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Best toys for 2-year-olds: fun and educational gifts

From puzzles and games to train tracks and building blocks, we’ve found the best fun and educational toys available to suit every two-year-old.

By Victoria David | Last updated Sep 26, 2023


This article was updated on 22nd August 2023. 

Choosing the best toys for 2 year olds can be tricky. They’ve grown out of baby toys, but they’re still too young for some of the best toys for 3-year-olds. Add to this the fact that toys can be pricey, and there is so much conflicting advice about which is the best to get that it can make your head spin.

So, let us help. At the heart of it, toddlers are active, curious and imaginative so the best toddler toys will help them learn new skills and bring them hours of fun. Perhaps your little one already has a best doll or teddy bear, and you're looking to expand their horizons.

At this age, children are developing their emotional, social, language, problem-solving, and fine and gross motor skills on a minute-by-minute basis. Toddlers are like sponges, soaking up the world around them, and at Mumsnet, we know how a carefully chosen toy can have a tremendous impact - and buy you 15 minutes' peace. That's why we've scoured Mumsnet forums, listened to industry experts and analysed verified reviews to find our pick of the best toys for 2 year olds that were approved by experts and tried, tested and loved by toddlers and their parents.

In this list, we've covered our bases by including creative and imaginative toys that inspire children's love for learning. For those who love to play pretend, you can buy dolls, play sets, kitchens and car garages, which are great for sharing with their friends. For more active kids, there are outdoor play toys they can ride, bounce and climb on – a great way to use up some of their energy! If they prefer to build and create, we've got DUPLO, magnetic construction sets and playdoh that'll keep their little hands busy.

Here are 20 of the best toys for 2 year olds.

Best toys for 2 year old toddlers - at a glance:

1. Best toy for 2-year-olds 2023: LEGO DUPLO Classic Brick Box

Price on writing: £22 | Buy now from Amazon

Key Specs

Dimensions: ‎18 x 37 x 18 cm (box) | Weight: 1.01kg (boxed) | Material: Plastic | Assembly required: Only for the kids | Development claims: Construction Skills | Age: 18 months plus

What we love:

  • Chunky colourful bricks perfectly sized for small hands

  • Helps build construction and motor skills

  • Great for learning about cause and effect as they build and knock down their creations

What to know:

  • Parents may prefer sustainable building blocks instead of plastic

What Mumsnet users say:

“Building with DUPLO, we do it almost every day. You do need to build with him at first but then once he gets the hang of it, he'll be able to do a good 15 mins on his own. It helps if you're there to coo admiringly over the things he's made (in our case, many many dinosaurs)” (Tip from Mumsnet user smeerf)

“DUPLO. Gateway drug to the very expensive LEGO” (Recommended by Mumsnet user TeenDivided)

Our Verdict

LEGO is a brand that has established itself as a children's classic, loved by adults and children equally, and their Duplo sets for toddlers are no exception. Promising hours of safe, creative play, your child can let their imagination run wild and create all kinds of structures and creatures.

Popular amongst Mumsnetters, this starter box is our pick for the best DUPLO set. It has 65 classic bricks, two figures, a car, windows, a roof, two loaves of bread and some flowers, which can all be conveniently stored in their Lego-shaped storage box (to avoid any feet-related accidents).

The set even includes a starter booklet full of ideas, helping inspire them and bring their imagination to life. The only problem is they'll love it so much they'll want to add more sets to the collection! That's Christmas sorted.

Read next: The best books for 3-year-olds, according to Mumsnetters

2. Best budget toy for 2-year-olds: Lamaze Pile and Play Stacking Cups


Price on writing: £8 | Buy now from Amazon

Key Specs

Dimensions: ‎23 x 7 x 23cm | Weight: 149g | Material: Plastic | Assembly required: No | Development claims: Colours, counting and hand-to-eye coordination | Age: From birth

What we love:

  • Budget-friendly

  • Helps teach different colours and encourages counting

  • Dishwasher safe

What to know:

  • Plastic toys won’t be everyone’s first choice

What Mumsnet users say:

“I always recommend a set of stacking cups. He will enjoy handling them and looking at the different colours. Later he can use them in sand and water play." (Recommended by Mumsnet user mdh2020)

Our Verdict

Cheap and cheerful, these brightly coloured stacking toys stack inside of each other for easy storage, whilst offering a wide range of educational benefits including colours, counting and construction.

