The 20 Best Toys for 2-Year-Olds of 2022

Fun and educational finds to keep little ones engaged

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Two-year-olds can be tough to shop for—they’re not babies anymore, but they’re not quite big enough for many of the more complex toys that interest their older siblings. But, if you know where to look, you can find plenty of engaging and interactive gift ideas that will keep your toddler occupied and mentally stimulated. Think STEM sets, ride-on toys that can be used indoor or outdoors, and car toys.

"As toddlers get older, they begin to enjoy pretend play sets, trikes and scooters, puzzles, building sets, coloring books, basic craft supplies, early games, trains and racetracks, and musical instruments," says Dr. Natasha Burgert, a pediatrician in South Overland Park, Kansas. Why? These toys can help your toddler develop motor skills and social play before they start school.

Here, the best toys to gift 2-year-olds this holiday season.

Our Top Picks
Practice fine motor skills and color recognition with Spike.
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An affordable trike adorned with a friendly dinosaur design will keep them moving, whether they're inside or out in the yard.
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They can follow along the show's songs and storyline while they play with the famous CoComelon school bus.
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Each kit is designed by academics, researchers, and healthcare practitioners to target your child’s specific age bracket.
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If your toddler is always reaching for your phone, this toy version will delight both of you.
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Unlike traditional blocks, these won’t topple and cause frustration.
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This silly little dinosaur talks, moves, walks, and dances and teaches kids about emotions.
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Parents and kids can take turns entertaining each other with this Baby Shark puppet.
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Expertly crafted, this solid wood toy has five sides of fun to keep your toddler engaged longer.
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Featuring low-profile wheels, a wide standing board, and a sturdy, adjustable bar, this scooter is more approachable for toddlers.
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Learning Resources Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog

Learning Resources Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog

Dimensions: 9.1 x 9.1 x 3.9 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 18 months and up

What We Like
  • Educational

  • Easy cleanup

  • High quality

  • Affordable

What We Don't Like
  • Toddlers may lose interest quickly

Toddlers will love learning valuable skills with Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog. The adorable critter has 12 removable quills to help toddlers practice their fine motor skills as they maneuver them in and out of the holes. Young ones can also practice counting and sorting with the different colored pieces with this educational toy. When play time is over, place all the quills pack in Spike for easy cleanup.

Little Tikes Go and Grow Dino Indoor Outdoor Ride On Toy

Dimensions: 15.5 x 22 x 16 inches | Material: Plastic Recommended Age: 1 year and up

What We Like
  • Can be used indoors or outdoors

  • Grows with your child

What We Don't Like
  • Cheaper and lightweight quality

Kids at this age love dinosaurs, and this trike features a friendly design that's liked by toddler boys and girls. This ride-on toy can be used indoors and outdoors, and it includes a wide front wheelbase and oversized rear wheel, making it easier to balance on and ride. Note that the max weight limit for this trike is 50 pounds.

CoComelon Musical Yellow School Bus

CoComelon Musical Yellow School Bus

Dimensions: 5.09 x 9.53 x 4.92 inches | Material: Plastic Recommended Age: 2 years and up

What We Like
  • Musical toy

  • Car toys are popular for this age

What We Don't Like
  • Cheaper quality

CoComelon fans can play along while watching their favorite educational program. Along with the bus that features six seats for CoComelon family and friends, this set includes a mini J.J. doll. Toddlers can easily push and maneuver the bus thanks to its free-wheeling motion, plus they can sing along to "Wheels on the Bus" as it plays.

Lovevery Play Kits

Lovevery Play Kit

Dimensions: Not listed | Material: Sustainably harvested wood, organic cotton, nontoxic paint, and baby-safe plastics Recommended Age: 1 year and up

What We Like
  • Backed by healthcare practitioners and academics

  • You can skip or cancel subscriptions at anytime

What We Don't Like
  • Subscription-based

  • One-time purchases unavailable

Academics, researchers, and healthcare practitioners carefully customize these Lovevery play kits according to your child’s specific age bracket, ensuring each toy is right on target in terms of both skill set development and interest. Subscription boxes include items like puzzles, matching games, and mini science experiments, which are divided into 3-month age ranges to guarantee your child is getting them right when they're at the appropriate developmental stage. 

