Best 2 Year Old Gifts for Boys or Girls
My daughter just turned 2.
She’s exactly like what they say…a terrible 2.
She’s full of energy, running around and throwing things.
It’s very easy for her to get into unsafe situations and then have crazy tantrums and be destructive towards everything including herself.
I know the key is channeling her energy towards developing new skills, learning new things, and stimulating her senses and imagination.
I have realized she’s no longer enthralled by the things she loved when she was 1.
When her 2nd birthday came around and she received a bunch of gifts, you could see how SHE GREW with these gifts.
Her interests have changed.
My little baby is a big girl now.
Here’s a list of 16 of my favorite 2 year old gifts. The gifts I could see made her smarter, more agile and more curious.
These gifts apply to BOTH boys and girls.
16 Best 2 Year Old Gifts
1. Reusable stickers
These sticker books can keep my 2 year old entertained for a while.
I love how they’re reusable so you can peel them off easily when you want to change where the sticker is placed.
This Melissa & Doug Reusable Stickers collection contains 3 books with 5 scenes each around:
- Town: school, grocery store, restaurant, hospital, and fire house (200+ stickers)
- The Farm: pasture, barnyard, garden, barn interior and farmer’s market (280+ stickers)
- Adventurous areas: pirate, medieval, space, deep sea and wild west (245+ stickers)
She can’t always peel the stickers off without ripping them, but she’s getting better as she learns.
Like all of the Melissa & Doug products, these pads make for fun, hands-on, screen-free play.
There are so many other fun themes available in the Melissa & Doug reusable sticker collection series.
Here are a few more that I like.
1) This 3 book series contains vehicles, habitats and prehistoric themes. Each book has 5 colorful backgrounds and 150+ stickers.2) This 4 book series contains fairies, princesses, dress-up and home themes. Each book has 5 scenes and over 165+ stickers.
3) This is a make-a-meal sticker pad with 15 place settings and 225+ stickers. The stickers are NOT REUSABLE unfortunately, but I just love the food and meal planning aspect for my 2 year old.
I know some moms love these stickers so much, they stick the stickers on card stock paper and then stick a magnet to the card stock so the stickers become reusable and you can place them on the fridge.
You can also put magnets behind the place settings.
This is a lot of work! It’s difficult to find food magnets for toddlers. If you love the stickers, it might be worth making the magnets.
There are many other Melissa & Doug sticker books and collections – some of which are reusable while others aren’t – if you’re interested in different themes or combinations.
2. Press Here Book
I first heard about the Press Here book when I attended a circle time at a library.
There were approximately 15 kids ranging from age 1-5 attending the circle time. Each one of them was enthralled by the Press Here book.
They were engaged and having fun. Laughing. Amazed at how the dots would move from page to page.
I had to check out this book. Now it’s one of me and my 2 year old’s favorites!
She loves interacting with this book. I love how this book is so simple and yet stretches her imagination!
3. Play Kitchen
The play kitchen has been one of my 2 year old’s favorite toys! She loves opening and closing drawers, taking accessories out and putting them back in their place.
It’s a great tool for practicing her fine motor skills. She has a lot of fun with it and can enjoy it for a good hour per day.
There are many different play kitchens available. We chose a Step2 kitchen because it’s less expensive and lightweight (made of plastic) so it’s easy to move.
It might not be as stylish as these other play kitchens, but it’s:
- large (38.6″ x 34.3″ x 11.4″)
- has lots of functions (oven, fridge, sink, coffee station, stove with lights and sounds)
- has 25 accessories (including pots, pans, plates and utensils)
One thing about this kitchen: it’s not very easy to assemble. There are a lot of screws to install. It could take 45 minutes with just a screwdriver as the holes are not pre-drilled.
If you have a power drill, it will be much faster.
4. Food Play Set
If the 2 year old already has a play kitchen, you can get an accompanying food play set.
Melissa and Doug has a nice 21 piece wooden play food set with 4 crates, but it’s expensive for the amount of pieces you get.
If you’re looking for value, there is this 115 piece plastic KidKraft set including fruit, vegetables, snacks and more. There’s no assembly and it’s BPA free.
5. Andrea Beaty Books
I first found out about the Rosie Revere, Engineer book from my niece. She was around 2.5 years old at the time and asked me to read it to her.
She basically read it along with me – reciting many of the lines and describing the pictures on the pages. I was surprised at how engaged she was in the book because it’s for ages 5+.
I loved the story line and message, and creativity.
When my daughter was just under 2, I read this story to her. Initially, she was fascinated by the drawings and pictures. Now, she seems to be more engaged in the words.
I know she’ll grow into liking this book. With every year, the book will bring on more meaning.
There are other books to this series:
There are also activity books:
- Iggy Peck’s Big Project Book for Amazing Architects
- Ada Twist’s Big Project Book for Stellar Scientists
- Rosie Revere’s Big Project Book for Bold Engineers
There are so many great puzzle gifts for a 2 year old like…
1) Peg Puzzles
Peg puzzles have probably been one of the best learning tools for my daughter.
