Choosing new toys for your child may feel like an ongoing process for toddlers. There are many possibilities, and each toy has a unique design, purpose, and learning potential. Always follow the recommendations of professionals regarding the toys that are best suited for your child’s age group when choosing toys for them.
Toys come in all shapes, sizes and materials. How do you know which ones are best for your 2-year-old, 1-year-old, or 6-year-old?
According to experts, several toys are suitable for kids under the age of three. “Blocks, nesting toys, sand and water play toys, puzzles, shape sorters, crayons, play dough, dress-up outfits, action figures, stuffed animals, and dolls” are some of the most meaningful suggestions. All of these various toys assist in developing crucial abilities that will be helpful.
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Dr. Harvey Karp is a pediatrician and the author of “The Happiest Baby on the Block” and “The Happiest Toddler on the Block.” He has expertise in early childhood development and frequently provides insights on parenting and child health. Suggests that his favorite toys include ” blocks, nesting toys, sand and water play toys, puzzles, shape-sorters, crayons, play dough, dress-up clothes, action figures, stuffed animals, dolls, vehicles,” and more.
Blocks can give a toddler fantastic enjoyment and teach them about size order and sorting. Children can learn about the sequence of colors and sizes using nesting toys. Children can learn how to solve problems and put things together in a suitable series by solving puzzles. Toys for sand and water play help kids gain motor skills and hand-eye coordination while letting them use their creativity to build castles.
Choosing a fun and educational toy for a two-year-old can be difficult. Many toys at this age are too advanced with their small parts, lights, and sounds. Experts suggest choosing toys that help the child develop their interests while supporting their attention span.
The best way to choose a toy for a two-year-old is by asking the child. You could use your child’s favorite toys or props to help her tolerate the problematic scenarios. Using a child’s natural interests will tell her that her opinions matter while supporting careful attention simultaneously.
Dr. Mona Delahooke is a clinical psychologist who works with young children and their families. She has written extensively on child development, trauma, and autism spectrum disorders. She comments, “You might try using your child’s favorite toys or props to help her tolerate the difficult scenarios. Using a child’s natural interests will tell her that her opinions matter while supporting careful attention simultaneously.”
When shopping for toys for a two-year-old, knowing what will be most fun can be challenging. If you’ve got a toddler, you’ve probably already given your child plenty of toys—blocks, dolls, Play-Doh, crayons, and coloring books.
You may have thought that the toys would lose their luster after a while, but your child keeps returning to them repeatedly. You might not realize it yet, but some toys aren’t just entertaining—they also promote intellectual development.
Though you might not think of them as “educational,” there are toys for young children that encourage cognitive development in many ways.
Dr. Claire McCarthy is a pediatrician and a health and medical writer for Harvard Health Blog. She frequently writes about child health and development, including topics related to playing and toys. According to her, there are three kinds of toys that help your child “Toys that get your child moving, Toys that encourage interaction, and Toys that require imagination.”
Dr. Amanda Gummer is a psychologist and the founder of Fundamentally Children, an organization that provides child development and play expertise. She has researched play and toy preferences in young children and frequently recommends age-appropriate toys. She suggests that parents of 0-24 months old should “Look for toys with high-contrast patterns, sounds, mirrors, lights, crinkly pages that will give them lots to explore and think about.”
This is particularly true if your child is between the ages of 0 and 24 months, as this is when their senses are developing, and they are focusing on the things that will help them learn about their environment.
Mirrors, for instance, are excellent for teaching your child about self-awareness because they allow them to view themselves from a unique angle.
While learning how to reach out and grab things, children can discover the many unique textures on crinkly pages.
Furthermore, as babies frequently appreciate hearing new sounds, music can be a great diversion while changing diapers.
Toys that teach newborns to move around in space are also beneficial for those still in the crawling stage.
Push toys are a terrific place to start since they show your baby how to crawl and provide the experience of moving their hands and arms in unison with their feet as they move on wheels or casters. Push toys that produce noise or play music will encourage your baby to move around even more for added fun!
How we choose the best toys?
|Age-appropriateness||Choose toys designed for 2-year-olds with simple designs and easy-to-use features.|
|Safety||We Ensure toys are safe for young children to play with, with no small parts or choking hazards.|
|Educational value||Our team Chooses toys that encourage learning and development, such as shape sorters, stacking blocks, and puzzles.|
|Creativity and imagination||We Look for toys that encourage imaginative play, such as dress-up clothes, pretend playsets, and art supplies.|
|Durability||Our team-members choose toys that are well-made and can withstand rough play.|
Consider a doctor’s pediatrics or child development training while contemplating their advice and views. Physicians can advise on safe play, age-appropriate toys, and particular toys’ developmental and educational advantages.
