Your #1 Guide to Gifts For Two Year Olds in 2024

A boy with black hair and a bright blue shirt is sitting at a table with blocks.

You might think buying gifts for 2 year olds is as easy as grabbing a baby doll or set of blocks from the local Target. If, however, you’re in the market for toddler gifts that will challenge, educate, and entertain, it’s important to consider what a two-year-old really wants and needs.

Gone are the days when you can set them up with a cute stuffy or one of the best books for babies and assume they’ll be satisfied.

They’re also not quite ready for the “big-kid” toys some older children might enjoy.

So, if you’re scratching your head trying to figure out what to buy for the little one in your life – I feel you! 

That’s why we’ve compiled this simple, easy list of practical gifts for 2-year-olds. In this “best of” gift guide, you’ll find tried-and-true favorites that include the best educational toys for 2-year olds.

Movement-Based Play Quick Picks

Best Push Toy: Maxx Bubbles Lawn Mower Toy

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Best Indoor Gross Motor Toy: Little Tikes 3′ Trampoline

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Best Bike/Trike: Strider 12″ Balance Bike

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Best Pull Toy: Melissa & Doug ABC Block Cart

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Best Montessori Gifts for 2 Year Olds

Best for Fine Motor: The Original Toddler Busy Board

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Best Personalized Gift: Personalized Rolling Pin

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Best Puzzles: Magifire Wooden Puzzle Set

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Best Shape Sorter: Veggie Shape Sorter

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Best for Letter Recognition: Coogam Wooden Magnetic Fishing Game

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Best Pretend Play for 2 Year Olds

Best for Dino-Loving Kids: Dinosaur Toys

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Best Play Kitchen: KidKraft Corner Play Kitchen

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Best Toddler Dollhouse: Melissa & Doug Wooden Dollhouse

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Best Doctor Kit: 10 Piece Deluxe Doctor Kit

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Best Sensory Toys for 2 Year Olds

Best Water + Sensory Table: Step2 Rain Showers Water Table

Best Mess-Free Sensory: Crayola Touch Lights Doodle Board

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Best Bath Time Play: Bath Toy Set

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Best Large Drawing Mat: No Mess Water Doodle Mat

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Best Travel Activity Pads: Water Wow! Reusable Activity Pads

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These gift ideas are all either developmentally appropriate or basic necessities – you really can’t go wrong with any of these toddler-approved gifts for 2-year-olds!

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Gifts For Two Year Olds: Gross Motor

In terms of movement, these little ones are honing skills like walking, running, standing on their tiptoes, pulling toys behind them, and even pedaling their feet. So here are some toys that will get them using their bodies!

Maxx Bubbles Lawn Mower Toy

A mower that blows bubbles will keep your little one excited while they push, walk, and run. Buying for a little one who doesn’t have a yard? A toddler vacuum can have the same effect, just without the bubbles.

Little Tikes 3′ Trampoline

Product Features

  • Plastic and metal with handle bar for stability
  • Indoor use only
  • For children up to 55 lbs / 6 years

When my little guy first received this trampoline at 2 years old, he would stand on it, bend his knees, and yell, “Jumping, jumping jumping!” But by 2.5, he could jump with both feet and even use the trampoline to create obstacle courses. This is why I love this toy enough to keep it in the middle of my living room.

Strider 12″ Balance Bike

Product Features

  • 12″ sport bike with padded seat, performance footrest, and rubber grips
  • Adjustable handlebar and seat heights
  • Foam tires never go flat

Learning to pedal and maintain balance on a bike is a crucial skill for little ones. If you want to take a different approach rather than traditional training wheels, a balance bike might be an excellent alternative. 

Since these bikes landed on the toy scene, they’ve proven themselves to be an incredible tool for any toddler who wants to learn how to ride a bike. In fact, many parents find them more useful and effective than training wheels.

Melissa & Doug ABC Block Pull-Along Cart

Product Features

  • 30 1″ solid wood blocks featuring pictures, letters, and numbers
  • Wheeled cart with pull-along cord offers easy storage
  • Durable construction

A pull cart is an especially great gift for a young 2 year old, as they’re very interested in pulling things behind them. Plus, they’ll have fun staking, sorting, and matching blocks. And, as they grow, they’ll start to recognize letters!

Best Toys For 2 Year Old: Montessori Toys

While Montessori for infants is great for their development, these trusted learning practices become even more significant as your little one starts to grow. That’s why we wanted to be sure to include a section on the best Montessori toys for 4 year olds and under!

