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Best Toys & Gift Ideas for 2-Year-Olds of 2023

Make playtime educational and fun!

Parents of 2-year-olds are always asking us to recommend toys that are safe, developmentally appropriate, durable, worth their cost, and, of course, fun. So we did a little market research, hitting the toy stores to compare hundreds of products.

The result is this list of the best toys for 2-year-olds. Some of these are new to the market, while others have been around a while, withstanding the test of time. But all of our selections are toys that 2-year-olds — and their parents — are sure to love.

Keep reading to learn more about the developmental stages of 2-year-olds and which toys are best for hitting those toddler milestones.

Our Top Picks

We independently research, assess and evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on the links we provide, we may receive compensation.
Product Comparison Table

Product Image of the Bristle Blocks Creativity
Best Building Blocks
Bristle Blocks Creativity
  • Soft, interlocking bristles
  • 112 pieces in assorted sizes
  • Vibrant colors
Product Image of the VTech Smart Shots
Best Sports Toy
VTech Smart Shots
  • Introduces shapes, numbers and sounds
  • Animated light up LED scoreboard
  • Teaches more than 50 songs and phrases
Product Image of the 2-in-1 Kick Scooter
Best Ride-On Toy
2-in-1 Kick Scooter
  • Light-up wheels
  • Adjustable handle bar
  • Extra-wide deck for stability
Product Image of the Hape Musical Percussion
Best Wooden Toy
Hape Musical Percussion
  • 5-in-1 percussion section
  • Non-toxic finishes
  • Child-safe materials
Product Image of the Melissa & Doug Bowling
Great for Family Fun
Melissa & Doug Bowling
  • Easy-to-clean game
  • For indoor and outdoor play
  • 6 pins and 1 bowling ball
Product Image of the VTech Care for Me Carrier
For Animal Lovers
VTech Care for Me Carrier
  • Includes an adorable plush puppy
  • 100+ songs, melodies, sounds and phrases
  • Interactive
Safe, Eco-Friendly Art
Honeysticks Coloring Book
  • 100% Recycled paper
  • 40 page coloring book
  • Environmentally sustainable
Product Image of the Heads and Tails Puzzles
My First Puzzle
Heads and Tails Puzzles
  • Friendly, colorful illustrations
  • Set of 15 animal puzzle cards
  • Educational and entertaining
Product Image of the Disney Plush Minnie Mouse
Favorite Plush Companion
Disney Plush Minnie Mouse
  • Approximately 16 inches tall
  • Fluffy
  • Very affordable
Product Image of the P is for Potty!
Best Potty Training Tool
P is for Potty!
  • Sturdy lift-the-flap board book
  • More than 30 flaps
  • Budget-friendly

Best Toys for 2-Year-Olds of 2023

Here are our favorite toys and gifts for 2-year-olds.

Bristle Blocks Creativity Building Toys

Best Building Blocks

With these colorful and innovative blocks, your child can enjoy building and stacking all day long.

There are 112 pieces, including functioning wheels, to allow children to use their imagination and be creative while working on fine motor skills. They can learn to connect them and create new shapes each time.

The interlocking bristles are fun to touch and easy to use for building. This allows them to connect at any angle, which may help your child stay amused. They also provide a unique sensory experience.

VTech Smart Shots Toy Sports Center

Best Sports Toy

You may help your child become more confident on their feet with this two-in-one basketball and soccer set. They can practice their gross motor skills, such as kicking and throwing,  on coordination.

The animated LED scoreboard is there for encouragement as it counts the number of goals they score. This center teaches numbers, colors, shapes, and letters.

Sounds, songs, melodies, and phrases will enhance language development as your toddler plays. You’ll definitely have a ball with this one.

2-in-1 Kick Scooter Toy by Lascoota

Best Ride-On Toy for 2-Year-Olds

If your child likes to be active, this may be a great toy for them. It’s a three-wheeled scooter that allows them to push with their legs, practicing gross motor skills. The wheels light up for a cool touch.

We love that this scooter has a removable seat. This means you can also help your child when you’re outdoors and they need a rest. They have the option to sit and scoot or stand up in typical scooter style. It has a wide bottom deck for stability and a back brake to keep them in check.

This toy is built to last, as it’s made from aluminum parts. One of the best things about it is that it has a height-adjustable handlebar, so your child can continue to enjoy it as they grow. It’s suitable for kids ages 2 to 10 and comes in multiple colors.

