By the time your little one is 2 years old, they’re most likely getting more excited about sorting colors and shapes and playing with friends. She might even be running around, kicking balls, and throwing things — being a toddler is exhausting, after all!
When shopping for toys for 2-year-old boys and girls, be sure to pick products that match their interests but still help them learn something new. (For example: if they always want to watch mom and dad cook, they’ll love a set of kitchen tools so they can pretend to chop food and work on their fine motor skills.)
To help prepare kids for pre-school and beyond, the experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute test hundreds of toys for safety, functionality, and more. These parent- and kid-approved toys and gifts for 2-year-olds will help them develop new skills and spark some serious imagination. Some of our recommendations are even previous GH Toy Award winners! Don’t forget to check out our other gift guides filled with toys and games for 1-year-olds, 5-year-old boys, 8-year-old girls, teens, and more!
These are the best toys and gifts for 2-year-olds in 2019:1RIDE-ON TOYRide ‘n Chomp CrocMEGA BLOKSMEGA BLOKSamazon.com$34.99SHOP NOW
This crocodile toy combines two things that kids love: building blocks and scooters. The idea is to have your 2-year-old ride over the blocks to pick them up (making for easy clean up!), but they can also play with the building blocks on their own. Plus, they all can be stored inside the seat when playtime is over.2MOVIE CHARACTER TOYFrozen Elsa’s Ice Palace by Little PeopleDISNEYDISNEYamazon.com$39.99SHOP NOW
Kids love toys that tie in with their favorite movies and characters, so this castle from Frozen will definitely keep them occupied for hours. It comes with Elsa and Olaf dolls so they can act out their favorite scenes. When you line her up on the right spot, Elsa will start singing the movie’s most popular song, “Let It Go!” 3ROLLING WAGONLaugh & Learn Pull & Play Learning WagonFISHER-PRICEFISHER-PRICEamazon.com$39.99SHOP NOW
Any toddler would love to get their hands on a pull-along wagon — and this Fisher-Price toy has multiple activity levels so it can stay with them as they grow! Whether your kid is working on the alphabet, shapes, counting, or Spanish words, there’s something new for your toddler to learn each time. Even though it’s an educational toy, it’ll keep them entertained for so long!Advertisement – Continue Reading Below
4GRILL TOOLSSmart Sizzlin’ BBQ GrillLEAP FROGLEAPFROGtarget.com$39.99SHOP NOW
Complete with skewers, plates, and food, this interactive BBQ set lets kids pretend to grill just like mom and dad do in the summer! It can also help your 2-year-old get familiar with numbers — the temperature dial can be adjusted from one to 10, and the grill might even tell them to lower the heat if its too high. 5IPAD GAMELittle Genius Starter KitOSMOOSMOamazon.com$79.99SHOP NOW
Let’s face it: your 2-year-old is probably begging to play with the iPad anyway, so you might as well give them an educational game to play with. It comes with a base, 19 cardboard costume pieces, 38 silicone shapes to form letters, a play mat, and four games in the app. You can also create profiles for your kids to track their learning progress — and you don’t even need Wi-Fi to play! Even though the manufacturer states this toy is for ages 3 and up, you can still supervise your younger child during use.Advertisement – Continue Reading Below
6FIRST PUZZLEChicken Family PuzzleBEGINAGAINBEGINAGAINamazon.com
$11.99$9.89 (18% off)SHOP NOW
With its free-form design, this is more of a challenge than your typical toddler puzzle — but so much more satisfying when the five pieces lock together. It’s a great gift idea to improve your little one’s fine motor skills. Plus, this toy for 2-year-olds does double duty — the wooden chickens are also thick enough to act as stand-alone animals (perfect for pretend play!). It also comes in an adorable elephant family version!
72018 TOY AWARD WINNERSpike the Fine Motor HedgehogLEARNING RESOURCESLEARNING RESOURCESamazon.com$14.99SHOP NOW
This cutie walked away with a 2018 Good Housekeeping Institute Toy Award because the 12 pegs were easy for little hands to grasp. Parents will love how every piece stores neatly away inside the hedgehog’s body, making for easy storage (and on-the-go transportation!).
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8LEARN TO COUNTDUPLO My First Number TrainLEGOLEGOamazon.com
$19.99$15.99 (20% off)SHOP NOW
This educational toy for 2-year-olds has an average 4.8-star rating from over 850 reviewers! In order to assemble this 23-piece train set correctly, your little one will also learn how to count up to nine. Once that challenge is accomplished, it can chug-chug-chug around the living room.
9FINE MOTOR SKILLS TOYStacking Peg Board SetGLEEPORTEGLEEPORTEamazon.com
$29.99$18.97 (37% off)SHOP NOW
This peg board set helps your toddler with so many skills in one toy: stacking the pegs works on fine motor skills and arranging them (by number, shape, or patterns) works on counting and sorting. The pegs themselves are still big enough for little hands to grip. Plus, the set comes with a storage bag that fits all of the boards and pegs!
10KITCHEN TOOLSPlanToys Juicer SetPLANTOYSPLANTOYSamazon.com$18.00SHOP NOW
There’s nothing like fresh-squeezed juice — even if it is pretend play. This set comes with a juicer, a cup, a knife, and an orange or lemon that can be cut and “juiced.” Plus, this set is made with sustainable rubber tree wood, and all the color comes from vegetable dye.