For instance, Dr. Harvey Karp suggests toys that promote sensory exploration, such as play dough and sandboxes, to stimulate a child’s developing brain.
Dr. Mona Delahooke stresses the value of social-emotional development-promoting toys for young children, such as dolls and stuffed animals, in assisting them in forming relationships and emotional connections.
Dr. Dipesh Navsaria emphasizes the value of books and toys that encourage literacy in young children because reading and language development are essential for preparing them for school.
Below are The 15 best toys and gifts for 2-year-olds in 2023
|Toy/Gift||Price||Ages/Grades||Why We Recommend||Features||Pros||Cons|
|Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Chair||$73||6-36 months||Promotes learning and interactive play||Teaches letters, numbers, shapes, and more||Colorful and sturdy design||Requires batteries|
|Little Tikes Cozy Coupe||$64.99||18 months-5 years||Encourages imaginative play and gross motor skills||Working doors, horn, and gas cap||Durable construction||Assembly required|
|LeapFrog My Own Leaptop||$24.99||2-4 years||Introduces letters, numbers, and basic computer skills||Customizable to child’s name and favorite things||Portable design||Requires batteries|
|Play-Doh Fun Factory Deluxe Set||$19.99||2+ years||Promotes creativity and fine motor skills||Includes multiple colors and tools||Non-toxic and easy to clean||Can be messy|
|VTech KidiBeats Drum Set||$12.99||2-5 years||Introduces music and rhythm||Includes multiple drum sounds and songs||Adjustable volume||Requires batteries|
|Melissa & Doug Wooden Shape Sorting Cube||$12.99||2-4 years||Encourages shape recognition and problem-solving||Multiple shapes and colors||Sturdy wooden construction||Pieces can be lost|
|Hape Pound & Tap Bench with Slide Out Xylophone||$29.99||12 months-3 years||Encourages music and hand-eye coordination||Includes xylophone and balls to pound through holes||Sustainable wood construction||Balls can be lost|
|Green Toys Ferry Boat with Mini Cars Bathtub Toy||$15||2+ years||Promotes imaginative play and fine motor skills||Includes ferry boat and mini cars||Made from recycled plastic||Can be difficult to clean|
|Mega Bloks First Builders Big Building Bag||$25||1-5 years||Encourages creativity and fine motor skills||Includes 80 colorful blocks||Easy to clean and store||Blocks can be lost|
|Radio Flyer My 1st Scooter||$29.99||2-5 years||Encourages balance and gross motor skills||Adjustable handlebars and lightweight design||Sturdy construction||Assembly required|
|Janod Brico’kids Take-Apart DIY Robots||$39.99||2-6 years||Encourages imagination and fine motor skills||Includes 50 wooden pieces and tools||Develops problem-solving skills||Pieces can be lost|
|Baby Shark Singing Plush Toy||$16.99||2+ years||Encourages music and singing along||Plays the popular Baby Shark song||Soft and cuddly design||Requires batteries|
|Manhattan Toy Tree Top Adventure Activity Center||$84.99||12 months-4 years||Encourages sensory and fine motor skills||Includes multiple activities and toys||Sturdy and compact design||Expensive|
|Mega Construx Pokemon Jumbo Pikachu||$34||2+ years||Promotes creativity and fine motor skills||Includes buildable Pikachu and accessories||Officially licensed by Pokemon||Pieces can be lost|
|Battat – Big Red Barn Animal Farm Playset||$24.99||2+ years|
1. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Chair
The Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Chair is a toy designed specifically for toddlers but can also grow with them. The three stages are designed to help your child learn about colors, shapes, numbers, counting, opposites, and more.
It’s great for two-year-olds because it helps them learn more about the world around them while being fun and interactive. It has 150+ songs, sounds, and phrases activated when your child sits down on the chair or stands up from it.
2. Little Tikes Cozy Coupe
Toddlers can easily climb in and out of the high back seat, but a floorboard can also be removed for when they are a bit older and ready to sit independently. Your child will be as delighted by the functioning horn, gas cap, and ignition button as they would be by an actual automobile, but unlike most real cars, this one even features cup holders for mom and dad to keep your drinks nearby.
Toddlers can maintain balance and roll effortlessly on the Cozy Coupe’s tough, long-lasting tires. This ride-on toy includes many functions that will keep your child occupied for hours, unlike some toys that focus more on aesthetics than use.
While you drive around the neighborhood with your child, they will enjoy honking the horn and get lots of activity. Moreover, it would be simple to push your child about inside if you don’t have time to take them outdoors rather than having them constantly want to walk.
3. LeapFrog My Own Leaptop
With the LeapFrog My Own Leaptop, kids can experience pretend play like never before. The colorful, chunky shape and smooth design make for a fun toy that kids can easily pick up and hold independently. The four modes let kids explore their interests in ABCs, games, music, and messaging while promoting development through fine motor skills, language, and social skills.