Hape Musical Wooden Percussion Toy

Best Wooden Toy

Does your little one already have a taste for music? This engaging toy lets them try out some new sounds and melodies. There is a colorful xylophone to tap, a cymbal to crash, and even a drum to bang.

Your 2-year-old will develop fine motor skills as they use their hands to hold the drumsticks and shake the clapper.

The wood is easy to clean, and all paint used is non-toxic. This means playtime can be safe as well as exciting.

Melissa & Doug Bowling Toy Set

Great Choice for Family Fun

With this bowling set, you can challenge your child to get a strike. The pins are brightly colored and look like bugs to capture children’s attention while they fine-tune their hand-eye coordination along the way.

The set includes a bowling bag with carrying handles, six pins, and a bowling ball. Since it’s made from plastic, you can use it inside or outdoors, and it’s easy to clean. Rain or shine, your kids can have some fun.

Bowling may not be the first sport that comes to mind, but it’s a beloved favorite by young and old.

VTech Care for Me Carrier Toy

Best Toy for Animal Lovers

Does your child love dogs? You don’t have to rush to the pet store anytime soon. This is the best toy for 2-year-old animal lovers, as it lets your child practice caring for a pet.

It comes with accessories, including a brush, food bowl, and bottle, to encourage kids to use their imagination. In addition, some buttons play music and indicate the care the dog needs. Children can use their problem-solving skills to figure out what this means while they copy the songs and phrases.

There’s also a carry case, which allows your 2-year-old to take their pet anywhere. Sliding beads help them to learn letters, with a chance to explore opposites as well.

Honeysticks Toddlers First Coloring Book

Safe and Eco-Friendly Art

Many toddlers enjoy coloring and drawing. It can relax them when they’re feeling overwhelmed and get their creative mind moving.

Honeysticks My First Coloring Book is a large delightful book for toddlers made using premium quality recycled materials that sustain a minimal environmental impact and provide entertainment for your little one. That’s what we call safe and eco-friendly!

This 40-page coloring book is packed full of simple yet cute images of animals, making it a perfect learning adventure coloring book with plastic-free packaging for young kids.

The Learning Journey Self-Correcting Puzzles

My First Puzzle

You can help your child work on their cognitive skills with this set of 15 puzzles. They’ll have to use their noggins to determine which animal head matches their rear. Other themes, such as dinosaurs, toys, or the ocean, are also available.

These self-correcting puzzles have colorful illustrations, with only two pieces to join together. This might help to keep your child engaged and avoid frustration. It increases the chance of your child succeeding as they bring the heads and tails together.

Disney Plush Classic Minnie Mouse

Favorite Plush Companion

Many 2-year-olds want to be independent but still seek comfort as they grow through this stage. This toy might help by providing a fluffy and recognizable companion for your child. This licensed Disney product is great for cuddle time.

Minnie Mouse stands about 15 inches tall and looks cute in her classic red polka-dot outfit, complete with yellow shoes. So, if your child is a fan of Disney, this may be a good toy to help with social and emotional development.

P Is for Potty! Book from Sesame Street

Best Potty Training Tool

Have you started potty training? You may benefit from some reading time with this book. If your child loves “Sesame Street,” they may listen to Elmo as he explains how to use the potty.

This book has stood the test of time in our home. My daughter still loves to read it even though it’s been a couple of years since she potty trained.

The book is colorful and illustrative to capture your child’s attention. Another great feature is that it has more than 25 flaps for your child to lift. You can read through the pages with your child and let them peek at the surprises underneath the flaps.

Aside from encouragement with potty training, books are an excellent opportunity for bonding and instilling curiosity about reading. It’s never too soon for either of these.

Prince Lionheart Wheely Mouse Toy

Easy Shuffling

At the age of 2, most children are pretty confident on their feet. But working on gross motor skills is still important. With this fun toy, your child can scoot around indoors and outdoors while working on their balance.

It’s got a cushioned and comfortable body with a rounded handlebar to hold onto. The multidirectional caster wheels allow your child to use their legs to move backward, forward, and to the sides.

It’s made from high-quality materials, and we love the cute mouse design. Other adorable designs are available if your child has a favorite animal.

LeapFrog Storytime Plush Buddy

Best for Comfort

Buddy, a snuggly plush dog, can be your child’s best friend while they’re gaining their independence. It’s also an interactive toy, with buttons on the dog’s collar corresponding to the five included storybooks.

