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16 best toys for 2-year-olds

From puzzles and Play-Doh to train tracks and building bricks, we’ve found the best fun and educational toys to suit all your toddler’s needs and interests.

By Gemma Wilcock | Last updated Oct 26, 2021

Toddler playing with a toy

Shopping for a two-year-old can be tricky - they’ve grown out of baby toys but they’re still too young to tell you what they like. Active, curious and imaginative, a toddler needs a toy they’ll enjoy but one that’ll also help them to learn new skills.

 

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There’s a huge variety of toys to suit all children at this age. Some can help develop their fine motor skills, such as stacking and twisting objects, while others can help promote skills, such as problem solving, and develop their language.

For more active kids, there are toys they can ride, bounce and climb on – a great way to use up some of their energy! If they enjoy imaginative play, you can buy dolls, play sets, kitchens and car garages, which are great for sharing with their friends. 

To find out which toys children love the most, we searched the Mumsnet forums to see which toys parents rated, as well as finding out which ones scored highly in other reviews. 

Whether you have a puzzle lover, a car addict or a child who loves to create, here are the 16 best toys for two year olds to buy right now.

1. Best overall toy for 2-year-olds: Little Tikes 4-in-1 My First Trike

Little Tikes My First Trike

Price: £50 | Buy now from Argos

“DD is two next week and I have a balance bike and a trike. The trike has been used daily this year. She loves it. We can walk miles. She jumps on and off and it’s easy for me to push. The handle will eventually come off when she can reach to peddle but we are a while off that. So it's more a pushchair replacement. Bag on back and easy to manage her walking and that.” Icedaisy

The Little Tikes 4-in-1 First Trike isn’t just a fun toy. Mumsnetters find it really useful for school runs and walks to the park, and it can be used from as young as nine months. 

The trike grows with your child so, when they’re little, parents can push the trike using the handle with a waist bar and harness to hold them safely in place. An adjustable canopy protects their heads from the sun and a fold-up footrest can be used until their legs can reach the pedals. There’s also a handy storage basket.  

From about 18 months, your child can try pedalling themselves while Mum or Dad pushes and, by around 30 months, the bar can be removed so they can ride and steer themselves - up until the age of five.

2. Best budget toy for 2-year-olds: Orchard Toys Farmyard Heads & Tails

Orchard Toys Heads and Tails

Price: £7 | Buy now from Amazon

“Orchard do puzzles for 18 months plus. My DS2 (17 months) is starting to get interested in the farmyard one we have. Nice and easy. You just have to match two pieces to make a pig, horse etc, and he likes doing the animal noises to go with them.” Chocolatetrifle

Orchard Toys have been making puzzles and games for nearly 50 years and they’re loved by both parents and children for being educational and fun. The Farmyard Heads & Tails game is one that your child can play with on their own or share with friends and family. 

There are 12 farmyard animals on large colourful cards. For younger children, they simply match the pairs until they find all 12 animals. As they get older, they can turn the cards over and play a memory game.

Mumsnetters love Orchard Toys games as they are fun while also helping children to develop new skills, such as observation, matching and hand-eye coordination – and they’ll play with them again and again too.

3. Best educational toy for 2-year-olds: LeapFrog Learning Friends 100 Words Book

LeapFrog 100 Words Book

Price: £15.99 | Buy now from Amazon

With the LeapFrog Learning Friends 100 Words Book, your child can learn new vocabulary as they play. The book covers 12 categories, including food, pets and vehicles, with colourful pictures and fun sound effects. 

Aimed at 12 months plus, it’s easy to use. They simply touch a picture and listen to the word and the book will also give them some facts. There are two fun learning songs to help them remember the new words (which probably get stuck in your head too). 

If you want to advance your child’s language even further, they can also learn how to say the words in French!

4. Best garden toy for 2-year-olds: Smoby Sand and Water Play Table

Smoby Sand and Water Table

Price: £49.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“Look at getting a sand table (or sand and water table) instead of an actual sand pit. They are much cheaper, portable (so you can move it around the garden to a shady area in the summer) and less cumbersome and ugly.” PoptartPoptart

Children love to get messy, so what better way for them to do than with a sand and water table? This one from Smoby offers lots of sensory fun without taking up too much space in your garden. 

The brightly coloured table has two removable trays, one for sand and one for water. It’s unlikely they’ll stay that way, mind, but mixing these elements together is part of the fun after all! If you do want to avoid a wet, sandy mess, one Mumsnetter recommends alternating between sand and water. 

The table comes with a shovel, rake, boat and two sand moulds for making their own creations - and at the end of the day, pop the lid on and hide the mess away.

5. Best travel toy for 2-year-olds: Playmobil 1.2.3 My Noah’s Ark

Playmobil 1.2.3 Noah's Ark

Price: £28.72 | Buy now from Amazon

“The 1.2.3 is great. We have the Noah's Ark and our two-year-old loves it. Chunky, easy to hold/manage and can go in the bath! It will last till they're older as it has intrinsic play value as people, animals etc.” Inappropriateraspberry

Playmobil toys are great for imaginative play and have a huge variety of play sets to suit all children’s interests. Playmobil 1.2.3 is their range for younger children and My Noah’s Ark comes highly recommended by Mumsnetters. 

There are 18 pieces – the ark, two figures, 10 animals, including elephants, giraffes and lions, and other accessories - all perfectly sized for little hands. Kids will love getting the animals in and out of the boat and lining them up in pairs. 

What’s great about this toy is that all the parts fit inside the boat and it locks to keep them all tidied away at the end of the day. A handle makes it easy to move around or to take it away on holiday.  

6. Best baby doll toy for 2-year-olds: Baby Annabell Sophia

Baby Annabell Sophia

Price: £34.05 | Buy now from Amazon

“At that age, mine loved Baby Annabell. She has a soft body so easy to change clothes. There’s also a boy version of Baby Annabell. You can get loads of accessories too. My DD had a baby walker, cot, plenty of outfits and bottles.” Kanaloa

For children who like to play Mummy and Daddy, Baby Annabell has a huge range of dolls to suit all children and all ages, including soft newborn babies, dolls that burp, snore and go on the potty, and even Baby Annabell’s brother Alexander. If your child wants something a bit more grown up though, Sophia is their big sister.  

She has long blonde hair and comes with a hairbrush and hair band for playing hairdressers. If your child has any other 43cm dolls, they can share clothes, and her soft body makes her easier to dress and undress – and cuddly too. 

Baby Annabell offers a wide range of accessories so your child can have hours of fun playing with their dolls.

7. Best toy for an active 2-year-old: HOY Napier 2020 Balance Bike

Hoy Napier Balance Bike

Price: £110 | Buy now from Evans Cycles

“My DS is 2.5 years and got a balance bike for his second birthday. He really liked it but mostly walked around with it at first (very normal), recently it’s really clicked and his confidence has soared and he’s started gliding and really getting some speed up on it - and my DS is very cautious with physical activities so takes a bit longer to crack them.” FizzingWhizzbee123

Balance bikes look like a normal bike but without pedals so children can learn to balance and steer before they move onto a pedal bike. Stylish, sturdy, relatively lightweight, and with tyres for every surface, we awarded the HOY Napier 2020 Balance Bike the best balance bike for a 2-year-old.

The bike comes with a grab-rail on the seat for carrying and to hold on to when your child is learning to ride. Instead of pedals, toddlers use their legs to build up speed and as their confidence grows, they’ll love whizzing around the garden or the park.  

Styled after the bikes used by Sir Chris Hoy during his BMX racing days and named after the school yard where he first learnt to ride a bike, it comes in three colours – red, green or blue – and can last up to the age of four. There’s no brake , but it does have a steering limiter to stop children from oversteering. 

8. Best toy farm for 2-year-olds: Battat Big Red Barn

Battat Big Red Barn

Price: £26.47 | Buy now from Amazon

“Battat big red barn animal farm from Amazon. She loves it.” Moobar

No toy collection would be complete without a farm playset. Toddlers love animals and the Battat Big Red Barn is the perfect size for little hands. 

The set comes with a horse, cow, sheep, pig and a farmer for hours of pretend play, which can help to improve concentration, attention span and develop social and motor skills. We love that the barn folds together for easy storage and has a handle for moving around the home or taking away with you.

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

VTech Toot Toot Car Garage

Price: £34.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“Both my DC spent hours from the age of 2.5 for the oldest and 18 months for the youngest 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.” Bubblysqueak

The VTech Toot-Toot Drivers Garage has plenty to keep your child entertained, with one Mumsnetters claiming their child still plays with the toy at age eight. 

The two-storey garage features a lift, a gate that opens and closes, a car wash, and a spiral track that vehicles can whizz down. Kids will love the lights, fun sound effects and songs (be warned though - these tunes can get stuck in your head!). Playing with the garage encourages imaginative play and develops fine motor skills.

The set comes with a tow truck, which lights up and sings songs, and there’s a range of cars, animals and tracks you can buy to add to make the set even bigger. 

10. Best creative toy for 2-year-olds: Play-Doh 8 Pack Rainbow

Play-Doh Rainbow Pack

Price: £5.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“My two-year-old loves Play-Doh.” Firefly89

Sensory play encourages creativity and supports your child’s development. Although lots of the Play-Doh sets are for age three-plus, the Rainbow pack is suitable for young children and comes with eight colours for shaping and moulding. 

The set is great for introducing children to Play-Doh, as well as helping them learn about colours and shapes. They’ll love making their own creations and can have a go at making a rainbow and mixing colours together, which can have a soothing and calming effect – a definite bonus! As your child gets older, you can buy cutters, moulds and sets for making more elaborate creations.  