I don’t know what it is about having a peg on an object, but she’s learned faster with peg puzzles than she has any other learning tool or toy.
Here are some of our favorite peg puzzles.
- Numbers: 10 pieces
- Alphabet: 26 pieces
- Farm: 8 pieces
- Pets: 8 pieces
- Safari: 7 pieces
- Vehicles: 8 pieces
There are pictures under the pieces to help with matching.
The pegs are sturdy; she can easily pick up the pegs. The wooden pieces are high quality.
2) Chunky Puzzles
My daughter also loves the Melissa & Doug chunky puzzles – which are also really popular puzzles among 2 year olds. The pieces are huge so it’s easy for little ones to grasp.3) Lock Puzzles
This lock puzzle is meant for 3 year olds, but my daughter could do it at 2.
She couldn’t do it initially. It’s got a good amount of challenge for toddlers. As she practiced and built her fine and gross motor skills, she was able to eventually navigate the different latches.
What I really like about this puzzle is that it’s not only good for her physical development, there are learning opportunities with numbers, colors and animals as well.
My 2 year old absolutely loves playing with magnets! I love that they’re an excellent learning tool for language and logic.
She can learn about letters, words, and numbers.
She can expand her vocabulary, build sentences and learn the fundamentals of math!
Technically, the manufacturers of magnets say that they’re meant for children 3+ as they might be a choking hazard. My daughter’s put them in her mouth, but they’re too large for her to swallow so I don’t foresee this as an issue.
This magnet set is the most comprehensive collection I’ve seen with 253 pieces including:
- 52 uppercase letters
- 156 lowercase letters
- 20 numbers
- 14 math symbols
- 5 cartoon refrigerator magnets
- 1 double-sided magnetic writing board
- 3 markers
- 1 eraser
- 1 storage box
The magnets are made from an eco-friendly EVA foam with a magnet on the back that can be attached to the magnetic drawing board, refrigerators, and dishwashers.
It’s soft, light and the perfect size for small fingers.
What I love about this product is that there’s a 100% happiness service – basically a customer satisfaction guarantee.
I also like this set as a gift for 2 year olds, which contains less numbers and letters, but has an additional 52 magnets of objects for each letter of the alphabet.
The magnets are also made of plastic and not foam. There are also 2 activity e-books. Those are the major differences.
Depending on your preferences, either set might be ideal for you.
This radio flyer tricycle is the best tricycle for 2 year olds for 4 reasons:
- It has a steering handle for adults when your toddler gets tired, which will definitely happen. You don’t have to break your back pushing a tricycle down the street. This steering handle is also removable.
- There is a small storage in the back. You can put snacks, toys, a sweater in case it gets cold etc.
- The seat is adjustable so it can grow with your child.
- There is a small, fun bell.
This bike can be used for 2-5 year olds so you’ll get a lot of use out of it. The weight capacity is 49 lbs.
You should know, this tricycle has no straps and has plastic and not rubber tires.
If you’re looking for a tricycle with straps and rubber tires, there’s this radio flyer 4-in-1 that can be used from 9 months to 5 years old, but it’s expensive…
9. Small Photo Albums
My mother-in-law got my daughter a small photo album filled with photos of the 2 families. It’s such a great idea!
My 2 year old and I go through it together and she learns the names of everyone in the family.
Now she flips through it by herself. It definitely keeps her entertained!
Anti-slip socks are an awesome gift for 2 year olds. We got these from my mother and father in law and we’re so grateful!
My toddler is constantly taking off socks around the house. I can often only find 1 sock in a pair. Having extra socks is always helpful!
I prefer the anti-slip ones as while my daughter can walk well, sometimes she’s a little wobbly when she runs.
The anti-slip feature just gives me that extra peace of mind.
If you don’t care about getting non-slip socks, the Cherokee socks are really cute. I think I’ll get these in the future when she’s more stable on her feet.
Shoes are always a good gift for a 2 year old because they grow so fast. They’re constantly needing new shoe sizes.
If the 2 year old is in daycare, they often ask you to bring 1 pair of shoes for indoors and 1 pair of shoes for outdoors. That’s 2 of each size!
If you’re uncertain about what type of shoes to get, I highly recommend getting ones that offer great support and promote natural foot and balance development like these Stride Rite sneakers.
These are genuine leather with a rubber sole so they’re soft and durable.
There’s a memory foam sole so it’s extra comfortable. They’re easy to put on with the velcro strap so you don’t have to mess around with laces!
12. Lunch Box
A Bento Box is a useful gift to give parents of 2 year olds.
I’m constantly preparing snacks and meals for my 2 year old daughter. A lunch box is not just handy for food you need on the go. It’s practical for portioning out her meal at home.
I found out about this Bento Box from a Kindergarten teacher who told me it’s the best lunch container she’s seen in her class because it’s larger than others (so the kids can have all their food in one container and not keep track of a bunch of containers which can get lost) and lighter than others (so it’s not too heavy in their backpack).
It’s also easy for kids to open. They don’t have to wait for the teacher to come around and open it for them.