Lamaze Pile and Play Stacking Cups are an ideal toy for two-year-olds and make a fun and educational toy both in and out of the bath. With 8 cups in the set that can be stacked on top of each other, children will love creating towers, aligning each cup in reverse size order before knocking them down and starting all over again.

Ideal for developing your toddler’s hand-to-eye coordination, these budget-friendly cups can also help build an awareness of colours and encourage children to count from 1-8 as they add each cup.

Read next: The best trikes for babies and toddlers, as recommended by Mumsnetters

3. Best educational toy for 2-year-olds: HNVWNSD Magnetic Building Blocks

Price on writing: £14 | Buy now from Amazon

Key Specs

Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 6cm | Weight: Not stated | Material: Plastic | Assembly required: None | Warranty: 30 days | Development claims: Fine motor skills, problem-solving | Age: From 2 months

What we love:

  • Infinite possibilities for play

  • Not as fiddly as DUPLO

  • Nurtures early STEM and creative skills

What to know:

  • Most magnetic tile sets are from age 3+

What Mumsnet users say:

Magnetic tiles. She needed some help to get to grips with them, but could play with them independently after a few days and for far longer than any other toy.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user PowerslidePanda)

Our Verdict

There’s something mesmerising about magnetic tiles - perhaps its the satisfying click as they fit together, or the infinite shapes and structures that can be made with them. Whatever it is, plenty of Mumsnetters say their two-year-olds get absorbed in these for longer than other toys - leaving them to grab a cuppa or go for a wee in peace. 

Most magnetic tile sets are usually for ages 3 and up, but we found this bargain set which is suitable from 2 months. Learning how shapes fit together and experimenting with 3D shapes will develop your child’s creativity, as well as nurturing their problem-solving abilities.

Related: The best STEM toys for kids of all ages

4. Best outdoor toy for 2-year-olds: Little Tikes Cozy Coupe

Price on writing: £70 | Buy now from Argos

Key Specs

Dimensions: 74.3 x 42.21 x 38.1 cm | Weight: 8.05kg |  Material: Plastic | Assembly required: Yes | Development claims: Imagination and motor skills | Age: 18 months plus

What we love:

  • Fun ride-along toy

  • Available in a choice of designs

  • Removable base plate as your child grows in confidence

What to know:

  • Initial assembly can be challenging

  • Can discolour slightly if left outside

What Mumsnet users say:

“I got one for my son when he was 2 and he absolutely loves it still a year later. You can buy it in the classic yellow and red or they do other designs, a princess one, dinosaur” (Rated by Mumsnet user AlfieandAnnieRose)

Our Verdict

With a removable board for feet, the Cozy Coupe has been a much loved toy for generations, initially pushed along by a parent, before allowing your toddler to control the movements themselves, moving their feet Freddie Flinstone style to navigate around their surroundings. Instantly recognisable, it's a real classic that will be played with over and over - plus they're easy to re-sell. That's why we think it's still the best toy for a 2-year-olds.

A fun ride-on toy with wheels that spin 360 degrees, the Cozy Couple can encourage even the most reluctant of 2 year olds to go and play outside, imprioving gross motor skills whilst encourtaging creativity, imagination and communication skills too.

This original design Cozy Coupe comes with an ignition switch, opening fuel cap, working horn and easy open door and can easily With a variety of different designs to choose from, you can even pick up a police car, princess, black cab or dinosaur version to help bring your child’s interests to life.

For fun, fresh air and five minutes' peace, check out our round-up of the best outdoor toys for kids.

5. Best toy garage for 2-year-olds: VTech Toot-toot Drivers Garage


Price on writing: £39 | Buy now from Amazon

Key Specs

Dimensions: H29cm x W66cm x D36cm | Weight: 2710g | Material: Plastic | Assembly required: Yes | Educational objectives: Fine motor skills | Age: 12 months+

What we love:

  • Appealing design with moving parts and sounds

  • Two levels of play

  • Great expansion sets and cars are available to buy separately

What to know:

  • The sounds and music will be stuck in parents' heads forever

  • Only one car included (others sold separately)

What Mumsnet users say:

“The VTech Toot Toot stuff is great. Super annoying little songs on the cars mind but my son loved it.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Karenoid)

Both my children have spent hours playing with it. It started with us building the track and them pushing cars around it to them as they for older building larger and more elaborate tracks. It's still used now at eight and six and we have loads of sets. But be warned it is really annoying as it all makes noises.” (Rated by Mumsnet user Bubblysqueak)

Our Verdict

If your two year old is car obsessed, they’ll absolutely love this two-storey interactive garage from Vtech Toot Toot, a fun and entertaining toy that encourages imaginative play and refines those fine motor skills.

