The 35 Best Gifts for 2-Year-Olds of 2023

Our top picks from Melissa & Doug, Little Tikes, Radio Flyer, and more

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Best Gifts for 2-Year-Olds

The Spruce / Sabrina Jiang

Buying the perfect gift for a 2-year-old can be difficult when you're trying to find something that's beneficial to their developmental health and growth but is also engaging, fun, and unique.

With those challenges in mind, we tested and researched the best toy options on the market for 2-year-olds, considering the recommended age, safety, educational value, and longevity. Our list includes fidgets from Fat Brain Toys, bath toys from Munchkin, and kitchen sets from Step2.

Here are the best gifts for 2-year-old boys and girls.

Fat Brain Toys Dimpl Brand Baby Toy

4.9
Dimpl

Fat Brain Toys

The fun and interactive pushable buttons on the Fat Brain Toys Dimpl toy may act as a stress reliever for a teenager or adult, but for little ones, they provide a fun, stimulating sensory experience that will keep them entertained for hours.

Dimpl toys come in various shapes and sizes, but this basic model is ideal for 2-year-olds developing sensory and motor skills. The simple mechanism will capture your toddler's attention immediately. Once they pop all bubbles on one side, flip it over and start the process again. Made of lightweight ABS plastic and food-grade silicone, you can trust that this toy is hazard-free. It's also easy to transport from room to room or on the go because there are no loose pieces. Keep it in your purse for when your 2-year-old is fussy or needs a foolproof distraction. The silicone and plastic wipe down easily when you need to clean this toy, but the Dimpl isn't dishwasher safe.

Price at time of publish: $15

Tender Leaf Toys Carrot Count Stacker

Tender Leaf Toys Carrot Count Stacker

Tender Leaf Toys

Tender Leaf Toys makes charming friendly wooden toys that foster important skills in your little one. Join the adorable bunny and learn to count to 10 with this wooden counting toy. Each carrot ring represents another number that your 2-year-old can stack, sort, and count as they practice problem-solving and motor skills. Plus, everything is made from a renewable resource with non-toxic water-based paint, so you can feel confident in what's going into your child's toys.

Price at time of publish: $29

Moonlite Mini Projector with 5 Mickey Mouse and Friends Stories

Moonlite Mini Projector with 5 Mickey Mouse and Friends Stories

Moonlite

A new way to enjoy classic stories, Moonlite brings iconic tales and characters to life through a projector that attaches to your smartphone. This set comes with five Mickey Mouse and friends stories you can find on the compatible app, then display with the included projector and your phone's flashlight. Nightly story times will never be the same.

Price at time of publish: $45

Melissa & Doug Nesting and Sorting Garages and Cars With 7 Graduated Garages

Melissa & Doug Nesting and Sorting Garages and Cars

Courtesy of Amazon

Rev up the fun with this set of sorting cars and garages from Melissa & Doug. It comes complete with seven numbered wooden cars in graduated sizes. There are also seven garages included, each with a number and color that matches one of the cars for endless counting, sorting, and matching opportunities.

All of the garages can be stacked on top of one another as well, for stacking (and knocking down) and building.

Price at time of publish: $26

Little Tikes Look & Learn Window

Little Tikes Look & Learn Window

Little Tikes

With Little Tikes, your toddler gets their own mini window to explore weather, numbers, and other educational concepts all while staying inside. The two different sides represent day and night as you introduce temperature, greet the window by saying "good morning," listen to music and songs, and so much more.

Price at time of publish: $50

Schwinn Roadster Tricycle

Schwinn Roadster Tricycle

Courtesy of Schwinn

Introduce your toddler to their first bike with the Schwinn roadster tricycle. It features a retro look, low center of gravity for easy riding, and an adjustable seat to accommodate differently sizes little ones. It comes in many fun color sure to delight any 2-year-old, along with the fun tassels attaches to the handles.

