20 of the best toys for 2 year olds

Our pick of the top toys for boys and girls aged 24 months and up


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Your 2-year-old is full of energy and curiosity. She or he can solve simple problems through trial and error and often likes to ‘practise’ an activity over and over until she or he has got it the hang of it. At 2, children also start to pretend more during play, using familiar objects and situations to copy the grown-ups them.

So what kind of toys suit a 2-year-old best? First things first, it’s got to be indestructible. Like, really indestructible.

And fun, obviously. Ride-on toys get a big thumbs-up, as do anything that lights up or beeps when you press its buttons.

Now that your child’s hand-eye co-ordination is improving, puzzles and simple construction toys can come into the mix, and maybe even some first ventures into drawing and art.

Here is our pick of the best toys for 2-year-olds:


1. MURO, £195

Age: 1+

What it is: A large shape-shifting modular play centre, made from birch and rubber wood, developed with educational psychologists. It is a super high-quality ‘busy board’, with cogs and pegs and wheels and switches and beads – and all sorts (you get to choose). Available as a 40cm floor cube or wall board (75cm x 40cm).

Why we love it: It’s colourful, durable and packed with so many different things to touch and move and play with that it more than lives up to its price tag. And it appeals to a wide range of ages (1 tester even said her 8 year old enjoys it). We think this one’s a keeper. Is it any surprise it took home a Editor’s Choice award and a Silver gong in the Best Wooden Toy category, in the 2018 MadeForMums Toy Awards?

Available from: Muro


2. LeapFrog Scoop and Learn Ice Cream Cart, £44.99

Age: 2+

What it is: An alternative to the toy kitchen – a push-along, 21.7cm x 51.6cm x 63.2cm pastel-coloured stand filled with ice cream combos. Music plays as you push it. It comes with a cast of six hungry characters, you meet them by inserting the activity cards. The characters help children explore colours, numbers, flavours and play a stacking game, which varies in difficulty. Requires 3 AAA batteries (included).

Why we love it: LeapFrog’s latest role-playing toy is visually eye-catching, thanks to the candy-coloured design and the ‘magic ice cream scoop’ which recognises all the different colours and flavours on offer. We also like the ‘wow’ factor of the stand ‘gobbling up’ all the left-over ice cream. Be warned, you will find yourself with a craving for a sweet treat after playing.  usAvailable at: Smyths ToysArgos and The Entertainer


3. LEGO Duplo Number Train, £12.99

Age: 18 months+

What is it: A train children can build, which also helps them learn how to count from 1 – 9. The objective is simple: put all the blocks together to make a train, but make sure the numbered blocks line up in the correct order. Each waggon measures 10cm x 37cm x 6cm. It also comes with 3 DUPLO figures, who can ride aboard the locomotive.

Why we love it:  It’s a nice and low-key introduction to numbers for children just learning to count. The train was a hit during its MadeForMums product test – with children across the recommended age range giving it a go. Mums said it helped keep their kids’ attention, and that their little ones got real satisfaction from helping each other build, and from successfully putting the chunky bricks in the right order to complete the train. Our mums said the figures were one of the most captivating parts of the toy for their little ones.

Available at: John Lewis and the official LEGO store

megabloks table

4. Mega Bloks Build & Learn Table Classic, £29.99

Age: 1+

What it is: This table and 30 blocks set is a great introduction to building blocls. Children can simply stack them, or build a town and roll (the included) cars through it. Kids can learn to match numbers and colours with it. The 13.3cm x 61cm x 40.6cm table has fold-up legs, so can be stored when not in use.

Why we love it: The table is a great height for children and is super sturdy, too with lockable legs. There is storage under the blocks, and the whole thing can be packed away easily or folded and used for travel – so is a good option if you’re looking for a toy to take on holiday.

Available from: Smyth’s Toys and Amazon

peppa pig wooden campervan

5. Peppa Pig Campervan Wooden Shape Sorter, £14.99

Age: 2+

What it is: This 14cm x 17.6cm x 11cm wooden shape sorter toy encourages hand-eye coordination and shape and colour recognition. It has four shaped holes and eight coloured blocks – children can figure out what goes where.

Why we love it: If your little one is a fan of the TV show, this well-made wooden toy will be perfect for them: it has 4 different shaped holes and 8 wooden blocks in various colours, so is great for helping your child learn colours, shapes and counting.

Available from: John Lewis

my buddy wheels

6. My Buddy Wheels Horse Balance Bike, £70

Age: 2+ (max weight of 25kg)

What it is: This bike – which also comes as a unicorn or a dinosaur – will help children get ready for a two-wheeler with pedals. The unicorn, dinosaur and horse buddies are easy to take on/off, and are washable.

Why we love it: This balance bike is popular partly because it’s both solid and lightweight at the same time – and very plush (and comes in different designs, eg dinosaur, unicorn) so will be nice and soft for your toddler to hold on to. It’s perfect for a child who’s not quite ready to ride a bike but is learning to balance as they can do this by themselves with no help – and is a good stepping stone for getting them ready for the ‘real thing’.

