The 24 Best Toys For A 2-Year-Old
I've learned from personal experience that my 2-year-old son can have a good time with a simple cardboard box. But a good toy that engages, entertains, and teaches your kiddo as they play should not be underestimated. The best toys for a 2-year-old are fun enough to keep them playing while practicing age-appropriate skills for their developmental milestones.
To help guide your search, look for a variety of toys that lend themselves to unstructured and creative play that are ideal for 2-year-olds with short attention spans. Two-year-olds have developed the fine motor skills to start playing with some toys on their own, like those puzzles and building blocks, or scribbling or putting pegs into holes. They’re also starting to climb, kick, and run, and certain toys help them exercise those gross motor skills. As far as emotional, social, and cognitive development, 2-year-olds are developing self-awareness, become interested in imitating others, and are learning to sort by shape and color. Your little one may be recognizing letters, too.
You may also want to invest in toys for a slighter older age range knowing your child will have a longer window to use them, like a toy kitchen or doll house, but always make sure you supervise carefully as the products may have smaller parts which can be a choking hazard.
With all this in mind, below are 24 of the best toys for 2-year-olds. Each of my picks is highly rated on Amazon, including several toys with thousands of reviews from enthusiastic parents and caregivers.
We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.
1. This Set Of Educational Puzzles
A solid set of puzzles is a classic toy for your 2-year-old. These educational puzzles for toddlers help them practice letter recognition, fine motor skills, counting, eye-hand coordination, visual perception, curiosity, and discovery.
You'll love that these highly rated alphabet and number puzzles are durable and made of wood, so they'll hold up even after rough use and falls. Plus, pictures behind each piece illustrate a corresponding amount for the numbers pieces or a word that starts with each letter. As your toddler grows, they can use the letters to make words. This pick is also available in a three-piece set that includes a lowercase letter puzzle board.
A helpful review: “My 2 and a half year old daughter loves these puzzles. She plays with them daily and her letter/number recognition has improved! We like the bright colors and all wood construction.”
2. A 3-In-1 Musical Toy That Packs Away Easily
This wooden toddler toy rolls a lot of age-appropriate toys into one: it’s a xylophone, shape sorter, and a hammering and pounding toy. The assorted shapes display numbers and the vibrant toy also helps teach colors, too. This Montessori toy can help your little one exercise fine motor skills while making musical sounds on the xylophone and hammering and sorting the blocks.
This highly rated pick has over 1,400 reviews. For storage, all the accessories fit into the toy when it is flipped.
A helpful review: “ This is the best gift for a toddler. My daughter loves it! She loves hammering the balls and putting the shapes into their slots. 10/10 recommend! It’s so sturdy and feels so smooth and well made. I LOVE IT! WE LOVE IT!”
3. A Toddler’s Lego Starter Set
Your 2-year-old's first LEGO set fosters imaginative and creative play as they practice fine motor skills and sort shapes and colors. The set includes 85 building blocks and fun pieces that encourage storytelling, like a car, flowers, balloons, and a cake. The DUPLO series of bricks are a comfortable and safe size for toddlers, and this set comes with a green storage box.
As your 2-year-old (and you!) get more into building, it's nice to have a LEGO baseplate accessory to build on or a fun kit like this train set. If your collection outgrows the storage box, keep the small pieces corralled with a set of toy storage bags.
And if you're shopping on a budget, here's a more affordable set of toddler building blocks that comes highly rated too; just know the budget set doesn’t attach as snugly as LEGOs, according to reviewers.
A helpful review: “LEGO Duplos... if ever there was an awesome toddler toy that provides hours of fun, it’s a box of Duplos. This is great, toddler friendly and really good for children to learn to share and build motor skills.”
4. This Award-Winning Bike For Toddlers
My son now has more modes of transportation than I do, and this is the one that was easiest for him to start riding on. He absolutely loves zipping around our house on this award-winning bike, and its rubberized wheels don't scratch the hardwood floors. Hape's wooden toddler bike can help your 2-year-old work on gross motor skills, and those short rides develop strength and balance.
This pick won the 2013 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award and the 2013 Parent's Choice Recommended Award. Younger toddlers can also use this as a push-pull toy, and when riding there's a bumper on the seat to keep toddlers from sliding around. It's also not too heavy to take to the park and sturdy enough for a ride around the neighborhood.
