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32 Best Gifts for 2-Year-Olds

These gifts for 2-year-olds are fun and can help them learn and grow too.

Deena Shinn Contributor
Deena Shinn is a freelance writer and editor. When she's not writing or wrangling her two feisty daughters, you can find her experimenting with sourdough bread or exploring northern California.
Expertise Deena has over a decade of experience writing and editing, covering everything from celebrity news to child development to wedding trends.
Deena Shinn
10 min read

The ideal gift for 2-year-old kids is both exciting and educational. It's great when a toy encourages new skills, like counting or jumping, since toddlers are constantly learning and growing. Kiddos at this age also enjoy activities like building, making music and playing imaginative games -- we have gift ideas that cover all those bases.

Our list of best gifts for 2-year-olds includes educational games, items that will keep active children busy outside, a toddler ball pit, and even a mini-projector to make bedtime more magical. Whether you're looking for an affordable gift under $2, like a matching game; a splurge on a play couch for $299; or something in between, there's an engaging gift for every budget on this list. 

Moonlite Storybook Projector

Bedtime stories have never been cooler, thanks to the Moonlite Storytime mini projector. It attaches to the flashlight on a cell phone and projects each "page" of the story and plays sound effects as you read along to your toddler. The projector is easy to use and has a wow factor that will boost a child's love of reading. This set includes four beloved Eric Carle stories: The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Very Busy Spider, Brown Bear Brown Bear  and Mister Seahorse. You can also buy tons more stories to use with the projector. 

Honeysticks

These aren't the bath crayons you grew up with -- they're much better, easier to hold and nontoxic to boot. The Honeysticks bath crayons come in seven vibrant colors and are made in New Zealand with food-grade beeswax and soy wax, which is great for the environment and also when a toddler inevitably sticks one in their mouth. Parents will appreciate that the crayon markings also wipe off the bathtub easily. Instead of having to break out the cleaner, like with other brands of bath crayons, all I had to do was use a wet washcloth, and the marks wiped right off. 

Pottery Barn Kids

My kids are completely obsessed with our play couch. I really hesitated over investing in such a pricey gift, but I'm so glad I did. Ours gets played with in some way every single day, which is much more than I can say for pretty much every other toy we've purchased over the years, big or small. The play couch is great for burning off energy (especially on rainy days), practicing motor skills, and engaging in imaginative play. On any given day ours might be an obstacle course with a slide one minute then transform into an ice cream shop and later become a reading nook at the end of the day. 

KiwiCo

My 2-year-old loves "helping" me in the kitchen, and she likes it even better when I help her bake goodies with her own KiwiCo stand mixer and accessories. We pretend to crack eggs and pour in the sugar to whip up birthday cakes, much to her delight. This is a great gift for a 2-year-old who's developmentally just beginning to dive into pretend play and will continue to grow into this toy and use it in different ways (like counting the butter, following the recipe cards, and so on). 

Jellycat

If you aren't yet familiar with Jellycat, allow us to introduce you to the softest, cutest stuffed animals in all the land. You're going to want them all... for your 2-year-old, of course. How could either of you resist Freddie the sausage dog?! Just look at that sweet face. You can't go wrong with any of the Jellycat options, from adorable stuffed avocados to delightful dinos and everything in between. 

Capri & Camden Co.

You might not think stepping stones would be an exciting gift for a 2-year-old, but I'm here to assure you that toddlers love to practice their gross motor skills with items like this. These stepping stones keep my little one busy for quite some time as she steps from one stone to the other and practices jumping down from the stone to the floor. This nonslip, lightweight set is also aesthetically pleasing and easy to store away when not in use, which is great news for parents. 

Melissa & Doug

Toddlers love to pretend to clean, even if they mostly just make messes all day. This set comes with a broom, mop, duster, dustpan and brush, along with a handy stand that all the items can live on when they aren't in use. My 2-year-old loves using the broom and dustpan to pretend to sweep up the crumbs she spills on the floor. This set is great for imaginative play and can help foster a sense of pride in your little one after they've completed a cleaning task and you sing their praises. Plus, there's something ridiculously cute about watching a 2-year-old lug around a mop. 

