Two-year olds are an opinionated lot. Discerning about gifts that relate to their passions, they tend to become hoarders, growing huge collections of vehicles, stuffed animals, or whatever they are most obsessed with. We have a few favorite picks with some universal appeal that may help round out your selection of playthings.
Inspire an art aficionado: Clear out a spot in the garage or throw down some paper for your would-be artist. Paints, paper, markers, and clips come standard. Good quality, this easel will last a long time.
Encourage a budding builder: If you don’t have any building blocks in the house, might I be so bold as to suggest LEGO DUPLO? The basic set is tons of fun and comes with simple patterns that Mom and Dad can figure out. This zoo is adorable with its little animals. DUPLO bricks also click into more complicated sets as your child ages. Great value.
Pro tip: Buy a big bundle on eBay and run them through the dishwasher.
Nurture a doll caregiver: Compassionate toddlers will be thrilled to mimic all the parenting activities they see you do when they become the mommy or daddy of a doll. Highchairs and strollers are fun additions to a stash of imaginative playthings, as well as this $20 DUKTIG doll bed from IKEA that comes with miniature linens.
Pro tip: Finger puppets make great stuffed animals for dolls.
Fuel a train fiend: Two is a perfect age for a train table if your kid is into that sort of thing. This kidcraft play table is about $100 and is compatible with LEGO toys by flipping the lid.
Pro tip: This is another great thing to scour Craigslist for, and your toddler won’t know the difference.
Cheer on a music fan: You can certainly make your own instruments to please a toddler, but this set from Parents Magazine has been a winner in my house for more than seven years. This bug-themed music box is also a lot of laughs.
Challenge an outdoor adventurer: If you have a patch of lawn, we highly recommend picking up a tunnel, tent, or both to add to your next backyard festival. I borrowed Whitney’s tunnel for YEARS and we enjoyed it in the house and out.
- Future bikers are ready to start scooting with a Skuut Balance Bike. Dubbed the wobbly bike in my house, it is fabulous. [see also the many bikes before a real bike]
- Patient problem solvers will sit still for these beginner peg puzzles or these two-piece puzzles.
- Mommy’s little helper might like to start sweeping up with a real kid-sized broom and dustpan.
- Beach-goers and Playground-goers need their own sand toys.
- Silly toddlers will enjoy this pet alligator and dancing bug music box.
Please share your favorite gifts for two-year olds in the comments!
All picks were made by me based on years of playing. Affiliate links to Amazon are included.