The Best Toys for a 2-Year-Old

Written by nicole crawford
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The Best Toys for a 2-Year-Old
Toddlers require a balance of active, pretend and learning toys. (abc blocks image by Erin Cadigan from

Two-year-olds often display independent and stubborn personalities as well as occasional irresistible charm and sweetness. At this age, toddlers are usually becoming successful communicators and may even enjoy helping with simple household tasks. They can feed themselves, walk on their own and get into much more trouble than they could as babies. Naturally, parents and caregivers may notice that with these new developments comes a need for new, exciting toys. Gone are the days of bouncy chairs and rattles; most 2-year-olds require active, imaginary and intellectually challenging toys. recommends at least 30 minutes of structured physical activity per day as well as at least an hour of unstructured physical activity.

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Active Toys

Two-year-olds have an immense amount of energy, and active toys provide an outlet for this energy as well as an opportunity to strengthen muscles and to improve coordination and gross motor skills. Toys that require pushing and pulling are often a favourite. Toy cars, wagons, strollers and vacuum cleaners are preferred push-toy choices, as are pull toys, such as animals on strings, or toys to ride on. At the age of 2, most toddlers are also interested in balls and will spend a significant amount of time trying to throw and to kick.

Pretend Toys

At the age of 2, many toddlers are interested in playing pretend, so parents can encourage their children's development by providing plenty of toys that engage the imagination. Some children enjoy pretending to do what their parents do and prefer pretend kitchen items, foods and cleaning supplies. Others are more interested in fictional toys, such as dollhouses, castles or play farms. Dress-up clothes are another popular choice. Be attentive to your 2-year-old's interests to avoid purchasing toys that he may not enjoy.

Learning Toys

Although most 2-year-olds are very active and energetic, they can also become quite focused and attentive when interested in an object. Toys that encourage problem solving and teach the alphabet or numbers may catch your toddler's interest. Most 2-year-olds also enjoy being read to, and simple stories with bright pictures hold their attention and encourage verbal development. Blocks, puzzles and interactive toys are other learning-toy options. suggests toys that encourage a toddler's creativity, such as building blocks, rather than games that have only one correct solution.

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