50 Best Gifts For Toddlers That 2 Year Olds Will Love!

50 Best Gifts for Toddlers

My son is turning 3 this week. For the past weeks we’ve been researching what would be a great gift for a 3 year old boy… and in doing so, I realised I now have a very fresh idea of everything he’s used and really enjoyed as a 2 year old. All the toys, books, movies, objects that have made him smile, learn, grow and create happy memories. Why not put create a list with the best gifts for toddlers – considering what I’ve learned from my 2 year old children?

So, before we cross that threshold, I am putting together this extensive list of all the things that come to mind that he has really enjoyed and have been great for his development. I am going to organise this list under the following categories:

  • Books
  • Toys
  • Games
  • Outdoor toys
  • Musical toys
  • Arts & Crafts & Experiments
  • Movies
  • Other

Although most of these items can be found internationally, some might be difficult to find exactly the same outside Europe. But bare in mind that the principle is the same and you might probably be able to find a similar item from other brands that are local to you. I hope this list can be useful to you.

Books


These are the top 5 books he has enjoyed the most. I’ve done a more extensive list on another post that you can find here 😉

Animal books for kids - Shhh whe Have a Plan

1. Shhh! We have a plan – Chris Haughton

My children love all of Chris’s Haughton’s books but find this one particularly hilarious. It is great for reenacting. It has a very simple text, very repetitive, which allows them to memorise it very quickly and we act it every single time. His style of illustration is modern and quite monochromatic but they say so much. I think it is brilliant. “Look! A bird!! “Hello birdie!” “Shhhhh! We have a plan.” Tip toe slowly. Tip toe slowly. Now Stop! This may become a favorite. We’ve had to buy a second board book because my son loved it so much he tore it apart.

Books for 2 year olds - Oh No, George!

2. Oh No, George! – Chris Haughton

George is a great dog with a big heart. But sometimes his impulses take over and he can’t help himself. He thought he’d be good, he said he’d be good… but he wasn’t. It deals with his emotions and how he learns from his mistakes. Like “Shhh! We have a plan”, the illustrations are modern and monochromatic and communicate greatly what is happening. Beautiful and sweet and great to chat about making sad choices and how to learn from our mistakes.

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus

3. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus – Mo Willams

This book is simply brilliant and my children find it hilarious. A pigeon has a dream: he wants to drive a bus. The bus driver leaves and asks us to look after the bus and not to let the pigeon drive it. So once he leaves the pigeon tries many different ways to convince us of driving it – to which we say No – leading to a big tantrum and – SPOILER ALERT – him not getting what he wants (because of course it is a ridiculous idea for a pigeon to drive a bus). It is a great example of a toddler tantrum, and a way to make them understand that sometimes they can’t get what they want. We laugh each time.

The Highway Rat - Book

4. The Highway Rat – Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler

This is the tale of the Highway rat, a bandit that rides the highway stealing the traveler’s food – especially craving cakes and biscuits – and leaving everyone hungry and afraid. Eventually the rat is tricked by a clever duck and he gets his comeuppance by ending up working in a cake shop – his greatest temptation of all. It is an engaging story and has also been animated and can be found usually in Amazon – although we have the DVD, and my 2-year-old son loves it and knows it by heart.

The Color Monster

5. The Color Monster – Anna Llenas

The Color Monster is feeling very confused today. All his emotions are tangled up, and he can’t quite make out what he is feeling – joy, sadness, anger, fear, or calm. A little girl helps him understand each emotion and sort them out. It is an excellent book about self-awareness, understanding five key emotions, and linking them to a specific color. It has been a great way to talk about how we feel in situations in our every day life.

Toys – Great gifts for toddlers aged 2

Play is essential for children’s development, both physically and mentally, and also heaps of fun. Actually they learn a lot by playing, which is why we should encourage them and inspire them to do so. Here are some great toys that have inspired hours of play at home.