With one musical car included, children can navigate up and down the ramps to the turning station, petrol pump or electric meter, before heading to the shops and getting squeaky clean at the local car wash. Drive over one of six Smart Point locations across the garage to trigger lights, sounds and music - be warned though, the music is incredibly catchy, so parents will soon find themselves singing it in the shower.

Read next: The best train sets for toddlers and children

6. Best farm toy for 2-year-olds: Happyland Farm

Happyland Farm

Price on writing: £48 | Buy now from Amazon

Key Specs

Dimensions: 25cm (H) x 32cm (W) x 16cm | Weight: Not specified |  Material: Plastic  | Assembly required: No | Development claims: Spatial awareness, creativity, role play | Age: 2 to 5 years

What we love:

  • Chunky, easy-to-hold pieces

  • Great for creative play

  • Additional characters and playsets to collect

What to know:

  • Expensive compared to some other play sets

What Mumsnet users say:

“Both my sons loved them and they lasted a while, from 18m-ish to 3-ish. Particularly the space rocket and the farm set.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user mnahmnah)

“The farm is brilliant. My son got it for his first birthday and still plays with it almost daily 18 months later” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Imissprosecco)

Our Verdict

Happyland is a much-loved brand from the Early Learning Centre and comes well-recommended for two-year-olds within the Mumsnet forums. The small but hardwearing Happyland characters can encourage imagination, creativity and role play, as they use the pieces to act out different scenes and stories.

The Happyland Farm playset comes with fifteen pieces including 2 friendly characters and six adorable animals as well as a pen, stable and tractor. We love the interactive sounds that can be played by pressing the buttons on the roof.

Read next: The best books for 2-year-olds, as chosen by Mumsnetters

7. Best wooden toy for 2-year-olds: Melissa & Doug Wooden Ice Cream Set

Price on writing: £34 | Buy now from Amazon

Key Specs

Dimensions: 9 x 30 x 40cm  | Weight: 2kg |  Material: Wood | Assembly required: No | Development claims: Dexterity, Social behaviour, Creativity  | Age: 3+

What we love:

  • Perfect for playing together

  • Practice colours and numbers

  • Great quality

What to know:

  • Pricier than other play food

  • Age suitability says 3 years+

What Mumsnet users say:

I've yet to meet a toddler who didn't love it. Another bonus of the ice cream shop is you get to join in playing by sitting on the sofa and ordering ice creams and then they bring them to you 🤣 sadly they're wooden.” (rated by Mumsnet user CakeCrumbs44)

Our Verdict

With realistic colours and lovely quality, tactile wood, this ice cream set from Melissa and Doug is a thing of beauty. 2-year-olds love to play either side of the counter, and it’s a fun and easy game for them to play with teddies, siblings, friends and parents. 

The clever scoop is easy to use for little hands, and the set comes with a toddler-friendly menu. Kids love to stack the ice cream scoops and add toppings to make tall and delicious-looking creations.

Related: The best stairgates for a safe, toddler-proof home

8. Best creative toy for 2-year-olds: Aqua Doodle Large Water Doodle Mat

Tomy Aquadoodle

Price on writing: £16  | Buy now from Amazon

Key Specs

Dimensions: ‎14 x 10 x 5 cm | Weight: 118 grams |  Material: Plastic | Assembly required: No | Development claims: Creativity | Age: 18 months to 4 years

What we love:

  • Artistic fun without the mess

  • Portable

  • Water fades to allow repeated use

What to know:

  • Children may be tempted to suck the water pen

What Mumsnet users say:

“Aqua doodle is a bit like painting but without the mess. My kid spent literally hours doing that as a two-year-old. Easy to fold up and take on holiday too” (Rated by Mumsnet user InTheFamilyTree)

They are amazing! We use ours almost daily!” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user toomuchangelcake)

Our Verdict

If your 2-year-old loves getting crafty, drawing or painting but the thought of getting the paints out around your cream carpets just isn’t practical, Aquadoodle is a great solution.

This portable fold-out mat comes with a water pen that allows children to get creative without any mess, creating watermarks on the mat as they run the pen across the surface. The water fades completely once dried, allowing the mat to be reused over and over again.

Read next: The best child safety locks for babyproofing your home

9. Best toy for 2-year-olds who have everything: Buyagift Family Days Out Choice Voucher

Price on writing: £30 | Buy now from Buyagift

Key Specs

Dimensions: N/A | Weight: N/A |  Material: Digital voucher | Assembly required: No | Development claims: Lots of educational options | Age: Not stated

What we love:

  • Over 200 days out to choose from

  • Includes activities and entry to animal parks

  • Perfect for those who don't want more toys

What to know:

  • For 2 adults and 2 children, which won't suit every family

What Mumsnet users say:

“We ask for money towards a season ticket to local attractions. It means dc get lots of days out we couldn't usually afford and no more stuff.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user LunaLoveFood)

Our Verdict

There’s a lot to be said for a stuff-free birthday gift. Especially when it comes to toddlers, Mumsnetters often recommend experiences over toys, so we wanted to include this in our round-up. 

A season ticket to a local zoo or attraction is always welcome, or if you’d like to leave your options open one of these vouchers from Buyagift. Little ones love a special day out and their parents will thank you for one less toy to add to the mountain.

Read next: The best toy storage solutions for a clutter-free home

10. Best pretend play toy for 2-year-olds: Smoby Tefal Large Play Kitchen

Price on writing: £115 | Buy now from Amazon

Key Specs

Dimensions: 118cm x 44cm x 101cm | Weight: 7.6kg |  Material: Plastic | Assembly required: Yes | Development claims: Role play | Age: 3 months - 3 years

What we love:

  • Comes with 40 accessories

  • Includes magic bubble hob function

  • Adjustable height

  • Detailed

  • Sturdy

What to know:

  • Larger design that may not fit smaller spaces

  • Small niggles: pot can leak, hard to empty the sink

Our Verdict

If you’re looking for a large kitchen for your toddler that comes with plenty of accessories, this Smoby Tefal model is the perfect choice. Designed to look to mimic a real-life kitchen, it has a range of fun extras including a Magic Bubble function on the hob which boils water and pasta that changes colour in the water.

It has all the standard features you’d expect plus a fridge, table, espresso machine and recipe book, as well as 40 accessories, including pots and pans, sauce bottles, salt and pepper shakers, cups, and food items – more than enough to keep your child busy for hours! The kitchen is large enough for two children to play with and the worktop can be adjusted to suit children as old as eight. Although, it is pretty hefty so make sure you have the space prior to buying!

Read next: Our pick of the best play kitchens for kids

11. Best playhouse for 2-year-olds: NOVECRAFTO Cardboard Playhouse

Price on writing: £44 | Buy now from Amazon

Key Specs

Dimensions: 133 x 105 x 133cm | Weight: Not stated |  Material: Cardboard | Assembly required: Yes | Development claims: Role play | Age: Not stated

What we love:

  • Endless ways to play

  • Folds flat

  • Recyclable

What to know:

  • Expensive for what is essentially a big box

What Mumsnet users say

"What about one of those cardboard playhouses/castles, that he can paint himself (and you can bin later)." Recommended by Mumsnetter 5zeds

Our Verdict

It’s a playhouse, it’s an easel, it’s a shop, it’s a den… cardboard playhouses like this one from NOVECRAFTO have so much play potential. Let your child loose with some felt tips or stickers to customise the playhouse, pop some of their favourite toys inside and voila - hours of fun. 

This one is made of good quality cardboard that should last pretty well, and it’s easy to assemble. Naturally, it won’t withstand getting wet or being leapt on, and pets might try and chew its edges. When it’s eventually time to say goodbye to the cardboard playhouse, it can go straight in your recycling bin.

Read next: The best doll's prams, as recommended by Mumsnetters

12. Best train set for 2-year-olds: Brio First Railway Beginner Pack

A picture of Brio's starter train set.

