23 of the best toys for 2 year olds
Our pick of the best toys suited for boys and girls aged 2 years, which we've tested to ensure they delight, entertain and boost key toddler development skills
"Your 2 year old is full of energy and curiosity," says Helen Brown, MFM's head of content delivery and author of Parenting for Dummies. "They can solve simple problems through trial and error and often like to ‘practise’ an activity over and over until they have got it the hang of it – and it’s slightly driven you up the wall! At the age of 2, children also start to pretend more during play, using familiar objects and situations to copy the grown-ups in their lives.
So what kind of toys suit a 2-year-old child best? First things first, it’s got to be indestructible. Like, really indestructible. And fun, obviously. There's no point a toy having amazing development-boosting potential if it's simply not much fun to play with."
Best toys for 2 year olds at a glance
Best educational toys for 2 year olds
- Great for building and learning: LEGO DUPLO Town Dream Playground, £46.99
- Great for early number and letter skills: Early Learning Centre Wooden Stacking Train, £35,99
- Great for learning colours: CoComelon Colour Learning Sheep, £13.98
- Great for fine motor skills: Playmobil 1.2.3: Doughnut Truck with Stacking and Sorting Feature, £29.99
- Great for reinforcing cause and effect: Musical Hop Out Mizzie Music Box, £24.99
- Great for spatial awareness: Janod Sweet Cocoon Stacking Stones, £32.50
Best outdoor toys and ride-ons for 2 year olds
- Great outdoor ride-on: Little Tikes CozyCoupe Ride-On, £69.99
- Great for balance skills: Kidvelo Rookie 12 Balance Bike, £130
- Great indoor ride-on: Beehive Toys Bumblebee Ride-on, £40.99
- Great eco-friendly choice: Dantoy Blue Marine Large Dumper, £19.90
- Great for ride-on thrills: Xootz Big Bumper Car Electric Ride-On, £199.99
- Great for superhero-themed fun: Marvel Spiderman 6v Light-Up Web Slinger Mini Quad, £100
Best interactive toys for 2 year olds
- Great for dancing and fun: Fisher-Price DJ Bouncin' Beats, £46.99
- Great for vehicle role play: Bing Lights & Sounds Fire Engine from Golden Bear, £29.99
- Great for interactive learning: Fisher-Price Little People Light-Up Learning Garage, £44.99
- Great for active fun: VTech 3-in1 Sports Centre, £49.99
Best travel toys for 2 year olds
- Great for early maths skills: LEGO DUPLO Number Train, £17.99
- Great handmade option: Little Fox Quiet Book, £44.95-£49.95
Best role-play toys for 2 year olds
- Great for bathtime fun: Toomies Bath Barista, £22.99
- Great for shopping role play: LeapFrog Count-along Basket & Scanner, £39.99
- Great for hospitality role play: LeapFrog Scoop and Learn Ice Cream Cart, £54.99
Best soft toys for 2 year olds
- Great for hugging close: iFrodoll Personalised Deep Skin Tone Plush Doll Nevaeh, £16.99
- Great for learning body parts: CoComelon Boo Boo JJ from Bandai, £24.99
"As well as pretend-play toys, and toys that offer opportunities to explore and repeat, ride-on toys get a big thumbs-up, as do anything that lights up or beeps when you press its buttons. Simple puzzles and construction toys can also come into the mix, now that your child's hand-eye co-ordination is improving," continues Helen.
And of course, it doesn’t have to be plastic and noisy to light up a toddler’s eyes: there are lots of great wooden toys that are perfect for 2 year olds, too. If you have older or younger children, we have a list catered to them from 6 months old to age 3, 4, right through to 10 years old.
To save money on toys, check out our Black Friday toy deals, Oodie Black Friday deals, Tonies Black Friday deals, Yoto Black Friday deals and Jellycat Black Friday deals to keep updated on the best toy sales, or take a look at our selection of the cutest Squishmallows.