Gift 2 Year Old - Magnetic Tiles

6. Magnetic tiles – Playmags

What a discovery! He loves playing with these sooo much! Both my children have spent I do not know how many hours building together with these and they are incredible. The tiles stick strongly with each other and it is great for their little hands. You can also play with them on a light table which is lovely to see the colours and transparencies. I’m sure he’ll keep playing with them for a long time. We have these from Play Mag and they are fantastic.

Note: For Christmas we decided to expand our magnetic tiles collection and we bout the mega set from Connetix – the best decision we’ve made. They tiles are stronger, the set had more large squares (which we love for larger builds), and the pastel colors we have are simply a beauty. I highly recommend these. Check out here how we play with the Connetix tiles.

Gift 2 Year Old - Duplo

7. Duplo building blocks – Lego

So much fun, colorful and great for building. This big version of Lego is fantastic for their hands. I’ve woken up so many mornings during the past year to the sound of the blocks being spilled from their box. From houses, cars, trains, trees to really mysterious constructions. It is a great door to a world of imagination. We have a big green base that is fantastic for them to build anything they dream of on top of it, it gives stability and helps setting the foundation. We’ve complemented his basic box with a set from Toy Story and another with Captain America and Iron Man and for a time he took them with him everywhere.

Gift 2 Year Old - Puzzles

8. Peppa Pig & Marvel Superheroes puzzle

At a certain point at nursery they hinted that he had slightly more trouble than the rest focussing on the activities they did in the class. We bought puzzles that were more age appropriate than what we had with characters he enjoyed. We started with Peppa and it worked wonders. He loved it. The fact that it wasn’t square shaped but shaped as the characters I believe helped in getting his attention. Little by little we upgraded (exchanging puzzles with friends) and now he loves this Marvel Superheroes one. I guess that finding challenges with the characters he loved helped him focus and enjoy it more.

Best Gifts for Toddlers - Cape

9. Cape

Oh my! Capes are magical. You don’t need much to get their imagination flying. He found a cape in a box and has been wearing it ever since. And even though it was light blue he made believe he was the Highway Rat, a Musketeer, Superman, Batman… any superhero really. I’ve bought more for his birthday party and already I’ve had my friends with 2 year olds sending me pictures of their little ones with the capes on all day long. They love them and they are great for imaginative play.

Gift 2 Year Old - Grimms Rainbow Large

10. Grimms Large Rainbow – Grimms

This wooden rainbow was a gift from when he was born, but until half a year ago he hadn’t really discovered its potential. He loves building towers, using the arches as tunnels and bridges for his cars, create animal compositions (he loves the octopus and the crab)… it is just hours of open ended play fun. It is expensive, but definitely worth it. They play with my daughter and it is fantastic to see them playing together. If you love wooden toys you should add this to the collection.

Gift 2 Year Old - Train Set

11. Train set – Little Dutch

They gifted him this beautiful train set from Little Dutch for Christmas. The village, the train and all the accessories are adorable. Building the rails has helped with his concentration and fine motor skills. They fit together with the IKEA train set that we already had and we’ve been able to make the longest railways “in the world”. We’re lucky we have a very long hallway 😉

Gift 2 Year Old - Big Rocket

12. Four Stage Rocket Ship – Hape

This wooden Rocket is beautiful and he loves it so much. He has spent countless hours playing with it and with its manual elevator and crane. It is made from wood, very sturdy and simply lovely. For him it was love at first sight. After 7 months he still plays with it every week.

Gift 2 Year Old - Garage

13. Garage

He really likes cars, and he really enjoys lining his cars and having them go down the ramp. We had a beautiful one made of wood from Plan Toys which was lovely but it is clearly not for this age because you have to build it every time (platforms, ramps) and it is not easy to use for a 2 year old (they do state on the box that it is for older children bur I thought it looked really pretty). He got this plastic one as a gift and ended up loving it much more because it was sturdy and didn’t fall apart every time he moved it. This garage rocks!

Best Gifts for Toddler - Buzz

14. Buzz Lightyear – Disney

Meet his loyal companion. It was his gift for his second birthday and he still plays with him. He is literally like the Buzz Lightyear toy from Toy Story. He talks, has a laser (lightbulb and sound) and spreads his wings on command. For a time he he would not go anywhere without him.

