The Best Gifts for 2-Year-Olds to Encourage Fun and Learning

Put a smile on your little one's face with books, blocks, trucks, and more

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Verywell Family / Michela Buttignol

Two-year-olds are all about joy and discovery, and gifts are a great way to help them develop new skills while having fun. The best gifts for them feed their curiosity or can be practical to help parents stock up on what they need.

Reviewed & Approved

We love the TOMY Toomies Hide & Squeak Eggs because it's safe, educational, and fun. If you're looking for a toy to grow with your child, try the Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Servin' Up Fun Food Truck.

These little tots can be more opinionated than you may think, so it may help to choose a gift that aligns with their interests, whether that means trucks, fairies, unicorns, superheroes, or something else entirely. And no matter whether your gift is a simple toy or a cute backpack, they should be durable and easy to clean. We researched gift ideas with these features in mind.

These are the best gifts for 2-year-olds on the market today.

TOMY Toomies Hide & Squeak Eggs

TOMY Toomies Hide & Squeak Eggs

Courtesy of Amazon

We love this affordable toy for its overall value. Great for ages 18 months and up, this toy teaches matching, color identification, and helps strengthen fine motor skills. The little egg carton comes with six eggs that come apart, can be put back together like little puzzles, and even squeak when they’re played with. They're made of durable plastic that's easy to wipe clean, and the carton stores all the pieces when you're done playing.

What Our Editors Say

"I've gifted these cute little eggs to two of my friends' toddlers and they love them! Something about pulling the shells apart and hearing the little eggs squeak really draws them in!" - Latifah Miles, Verywell Family Commerce Editor

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

4.9
Fisher-Price Food Truck

Courtesy of Fisher-Price 

Great for pretend play, this food truck stands just under 28 inches tall, has several interactive features, and comes with 20 food-serving accessories. It also offers three-stage play so that it can grow with your child as they continue to develop.

Finally, this toy is packed with different sounds, lights, and other fun features that will certainly keep toddlers occupied.

Pottery Barn Kids My First Anywhere Chair

My First Anywhere Chair

Pottery Barn Kids

These chairs are designed to be just the right size for little kids to sit back and relax. There are several cover options, too, from solid colors to patterns with Disney characters, and many of them can be personalized with the child’s name or initials.

When it’s set up, the chair has a little handle at the top so that it’s easy for grown-ups to pick up and for toddlers to drag around when they want to move it to another room. The best feature, however, is that the cover can be removed and tossed into the washing machine whenever it needs to be cleaned.

You Matter

You Matter

Courtesy of Christian Robinson

This adorable book has a message everyone could hear now and then, especially little kids. You Matter by Christian Robinson is a sweet book that is a perfect addition to bedtime routines, or anytime, really. It's filled with unique, colorful illustrations and a story that will warm your heart.

Animal Adventure Joyrides Sit-In Rocking Toy

Animal Adventure Joyrides Sit-In Rocking Toy

Courtesy of Animal Adventure

Why have a rocking horse when you can have a rocking llama, bee, dinosaur, unicorn, or giraffe instead? These rocking toys are great for kids between 2 and 4 years old and are made from quality materials that are soft and durable. Not to mention, they’re downright adorable.

Janod Duck Pull Toy

Janod Duck Pull Toy

Courtesy of Janod

For some reason, toddlers tend to love toys they can drag around with them, like these cute little ducks on a string. This toy features two cherrywood and beechwood ducks painted in bright, fun colors and attached to a pull string.

Each duck has wheels so that it rolls smoothly, and there are cute little feet attached to each wheel so that they make a little smack sound, just like a real duck.

First 100 Words: A Padded Board Book

First 100 Words - A Padded Board Book

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.

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.

Skip Hop Toddler Backpack

Skip Hop Toddler Backpack

Courtesy of Amazon

This backpack is sized just right for little toddlers so that they can wear it without getting thrown off balance. There are several animal designs to choose from, each of which features a front zippered pouch, a main zippered compartment, and a water bottle holder on the side.

The straps are padded and adjustable for a comfy fit. There is a hook on the top of the backpack so your toddler can hang it up like a big kid when they’re not using it. It’s a great gift because it’s functional as well as fun for little ones to play with.

B. Toys Building Blocks For Kids

B. Toys Building Blocks For Kids

Courtesy of B. Toys

Toddlers who love to stack blocks will really enjoy this set that comes with 68 interlocking pieces that are easier to put together and take apart than LEGO Duplo blocks. The blocks come in an assortment of muted colors and are made from non-toxic plastic that is durable, flexible, and great for sensory play.

