The 41 Best Gifts for 2-Year-Olds of 2023

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products. Healthcare professionals review articles for medical accuracy. Learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Best Gifts for 2-Year-Olds

Verywell Family / Sabrina Jiang

Two-year-olds are rapidly developing important milestones. By this age, children are likely trying to use buttons and knobs on toys, playing imaginatively, and running or kicking a ball. The best toys for 2-year-olds are the ones that take advantage of all these advances they’ve made and help them build upon their skills in a fun way.

Reviewed & Approved

The Little Tikes First Slide provides 3 feet of sliding fun with a useful ladder, and it can be played with inside or outside. For a toy that encourages imaginative play, we recommend the Pottery Barn Kids Wooden Cooking & Eating Set.

Little ones learn through play, says Whitney Casares, MD, MPH, who is a pediatrician, author of "The Working Mom Blueprint," and founder of Modern Mommy Doc. “Sensory play with items like finger paints, sand, or Play-Doh allows them to build their fine motor and proprioception skills.”

When you’re deciding what to buy, consider whether the toy is entertaining, if it plays into their interests, and if it will help them practice developmental milestones. We carefully considered toy safety, design, material, and value when reviewing products.

Here are the best toys for 2-year-olds to keep them busy learning and having fun.

Little Tikes First Slide

Little Tikes First Slide

Amazon

The Little Tikes Learning Slide ranks high on our list because there’s so much joy in slides, and this little one is the perfect introduction for a 2-year-old. It’s 3 feet long, just over 2 feet tall, and it can be played with inside or outside. Plus, when it’s not in use, it folds up for easy storage. This slide is made for kids between 18 months and 6 years old.

Price at time of publication: $40

Fat Brain Toys Rody Horse

Fat Brain Toys Rody Horse

Fat Brain Toys

Just one look at this toy and you can see why it would appeal to a toddler. Designed for kids between 18 months and 3 years old, this durable vinyl pony can withstand a ton of bouncing, moving, and riding. Just fill the little horse up with some air and let your kid hop on its back, grab it by the ears, and jump to their heart’s content.

Price at time of publication: $65

Plan Toys x pbk Shape Sorter

Plan Toys x pbk Shape Sorter

Pottery Barn

Made for kids 2 years old and up, this shape sorter comes with a tray and eight blocks in subtle shades of blue and grey. It’s designed to help kids learn and match shapes and further develop their fine motor skills. Also, if they don’t want to play with it as intended, the blocks themselves make for fun toys on their own.

Price at time of publication: $24

Baby Einstein Magic Touch Piano Wooden Musical Toy

Baby Einstein Magic Touch Piano Wooden Musical Toy

Amazon

With this little magic piano, kids get three different sheets of music that help them learn how to play some of their favorite songs through color coordination. Between perfecting their favorite melodies, toddlers can also jam out to tunes that they make up. Ideal for kids between 6 months and 3 years old, this piano also features volume control to avoid hurting little ears (and grown-up ones).

Price at time of publication: $35

Playskool Mr. Potato Head

Playskool Mr. Potato Head

Walmart

Mr. Potato Head is a 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. (Just make sure to keep an eye on your little one to make sure they’re being safe with the small pieces.)

Price at time of publication: $23

Melissa & Doug Monster Plush 6-Pin Bowling Game

Melissa & Doug Monster Plush 6-Pin Bowling Game

Amazon

What’s even better than bowling? Monster bowling! For kids between 2 and 6 years old, this set comes complete with six plush bowling pins and a plush ball that kids can either roll or throw to try to knock over the little monsters. Each piece is made from high-quality materials, so the toy is sure to last.

Price at time of publication: $35

Orange Tree Toys New York Vehicles

Orange Tree Toys New York Vehicles

Maisonette

Many toddlers love watching cars and trucks go by, so they’re sure to enjoy vrooming around with these sustainable wooden vehicles. The set includes a fire engine, police car, and a taxi cab (perfect for city kids!) in bright primary colors for fun imaginative play. 

Price at time of publication: $17

Pretex My First Find and Match Easter Matching Eggs

Pretex My First Find and Match Easter Matching Eggs

Walmart

These fun little eggs are fantastic for strengthening fine motor skills, color matching, and shape identification. Kids get a toy carton filled with 12 eggs that pull apart to show different colors and shapes within. Designed for ages 18 months old and up, the eggs are durable and probably can be handed down to other children, too.