This toy is fantastic. It’s more of a laptop than a tablet. It has four modes: ABCs, Messages, Games, and Music. There’s also a pretend email option that your kid will love – especially since it comes with act emails from Mommy, Daddy, and Scout (her favorite dog from the Disney movie Up). Another attractive feature is tapping on the keyboard and hearing different sounds as if typing on a keyboard.
It has 16 songs and melodies, but four learning games help teach your child letters, numbers, and animals.
4. Play-Doh Fun Factory Deluxe Set
The Play-Doh Fun Factory Deluxe Set has everything you need to get creative! The set includes over 30 tools, cutters, and Play-Doh colors for hours of open-ended fun.
Start by squeezing colorful Play-Doh shapes out of the classic Fun Factory tool. Then use the over 25 cutters to create animals, tools, and more. Roll out your creations using the roller with cutter attachments and add details with various rollers, stamps, and cutters. And when you’re done, you can display your masterpieces on the included stand!
5. VTech KidiBeats Drum Set
Toddlers seeking to take their first musical steps will love the VTech KidiBeats Drum Set. This set includes three different-sized drums, including a large base drum, a medium-sized snare, and a little cymbal, to aid in your child’s sensory development through each distinct sound.
The KidiBeats Drum Set also comes with the letters A, B, C, D, E, and F, allowing your child to learn their alphabet by using the drums to spell out their own or other people they know names. Along with being much fun, this toy drum set also sings about numbers and music.
The KidiBeats Drum Set has four different play modes: free play, letters, numbers, and follow-along, which plays nine well-known children’s songs and is sure to get everyone up and to dance. Free play allows youngsters to rock out on the drums any way they choose.
Lastly, this toy drum set will keep your child occupied with its four play modes, three light-up drum pads, and various sound effects.
6. Melissa & Doug Wooden Shape Sorting Cube
With 12 vividly colored, simple-to-grasp forms, the Melissa & Doug Shape-Sorting Cube Traditional Wooden Toy is a superbly made wooden toy. This timeless toy is the ideal present for your 2-year-old child because it will aid in her learning about color, shape, and size.
This sturdy wooden toy is colorful and intended to stay. Round, vividly colored shapes are simple to pick up and handle. The wooden cube’s openings are designed to accommodate the forms, which then slide back into place. Your youngster will spend hours playing while honing her early color and shape recognition abilities.
A multipurpose learning tool that is great for toddlers and preschoolers learning their colors, shapes, and sizes is the Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Cube. This timeless toy is suitable for tiny hands and is made of durable birch wood. Once your youngster has mastered the sorting game, the shapes can be used for imaginative play and sorting activities!
7. Hape Pound & Tap Bench with Slide Out Xylophone
The Hape Pound & Tap Bench with Slide Out Xylophone is a fantastic toy for fostering the development of fine motor skills and the aural senses. The toy contains a xylophone that your child may attach or remove. This will encourage the young child to listen to the sound that each ball produces as it pops out of its hole and teach them how to imitate these sounds by tapping their palms on the bench.
This toy will improve the toddler’s dexterity and hand-eye coordination, crucial for developing fine motor skills.
It introduces kids to instruments such as a xylophone and helps them musically utilize their hands. Also, it strengthens their arms as they bang on the bench.
Develop musicality: Children naturally sing along and dance when they hear music being played around them. Since music permeates all aspects of our lives, young children should be exposed to it. Children exposed to playable instruments like the xylophone at a young age are more likely to develop a genuine interest in music as they age.
8. Green Toys Ferry Boat with Mini Cars Bathtub Toy
Your two-year-old will love the Green Toys Ferry Boat with Little Cars Bathtub Toy. The boat and two automobiles that fit precisely within the ship are the only three pieces included in this toy. It is entirely made of recycled plastic. The toy is safe for use both inside and outside, and it can be easily cleaned in a dishwasher. Since this toy is so strong, you won’t need to worry about your child destroying it as you might with other, more delicate toys.
9. Mega Bloks First Builders Big Building Bag
The Mega Bloks First Builders Big Building Bag is a toy for ages 1+. It includes 60 classic colored big building blocks and a storage bag for easy cleanup. Fisher Price endorses are the ideal way to introduce your child to the world of construction toys.
First Builders toys are perfect for little hands, providing hands-on play to develop imagination and gross motor skills. Blocks are compatible with all Mega Bloks building toys for endless learning fun!
10. Radio Flyer My 1st Scooter
Few things are as exciting for a 2-year-old as riding a bike. What happens if you still need to be older to ride it? Radio Flyer My 1st Scooter was created just for those kids and is intended to aid in the development of balance and coordination before pedaling begins. The large base’s low aids stability to the ground position. Moreover, the front two wheels offer the greatest strength and safety.
