Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
When you're shopping for a 2-year-old boy, you want to make sure any toy you pick out not only keeps him engaged and encourages development but is also durable enough to withstand their often very active lifestyle.
Development-focused toys can be based on physical skills, like a tricycle to help with balance and gross motor skills, says Dr. Natasha Burgert, a pediatrician at Pediatric Associates in South Overland Park, Kansas. They can also be learning-based, like puzzles or building sets. Tactile toys, like finger paint or magic sand are also really fun for older toddlers and help them explore texture and build fine motor skills.
Here, the best toys for 2-year-old boys.
Pacific Play Tents Find Me Multi Color Tunnel
If your toddler loves exploring and playing peek-a-boo, this colorful tent is sure to be a hit. There's no complicated setup required, just take it out of the carrying case and undo the strings that keep it flat—it's ready for playtime!
"I have yet to come across another toy that makes my son light up as much as this tunnel does. If he’s cranky or if I need him to be occupied while I cook dinner, I can take out the tunnel, and he’s immediately happy and engaged. He keeps himself entertained (while I kept an eye on him, of course), so this tunnel is like a treat for him and me!"—Michelle Piccolo, Product Tester
Mega Bloks 80-Piece Big Building Bag, Classic
A staple in playrooms everywhere, these Mega Bloks are a perfect first foray into the world of block building. It comes with 80 brightly colored blocks for tons of building fun, and clean up is easy as they come in their own storage bag. Made for little fingers, they’re perfectly size for stacking, building and smashing, then starting all over again. They can create towers, buildings, creatures, and whatever their little minds can dream up.
"The Mega Bloks 80-Piece Big Building Bag is rated for kids ranging in age from 1 to 5, making them one of the few block sets on the market for children as young as 12 months. That’s a major plus for parents concerned about the choking hazard posed by blocks with smaller dimensions."—Hailey Eber, Product Tester
3 Bees & Me Bath Toys
At the end of a sweaty, sticky day, toddler boys need to hit the bath, but getting them into the tub isn’t always the easiest feat. This fleet of brightly colored boats, however, will have them begging to dive right in.
Four boats come in a pack, and they each have magnets so they can hook to one another to form a bathtub boat parade. They can also be used in a pool, sink, or even on dry land for hours of imaginative play.
Toyk Aqua Magic Mat
Let his creativity fly free with this huge magic water drawing mat. No messy paints or markers needed. It comes with two pens that write like magic on the pad after you fill them with water, but they won’t leave a mark on walls, carpets, or other surfaces. The drawings will magically disappear after a few minutes, then he can start all over again.
Melissa & Doug Safari Wooden Chunky Puzzle
Need an interactive gift for a 2-year-old boy? At this age, they'll start to fine-tune some of their fine motor skills and some will be able to identify shapes, animals, and such. Why not indulge all of these new milestones with a fun wooden puzzle that will have them saying "roar" and more.
LeapFrog Smart Sizzlin' BBQ Grill Learning Toy With Food and Tools
This isn't just a play kitchen set, but one that's highly interactive for kids. The grill recognizes which foods are placed on top of it and says phrases like, "lets grill for three seconds" or "purple eggplant." Kids don't just learn about food but also numbers.
LEGO DUPLO My First Number Train
Kids can stack and build with this train set that helps them count from zero to nine. Each brick has a number and tots can stack them on one of the three locomotives. There are even two Lego figures, including a cat, in the set.
Sesame Street Love to Hug Elmo
What toddler doesn't love Elmo? Gift him this cute cuddly guy that loves to receive and give hugs. Simply squeeze Elmo and he asks for a hug. And when Elmo's tummy is squeezed, he raises his arms and asks for a hug. He also sings and talks!
Battat Deluxe Doctor Kit
Going to the doctor can feel like a scary experience for any child, but this kit may just help them feel less intimidated by the tools they see in the pediatrician's office. The 11-piece deluxe set features a stethoscope, thermometer, syringe, and more. Everything packs up neatly in the clear container with a large handle small hands can easily grab.
Childom Kids Musical Instruments
This colorful music set has everything he needs to make beautiful melodies (or something like that). Included in the set are a xylophone, maracas, sleigh bells, castanets, blocks, and a drum. Whether he’s going to play as a one-man band or even get the entire family involved, there’s something for everyone to play. It all comes in a carrying bag, which makes it easy to clean up, store and take the show on the road to grandma’s house or wherever you may be headed.
