How to choose toys & gifts for older toddlers (2-year-olds)?


Once your child turns 2, they’re likely to have some big changes almost every month. The toddler started playing alone, And there’s a good chance they’re trying to do more things without parents help.

Older toddlers are full of personality and energy. They want to know the reason for everything. They will ask “Why?” a lot!

Their life skills, motor skills, language skills have improved significantly compared to a few months ago.

ABILITIES AND INTERESTS Older Toddlers (2-Year-Olds)

Physical Milestones

This year, children may  grow  by leaps and bounds, the big muscles (gross motor skills) will have a big development, as well as small muscle movement (fine motor skills).

But because of their increased mobility, parents will pay more attention to child-proofing.

By the end of their third year, most 2-year-olds learn to do things like these:

Gross Motor Skills:

  • Walk, run, start to jump with two feet together and jump from heights.
  • Throw and retrieves all kinds of objects; try to catch with both hands.
  • May alternate feet up and down stairs, holding on to the railing.
  • Climb up furniture and other places to climb.
  • Pushes self on wheeled objects.
  • Stand on tiptoes and try to balance on one foot.
  • Moving to music.

Fine motor skills:

  • Walk, run, start to jump with two feet together and jump from heights.
  • Throw and retrieves all kinds of objects; try to catch with both hands.
  • May alternate feet up and down stairs, holding on to the railing.
  • Climb up furniture and other places to climb.
  • Pushes self on wheeled objects.
  • Stand on tiptoes and try to balance on one foot.
  • Moving to music.

Cognitive Milestones

Most 2-year-olds have cognitive like these:

  • Remember short rhymes, and can sing simple songs.
  • Follow simple directions, such as” Pick up the toy and put it in place”.
  • Like play pretend games, use objects to represent other objects.
  • Group toys by type, size or color.
  • Remember and talk about past events up to a day.
  • Distinguish concepts such as inside, outside, before and after, long and segment, more and less, etc.
  • Know own gender and be able to identify the gender of the other people.
  • Begin to show an interest in TV and lovable characters.

Language Milestones

By the end of the third year, children usually understand what you say and can interact in a dialogue.

At this age, most children may have those language skills:

  • Speak in sentences of two to four words by 24 months, mastered most of the oral expression by 36 months.
  • Like to repeat words she hears, can follow to sing nursery rhymes.
  • Uses language to express their feelings and wishes, like to say “No”.
  • Understand plurals (dogs) and basic pronouns (me, you), can use it correctly .

Social and Emotional Milestones

Two-year-olds start to be more independent and like to play with other kids.

By the end of this year, kids will likely do things like this:

  • Begins to play cooperatively with other kids (especially 30 to 36 months).
  • Become increasingly independent and aware of herself or himself as an independent individual.
  • They are generally very self-centered and it’s difficult for them to share with others.
  • Disobey more than before, doing the opposite of what is asked, just to test what happens.
  • Enjoys hearing simple stories read from picture books, especially stories with repetition.
  • Start to realize they can do things without help.

The development of the two-year-olds in the text is only approximate Children develop.

Anyone child may be “above average” in one skill and below average’ in another skill.

The toys we recommend that are also relevant to the particular age group.

Choosing the Right Toys & gifts for older toddlers (2-year-olds)

By 2-year-olds, the toddler Begin of cooperative social play, increase interest in pretend play and love of physicalyl active play.

Toys should be lightweight enough for easy lifting, with bright colors is preferred.

Sports & Recreational Play

Push & Pull Toys

Two-year-olds can walk, run, jump, and balance fairly well. They can use pull toys with cords. Push & Pull Toys can help the toddler to gain strengths and practice gross-motor skills.

Push & Pull Toys for 2-year-old toddlers should be:

Push & Pull Toys for 2-years-old

Ride-On Toys

Children of this age group can maneuver a ride-on. They have enough coordination and balance ability to alternate feet up and down when pushing ride-on toys. They start using tricycles with pedals to learn to pedal.

They also like Battery-operated vehicles wirh realistic-looking.

Although these children are physically capable of steering vehicles of this type, most 2-year-olds couldn’t steer wheel and control slow-moving motorized vehicles to avoid hazards.

Ride-on toys for 2-year-old toddlers should be:

Ride on Toys for 2-years-old

Sports and Gym Equipment

Two-year-old children are developing the gross-motor skills that are used in games and sports.

Running, climbing, playing ball are good sports for two-year-old children.

They can grasp a large ball with 2 hands, throw a ball towards a targe and kick a ball.

But they can’t control their movement very well. Therefore, sports equipment for this age is soft replica to prevent injuries.

Sports and Gym equipment for two-year-old:

Sports and Gym Equipment for 2-years-old

Recreational Equipment

By 2 years of age, children like to play playground equipment in outdoor.

Most 2-year-olds can climb steps and short ladders. They have the ability to get themselves to the top of a climbing structure, but cannot get back down. They enjoy sliding and tot swings.

Appropriate playground equipment has rounded edges and is free of protrusions.

Children at this age also start to take an interest in creative movement activities. They enjoy moving to music, repeating song lyrics, and participating in finger games.

Creative movements for two-years-olds are generally limited to parachutes.

They can pull the parachute back and forth and up and down to create waves and sounds under adult supervision.

Appropriate Recreational Equipment for 2-year-old toddlers should be:

Recreational Equipment for 2-years-old

Manipulative Play

Construction Toys

Around 2-year-olds ,child begin true construction play and continues into adulthood. They begin to use block to do simple construction with the intention of creating something, such as towers or houses.

They use block to construct representative objects such as towers or houses and they enjoy knocking down blocks as much as building with them.

Therefore, appropriate blocks for 2-year-old children are:

Blocks for 2-years-old


Two-year-olds have developed the fine-motor skills and the details of the object can be noticed that are required to do inset puzzles. 

Child can put together simple inset puzzles, large pieces make puzzles easier to complete. These children are interested in puzzle with familiar pictures and characters. 

Most of the time they continue to approach puzzles through trial and error rather than systematic strategies. 

So puzzle pieces need to be close-ended so that the pieces fit in only one orientation.

Puzzles for 2-years-old

Card, Floor, Board, & Table Games

Two-year-olds can do simple matching or differentiation, but they have difficulty in true game play that involves rules or requires turn taking.

They enjoy simple matching or lotto-type games, in which the matching is based on pictures, shapes, or colors rather than more abstract letters or numbers.

Dominoes—especially giant ones—also may be enjoyed by these children.

They are interested in fishing-type games as long as the connections use magnets rather than hooks.

Simple action games that involve pressing a lever or flipping a marker into a hole are appealing to the children of two-years-old.

Play with these games may involve one other child or adult, but children of this age will often choose to play with the game alone in exploratory ways.

Appropriate Card, Floor, Board, & Table Games for 2-year-old children are:

Card, Floor, Board, & Table Games for 2-years olds

Manipulative Toys

Toddlers have increasing control over fine-motor skills.

They start practicing snaps and zipping up.

They can manage simple screwing actions and can usesimple one- or two-turn wind-up mechanisms with low tension.

They can turn on the faucet and wash hands by themselves.

The toy develop fine-motor skills of 2-year-old should be:

Manipulative Toys for 2-years-old

Sand and Water Play Toys (with Adult Supervision)

Playing sand and water is the nature of the child. Sand and water are open-ended toys. They can be used in a variety of ways to inspire your child’s imagination.

The sand and water play toys for tow-year-old could be:

sand and water play toys for tow-year-old

Pretend & Role Play

Dolls & Stuffed Toys

Children in this age group start to use dolls and stuffed toys to play pretend.

They like Soft, rounded, pliable, and cuddly dolls and stuffed toys.

The dolls & stuffed toys with moving eyes are appealing to this age group.

Appropriate dolls and stuffed toys are easily carried, non-threatening, and familiar looking with a friendly appearance.

Children of this age also like taking care of dolls, dressing dolls, bathing dolls, and brushing a doll’s hair.

Two-year-olds are attracted to dolls and stuffed toys that produce sounds, lights, or other actions when pushed.

The Dolls & stuffed toys for tow-year-old could be:

Dolls and Stuffed Toys for 2-years-old

Dress-UP Materials

Since the age of two, the children especially girls like to dress up.

They are attracted by Dress-up materials include costumes, accessories, jewelry, and dress-up kits. At age 2, the toddler prefers dress-up materials with a low degree of realistic detail and use dress-up materials in role-playing.

They can act out the typical behaviors and expressions of characters and pets, especially those from the cartoon.

Appropriate dress-up materials for this age group include:

Dress UP Materials for 2-years-old

Play Scenes & Puppets

When the child play pretend game and role-play, Play scenes and puppets help them construct dramatic scenes and stories.

Play scenes include miniature models, play sets, dollhouses, and pop-up scenes, all of which may come with characters, small vehicles, props, or a variety of accessories.

Two-year-olds prefer simple play scenes with a little realistic detail and simple moving part.

They also begin to enjoy finger puppets as they increasing fine-motor skills.

Some favorite pretend play scenes & puppets for 2 year olds include:

Play Scenes & puppets for 2-years-old

Small Vehicle Toys

Two-year-olds children start to use small vehicles more for make-believe play.

Small vehicle toys with sound, lights, or movement have more appeal to them.

They enjoy small vehicles which have a little realistic detail and rich vibrant colors.

They are attracted to vehicle toys that have simple, one- or two-turn wind-up mechanisms of low tension.

As they approach 3 years, these children can connect simple hooking, snap, or interlace tracks and enjoy it.

Appropriate vehicles toys for this age group include:

Small Vehicle Toys for 2-years-old

Creative Play (Arts, Crafts, Music)

Musical Instruments

Music is an integral part of human life. For the 2-year-old ,they can follow to sing their favorite nursery rhymes, can move the body with music.

They enjoy rhythm instruments. They are interested in the sounds different musical instruments and animal make and intent to imitate it. They can also effectively use various types of percussion instruments.

Appropriate musical instruments for 2-year-old are:

Musical Instruments for 2-years-old

Art and Craft Materials

Two-year-olds children begin to represent something through their art. Although they may still put objects in their mouths, art materials available to them are great increases.

They can distinguish colors and enjoy finger painting using different color of pigments.

They love to scribble, with fine-motor movements becoming more skillful that they can draw circular and some vertical lines.

Appropriate Art and Craft materials for two-year-olds should be:

Art and Craft Materials for 2-years-old

Learning Play

Learning & Smart Toys

Learning toys are intended for gaining information or strengthening cognitive skills. Two-year-olds can remember something, concentrate and focus on

one task for a limited time. so they have the ability to use simply learning toys and be attracted with those toys. They can count number and understand the concept of “two.”

They can recognize and identify almost all common objects and pictures, and enjoy matching or naming objects and shapes.

Appropriate learning toys for two-year-olds should be:

Learning & Smart Toys for-2-years-old


Book is an integral part of our life, the early years of child develop good reading habit, they can enjoy reading when grown into an adult.

For two year-olds, their memory is temporary, and cannot remember complex things, so they enjoy hearing the same story read repeatedly and simple pictures with few details and clear color.

When they read a book, they like to find pictures hidden behind windows or doors.

Appropriate books for two-year-olds should be:

Books for 2-years-old


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