Picking out a present for a young toddler seems really simple, but that's not always the case. The
best gifts for a 2-year-old are ones that are fun enough to keep them entertained for more than, say, five minutes, and educational enough to help them learn something and develop some fine motor skills. But you also have to attempt to find something they don't already own (and by the age of 2, they probably have an impressive selection of toys), and something that is durable enough to withstand toddler play habits. That's a lot to think about.
Oh, and did I mention that there are literally hundreds of options out there, from inexpensive, small toys to bigger and more elaborate ones? Because there are, and it can definitely get overwhelming.
If you need a little help selecting the perfect gift for a 2-year-old, start by considering what they like to do. Many toddlers at that age love to mimic what they see adults doing around the house: think random chores, cooking, and cleaning. It's also a good idea to select items that will grow with them rather than toys that are going to be too young for them in a month or two. Here are a few ideas for the best gifts for a 2-year-old to help get you started on your shopping.
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This toddler-friendly tablet allows them to press buttons to listen to different songs (including Baby Shark, of course), as well as learn things like the ABCs and 123s. It's a fun and interactive toy that can help them learn new sounds as well as develop fine motor skills. And since it's inexpensive, you don't have to stress as much over whether or not they're going to break it.
Their Own Cleaning Supplies
Cleaning sounds boring to us, but for toddlers, it's exciting and fun. This highly rated set from Melissa and Doug gifts them their very own mop, broom, dustpan, and duster, all on a convenient and adorable stand for easy storage and organization.
Will this be a little annoying for the parents? Maybe, but if it keeps their little one entertained, they'll be fine with it! This cute music set includes drums, a washboard, a cymbal, and a xylophone, along with a set of drumsticks. It's small enough for them to carry it around, but fun enough to keep them busy making their own tunes.
A scooter is a great way to keep little ones super active outside while keeping them safe. This Skidee scooter has a seat that folds down so kids as young as 2-years-old can sit and scoot easily, and it grows with them and can be used up until they're 12-years-old thanks to adjustable handlebars. It's fun, colorful, and a great investment.
A Personal Rollar Coaster
Yes, there are toddler-friendly roller coasters out there, and any little thrill seeker will love them. This Step2 coaster is a three piece track with a fully assembled car that they'll fit in perfectly. This makes a great addition to an outdoor setup, and is something they'll use for a few years.
Pottery Barn's adorable animal rockers are fun and double as a really sweet piece of bedroom decor. While I personally think the giraffe is the cutest, there are lots of options out there depending on what your little one is looking for. This acts as a toy and a cute seat they can use when watching TV.
This wooden race track is a great way to keep a toddler busy indoors. They have to work to think about how to get the cars successfully down to the bottom, and so it's fun while also developing hand-eye coordination. They'll also love playing with the little cars separately as well, so if you think about it, it's kind of like two toys in one.
A Very Realistic Play Kitchen
Now is the perfect time to splurge on a play kitchen for a toddler. An interactive kitchen set-up like this one can keep them busy for a
loooong time, and as a bonus, it's very adorable to look at. This wooden one features a stovetop, an oven, and a little refrigerator, so there's everything they need to stay busy.
A Toddler Friendly Puzzle
Keep it simple with something like this wooden alphabet puzzle. Not only does it help them learn their letters, but it also helps with fine motor skills as they have to figure out where each shape goes. And until they figure that out, they'll also love just playing with the letters themselves.
This adorable toolbox set has everything they need to build up their pretend tool collection: a tiny drill that actually works, screws, a wrench, and a hammer. It lights up, makes noises, and has a carry handle so they can tote it around as they please.
Something as simple as blocks can keep a toddler busy for a very long time, and gives them endless options for creative play. This block set helps them (eventually) put together a magical castle that includes knights, horses, and even a flying dragon.
Sure, the balls will get everywhere, but the kids will be happy, so it works! This gender-neutral ball pit is filled with soft, squishy balls and is lightweight enough to be dragged around the house. It's also nice and comfortable for lots of rolling and playing.
They may not be ready for piano lessons just yet, but you can get them on the right track with this fun piano mat. It has eight functional keys that make animal sounds and music, along with flashing lights. It's foldable, so it's easy to move around as needed, and it's soft enough for them to dance around to their heart's content.
It's never too early to help them learn how to save money! That, and this piggy bank is just a really adorable toy. Any little one will stay occupied trying to get the coins into the slot and then figuring out how to get them out, only to do it all over again.
A Trampoline (Yes, Really)
A 2-year-old is full of energy, and they need to be able to let that out somehow in a safe way. Enter this little trampoline, which allows them to do exactly that. It's low to the ground with a sturdy bar to hold onto so they won't fall when they're jumping around, and it's small enough to fit in their playroom.
This small wagon is perfect for tiny hands to push around the house (or even outside), and it comes with a few toys to keep your little one extra entertained. There are shapes for sorting, musical options, and plenty of sounds and colors. There's a little of everything!
A Bike That Grows With Them
It may feel early to teach them how to ride a bike, but it's not with something like this Radio Flyer. With sturdy, short handlebars and little pedals, this makes it easy for a kid as young as 12 months to learn how to ride. It can take them through 36 months until they're ready for something bigger, and bonus: it's adorable.
This adorable hedgehog also helps them learn: they can sort the "spikes," which fit perfectly in their hands, and they can also practice sticking them in the little holes along the hedgehog's back. Even better? The back comes off, and all of the spikes conveniently fit inside.
The Perfect Water Table
Yes, a water table is made for warmer weather since it's used outside, but it still makes for a great holiday gift (especially if you live in a place where it's warm year0round). This will keep your toddler endlessly entertained, because there's so much for them to do and it's a great way to stay cool when it's hot out. It's also an excellent gift for an 18-month-old who will be at the perfect age to use it by the time warmer weather hits. And if you want to use it before hand, fill it with inflatable balls, toys, or make it into a sensory bin.
A Wooden Board? Yup, A Wooden Board
Not into the bright colors, flashing lights, and loud music? Try a simple curved wooden board. The Wobbel sounds silly, but is something a toddler will absolutely love. There's so much to do with it, from using it as a space to play with toys, to laying on it, to standing on it and balancing. It encourages creative play, helps develop fine motor skills, and won't annoy you with sounds that just don't stop.
Whatever you choose from this list, it's hard to go wrong with any of them. Pick what's best for your toddler, whether it's something bright and flashy or made of organic wood. As long as it gets them playing and learning, it's a good choice!