11. Best STEM toy for 2-year-olds: Magformers First Magnetic Construction

Magformers First Magnetic Construction set

Price: £36.43 | Buy now from Amazon

“Magformers - my two-year-old and six-year-old play with them every day.” Emptycup

STEM toys help children learn more about science, technology, engineering and maths through play. Magnetic pieces that can be made into 3D and 2D shapes, Magformers is an approved STEM toy – and is loved by kids.

This starter pack is a fun way of introducing two-year-olds to geometry and simple maths. It comes with 30 colourful squares and triangles, and building cards for making 3D models such as a rocket, heart and fish – or whatever your child wants to create. 

This set is suitable for preschoolers and comes with a booklet to help teach shapes and colours. For keen builders, you can buy more sets and accessories for making even bigger and better creations. 

12. Best play kitchen for 2-year-olds: Little Tikes First Oven

Little Tikes First Oven

Price: £44.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“We had a plastic Little Tikes one. Used it in the house over winter months and in the garden in summer months.” NotExactlyMrsCurrentAffairs

At this age, children love to explore through imaginative play and with the Little Tikes First Oven they can cook up a storm in their own little kitchen, just like Mummy and Daddy. They can pretend to cook on the hob and bake in the oven, with lights and buttons that make it feel just like the real thing.  

The oven makes realistic sounds like the burners igniting, water boiling and sizzling noises. With plenty of accessories, such as cookies, bacon, a frying pan and spatula, children can have lots of fun preparing food and pretending to cook their own meals.

13. Best imagination toy for 2-year-olds: LeapFrog Scoop and Learn Ice Cream Cart

LeapFrog Ice Cream Cart

Price: £39.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“The LeapFrog Ice Cream Cart has been a favourite for my DD who is two.” Pineapples9087 

A hit with Mumsnetters, the LeapFrog Scoop and Learn Ice Cream Cart has plenty of features for making learning fun. Children love ice cream and they love role play too - they can push the cart around, pretending to scoop up ice cream and serve it up for their friends.

There are six different character activity cards to help them learn colours, numbers, flavours and counting, and two games to play. With an ice cream scooper and 18 flavours of ice cream, children can stack them up to design their own creations and finish it off with the choice of three different toppings. Yum! 

14. Best construction toy for 2-year-olds: LEGO DUPLO Town Family Camping Van Adventure

LEGO Duplo Family Camping Adventure

Price: £19.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“Both DTs love DUPLO. It’s one of the few things they’ll sit and play together without fighting for hours, and it really encourages their imaginary play.” MuchTooTired

DUPLO is a great introduction to LEGO for younger children. The bigger pieces are easier for little hands to build with and there’s a huge variety of sets to suit your child’s interests, such as the Family Camping Van Adventure set. They will enjoy building it and then playing with it afterwards.

The camper van has wheels that move and a removable roof for sitting DUPLO figures in - there’s four to play with and a squirrel, as well as other accessories like a campfire, a tent with a fabric roof and camp chairs to complete the woodland setting. 

DUPLO sets encourage role play and are great for developing fine motor skills, and children can play with them independently or share with others. 

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

Brio My First Railway Beginner Pack

Price: £30.88 | Buy now from Amazon

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

Wooden train sets have been around for years, but children still love building tracks and watching trains go round. 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 round. 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.

16. Best puzzle for 2-year-olds: Melissa and Doug Animal Sound Puzzle

Melissa and Doug Wooden Puzzle

Price: £11.71 | Buy now from Amazon

“Melissa and Doug have a nice variety. They're usually on Amazon.” Onetwothreeadventure

“Jigsaw puzzles - Melissa & Doug do some beautiful wooden ones.” IggyAce

When it’s time for a break from the noisy toys, a puzzle can encourage independent play and help to develop skills like problem-solving and logical thinking. The Melissa and Doug Animal Sounds Puzzle is a great introduction for children.

There’s eight animal pieces to take in and out, with a wooden peg on each one to make them easy to grip for smaller hands. Each piece makes a realistic animal noise to make the puzzle even more fun. Melissa and Doug puzzles are well loved by Mumsnetters and children play with them time and time again.

What is the best toy for a 2-year-old? 

The best toy to buy for a two-year-old is the Little Tikes 4-in-1 My First Trike. We love that it grows with your child and can work as an alternative to a lightweight buggy too. Parents start by pushing the trike with the handle, then as they get bigger and more confident your child can start pedalling themselves before eventually taking full control. The trike can be used from as young as nine months up until age five so you’re sure to get lots of bang for your buck.

How we chose our recommendations  

Most of our recommendations for toys for two-year-olds came from Mumsnet parents themselves. We searched the Mumsnet forums for posts about which toys Mumsnetters really rated. We also researched various review sites to find out which toys performed well across the board. 

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