Price on writing: £36 | Buy now from Amazon

Key Specs

Dimensions: ‎36 x 12 x 17 cm | Weight: 680 grams |  Material: Wood | Assembly required: Yes (by child) | Development claims: Spacial awareness | Age: 18 months to 4 years

What we love:

  • Made from sustainable FSC-certified wood

  • Great first railway set

  • Encourages children to build the track and act out play scenes

What to know:

  • A smaller set that may quickly be outgrown (expansion packs sold separately)

What Mumsnet users say:

“I think the Brio train set is good at this age. Can buy small and, if they like, add to it over time.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user Caspianberg)

"A wooden train set was our great hit at Christmas when DD was two! And I swear it got played with every day for the next three years. You just can’t go wrong. It’s a present they really grow into." (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user theclangersarecoming)

Our Verdict

Wooden train sets have been around for years, but children still love building tracks and watching trains go around. BRIO’s My First Railway Beginner Pack has been designed with toddlers in mind so they can start creating tracks as young as two years old.

The 18-piece pack makes a simple circular track easy enough for toddlers to build and it comes with a wagon that makes a fun noise as it goes around. There’s also a colourful bridge and ascending track so children can watch the train go up and down.

The great thing about BRIO is you can buy lots more tracks, trains and accessories to connect together so children can keep on creating and expanding their own little world, it’s also compatible with most other brands, helping you expand your collection without breaking the bank. We think this is the best train set for 2-year-olds.

13. Best screen-free toy for 2-year-olds: Tonies Toniebox starter set

A picture of a blue Toniebox Starter Set.

Price on writing: £80  | Buy now from Argos

Key Specs

Dimensions: ‎11.99 x 11.99 x 11.99cm  | Weight: 1.52kg |  Material: Padded water repellent fabric case | Assembly required: No | Development claims: Literacy skills | Age: 3 years plus

What we love:

  • Screen-free fun

  • Can help children switch off and relax before bed

  • Wide range of hand-painted and engaging characters filled with content such as stories and music

What to know:

  • The cost of Tonies characters can add up

What Mumsnet users say:

“My son got his for Xmas just after he turned 2. He’s almost 5 now and we use it nightly. My youngest falls  asleep to it in minutes and then my eldest takes it up to his bed 😄 it’s a bit annoying how expensive the tonie characters are but you can do a swap with friends/Facebook marketplace them” (Recommended by Mumsnet user MassiveSalad22)

“We have the tonies box and it is amazing, would recommend it without a doubt.” (Seal of approval from Mumsnet user user1019273703)

Our Verdict

Screen-free entertainment with cute and engaging characters, the Toniebox Starter Set is a popular audio player made specifically for children aged 3 plus.

With padded sides for protection, this portable child’s speaker works with Tonie characters (sold separately) that can play content such as stories, music and activities once placed on top of the Toniebox. Children will love selecting their own characters and deciding what to listen to next, whilst the hand-painted characters make a fun toy to play with in their own right.

The Toniebox Starter Set comes with one Creative Tonie included, a cute character that can be loaded with up to 90 minutes of audio of your choice. You can even record yourself reading your child’s favourite bedtime story - a great way to help them drift off to sleep.

Want to know more? Read our in-depth Toniebox review.


14. Best garden toy for 2-year-olds: Chad Valley Sand and Water Table

Chad Valley Sand and Water Table

Price on writing: £30 | Buy now from Argos

Key Specs

Dimensions: H70, W52.5, D52.5cm | Weight: 6.3kg |  Material: Plastic | Assembly required: Yes, minimal | Warranty: 1 year | Development claims: Sensory play and cause and effect | Age: 18 months plus

What we love:

  • Encourages children to play outside

  • Fun sensory play

What to know:

  • Doesn’t include a cover, so will need emptying and cleaning regularly

What Mumsnet users say:

“My 2-year-old loooves her water/sand table though and will happily play with it even in the winter months” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Chrissywakeuup)

“I got this for my two-and-a-half-year-old. He is enjoying it. It's not the fanciest one and is a little basic but it does the job well. It depends on how much you want to spend. It comes with a useful cover and the little spade, fork, boats etc.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user eyesbiggerthanstomach)

Our Verdict

Sand and water tables are popular amongst Mumsnet users and their toddlers, especially in the summer months. Perfect for keeping cool and getting outside, some parents report that their two-year-olds even play withn it during the winter too.