Fisher Price Little People Exploring Animals See ‘N Say Gift Set

Fisher Price Little People Exploring Animals See ‘N Say Gift Set

Courtesy of Fisher Price

With this bundle, kids get the classic Say ‘N See toy as well as nine Little People figurines. The theme of this set is animals, so kids can hear, see, and play with a variety of different creatures while using these fun toys.

Kids will have a blast moving the arrow of the Say ‘N See around to get to know the sounds of some of their favorite animals.

Two Is Terrific!

Two Is Terrific!

Courtesy of Hallmark

If you’re on the hunt for a special birthday book, this cute one celebrating turning two is a hot contender. "Two Is Terrific!" comes in a hardback cover with 20 pages filled with gorgeous illustrations and a sweet rhyming story that honors this milestone birthday.

Anthropologie Shape of Emotions Toy Set

Anthropologie Shape of Emotions Toy Set

Courtesy of Anthropologie

One thing is for sure, 2-year-olds may be small, but they have very big toddler emotions. This toy is great for helping them identify what they’re feeling while also having fun. It comes with a wooden board and 10 pieces, each with a different shape and a face to represent an emotion (happy, sad, angry, etc.).

The pieces come out and can be played with like a puzzle, and when they’re all in place your tot can move the arrow on the wooden board to point to whatever emotion they’re feeling.

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. 

Pottery Barn Kids Critter Bath Robe

Pottery Barn Kids Critter Bath Robe

Courtesy of Pottery Barn Kids

Bath time is so much fun that it’s often hard to get toddlers out of the tub. If they have one of these little robes to snuggle into, the transition may be a little easier. They’re available in five different styles and in sizes small to extra large.

Each robe is made from polyester fleece, comes with a tie, and features a hood with an animal face or other object embroidered onto it.

Mollybee Kids Toddler Scavenger Hunt Cooperative Game

Mollybee Kids Toddler Scavenger Hunt Cooperative Game

Courtesy of Mollybee

If your 2-year-old is ready to play with you (not just near you) this cooperative game is a great gift. It comes with 20 double-sided cards that have your toddler looking for different objects around the house, like a button, a hat, and a book. It’s a fun way to engage with your child and play together. 

Pottery Barn Kids Wooden Cooking & Eating Set

Pottery Barn Kids Wooden Cooking & Eating Set

Courtesy of Pottery Barn

By this age, little ones are really starting to get into imaginative play that mimics life. These toy wooden eating utensils are sure to lead to hours of playtime. The set comes with a salt shaker, pepper shaker, plates, forks, knives, cooking pot and lid, a skillet, and a spatula, all of which are made from various types of safe, durable wood.

Magifire Splash Pad

Magifire Splash Pad

Courtesy of Magifire

If you’re buying a gift for a toddler with some outdoor space, then this map-style splash pad will surely be a hit. It’s 68 inches with several small holes along the edges so that when it’s connected to the hose, the water comes out of them like they’re little fountains.

Adults can control how much or how little water comes out simply by turning the hose up or down. This splash pad is made from high-quality materials and comes with a hose spigot tool to ensure a good, tight fit.

Skip Hop 3-in-1 Ride-On Unicorn

Skip Hop 3-in-1 Ride-On Unicorn

Courtesy of Skip Hop 

This little ride-on toy is fun in general, but its three-stage design is what lands it on this list. As your child develops, it can be set up as a push toy with a wagon, a ride-on toy, or as a scooter. Even better, it features an adjustable handlebar as well as a front light and a button that plays music and other sound effects.

World of Eric Carle, Hear Bear Roar

World of Eric Carle, Hear Bear Roar

Courtesy of Amazon

With a fun story, amazing illustrations, and a panel of buttons that make all kinds of different sounds, this book has pretty much everything a 2-year-old could want in a book.

As you read through the pages with your child, little button pictures come up in the text, offering them an opportunity to find the button (animal) on the panel that matches the one on the page and hear an animal sound. It has everything from a snake hiss to a bear snuffle to a dolphin chatter. Your kiddo will love it.

Fisher-Price Monster Pop-Up Surprise

Fisher-Price Monster Pop-Up Surprise

Courtesy of Amazon

Younger 2-year-olds who are strengthening their fine motor skills and love a good surprise will enjoy this toy that features four buttons and four little monsters.

Each button operates differently, either being pushed, twisted, flipped, or turned, and each time your child uses the button, a little monster will pop up. It’s a cute toy that’s great for development, is a lot of fun, and doesn’t require any batteries to work.

