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The 15+ Best Toys for Two-Year-Olds to Keep Them Busy

Best Toys for Two-Year-Olds
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Updated April 2, 2024

There’s so much going on developmentally at the age of two, as little ones are just beginning to engage in pretend play, learning how to communicate more effectively and running, jumping, climbing, throwing, and bouncing off the walls—quite literally. “Providing children with the right toys at the right time can benefit every facet of their development,” says Amanda Vierheller, COO and Co-Founder of Playgarden. “Cognitive, language, and physical development can all be advanced using toys, as children learn best through play!”

I spoke with Vierheller, along with several other play experts, to curate a list of the best toys for two-year-olds to help foster their development and keep them happily entertained for hours.

What to consider when buying the best toys for two-year-olds

From safety and durability to developmental appropriateness, here are the factors to ponder prior to adding that shiny new toy to cart.

Is it safe?

According to Vierheller, safety is the most important thing to consider when choosing toys for little ones. She suggests looking for toys made of quality materials that are sustainable when possible. “Wood and plastic toys should be sturdy and free of sharp edges,” she says. You also want to make sure there are no small parts your two year-old can easily choke on.

Is it durable?

Two-year-olds play hard, so their toys should be “well made to withstand rough play and easy to clean too,” notes Karri Bowen-Poole, Founder and CEO of Smart Playrooms. Look for quality toys that will last and can be passed down to younger siblings.

Is it developmentally appropriate?

“Toys must be developmentally appropriate to keep children engaged and entertained,” says Vierheller. “Two-year-olds can easily become frustrated if a toy is too advanced, or bored if not challenging enough.” An easy way to determine if a toy is developmentally appropriate is to check the recommended age range on the packaging.

Is it open-ended?

Open-ended toys offer a variety of ways to play, ensuring they become a staple in the playroom as opposed to collecting dust after a few days. Rabeka Monaghan-Forrest, an Infant and Toddler Quality Coach for CCR&R Tennessee, says, “open-ended toys are the best, because they make your two year-old think. There's no ‘right way’ to play with them. They encourage critical thinking skills and imaginative new ways of play.”

Does it interest them?

This one’s a biggie! “When choosing toys, a child's interests can help guide the decision,” tells Vierheller. “Providing opportunities for hands-on play with something they are passionate about helps inspire longer and more meaningful play sessions.”

Read, Also: Best Baby Toys For 6-12 Months, According To Play Experts

Our top picks for the best toys for 2-year-olds

Stapelstein Rainbow Stepping Stones

Stapelstein Rainbow Stepping Stones

Stapelstein Rainbow Stepping Stones

Licensed clinical social worker and DIR/Floortime® clinician Jennifer Rothman, LCSW loves these colorful stepping stones and so do all three of my children. They’re well made and offer so many open-ended ways to play that your toddler will never get bored of them. “From making a walking path to using it as a bowl to feed their babies, these stones allow for active, child-directed, deep and spontaneous play,” says Rothman. “The lightweight construction and size allows your two-year-old to climb, sit, balance, stack, spin, fill, and carry.” They come in a set of six, along with a bright board for little ones to get their wiggles out and work on balance.

Specifications:

  • Material: Eco-friendly EPP (expandable polypropylene)
  • Batteries required: No
  • Age range: 1+ year
  • Price at time of publish: $239

The bottom line:

These vibrant stepping stones are the ultimate open-ended toy that’s sure to be a staple in your playroom for years to come.

Get it here: Stapelstein Rainbow Stepping Stones


Busy Board for Toddlers

Busy Board for Toddlers, Montessori Toy for 18 Months & up with 10 Educational Toddler Activities to Develop Fine Motor & Problem Solving Skills Learning Sensory Board Travel Toy Non-Toxic.

Busy Board for Toddlers, Montessori Toy for 18 Months & up with 10 Educational Toddler Activities to Develop Fine Motor & Problem Solving Skills Learning Sensory Board Travel Toy Non-Toxic.

If you’re looking for a captivating toy that entertains and educates your little one, it’s all about the Busy Board for Toddlers, a Montessori-inspired toy. It’s designed to spark curiosity, nurture development, and ignite a love for learning in children 18 months and older. This engaging board features interactive elements, including latches, locks, and buckles to help your child develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. It also offers gears and switches to encourage problem-solving and cause-and-effect learning, in addition to counting beads and shapes to introduce basic math concepts.

Specifications:

  • Material: Not specified, but says baby-safe materials
  • Batteries required: No
  • Age range: 18 months +
  • Price at time of publish: $24.99

The bottom line:

This is a simple, yet fun way for your toddler to learn about numbers, hand-eye coordination, problem solving, and more.