Versatile, portable and easy to set up, this double-sided sand and water table includes moulds, a sand rake, a scoop and boats to enable hours of outdoor, screen-free fun. The set is brightly coloured can even be left outside in all weather thanks to the handy storage lid which will protect the sand from the elements.

The only downside is that sand is not included, so you’ll need to purchase play-safe sand separately!

15. Best toy for 2-year-olds for travel: Yoto Mini

Yoto Mini

Price on writing: £60 | Buy now from Amazon

Key Specs

Dimensions: H7 x W7 x D4cm| Weight: 160 grams |  Material: Plastic | Assembly required: No | Development claims: Vocabulary and literacy | Age: 3 years plus

What to love:

  • Portable screen-free fun

  • Ideal for travel, car journeys and flights

  • Wide range of child-friendly Yoto cards with stories, songs and meditations

What to know:

  • Yoto cards are generally more expensive than audiobooks but come with a physical card

What Mumsnet users say:

“It’s much smaller than the original which is better for travelling. We got it for the car” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user ByTheSeaCatsandAll)

“Yoto (the new, mini version) no doubt. My 2.5 year old loves their Yoto” (Recommended by Mumsnet user bumpquestion)

Our Verdict

Travelling with a 2 year old can be challenging, but this small and portable audio player for kids can certainly take the stress out of car and plane journeys.

With an audio port for headphones, children can select from a range of Yoto cards (sold separately) and choose from a selection of stories, music, activities and even meditations to help keep them calm and comfortable during travel without relying on tablets.

The Yoto mini is small, lightweight and easy to carry, whilst providing educational and entertaining audio to listen to on the go.

Intrigued? Read our full Yoto Mini review.


16. Best bath toy for 2-year-olds: Tomy Toomies Foam Cone Factory

Tomy toomies foam cone factory

Price on writing: £15 | Buy now from Amazon

Key Specs

Dimensions: ‎20.98 x 10.52 x 19.02 cm | Weight: 453 grams |  Material: Plastic  | Assembly required: No | Development claims: Creativity, motor skills and communication | Age: From 18 months

What we love:

  • Encourages creative role play

  • Makes bath time fun

  • A fun interactive toy for playing with parents

What to know:

  • Suction pads won’t work in every bathroom setting

What Mumsnet users say:

“We had an ice cream maker (bubbles). It has cones and a handle you pull to make an ice cream.”  (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Spaceman101)

We had the Tomy Foam Cone Factory – great fun.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user livingthegoodlife)

Our Verdict

Attaching to the side of the bath or tiles, the Tomy Toomies Foam Cone factory is a fun, interactive bath toy that can banish boring bathtimes for good, using water and bubbles to bring your child’s imagination to life.

With three cones included, your 2 year old can simply pull the lever to fill one of three plastic cones with white fluffy foam, creating fun ‘ice creams’ for siblings and family members that can have ‘sprinkles’ added on top. Children will love taking orders, communicating with parents and placing their creations along the side of the bath.

17. Best toy truck for 2-year-olds: DUPLO Truck & Tracked Excavator


Price on writing: £18 | Buy now from Argos

Key Specs

Dimensions: ‎H26.2 x W28.2 x D9.5cm | Weight: 604g |  Material: Plastic | Assembly required: No | Development claims: Fine motor skills, problem solving | Age: 2 years plus

What we love:

  • Open-ended play

  • Come with two characters

  • Great addition to a DUPLO collection

What to know:

  • Not as much building involved as other DUPLO sets

What Mumsnet users say:

"The excavator, digger & bulldozers are brilliant." (Recommended by Mumsnetter EcoCustard)

Our Verdict

Loads of moving parts and two characters make this set perfect for imaginative play. The tipper truck can fit DUPLO bricks or other small toys, while the excavator has a movable cabin and shovel.

The two vehicles are very easy to put together with just a few large pieces each. Your little one might like to combine the pieces with the rest of their DUPLO collection to personalise the trucks, or play with them as is - they're fun either way. DUPLO is pretty easy to clean, so these trucks would work well in a sand pit.