VTech Touch and Swipe Baby Phone

VTech-Touch-and-Swipe-Phone

Dimensions: 0.98 x 2.83 x 5.51 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 6 months and up

What We Like
  • Durable for toddler play

  • Touch screen is interactive, not just decorative

What We Don't Like
  • "Swiping" feature is really a lever mechanism

  • Sound effects could be louder

Now your toddler can have a more kid-friendly copy of your own phone. The touch screen mobile has 12 light-up pretend apps that are just like the ones you have installed, like a pretend calendar, clock, weather, and more. There’s an educational component, too, as the interactive device plays a variety of songs that help teach ABCs, 123s, and first words.

Battat Bristle Blocks

Battat Bristle Blocks

Dimensions: 12.5 x 3 x 14 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 2 years and up

What We Like
  • STEM toy

  • Helps with dexterity and motor skills

What We Don't Like
  • Wheels aren't as intuitive

  • Packaging comes in a bag, not a box

A STEM-based building set that goes way beyond stacking blocks for hours of fun and imaginative play, this set includes 112 interlocking pieces in assorted sizes and vibrant colors. It's ripe for creating everything from towers and cities to boats and cars. Unlike traditional blocks, these won’t topple and cause frustration—they stay securely together until your child decides to start anew.

Dimensions: 4.64 x 11.18 x 11.68 inches | Material: Plastic and metal | Recommended Age: 2 years and up

What We Like
  • Builds toddler appreciation for music

  • Helps promote emotional intelligence

What We Don't Like
  • Might be scary for some toddlers

This silly little dinosaur is like a pet, but better because you won’t end up taking care of it. It talks, moves, walks, and dances based on the tiles you put into its back. The 27 possible tile combinations include a range of emotions, music choices, and characters to help your child identify and understand their feelings and how they affect their behavior.

WowWee Pinkfong Baby Shark Official Song Puppet

WowWee Pinkfong Baby Shark Official Song Puppet

Dimensions: 13.8 x 8.3 x 6.9 inches | Material: Plush | Recommended Age: 2 years and up

What We Like
  • Timeless toy

  • Sings the classic "Baby Shark" tune

  • Durable

What We Don't Like
  • Have to keep moving the puppet to keep the song playing

  • Could be louder

"Baby Shark" fans, including toddlers and their parents, will have hours of fun playing with these puppets. Simply slip your hand into the back of the doll to move the puppet’s mouth up and down to play the beloved tune. The song plays at varying speeds, depending on how fast or slow you move your hand, providing fun for the whole family. You can collect all three song puppets, including Baby Shark, Daddy Shark, and Mommy Shark.

Battat Wooden Activity Cube

Battat Wooden Activity Cube

Dimensions: 13.4 x 11.81 x 17.72 inches | Material: Wood | Recommended Age: 1 year and up

What We Like
  • Farm theme

  • Durable construction

  • Multiple activities in one

What We Don't Like
  • Dull paint

  • May not be challenging enough for older toddlers

This expertly crafted, solid wood toy has five sides of fun to keep your toddler engaged longer. Depending on their mood, they can drive the tractor around, zig-zag the beads up and down, or move spinners to their heart’s content. You’ll love the toy’s rounded edges, which add an element of safety for children who aren’t fully steady on their feet.

Micro Kickboard Mini Deluxe 3 Scooter

Micro Kickboard Mini Deluxe 3 Scooter

Dimensions: 12 x 21 x 17 inches | Material: Aluminum, polyurethane, and fiberglass | Recommended Age: 2 years and up

What We Like
  • Three wheels and wide base help toddlers balance

  • Fun color combinations

  • Adjustable T-bar

What We Don't Like
  • Some assembly required

  • Lean and steer could be difficult for beginners

Take neighborhood walks to new heights (and—win for parents—burn more energy!) by gifting your child their very own scooter. Though your little one will still need to wear a helmet, this one is more toddler-friendly, thanks to low-profile wheels, a wide standing board, and a sturdy, adjustable handlebar. It’s a way to help your child gain confidence on wheels and practice their balance and coordination skills.

Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table Playset

Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table Playset

Dimensions: 39 x 24 x 32 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 1 year and up

What We Like
  • Easy assembly

  • Sturdy construction

  • Suitable for various ages

What We Don't Like
  • No pre-drilled holes

  • Screws can cause slight leaking

Promote hours of summer fun with this interactive water table. It’s a great choice for children with siblings, as there’s plenty of room for all, plus it's suitable for a wide range of ages from 1 and up. The 13-piece kit includes features like maze-like spinners, ramps, and buckets for tons of beneficial STEM play.