How to choose and use toys safelyHere's what to look out for when choosing the right toys for your toddler:
- Look for the CE mark, which is the manufacturer's claim that the toy meets regulatory requirements
- Look for the voluntary British Toy and Hobby Association's Lion Mark (a red lion inside a yellow triangle)
- Buy from retailers that you know and trust
- Ensure the toy is appropriate for your child's age. Small pieces (such as plastic eyes on teddy bears that appear 'fastened on' but aren't properly secured) are choking hazards up to the age of 3
- Beware of any items that detach or have sharp edges
- Check toys regularly for things such as loose threads or escaped filling
Here is our pick of the best toys for 2 year olds, as tested by children and rated by parents
Additional writing and product selection by Gill Crawshaw
Best educational toys for 2 year olds
1. LEGO DUPLO Town Dream Playground, £46.99
– Great for building and learning
Age suitability: 2+ | Best for age: 2 | Size: 54cm x 28.2cm x 9.1cm | Batteries: None | Awards: Gold, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2023
Climb a rocket, spin on a whale tail merry-go-round then whoosh down a toy slide with the LEGO DUPLO Town Dream Playground, a versatile brick-based playset that offers multiple ways to play and learn.
Bringing the outdoors indoors for your toddler, the colourful and eye-catching set features buildable DUPLO-sized playground equipment including a moving swing and seesaw, whale-shaped merry go round and slide, and a rocket climbing frame. The set includes a diverse range of five character figures that can be used to play on the equipment once built. In an additional touch, the bricks are printed with numbers and letters to help with learning as they play.
As with all DUPLO sets, kids can take it apart and build whatever they want, over and over.
“I want to go to this playground. I want to go on the whale slide. This is amazing,” was the verdict of our child toy tester Sebastian, 3. He has played with the set every day, according to his mum Abi. She was impressed with the quality and longevity the toy offers.
Abi added, “DUPLO is great for a child this age as it is durable and the bricks stay together. Our other DUPLO is 5+ plus years old, still going strong in perfect condition and still gets played with daily. It is a toy that everyone can get involved with and play with.”
More like this
2. Early Learning Centre Wooden Stacking Train, £35.99
– Great for early number and letter skills
Age suitability: 12 months+ | Best for age: 2+ | Size: L45cm x W10cm x H16cm | Batteries: None
The little wooden engine pulls 2 wagons, all made from FSC-certified wood, that you build from a set of wheels, a flatbed with a stacking pole and 15 stacking blocks – 6 of which have numbers on one side and letters on the other.
It’s sturdy, bright and well designed. With all the colours, numbers and letters, it offers lots of stacking and learning opportunities on top of simple push-along train play.
Meghan, mum of our child tester Ava, 2 (pictured above), said her daughter adored the train. “She plays with it a least once a day,” she said, “building the bricks into a tower or pushing it around and going, ‘Choo choo!’ She laughs and giggles the whole time.”
3. Cocomelon Colour Learning Sheep, £13.98
– Great for learning colours
Age suitability: 12 months+ | Best for age: 2+ | Size: L13cm x W8cm x H14cm (sheep) | Batteries: 2 x AAA (not included)
This grabbable sheep glows a different colour to match the object it’s placed on – and then plays Baa Baa Black Sheep with the ‘black’ changed to its glow-colour.
It’s definitely got the thrill factor – and that’s even before you add in the Cocomelon association.
Our child tester Eadie, 2 (pictured), loved dancing and singing along to the music, saying, “My sheep, my sheep!” whenever she wanted to play with it. Eadie’s mum Amanda was impressed with how well it helped her get to grips with matching colours. She thought the paper rainbow mat wasn’t very robust (as do we) but we can see that the toy comes a QR code that allows you to print more, if you need to.
It can also be used as a nightlight.
Available at: Amazon
4. Playmobil 1.2.3: Doughnut Truck with Stacking and Sorting Feature, £29.99
– Great for fine motor skills
Age suitability: 18 months+ | Best for age: 2 | Size: 28.4cm x 9.3cm x 18.7cm | Batteries: None | Awards: Bronze, MadeForMums Awards 2023
Anyone for doughnuts? The Playmobil 1.2.3: Doughnut Truck is a toy that is sure to draw in your toddler with its stacking and sorting feature. It might make everyone hungry though!