To my surprise, when I checked it out online, it’s one of the cheapest options available!
What I love about it is that there are additional separate compartments in this bento box. Sometimes you want that separate container for soups or sauces or cereal.
I like how my 2 year old can grow with this bento box and use it in later years as well.
*Since I wrote this article and my 2 year old has entered Kindergarten, she’s now taking this bento box as her lunch container. It’s surprisingly still in excellent condition!
We also put it in a zipped lunch bag so that it’s insulated for her lunch at school. In hindsight, I should have purchased this earlier when she was a 2 year old.
It would have been easier to have the bento box in a lunch bag for longer car trips with my 2 year old.
I also put one of these larger reusable ice packs occasionally (usually for meat dishes) in the lunch bag to keep it extra cool.
13. Table and Chairs
My 2 year old loves having her own table and chairs. She can draw her pictures on it, do her puzzles on it, eat on it etc.
We have this table and chairs set. What I like about it is that my daughter can draw on the table and it can be wiped off easily. The chairs are very light so you can easily move them from room to room. This is handy if you’re using the set for eating in the kitchen area and then later in the living room for puzzles. It’s also cheap.
With all that said…
It can get wobbly. You have to keep an eye out for if the screws need to be tightened.
As it’s light, my daughter can carry the chairs everywhere. Then she proceeds to stand on the chair to reach something up top and has occasionally fallen down. She doesn’t do this anymore, but like everything, it took time.
If these are issues for you, you’ll want to invest in a sturdier, better quality set of table and chairs like this set as a gift. It’s more expensive, but it’s sturdier and made of wood.
14. Writing board that erases
An erasable drawing board is not only a great gift to develop and inspire the 2 year old in your life. The parents don’t waste money on paper!
What’s great about this drawing board is:
- It’s colorful with different areas showing red, blue, yellow and green.
- It’s easy to carry around with a handle at the top.
- The pen is attached to a string so you’re less likely to lose it.
- The 2 year old can easily swipe left or right to erase the design.
- There are 3 geometric stamps (circle, square and triangle) to give the little one more options.
This toy is technically for 3 year olds, but my 2 year old daughter can use it.
I can see that the reason why it says 3+ is because the 3 geometric shapes might be a choking hazard.
If you’re concerned, you can remove these and give them to the little one at a later date. I can see this drawing board being used on and off for a few years.
15. Paw Patrol Figurines
My 2 year old hadn’t heard of Paw Patrol when she received this gift of Paw Patrol mini figures.
She just loved playing with the dog figurines. Moving them from place to place. Showing them to people and saying woof woof.
We’ve since introduced her to the show and it’s taken on a whole new meaning for her. She loves them that much more.
I love the idea of play-doh and how it inspires kids to explore their creativity and imagination.
This 36 pack play-doh set provides a lot of fun times for a 2 year old.
This is actually how she learned the different colors. I had tried to teach her colors from books about colors and mixing colors, but it wasn’t sinking in.
I think it was the simplicity of seeing the varieties play-doh colors and feeling each one in her hands that finally connected the dots.
You can also pair it with shaping and cutting tools like this 45 piece set.
If you’ve heard of Mega bloks, Duplo is the next size down, made specifically for toddlers and preschoolers.
It’s their next LEGO stage to help a 2 year old build its dexterity and creativity.
There are lots of nice Duplo sets.
Here are a few that are really fun:
1) This Duplo set comes with 80 pieces. You can make a duck, helicopter, flower, fish, and heart, but there are other combinations. These blocks are more plain so you can do more of what you want with them.
2) This is a large playground set of 71 pieces. It has a treehouse with slide, swing area with windmill and a bouncy car ride. It comes with a handy storage case.
Final Thoughts on Best 2 Year Old Presents
Happy shopping for the 2 year old in your life! It’s a fun age!
I’ve had so many memorable experiences playing with these gifts with my 2 year old.
I hope this year is full of great memories for the 2 year old in your life!
If you’re looking for more gift ideas, here’s my list of 2 year old essentials.
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Recap of Best Gifts for 2 Year Olds
- Reusable stickers: Melissa & Doug sticker books and collections
- Press Here
- Play kitchen: Step2 kitchen
- Andrea Beaty books: Rosie Revere, Engineer book, Iggy Peck, Architect, Ada Twist, Scientist, Sofia Valdez, Future Prez
- Puzzles: Melissa & Doug peg puzzles, chunky puzzles, lock puzzle
- Magnets: Magnet set with mostly alphabets and numbers , Magnet set with less alphabets and numbers but lots of pictures,
- Tricycle: Radio flyer tricycle with steering handle, Radio flyer 4-in-1 , Radio Flyer’s tricycle with rubber wheels, Schwinn tricycle with rubber wheels
- Small photo album
- Socks: Anti-slip socks, Cherokee socks
- Stride Rite sneakers
- Bento Box
- Table and Chairs Delta set.
- Erasable drawing board
- Paw Patrol mini figures
- Play-doh: 36 pack play-doh set , 45 piece shape and cutting set
- Duplo: plain bricks, large playground set
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