Little Tikes Cozy Coupe

Little Tikes Cozy Coupe

Dimensions: 29.5 x 16.5 x 33.5 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 18 months to 5 years

What We Like
  • A classic favorite reimagined

  • Sturdy construction

  • Can be used indoors or outdoors

What We Don't Like
  • Instructions aren't clear

  • Lots of parts to assemble

A timeless pick in the toy world, these little cars are a household staple for a reason. Toddlers will feel empowered behind the wheel of this imaginative toy, thanks to a slew of fun features, like working doors, a steering wheel with a horn, a clicking ignition switch, a gas cap that opens and shuts, plus durable tires that spin 360 degrees. Ride-on toys are a great pick to use indoors and outdoors to burn off energy with your toddler.

TOP BRIGHT Car Ramp Racer

TOP BRIGHT Car Ramp Racer

Dimensions: 8.86 x 3.81 x 10 inches | Material: Beechwood and polypropylene | Recommended Age: 18 months and up

What We Like
  • Can help kids learn numbers and colors

  • Cars come with little magnets to stay on the track

What We Don't Like
  • Material is a little flimsy

This simple, high-quality wooden toy teaches cause and effect, plus promotes dexterity and hand-eye coordination as children watch their car zoom down the varying tiers to the finish line. Each car is numbered one through four and painted a different color, so you and your child can practice counting and identifying colors, too.

Playskool Mr. Potato Head

Playskool Mr. Potato Head

Dimensions: 4.02 x 5.98 x 7.52 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 2 years and up

What We Like
  • Comes with a storage compartment

  • Easy to clean

  • Nostalgic design

What We Don't Like
  • Pieces are difficult to insert into holes

Mr. Potato Head is another classic toy that has passed the test of time. Toddlers love playing with all the different parts and pieces—eyes, ears, and accessories—to create fun characters with unique faces and expressions. When playing together, the toy provides a great chance to practice identifying different body parts. Don't worry about losing all the pieces: The toy comes with a convenient suitcase for stashing everything.

Learning Friends 100 Words Book

Learning Friends Word Book

Dimensions: 9.4 x 9.2 x 1.9 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 18 months and up

What We Like
  • Educational and interactive

  • Promotes bilingual learning

  • Multiple ways to play

What We Don't Like
  • Pages are a little thin

  • Loud, no volume control

Help your child grow their ever-expanding vocabulary with this fun, interactive book. Three cute characters—Turtle, Tiger, and Monkey—come to life to introduce more than 100 age-appropriate words chosen by learning experts. As a bonus, all words, songs, and instructions can be heard in both English and Spanish for a fully bilingual experience.

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Servin' Up Fun Food Truck

Fisher-Price Food Truck

Dimensions: 21.97 x 22.99 x 27.99 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 18 months and up

What We Like
  • Includes fun food and accessory toys

  • Clear instructions

  • Multiple ways to play

What We Don't Like
  • Might be small for some toddlers

  • Light, so can tip over

What child doesn’t love to play pretend, especially when there’s food involved? The Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Servin' Up Fun Food Truck offers two sides of imaginative play, complete with more than 20 removable toy pieces. Plus, it plays more than 125 songs, sounds, and phrases to promote speech development.

YGJT Baby Balance Bike

YGJT Baby Balance Bike

Dimensions: 19.29 x 9.76 x 7.09 inches | Material: Carbon steel | Recommended Age: 10 months and up

What We Like
  • Kids can push themselves

  • Nice design that's fairly durable

  • Can be used indoors or outdoors

What We Don't Like
  • Wheels on the back are close together

  • Can be too small for some kids

Small and balanced by four wheels, this little bike can get your toddler more comfortable riding a bicycle on their own. Use the bike indoors—or out—to help little ones develop confidence and learn balance, plus the feeling of going both backward and forward. The toy bike comes in three fun colors, so you’ll find the perfect shade for your son or daughter.