The Doughnut Truck consists of a wheeled truck and trailer that can transport four brightly coloured doughnuts that are included with the set. The truck and trailer can be pushed around individually or clicked together. The set includes a smartly dressed doughnut delivery figure that can be played with in and out of the vehicle.
When it comes to doughnut delivery, to help with fine motor skills the sweet snacks can be counted and stacked on the soft pole on the trailer or sorted into gaps on the sides of the truck. The trailer has 2 openings at the top into which doughnuts can be sorted. When the rear flap is opened, they fly out and roll across the room.
“Yummy, doughnuts!” was the initial reaction of our toy tester Pearl, 2. Her mum Laura noted the different ways she played with the toy, including as a toy vehicle and a role play prop. She added, "The toy is great for fine motor skills and Pearl enjoyed rolling it across the room. She counted the doughnuts when stacking them.”
The Doughnut Truck comes with a snap lock feature that means it is compatible with all other Playmobil 1.2.3 vehicles in the range.
5. Mizzie The Kangaroo Hop Out Music Box, £24.99
– Great for reinforcing cause and effect
Age suitability: 18 months+ | Best for age: 2+ | Size: L13cm x W13cm x H14cm | Batteries: None
A retro-style, battery-free jack-in-the-box toy: you wind the lever and, to the tune of Pop Goes the Weasel, out of the tin pops soft and furry Mizzie the kangaroo. It’s a great toy to teach cause and effect, while guaranteeing plenty of giggles too. “He kept saying ‘Again! Again!’ He thinks it’s hilarious and couldn’t stop laughing,” said Samantha, mum of one of our child testers, Taran, 2.
Our other child tester Albie, 2 (pictured above), was also entranced, and loved pushing Mizzie back into the box once she’d jumped out. (You do need to make sure she’s properly back in before you wind the handle again.)
“Albie learnt to say ‘Roo’ for Kangaroo as well as ‘hidies’ when he pushed Mizzie back into the box,” said Albie’s mum Lisa. “The music is engaging and the toy is so entertaining. I’ve watched Albie continuously come back to play with it and firmly tell his brother, ‘Mine!’”
6. Janod Sweet Cocoon Stacking Stones, £32.50
– Great for spatial awareness
Age suitability: 2+ | Best for age: 2+ | Size: Varied | Batteries: None
This clever set of 20 wooden pieces in a mixture of shapes and sizes with pastel-coloured accents and geometric lines is designed to replicate a whole bunch of natural stones.
They can be stacked in numerous ways, and offer a slightly more unpredictable and challenging alternative to classic building blocks – while still being just as much fun to knock down.
“The ‘stones’ are lightweight and lovely to hold,” says Sophie, mum of our child tester Alfie, 2. “Alfie loves wrecking the towers I build and he also loves picking up the stones and placing them them in piles – we’ve been starting to sort them by colour and size.”
Best outdoor toys and ride-ons for 2 year olds
7. Little Tikes Cozy Coupe, £69.99
– Great outdoor ride-on
Age suitability: 18 months+ | Best for age: 2 | Size: H41.61cm, W72.72cm, D38.74cm | Batteries: None | Awards: Silver, MadeForMums Awards 2023
The iconic Little Tikes Cozy Coupe now has an update to the tried-and-tested design that has long delighted children. The newer design of the four-wheeled, brightly coloured ride-on car features a friendly face on the front, a parent grab handle on the roof and a removable floor. With the floor inserted, toddlers’ feet are protected while an adult can use the grab handle on top to push the car. Once your child is old enough to propel themselves, parents can remove the floor out and let them enjoy getting about using foot-to-floor power.
The Little Tikes Cozy Coupe also has fun features for more realistic car-themed play, including a working door, clicking ignition switch, beeping horn, and open-and-close petrol cap.
It’s a colourful car that offers a smooth ride, be it in the house or in the garden, with front wheels on casters that turn 360 degrees. The Little Tikes Cozy Coupe can be used both in and outside the house, and it’s sturdy enough to be stored outdoors.
The Cozy Coupe does require assembly using tools (not included), but a parent of a child tester noted she assembled the car in an hour by herself following the in-depth instructions.