Get it here: Busy Board for Toddlers


JC Toys 15" Realistic Soft Body Baby Doll

15" Realistic Soft Body Baby Doll with Open/Close Eyes | JC Toys - Berenguer Boutique | Bottle & Pacifier | Grey | Ages 2+

15" Realistic Soft Body Baby Doll with Open/Close Eyes | JC Toys - Berenguer Boutique | Bottle & Pacifier | Grey | Ages 2+

Around the age of two, kids really start to take an interest in pretend play. Baby dolls, like this soft, realistic-looking one, “help kids with their social and emotional development, including compassion and sharing, which is crucial at this age,” says Monaghan-Forrest. “It's a natural transition for parents to go from teaching the baby doll a skill (like potty training) to translating that to working with the toddler on that same skill.” This doll is super detailed and is the perfect size for little ones to cuddle and take care of too.

Specifications:

  • Material: Non-scented, BPA-free, safety-tested vinyl
  • Batteries required: No
  • Age range: 2+ years
  • Price at time of publish: $19.99

The bottom line:

This soft baby doll looks just like the real thing and is the perfect size for little arms.

Get it here: JC Toys 15" Realistic Soft Body Baby Doll


Guidecraft Magnet Grippies

Guidecraft Grippies Builders - 20 Piece Set: Tactile STEM Soft Grip Magnetic Building Toy for Toddlers

Guidecraft Grippies Builders - 20 Piece Set: Tactile STEM Soft Grip Magnetic Building Toy for Toddlers

“These magnetic building toys are the perfect size for little hands and encourage critical thinking and fine motor skills through imaginative play,” says Vierheller. We like that they’re super simple for little ones to independently play with, as the magnets make linking pieces together a breeze. They come in a set of twenty and are made of soft rubber with four unique textures for tactile exploration. Toddlers will love testing the magnets out around the house to see what else they’ll stick to, like your fridge.

Specifications:

  • Material: Soft plastic over-molded ABS plastic rods and metal balls
  • Batteries required: No
  • Age range: 18+ months
  • Price at time of publish: $49.95

The bottom line:

Toddlers will love building with and exploring all the unique textures on these soft grip magnetic building r

Get it here: Guidecraft Magnet Grippies


Melissa & Doug Cleaning Set

Melissa & Doug Dust! Sweep! Mop! 6-Piece Pretend Play Cleaning Set - FSC Certified

Melissa & Doug Dust! Sweep! Mop! 6-Piece Pretend Play Cleaning Set - FSC Certified

I love this mini wooden cleaning set almost as much as my toddler, often using it to sweep up tiny messes myself! It comes with a pretend play broom, dustpan, duster, mop, brush, and stand to neatly store everything when not in use. “Young children are natural imitators and love to mimic what their favorite adults are doing,” points out Vierheller. “Little ones enjoy cleaning and feel pride in helping others. This cleaning set is the perfect size for children to independently clean up any messes they make or find around the house!” It comes highly rated and recommended too, with an average 4.8-star rating on Amazon and over 40,000 rave reviews.

Specifications:

  • Material: Wood
  • Batteries required: No
  • Age range: 3+ years but many parents of younger toddlers highly recommend
  • Price at time of publish: $27.99

The bottom line:

You’ll love cleaning with this miniature wooden cleaning set as much as they do.

Get it here: Melissa & Doug Cleaning Set


Gathre Block Playset

Gathre Block Playset

Gathre Block Playset

This is probably one of the most-used toys in our home by both my one- and five-year-old. Not only does it look gorgeous and blend in with a modern home design, but it’s open-ended so there are so many ways for littles to get their energy out and get creative. My kids love to climb, go down the slide, set up obstacle courses, crawl through the little hole, and even use the soft, faux leather foam blocks as seats to watch TV. It’s worth the splurge for the daily use it gets, and the fact that my toddler won’t quickly grow out of it.

Specifications:

  • Material: Soft faux leather with a cushioned foam interior
  • Batteries required: No
  • Age range: 5 years and under
  • Price at time of publish: $399-$419

The bottom line:

Made for climbing, sliding, stacking, and more, these gorgeous soft foam blocks offer a variety of ways for kids to play and burn energy.

Get it here: Gathre Block Playset


Hugimals Sam The Sloth

Hugimals Sam the Sloth 4.5lbs Weighted Stuffed Animal Stress Relief Plush for Adults and Kids

Hugimals Sam the Sloth 4.5lbs Weighted Stuffed Animal Stress Relief Plush for Adults and Kids

This weighted stuffed animal gives full-body hugs for all the calming comfort when your little one is melting down. It has proven sensory benefits and is extra soft, making it the perfect plush snuggle friend. My little one loves to hold, kiss, and cuddle with his Sam The Sloth—and I even caught my six-year-old sleeping with him the other night. I love that you can remove the weighted insert to machine wash the outer plush when it inevitably gets dirty from sticky hands. This is a stuffie that can grow with them well into adulthood too, thanks to research-backed stress-relief benefits for kids, teens, and adults.

