The 8 Best Educational Toys for 2-Year-Olds of 2019

Inspire fun and learning

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.

First Look

Best Overall: Melissa & Doug Wooden Blocks Set at Amazon

"Playing with blocks is not only fun for your child it is a great way to teach them many skills."

Best Budget: Melissa & Doug Stack and Sort Board at Amazon

"It features five wooden poles in different bright colors as well as wooden pieces in five different shapes and colors that can be stacked on them."

Best STEM: First Builders Big Building Bag at Amazon

"This set comes with 80 blocks in a variety of colors that can be sorted, stacked and used to build an endless array of fantastic creations."

Best Reading: VTech Touch & Teach Word Book at Amazon

"This book has touch-sensitive pages which helps expand kids’ vocabulary by teaching them the alphabet, introducing new words and more."

Best Music: B. toys Parum Pum Pum at Amazon

"It comes with castanets, bells, a tambourine, drumsticks and maracas. This all fits inside a plastic drum that’s fun to beat and great for storage."

Best Gross Motor: Climb and Crawl Activity Play Set at Amazon

"There’s this five-piece set of shapes from ECR4Kids. The foam pieces are soft yet sturdy and have non-slip bottoms to keep them in place."

Best Fine Motor: Spike The Fine Motor Hedgehog at Amazon

"The hedgehog measures about 6 inches in diameter, and it comes with 12 quills plus an activity guide."

Best Pretend Play: 3 Bees & Me Bath Toys at Amazon

"Each one is numbered, and they contain magnets that makes them cling together in a row, almost like a train."

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden ABC/123 Blocks Set

Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden ABC/123 Blocks Set

 Courtesy of Amazon

Playing with blocks isn't just fun for your child, it's a great way to teach them problem-solving and gross motor skills. Wooden blocks are a solid choice because they aren't made of plastic and they will stand the test of time.

This 50 block set will have your 2-year-old stacking (and knocking down!) their creations. The ideas are endless when it comes to blocks–besides building they can also sort, learn the alphabet, and much more.

Best Budget: Melissa & Doug Stack and Sort Board

Learning to sort is a big developmental milestone. Like stacking, sorting helps your toddler put together colors, shapes, and such, so they understand that they are one of the same. This wooden stack-and-sort board helps them use problem-solving skills in figuring out where to stack the next shape and color, but it also uses fine motor skills because they will have to thread the shape on.

Parents love that this toy can have many different uses over time and is a great teaching tool for their children.

Best STEM: First Builders Big Building Bag

You can’t go wrong when it comes to Mega Bloks, especially when it comes to building those important science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills. This set comes with 80 blocks in a variety of colors that can be sorted, stacked and used to build an endless array of fantastic creations. They’re a great size for little hands and come with a zippered plastic bag for easy cleanup and storage.

Thousands of customers give Mega Blocks rave reviews, saying they’re a must-have for playrooms. They say they’re amazed at how much use kids get out of these blocks and the cool things they do with them. Some wish they clicked together more tightly, but most say they’re a perfect introduction to building blocks for younger kids since they’re easy to put together and take apart. Plus, they are easy to clean!

Best Reading: VTech Touch & Teach Word Book

This book from VTech brings words to life, as the touch-sensitive pages expand kids’ vocabulary by teaching them the letters of the alphabet, introducing new words and more. It features four play modes, including “What’s That Word?” “Letter Fun,” Music Time” and “Find It.” It’s designed for kids ages 18 months-4 years old and requires two AAA batteries, which aren’t included (just demo batteries).

Parents say that while it can take younger kids a bit of time to learn to use it, once they do, they love it. They say it’s made toddler-tough and is a fun way for kids to learn important pre-reading skills.

Best Music: B. toys Parum Pum Pum

Music is a great way for toddlers to learn coordination, cause and effect and many other important skills, and this music set from B. Toys makes it fun as can “bee.” That’s not a typo either, as the instruments in this set are shaped like fun and quirky insects, including a bee, ant, and caterpillar. It comes with castanets, bells, a tambourine, drumsticks, and maracas, and it all fits inside a plastic drum that’s fun to beat and great for storage and clean-up time.

Parents sing the praises of this music set. They say little ones love to make music with it, and there are plenty of pieces so several kids can join the band. They note that the set is well-made, easy to clean and fun. Of course, it’s not the quietest toy on the block, but if the music gets to be too much, there are always earplugs.

Best Gross Motor: ECR4Kids SoftZone Climb and Crawl Activity Play Set

For a jumping, crawling, rolling good time, there’s this five-piece set of shapes from ECR4Kids. The foam pieces are soft yet sturdy and have non-slip bottoms to keep them in place. The covers are bright and colorful and can be cleaned with mild soap and water. Kids can stack them and use them to do all sorts of cool tricks as they develop important motor skills. They make for great active play indoors and can be used outdoors as well.

Online reviewers give this set, top marks, saying the pieces are well-made and stand up to tough toddler wear and tear. They say they’re easy to clean and the creative uses kids find for them are endless.

Want to read more reviews? Check our best outdoor toys for toddlers guide.

Best Fine Motor: Learning Resources Spike The Fine Motor Hedgehog

How cute is this hedgehog? Quite cute indeed, and he offers a great way for kids to build fine motor skills to boot. The colorful quills fit into his back and can be used to teach colors, counting and more, all while they’re building up strength in their fingers and hands. The hedgehog measures about 6 inches in diameter, and it comes with 12 quills plus an activity guide. When it’s clean-up time, the hedgehog’s shell comes off, and there’s storage underneath to hold the quills until it’s time to play again.

Online reviewers rave about this toy, saying it’s a great, well-made toy for building fine motor skills and teaching various concepts. They say kids love it, and that it’s a good toy to take on the go.

Take a look at other product reviews and shop for the best advanced toddler toys available online.

Best Pretend Play: 3 Bees & Me Bath Toys

Rub-a-dub-dub, this set is perfect for pretend play in the tub. It comes with four cute boats to toot, tug and take tub time to fun, new heights. Each one is numbered, and they contain magnets that make them cling together in a row, almost like a train. They can also be used out of the bathtub for fun in the pool or water table or even on dry land.

Parents say they’re cute, sturdy and a good value for the price. While some report issues with mold, most say they don’t let any water in are easy to clean. Overall, parents say they make bathtime fun.

Check out our other reviews of the best outdoor toys for toddlers available on the market today.

Our Process

Our writers spent 5 hours researching the most popular educational toys for 2-year-olds on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 30 different toys overall, screened options from 20 different brands and manufacturers, read over 150 user reviews (both positive and negative), and tested 5 of the toys themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.

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