VTech Call and Chat Learning Phone
Everyone else is always on their phone, so of course, the little guy is going to want to be on his too. This one isn’t for scrolling through Facebook and posting pics of their dinner on Instagram (though wouldn’t that be fun?), but rather it’s full of all sorts of educational opportunities at the touch of a button. Don’t worry, they won’t be ringing someone in the middle of the night though. It’s all just pretend, which is great for inspiring imaginative play and saving your data plan.
Green Toys Tool Set Tool Set
A hammer, screwdriver, and saw usually aren't appropriate for tots, but this set features kid-safe tools to keep your little one occupied. The toolbox has four holes on each side that kids can screw and hammer the nuts and bolts into. Also, everything is made from 100 percent recycled plastic and they're even dishwasher safe.
LeapFrog LeapBuilders ABC Smart House
This toy lets him pair his love of building with the idea of using it in a smart home. When he connects pieces together he'll be able to hear sounds, letters, numbers, and more, teaching him while also letting him play. This affordable set comes with 61 pieces and even connects to other LeapFrog products.
Playskool Sit ‘n Spin Classic Spinning Activity Toy
Trust us. This toy will keep him spinning and occupied for hours! While it will provide lots of fun it also helps him hone his gross motor skills and work on core strength. The toy can spin fast or slow and assembly is a breeze.
Little Tikes EasyScore Basketball Set
Need a gift for a 2-year-old boy? This oldie but goodie will have him shooting hoops like a pro in no-time or he'll at least just love attempting to make baskets. We love that this toy will get him moving and working on his coordination skills.
Skip Hop Toddler Backpack
While not really a toy, this backpack is the perfect size for most 2-year olds. He can store all of his toys in here when he goes to grandma and grandpas or use it for preschool. No matter the use, he'll enjoy having a bag of his own.
Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table Playset
A water table is a gift that keeps on giving. They'll enjoy this toy from around 18 months and well towards eight years old and possibly beyond. They can use their imagination while playing solo or with a buddy to create waterfalls and watch the parts move and spin.
Hape Kid's Wooden Toy Ukulele
What did wouldn't want their own guitar, or in this case, a ukulele? This instrument is a perfect way to introduce kids to the world of music. It's perfectly sized for small hands and the nylon strings won't irritate their skin.
Press Here (Interactive Book for Toddlers and Kids, Interactive Baby Book)
Books are always a great gift. This favorite teaches kids about following directions and the importance of cause and effect. Though it's a children's book, the entire family can enjoy this.
Skoolzy Rainbow Counting Bears
Teach him about sorting and counting with this educational set that can be used in various ways. The one-inch bears can help teach children colors, counting, and sorting. The set comes with 71 pieces, a downloadable activity book, and a tote to store all of the items.
Green Toys Dump Truck
Boys (and girls alike!) are fascinated by trucks. Why not indulge their interests with a toy dump truck that they can play with for hours on end. This dump truck will help them work on their gross motor skills as they zoom this around the house and try to figure out how to dump the "trash" out.
Melissa & Doug Let's Play House! Dust, Sweep & Mop Set
Toddlers love pretend play and this sweep and mop set from Melissa & Doug will get them moving and even hopefully encourage them to clean up behind themselves (maybe). The set includes a broom, mop, and duster that kids up to six years old can enjoy. The toy doesn't just develop motor skills, but can even encourage a sense of independence.
We bought two top-rated toys for 2-year-old boys that our reviewers tested for eight hours. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using these toys, from age appropriateness to skill development. We’ve outlined the key takeaways here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.
What to Look For in Toys For a 2-Year-Old Boy
Make sure you check to see if the product’s age recommendation includes two-year-olds. This guideline is there to help you gauge how safe and engaging the toy will be, says Kristin Morency Goldman, senior advisor of strategic communications for The Toy Association.
Similarly, you should avoid any toys with small parts that pose a choking hazard—generally these toys are labeled 3+, says Morency Goldman. You should also consider material and size—avoid items that are too hard and heavy, as well as those that are long and unwieldy.
Toddlers tend to throw, drop, and generally run their toys ragged. Look for toys that are particularly durable—those made of thick plastics or solid wood—as they’ll better withstand frequent and rigorous use.
Two is a key developmental age, so it’s a good idea to purchase toys that encourage toddlers to further their physical and mental skills. Consider toys like building block towers, crayons, puzzles, and other similar finds that'll promote toddlers to practice these skills.