. The sounds should make your child feel like they are making their own masterpiece.

The best toys for young children are $20 to $50.

Top Bright Car Ramp

This toy is fun for your child to play with.

It has a gas station, three garages, and a repair shop underneath four ramps.

Your child may enjoy 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 Bisphenol-A (BPA) and has passed the highest U.S. ASTM F963 toy safety standards.

My First Crayola Touch Lights

You might remember a toy like this from your childhood. The concept of Touch Lights has not changed much since your heyday.

This toy is for toddlers and is not harmful to your hardwood floor or newly painted walls. It plays fun songs when your child touches it.

It has fun instructions for your child to follow and 12 different light colors.

Melissa & Doug Latches Wooden Activity Barn

This barn is full of fun animal figurines and has unique locks on all sides that may help your child develop their fine motor skills.

Parents say that it is a great toy to introduce to your toddler. It takes some time for kids to figure out how to open the doors with the right locks.

There are four figurines, including a cow, pig, goat and horse.

VTech Care for Me Learning Carrier

If you have a dog, cat, or any other pet in your home, this carrier may be useful in teaching your child how to care for them.

It comes with everything your toddler needs to care for a pet, including a plush puppy.

The side panel has buttons with numbers and letters to introduce educational concepts and play entertaining music and sounds.

Magna-Tiles 32-Piece Clear Colors Set

If you have friends or family with kids, you have seen this set of toys before. The magnetic tiles allow your child to create almost anything in an easy and hands-on way.

The magnets in the Magna-Tiles can be used to build castles, houses, buildings, cities, or even fun animals, and they can also be used to hold a fridge or washing machine. The opportunities are endless with this toy, and your child will enjoy it for a long time.

The best toys for young children are $50 to $100.

Fisher-Price Laugh and 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.

Soman Interactive Whack A Frog Game

You may remember this toy from your childhood. It is based on the whack-a-mole concept and helps encourage hand-eye coordination.

As your child continues to play with it, it will become more difficult.

The soft hammers that come with it are not a concern for parents.

LeapFrog Scoop & Learn Ice Cream Cart Deluxe

Your 2-year-old will likely enjoy playing with pretend ice cream because they like it.

The magnetic scooper is easy to use and will allow your child to make ice cream cones with flavors that are delicious for the whole family.

It helps to understand flavors and color.

VTech Touch & Learn Activity Desk Deluxe

If you want to give your child educational toys, this activity desk from VTech is worth a look.

It has anLED display that lights up to show letters and numbers, and teaches your child how to draw basic shapes.

The desk is an easel and chalkboard to encourage artistic play. There are little storage spaces on the side to keep art supplies.

Lovevery The Buddy Stroller

The Lovevery buddy stroller is a big hit because it is a stroller that two-year-olds love to push.

“This toy helps encourage pretend play, which is important for just about every stage of your child’s life, but especially at this age.”

It claims to be made from 100% baby-safe material, including FSC-certified, sustainable wood and water-based finishes.

LEGO DUPLO Steam Train

The 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 is designed to teach your child about locomotive movement, animals, and travel.

It comes with a few figurines, but you can always buy more characters separately, which could make for future gifts.

Best toys for 2-year-olds: over $100

Step2 Classic Chic Kitchen

Two-year-olds are the ideal age to play kitchens because they are fun to play with and will likely stay interested in playing with them for the next few years.

The play kitchen designed for children as young as 24 months is one of many that are for children 3 and up.

It has realistic kitchen parts, including the sink, stove, oven and coffee making station. The set has a seating area for your child to sit in.

The pieces are made from a plastic that is easy to clean.

KidKraft Waterfall Mountain Train Set and Table

This set is the real deal if your child has shown interest in trains.

It comes with 120 colorful pieces, including 3 train cars, 8 people and 1 engine, as well as a sturdy wooden table top, which your child can play on.

The addition of three storage bins makes it easier for parents and children to clean up.

It is nice if you have more than one child because it is large and can be used by many children at once.

Strider 12 Sport Balance Bike

Balance bikes are great for teaching confidence on two wheels.

You can get your toddler riding the balance bike as early as 18 months.

The strider on the Strider bike has real rubber wheels, which is unlike other balance bikes on the market. The no-tool handlebars and seat make this a bike that will grow with your child until they are ready for the real thing.

Step2 Deluxe Workshop

“Do you have a Mr. or Mrs. Fix-It? This pretend play workbench is designed to encourage hands-on mechanical experience and foster your 2-year-old’s development.”

