Recently my daughter turned 2 years old. Yes, the terrible twos are well upon us! However it got me to thinking that there is a minefield of gifts and presents to buy for toddlers. And what do they actually want or need at this age? Previously I have prepared a list of toys to keep toddlers occupied on a plane, which includes toys that are convenient to travel with. Now I have collated and present to you “the ultimate guide of gifts for 2 year olds“. This list is a selection of gifts that were very well received by our 2 year old on her birthday, along with some suggestions from my mummy friends. So if you are looking for the perfect present for your child, keep scrolling!
I was conscious not to push the stereotype of giving our little girl a baby doll, but it is all she plays with at nursery. A baby doll encourages your toddler to nurture and take care of it (just like mummy and daddy) as well as providing lots of opportunity for role play. If you are going to have a baby then you will need ‘all the stuff‘ so don’t forget to buy a pram and crib for the newest addition to the family.
The LEGO obsession has started at a young age in our house and we already have boxes full of Duplo. LEGO inspires creativity in little ones as they build marvelous creations and it also helps with their dexterity. There are plenty of themes available which cover almost every interest, including popular Disney characters such as Mickey & Minnie Mouse or Frozen (celebrating the launch of the new movie).
I was really impressed by the level of detail in this doll house such as the mess under the bed and the toilet which flushes. It is perfect for little ones to combine learning about the home and playing. The pet dog was a great inclusion for our toddler, given we live with two rascally Beagles ourselves.
Most toddlers I know absolutely LOVE playing with stickers. It mostly involves ripping them out, putting them where they are not supposed to go and parents subsequently finding stickers stuck to them for days to come. But importantly, it will keep them quiet and focused for a little while. A few sticker books that have been a particular hit in our household and are of good quality are:
I remember Play-Doh from my childhood and it is still just as popular over 30 years later. This set has plenty of tools and shapes for my 2 year old to get creative with, although it will likely need some adult assistance. It cannot be denied that my OCD went through the roof when all the colours were mixed together and squished back into the pots!
This classic toy has had a resurgence with the release of Toy Story 4. Its a great little toy for toddlers to play with and be silly creating funny faces. The pieces are big enough that they are not dangerous for a 2 year old, plus its simple and easy to use.
These great little 3 wheel scooters are the ideal way to introduce your little one to scooting. No doubt they will take a lot of assistance from Mum and Dad initially, but over the next year I think this will be the perfect alternative to walking or taking the push chair. We also got a lot of use out of the scooter on our recent family holiday to Nice.
Turning 2 is a great time to start learning to ride a bike, and these 2 in 1 balance bikes are a wonderful introduction. It starts off as a trike and then as your toddler gains confidence you can switch it to 2 wheels. All before moving on to a bike with pedals. They are well made and light-weight, making the perfect present for a 2 year old.
Bring the park to your garden with this Smoby Garden Slide. Because lets face it, who really enjoys spending all afternoon at the park with their toddler? The Smoby Slide is well made and sturdy, plus has the added bonus that you can add a hose to make a ‘water slide‘ on those hot summer days (not sure that function will ever get used in England, Ha!)
Orchard Toys has a beautiful selection of puzzles and games to suit various ages. We opted for the red bus puzzle and I’m impressed by the detail in the artwork. The puzzle pieces themselves are big and durable, so will withstand the not so delicate hands of a 2 year old.
No 2 year old gift guide is complete without the inclusion of books, even though I realise they are a pretty standard ‘go-to‘ gift for kids. A few favourite reads in our house right now are surprisingly a list of classics:
If you have been following me for a while you will know that I. HATE. MESS. But to the contrary, toddlers love mess. So as a (relatively) happy compromise, I recommend some washable paints for those rainy days when you might be stuck inside. I would also suggest it is worth investing in a brush set and apron at the same time.
On your search for gifts for 2 year olds, this Top Touch Toy is a great alternative if you are hoping to keep your toddler away from your iPad. I must admit, we are doing a terrible job of this! The pseudo laptop / tablet is educational and fun, but makes your little one feel grown up.
Continue on the role play theme for your toddler with this colourful and detailed roads and city play mat. They will have plenty of fun zooming their toy vehicles all over this mat, and importantly not all over your furniture.
Alternatively you could opt for a super cute waterproof baby play mat that will ensure you don’t have to worry about any messes. Because we all know the importance of washable items with kids in the home.
If you are going to have a play mat, then you will need some toy vehicles to go with it. My daughter has collected a range of airline vehicles that Daddy cannot resist buying each time he travels on a new airline. But these vehicles come with excellent reviews on Amazon and would definitely do the trick.
These nesting blocks came recommended to me by a friend and I am told that her little boy absolutely loves to play with them. He creatively uses them as bridges, caves and fences as he plays with his other toys. It also helps that they are really pretty to look at, so could compliment a toddler’s bedroom decor.
These little blocks are simple yet brilliant for toddlers. It’s as straight forward as it looks and sounds – stringing items onto the rope provided. However it helps with their coordination and I encourage my daughter to tell me what each item is as she picks it up. Therefore, making it educational at the same time.
Around 2, little ones start to show a bit more interest in balls and ball games. And what is more fun than bowling things over? These little critters are a gorgeous design and an ideal gift for your little ones or their friends.
My 2 year old bee lines for one of these cars as soon as she sees one. However I am yet to buy her one due to lack of storage space at our house. Having said that, we can hire them at our local shops and it makes a great distraction as I have a little wander around. Beep, Beep!
Zimpli Kids Products
We were kindly gifted some of these products over the summer to play with. The Unicorn Slime Play and Smelli Gelli Baff proved to be a huge hit. Even more so with this mama as there is no mess. Whilst they are recommended for ages 3+, I personally think they are suitable for use from 2+, provided it is under adult supervision.
2 year olds quite often want to be just like mum and dad, so a toy kitchen is the perfect solution to keep them from getting under your feet whilst cooking. This mini Tefal Kitchen by Smoby looks so good with its detailed design and 40 accessories included. The Magic Bubble function on the hob lets them boil water, while thermosensitive pasta changes color when put in water. How cool is that?
For the little traveller in the family, why not buy one of these cute ride-on suitcases? Ever since I found out I was pregnant I have wanted to buy one of these for my daughter, but my husband has refused as he says we will end up carrying it. He is most likely right. However, I think our daughter is just about old enough now to enjoy riding around on this, or at least pulling it along herself!
As my daughter becomes more interested in painting and drawing, an easel feels like an ideal gift for her. With the option to use chalk or markers as well as magnets, this should keep little ones entertained for long enough to allow you to have a warm cuppa.
So there you have it, my complete list of gifts for 2 year olds! I hope it is useful for upcoming birthdays or dare I say it … Christmas. Please let me know which of these toys (or non-toy gift options) your little ones love/d and whether you have any other suggestions for me.
And if you are in the market for outdoor specific toys, head over to Twins and Travels to read Outdoor Toys Your Toddler Will Love. Anna has lots of fabulous suggestions which I know you will love.
Happy shopping – Shell x
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