Toddlers have got to be the hardest age group to buy for and finding the best gifts for toddlers can be a massive challenge. The best toys for 2 year olds are hard to find, sometimes they’ll happily play with a cardboard box for hours but the next day keeping them entertained is the most difficult thing in the world.
With two daughters and a whole heap of nieces, nephews and young cousins, I’ve spent many hours thinking of Christmas ideas for toddlers and trying to find the best toddler toys. Now I want to save you the time and put all the top Christmas gifts for 2 year olds in one handy place!
First, let’s look at a few things to consider when choosing the best toys for 2 year olds, Australia. Then I’ll break everything down into categories for you and give reviews of all the best gifts for 2 year olds I’ve ever bought (there’s a lot!).
Whether you’re looking for the best present for 2 year old girls or the best gifts for 2 year old boys, you’ll find them all right here!
- 1 Things to Consider When Buying The Best Toys For 2 Year Olds, 2019
- 2 The Best Educational Toys For 2 Year Olds
- 3 Best Books For 2 Year Olds
- 4 Best Outdoor Toys For 2 Year Olds
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Things to Consider When Buying The Best Toys For 2 Year Olds, 2019
Personality & Activity Level
Each child is unique in what they enjoy doing and, just like adults, some will be full of energy and need physical activity whilst others may enjoy quieter, low key toys and games.
The best toys for toddlers will be unique to each child, watch them closely next time you see them and make a mental note of what they enjoy. If they love moving around and developing gross motor skills, you could look for the best riding toys for 2 year olds. If they seem to be interested in reading or language activities, the best learning toys for 2 year olds may be a better choice.
Whatever you decide the best gift ideas for 2 year olds are ones that suit their personality at that moment in time.
Being aware of the environment a child spends most of their time in is absolutely necessary!
If they live in a 5th-floor apartment even the best outdoor toys for 2 year olds will be useless to them. Instead, try looking for the best games for 2 year olds, that can be easily stored away in a small space.
Yes, the best gift for 2 year olds is going to be something they will enjoy but it’s also important to consider the parents as well.
Do mum and dad try to avoid plastic toys for example? Or is there something specific they are trying to concentrate on teaching their toddler? Even the best Christmas gifts for 2 year olds are going to be useless if the parents are reluctant to let their child use it.
When my daughter was a toddler, I hated it if people gifted us things that were loud and flashy or generally annoying to listen to all day. Obviously, my daughter would love them and I would spend most days wishing I could throw them out a window!
The Best Educational Toys For 2 Year Olds
Play based learning is extremely important in the early years. My favourite online shop to buy the best educational toys for toddlers is Lime Tree Kids. They have an amazing range of wooden toys and and learning toys for toddlers.
The best developmental toys for 2 year old could be things to help develop fine motor skills, emotional skills, teach time telling, numbers, letters, colours or a whole host of other skills. Two year olds have brains like little sponges, soaking up everything they see, so it’s the perfect time for them to play with educational toys.
Click below to be taken to lime Tree Kids amazing range of educational toys for 2 year olds or check out my top 5 recommendations for some inspiration.
Lacing and threading is a great skill for toddlers to learn. It helps develop the fine motor skills further which in turn helps with gripping a pencil to write or holding a fork properly and so many other essential life skills.
This set from Melissa & Doug (one of my favourite toy brands) is particularly great because it has a range of different sized beads which you can also use to teach numbers, colours and shapes!
Start with the largest beads then, once your child has mastered the technique, start introducing smaller and smaller beads to challenge them further.
This family card game is such a wonderful idea and i was thrilled when a friend gifted it to us this year! If you’re anything like me, and have a serious lack of creativity, these cards are perfect for your family.
The idea is simple, pick a card at random and spend 30 minutes to an hour doing the activity with your child. They are fantastic for promoting bonding with your children at a time when, unfortunately, we often find ourselves busy and forgetting to slow down.
The TODO card game covers a range of different skills like developing emotional awareness, sensory play, language and so much more.
These animal flash cards are one of the best gifts for 2 year olds that can be used for years to come because of all the extra information on them.
Flashcards can be used from as young as 18 months. Even before my daughter could speak I would lay them out and say the names of the animals for her. Then I would ask her to show me the dog or cat etc and it didn’t take long for her to pick it up.
These cards are particularly great because i think it’s really important to show young children pictures of real things instead of cartoon images all the time. They also have the name of the animal in multiple languages and some fun facts so they really can be used for years to come.
Counting is such a vital skill and it’s never too early to start teaching young kids the basics. My toddler has just started showing an interest in numbers after counting the steps we walk up and down every day. She says 1, 2, 5!!! but hey, it’s a start!
These stacking rings are a great toy for toddlers to start learning numbers because the colour of the base matches the colour of that numbers rings. This allows them to easily see if they’ve got something wrong and correct it themselves. You’ll be amazed how quickly they notice their own mistakes!