Your toddler can listen, learn, and enjoy cuddles at the same time. In addition, the collar tag turns into a nightlight and plays a lullaby to make bedtime relaxing. This could be a great way to make going to bed easier for your little one if you struggle with this routine.

Like other LeapFrog products, there are multiple options for learning here, including number recognition, emotional development, the ABCs, and more.

Intellectual Musical School Bus Toy

Interactive Travel Fun

My daughter was obsessed with the “Wheels on the Bus” song, so this toy was the perfect fit. On each side of this brightly colored bus, there are different interactive activities.

Your child can practice their language skills and sing along to the music. They can press the animal buttons or help the bus move along. There are also gears to play with, a book on the roof, and more fun features.

This bus is made from high-quality ABS plastic for durability. If you start to get a headache from the constant sound, there’s an option to turn off the music. This may allow for some quiet playtime if you’re lucky.

Last but not least, the “bump and go” feature helps your child correct any run-ins as the bus self-adjusts after bumping up against anything, such as furniture.

Wideland Friction-Powered Vehicles

Best for Story Creation

These toys may help your child use their imagination and creativity. The set of four vehicles includes a bulldozer, mixer truck, dump truck, and tractor, meaning your child can do some serious work.

The moveable components add excitement, while the simplistic design and lack of add-ons allow the imagination to run free.

Children can create their own stories around the house or even use these toys in the sandbox. And we love that there’s no need for batteries — children can push them around by hand. With a bit of pressure on the push, these friction-powered vehicles will continue to cruise across the room independently.

The vehicles are made from non-toxic plastic, so you don’t need to worry if your little one still enjoys tasting their toys.

Petit Collage Beginner Jigsaw Forest Babies Puzzle

Best Jigsaws for Beginners

Several colorful forest animals are featured here for kids to learn about. We also like that there are four different puzzles to help your child progress. They can start on the three-piece puzzle and work up to the six-piece puzzle, utilizing problem-solving skills.

The puzzles are made from recycled paper. They’re also non-toxic and made in the U.S. with vegetable-based inks for the colorful designs.

VTech Pull and Sing Puppy Toy

Best Pull Toy

Your child can bring this puppy with them wherever they go. They can pull the toy using the cord, activating a variety of sounds.

Kids can work out which buttons make the nose light up and which play music, engaging their thinking and problem-solving skills.

As they walk with their new puppy, they’ll hear over 60 songs. This enables them to work on their language development while they and their new puppy get a little exercise.

This toy also introduces concepts such as numbers and colors.

B. toys Car Keys and Keychain

Fun for Roleplay

If there’s one thing you wish your kids didn’t play with, it’s definitely the car keys. But with this toy, you no longer have to worry about anyone setting off your car alarm. You can give them their own keys to “beep” all day long as they act grown-up.

There are several colorful buttons they can press. A flashlight requires fine motor skills to switch on. The cushioned strap means your kid can bring their shiny new keys, complete with lights and sounds, wherever they go.

If you’re conscious about the environment, this toy is also eco-friendly. It’s made from recycled materials, safe stainless steel, and soy-based inks — all BPA-free and lead-free.

Hape Toddler Soft Vegetable Basket

Best Food Toy

If your little one follows you around the kitchen, interested in the art of cooking and various ingredients, then this is a fantastic toy for them. It comes with a toy basket, many ingredients, and a toy knife. Now they can pretend to go shopping and prepare food.

The food fastens together with velcro, so your child can cut them apart with the toy knife. It’s easy to stick them back together to experience the fun all over again.

The bright colors and soft plush design will make your little one feel they’re really helping out with the cooking while remaining super safe.

VTech Brilliant Baby Laptop Toy

Fun Animal Noises

In this ever-advancing world, perhaps it’s time your 2-year-old got their first laptop. This machine allows them to press colorful buttons and discover different sounds, songs, phrases, and animal noises.

The laptop folds shut just like a real one, and it has a chunky handle to make it easy to hold. A light-up screen will catch your child’s eye, and it has plenty of options for learning, including the introduction of colors and shapes.

The automatic shut-off feature and volume control will bring a sigh of relief to the adults in the room.

VTech Busy Learners Activity Cube Toy

Best for Interactive Play

With five different sides for play, this toy should keep your child amused for long stretches. The interactive features will test your child’s fine motor skills. The many sounds and songs are fun for little ones to sing along to while they learn new words.

This toy is made from BPA-free plastic. You’ll also be pleased to know there’s an adjustable volume option and it comes with batteries.