50 accessories are included, including an electric drill, drill bits, screws, nuts, pliers, and more.

The cabinet has a drawer that slides in and out so you can store all of the parts in one place.

The best educational toys for young children.

MOLUK Bilibo

At first glance, you might be wondering if this is a toy or a device.

The Bilibo is a very simple toy that allows for endless imaginative possibilities for little minds.

The Bilibo is designed to allow your child to be more creative.

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Pull & Play Learning Wagon

Kids of all ages love wagons, the kind that they can pull around themselves and store their favorite toys inside.

The toy wagon has both physical and educational activities. Your child may enjoy learning Spanish words and counting.

It is ideal for children 6 to 36 months, so if you have children in that age range, they will enjoy it.

Fat Brain Toys Teach and Talk Learning Clock

The clock from Fat Brain toys is designed for children 2 and up.

It is designed to teach shapes, numbers, colors, and early math skills while giving your child a chance to practice their fine motor skills.

The clock is in both English and Spanish, so your child will be able to hear vocabulary in both languages.

HABA Symphony Croc

This toy is a good way to encourage your child to play music.

It comes with mallets that make fun sounds.

“It is a great way for your child to hone in on his fine motor skills, even if it isn’t always music to your ears.”

LeapFrog Learning Friends 100 Words Book

Your child will start to say and understand many words in her second and third year of life.

This storybook should help introduce your toddler to 100 of them.

It has a light-up star button that plays a theme song and is touch-sensitive.

“It comes in a variety of colors and themes to fit your child’s interests.”

The best toys for young children.

Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table

You are probably asked if you have bought your child a water table by a friend, colleague or parent.

“It is like a ritual for a toddler, and a toy you will soon realize will capture your child’s attention for a long time.”

Water tables are useful in the summer and fall when the weather is pleasant and you can spend a lot of time outdoors.

Between pouring, filling, splashing, and submerging, your kid will have plenty to keep them busy.

Step2 Anniversary Edition Up & Down Indoor Outdoor Roller Coaster

The roller coaster from Step2 can be used inside or outside, as long as you have the space.

Kids as young as 24 months can play with it for hours as they practice climbing the stairs, stepping over the car seat, and taking off down the ramp.

The car can be used as a ride-on toy.

“Bring this toy to your child’s next birthday party to make it one they will likely remember.”

Step2 Whisper Ride II

“This push toy is a great way to give your toddler independence, with the safety of knowing you are the one in the driver’s seat.”

It has an easy-to-fold handle and a design that is automotive, so you can put it away for easy storage.

Storage under the seat is large enough to hold belongings.

Kidzlane Bubble Machine

Young children love bubbles. It can get tiring after a while, and it is fun to blow them yourself for your child.

The bubble machine can do the job.

The whale makes bubbles with the switch of a button. It is easy to transport and comes with a bubble solution that will last you a long time.

Are learning or stimulation toys best for a 2-year-old?

“Children’s toys are fun, but they are also important for brain development.”

“Gary Kirkilas, MD, a pediatrician at Phoenix Children’s Hospital and a spokesman for the American Academy of Pediatrics, says that toddlers learn best through play.”

“He recommends less flashy toys that are successful at grabbing a child’s attention but have a novelty that wears out fast.”

He suggests that a child should not be given toys that are designed to make them want to learn.

If learning toys are the norm for the household, it will foster a more learning-centered environment. Family and friends can be encouraged to stick with toys that are learning related.

Do you really need to follow the recommended ages on toys?

It is important to consider age recommendations when purchasing a toy for your child, as these indicators serve several purposes, with the first being safety.

Older children who have progressed past their development stages are the ones who are labeled for toys with small pieces that could pose a choking hazard.

Parents can use age recommendations to help decide which toys their children will like.

When purchasing toys that are too young for their children, they can lead to frustrated children or bored children. Every child is different, with some progressing quicker than others.

How can I ensure toys are safe for my child?

It is a good idea to buy toys in the recommended age range.

Small pieces in toys designed for older children could pose a choking hazard. Kirkilas says that toys designed for learning often have more thought put into them, which means less safety issues.

He recommends looking for toys that are trustworthy and reading reviews before buying.

“Toys that often break, fall apart, or cause safety issues will quickly get bad reviews,” he adds. “Lastly, you can use the Consumer Product Safety Commission Website to look up or keep track of any toy recalls, which happens more often than most parents realize.”

There is so much fun to be had with a young child.

It is easy to pick the right toy for this age when you know how much they enjoy exploring the world. As they grow more independent and confident, you will see their curiosity, wonder, and excitement grow.