“BEEP BEEP!” said our child tester, Noah, 2, who is “IN LOVE” with this toy, according to his mum, Leah. She added, “Every morning he rushes to the car door, throws it open, jumps in and slams the door. His favourite part is the horn. Would he play with it again? More like, will he ever stop playing with it?”
For Little Tikes Cozy Coupe lovers, the car is also available in a variety of versions including the green Cozy Coupe Dino and the pink Cozy Coupe Princess.
Available at: Argos
8. Kidvelo Rookie 12 Balance Bike, £130
– Great for balance skills
Age suitability: 18 months+ | Best for age: 2+ | Weight: 2.89kg | Maximum child weight: 30kg | Batteries: None | Awards: Gold, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2022
A balance bike is a great buy for a 2-year-old, allowing them a good couple of years to become a pro at steering and balancing on two wheels before moving on to a ‘proper’ bike with pedals. And we really like this balance bike, with its sturdy frame, 12in wheels and bouncy tyres, because it's very lightweight and super-adjustable.
The saddle height can be fine-tuned between 30cm and 48cm (giving it great longevity) at the pull of a lever and the handlebars can be rotated with an Allen key (included) to alter the reach depending on your child's arm length. There are also angled integrated footrests with non-slip grip riders, a control-improving threadless alloy headseat (a feature more usually seen on adult performance bikes) and – a huge hit with our testers – a little bell. It’s worth knowing that the tyres are air-filled (lovely for smooth riding on any surface, but you'll need a foot pump) and there are no brakes (tricky for a toddler to master but included on some balance bikes).
“At first look, I thought that this was pricey for a children’s balance bike,” says Kellie, mum of our child tester Chester, 2, “but this quickly changed. Now I think that it is great value for money, as it’s so well made and will last Chester so many years. It’s also so light: Chester can easily hold it up on his own and pick it up and down kerbs when needed. The customer service is great too: they were brilliant at helping us get the right seat height. Since we’ve had the bike, Chester has asked to go out on it every day and has grown in confidence so much.”
And Chester’s verdict? “I love my bike, Mummy. It’s super fast!” Choose from green (as pictured with our child tester Ayla, 2, above), blue, red and pink.
Available at: Kidvelo
9. Beehive Toys Bumblebee Ride-On, £40.99
– Great indoor ride-on
Age suitability: 18 months+ | Best for age: 2+ | Weight: 2.5kg | Size: L39cm x W26cm x H54cm | Batteries: None
If your toddler’s not quite ready for a balance bike like the one above – or you’d like a ride-on that can be whizzed around on indoors – this funky plastic bumblebee might fit the bill. It has a curved ergonomic shape, a seat height of 28cm, rounded comfort handlebars and 4 silent, non-scratch enclosed safety wheels, which can be used on any smooth, level surface, indoors or outside.
It’s eye-catching, feels high-quality and hard-wearing and it’s great value for money. It’s also fab for honing some early balancing skills and for burning off some toddler energy.
Kirsty, mum to our child tester Iris, 2 (pictured above), said, “Iris loved riding it round the house, or dragging it up the garden to whizz down the slope. I’m amazed at the quality for the price! It has really smooth safe wheels – I like the fact that little fingers can’t get to any of the mechanisms and get stuck – while the seat has a padded bit that makes for a good ride.”
Minimal assembly required (attaching handlebar with tool provided).
10. Dantoy Blue Marine Large Dumper, £19.90
– Great eco-friendly choice
Age suitability: 2+ | Best for age: 2+ | Size: L28cm x W13cm x H15cm | Batteries: None | Awards: Gold, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2022
Made from reclaimed and recycled marine plastic including nets and ropes, this Danish-designed dumper truck is really sturdy and robust. Thanks to its giant-sized dumper and large twin wheels that can push through sand, water and mud, it’s a great choice for outdoor play. The handle on the dumper makes for easy carrying as well as acting as a lever for tipping the huge bucket and emptying its contents.
We did wonder if its minimalist detailing (no cab windows or doors, for example) would reduce our testers’ role play – but not a bit of it. “I love it!” were the first words from our child tester, Milo, 2, as the dumper came out of the box. He immediately loaded the truck with his cars, marvelling at the size of the bucket and how many cars it could carry, then counting the wheels and spinning them.