Price at time of publication: $23

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

Fisher-Price Little People Exploring Animals See ‘n Say Set

Buy Buy Baby

With this bundle, toddlers get two classic toys in one: a See ‘N Say and nine Little People toys. The Little People set includes four farm animals, four wild animals, and one Eddie figurine. Your toddler will love using the See ‘N Say part of the set to learn the names and sounds of different animals. This little bundle is best for kids between 18 months and 5 years old.

Price at time of publication: $33

Lydaz Bubble Mower

Lydaz Bubble Mower

Amazon

Kids as young as 18 months old will love this little push lawn mower that blows bubbles with every step they take. In addition to the mower itself, you get three bottles of bubble solution, three bubble wands, and three AA batteries (which are required for the mower to run) so you won't have to worry about replacing any of the necessary components for a while.

Also, when it’s not in use, the mower folds up nicely for easy storage.

Price at time of publication: $40

Little Tikes Go and Grow Dino Indoor Outdoor Ride On Toy

Little Tikes Go and Grow Dino Indoor Outdoor Ride-On Toy

Amazon

Many kids at this age love dinosaurs, and this tricycle features a particularly cute, toddler-friendly dino. They can ride this toy indoors and outdoors, and it includes a wide front wheelbase and oversized rear wheel, making it easier to balance. Note that the maximum weight limit for this trike is 50 pounds. 

Price at time of publication: $43

Melissa & Doug Classic Jumbo Wooden Stacking Train

Melissa & Doug Classic Jumbo Wooden Stacking Train

Melissa and Doug

Kids between 2 and 4 years old will enjoy this train that comes with 15 wood blocks in various shapes and colors. The train consists of three cars, each with a peg on which to stack blocks. When they’re in the mood to get moving, they can grab the attached cord and pull the train along with them as they go about their day. 

Price at time of publication: $23

Yookidoo Submarine Spray Station

Yookidoo Submarine Spray Station

Amazon

Add a splash to bathtime with this spray station, which draws water through a submarine toy to a shower head, which little hands can use to spray water through a variety of spinners and funnels. The toy helps with learning about cause and effect, and it’s a great way to keep a little one occupied during bathtime. Since it’s designed for ages 2 and up, your kiddo can enjoy it for years to come.

Price at time of publication: $35

Educational Insights Plush Mixaroo Stuffed Animal

Educational Insights Plush Mixaroo Stuffed Animal

Amazon

If you’re looking for a toy that involves imaginative play, then this is the one. It comes with 11 pieces that kids can mix and match together to create their own unique stuffed animals; pieces include dragon wings, an elephant trunk, lion manes, fox ears, and more. This toy is made for kids as young as 2 years old and was designed by teachers to help foster kids' motor skills and cognitive development

Price at time of publication: $30

Lily & River Little Climber

Lily & River Little Climber

Pottery Barn

Two-year-olds can burn off some of their energy with this climber, designed for kids between 6 months and 4 years old. Additional accessories can be purchased separately, including the rock wall/slide, which is good for kids as young as 18 months, and the ladder/slide, which babies can use starting at 8 months.

Each piece is made from strong, sturdy bamboo wood, so the toy won’t fall apart easily. Plus, when your kiddo isn’t playing with the tower, it folds for easy storage. Kids also get a copy of the board book “The Little Climber” with their tower.

Price at time of publication: $285

Manhattan Toy Playground Adventure

Manhattan Toy Playground Adventure

Amazon

There’s no way a toddler will get bored with this toy because it features four separate sections, each packed full of different ways to play. It includes gliders on tracks, an abacus, spinners, bead runs, and animals, among other little games to help strengthen motor skills and expose kids to different colors, shapes, animals, textures, and more.

Price at time of publication: $130

Step2 Sweet Baker’s Kitchen

Step2 Sweet Baker’s Kitchen

Amazon

Every toddler needs a play kitchen, right? This one is made for kids as young as 2 years old and features shelving, a play sink, little storage drawers, a pretend oven, and 30 different accessories. Plus, the frying pan and boiling pot both make realistic sounds, and the set even comes with a mini high chair for kids’ baby dolls or stuffies.