Bilibo - family square

15. Bilibo seat & mini bilibos

Bilibo is a fantastic innovative and versatile open ended toy that will blow you away. It looks so simple (and to be honest quite strange the first time you lay your eyes on it) that you can not imagine all the things that you can do with it. With it’s iconic shell shape and all its bright colors immediately charm children. Check out how we play with it at home in this post!

Gift 2 Year Old - Hobby Horse

16. Hobby Horse

Since he was obsessed with the Highway Rat, we felt he would really enjoy getting a hobby horse for Christmas. He rides it, feeds it and has played so much with it. This horse also makes horse noises if you press his ear, which was a plus. But to be honest he is not that interested in this features. What he likes the most is riding him up and down the hallway seeing his cape fly with the wind.

Gift 2 Year Old - Kinetic Sand in Tray

17. Kinetic sand

A tray with kinetic sand on our balcony was a lifesaver during lockdown and we still have it there. He has played a lot with it this past year. He made cakes, buried his action figures, created race tracks and ice creams. The possibilities are endless and so much fun. For less mess, we put it on their little kids table.

Games – Best Gifts For Toddlers

I couldn’t wait to start playing board or table games together. They are great to learn rules, turn taking, practice patience, that nothing is guaranteed and learning to lose and also to win. These are the games we’ve started playing as a family and I hope you will enjoy them.

Gift 2 Year Old - My Mood Memo

18. My Mood Memo – Plan Tooys

Memory games are fantastic games to start playing together as a family. It helps them, obviously, with memory and matching. We enjoy this memory game because the tiles are circular a bit curved and sturdy – which make them easier to flip and place and also impossible to break or have it bitten like other memory games made from cardboard. It is also great because it is an invitation to talk about emotions together. And because it is from Plan Toys, you know it is built in a sustainable way. If you like green toys, you need to check this brand out.

Gift 2 Year Old - Pallina

19. Bamboo Pallina – Hape

How we love this game! I think it’s the one we’ve played the most together as a family so far. It is fun because it is so odd and unique. The structure, the sticks, the color balls… it grasps their attention instantly. And then it is simply fun to play. It helps them to learn about turn taking, colors and strategy. You must think which stick you must take out first so the largest number of balls will fall through. It is great for boys and girls alike.

Gift for 2 year old - Shapes Puzzle

20. Shapes puzzle

Since he was enjoying puzzles a lot I thought it would be good to find another game that could challenge him, work on his focus and also thinking creatively to solve a problem. I came across this game on Amazon and it is great. We pick a card and recreate the design it suggests. He loves the caterpillar and after doing it twice he could do it by heart. So it also helps on working on memory and colors as well as geometric cognition. This is one of our favorite brain toys.

Gift 2 Year Old - Fishing Game

21. Fishing game

One morning I woke up and he was playing quietly. It was my daughter’s and since she had outgrown it I had forgotten about it. He was siting still, focussed and concentrated fishing (and cheating a bit). When he saw me he offered me another fishing rod and we played together. I showed him the rules and we just fished together. It is great for tots this age.

Gift 2 Year Old - Orchard Square

22. First Orchard – Haba

A friend of mine just lent it to us today and it is simply brilliant. He would have been able to play probably 6 months ago, so I am adding it to the list because if you have a 2 year old it is a fantastic way to introduce board games, rules and turn taking. She gave it to me 4 hours ago and we’ve already played 7 games. It’s a collaborative game where we all must collect the fruit from the trees before the crow gets to the Orchard. Her daughter is now 2 and a half and is also enjoying it.

Outdoor toys

Gift 2 Year Old - Trycicle

23. TinyTot 2-in-1 Wooden Balance Bike and Tricyclet pedals – Kinderfeet

It was our gift for his second birthday and he has enjoyed it so much. Indoors and outdoors. It gave him stability and made him get comfortable with feeling the wind on his face. When we felt he was ready, around halfway through the year, we evolved it to have 2 wheels and he also had a lot of fun with it.