Available from: Halfords


7. VTech Toot-Toot Drivers Fire Station, £32.99

Age: 1+

What is it: This 13.3cm x 45cm x 33cm fire station set features a vehicle flipper, a ladder they can pull out, a fire hose they can turn – among other things, and comes with a fire truck. That’s in addition to the sing-song melodies it can play, the fact that all Toot-Toot tracks and cars can be played with together, and like the others, this set also features SmartPoints – which are locations that trigger fun responses when driven over. Requires 2 AAA batteries (included).

Why we love it: This fire station connects with other V-Tech toys which is handy to know if your child already has some or you want to expand the set. There are 2 noise settings – though you might not find the ‘quiet’ one as quiet as you’d like! and, like other V-Tech vehicles, the fire truck is the perfect size for small hands to hold and handle.

Available at: Smyths Toys and Selfridges


8. Magical Unicorn Carriage, £139.99

Age: 18 months+

What it is: A large (95cm x 115cm) unicorn-drawn carriage with a pull-along handle that converts to a hold-in-your-(toddler)-hand rein. The floor can be removed for some small-foot-propelling action. The door opens, and the unicorn moves right and left and make a clip-clop sound effect as you trot along – and the horn lights up. Comes with a toy storage box inside and a ‘parent console’ on top. Some assembly required.

Why we love it: This unicorn update on last year’s bestselling Princess Horse & Carriage ain’t small or subtle but, to a toddler, it sure has maximum kerb appeal. Our child testers were beside themselves with excitement at the sight of it – and their parents liked how easy it was to pull along, its 2-way reins and the storage console on top (perfect for your keys and phone). That’ll be why it took home SILVER in the Best Ride-On Toy category at the 2018 MadeForMums Toy Awards.

Available from: Amazon and Very


9. Fisher-Price Talking Bing, £15.99

Age: 2+

What it is: A smiley 30cm toy version of the CBeebies character Bing, which interacts with your child through phrases and songs. Bing has over 15 fun phrases, like: ‘Hi, I’m Bing! What’s your name?’. Press Bing’s button to hear him talk and giggle.

Why we love it: We love that Bing sings after a good squeeze, and pressing his tummy activates lots of fun phrases. Some buyers found it to be smaller than they expected, but other than that slight issue – we’ve heard this is a really popular bedtime toy for children.

Available at: Amazon


10. Orchard Toys Big Bus Puzzle, £10.30

Age: 2+

What it is: A 15-piece puzzle that, when put together, transforms into a bustling, British red bus. Puzzle size 59cm x 42cm. It includes a fun learning guide on the back of the box, which features different discussion points to talk about once the puzzle has been completed.

Why we love it: Orchard Toys jigsaws are always super-sturdy, and the pieces fit in and sit together well. You should also find the age rating of 2+ is pretty accurate for this and their other puzzles. There’s so much detail in this one too that afters you’ve amde it there;s lots to talk about in terms of who’s on the bus and what they’re doing. Also good for a game of ‘Spot the…” balloon, baby, dog etc – so a game and puzzle in one.

Available at: Orchard Toys and Ocado


11. Melissa & Doug Animal Rescue Wooden Play Set, £14.99

Age: 2+

What it is: A wooden safari truck with 2 rangers, and 7 animals that each fit into the 26.8cm x 17.2cm x 11.8cm truck though a differently shaped hole in the side.

Why we love it: Well, it’s a truck and a shape-sorter, with extra alligator/elephant/hippo/giraffe/lion/zebra/rhino animal action. It’s a great toy for encouraging hand-eye co-ordination and shape recognition as well as being a good springboard for all sorts of imaginative play (the set comes with some nice play ideas). We also like that there’s a female ranger figure, as well as a male one, and that the cargo door lifts up so your child can unload the animals.

Available at: Amazon and Argos


12. Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Ride-On, £54.99

Age: 18 months+

What it is: The classic toddler 40.6cm x 77.5cm x 82.5cm ride-on car, with horn, ‘ignition switch’ and open-and-close petrol cap.

Why we love it: The Cozy Coupe has been a bestselling ride-on for 30 years, and that’s simply because it’s a toddler magnet. There’s something about the open-and-close door, the perfectly pint-sized seat, the steering wheel and the bright yellow roof that pretty much every 2-year-old is drawn to. We love this classic red anniversary edition but the Coupe also comes in a variety of other colours and looks too (including dinosaur, truck, police car, fairy and fire truck).

Available at: Smyths Toys


13. Happyland Lights and Sounds Farm Tractor, £25

Age: 12 months+

What it is: A 18.5cm x 36cm x 16.5cm agricultural toy set, featuring a farmer, a cow, and their light-up tractor. The set includes tractor, trailer, farmer and a cow. You can press the tractor’s chimney for lights, sounds and fun phrases. Requires 2 AA batteries (included).