Price at time of publication: $160

CoComelon Musical Bedtime JJ Doll

CoComelon Musical Bedtime JJ Doll

Amazon

If your kid can’t get enough CoComelon, this little bedtime JJ doll is a great toy. It’s made for kids as young as 18 months old and it can say seven different phrases with just a little squeeze of the tummy. Kids will recognize JJ’s footie pajamas and teddy bear from the show, and the toy makes a great, snuggly bedtime companion.

Price at time of publication: $20

Little Tikes Cozy Coupe

Little Tikes Cozy Coupe

Amazon

A timeless pick in the toy world, these little cars haven’t lost any of their appeal. 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.

Price at time of publication: $65

Manhattan Toy Musical Lili Llama

Manhattan Toy Musical Lili Llama

Manhattan Toy

Little ones as young as 1 year old can start exploring music with this little llama toy. It features several ways for kids to make music, including four spinners, a maraca tail, a xylophone, two gears, a washboard, clackers, and two mallets, which can be stored away in the llama’s head when they’re not being used. 

Price at time of publication: $58

LeapFrog My Own Leaptop

LeapFrog My Own Leaptop

Walmart

Kids between 2 and 4 years old can stop trying to steal their caregivers’ computers and play with this little Leaptop instead. It’s available in either pink or green and features four different learning modes for kids to learn about different letters.

When it’s in music mode, the toy can play 16 different songs, and in other modes, kids can learn different animal sounds and even practice spelling their names.

Price at time of publication: $25

Pottery Barn Kids Wooden Cooking & Eating Set

Pottery Barn Kids Wooden Cooking & Eating Set

Courtesy of Pottery Barn

Little ones 2 years old and up who enjoy playing pretend will love this wooden eating set. It comes with 12 pieces, including salt and pepper shakers, plates, forks, knives, a pot, a pan, and more. All of the pieces are made from a combination of beech wood, fasal wood, schima wood, and engineered wood.

Price at time of publication: $49

YGJT Baby Balance Bike

YGJT Baby Balance Bike

Amazon

Balanced by four wheels, this little ride-on can help get your toddler more comfortable with riding a bicycle on their own. Use the bike indoors—or out—to help children develop confidence, learn balance, and familiarize themselves with the feeling of going both backward and forward. It comes in a variety of fun colors, so you’ll find the perfect shade for your kiddo.

Price at time of publication: $50

Playskool Sit ‘n Spin Classic Spinning Activity

Playskool Sit ‘n Spin Classic Spinning Activity Toy

Amazon

Kids as young as 18 months old can enjoy this classic spinning toy, which is great for practicing balance and coordination, strengthening motor skills, and just getting out some of their endless energy. Even though there isn’t much to this simple toy, there’s no doubt that your kid will have a lot of fun with it.

Price at time of publication: $35

Cyiecw Piano Music Mat

Cyiecw Piano Music Mat

Amazon

It doesn’t get much better than dancing on a keyboard, does it? This mat consists of 19 different keys, each playing its own unique note. In addition to piano sounds, this mat can also play the sounds of other instruments, including the saxophone, violin, accordion, trumpet, harp, vibraphone, and guitar.

Made from durable materials, the mat has five different play modes and is safe for kids as young as 2 years old.

Price at time of publication: $30

Learning Resources Spike The Fine Motor Hedgehog

Learning Resources Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog

Amazon

Toddlers 18 months and up 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 toy’s different colored pieces. When playtime is over, place all the quills back in Spike for easy cleanup. Plus, the spikes are rubber, so you don't have to worry about hard pieces or sharp edges.

Price at time of publication: $16

Melissa & Doug 20 Wooden Animal Magnets in a Box

Melissa & Doug 20 Wooden Animal Magnets in a Box

Amazon

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.

Price at time of publication: $16

Battat Bristle Blocks

Battat Bristle Blocks

Amazon

This STEM-based building set offers hours of fun and imaginative play. With 112 interlocking pieces in assorted sizes and vibrant colors, the blocks are 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.

Price at time of publication: $15

Wee Gallery Bamboo Nesting Snail Toy

Wee Gallery Bamboo Nesting Snail Toy

Amazon

How cute is this little bamboo snail? Perfect for kids as young as 1 year old, the nesting toy comes apart into four separate pieces that can be stacked together or played with in totally different ways. With this toy, you also get a cute little cotton bag for storing and transporting the snail when it’s not being played with.

Price at time of publication: $29

VTech Mix and Match-a-Saurus

VTech Mix and Match-a-Saurus

Walmart

This silly little dinosaur is like a pet, but better, since you won’t need to walk or feed 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.