We love that this one toy introduces musical instruments, animals, and shapes to help your little one reach their developmental milestones.

LEGO Mickey Mouse Parade Toy

Best Disney Toy

Let your child join Mickey and Minnie Mouse as they enjoy a birthday parade. Kids love celebrating occasions, and this Duplo set is here to help.

With 24 pieces, including a birthday cupcake, balloons, Disney characters, and more, there are plenty of opportunities for creativity.

The bricks connect easily with a bit of pressure, helping your little one avoid frustration. The wheels on the train also move on flat surfaces. All that’s left after building the celebration train is to sing “Happy Birthday” together.

This set contains 24 pieces, and the chunky construction of the blocks makes it easy for little ones to hold and manipulate them.

VTech Musical Rhymes Book

Best Bedtime Stories

Do you want to make bedtime something your child looks forward to? You may be able to, thanks to this special book. This book, which is a favorite in our home, has six stimulating, easy-to-turn pages that let you read with your child as they interact with the features.

The learning mode can help your child learn more about sounds and colors. They may even memorize the musical instruments with the music mode. With over 40 different melodies and phrases, this will help tire out your little one so they’re ready for sleep.

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Vatos Baby Train Toy

My First Train

Let’s go all aboard the fun train with this moving toy. The included balls test your child’s fine motor skills as they aim to drop them into the train’s chimney. The train will count them before they spin and roll out of the back, which your child will have to work out.

It can be a fun activity to play together, figuring out where the balls end up. We love that this toy introduces numbers, tests cause-and-effect skills, and encourages hand-eye coordination.

Developmental Milestones of 2-Year-Olds

By knowing these milestones, you can ensure your child is on track with their development or recognize any cause for concern. But remember, all children are different; some develop earlier or later than others.


  • Start to think and reason by themselves.
  • They can follow simple instructions and may understand easy concepts.
  • During playtime, they may be better at role-playing and use their imagination more.
  • Two-year-olds can recognize some colors and sort shapes. This means that you can introduce basic puzzles.
  • Use problem-solving skills to build a tower with four or more blocks (1).


  • Your little one will say more recognizable words.
  • Not all the words will be audible or clear, but your child should be able to name some objects and familiar people (2).
  • They may have the curiosity to copy words you use, so be careful what you say!
  • They’ll start speaking in simple sentences with a couple of words and phrases.

Emotional and Social

  • Your child starts to learn about independence. However, they may enjoy it one minute, and the next, they’re coming to you for comfort.
  • Won’t always socialize with other children but may imitate what they’re doing or play alongside them.

Fine Motor (Use of Small Muscles)

  • They should be able to grasp and use objects, such as putting pegs in holes.
  • At 2, a child can start drawing and holding stationery.
  • They will probably start to undress themselves — sometimes at the worst possible time for you.

Gross Motor (Use of Large Muscles)

  • Your child should be more confident on their feet when walking.
  • They will also want to start running and even jumping.
  • They will attempt to catch and throw things or kick a ball (3).

How to Choose Toys for 2-Year-Olds

When choosing toddler toys, these are some of the features we look for.


We love toys that are easy to fold and store away. They allow you to stay organized, and some can even be portable, so you can take them with you to play dates or on vacation. Now’s the time to teach your child to pack away after playtime. Make it fun, and they’ll join in!

Programmed Sounds and Songs

At this age, your child is learning to expand their vocabulary and figure out sounds they hear. Toys with sounds and songs are often more engaging and help teach language skills.

Indoors and Outdoors

Toys you can use indoors and outdoors are the most versatile. You’ll be able to play with your child outside when it’s sunny or indoors on a rainy day.

Safety Features

Most toys are now made with non-toxic materials. Look for BPA-free plastics, natural wood toys, or eco-friendly products. This means you can do your bit for the environment and know your child’s toys are safe.

Avoid toys with small pieces or detachable parts that could be choking hazards. Two-year-olds are still unpredictable and may put toys in their mouths, especially if they’re getting new teeth.

Ensure that any toys with electronic components have secured battery compartments that toddlers can’t gain access to.

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Headshot of Shannon Serpette

Edited by

Shannon Serpette

Shannon Serpette is an award-winning writer and editor, who regularly contributes to various newspapers, magazines, and websites. Shannon has been featured on Insider, Fatherly, SheKnows, and other high profile publications. As a mother of two, she loves to write about parenting issues and is dedicated to educating other parents at every stage of their child's development.