Younger users are helped to stay on the scooter by comfortable hand grips and a textured deck, while the turning radius was carefully engineered to provide enhanced safety without sacrificing mobility. The recommended age range for this model is 2 to 5 years old.
11. Janod Brico’kids Take-Apart DIY Robots
The Brico’kids Take-Apart DIY Robots kit is one of our favorite toys to give and receive. We love that it’s an open-ended construction toy that can be played with in so many different ways, and we especially like that it encourages creative expression.
The pieces are sturdy but easily put together (or taken apart), the paints are non-toxic, and the set is intended to last for generations of play. You can build any of three robots or mix and match the 53 wooden pieces to make fun creations.
It’s a sturdy gift for children who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty and a sweet gift for parents who want to relive a bit of their childhood.
12. Baby Shark Singing Plush Toy
An interactive toy that sings and wiggles are called the Baby Shark Singing Plush Toy. There are two game modes: To hear Baby Shark dance and sing along to the show’s theme tune, press his right fin. William will give Baby Shark a “high fin” if you press his fin.
This toy promotes play and aids in the growth of children’s imagination, sensory abilities, gross motor skills, and fine motor skills. Moreover, the item has two plush versions of Baby Shark and his closest friend William.
Ages 2 and above are appropriate for the Baby Shark Singing Plush Toy.
13. Manhattan Toy Tree Top Adventure Activity Center
Your toddler can practice motor skills while having a blast with this activity center designed like a treehouse. The four brightly-colored levels are packed with classic toddler activities, from spinning gears and sliding beads to bead runs and shape sorters.
A flexible flap and two gliders are suitable for toddlers learning how to climb, and there’s even a spinning dial where they can practice their fine motor skills.
All the while, they’ll be pretending to be a pirate high up in the treetops or an explorer on some faraway island—or they’ll simply be climbing, sliding, and having fun. This toy will keep them engaged and happy, i
14. Mega Construx Pokemon Jumbo Pikachu
Many large Pokemon toys are available but typically marketed toward children old enough to manage their finances. Finding suitable gifts for children too young to have formed their own opinions about the Pokemon universe can be challenging because nobody wants to invest in something their child will outgrow in a few years. However, the Mega Construx Pokemon Jumbo Pikachu is an excellent option for 2-year-olds and a tremendous entry-level item for those just starting to collect Pokemon memorabilia.
The Poke Ball on the Mega Construx Pokemon Jumbo Pikachu buildable figurine has a switch or button that you can click to turn on or off.
The Pikachu figurine can also be placed on the ball and used from there. The ball’s diameter of about 5 inches makes it simple for young children to hold and play with. It’s big enough for your child to enjoy having something solid to work with while still being small enough to make assembly not too challenging.
This toy is compatible with other Mega Construx building kits because it’s created by that company, allowing you to combine its components with the accessories and parts of other characters.
15. Battat – Big Red Barn Animal Farm Playset
If you’re looking for a fun and exciting playset, look no further than the Battat Big Red Barn. Your little one will love learning all about farm life as they help Farmer Ben care for his animal friends.
This 6-piece toddler playset has a red toy barn, one Farmer, cow, pig, horse, and sheep. The barn is made from non-toxic plastic and features large sliding doors that reveal a storage area.
Each animal has something special about it; the cow’s udders are made from soft fabric that can be pressed to dispense “milk,” the pig has a squeaker inside, and the horse has a moving mouth that works!
As for expert recommendations, here are some sources that may provide helpful insights:
- The American Academy of Pediatrics offers toy safety tips and recommendations for children of all ages on their website: https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/news-features-and-safety-tips/Pages/Toy-Safety-Tips.aspx
- The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) also offers resources and recommendations for early childhood education and development, including toy and gift suggestions: https://www.naeyc.org/our-work/families/toys
- The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry publishes research on child development, including play and toy preferences. Here’s an example of a study they conducted on play preferences in young children: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jcpp.12504
- The American Academy of Pediatrics provides recommendations for age-appropriate toys and safe play. They also publish the journal Pediatrics, which includes research on child health and development. Here’s an example of a policy statement they released on toy safety: https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/142/3/e20181486
- The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) conducts research and provides resources on early childhood education, including play and learning. Here’s an example of an article they published on play and toys for toddlers: https://nieer.org/early-learning-toys-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont
- Dr. Tovah Klein is the director of the Barnard College Center for Toddler Development and the author of “How Toddlers Thrive: What Parents Can Do Today for Children Ages 2-5 to Plant the Seeds of Lifelong Success.” She frequently provides insights and recommendations on toddler development and parenting.