This is another great toy from the Melissa and Doug range and, although it says 3 years and up, my 2 year old loves it. Some of the latches are a little fiddly for such a young age but some are easy enough to master and it’s great for keeping your child’s concentration for a while.
Once they’ve begun to master the locks, you can start asking them to name the colours and point out the animals as well, making it a really versatile toy.
Best Books For 2 Year Olds
Some of the best presents for 2 year olds are books and we’ve got so many lovely book gifts that my daughter loves. Special editions are a particularly thoughtful idea if you want something the family will keep and cherish for years to come.
Books aren’t just useful for teaching children to read. They’re the perfect tool for teaching toddlers about taking care of their toys and also offer a great chance for parents and kids to spend time together relaxing.
We bought this pack of Julia Donaldson books for our daughter when she was only one year old. She loved staring at the bright colourful pictures and patting the pages and now at the age of 2 they are still a firm favourite.
A lot of friends and family who visit see them and instantly start quoting sections by heart, remembering them from when their teenagers were young. They’re clearly something the whole family can enjoy and each of us has our own favourite in this house!
I’m a big Dr Seuss fan because I’ve got fond memories from my own childhood. My toddler loves a story that has a good rhyme to it that I can really emphasise when I’m reading them to her and what better for rhyming than Dr Seuss.
These are board book style so a little thicker and more durable for toddlers who haven’t yet learnt to be gentle with thin pages (a problem we had for a while).
“Press Here” is such a wonderful idea for trying to avoid screen time in this day and age. No doubt your toddler will be fascinating watching you swipe scroll and press your phone or tablet and it’s hard not to have them become aware of screens.
These books offer a great alternative by asking the child to press, shake, swipe and more on the pages as the simple illustrations change from page to page. It’s a great interactive book and game to enjoy with your little one.
A great option that you might not have considered is a cookbook! We have a step stool/learning tower in our kitchen and my toddler loves to climb up so she can see and help me with the cooking. I give her easy tasks like mixing in a big bowl or kneading bread and she loves the experience.
This Tickle Fingers cookbook is full of some great inspiration for easy to prepare recipes but it’s so much more than a cookbook. This book also points out what skills you’re helping your toddler develop and offers suggestions on how to explain tasks to them too.
I couldn’t write a post about kids toys and not include Bluey somewhere! If you live in Australia and haven’t heard of this show, I can only imagine you either don’t have kids or have been living under a rock.
My toddler loves “lift the flap” books, as I think most do, and Bluey is a firm favourite so this is a real winner for us, especially with such a low price.
If you still need some more inspiration, find more children’s picture books here!
Best Outdoor Toys For 2 Year Olds
Pretty much every young kid loves to play in the water and a pool is one of the best outdoor toys for toddlers! I have a hard time keeping my daughter out of pools, the ocean and even water fountains! This pool from Intex is big enough for a few kids to enjoy at once and has some cute little water fountains and sprinklers.
Remember to keep an eye on your kiddos at all time around water. Preferably by getting in there, and enjoying one of the best summer toys for 2 year olds, with them!
We have this exact chalk from Crayola and my toddler is obsessed with it. She draws all over the driveway and the back deck (she’s lucky enough to have a designated “art” deck) and the best thing is i can just hose it straight off when she’s done.
They are really large and chunky, so great for little hands, and because they’re super thick they don’t break as easily as normal chalk. They’re one of the cheapest and best outside toys for 2 year olds.
Again, kids and water – they just LOVE it. A sand and water table is a great idea to keep 2 year olds busy outdoors. This Pirate ship table comes with a whole heap of extra little tools and toys to use in the sand and water.
We always chuck in some bubbles with the water and my toddler goes wild for them. Then when she’s ready to switch to sand kitchen utensils make some great extra tools!
We got this balance bike from Kinderfeet when my daughter was only 18 months old. It was a little big for her at first but she loved being pushed around on it with her feet up on the pegs. Now that she’s 2 years old she’s plenty big enough to sit on the seat and push herself around.
Balance bikes are a great first step towards riding a full bike and they are really good at teaching younger kids the importance of balance. If you like the idea of a scooter instead, check out my toddler scooter options here.
Our local toddler parent program has one of these round swings hanging in the fig tree outside. All of the kids are obsessed with it. The infants love to lay on there backs and relax while an adults swings them around and it looks very relaxing. Then the older kids love to climb all over it and spin it around.
It would definitely be one of the best Christmas presents for toddlers and will last for years to come.
This is right at the top of my wishlist of things I want for my daughter! We’re not normally into big items that are a bit pricey but this bouncy castle could give her years of fun. It’s portable, durable and come with it’s own pump and a safety net so you have everything you need to get started.