Price at time of publication: $35

LOVEVERY Play Kits

Lovevery Play Kits

Lovevery

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 development and interest. Subscription boxes for 2-year-olds include items like puzzles, matching games, and mini science experiments, and you’ll receive a new one every three months to guarantee your child is getting them right when they're at the appropriate developmental stage. 

Price at time of publication: $120/kit

Hape Pound & Tap Bench with Slide Out Xylophone

4.5
Hape Pound & Tap Bench with Slide Out Xylophone

Amazon

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, there are benefits abound, including helping them practice dexterity, hand-eye coordination, and cause and effect.

Price at time of publication: $33

What Our Testers Say

"This is one of the few toys my son plays with every day. Sometimes he taps the xylophone itself, but he really loves pushing the balls through their dedicated slots and putting them back in. He will even stand up and push the balls through the slots with his foot!"—Michelle Piccolo, Product Tester

WowWee Baby Shark Official - Singing Bath Time Bubble Maker

WowWee Baby Shark Official Singing Bath Time Bubble Maker

Amazon

"Baby Shark" fans will have hours of fun playing with this puppet. Simply slip your hand into the back of the doll to move the puppet’s mouth up and down and 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.

Price at time of publication: $18

Battat Wooden Activity Cube

Battatt Wooden Activity Cube

Amazon

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.

Price at time of publication: $60

Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table Playset

Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table Playset

Amazon

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, and it's suitable for a wide range of ages from 1 and up. The 13-piece kit includes maze-like spinners, ramps, and buckets for tons of beneficial STEM play.

Price at time of publication: $90

Micro Kickboard Mini Deluxe 3 Scooter

Micro Kickboard Mini Deluxe 3 Scooter

Amazon

Take neighborhood walks to new heights (and burn more energy!) by giving 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.

Price at time of publication: $95

TOP BRIGHT Race Track Set

TOP BRIGHT Race Track Set

Courtesy of Amazon

This simple, high-quality wooden toy helps teach cause and effect, while also promoting dexterity and hand-eye coordination as children watch their car zoom down the ramps to the finish line. Each of the four cars is numbered and painted a different color, so you and your child can practice counting and identifying colors, too.

Price at time of publication: $22

Learning Friends 100 Words Book

Learning Friends 100 Words Book

Amazon

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.

Price at time of publication: $20

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

4.9
Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Servin' Up Fun Food Truck

Amazon

What child doesn’t love to play pretend, especially when there’s food involved? Your little one can drive and prep make-believe food from the Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Servin' Up Fun Food Truck, where they can sell dishes like pizza, burgers, tacos, cookies, and smoothies. Complete with more than 20 removable toy pieces, it plays more than 125 songs, sounds, and phrases to help promote speech development.

Price at time of publication: $87

The New York Doll Collection Soft Baby Doll

The New York Doll Collection Soft Baby Doll

Amazon

Let kids explore their nurturing side with this soft, lifelike baby doll. It’s an especially great choice for any toddler welcoming 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. 

Price at time of publication: $17

Tender Leaf Toys Touch Sensory Tray

Tender Leaf Toys Touch Sensory Tray

Amazon

Made for kids 18 months old and up, this little tray comes with four colorful wood pieces that are designed for sensory exploration. Kids can put the animal-shaped pieces on the tray like a puzzle, stack the blocks, learn about new animals and colors, or find other fun ways to play. 

Price at time of publication: $23

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

We chose the best toys for 2-year-olds by studying the features of more than 60 products on the market and researching reviews from customers and competitors. We considered toy safety, design, size, features, ease of use, age recommendations, and value when making our picks. We also consulted with Whitney Casares, MD, MPH, who is a pediatrician, author of "The Working Mom Blueprint," and founder of Modern Mommy Doc, for any considerations or product recommendations while also reviewing guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics on buying safe toys.

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

Interests

At 2 years old, little ones are beginning to (if they haven’t already) develop interests and preferences in everything from colors to characters to activities. This makes it all the more fun to shop for toys for them, because any toy that plays into their interests is sure to be a hit.

Ideally, you will be able to find a toy that falls into one of your tot’s categories of interest and helps boost their development at the same time. For example, according to Dr. Casares, if your 2-year-old enjoys playing with their hands, then toys and activities that allow for finger exploration are great options for development.