A helpful review: “This is the perfect scooter for a 1-3 year old. When my son was learning to stand/walk, he'd use this as a walker by grabbing the handles and pushing it around. Sometimes he'd push from the back and scoot on his knees. He learned how to get on and off by himself after a year old. Now he can scoot. Pretty soon (When his legs grow a little longer) he'll get the idea and can really go! [...] This is in our main room with an open kitchen. The rubber on the wheels keeps it from damaging anything it runs into. A friend brought this outside for his 2 year old to bike in the street and it worked great outside too."
5. A Tunnel & Tent Set For Endless Entertainment
Two-year-olds are past the crawling stage, but they'll still have tons of fun playing inside this pop-up play tent with a tunnel. They'll engage in physical and imaginative play; one reviewer commented her toddlers "love zooming through the tunnels."
This pick is highly rated with over 2,700 reviews, and the three pieces can be used individually or together. Turn up the fun even further by upgrading it to a ball pit.
A helpful review: “Fantastic toy that my preschoolers and toddlers are enjoying so much! Easy to pop open and assemble. Worth every penny.”
6. This Pretend Vet Set For Animal-Loving Toddlers
A toddler vet kit allows your 2-year-old to engage in pretend play by taking on the role of veterinarian. Playing with this toy may help your toddler develop empathy and social skills.
The highly rated kit with over 1,500 reviews comes with 15 pieces, including a plush puppy, puppy crate, syringe, stethoscope, and an ear examiner. All of the pieces fit inside the carrying case for storage.
A helpful review: “I was looking for a toy that would allow my 2-year-old to keep using her imagination. This toy has been a hit. Not only can she play vet she can also play doctor. The accessories are high quality plastic and have held up great! Highly recommend if you want to encourage your little ones to use their imagination!”
7. This Affordable Set Of Bath Letters & Numbers
Bath time is a daily opportunity for learning through play, and this set of bath letters and numbers will keep your 2-year-old engaged. The foam pieces float in water and stick to tubs and tiles when wet. Toddlers can practice letter and number recognition, as well as color sorting and picking up objects.
The set comes with a mesh bag, which reviewers report helps the pieces dry properly and last longer than some other brands; plus, the bag has two suction cups to attach to the wall or side of the tub.
Already have bath letters? Surprise your 2-year-old by expanding the collection with a fun bath animal set.
A helpful review: “I loves these letters! My 2 year old does as well. [...] During bath time, we pour the letters/numbers into the bath and I'll ask my son to look for a specific one. When he finds it, he sticks it up on the shower wall. [...] Our random bath games with these letters have really helped him to recognize his letters/numbers. [...]"
8. A T-Ball Set For Fledgling Athletes
Help your toddler burn some energy before nap time by heading outside with this T-ball set. It's a highly rated pick with over 2,000 reviews, including from one parent who commented it's the "perfect height, weight, and durability" for her 2-year-old.
The set's height can be adjusted, and it includes five balls and a bat. While playing, your 2-year-old can work on honing gross motor skills and improve their hand-eye coordination from swinging and hitting the ball or throwing and catching it.
Parents commented they also appreciate how lightweight this set is, and that it can hang on a wall for storage.
A helpful review: “My son and daughter love this. The fat bat and softball sized balls made it a lot easier for them to connect with the balls. The balls are a hard plastic, like the bat."
9. A Scooter That Grows With Your Toddler Through The Preschool Years
The Micro Kickboard Mini Deluxe is one your 2-year-old can scoot on up to age 5. The scooter's height is adjustable with a particularly smooth and stable ride for toddlers thanks to its "lean-to-steer" design. And parents, you'll love that there's no assembly required beyond inserting the handlebar piece into the deck.
The strong yet lightweight scooter holds up to 110 pounds, and an extra-grippy footplate keeps small feet in place. Two-year-olds can exercise gross motor skills and improve their balance and coordination when riding this scooter. I've personally seen my toddler's confidence soar when he figured out how to ride this scooter, which he adjusted to much more easily than a (frustrating to him) balance bike.
Choose from more than 10 colors, including blue, purple, and yellow. A hex wrench is included with the scooter for adjusting and tightening the handlebar as needed.