18. Best Montessori toy for 2-year-olds: Grimms Rainbow


Price on writing: £60 | Buy now from Babipur

Key Specs

Dimensions: ‎36 x 18cm | Weight: 1.6kg |  Material: Wood | Assembly required: No | Development claims: Creativity, critical thinking skills, attention span | Age: From birth

What we love:

  • The original and best wooden stacking rainbow

  • Great quality - will last for generations to come

  • Natural wood and non-toxic paint

What to know:

  • Pricier than alternative stacking rainbows

What Mumsnet users say:

“There are plenty of other rainbows out there which claim to be similar, but none are quite as good for building / creativity as the Grimms. Little stars is the closest, but that's not much cheaper. It seems like a high price, but they hold their value, unlike the dupes, so you'll be able to sell it for almost the same as you paid in the future.” (Advice from Mumsnet user Ickabog)

Our Verdict

The ultimate open-ended toy, there's no limit to what these colourful arches can become, given a little imagination. While there are many stacking rainbows at lower prices available - like this one from Jaques of London - Mumsnetters agree that none of them can hold a candle to the Grimms rainbow.

Because of its great quality. size and versatility - not to mention its impressive resale value - the Grimms Rainbow is a cut above the rest. The coloured arches can be animals, houses, boats, sculptures, fences, tunnels, bridges... the possibilities are endless. It's very good looking too, so even once it's eventually grown out of, it'll look good on your mantelpiece.

19. Best dinosaur toy for 2-year-olds: Large Soft Foam Rubber Stuffed T-Rex


Price on writing: £17 | Buy now from Amazon

Key Specs

Dimensions: ‎36cm | Weight: 650g |  Material: Foam, rubber | Assembly required: No | Development claims: Creativity, scientific interest, social skills | Age: 3+

What we love:

  • Chunky and tough

  • Bargain price

  • Great size for cuddling

What to know:

  • Recommended age is 3+ but many reviewers say it's loved by their 2-year-old

What Mumsnet users say:

"I bought this one for Gds when he was 2 1/2 - he was still at the chucking-and bashing-everything stage, so any of the fancier walking/talking ones wouldn’t have lasted past Christmas dinner. It went down very well - it’s chuck-and-bash proof, and he still plays with it at nearly 4." (Recommended by Mumsnet user, GETTINGLIKEMYMOTHER)

Our Verdict

This budget-friendly dinosaur toy has already been put through its paces by one Mumsnetter, who sings its praises for being 'chuck-and-bash proof'! With detailed colouring based on museum pieces, this chunky T-Rex is sure to please young dinosaur fans.

Standing at 36cm, you're going to want to make sure you have room in the toy box.  Though there are no sharp edges to worry about, you'll still want to make sure that it won't be used as a weapon against annoying siblings. Reviews state that it's robust enough to withstand rough treatment from lively children. Perfect.

20. Best toy for air travel with a 2-year-old: Tomy Megasketcher


Price on writing: £14 | Buy now from Amazon

Key Specs

Dimensions: ‎31 x 2.7 x 25.4cm | Weight: 460g |  Material: Plastic | Assembly required: No | Development claims: Fine motor skills, creativity | Age: 3+

What we love:

  • Mess-free creative fun

  • Perfect for on the plane

  • Swipe across and start again when they've finished a picture

What to know:

  • Recommended for age 3+ but many Mumsnetters say it's a favourite of their 2-year-old

What Mumsnet users say:

“If you can get a cheap little magnetic doodle board, they provide lots of fun!” (Tried and tested by Mumsnetter canberramum)

Our Verdict

It’s great to get creative but drawing can sometimes get a bit messy, with paper, crayons and pen lids flying everywhere - hardly ideal if you’re stuck in a cramped train compartment or plane seat. To minimise hassle while travelling, consider a magnetic scribble board, which uses a magnet pen and metal filaments under a screen to draw ‘magic’ pictures which can be erased in a flash.

This mini Megasketcher Magnetic Scribble Board measures just 31 x 3 x 25cm, making it ideal for chucking in a hand luggage bag. Your little artist can draw to their heart's content with the attached pen and use the star stamp to decorate it. Once they’re finished, simply wipe clean with the ‘magic eraser’ and start again for hours of fun during your trip. No ink, paper or battery is required - perfect.

What skills is a two-year-old developing?