Developmental Milestones

By the time a child reaches 2 years old, they’re still learning and mastering new skills all the time, though it doesn’t happen quite as fast as it did throughout their first years of life. That just means these toys will last them longer, though! Toys can be great for fostering a toddler's development.

  • Gross motor skills: At around 2 years old, many kids are able to climb unassisted. The Lily & River Little Climber gives them a safe and appropriate place to work their muscles.
  • Social and emotional skills: “Pretend play with toys that have context [help to] build social and communication skills,” says Dr. Casares. The Step2 Sweet Baker’s Kitchen lets them pretend to whip up delicious treats and share them with friends and family.
  • Fine motor skills: The Melissa & Doug Stacking Train gives kids practice manipulating shapes with the smaller muscles of their hands. It also encourages walking (a large motor skill) by allowing kids to pull the train behind them with a string.

Entertainment

Two-year-olds have short attention spans. A lot of what a 2-year-old will find entertaining will depend on where they are developmentally, and Dr. Casares explains that one thing these tots can’t get enough of is exploring the world around them.

“Two-year-olds are ready to take on the world, but often don’t understand how it works or the dangers that can arise within it,” she says. “[T]hese toddlers learn emotional regulation skills and natural consequences when the adults who care for them … provide a warm, loving, safe environment where they can explore.” So, any toy that gives them the opportunity to lean into their natural curiosity safely is sure to be entertaining.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How many toys should a 2-year-old have?

    When it comes to how many toys your 2-year-old should have, focus on quality over quantity. Too many toys in a limited play space can be overwhelming, so consider using a rotating system. Divide your little one’s toys into categories (for example, stacking blocks, musical toys, and kitchen equipment), select a toy from each category and create two or three rotation sets. Switching the sets around every few days (while keeping the other sets tucked out of sight) will help keep your toddler’s play space both accessible and stimulating. 

    Remember, whether it is an expensive toy or a plastic container, exposing your 2-year-old to a wide range of different textures and objects will help them meet their developmental milestones. 

  • Why do toddlers engage in parallel play?

    Parallel play is when young children play next to or near each other without actually interacting with one another. It typically begins at around 2 years old. While it might seem as though toddlers engaged in parallel play are unaware of each other, they are actually paying close attention to what the other is doing. They might play with similar objects, mimic sounds or movements, or move around the play space together. 

    Through parallel play, your little one is learning all sorts of crucial social skills, making it an important step towards more advanced stages of play (like playing together).

  • Why do children snatch toys?

    Seeing your toddler snatch a toy from another child is unpleasant, but it is also an entirely normal developmental milestone. Between the ages of 2 and 3, your child is developing their sense of self, which means they view the world and its entire contents as theirs.

    They might shout “mine!” or “me!” before grabbing a toy from another child's hands. When this happens, it is important to remember that they aren’t being naughty–they are learning. You can help show your 2-year-old how to share through positive modeling. Use phrases like, “Thomas was playing with the truck first. Let’s give it back and find another one for you.” Your child will likely object, but try to stay calm and be consistent. You can also use this opportunity to teach feeling words, like "Thomas feels sad that you took the truck."

Why Trust Verywell Family

Ashley Ziegler is a staff and freelance writer who covers lifestyle, home, parenting, and commerce for a variety of platforms. She’s a wife to a public school administrator and mom to 1-year-old and 3-year-old daughters. In addition to regularly scouring the internet to find the best things for herself, Ashley spends multiple hours a week researching, comparing, and writing about products specifically for kids and families.

Phoebe Sklansky is Verywell Family’s Associate Commerce Editor. Prior to joining the Verywell team, she was a freelance writer for outlets including Momtastic and The Kitchn. She loves toys that encourage solo or collaborative imaginative play, like the Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Servin' Up Fun Food Truck and the Step2 Sweet Baker’s Kitchen.

More Toys and Gifts for Kids

When it comes to toys and gifts for kids, our team has you covered. The Verywell Family team of editors (who are parents or have nieces and nephews of their own) have tested, gifted, and personally recommend every item we feature. Find more of our top gift and toy picks for every age and stage here:

4 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. What developmental milestones is your 2-year-old reaching? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  2. How to buy safe toys. HealthyChildren.org.

  3. American Academy of Pediatrics, Developmental milestones: 2-year-olds.

  4. Scott HK. Peer play. In: StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing.