The Best Toys for 2-Year-Olds That Will Entertain for Hours

Get your toddler's brain and body busy with shape sorters, slides, and more

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Verywell Family / Sabrina Jiang

Buying toys for 2-year-olds can be so much fun! By this age, children are rapidly developing important milestones, including trying to use buttons and knobs on toys and running or kicking a ball.

Reviewed & Approved

The Little Tikes First Slide can be played with inside or outside, and provides three feet of sliding fun with a useful ladder. For an indoor-only toy, we recommend the Plan Toys x pbk Shape Sorter.

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. For example, “sensory play with items like finger paints, sand, or Play-Doh allows them to build their fine motor and proprioception skills,” says Dr. Casares.

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

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

Little Tikes First Slide

Little Tikes First Slide

Courtesy of Walmart

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 three feet long, just over two 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.

Fat Brain Toys Rody Horse

Fat Brain Toys Rody Horse

Courtesy of 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.

Plan Toys x pbk Shape Sorter

Plan Toys x pbk Shape Sorter

Courtesy of Plan Toys x pbk

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.

Baby Einstein Magic Touch Piano Wooden Musical Toy

Baby Einstein Magic Touch Piano Wooden Musical Toy

Courtesy of Amazon

With this little magic piano, kids get three different sheets of music that are designed to 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.

Playskool Mr. Potato Head

Playskool Mr. Potato Head

Courtesy of 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.

Melissa & Doug Monster Plush 6-Pin Bowling Game

Melissa & Doug Monster Plush 6-Pin Bowling Game

Courtesy of Amazon

Do you want to know what’s even better than bowling? Monster bowling! Perfect 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.

Anthropologie Wooden Vehicle Toys

Anthropologie Wooden Vehicle Toys

Courtesy of Anthropologie

These little wooden vehicles are so simple, but the pop of color really makes them stand out. The classic toys are great for kids as young as 1 year old and are made from both maple wood and rubberwood. Keep in mind that each toy is sold separately. 

Pretex My First Find and Match Easter Matching Eggs

Pretex My First Find and Match Easter Matching Eggs

Amazon

These little eggs are fantastic for strengthening fine motor skills, color matching, shape identification, and are just generally fun for kids to play with. Kids get a toy carton filled with 12 eggs which pull apart to show different colors and shapes within. The eggs are for kids between 18 months and 12 years old and are made from high quality materials to ensure they last for years.

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, 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.

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.

Little Tikes Go and Grow Dino Indoor Outdoor Ride On Toy

Go and Grow Dino Indoor Outdoor Ride On Toy

Little Tikes

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.

Melissa & Doug Jumbo Wooden Stacking Train

Melissa & Doug Jumbo Wooden Stacking Train

Walmart

Kids between 2 and 4 years old will enjoy this train that comes with 14 wood blocks in various shapes. The train consists of three cars, each with a peg that the blocks can stack on. After your toddler has stacked all of the blocks, they can grab the attached cord and pull the train along with them as they go about their day. 

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

Lily & River Little Climber

Lily & River Little Climber

Courtesy of Lily & River

Two-year-olds can burn off some of their energy with this climbing tower and rock wall/slide accessory. The tower itself is made for kids between six months and four years old, and the slide/rock climber is good for kids as young as 18 months.

Each piece is made from strong, sturdy bamboo wood (so the toy won’t fall apart easily), the accessory features a smooth slide on one side and a rock climber on the other, and 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.

Manhattan Toy Playground Adventure

Manhattan Toy Playground Adventure

Courtesy of Manhattan Toy Playground Adventure

There is 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, animals, among other little games to help strengthen motor skills and expose kids to different colors, shapes, animals, textures, and more.

Step 2 Little Baker’s Kitchen

Step 2 Little Baker’s Kitchen

Courtesy of Step 2

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, as well as 30 different accessories. Plus, the frying pan and boiling pot both make realistic sounds and the set even comes with a mini high chair kids can put their baby dolls in.

CoComelon Musical Bedtime JJ Doll

CoComelon Musical Bedtime JJ Doll

Courtesy of CoComelon

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.

Little Tikes Cozy Coupe

Little Tikes Cozy Coupe

Courtesy of Amazon

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.

Manhattan Toy Musical Lili Llama

Manhattan Toy Musical Lili Llama

Courtesy of 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. 

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.

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.

YGJT Baby Balance Bike

YGJT Baby Balance Bike

Amazon

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 children 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 kiddo.

Playskool Sit ‘n Spin Classic Spinning Activity Toy

Playskool Sit n Spin

Courtesy of Walmart

This toy is a classic for a reason; it’s so much fun! Kids as young as 18 months old can enjoy this 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.

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.

The mat also has five different play modes, is made from high-quality, durable materials, and is safe for kids as young as 2 years old.

Learning Resources Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog

5
Learning Resources Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog

Amazon

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. Plus, the spikes are rubber, so you don't have to worry about hard pieces or sharp edges.

Melissa & Doug 20 Wooden Animal Magnets in a Box

Melissa & Doug 20 Wooden Animal Magnets in a Box

Courtesy of 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.

Battat Bristle Blocks

Battat Bristle Blocks

Courtesy of Amazon

This STEM-based building set goes way beyond stacking blocks for 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.

Wee Gallery Bamboo Nesting Snail Toy

How cute is this little snail? It’s made from bamboo wood and is the perfect toy 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.

VTech Mix and Match-a-Saurus

Mix and Match-a-Saurus

Courtesy of Walmart

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.

Lovevery Play Kits

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Lovevery Play Kit

Courtesy of 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 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. 

Hape Pound & Tap Bench with Slide Out Xylophone

4.5
Hape Pound & Tap Bench with Slide Out Xylophone

Courtesy of 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.

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 Pinkfong Baby Shark Official Song Puppet

WowWee Pinkfong Baby Shark Official Song Puppet

Courtesy of Amazon

"Baby Shark" fans 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

Walmart

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.

Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table Playset

Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table Playset

 Courtesy of Bed, Bath & Beyond

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 features like maze-like spinners, ramps, and buckets for tons of beneficial STEM play.

Micro Kickboard Mini Deluxe 3 Scooter

Micro Kickboard Mini Deluxe 3 Scooter

Amazon

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.

TOP BRIGHT Car Ramp Racer

TOP BRIGHT Car Ramp Racer

Courtesy of Amazon

This simple, high-quality wooden toy helps teach cause and effect, while promoting 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.

Learning Friends 100 Words Book

Learning Friends Word Book

Courtesy of 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.

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

4.9
Fisher-Price Food Truck

Courtesy of Fisher-Price 

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 help promote speech development.

The New York Doll Collection Soft Baby Doll

The New York Doll Collection Soft Baby Doll

Courtesy of Amazon

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. 

Tender Leaf Toys Audio Sensory Tray

Tender Leaf Toys Audio Sensory Tray

Maisonette

Made for kids 18 months old and up, this little tray comes with four wood pieces that are designed for sensory exploration. Each block is a different shape and color and makes its own unique sound. Kids can put the pieces on the tray like a puzzle, make different sounds, stack the blocks, or find other fun ways to play with this toy. 

Final Verdict

There is something for just about every 2-year-old on this list, but if you’re not sure what their specific interests are at the moment, you’re sure to get a smile out of them with the Little Tikes Slide, the Playskool Sit ‘n Spin, or Monster Bowling.

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

We chose the best toys for two-year-olds by researching reviews from customers and competitors, and studying the features of more than 60 products on the market. We considered toy safety, design, size, features, ease of use, age recommendations, and value when deciding 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 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 pediatrician Whitney Casares, if your 2-year-old enjoys playing with their hands, then toys/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 with Reversible Rock Wall/Slide (view on Pottery Barn Kids) 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 Step 2 Little Baker’s Kitchen (view on Buy Buy Baby) lets them pretend to whip up delicious treats and share them with friends and family.
  • Fine motor skills: The Melissa & Doug Jumbo Wooden Stacking Train (view on Amazon) gives kids practice manipulating shapes with the smaller muscles of their hands. But it also encourages walking (a large motor skill) by allowing kids to pull the train.

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, “[but] these 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 safely lean into their natural curiosity 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.

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. CDC. 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.

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.