Gift 2 Year Old - Scooter

24. Scooter – Micro

His sister had a scooter and he seemed interested in it. We got him the evolve version from Micro so he could enjoy it sooner and grow with it. It was particularly great for us on those occasions when we didn’t want to take the buggy but still wanted to know where he was and not have to carry him ourselves when he got tired. Now it is just a scooter and they enjoy it a lot when both of them go together.

Gift 2 Year Old - Balls

25. Ball

This one will sound very obvious. Playing with a ball – any type of ball – has so many benefit for children this age. It helps them develop eye-hand coordination, grasping skills, tracking. There are so many fun ways to play with them, and it is fascinating for them to discover that they bounce, they roll, you can throw them and that it is not easy to keep them still because of their shape. Great for boys and girls alike!

Gift 2 Year Old - Sand Ice Cream Set

26. Ice cream set for sand

This is great to play at the parc, at the beach or at your sand table at home. We use it for role playing, one is the owner of an ice cream shop and the other pretends to be a customer. It is great imaginative play and also helps him with his fine motor skills, learning to use the scoop and create beautiful gelattos. Our ice creams are the best in the world ;)nd girls alike!

Gift 2 Year Old - Life Vest in action

27. Life-vest for the pool

This was amazing last year during the summer and we are still using it now that the summer season has started. It gave us peace of mind at the pool and at the beach. Luckily we’ve had no accidents so far, but he enjoys wearing his lifevest with his shark and doesn’t go near the water without it. It still allows him to float on his own, and it is helping him build confidence when in the water. What is also great is that it has a safety buckle that goes between his legs so he won’t slip and go underwater. It is great to enjoy of being together around water.

Musical toys

Gift for 2 year old - Drum

28. Drum

We go to music class together and he really enjoyed playing the drum so his godmother (who happens to be a music teacher) gave him this one which he loves. Not only does he enjoy playing the beat of a song but he also thinks the drum stick is a musketeer sword. It can be used for many things!

Gift 2 Year Old - Banjo

29. Banjo – Janod

My son is very musical and is fascinated by guitars. My parents got him this 3 string banjo. You could technically tune it but I couldn’t manage to find a tutorial to make proper sense of it. He did however enjoy strumming it while I played the guitar or just serenaded us whenever he felt inspired. The ukelele will be next 😉 but I think we must wait a year more at least.

Arts & Crafts & Experiments

Gift for 2 year old - Tray

30. Tray – TickiT

This has been great not only painting, but also for sensory play, for the light table and experimenting. Ours is transparent cover tray from TickiT so it can go on the light panel. You can also put sand, foam, rice, pulses on it and have the children manipulate it. They can draw with it, transfer it to containers, play with cars and animals and create mini-worlds on it. We’ve created tons of slime this year as well. But you can use any kind of tray – it doesn’t have to be transparent if you do not plan on using it on a light panel.

Gift for 2 year old - Paints

31. Paints – Scola Artmix 600ml Bottles Ready Mix Craft Poster Paint Set 12 Assorted Colours

We use paints a lot in our house. I would say the most important features for any paint you use with children are that they are non toxic and washable.We prefer squeezable bottles with flip-top caps to avoid spills or getting colours mixed. We then squeeze the paint onto the canvas, card, a paper plate, a plastic colour palette or cups and we are ready to start having fun! This is a big set… I bought it 3 years ago and we are still loving and using it 😉 They are also gluten & dairy free – Can be found in Europe

Gift for 2 year old - Brushes

32. Brushes

Of course you need a set of brushes to paint. It helps them develop their fine motor skills and work on their hand-eye coordination and creative expression. Holding a paint brush helps develop good pencil grip, grip strength and strong internal muscles of the hand. I think the paint brush set from IKEA is a great essential that will last you a long time.

Gift for 2 year old - Chalks

33. Chalks

We live near a park where they have the most amazing pavement to draw on, and they’ve enjoyed it so much! Being creative outdoors is a lot of fun. We bought some more chalks for his birthday party and it was a great activity for the kids to be able to just grab some and doodle and draw. Highly recommendable for parties with toddlers.are playing with beans.