Here are some of our favorite Montessori toys for toddlers:

Toddler Busy Board

Product Features

  • Soft wool felt board measures 11×12.5″ and weights 0.4lbs, perfect for travel
  • Specifically designed for children 2-4
  • Includes buckles, buttons, zipper, velcro fasteners, and shoe ties

Did you know dressing skills are part of the developmental milestones pediatricians look for? This busy board is one of the BEST gifts to help young toddlers hone fine motor skills that they need to dress and undress themselves! We love that it’s perfect for traveling, too.

Personalized Rolling Pin


Product Features

  • 9.5″ handle to handle, 1.8″ diameter
  • Beech wood precisely laser engraved and polished by hand
  • Food safe, polished with organic food grade oil

Whether your little one bakes cookies or just likes to play with Play-Doh, they’ll love this personalized rolling pin! While your child is having fun rolling out dough and watching their name magically appear, they’ll also be developing hand stregnth.

Include your child’s name and what symbol you want between words–you can choose from hearts, stars, flowers, unicorns, and more!

Wooden Toddler Puzzles

Product Features

  • Six 5.7″ square puzzles with chunky pieces for little hands
  • Each puzzle has 4-6 pieces, perfect for beginners
  • Made from wood and decorated with non-toxic water-based paints

These adorable puzzles feature bright colors and cute images to engage your little one. These puzzles are only 4-6 pieces, so they’re perfect for your toddler.

Veggie Shape Sorter

This unique shape sorter has a variety of fruits for your little one to recognize. Plus, they can pull carrots and cute little worms from the top. This toy is a great way for your little one to build their fine motor skills and learn about how healthy foods grow.

Wooden Magnetic Fishing Game

Product Features

  • Comes with 2 wooden magnetic fishing poles, 1 sorting box, and 26 wooden fish
  • Solid wood decorated with non-toxic water based paint
  • Promotes color and letter recognition

Your 2 year old can find lots of ways to play with this fun fishing game! From “magically” picking up the fish with the rod to sorting the fish by colors, this game will continue to engage your toddler as they grow.

Best Gift For 2 Year Old: Pretend Play Ideas

Did you know pretend play not only helps expand a 2 year old’s creativity, but also allows them to expand their language and communication skills? 

Plus, make-believe gifts for two year olds are among the most popular with kids. If you’re stumped about which pretend play gifts to purchase, here are a few of our top picks.

Dinosaur Toys

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Product Features

  • Realistic dinos AND a fun play mat
  • The mat is made of woven fabric (no thin PVC)
  • Mat is printed with a dino park theme for plenty of imaginative play

Dinosaurs are always a classic toy for little ones. This particular set is fantastic because it not only comes with the dinosaurs themselves but also includes a felt mat, pretend trees, and other accessories. 

So if you’re going to a dinosaur themed birthday party (or just want to get your fave toddler something just for fun), this set will be a hit. 

KidKraft Corner Play Kitchen

Product Features

  • Made of engineered wood and plastic
  • Curved design means this kitchen fits great in a corner. ofthe playroom
  • Assembly required

Play kitchens are an amazing option for creative play and one of the best toys on the market. Not only do they allow kids to use their imaginations, but they also present a realistic setting they can learn in. 

Plus, your little one can grow with the kitchen! At first, they may only open and close cabinets (or the front loading washing machine!) to put things in and pull them out, but as they get older, they’ll start “cooking” for you and playing house.

Melissa & Doug Dollhouse

Product Features

  • Portable mini wooden dollhouse with 11 pieces of wooden furniture and 2 dolls
  • Fully opens so it’s easy to play with
  • Comes with carrying handles

Dollhouses are great vehicles for pretend play, but most are too delicate for a 2 year old. That’s why I love this one from Melissa & Doug. It’s sturdy enough for the littlest kids and features working doors, wooden furniture, and more.

Some buyers mention that you can personalize the dollhouse by painting the furniture or using glue and an Xacto knife to add fabric “wallpaper” inside before giving it to your toddler. This would be fun, but it also isn’t necessary!

Doctor Kit for Kids

Kits like the one from Kidzlane come with tons of different medical devices your toddler will be familiar with, such as a thermometer and stethoscope. We also love the idea of using this kit at home to normalize this type of medical equipment and experience–doing so makes going to the doctor a lot less scary!