Children learn the following skills throughout childhood, and at this age these skills are mostly developed through play:

  • Communication and language (listening, speaking, reading and writing)

  • Physical (fine motor skills like eating, writing, getting dressed, and manipulating objects and gross motor skills like standing, walking, running, and jumping)

  • Personal, social and emotional skills (regulating emotions, taking care of themselves and building healthy relationships)

  • Literacy (reading, writing, speaking)

  • Mathematics

  • Cognitive skills (critical thinking and problem solving)

What should two-year-olds be learning to do?

Now, we'd like to preface this section by saying children develop at different speeds, and this should not be used as a definitive measure but as a guide. Your child may be learning these, racing ahead or be in the process of working up to them. That's normal.  Some children learn to walk quicker than they can talk, others find problem-solving easy, whilst some are more independent socially. Children aren't robots; they're each completely individual. That said, if you do have any concerns about your child's development, contact your GP.

By the age of two, your child is probably...

  • repeating and copying speech

  • growing in independence

  • beginning to play alongside other children with an interest

  • composing short sentences of two-four words that make sense

  • naming objects around them, including body parts

  • recognising familiar people

  • following two-step instructions

  • Sorting objects based on basic 2D shapes and colours

  • Finishing sentences from familiar books

  • Playing pretend

  • Building

  • showing signs of left or right-handed preference

  • running, kicking and throwing a ball overhead

  • jumping and landing with two feet

  • climbing up or down furniture independently

  • stringing small items

  • holding a pencil (not necessarily correctly)

  • drawing lines and circles

  • uses utensils with increasing independence

  • drinking from a cup without a lid

This list is incomplete, so here are several resources we've used and other useful websites: NHS, Early Years Matters, CAMBs and UNICEF.

How can play help your child develop?

Child-led play is how your child learns about the world. Through play, they explore, discover, decide their interests, and learn new skills. Your role in their play is to watch, interact when invited, model good play behaviours and speech, and guide children to challenge themselves by trying new things with help. Children are constantly learning and absorbing everything going on around them. If you'd like to understand the value of play further and discover some easy and free ways to aid your child's development check out the NHS's advice on baby development and learning through play.

What do two-year-olds like to play with?

Well, it depends on the child and their individually developing interests. It's a very long game of trial and error. However, children at age two may be showing interest in the following:

  • Imaginative play through dolls, stuffed toys, play kitchens and cars.

  • Problem-solving using puzzles, memory games and shape sorting.

  • Talking whilst sharing a book, singing songs or manipulating finger puppets.

  • Building using blocks, playdoh and construction toys.

  • Creative play like drawing and stringing beads.

What's the best gift for a two-year-old?

The best gifts for a two-year-old are within your budget, based on the child's interests and are age-appropriate. We think any of the toys on this round-up would make a brilliant gift for a 2-year-old. If you're looking for more inspiration, check out our guides to the best dolls, best train sets and best toddler toys.

What are the best toys for 2 year olds?

The best toy to buy for a two-year-old, as recommended by parents, is the DUPLO Classic Brick Box. An open-ended, creative toy with limitless play potential, toddlers will love building all sorts of things with the chunky blocks. Plus, extra sets make brilliant birthday and Christmas gifts.

How we chose our recommendations

Recommendations at Mumsnet are made using a well-thought-out three-step verification process that ensures all products, information, and guidance are up-to-date, balanced and honest.

Mumsnetters recommendations

Step one in creating our article on the best toys for two-year-olds involved mining real parents' recommendations on Mumsnet's forums. We looked for multiple recent positive reviews of the same toy and excluded any that had numerous examples of negative feedback—that way, our initial list was comprised of toys that were absolute family favourites.

Expert opinion

We then cross-referenced that list with the opinion of industry experts using product reviews and comparison websites, blogs and print media. We looked for toys that had received awards, excellent safety ratings and positive press across several sources to whittle down our longlist. We also used experts to research our buyer's guide to answer frequently asked questions accurately and signpost valuable resources.

Verified customers reviews

This is where we established our final shortlist. We scrutinised and evaluated verified customer reviews and kept detailed records of the pros and cons of each item so that we could ensure our product write-up was honest and well-balanced and that the toys we recommended were safe and reputable.

Celebrated toys

The toys that make up our guide to the best toys for two-year-olds in 2022 have been carefully selected, recommended by parents, approved by experts, rated by previous customers, and, most importantly, loved by children.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.