Movies & TV shows

I must admit that my son being the second, has seen more movies and TV shows than my daughter at the same age. But looking backward they both enjoyed pretty much the same. Anything related with these shows and movies was an instant success.

Peppa Pig DVD

34. Peppa Pig

What parent with toddlers doesn’t know who Peppa Pig is nowadays? It is completely child friendly with very proper English (so it is great for little children to learn to speak English). We have the books, plush toys, DVD’s, know the tune and songs by heart and have them as favourites on Netflix and Amazon. With our eldest we even went to Peppa Pig World and it was fantastic. All the rides were age appropriate and she loved meeting Peppa and George. All episodes are 5 minutes long and there are some special episodes that can last a bit longer.

PJ Masks DVD

35. PJ Masks

It is night in the city , and when a group of young friends Connor, Amaya and Greg put on their pajamas and turn on their animal amulets, they transform into superheroes: Catboy, Owelette and Gekko. Together they are the PJ Masks and go on adventures that will help save the day! My children both loved them and enjoyed playing with their action figures and costumes (my son was for a couple of months obsessed with Gekko and everything green).

Paw Patrol DVD

36. Paw Patrol

The Paw Patrol is a team of dogs, lead by young Ryder. Each dog has a special set of skills and vehicle that makes them unique and a great addition to the team: Chase, Marshall, Rubble, Rocky Suma and Skye. It is a Canadian show, very child friendly and nice – the troubles they encounter are usually natural accidents or honest mistakes… there is no evil mastermind behind them. Episodes are 10 mintues long and good in terms of values. We really enjoy them.

Go Go Cory Carson Netflix

37. Go! Go! Cory Carson.

In a world of living vehicles, Cory Carson is a young car that lives with his family and follows him and his adventures with his parents, younger sister and friends. It is based on the Go. Go. toy line from VTech (which I had no idea). The episodes are 7 minutes long and then there are some special mini movies that last 20 minutes long – Christmas, Halloween, Summer Camp – and a longer one, The Chrissy, that is 40 minutes long.

Room on the Broom DVD

38. Room on the Broom

We love this brilliant story where kindness and friendship are at its heart. The witch and her cat fly on a broom high across the sky, but the wind blows away her hat, her bow and her wand. Lucky for her, three animals help her find her lost items, and they ask to tag along to which she always says “Yes!”. Unfortunately their broom breaks as they encounter a Dragon who wants to eat the witch for tea. They all join forces to help her kind friend who is in need! It is a beautiful 25-minute animated adaptation of the book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler that you can find on Amazon Prime or DVD. We love it!

The Highway Rat DVD

39. The Highway Rat

This is the tale of the Highway rat, a bandit that rides the highway stealing the traveler’s food – especially craving cakes and biscuits – and leaving everyone hungry and afraid. Eventually the rat is tricked by a clever duck and he gets his comeuppance by ending working in a cake-shop – his greatest temptation of all. It is an engaging 20 minute animated story based on the book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. It can usually be found on Amazon – although we have the DVD and my 2 year old son loves it and knows it by heart.

The Snail and the Whale DVD

40. The Snail and the Whale

This is a tale about friendship, a tale about dreaming big even if you are small and a tale about helping one another. It is a fantastic book with beautiful illustrations. Friends come in all shapes and sizes, ask the Snail and the Whale 😉 It is a great movie for toddlers – just 25 minutes long and brilliantly animated (we have it in DVD but it is also sometimes on Amazon Prime).

Here We Are Notes for Living on Planet Earth

41. Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth

This beautiful movie is based on the book “Here we are” from Oliver Jeffers. Earth Day is here and a curious 7 year old boy learns about the planet from his parents and from a visit to the Museum of Everything. Highly educational and a real treasure to watch with the kids. It is a heart-felt short movie that 36 minutes long and can be seen on Apple TV+.