Price at time of publish: $140

Melissa & Doug Wooden Shape Sorting Grocery Cart

Melissa & Doug Wooden Shape Sorting Grocery Cart

Melissa & Doug

New from a leader in wooden toys, Melissa & Doug, comes a new educational and adorable grocery cart, perfect for 2-year-olds. Littles ones explore shapes and colors while challenging their sorting and problem-solving skills with all of the moving elements. The 16-piece set also comes with chunky wooden puzzles that store right inside the cart. It also doubles as a stabilizing walking toy for toddlers just getting on their feet.

Price at time of publish: $75

3 Bees & Me Dinosaur Toys

3 Bees & Me Dinosaur Toys

Courtesy of Amazon

This rolling herd of dinosaurs will provide a roaring good time for tiny toddlers. Four dinosaurs, come in this value-priced pack. Each dinosaur is modeled after a real prehistoric dino. There’s a brontosaurus, a stegosaurus, a triceratops, and of course, a T-Rex, all in bright primary colors, perched atop wheels.

Price at time of publish: $15

SmarterKids Ball Hoop

SmarterKids Ball Hoop

SmarterKids

Get your little one moving and fostering fine motor skills indoors or outdoors with the SmarterKids' mini basketball hoop. The hoop assembles easy and locks into place for optimal stability, while still being portable enough to take on the go. Kids can boost their confidence, play games, practice counting, and more with this adorably sized hoop.

Price at time of publish: $184

Cabbage Patch Kids Deluxe Toddler Style ‘N Play

Cabbage Patch Kids Deluxe Toddler Style ‘N Play

Cabbage Patch Kids

Spark some nostalgia with a new Cabbage Patch Doll for your toddler. The Style ‘N Play collection features the iconic doll, but with magic growing hair with accessories and tools to make it look perfect. Use bows, ribbons, and clips to create new hairstyles, or enjoy the toy simply as a doll and a companion for your 2-year-old to join them in their daily lives.

Price at time of publish: $26

Coogam Matching Eggs Color & Shape Sorter Puzzle

Coogam Matching Eggs Color & Shape Sorter Puzzle

Walmart

This carton of (fake) eggs is packed full of educational enrichment. The dozen eggs open to reveal six colors and 12 shapes, which kids have to match up. The eggs are made of durable material and they’re the perfect size for smaller hands. 

Price at time of publish: $15

Monti Kids Music Appreciation Kit

Monti Kids Music Appreciation Kit

Monti Kids

Get your 2-year-old moving and grooving with this introductory music set from Monti Kids. The educator-designed set includes five wooden instruments, each with a corresponding song available online made exclusively for the toys. Foster fine motor skills and practice new skills all through an exciting new bonding activity, perfect for toddlers.

Price at time of publish: $125

CoComelon Ultimate Learning Bus

CoComelon Ultimate Learning Bus

CoComelon

Kids that love CoComelon will flip for this interactive learning-filled school bus. Winner of toddler toy of the year in the Toy of the Year Awards, the ultimate learning bus uses sounds and lights to teach vital lessons for toddlers' development, including colors, numbers, letters, and more. It includes over 300 phrases and fun, recognizable songs, guaranteed to provide hours of entertainment fo little ones.

Price at time of publish: $55

Munchkin Fishin' Bath Toy

Munchkin Fishin' Bath Toy.

Courtesy of Amazon

Bath time will become play time with this fun toy. Kids use the lightweight, magnetic fishing pole to catch the three sea creatures. The pole even makes a clicking sound. Not only is this fun, but can also teach kids hand-eye coordination. 

Price at time of publish: $9

My Hair, My Crown Board Book

Mudpuppy My Hair, My Crown

Mudpuppy

It's never too early to teach kids to love every part of themselves. My Hair, My Crown celebrates the magic of Black hairstyles. Whether you're building confidence in your child or introducing them to diverse styles and appearances, the board book features a surprise mirror on the last page for little ones to admire their beautiful hair, no matter how it looks.