Specifications:

  • Material: Interior polyester fibers, exterior non-toxic glass beads
  • Batteries required: No
  • Age range: 2+ years
  • Price at time of publish: $64

The bottom line:

This weighted stuffie is irresistibly soft, and the perfect plush friend to comfort and calm big feelings.

Get it here: Hugimals Sam The Sloth


Lalo The Play Kitchen

Lalo The Play Kitchen

Lalo The Play Kitchen

This play kitchen is so cute you’ll want to whip up meals in it too. It comes in three gorgeous neutral colors and fits in beautifully with any clean, minimalist home design. There’s a sink for pretend washing (hands or fruits and veggies), knobs that turn and click just like the real thing, and lots of cabinets to store play food and accessories. Play kitchens are open-ended by nature, allowing toddlers to stretch their imaginations and constantly cook up fun new ideas—and maybe even serve you dinner for once. The best part? It takes less than five minutes to assemble!

Specifications:

  • Material: Sustainably sourced birch plywood, solid beech wood, non-toxic lacquer
  • Batteries required: No
  • Age range: 3+ years, though many reviewers report purchasing it for their child’s first or second birthday
  • Price at time of publish: $395

The bottom line:

This chic, minimalist play kitchen is well worth the investment for any little foodie.

Get it here: Lalo The Play Kitchen


Haba First Orchard Cooperative Board Game

HABA First Orchard - First Board Game for Toddlers & Preschoolers Ages 2 and Up

HABA First Orchard - First Board Game for Toddlers & Preschoolers Ages 2 and Up

Vierheller calls this “hands down the best first board game for little ones!” It’s made of durable wood and helps reinforce skills like color recognition, counting, and sorting as players work together to harvest the fruit before the raven reaches the orchard. “Playing with others encourages cooperation and allows kids to organically work on taking turns and following directions,” says Vierheller. “Board games are a fun way for kids to connect with family and friends while building communication skills.” It also teaches them lessons about winning and losing and being a good sport.

Specifications:

  • Material: Wood
  • Batteries required: No
  • Age range: 2 - 3 years
  • Price at time of publish: $29.99

The bottom line:

This toddler-friendly game teaches two-year-olds valuable early learning skills, from color recognition to communication and counting.

Get it here: Haba First Orchard Cooperative Board Game


Matchstick Monkey Bath Time Slide Toy Set

Matchstick Monkey Bath Time Slide Toy Set

Matchstick Monkey Bath Time Slide Toy Set

Toddlers will have a ball, literally, sending these three soft silicone, easy-to-grip animal character rocks down the slide, along with mermaids, fishies, cars, and any other bath toys they already own. The slide can be directed in three different angles to switch up the fun and easily attaches to the side of the tub. It’s coated with a special antimicrobial protection too to help inhibit germs and keep your bath toys so fresh and so clean.

Specifications:

  • Material: FDA approved food-grade silicone, BPA-free PVC and PP materials
  • Batteries required: No
  • Age range: 12+ months
  • Price at time of publish: $22.45

The bottom line:

This bath toy is a ball for toddlers who will love sending everything, balls included, down the slide.

Get it here: Matchstick Monkey Bath Time Slide Toy Set


Play-Doh Starter Set

Toddlers and Play-Doh go together like peanut butter and jelly! “This classic children's favorite comes with a handy carrying case and offers so many benefits for early development,” says Vierheller. “Play-Doh promotes imagination, builds hand strength, and can be a calming toy for playtime. This set includes tools to create endless possibilities, and small scissors to introduce little ones to cutting in a safe and engaging way.” It includes four cans of Play-Doh and lots of accessories to create with.

Specifications:

  • Material: Play-Doh (primarily wheat, water, and salt) and plastic tools
  • Batteries required: No
  • Age range: 3+ years, however Play-Doh was recommended by almost all of our experts
  • Price at time of publish: $11.99

The bottom line:

Stretch their imaginations and engage in fun sensory play with this perfect Play-Doh starter set that comes with a carrying case and accessories.

Get it here: Play-Doh Starter Set


Micro Kickboard Mini Deluxe Scooter

Micro Kickboard - Mini Deluxe 3-Wheeled, Lean-to-Steer, Swiss-Designed Micro Scooter for Kids, Ages 2-5 (Ice Blue)

Micro Kickboard - Mini Deluxe 3-Wheeled, Lean-to-Steer, Swiss-Designed Micro Scooter for Kids, Ages 2-5 (Ice Blue)

Neighborhood walks just got a whole lot smoother. This cult-fave scooter is loved by parents and toddlers alike for its smooth ride and easy, lean-to-steer design. Kids work on balance and coordination as they cruise the block in style. An adjustable handlebar ensures the perfect fit as they grow, and the scooter can hold up to 110 pounds making it a ride-on toy they’ll use for the long run (or walk). The scooter comes in lots of fun colors too so you can choose their favorite.

