Anyone else find the toy aisles to be so exciting but super overwhelming at the same time? There are just so many toys. So. Many. No one likes spending money on a toy you think a kiddo will love only to find it tossed to the side a few days later. At 2 years old, one tip to always getting something they love is to just take them shopping with you. You can pack it away for a later date and it will be like they never knew you bought it. But when it’s a gift, or when you want it to be a surprise, how do you choose? Well, these are our tried and true favorites. They are the best toys for 2 year old boys and girls and tips for making sure your kiddo will love them as well!
Best Toys for 2 Year Old Boys and Girls
Keeping an open mind to how an item will (or can) be used is one of the keys to finding a great, long lasting toy. Don’t take them at face value. Kids have great imaginations and at 2 years old, they are just starting to tap into them!
The Big Stuff: Toys for 2 Year Olds
Climber Slide – We have a small Climber Slide for in our playroom that is probably the most used toy in our house. It can be a climber, child’s slide, car ramp, toy animal slide, pretend castle, ball ramp, anything their little imaginations can dream up. He seriously plays with it in some capacity all. the. time. This is for sure one of the best toys for 2 year old boys and girls because of the endless possibilities.
Riding Horse – Our son has loved this riding horse since he was 1 year old. It’s a super fun ride-on toy for our horse loving kiddo. We rotate this with our kitchen so he doesn’t get bored with them and because they are both bigger toys that take up space in the playroom.
Kitchen – I snagged a small KidKraft kitchen after the holidays for 50% off because our local kid’s play space closed and his favorite toy there was the kitchen sets. It’s not the most played with toy in our house but he does love it. I recommend getting a small sized kitchen plus a few pots and pans and a small food set. Odds are kids will love it but you don’t want it to take up your entire playroom. And unless they go nuts for it, you probably don’t need it to.
Ride-On toy – We have a few different styles of ride-on toys and he loves all of them! Again, we rotate the different styles just to keep them fresh. You wouldn’t need more than one, we just got them as gifts and he loved them both! There are several styles that will work, so get one that speaks to your child interests. We have a Rocketship and a Jeep.
Bouncing Donkey – Not going to lie, this bouncy donkey was a $2 Goodwill find and he really likes it! They are really affordable on Amazon so it’s a perfect gift for the kid who has everything or for a birthday party gift!
Car Ramp – Because of his love for the ball ramp at school, I knew this car ramp would be a huge hit. It’s basically both toys in one because you can slide anything down it (trust me, he has). Everything rides the ramp, cars, balls, animal figurines, you name it, it goes down the ramp. One of the must-have toys for 2 year old boys (and girls!).
Sporty Toys for 2 Year Old Boys and Girls
T-Ball Set – I’m not saying this T-ball set will make your kiddo a superstar athlete but our son was hitting underhand pitches out of the park at age 18 months. Sooooo, take that for what it is 😉 But seriously, our son LOVES this set. It’s one of those perfect toys for 2 year old boys and girls that might be interested in playing team sports. T-ball is one of the first options for little kids so why not get them started early! Plus it’s great for hand-eye coordination!
Golf Set – We’re a golf family so this was only natural for us. Again, our son is hooked on it. We’ve had this golf set for well over a year and it never gets old. It’s great for building hand-eye coordination and for gauging distances.
Soccer Ball – A pint-sized soccer ball is basically endless amounts of fun. Kicking, throwing, rolling it down the slide. They’re great for building motor skills and getting in some extra exercise. Plus it’s something fun you can play with your little one and that they can play with other young kids. Again, soccer is one of the first (if not the first) team sport kids can sign up for so get them started early!
Knee Hockey Set – Being a Minnesotan, a hockey set is a must. My husband wanted this Knee Hockey Set as much for himself and he did for our son. They play with it almost every night and similar to the other sports equipment listed, it’s great exercise, for building motor skills, team interaction, and hand-eye coordination.
Basket Ball Hoop – Now, we aren’t a big basketball family, but I love a good game of horse. Most kids love balls and a lot of kids like throwing things. Yay. Focus that energy on a sport rather than random things around the house. You can get a basic kids basketball hoop or a 2 in 1 sports net.
Smaller Toys for 2 Year Olds
Ball Ramp – Our ECFE class has a ball ramp and it’s probably his favorite toy there. He could play with it for hours if I didn’t direct him to the other activities in the room.
Farm + Animals – This is another toy we’ve had for a long time but it never gets old. Our little guy LOVES animals. Now that he’s older he actually makes the animals run and talk to each other and plays with the farm as its intended. It’s so adorable to watch.
Animal Figures – Small and medium-sized animal figures are easily one of the best toys for 2 year old boys and girl! We have all his favorite zoo animals (monkey, lions, tigers, leopards, elephants, giraffes, bears) plus the basics (cats, dogs, birds, turtles, snakes, lizards) he loves them all and likes to play with them in sets. If he’s looking for his “rawrs” we know it’s the tiger and leopard. If he’s looking for his “white guys” it’s the mama polar bear, baby polar bear, and white tiger. It’s so cute and his imagination really comes out when he’s playing with them. He always has at least one of the “sets” nearby. These are also nice to bring places because they are small and tons of entertainment. We have these which are a cheaper option, several of the Terra mini and full-size animals, and several of the Safari Ltd animals.
Dinosaurs – Similar to the animal figures, Dinosaurs figures are a huge hit in our house (I opt for the friendlier looking options at this age). Translate this to basically anything your child loves and you’ll have a winner. Again, he has a variety of kinds and colors but the mediums sized that he can easily carry around and manipulate are his favorites.