A helpful review: “This is the best thing we bought for our young son. We got him started on it at 18 months. With a little practice, he started riding straight lines and then only left turns (he pushes with his left foot). By 2-years-old he was an expert with great balance and turning left and right. He's 2.5 years old now and very good on this thing holding his leg out to make sharper turns. My wife and I bought a micro Monster scooter for adults to chase him on. It has become a fun family activity.”
10. A Super Soft Bunny Your Toddler Will Tote Everywhere
This is the best stuffed bunny to always be by your toddler's side. Loveys or stuffed animals can help toddlers feel safe when away from parents, and they can be used in pretend play. This highly rated bunny is well-made and super soft; I've had it in my home since my baby shower, and it's the perennial favorite of my now 2-year-old — he has to sleep with "gray bunny" every night, and it's the only one he wants to keep him company during nap time at preschool. We actually liked the bunny so much, we added Jellycat's classic teddy bear to our collection, too.
You can also score this sweet bunny in beige if that's more in line with your nursery decor.
A helpful review: “My 2-year-old daughter is in love with this bunny. It's her 'lovey' and goes everywhere with her. It is very cute and well-made. Because she does drag it everywhere, we have machine washed it many times, which isn't recommended, but has been necessary. The original super-soft fur has become kind of 'nubbly' as a result, but it's still cute and the structure of the bunny has held up fine to washing. I highly recommend Jellycat stuffed animals!”
11. This Eco-Friendly Tool Set For Hands-On Play
This set of toy tools is made from recycled milk jugs, and includes lots of pieces for pretend play: a tool box, Phillips screwdriver, flat screwdriver, hammer, saw, wrench, pliers, a couple of two-hole connectors, two nails, two bolts, and two nuts.
Playing with the tools can help develop both fine and gross motor skills, and the colorful and labeled tools lend themselves to letter and color recognition, plus sorting. If they get dirty, these toys are conveniently dishwasher safe.
A helpful review: “My two year old grandson is very mechanical. He wants to see how things are put together and how to take them apart. This toy fits the bill. The nails can be hammered and removed and used over again. The nuts and bolts are easy for his little hands to work and he loves it. Now he can help his Daddy when there's work to be done. I love Green Toys especially!! They are recycled and are recyclable. And they're dishwasher safe!! My grandson is getting quite a collection from me!!"
12. This Cute Bee Toy For Practicing Fine Motor Skills
With this wooden fine motor skill toy, a 2-year-old will work on strengthening the muscles in their hands and fingers, which prepares them to hold pencils and crayons. The Montessori matching and sorting game with cute, colorful honeybees also teaches color recognition and can improve a child's pincer grasp from using the tong to place the bees in their hives.
A helpful review: “This toy is great for helping kids isolate their tong/grasping skills, a lot of tong toys can be hard because kids have to work on their hand skills as well as precision and graded pressure in order to chase the bee/bead. This takes that extra challenge out and allows them to be successful since the hive holds the bee still for them. [...]”
13. This Fun Outdoor Set For A Budding Gardener
A gardening tool set for toddlers encourages them to get outside and use their imaginations. This kit with a tote bag, rake, trowel, fork, gloves, and a watering can is also a great way to get your 2-year-old playing imaginatively outdoors.
The popular toy set can also be used to play in the sand, and the tools' wooden handles make this set more durable than some similar ones.
A helpful review: “Bought this for my 2-year-old niece. She loves it. Especially the watering can. She now enjoys watering the flowers every day. The tools are great quality and the bag is perfect for the little ones.”
14. A Deceptively Simple Toy For Endless Hours Of Play
Is it a shell? A helmet? The ambiguity is kind of the point with this toy for creative play. The Bilibo is made of shatterproof polyethylene for impressive durability, and toddlers can play with this all-weather toy indoors or outdoors in water, sand, or snow.
Two-year-olds will have fun discovering new ways to play with it; they can sit in it and rock, stand on it, fill it, spin in it, or stack several of them. This award-winning toy exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art inspires imaginative and pretend play.
The Swiss toy was designed with child development experts, and its bright colors and fun shape attract toddlers; this pick is available in blue, green, or pink.
A helpful review: “We now own 4 Bilibos, one for each kid. It looks weird, but these toys provide hours of fun and creative play. Bilibos can be anything with a little imagination! Our bilibos have been stools to sit on, chairs to sit in (great for developing core muscles!), train tunnels, animal caves, stuffed animal holders, spinners, helmets, turtle shells, sleds, etc.
Our first bilibo was purchased 8 years ago and [is] still in good shape, aside from surface scratches. [...]”
15. A Cleaning Set Toddlers *Love*
This pretend play cleaning set is an unexpected cult favorite with a 4.8 rating and over 14,000 reviews, but I totally get it. Nothing surprised me more than my toddler’s affinity for order and his eagerness to help me unload the dishwasher or sort laundry; this cleaning set is a great toy for toddlers to pretend play. Toddlers love to help with chores and daily household tasks, and this wooden set engages them in imaginative play and helps boost their independence and confidence.
The set includes a broom, mop, duster, brush, and organizing stand. The red dustpan clips onto any of the handles. One reviewer commented it was "the best gift at the party" for her 2-year-old nephew, who "squealed with joy" upon opening the set, and other "kids dropped the Nerf guns and toy cars to pick up the duster and mop."
A helpful review: “This was my toddler's Christmas gift, so she would stop stealing my broom and knocking over everything on the tables and bookshelves. My 2 and 4 year old both love it and it actually does a good job cleaning! The duster is super soft. I keep the set near my broom and when they feel the urge to tidy up, they naturally go to their cleaning supplies instead of mine. I was worried that the base would be wobbly but it isn't. I like that everything has a compact place and keeps the bristles upright so they don't deform. The wooden construction lends a more sturdy and long lasting feel.”
16. A Travel-Friendly Coloring Tablet That Won’t Make A Mess
This toddler drawing tablet allows your 2-year-old to scribble and draw in a completely mess-free way; a win-win for parents and kiddos alike. The doodle board inspires imaginative play. Plus, it's lightweight, portable, and endlessly reusable.
The tablet has a lock key for the screen, which is pressure sensitive to show thicker, and more colorful lines than some similar tablets. Choose from options in orange, pink, or yellow.
A helpful review: “My 2 and 5 years old loves this product! [...] Perfect for practicing writing and drawing, and I don’t need to worry my kids ruin my wall and sofa anymore, no more color pencils and crayon [...] I have it in my bag, so whenever we are in [a] restaurant, car or a waiting line, I took it out and let them draw. [...] The best thing is no more paper, we can save the trees.”
17. A Durable Dump Truck
The best toy truck is a classic pick for imaginative and pretend play. This particular one is highly rated for its durability, and 2-year-olds love that the hood opens, the dumper lifts, and that it comes with a driver (my 2-year-old plays with his every day).
A helpful review: “This Battat line of large trucks are great. Our 2-year-old grandson loves them. They are very durable and no small parts to break off or cause a hazard. Likewise no metal parts to rust or dent.”
18. Egg-Shaped Crayons That Are Easier For Small Hands To Hold
Two-year-olds are still working on the fine motor skills to hold pencils and pens with ease, so these wider egg-shaped crayons are great for their small hands. The unique shape is easier for toddlers to grasp and practice scribbling and coloring on paper. These washable, nontoxic crayons are perfect for encouraging creativity.
Any parent who has picked up broken crayons will also appreciate that the size and shape of these hold up better to being dropped then traditional crayons. Nine bright colors are included.
A helpful review: “These are perfect for our almost two year old! He can't break the crayons while coloring and playing. The shape is easy for him to hold. He's enjoyed this shape crayon much more than the regular crayon design.”
19. An Award-Winning Doll House
Older 2-year-olds may be ready for the pretend and imaginative play of this three-story wooden doll house. The furnished play house has six rooms and household appliances and home accessories that can be moved around as part of play. A reversible roof also encourages storytelling and role play. Be aware that the age range for this toy is 3 to 5, according to the manufacturer, and there are small pieces so it's important to keep an eye on smaller children while they play.
This pick is highly rated, with more than 1,000 reviews, and many reviewers commented that assembly is simple. This doll house is the recipient of several toy awards, including the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Seal Award, Gold Award of Parents' Choice, and Scholastic Parent & Child Best Toys (all in 2011).