Toy Story DVD

42. Toy Story

I would not say it is for a 2 year old, but since he has an older sister he has been exposed to longer movies and he simply adores it. I’m sure you will all know Toy Story from when you were children. How toys come to life and how Woody and Buzz, even though they have a rough start, end up developing a friendship that will go to infinity and beyond. We love that the characters are not flat, that even Woody has feelings of jealousy and makes sad choices, but learns to deal with them, admit them and make up for it. It is human to feel like this and it is great to have conversations with them. We have action figures, costumes, books and duplo set and they were all a hit.

Miscellaneous best gifts for toddlers

Gift 2 Year Old - Boots in action

43. Rain Boots – Wellies – Hunter

The rain boots have been an absolute discovery this year. Indoor he used them to complement his Highway Rat or Musketeer attire. Outdoors they’ve been great for dancing in the rain and going to a farm. They have been invaluable – and also hand-me-downs from his sister… it’s great that he’s given them a much loved second life.

Gift for 2 year old - Umbrella

44. Umbrella – Hatley

Since he’s been using the buggy less and walking more, we bought him an umbrella for those days that it was raining. He loves it so much. One day that it was raining I found him waiting next to the door with hie yellow boots on and holding his umbrella with a big smile. I could not resist and we simply had to go out for a stroll under the rain. This particular umbrella from Hatley has some sections (the sharks) that change colour when they are wet, and he simply finds it magical.

Gift for 2 year old - Teepee Bed

45. Teepee bed – Childhome

This year we transitioned him from his cot to a big boy bed. We decided to go for a fun and easy bed, close to the floor to avoid him falling off and allowing him independence. So we went for a Montessori style bed with a teepee frame. He loved it! It doubles up as a play tent if we want to and it is one of the best buys we’ve done this year.

Gift 2 Year Old - Lamp

46. Lamp – Marset

His sister has this lamp and with his bed grandpa thought he would enjoy it as well. Now they each have their special lamp and we use it for bedtime. We read stories and while I am putting one to sleep sometimes the other is looking at a book by themselves. It is chargeable so it can be cable free and because it has different intensities they can just have it on their bed in the corner without bothering the other one much.

Gift for 2 year old - Buzz PJ's

47. Buzz Lightyear PJ – GAP

With his obsession with Toy Story, these pyjamas were a success. He loved them so much that he didn’t want to take them off. It also encouraged him to go earlier to bed 😉 which was great for us. At GAP I can find many pyjamas with characters that I know he will love.

Gift for 2 year old - Underwear

48. Superhero underwear – H&M

Potty training has been one of his most important achievements this year. To help with the process we went to H&M so he could pick underwear of his choice. Of course he went for the superheroes set. My daughter chose a Frosen set when she was the same age to get ready for potty training. I guess wearing their most favourite characters helps to keep them dry.

Gift 2 Year Old - Penguin Backpack

49. Penguin Backpack – Skip Hop

This backpack has given my son the feeling that he is more grown up. He loves packing some of his toys and his water bottle when we go out on a day trip or away for the weekend. We love that he feels more independent and responsible of his things, and he wants to carry it himself. It used to be my daughters’ but he definitely loves it more.

Gift 2 Year Old - Miracle Cup

50. Miracle 360º training cup – Munchkin

This cup has been a mom & dad’s night saver. Our children are thirsty during the night, and before this we would have water spills or them requesting for a glass of water. With this cup, they do not need us during the night and there are no spills or accidents. Everyone is happy. Especially mom & dad 😉

Best Gifts For Toddlers – the things our 2 year old has loved

These are the top things that my son has enjoyed while he’s been 2. I hope they will inspire you and help you find things your little one will enjoy. I know that when I look at these objects I’ll have many memories of his toddler years.

Once again I wanted to mention that most of these items can be found internationally, but some might be difficult to find exactly the same outside Europe. But bare in mind that the principle is the same and you might probably be able to find a similar item from other brands that are local to you. I hope this list can be useful to you.

I would love to hear if you have enjoyed any of these or if you have other gift suggestions that have worked wonders for you and your family. Please share with me in the comment section below! We are always interested in discovering new things!

Happy twos! *

2 thoughts on “50 Best Gifts For Toddlers That 2 Year Olds Will Love!”

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