Price at time of publish: $13

iPlay, iLearn Kids Learning Clock

iPlay, iLearn Kids Learning Clock

iPlay, iLearn

Get a jump start on preschool learning with the iPlay, iLearn learning clock. The adorable toy reads out the time, plays songs, lights up, and tests your toddler on shapes, numbers, colors, and more. The handle makes it easy to carry for playing in the car, at the park, or anywhere on the go.

Price at time of publish: $30

Learning Curve Vegetable Prep Board Playset

Learning Curve Vegetable Prep Board Playset

Learning Curve

One of the way toddlers learn and grow is by mimicking what they see their parents do. Gift your 2-year-old their own cutting board and kid-safe knife for chopping vegetables while you prep dinner every night. The adorable set comes with four veggies that pull apart and attach with velcro that act as mini learning puzzles. Or use the included wooden knife to test their dexterity and fine motor skills.

Price at time of publish: $6

Learning Resources Spike The Fine Motor Hedgehog

Learning Resources Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog

Amazon

Perfect for tiny hands, Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog comes with pegs that perfectly fit into his body as spikes. Two years old can practice their fine motor skills by placing the correct pegs in each spot, then practice counting and sorting with the different color "spikes" that come with this kit. The adorable critter is bound to keep kids entertained and engaged as they solve the mystery of his missing spikes.

Price at time of publish: $13

LOVEVERY Play Kits

Lovevery Play Kits

Lovevery

Loverey play kits take your child's age and developmental stage into account to provide the best toys, lessons, and supplemental material to promote learning and growth. Kids complete different projects and activities, delivered in the mail every three months, to support your child's creativity, independence, problem-solving skills, and so much more. They also provide a great bonding opportunity for toddlers and parents to complete together.

Price at time of publish: $120

LeapFrog Scoop and Learn Ice Cream Cart Deluxe

LeapFrog Scoop and Learn Ice Cream Cart Deluxe

Courtesy of Amazon

Kids can mix and match the flavors and toppings on their very own ice cream cart to create the perfect cone, all while learning and laughing. This set comes with recipe cards so toddlers can build their memory and sequencing abilities while also practicing their fine motor skills through giving and receiving money for the tasty treats.

Price at time of publish: $55

Britannica's Baby Encyclopedia: For curious kids ages 0 to 3

Britannica's Baby Encyclopedia: For curious kids ages 0 to 3

Britannica Publisher

Explore big ideas in a digestible way for toddlers with the Britannica baby encyclopedia. Learn about animals, food, art, numbers, science, and so much more for read-alouds, home-school sessions, and family bonding times. Everything was reviewed by early-years specialist Dr. Amanda Gummer and the book features beautiful and engaging illustrations by Hanako Clulow.

Price at time of publish: $15

Battat Deluxe Doctor Kit

Battat Deluxe Doctor Kit

Courtesy of Amazon

The smallest doctor in your family now has their own kit to take care of any pretend bumps, bruises, or scrapes. The 11-piece set has colorful gear like a stethoscope, thermometer, tweezers, and a needle. Everything fits in the plastic case for easy storage. 

Price at time of publish: $19

Fisher-Price Light-Up & Learn Owl​

Fisher-Price Light-Up & Learn Owl​

Fisher-Price

This interactive toy from Fisher-Price is so fun, toddlers won't even realize they're learning. The adorable owl has an expressive face, lights up, sings songs, and so much more. The seven buttons reveal hours of fun and learning about the alphabet, counting, the weather, days of the week, different emotions, and so much more.

Price at time of publish: $23

Radio Flyer 4-in-1 Stroll 'N Trike

Radio Flyer, 4-in-1 Stroll 'n Trike

Courtesy of Walmart

They’ll be cruising the neighborhood in style in this sleek 4-in-1 vehicle. It’s a gift they truly won’t outgrow for years, as it grows with the child.