Specifications:

  • Material: Polyurethane
  • Batteries required: No
  • Age range: 2 - 5 years
  • Price at time of publish: $89.99

The bottom line:

This iconic scooter is easy for kiddos to maneuver and adjusts to grow with them.

Get it here: Micro Kickboard Mini Deluxe Scooter


Mudpuppy Pouch Puzzle

Mudpuppy Pouch Puzzle

Mudpuppy Pouch Puzzle

Whether your child is into fire trucks, princesses, mermaids, or dinosaurs, these popular pouch puzzles from Mudpuppy are the perfect starter puzzles for tiny hands. There are 12 pieces in total and each one is extra thick for easy gripping and handling. Puzzles come with a reusable zippered pouch to store all the pieces when they’re not playing, making it easy to toss them in your diaper bag for travel and dinner outings.

Specifications:

  • Material: Greyboard (contains 90% recycled paper) and non-toxic soy-based ink
  • Batteries required: No
  • Age range: 2+ years
  • Price at time of publish: $12.99

The bottom line:

These portable pouch puzzles come in lots of different themes to pique your toddler’s interest and are excellent for travel.

Get it here: Mudpuppy Pouch Puzzle


Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond

Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond Blue Plastic Water Table for Toddlers

Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond Blue Plastic Water Table for Toddlers

A water table is a must-have to help beat the heat and get toddlers outside on nice days. This top-rated Step2 table has nearly 20,000 positive reviews on Amazon and an impressive 4.8-star rating. It’s packed with plenty of fun water features for two-year-olds to enjoy, including a duck and tropical fish toys, a rain shower, maze-like spinners, and a teeter-totter to teach cause and effect. It’s big enough for siblings and friends to splish and splash together too. We’ve had ours for years, and while it does get dirty sitting outside, it’s easy to sanitize in between play sessions and is still in great shape despite frequent use.

Specifications:

  • Material: Plastic
  • Batteries required: No
  • Age range: 18 months - 10 years
  • Price at time of publish: $79.99

The bottom line:

This spacious water table is chock-full of fun water features, providing endless outdoor entertainment for toddlers.

Get it here: Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond


PlanToys Cheese & Charcuterie Board Playset

PlanToys Cheese & Charcuterie Board Playset in Assorted at Nordstrom

PlanToys Cheese & Charcuterie Board Playset in Assorted at Nordstrom

How cute is this wooden toy charcuterie board? Toddlers will love pretend slicing salami, pairing gouda cheese with strawberries and crackers, and serving everyone all the snacks. This set is not only great for pretend play, but can help introduce new foods, teach toddlers shapes and colors, encourage language development, fine tune motor skills, and much more.

Specifications:

  • Material: Wood
  • Batteries required: No
  • Age range: 2+ years
  • Price at time of publish: $40

The bottom line:

This wooden charcuterie board is well made and is sure to be well loved by your little chef.

Get it here: PlanToys Cheese & Charcuterie Board Playset


Munchkin Fishin’ Magnetic Bath Toy

Munchkin Fishin’ Magnetic Bath Toy

Munchkin Fishin’ Magnetic Bath Toy

We had this fun fishing game when my oldest two were toddlers, and it was a huge hit, inside the tub and out. Monaghan-Forrest is a fan too, noting how nicely it “fits in a toddler's hands and uses magnets to help improve hand-eye coordination. It even makes a clicking sound for a more realistic way to engage in dramatic play,” she says. The fishies float with magnets face up, making it easy for toddlers to catch one. They’re also air-tight so parents won’t have to worry about mold and mildew growth.

Specifications:

  • Material: Plastic
  • Batteries required: No
  • Age range: 2+ years
  • Price at time of publish: $9.35

The bottom line:

This magnetic bath toy is made for tiny hands and helps improve hand-eye coordination as they go fish in the bath.

Get it here: Munchkin Fishin’ Magnetic Bath Toy


Read, Also: The Best Baby Gifts for Newborns to Make Life Easier for New Parents

How we selected the best toys for two-year-olds

I spoke with multiple play experts to garner feedback on what types of toys are safe, developmentally appropriate, and super fun for two-year-olds. I also included several of their expert recommendations for this age group, in addition to my own, as a mom of three and parenting writer who has tested tons of toys for toddlers. Every toy included on this list has excellent reviews and an average star-rating of 4.6 or above.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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