Coogam

This toy may not seem very exciting, but if your favorite 2-year-old is anything like mine, they'll spend way more time than you'd imagine plunking bright coins into the slot, pulling them out of the drawer and then doing it all over again. It's a great toy for fine motor skills, and it doesn't take up much space or make any annoying noises, so there are wins all around. 

Little Tikes

I don't think my family would make it through summer without our water table. Both my kids could spend hours outside playing with it -- splashing around, putting leaves in it, filling up plastic cups with water... you name it. This Little Tikes version has a game where you fill up the fish bowl until it overflows and dumps over, adding a fun element for 2-year-olds. It's the kind of toy that provides entertainment year after year too. Even older kids play with ours when they come over.  

Magifire

Two-year-olds are usually big fans of dumping out containers and filling them up again, and this matching egg set is perfect for working on that skill (yes, it's actually a developmental skill). It comes with the added bonus of featuring a matching component to help little ones learn shapes and colors. Your kiddo will have a great time problem-solving to correctly put two matching halves of each egg together to fill up the carton. 

Amazon

This is the ultimate exciting gift for a 2-year-old: their very own ball pit. The memory foam ball pit is equipped with 250 balls for endless fun. It comes in pink ($90) and blue ($100) options and is big enough to be fun but small enough that it'll likely fit in a playroom or bedroom. It can also be used outside. The real bonus here is it'll house far fewer germs than any you've visited at play centers. 

Lyromix

As a parent, I'm a huge fan of this toddler-size trampoline. It wears out my toddler (especially when she's cooped up inside), is great for helping her learn to jump, she loves it and the price is right. This model can be used indoors and outdoors, which is ideal. We've gotten so much use out of this trampoline and it's lasted through some serious jumping from both of my kids. 

Melissa & Doug

My daughter played with these learning cards from Melissa & Doug at a friend's house, and she loved them so much, I ordered them for her before we even left the play date. She continues to play with them to this day. The cards are great for refining fine motor skills and learning to count. And they make the most satisfying "pop" when she presses the dots. Plus, they're sturdy enough that she can't rip them up. 

Hearth & Hand for Target

These beautiful blocks would make a wonderful gift for a 2-year-old. Most toddlers this age are just starting to enjoy building towers (and knocking them down, of course) and this set will surely foster creativity now, and for years to come too. The Hearth & Hand set is so pretty that parents will love it too. 

Target

Toddlers love bubbles, and a bubble mower is a great way to encourage a kiddo to get their energy out while having tons of fun along the way. And this one even lights up -- what could be better? This outside toy is easy to clean and store, which is a perk for parents.

Melissa & Doug

Hand puppets have stood the test of time and still bring endless joy to kids, especially 2-year-olds who are learning all about animals and the noises they make. This Melissa & Doug set comes with an elephant, giraffe, tiger and monkey. Honestly, I'm not sure what's more fun: watching my kids put on shows for me or getting to make ridiculous animal noises while I put on a show for them. Either way, these puppets make a great fun and affordable present for a 2-year-old. 

VTech

Toddlers tend to love everyday objects that they're usually not allowed to play with. A perfect example? Flashlights, with all those enticing buttons and lights. That's where this kid-friendly VTech version comes in. It has five changing lights that aren't too bright for little eyes, and it comes equipped with 50 sing-along songs, music, sounds and fun phrases. The 2-year-old in your life is bound to love flashing it all over the house.

Radio Flyer

One of the hardest parts about giving gifts to little kids is knowing they'll eventually outgrow whatever it is. However, this Radio Flyer trike does a great job of growing with children for years to come. It comes in red and pink and converts from an infant trike to a steering trike, learn-to-ride-trike then a classic trike. It's rewarding to watch your little one learn to use it through the various stages.

