What toy to give the 2 year old who has everything – great gift ideas for 2 year olds

There is probably never a more important time than 2 years old to make sure that children have the right toys.  As your child starts to become more independent they meet situations that cause frustration and tantrums which is why it’s called the terrible twos.

From the age of 18 months onwards a child makes huge developmental steps.

Speech increases significantly from around 5 to 20 words at 18 months to as many as 150 to 300 words by 2 years, and they can understand even more words.

They can start to understand simple requests if they are given with a simple explanation, such as please bring your toothbrush so we can clean your teeth.

On good days they can be patient for a while while you do something or talk to someone else, although this definitely has its limits!

But probably one of the most significant developments which occurs when a child turns 2 years old, and the one which causes the most issues is that they begin to realise that they are a separate person to you. As they start to understand that they are a completely separate person from you they will also realise that some things belong to them, hence the increased use of the words  ‘me’ and ‘mine’ and behaviour which can look as if its spoilt.

This sense of self can also start worries about the possibility of you leaving them, so it’s a good idea to introduce a comfort toy to them before they hit 2 years old. 

So what are the best toys to help their development at this age and minimise the frustrations which can make them so miserable.

  1. Two year old children like repetitive games, especially when played with an adult. Stacking toys are great open play at this age because they can do it themselves, and if you are playing with them it doesn’t require patience while you take your go!
  2. They will begin to enjoy being able to do simple puzzles and shape sorting.
  3. Toddlers love imitating you and what they see the adults in their life do, such as shopping or talking on the phone. Playing games where your child acts as an adult is a great way to develop their imagination
  4. They will start to recognise things in books, and even start to group them together. So if there are several dinosaurs in a book they will recognise that they are all dinosaurs even when they are different shapes and colours. Books for children of this age are very repetitive but are a great way to encourage vocabulary by asking your child to name things as they seem them in the book.
  5. They cannot understand abstracts yet, so light/heavy or even big and small are still concepts they cannot grasp. A good game to play to aid understanding of this concept is warm, hot, hotter. Hide their favourite dinosaur toy in a room and as they get nearer you shout warmer, or colder as they go further away. It may not feel like it but this is the very beginnings of rudimentary maths.


What a 2 year old can’t do at this age is share their toys. Even taking turns with a playmate to place blocks in a tower will be beyond most children at this age. A toddler normally prefers playing on their own, or side by side with friend.


Our recommendations for the 5 best toys for 2 year olds

If you are looking for a good toy for a 2 year old we would recommend the following toys.

1. Stacking monkeys. Easy, light and brightly coloured the monkeys are easy to stack and there is no right nor wrong to the game.

2.Balancing Dinosaur Ark. Slightly more difficult but again great open play with no right or wrong way to stack and balance

3.Clock puzzle. Definitely a long time before they can tell the time but this simple puzzle will allow you to talk about clocks. See our blog about teaching the time here.

4.Groups of toys that they can sort in to different colours or different sizes. Our dinosaur toys come in 3 sizes and a whole rainbow of colours.

5. Our no. 1 recommendation is our wooden rainbow toys. They are great for stacking, great for imaginative play and great for colour recognition. They look pretty good in the nursery too!

What toy did your 2 year old love? Join the conversation on our Instagram and Facebook pages

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