Lydaz Bubble Mower

Lydaz Bubble Mower

Amazon

This toy combines two things two-year-olds love: imaginative play and bubbles! They can push the little mower as if they’re cutting their own grass and, as they do it, watch bubbles pop up with every step. The mower features realistic sounds and, when it's powered on, will create bubbles whether your child is pushing it or not. When it’s not being played with, the mower folds down easily and compactly for storage.

iPlay, iLearn Bouncy Pals Unicorn Hopping Horse Plush

iPlay, iLearn Bouncy Pals Unicorn Hopping Horse Plush

Courtesy of iPlay, iLearn 

Instead of rocking, this little horse (or, unicorn) allows kids to climb on to bounce and hop. Simply inflate the toy using the air pump provided, zip the cover over it, and let your little one play away. It’s safe for kids as young as 18 months old and is made from high-quality materials so you don’t have to worry about it popping as your child bounces down the hall on its back.

Fat Brain Toys Dimpl Baby and Toddler Learning Toy

Fat Brain Toys Dimpl Baby and Toddler Learning Toy

Courtesy of Amazon

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. The silicone and plastic wipe down easily when you need to clean this toy, but the Dimpl isn't dishwasher safe.

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.

Learning Resources Spike The Fine Motor Hedgehog

Learning Resources Spike The Fine Motor Hedgehog

Courtesy of Amazon

Perfect for tiny hands, Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog comes with pegs that perfect 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.

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.

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.

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. 

Mega Bloks 80-Piece Big Building Bag

3.4
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.

What Our Testers

"One thing to note is that the set doesn’t have an equal number of blocks in each color. This potentially limits their value for sorting activities, but shouldn’t be a deal breaker for kids more interested in building walls of blocks and then knocking them down."—Hailey Eber, Product Tester

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).

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.

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 of another as well, for stacking (and knocking down) and building.

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.

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.

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. 

Final Verdict

Truthfully, any gift on this list will be a hit with 2-year-olds, so you really can’t go wrong. Still, we rank the TOMY Tommies Hide and Squeak Eggs highest because they are simple, functional, fun for toddlers to open, close, and squeak, and easy to stow away in the house, so they won’t take up limited floor space in a bedroom or playroom.

How We Selected the Best Gifts for 2-Year-Olds

We chose the best gifts for 2-year-olds by researching reviews from customers and competitors, while studying the design and features of more than 60 toys on the market. Additionally, we monitored shopping trends to bring you the best, and most up-to-date, offerings on toys for 2-year-olds. We considered toy safety, age recommendations, ease of use, design, size, features, and value when reviewing products, and also spoke with Natasha Burgert, MD, a pediatrician in South Overland Park, Kansas, for additional insight.

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

Fun

Toddlers love to have fun! They want to explore, learn, seek sensory stimulation, and do things independently. Look for toys that feed into this sense of wonder and curiosity, such as those that make noise, light up, have bright colors or fun textures, or get them moving.

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 Natasha Burgert, MD, a pediatrician in South Overland Park, Kansas, these types of gifts also help hone their burgeoning physical skills. They will also enjoy puzzles and other toys that provide challenges.

Safety

Keep an eye out for any toys labeled 3+, as 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.

Function

Toddlers are busy, grow quickly, and tend to need a lot of outfit changes and other supplies. So, their parents often appreciate practical and functional gifts, like socks, casual clothing, bath products, toddler-sized furniture, eating utensils, and board books. What could be more welcome than giving a gift that promotes literacy?

Theme

Another surefire way to choose a gift for a 2-year-old is to follow their interests. Toddlers tend to have intense passions, such as for a certain animal, sport, profession (like fireman, ballet dancer, or doctor), or equipment (like lawnmowers, vacuums, trucks, or leaf blowers). If you find a toy, outfit, book, or another item that embodies their preferred theme, they will surely love it.

Why Trust Verywell Family

Ashley Ziegler is a full-time parenting writer and mom to a two-year-old and a five-year-old. Over the years, she has researched and tested hundreds of children’s products from clothes, to diapers, to car seats, to toys, both professionally and personally. When creating this list, she considered the products’ quality, longevity, entertainment value, and safety, as well as shopper reviews.

By Ashley Ziegler
​Ashley Ziegler is a lifestyle writer specializing in motherhood, family health, and consumer products. She has written for Romper, Moms.com, and more. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Purdue University and her Master of Science in Management from Indiana Wesleyan University.