A helpful review: “Perfect for a toddler's first doll house. The rooms are easily accessed and the different levels provide a lot [of] imaginative play. At first my 2-year old took the furniture out of the house and played with the pieces outside, but gradually learned how to set up the various rooms. I think this house is great for children 2 to 5 years old.”
20. Your Toddler’s First Musical Instrument
Encourage your music-loving toddler with their own wooden ukulele toy. Two-year-olds will engage in creative play and learn about rhythm as they practice the fine motor skill required to strum the instrument. The age range for this toy is 3 to 6 years, so this is one your budding musician will grow into.
This highly rated toy has flexible nylon strings that are attached with safety for small hands in mind, and the strings can be tuned. Choose from blue, green or red.
A helpful review: “My 2–year-old boy is obsessed with this and so excited to have his own guitar like daddy’s. The strings actually make somewhat decent musical sounds instead of sounding like plastic. It’s a great starter instrument for him.”
21. A Play Kitchen That Fits Right In With Your Modern Decor
This wooden play kitchen is a wonderful toy to invest in for hours of pretend play. Your 2-year-old can practice fine motor skills from pretend cooking and turning knobs in the kitchen, and they can engage in cooperative play since this kitchen is big enough for multiple children to play side by side or together.
A removable sink sets this apart from some others for easy cleaning, but it's also designed in a way that fits in better with many home decor styles than toy kitchens in primary colors.
All the doors in the toy kitchen open, and it has working knobs on the oven and sink. A fun chalkboard hangs on the fridge for drawing, and there are shelving and hanging pegs for pots, pans and other accessories. The set also comes with a cordless phone and paper towel holder.
This farmhouse play kitchen is another cute option.
A helpful review: “My 2-year-old absolutely loves this set. After a lot of research, we chose this set because of what it DIDN'T have. There are no blinking lights, sound effects or interactive screen. This [is] one of those rare toys that lets her use her imagination without any interference. She makes me 'tea' every morning before work and she does all the sound effects herself. We love this well made toy set and highly recommend it."
22. A Colorful Food Set For Pretend Play
With or without a toy kitchen, 2-year-olds will love playing with this set of pretend food. With 122 pieces, they can learn to sort and recognize shapes and colors and engage in pretend play.
This set in particular stands out for its bright, colorful BPA-free plastic pieces with more detail than some other food sets. The set includes a wide variety of attractive food items, including fresh fruits and vegetables, chicken, burgers, hot dogs, bread, and ice cream, condiments, soup cans, and more. The popular set has more than 2,000 reviews. It is designed for 3-year-olds and supervision is recommended for younger children, but it does haves larger pieces than many other pretend food sets.
A helpful review: “I just built a playhouse for my girls, which includes a kitchen, & we needed some food to help with the experience. Not only is this play food great quality, but you get TONS of items, which is helpful for 3 kids! I will definitely be searching out this company for my kitchen accessories. All of the food looks so lifelike & my 3 & 2 year olds know exactly what everything is except the beans, they thought they were cookies."
23. A Set Of Beach Toys That Stores In A Backpack
This complete set of beach toys comes in a storage bag that your 2-year-old can wear as a backpack ; it's a gamechanger when you’re lugging the beach bag and other gear to the shore. Inside are 12 sand molds, a sand sifter, a watering can, a bucket, a rake, two shovels, and a sifter shovel.
As they play with this highly rated set with over 1,200 reviews, toddlers engage in imaginative and creative play and practice their fine motor skills.
A helpful review: “Very vibrant colors, plenty of toys to play with in the sandbox without having my two kids (both 2 years old) fight over them. They love them! This would make a great gift for a toddler and would be a great thing to purchase for a trip to the beach since the bag can hold all of the toys!"
24. An Educational Card Toy
A set of alphabet flash cards is one toy that's convenient to keep on hand. These cards feature all letters of the alphabet with bright illustrations that correspond to each one. On the back of each card, you'll find the uppercase letter.
Toddlers will practice letter and color recognition, as well as sorting. A plastic ring keeps the cards together but can also be removed to separate the flash cards. If they get dirty, the laminated cards wipe clean easily.
A helpful review: “Love these, well worth the money! I like that they have the ring so easy to keep in diaper bag and use when my 2-year-old is bored. She goes through and identifies all the letters on one side then identifies all of the pictures on another. Love it!”