Our other child tester Eadie, just 3 (pictured above) filled up her truck with sand and shells, and said, “I like this truck’s wheels.” Her mum Lauren said, “I think this is a very reasonable price for a sustainable toy.” And Milo’s mum, Carly, agreed, adding, “It’s more than just a great dumper truck for role play. It’s also a platform to start conversations about environmental issues and recycling.”
Available at: Amazon
11. Xootz Big Bumper Car Electric Ride-On, £199.99
— Great for ride-on thrills
Age suitability: 18 months+ | Best for age: 5+ | Size: H69cm x W48.7cm x D93cm | Batteries: 1 x 12V (included) plus 3 x AAA (not included) | Awards: Gold, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2023
Bring fairground fun to your living room with the Xootz Big Bumper Car, an electric ride-on designed in the shape of a bumper car. This ride-on can be used in the house or garden, but don’t worry, parents – there is a rubberised bumper to protect your furniture.
The ride-on has room for 2 passengers and can be controlled with a steering wheel or a parental remote control. While this isn’t the smallest of toys, you don’t need a huge area, with the mum of our child tester being surprised at how little space was needed (it can do a full 360° spin on the spot). You will need to charge it first — charging time is up to 8 hours — and the running time is around 45 minutes. It also has flashing lights, plays music and comes with stickers for customisation.
“This is AMAZING!” was the verdict of our child tester Toby, 5, who said, “I love it because you can chase people around. I love it because it lights up and drives like a real car because it goes super fast!” Toby’s mum Jessica was also a fan, saying, “It led to hours and hours of fun for all my children. The remote is a great additional feature and as a parent of multiple children I love the fact there are two seats. The soft bumper seemed to protect the furniture.”
12. Marvel Spider-Man 6v Light-Up Web Slinger Mini Quad, £100
— Great for superhero-themed fun
Age suitability: 2+ | Best for age: 2.5 | Size: H46.5cm x W65cm x D39.5cm | Batteries: 1 x 6V battery required (included) | Awards: Silver, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2023
Sling web discs with the Marvel Spider-Man 6v Light-Up Web Slinger Mini Quad, a child-sized quad bike decorated with colourful character graphics.
Featuring Spider-Man characters, web-shaped mouldings and glowing headlight eyes, this Mini Quad is activated using a foot-operated pedal control with both forward and reverse gears. It can be driven around your house or garden at a max speed of 2.5mph. While you’ll need to charge it before use, once the battery is full there is an estimated playtime of 60 minutes.
When it comes to safety, the Mini Quad has wide moulded wheels and deep tread tyres for stability. There is an ergonomic seat and soft-touch hand grips for a comfortable ride. It also comes with five web discs which shoot directly from the quad.
Our toy tester Teddy, 2.5, was delighted with the Mini Quad, saying, “I love it, it looks like Spider-Man!” His mum Jessica was also a fan, adding, “I do think this toy is worth the money. Due to the stability of it and speed it can be used from a very young age up to around 6 years old. A big appeal to all Spider-Man fans and the shooting disc is a great bonus. It also has a wow factor and great to bring out at parties.”
Best interactive toys for 2 year olds
13. Fisher-Price DJ Bouncin’ Beats, £46.99
– Great for dancing and fun
Age suitability: 9 months+ | Best for age: 18 months+ | Size: L17cm x W30cm x H33cm | Batteries: 4 x AA (included) | Awards: Editor’s Choice, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2022
A musical learning toy with an interactive, hopping twist, this fun plastic rabbit bounces around when your child presses the buttons between its ears. Ears flashing and face glowing, it plays more than 75 songs, sounds and phrases at 3 levels, aimed at different stages of development and including letters, colours, numbers and opposites.
It’s suitable from 9 months but we reckon it comes into its own at the toddler stage, when your child can press the buttons themselves and match the bunny’s bopping with dance moves of their own. And they’ll start to see the silly joy of the mic button, which records your voice and plays it back remixed with music and other effects.
From the first press of a button, our child tester Bran, 2 (pictured above), was overjoyed with his new bunny. “His face lit up and he was screaming in delight,” said his mum Christy. “Once he got used to the vigorous hopping, he found it enormously fun to play and his older sisters have enjoyed using the recording feature with him. It was really rewarding watching him laughing and dancing from the off – no long set-up time or need for me to teach him; he understood quickly that bashing the buttons equals fun and music.”