Remote Control Car – I was unsure about a 2 year old using a remote control car but we got this one for Christmas and he figured it out (enough to enjoy it) right away! It works best on hard surfaces (or at least not plush carpet) but he loves it and it’s great for learning how controls and directions work.
Cars – We have so many different types of cars it’s crazy. His favorites are the Vtech Smart Wheels car sets, hot wheels, Little People Safari Set. They have styles that appeal to both boys and girls so go for something that suits your child’s interests.
Shape and Color Sorter – There are so many of these out there. Some are intended for infants and others are a bit more difficult for toddlers. We love this one because it helps them learn shapes, colors, and matching.
Puzzles – Wooden puzzles are the perfect toys for 2 year old boys and girls! They are great for matching shapes and colors but you can also get some that are a bit more challenging where all the shapes are the same and they have to match patterns. We have this farm puzzle, this sounds puzzle, and this matching puzzle.
Duplo Legos + Mega Bloks – Always a good choice. Legos help build imagination and offer endless possibilities. The larger Duplo size is perfect for younger kids. Mega Bloks are also a big hit and even easier for young kids to build with.
Activity Ideas for 2 Year Olds
These are the things you wouldn’t just leave laying around the house for them to play with. They would require some form of adult set up and supervision (unless you want a major mess on your hands).
Paints – Washable paints are another great craft idea for 2 year olds. Make sure you have a drop cloth, smock, easel, paper pad, brushes, and of course, washable paint. We have this set. You can make it extra interesting by drawing things (animals, scenes, shapes, letters) on the paper and having them color them in. Or use stamps and cut out sponges for extra educational fun.
Coloring Supplies – Basic coloring books, crayons, markers, and pencils are always fun for random craft days. Tip: for this age, get them at the dollar store!
Play-Doh – One of the best toys for 2 year old boys and girls is Play-doh because who doesn’t love it?! you can purchase sets for pretty cheap and the toys will work with both store bought play-doh and homemade.
Kinetic Sand – We love kinetic sand, especially in the winter when sandboxes are hard to come by. We keep ours in a medium sized tote that serves as a makeshift indoor sandbox. I play down a plastic drop cloth under the tote and let him go nuts. He loves it and it’s a great option for when you want to switch things up! We have this set and this set, plus extra sand.
Sensory Bins – Similar to our Kinetic Sand bin, you can use corn, water, beans, rice, sand, etc. for a sensory bin activity. Keep the various filler in ziplock bags and rotate them weekly. Use cars, scoops, bowls, etc. to interact with the contents.
Outdoor Toys for Toddler Boys and Girls
Sand + Water Table – Another very popular toy in our house is the sand and water table. We use this outside for sand and water in the summer and inside for legos and toys in the winter. It’s super easy to clean and store since it’s a smaller size but he still gets a ton of use and fun out of it. Another option would be an actual sandbox. If you have room for it and you have a sand lover, this would be great for you! We have a park across the street with a sandbox so we haven’t invested in one yet but if we do it will be a sandbox with a cover to keep pets, animals, and debris out! Easily one of the best toys for 2 year old boys and girls!
Push Wagon – This push wagon is one of our kiddos favorite things! While it isn’t technically a toy it is something he loves to use outside. We got on walks frequently now that we have this wagon. It’s so much more fun for him and it’s super convenient for us! Read my full review on our push wagon stroller for kids.
Tree Swing – If you have a kiddo who likes swings, these swings are a super nice option for home without having to buy a whole swing set. You can get tree straps that won’t hurt your tree and don’t require any drilling or additional structures.
Tricycle – Kids this age should be able to start testing out tricycles if their feet can reach the pedals.
Chalk – Our son’s favorite thing to do outside at almost 2.5 years old is play with chalk. My husband and I also like to have a contest to see who the better artist is. If our toddler can guess what we’ve drawn you get a point. Sometimes it’s tougher than you think, but he loves seeing his favorite creatures (horses, dinosaurs, etc) come to life in chalk. It’s honestly fun (and relaxing) for everyone which is why it’s one of the best toys of 2 year old boys and girls.
Bubbles + Bubble Gun – Bubbles are always fun. Add to that an automatic bubble gun (no dipping required) and you’ve got a major winner! Giant bubbles are also a big hit.
Other Ideas: Best Toys for 2 Year Old Boys and Girls
Relatable Items – As I said, our son loves animals. He especially loves cats because we have 2 and horses because it’s hereditary from his mama and he loves the TV show Spirit: Riding Free. Because of this, he loves anything that looks like his orange kitty and his black kitty and all horses. When it comes to things like stuffed animals, go for the relatable styles they are more likely to have an attachment to. The random bunnies get no love in our house but the cats, horses, dinosaurs, and monkeys (his favorite at the zoo) go with him everywhere.
Books – There are so many kids books out there it’s always a bit of a gamble. We, again, go for the topics we know he loves like animals, cars, dinosaurs, etc. But beyond that, he also loves interactive books. Books with flaps, electronic books, touch and feel books, etc. Anything that they can play with while reading is a favorite. Plus it’s a great way to get them interested in reading and hold their attention for longer. These are our favorite Children’s Books.
Tablet – We don’t use this for regular play time but it is really nice to have for travel, long car rides, and restaurant emergencies (which is almost every time at this age). We have Netflix added to his kid’s tablet with offline downloads of his favorite movies and shows ready to go. I also have a few games added but they are still a little difficult for him at this age or he gets bored with them easily. He also has these headphones for quiet places.
What are your little one’s favorite toys for 2 year old girls and boys?
Share your favorite dolls, tea sets, and anything else I’m missing in the comments below!
Until next time,