It starts as an infant trike (basically, a sporty-looking stroller), complete with a three-point harness for safety, as mom and dad do the work pushing. Then as little legs get bigger and stronger, the trike can transform into a steering trike and a learn-to-ride trike. Finally, it can be turned into a classic trike when they’re ready to pedal off on their own into the sunset (or at least to the end of the driveway).

Price at time of publish: $85

Skillmatics Thick Flash Cards for Toddlers : First 100 Animals

 Skillmatics Thick Flash Cards for Toddlers : First 100 Animals

Skillmatics

Perfect for road trips, plane rides, or sitting through siblings' sports games, Skillmatics' flash cards keep toddlers engaged and learning at the same time. The high-quality, non-bending flash cards features realistic images and names of 100 animals. The box also comes with three learning games for 2-year-olds to sort, name, and learn more about fascinating animals from land to sea.

Price at time of publish: $15

Mega Bloks 80-Piece Big Building Bag

4.2
Mega Bloks

Courtesy of Walmart

“Wow!” will be their reaction when they see this mega bag of Mega Bloks. It comes with 80 brightly colored blocks in a variety of shapes. They’re the perfect size for little hands and versatile enough for them to dream big with their creations.

From castles to cars and so much more, there’s no limit to the things they may create. This is a perfect starter set, but it also works with all other Mega Bloks sets.

Price at time of publish: $17

Mega Bloks 80-Piece Big Building Bag

 The Spruce

Little Feminist Monthly Membership

Little Feminist Monthly Membership

Little Feminist

The Little Feminist membership is a perfect gift for 2-year-olds (and parents) that love reading and learning. Every month, parents receive new printable activities, age-based book club picks, resources for young ones on important social justice issues, and more. The membership is appropriate for kids ages 0-9 so the topics, book picks, and activities can grow with your child.

Price at time of publish: $5+

First 100 Words: A Padded Board Book

First 100 Words: A Padded Board Book

Courtesy of Amazon

This book is such a classic and is ideal for kids ages 1 to 3. It features 100 photos to accompany each word. Kids will expand their vocabulary all while enjoying the colorful pics. The book is made of durable material and the cover is slightly padded, making it easy for kids to hold.

Price at time of publish: $5

Mega Bloks Green Town Build & Learn Eco House

Mega Bloks Green Town Build & Learn Eco House

Mega Bloks

Build, learn, and play with the Mega Bloks green town eco house play set. The buildable set features a greenhouse, solar panels, electric cars, bicycles, figures, and more, as a fun introduction to important ecological efforts. Plus, all green town building sets are certified carbon neutral, so the products and the concepts are equally eco-conscious.

Price at time of publish: $33

John Deere Deluxe Talking Toolbelt

John Deere Toolkit

Courtesy of Walmart

It’s tot tool time thanks to this set from John Deere. It includes a belt and six tools, including a screwdriver, wrench, and hammer. All of the tools feature rubber handles that are easy for little hands to grip. What’s really awesome is that the belt makes tool sounds and even says two phrases.

Price at time of publish: $24

Pottery Barn Kids Wooden Shopping Cart

Pottery Barn Kids Wooden Shopping Cart

Pottery Barn Kids

Pottery Barn Kids makes beautiful wooden toys that double as nursery decor when not in use. This stunning shopping cart is the perfect toy for little ones practicing their walking and storing skills. Keep toys, clothes, or other items in the shopping cart for extra storage, or purchase some pretend food to go along with the cart. You can even bring it to the grocery store so your 2-year-old has a matching mini cart for cuteness overload.

Price at time of publish: $99

Step2 LifeStyle Custom Kitchen Playset

lifestyle-custom-kitchen

Courtesy of Walmart 

Your 2-year-old has some time before they actually start cooking, but this kitchen set is a fun start. The stove has cool sound effects like water boiling and a sizzling pan, while shelves and drawers provide plenty of storage space for the 20 accessories that are included.