Melissa & Doug 20 Wooden Animal Magnets in a Box

Melissa & Doug 20 Wooden Animal Magnets in a Box

Dimensions: 5.5 x 2 x 8 inches | Material: Wood | Recommended Age: 2 years and up

What We Like
  • Well-built and sturdy

  • Helps promote strategic thinking

  • Comes with storage case

What We Don't Like
  • Pictures can peel off slightly

  • Storage case doesn't come with cover

A simple yet engaging toy with plenty of educational benefits, your child will love arranging their very own set of 20 wild and pet animals, whether it's on the floor or a magnetic surface like the refrigerator. For the most valuable learning experience, play together, naming each animal and repeating the sounds they make. When you’re done, tuck everything into the sturdy wooden storage case.

The New York Doll Collection Soft Baby Doll

The New York Doll Collection Soft Baby Doll

Dimensions: 10 x 6.69 x 3.54 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

What We Like
  • Lifelike doll

  • Promotes nurturing skills

  • Suitable for various ages

What We Don't Like
  • Poor paint job

  • Arms are a little loose

Let kids explore their nurturing side with this soft, lifelike baby doll. It’s an especially great choice for any toddler welcoming a home a sibling, as it’s a great introduction to caring for and playing with a baby. The 11-inch doll is just the right size for little arms, and it's soft enough to cuddle with during storytime. 

Hape Pound & Tap Bench with Slide Out Xylophone

Hape Pound & Tap Bench with Slide Out Xylophone

Dimensions: 24 x 13.5 x 15 inches | Material: Wood, water-based paint, and metal | Recommended Age: 1 year and up

What We Like
  • Great for developing hand-eye coordination

  • Can build musical appreciation

What We Don't Like
  • Not the best value in terms of quality

  • Xylophone is slightly off-key

Introduce your little one to the wonders of creating music with this high-quality wooden toy. The multifunctional instrument can be played several ways: use it as a xylophone, a keyboard, or shake the balls together like maracas. No matter which way you play, benefits abound, including helping them practice dexterity, hand-eye coordination, and cause and effect.

What to Look for in Toys for 2-Year-Olds

Recommended Age

Always consult the manufacturer's instructions for the recommended age. This guideline will help you determine whether the toy is safe and engaging enough (or too complicated) for your child, notes Kristin Morency Goldman, senior advisor of strategic communications for The Toy Association.

Safety

When shopping, keep an eye out for toys with small parts that can be a choking hazard—generally, these toys are labeled 3+, suggests Morency Goldman. Though 2-year-olds seem much more advanced than babies and younger toddlers, they’re still too young to handle toys with small parts. 

Longevity

As any parent knows, babies and toddlers grow into new stages, and their interests change in a flash. Consider how long they’ll be able to use the toy you buy. And, whenever possible, look for toys with multiple applications since these items will be more likely to hold your little one’s attention for a longer time.

Educational Value

Similarly, your 2-year-old is rapidly developing all kinds of important language, social, cognitive, and motor skills. Look for toys—ones with letters, colors, numbers, and other educational components—that help foster the skills they’re working on when you begin shopping.

FAQ
  • What are must-have gifts for 2-year-olds?

    Two-year-olds are new at life and love novelty. You can never predict what any kid will end up becoming obsessed with, but 2-year-olds are generally fans of illustrated children’s books, animal figurine sets, finger puppets, brightly colored bath toys, alphabet blocks, crayon sets, and simple musical instruments like mini drums or xylophones.

  • What do you gift a 2-year-old boy?

    Two-year-old boys are bustling with energy and curious about life. Give them something fun and interactive that will allow them to explore and learn new skills. Like an age-appropriate ride-on toy, building blocks, simple puzzles, coloring books, a musical instrument, or a whimsical pop-up book. 

  • How do you explain gift giving to a 2-year-old?

    The act of gift-giving is self-explanatory and does not require language to be understood. But you can help ritualize the act of giving and receiving by wrapping presents to create suspense, using simple language to let them know you are giving them a special gift, and encouraging them to say thank you.

Why Trust the Spruce?

This roundup was written by Brigitt Earley, who has written and edited hundreds of gift guides for various publications over the course of the last 10 years, including The Spruce's lists of best gifts for the whole familybest virtual gifts, and best Christmas gifts for your best friend. Additional research was done 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, interviews with experts, and more.

Updated by
Julia Fields
Julia Fields The Spruce
Julia is the Assistant Editor at The Spruce, covering all things toys, gifts, and holiday. 
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