14. Bing Lights & Sounds Fire Engine from Golden Bear, £29.99
– Great for vehicle role-play
Age suitability: 18 months +| Best for age: 2+ | Size: 10cm x 23cm x 16.5cm | Batteries: 2 AAA batteries (included) | Awards: Bronze, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2023
A toy fire engine with real lights and sounds? It’s a Bing Thing. Fans of the cartoon will recognise the distinctive rabbit-shaped Bing figurine that’s included with the vehicle (a red fire engine complete with movable ladder). The Bing fire engine episode has more than 1.2 million views on YouTube, but children don’t have to have seen the show to engage in imaginative play with this toy.
The fire engine can be pushed along, and all four doors open to reveal two compartments for the Bing character. While there are some edges that might be sharp for littler fingers, Bing fans will not be disappointed with the functionality. The ladder lifts and extends with clicking sounds, and includes a rotating bucket for Bing to sit in. For added fun, the vehicle has flashing lights and sounds including a siren.
Child tester Arthur, 2 (pictured), liked the functionality of the toy, saying, “It goes newnah, it has little wheels, and the ladder goes up and down. His mum Jennie added, “The fire engine feels well made and good overall quality and put up with being launched off a coffee table several times. The lights and sounds fitted well with the general feel of the toy and give a sense of fun and excitement. Overall, it felt pretty good but suited to a younger age range.”
15. Fisher-Price Little People Light-Up Learning Garage, £44.99
– Great for interactive learning
Age suitability: 1+ | Best for age: 1+ | Size: 25.4cm x 82.5cm x 40 cm | Batteries: 3 x AA (included) | Awards: Silver, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2023
Beep beep! Toddlers can fill up, tune up and wash their car before racing along to the next adventure with the Fisher-Price Little People Light-Up Learning Garage. This interactive car garage also has lights, songs, and sounds.
There’s a lot of child-activated detail — lights flash as toddlers send their car through the car wash and there is a working elevator for figures and cars. Once cars are clean, you can send them racing down the ramp. Cars can also be filled up or charged at the station, and mini mechanics can ‘fix’ them with the wrench pieces.
Included with the set are two character figures, two mechanic tool play pieces, and a push-along toy car with a hood that opens and closes.
While our testers did comment on the plastic-heavy nature of the playset, there’s a lot of colourful detail here to enhance pretend play.
Our child tester Maxi, 22 months “absolutely loved it”, according to his mum Francesca. She said, “He loved dancing to the music and repeating the letters, numbers, and colours. He loved the car and putting the characters in and out of it.”
16. VTech 3-in-1 Sports Centre, £49.99
– Great for active fun
Age suitability: 12 months+ | Best for age: 2+ | Size: L58cm x W44cm x H66cm| Batteries: 3 x AA (included)
This little interactive sports centre lets you shoot a basket, net a goal or throw to hit a target (that’s round the back behind the scoreboard). It comes with a pint-sized football, a pint-sized basketball and small throwing ball.
The electronic scoreboard counts the shots that score and plays encouraging phrases. It also features buttons to press that trigger songs and encourage learning about shapes and colours.
It’s brash and noisy but our child testers loved it. And we really like that it combines educational elements (“find the blue triangle”) with all the sporty fun. We also liked the encouraging interaction – and how you can pull the hoop down for a slam dunk.
Liz, mum of our child tester Lucas, 2 (pictured above), said, “This toy is amazing, it’s well worth the money and will last for quite some time. Lucas goes running to it every morning. He caught on pretty fast to how to play and was so pleased with himself when he scored. For us, it was amazing that he played with us and even took turns!”
Some (tool-free) assembly required.
Best travel toys for 2 year olds
17. LEGO DUPLO Number Train, £17.99
– Great for early maths skills
Age suitability: 18 months+ | Best for age: 18 months+ | Size: L37cm x W6cm x H10cm | Batteries: None
This buildable, wheeled locomotive has 3 carriages, with numbered bricks to load on board. It’s colourful, easy to build and push along, and introduces numbers and counting in a fun way. It also comes with 2 child figures and a very cute cat.