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11REALISTIC CLEANING TOYToy Dyson Ball VacuumAMAZONAMAZONamazon.com
$39.99$26.99 (33% off)SHOP NOW
Your toddler is a mini-me to begin with, so why not give your little one a Dyson-style vacuum to help clean the house? Kids love how the colorful balls swirl around as the cyclone works it magic. This toy replica is so realistic, it even has enough real suction to pick up small pieces of paper, which you can empty through a removable dustbin in the back. 12PLUSH ANIMALStorytime BuddyLEAP FROGLEAPFROGamazon.com$34.73SHOP NOW
This cute pup is more than just a fuzzy pal. When your toddler presses one of the buttons on his collar, he’ll read one of five different stories about his puppy pals. The buttons on his feet also do interactive things, like explore the ABCs or play music. You also have the option of purchasing Storytime Bella, a pink dog with a bow!13MUSICAL TOYLet’s Dance ElmoSESAME STREETSESAME STREETamazon.com
$39.99$33.17 (17% off)SHOP NOW
Get those jitterbugs up and moving with Elmo, who sings, plays music, and wiggles to the beat. Along the way, he’ll give encouragement by saying things like, “Elmo is ready for a dance party!” and other cute phrases by pressing the heart-shaped button. PS: His headphones double as a carrying handle!Advertisement – Continue Reading Below
14FLOATING TOY1.2.3 Noah´s ArkPLAYMOBILEPLAYMOBILamazon.com$34.47SHOP NOW
As expected, you get two of every animal (including giraffes and zebras) in this Noah’s Ark play set. Kids can act out any story using their imagination. When playtime is over, they all fit neatly into the inside of the boat. PS: the ark can actually float on water!15IMAGINATIVE PLAYFun Fair PlaysetWALMARTPEPPA PIGwalmart.com$50.29SHOP NOW
This adorable toy for 2-year-old kids was one of Walmart’s most popular toys last year, so there’s no doubt that it’ll be popular this holiday season, too. This eight-piece set comes with a ferris wheel, merry-go-round, game booth, and more, so your toddler can spend hours filled playing with the World of Peppa. 16MEDICAL KITAmbulance & Doctor’s KitGREEN TOYSGREEN TOYSamazon.com$35.95SHOP NOW
Your 2-year-old boys and girls will be ready for their next check-up after rounds of practicing with this doctor’s kit, which comes with a stethoscope, reflex hammer, syringe, Tweezers, thermometer, ear scope, and more. When playtime is over, the set can be thrown in the dishwasher for easy cleaning, then stored in the ambulance. Plus, it claims to be made of 100% recycled plastic. Advertisement – Continue Reading Below
17APP-CONTROLLED TRAIN SETDUPLO Steam TrainLEGOLEGOamazon.com
$59.99$47.99 (20% off)SHOP NOW
This train set for toddlers contains a whopping 59 pieces. After you snap together the tracks, a simple push forward or backward sends the train moving along. Then, for even more hands-on play, five “action bricks” make the train do things like toot its horn or turn on its lights. Just when you thought it couldn’t get cooler, you can also control even more functions through the free app. 18FIRST TOOLBOXTool SetGREEN TOYSGREEN TOYSamazon.com$24.67SHOP NOW
This 15-piece set is perfect for your little handyman (or handywoman!). It comes with screwdrivers, a hammer, a saw, a wrench, pliers, and more, so they can imagine building their biggest projects. This set is also made from 100% recycled plastic for a lower overall environmental impact, and its dishwasher-safe just in case the tools get dirty. Advertisement – Continue Reading Below
19PEG PUZZLESWooden Peg PuzzlesMELISSA & DOUGMELISSA & DOUGamazon.com$17.99SHOP NOW
Kids will learn about matching, shapes, and animals with these educational puzzles from Melissa and Doug. They’re easy to grasp for little hands, so they help develop hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. Plus, the picture quality is excellent. You get three different wood puzzles (pets, ocean, and farm animals) that each have six pieces. 20MAGNETIC BUILDING BLOCKSZoo Animals SetAMAZONPEOPLE BLOCKSamazon.com$34.99SHOP NOW
Ergonomically designed for little hands, these magnetic blocks are great for early building skills. The set has 17 magnetic pieces (all different colors!) so 2-year-old boys and girls can build them into lots of fun animal shapes. Some parts even have wheels! 21MEMORY AND SEQUENCING TOYScoop & Learn Ice Cream CartLEAP FROGLEAPFROGamazon.com
$39.99$32.99 (18% off)SHOP NOW
This full-service cart was a Good Housekeeping Toy Awards winner in 2018, and we think it’s still awesome this year. It comes with six different order cards and instructions, so your 2-year-old child can learn how to follow directions and boost their memory and sequencing skills. Plus, the cart can actually be pushed around so kids can play and move at the same time. Advertisement – Continue Reading Below
22MUSICAL INSTRUMENTSymphony Croc Music Band SetHABAHABAwalmart.com$39.99SHOP NOW
Budding rockstars will love making their own music with this previous Good Housekeeping Institute Toy Award winner. This crocodile-shaped musical toy set comes with four different instruments: a drum, xylophone, bell, and textured block. The whole family can join in to create a band!23INTERACTIVE TRUCKLaugh & Learn Servin’ Up Fun Food TruckFISHER-PRICEFISHER-PRICEamazon.com
$69.99$56.53 (19% off)SHOP NOW
This food truck encourages kids to play with each other — one can be the customer and the other can take orders! One side of the decked out food truck has everything you need for food prep (including a cash register, light-up grill, and service bell), and the other is ready to drive around the house with a steering wheel and shifter.