Amazon

Toddlers love to get artistic, but sometimes it's nice to give them a creative outlet that doesn't require a full wardrobe change and scrubbing the table when they're done. That's where this LCD writing tablet shines. This gift is mess-free, super fun, and affordable too. My 2-year-old loves to draw on it while we're in the car, which makes it even more useful. 

Manhattan Toy Company

If the 2-year-old in your life loves babies or is going to welcome a sibling soon, this soft doll is a great gift option. It's light and easy for a toddler to carry around and, most importantly, it's designed for younger children. It doesn't come with any of the hard pieces or choking hazards that plastic baby dolls for older kids often have.  

Gund

Bring back a classic childhood toy. Gund's quality stuffed bears make amazing presents for any occasion. Your little person will love snuggling with Slumbers, a 17-inch friendly brown bear with a squishable body. Slumbers makes a fantastic bedtime buddy; plush bears are known to chase away monsters and scary dreams.

Hape

Available in blue or red, this solidly constructed keyboard is sure to be a favorite toddler toy. The 18-key piano has all the bells and whistles. Little DJs can craft beats with 18 sound effects, five background tunes and four DJ noises. Kiddos can even change the speed and create record-scratch effects. 

Lego

No roundup of toddler toys is complete without Duplo. This truck set includes a "working" garbage truck; recycling bins with bags; bricks; a broom; and two figures. Little ones who are enthralled with the trash truck can haul bins to their hearts' content. There are 19 sturdy pieces in all.

Be Amazing Toys

The various textures, shapes and colors in this beanbag set provide a satisfying sensory play experience. Nine different beanbags -- from a furry triangle to a satiny star -- arrive in a burlap storage bag, along with activity cards. Squeeze, throw, stack or sort, there are so many options for play here.

Playmobil

The perfect spring or summer gift, this bucket doubles as a knight's castle. Playmobil's 1.2.3 line for littles features chunkier pieces for tiny hands. The Knight's Castle set includes a castle bucket, knight figure with horse, shovel, turret/sieve, drawbridge, flag and other clever accessories to create a medieval world at the beach.

Jetson Electric Bike

A fantastic first scooter for early riders, Jetson's Jupiter Mini three-wheeler has everything a free-wheeling kid needs. It has over 100 LED lights, a feature that kids absolutely love -- plus an adjustable handle and a rear brake. It folds up easily for transport or storage, making it a breeze for parents. Available in red, blue and black.

Little Tikes

Toddlers who enjoy pretending to be grown-ups will be fascinated by this activity suitcase. Inside are maps; accessories like a boarding pass and passport; and interactive games. Pack everything up when you're done and wheel the suitcase around like a seasoned jet-setter -- that's the best part. Bonus: Batteries are included. 

Magna-Tiles

Magna-Tiles building tiles are pricey, but they're well worth the investment. Your kiddo is sure to build with these for years to come. Award-winning Magna-Tiles stick together with magnetic force to create all kinds of shapes and creations. The 32- or 37-piece set makes a great starter gift, and you can add more to their collection later.

Joyin

A stellar gift for a tiny astronaut, this popup play tent is a surefire hit. Imaginative play can really take off with a tent designed to look like a rocket. It's easy to put together (no tools required), though be warned that you have to climb inside. Bonus: The included bag is helpful for storage.

Skoolzy

Seventy-one colorful pieces are included in this sorting set. Colorful plastic bears correspond to an array of tumblers. Toddlers can sort bears by color, count them or just shake them up. An included scoop tool will no doubt be appreciated, and the whole shebang packs up in a storage bag.

Haba

If you've got a toddler who's fascinated by cars and knocking things over, this Haba set couldn't get any better. Little kids can send a car flying down a track they build themselves. The cascading dominoes at the end make this 15-piece set irresistible. This track is hours of sturdy fun.

IPlay, iLearn

Help an active kid burn some energy with this fun, physical toy. Inflate the shark (pump included), put on Baby Shark, and get ready to bounce around. The 18-inch-tall hopping shark features spiral-grip handles so kids can stay in control. Bonus: The plush shark exterior zips off for easy washing.

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