It was a real hit with our toddler testers, especially Sam, 2 (pictured above) and also (in a previous model) went down very well with the children who put it through its paces in one of our MadeForMums product tests – popping 1 of the figures in (and out) of the train’s cab is definitely one of the top attractions.
It’s nice and light too, and would be a good toy to stash in a carry bag when you’re travelling.
18. Little Fox Quiet Book, £44.95-£49.95
— Great handmade option
Age suitability: 18 months + | Best for age: 18 months| Size: 15cm x 15cm | Batteries: None | Awards: Gold, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2023
Feed a pelican, solve a snail maze, buckle a dog’s collar and more with the Little Fox Quiet Book, a handmade interactive busy book designed for toddlers.
The Montessori-inspired Little Fox Quiet Book is a fabric book with sensory play activities on each page. There are interactive scenes with human and animal characters as well as fabric features like moving pieces, buttons, zips, Velcro, and elastic for little hands to engage with. Activities include feeding animal characters with fabric food, threading a mouse though a piece of cheese and playing with a friendly fox’s tail.
The book is 100% handmade and all the components are hand-sewn, which is reflected in the high price for an activity book. Despite this delicate touch, the book is designed to be sturdy, durable, and reusable. It is useful for travelling as it contains multiple activities in one small fabric book.
“Around the shell, again,” was the reaction of toy tester Imogen, 20 months, who engaged with the book and wanted to play with it on repeat. Her mum Laura said, “After playing with it, it is an investment worth making; whether that be to hand down to family or buying for a special birthday or occasion. We took it on a recent car journey; it was brilliant as it is compact and lightweight, perfect for little hands to carry and play with.”
Available at: Little Camie
Best role-play toys for 2 year olds
19. Toomies Bath Barista, £22.99
– Great for bathtime fun
Age suitability: 18 months+ | Best for age: 18 months+ | Size: H23.3cm x W23.5cm x D10.2cm | Batteries: None | Awards: Silver, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2023
Serve up a cup of bathtime fun with the Toomies Bath Barista, a toy that allows your toddler to combine water play and bath bubbles with make-believe babyccinos.
The Bath Barista is a pretend coffee machine designed to be played with in water. The toy allows children to mimic adults making coffee by placing a cup under the filter, twisting a handle and serving a drink into one of the 3 plastic cups (included). Want to add foam to your drink? Create frothy foam bubbles by pumping a plunger. For adding a finishing touch, a sprinkle shaker is included with the Bath Barista. There is also a spinner that can be set in motion by pouring water from the smiley-faced jug.
Suction pads allow it to be easily attached to wall tiles, bath sides or any smooth surface. The set includes storage space for stacking the cups and jug. This is a quality set that offers opportunities for fun role play mimicking real life.
“Wow!” was the verdict of our toy tester Safiyah, 19 months, who was excited to play with the toy. Her mum Azraa added, “The Bath Barista is an absolute bargain considering the endless hours of fun it provides. The Bath Barista is now a part of our daily bath routine, bathtime has never been this fun and easy. Due to the role play nature, this toy will last a very long time as my child has to tap into her creative thinking.”
20. LeapFrog Count-along Basket & Scanner, £39.99
– Great for shopping role play
Age suitability: 2+ | Best for age: 2+ | Size: L17cm x W24cm x H32cm | Batteries: 2 x AAA (included)
This vibrant shopping basket comes with 8 pieces of play food and an interactive ‘scanner’ that recognises each food item as it’s scanned. It has 3 game modes based on colours, shapes, counting and food groups. The handle on the basket can also be pulled out to turn it into a rollalong trolley basket.
It’s solidly made, brightly coloured, with well thought-out games (and a friendly, encouraging voice to guide you through them) – but it’s the scanner that's the absolute star feature. The fact that it recognises each piece of play food captivated all our toddler testers.
Donna, mum of child tester Holly, 2 (pictured above), said the toy hadn’t left her daughter’s side since she got it. “Holly enjoys playing shop,” she said, “so this toy with the scanning device took it to the next level. She keeps wanting to show it to anyone that comes round. She is playing with it independently and saying the names of the different food items, so already she is learning from it. I can see great potential for this toy in imaginative play for many years to come.”