Do you have a child who loves Doc McStuffins? If so, a doctor kit makes a great gift for 2-year-olds! They can set up an at-home clinic for all of their favorite toys. 

Rather than just telling or showing your little one something, why not choose a birthday gift or holiday present for toddlers that lets them interact and get their hands dirty? 

Tactile sensory learning provides learning opportunities through exploration – plus, these types of toys are always some of the most fun!

Water and Sensory Table

Product Features

  • 32″ high playset including 13 water toys and cups
  • Plug allows easy drainage and cleaning
  • Double walled plastic construction

This was hands-down the most used toy in my house during Jack’s second year. It creates opportunities for amazing sensory activities. As a water table, Jack watched water trickle from the top level to the bottom, learning where to pour, that the holes were the conduit for the water to fall and more. So much cause and effect here!

Kids love sensory tables, so when it got cold outside, we turned it into a sensory table. Instead of water, we filled the table with raw oats, rice, sand–anything we can find that he can’t choke on! But especially oats.

Touch Lights Doodle Board

Product Features

  • Mess-free finger painting on contained gel surface
  • Comes with 6 songs and 12 light up colors
  • Requires 3 AA batteries (not included)

Are you looking for sensory toys that are a bit more mess-free? If so, you and your little one will love this light-up doodle board! 

It has a gel surface that children love to interact with as well as music and lights to keep their attention. One of my favorite things about this toy is that it’s portable. I’m always looking for options to bring with us on the go, and this has been a lifesaver!

Bath Toy Set

Product Features

  • Rain shower sticks to the side of the wall with a suction cup
  • Marble run also attaches with suction cup
  • Interactive bath-time fun!

Whoever said the tub is only for getting clean? If you’re looking for a simple way to offer some sensory fun, why not throw your 2 year old in the bath and let them play with these awesome tub toys!

I love this kit because it provides so many play options. From squirting toys to fishing poles, your tots will have plenty to keep them busy!

No Mess Water Doodle Mat

Product Features

  • 40″ x 28″ polypropylene mat
  • Foldable for storage or travel
  • Comes with 6 “magic” pens, 4 stencils, carrying bag, and more
  • Write with water on this magic mat

I’ll be honest, I love the idea of finger painting and other sensory activities, but I don’t like the mess that comes with them. That’s why I love this mat.

Kids can write, stamp, and roll out patterns on this mat using only water, and 10 minutes later, there’s no mess or clean-up! Plus, it comes with its own carrying case so you can take it with you to grandma’s house.

Water Wow! Reusable Activity Pads

Product Features

  • Two fun activity books, each with a refillable water pin
  • Shows simple line drawings when dry, but becomes filled with color when wet
  • Pages are reusable once they dry

These are my absolute favorite on-the-go toys. A great idea for a road trip, restaurants, errands, and more! They’re the perfect practical gift for 2 year olds because parents can take them ANYWHERE without worrying about a mess. Simply put water inside the brush, screw it on, and kids can color.

The pages will automatically change color with they come in contact with the brush, which comes out slowly and doesn’t make a mess.

Understanding 2 Year Olds Developmentally

Developmentally, 2 year olds are in a super fun place. Did you know that artistic options make great educational toys for 2 year olds?

Their brain synapses are constantly firing, and they’re learning every moment of every day. So why not buy the best educational toys for 2 year olds that can help them develop appropriately?

After all, 2-year olds undergo a number of major developmental milestones we can help them achieve by choosing appropriate gifts and toys.

Some of the ways they’re developing include:

  • Language
  • Cognition
  • Dexterity
  • Fine Motor Skills
  • Social Skills
  • Emotional Coping and Emotional Intelligence

So if you’re asking what toys are age-appropriate for a 2 year old, the answer is simple–anything that helps them develop the skills above!

Best Gifts For Two Year Olds: Make It Count

As you can see, just because something is labeled an “educational toy,” it doesn’t mean your toddler will hate it. In fact, most of the items on this list are favorites among the 2 year old community. 

So, don’t worry too much about buying the right or wrong thing. Just focus on items that provide value, and I guarantee your little one will love it! 

What are your favorite practical gifts for 2 year olds?

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6 thoughts on “Your #1 Guide to Gifts For Two Year Olds in 2024

  1. That’s a great list. Children learn fast and they are always trying to learn and explore everything around them. So the toys you buy for them should not be just about entertaining them mindlessly, but also stimulate their minds and help them in developing their skills.

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