Why we love it: Each of the toys in the set is is colourful, chunky and easy to grip, and you can hitch up the trailer to the tractor and lower the ramp to load the cow. If your child presses the tractor’s green ‘chimney’, he or she will see lights and hear some good sounds.

Available at: Early Learning Centre

tidlo toddler cooker

14. Tidlo Toddler Cooker, £59.99

Age: 12 months+

What it is: This toddler cooker was designed for younger children. It is the right height for children aged from 12 months and up – it measures 32cm x 34cm x 40cm. It has clicking dials, a hob and oven with a sliding internal tray, carry handles so you can move it from room-to-room and is made from high quality, responsibly sourced materials.

Why we love it: This is a starter kitchen toy for toddlers. And if you want to expand on the range as they grow older, you can add a sink, a fridge, and other accessories. The whole Tidlo range has a ‘coupling system’, which means that other units can be tied to it to make it really stable and look uniform.

Available at: Big Jigs

playmobil noah's arc

15. Playmobil 123 Noah’s Ark, £34.99

Age: 18 months+

What it is: A plastic toy (31cm x 18cm x 18cm) Noah’s Ark with a carry handle and removable deck. Comes with 2 little people, 2 giraffes, 2 elephants, 2 zebras, 2 doves, 2 dogs and 2 lions.

Why we love it: This toddler-friendly-sized boat is light and very portable, while still being nicely robust. And it properly floats in water (not all toy boats do, you know). We love that you can stow the animals away in the deck. And we have to say we think the animal figures – especially the elephant and giraffe – are very cute.

Available at: Playmobil, Uber Kids and Amazon


16. Ozbozz My First Scooter, £31.08

Age: 2+

What it is: A 61cm x 54cm x 30cm trainer scooter that adjusts from 4 wheels, to 3 wheels to 2, as your child gets older and more co-ordinated. The handlebar height is adjustable and the whole scooter folds in half for easy storage. Comes in blue and green, or pink and yellow, and with a small tool kit.

Why we love it: It’s a brill starter scooter for toddlers, and we really like the stage-by-stage wheel changes that allow your child to build up confidence as they master the art of balancing and steering. That’s why it was the gold winner in Best Scooter category at the 2018 MadeForMums Toy Awards. Our testers fell ‘in love’ with this scooter, also because it’s light, easy to ride, and excellent value for money.

Available at: Amazon

lego submarine

17. LEGO DUPLO Submarine, £18

Age: 2+

What it is: A chunky 24-piece LEGO DUPLO set that fits together to make a 17cm x 10cm submarine and a 13cm x 15cm underwater scene. This toy – which can be used in the bath – also includes 2 LEGO DUPLO diver figures, a clown fish, a whale and seagull figures.

Why we love it: We love this underwater toy – and it floats! We especially love the fact that it bubbles when you submerge it under water. This is one of those rare toys that is both really fun in the bath, and out of it, too.

Available at: LEGO and John Lewis


18. ALEX Toys Learn To Dress Monkey, £31.39

Age: 18 months+

What it is: A cute cuddly 12.7cm x 20.3cm x 50.8cm monkey with a whole set of clothes that can be taken off and put on again. The 11 ‘dressing activities’ your child can tackle include buttons, snaps, hooks, loops, buckles, zips and ties: that some serious practice for those fine motor-skills.

Why we love it: It teaches proper real-life skills without being all worthy and dull. We can’t promise that you won’t end up being the one who puts the clothes back on (especially the lace-up sneakers) after your child rips them all off – and we certainly can’t promise that your child will learn to dress him or herself anytime soon – but this is a good, fun start…

Available at: Amazon and Smartoys


19. Bright Minds Btoys Okiedeoke, £17.99

Age: 18 months+

What it is: A 5cm x 18cm microphone which lets your child record a song or a spoke message, and play it back. Easy-to-figure-out buttons show you how to speed up, slow down or even make the recording louder. Comes with a fabric handle for carrying around, or looping on your wrist. Requires 3 AAA batteries (included).

Why we love it: Ideal for little ones who love music, live to chat, or are still exploring their words and speech as it develops. It also helps them get to grips with their own voice. Beyond all the skill stuff, it’s just good fun, and easy for older siblings, friends, or even mum and dad to join in. There’s also 8 pre-recorded songs, if your child’s a little mic shy!

Available from: Amazon


20. LeapFrog LeapBuilders Phonics House, £29.99

Age: 18 months+

What it is: A 16.7cm x 23.2cm x 21.3cm rainbow-coloured house made of 66 chunky, toddler-friendly bricks. Once built, there’s lots of fun to be had to unleash the house’s 80 phrases, sounds and songs to teach children all about… you guessed it: phonics!

Why we love it: It’s a clever, deceptive educational tool. Any time a block is placed into the ‘magic window’, the house will talk back with a sound. These are all British sounds and spellings, so ideal for UK families who want to encourage their child’s speech. Also a hit for mini music fans, as there are 5 piano keys in the house, which help to also teach about colour, shapes and numbers. Of course, it works well on its own as a playset: with plenty of windows, doors and configurations to explore.

Available from: Amazon


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