Price at time of publish: $118

Little Tikes EasyScore Basketball Set

Little Tikes EasyScore

Courtesy of Target

To say this gift will be a slam dunk would be an understatement (and a silly pun), but it’s true. Budding ballers can shoot and score over and over again with this sturdy basketball hoop designed just for them. Perfect for hoopsters 18 months to five years old, it's easily adjustable and can go from 2 feet up to 4 feet. It also has an oversized rim for maximum points. The best part: the set comes with not one, but three, rubber balls, so if one rolls away to places unknown, the game doesn’t have to come to an end.

Price at time of publish: $36

b. Toys Toy Drum Set

parum-drum-set

Courtesy of Target 

Kids will be marching to their own beat with this fantastic music set that’s as cute as it is functional. Included are silly centipede drumsticks, jingle bell ants, a busy bee maraca and clacker, a caterpillar tambourine and a shaker egg—plenty to make up a whole band. They all come packed in a bright drum with a handy carrying strap for some music on the go.

Price at time of publish: $25

Nuby Floating Purple Octopus Interactive Bath Toy

Nuby-Octopus

Courtesy of Amazon

This brightly colored toy is sure to make your kid smile. It’s perfect for 18 months and older. The purple octopus floats in the tub and includes three rings so kids can place them on the tentacles. The material is BPA-free and because the toys are sealed (no holes), there’s no worry about mold. 

Price at time of publish: $8

What to Look for in a Toy For a 2-Year-Old

Recommended Age

Age recommendations are an important gauge of safety and stimulation, so always take a look at this piece of information, says Kristin Morency Goldman, senior advisor of strategic communications for The Toy Association.

Safety

Keep a special eye out for any toys labeled 3+, says Morency Goldman, since these toys may contain small parts that pose a choking hazard, even to older toddlers. It’s also smart to avoid items that are too hard and heavy, as well as those that are long and unwieldy, since your toddler may not have the finesse and stability to handle these appropriately.

Educational Value

2-year-olds are like little sponges, soaking up all sorts of knowledge as they learn new skills. A toy that promotes news skills—be it fine motor skills, walking, talking, music, or critical thinking—will be both educational and entertaining.

Two-year-olds, in particular, tend to love exploring the world around them, so gifts that allow them to move and explore are a safe bet. According to Dr. Natasha Burgert, a pediatrician in South Overland Park, Kansas, these types of gifts also help hone their burgeoning physical skills.

Longevity

Young children grow at an astounding rate. Consider whether the gift you buy for a 2-year-old can grow with them—it might be much better to invest in something a child can use for a long period of time, as opposed to a toy they’ll grow out of in a few months.

FAQ
  • What are good gifts for an active 2-year-old?

    Active toddlers enjoy gifts that let them move around and expel all of that energy. Consider interactive gifts like a mini basketball net or a drum set.

  • What do two-year-olds like to do for fun?

    At this age, toddlers enjoy touching and feeling objects and exploring the world around them. They are just starting to draw and color. The best gifts will allow them to use their hands and develop their minds. Consider picture books, beginner art supplies, and simple games.

  • What products are safe for 2-year-olds to play with?

    Gifts for 2-year-olds should be labeled for children of that age. Avoid gifts for age 3+ as these may contain small parts that can be swallowed. Choose durable, safe gifts that can withstand rough play.

  • Why are non-staining paints or markers best for 2-year-olds to play with?

    Toddlers are still developing their fine motor skills and lack the dexterity of older kids. They are still learning how to use paint and markers and don't understand what surfaces to avoid. Non-staining paints and markers make cleanup easier for parents and protect clothing and surfaces from permanent damage.

  • How can a 2-year-old stay entertained with a toy without making a mess and staying safe?

    It's important for an adult to supervise children of this age while they are playing. Contain toys to a specific area of the house safe from household hazards. Guide toddlers when they hold paint or markers and use non-staining materials whenever possible.

Why Trust the Spruce?

This article was written by Julia Fields a lifestyle writer for The Spruce covering all things surrounding toys, gifts, and the holidays since October 2021. Before that, she covered similar topics including toy reviews, product round-ups, expert-focused articles, and more. 

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