Comes with instructions and 3 scannable double-sided shopping lists.
21. LeapFrog Scoop and Learn Ice Cream Cart, £59.99
– Great for hospitality role play
Age suitability: 2+ | Best for age: 2+ | Size: L52cm x W22cm x H63cm | Batteries: 3 x AAA (included)
This interactive push-along trolley is stacked with ice cream combos for your toddler to create and serve. It comes with 6 activity cards you can insert into the cart to hear ice-cream orders to make and then ring through the till.
It’s a definite toddler hit and the ‘magic ice cream scoop’, which recognises the different colours and flavours on offer, really wowed our little testers. The activity cards are great for reinforcing colours and numbers and we like how the cart “gobbles up” all the left-over ice cream.
Angela, mum of our child tester Edie, 2, said, “Edie play with this non-stop. She quickly figured out how to use the scoop and how to place the cards in the till. She listened to what the cards told her and made the correct ice cream up. As soon as anyone new comes to the house she straightaway asks what ice cream they would like!
“It is great for learning her colours as we ask her for a pink/green ice cream and also tell her the flavour. Her favourite part seems to be putting topping on to the ice cream. It is certainly a hit – and I would definitely recommend this toy to friends and family.”
Best soft toys for 2 year olds
22. CoComelon Boo Boo JJ, £24.99
– Great for learning body parts
Age suitability: 2+ | Best for age: 2+ | Size: L10cm x W12cm x H30cm| Batteries: 3x AAA (included) | Awards: Gold, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2022
You do pay a bit of a premium for Cocomelon-themed toys but this cuddly plush doll definitely does deliver on the toddler-thrill front. He’s nice and big to squeeze and comes with 3 brightly coloured Velcro-backed fabric plasters – which you put on his head, elbow, knee or foot when that area lights up and JJ tells you he’s got a ‘boo boo’. Get your plaster in the right spot and JJ giggles and tells you he’s feeling better. You can also press his tummy and he'll sing the Boo Boo song.
“I’ve never seen a doll like this before,” said Sophie, mum of our child tester Amelia, 2 (pictured above). “It’s very original. And Amelia is very excited about him – and especially about the plasters!”
“JJ hurt. Fix JJ!” said our other child tester Vinaj, 2, proudly. His mum Bhavisha added, “He has figured out he has to press the red light to make JJ feel better and this doll is helping him getting more and more familiar with the names of body parts. He keeps running to play with JJ throughout the day.”
It also comes with a fabric carry case to keep the plasters in.
23. iFrodoll Personalised Deep Skin Tone Plush Doll Nevaeh, £16.99
– Great for hugging close
Age suitability: From birth | Best for age: 2+ | Size: L9cm x W14cm x H34cm | Batteries: None | Awards: Silver, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2022
One of a range of soft dolls with brown and black skin tones that can be personalised – for free – with your child's name, Nevaeh has a smiley round face, curly, textured hair in a top-bun and wears a (non-removable) dress with a tutu skirt.
She’s super soft and just the right weight (128g) and size for a toddler to carry about or wrap arms around and snuggle tight at bedtime. She’s also machine-washable.
The face of our 2-year-old child tester Tilly (pictured above) lit up when she saw Nevaeh for the first time and she hugged her straight away. “She became a friend very quickly,” said her mum Alexandra, who believes the doll will be a firm favourite for years to come. “This toy really resonates with me as a black parent to two black daughters because representation is so important, and the lack of black dolls on the market can be frustrating. This doll is attractive, appealing and very well-made. I think any child of any ethnicity will be able to see the beauty in Nevaeh.”
Available at: iFrodoll
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Emily is the Digital Content Producer at MadeForMums, working across the brand on everything from pushchairs and car seats to baby names and the latest product launches. She researches topics thoroughly to make sure our content is accurate and helpful for parents and loves bringing the details about latest parenting products and innovations to our audience.
Six big family moments that matter – and the products that make them easier to navigate
These products from John Lewis & Partners help support the memorable moments of family life.