22 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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best toys for 2 year olds

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 in their lives.

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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. Puzzles and simple construction toys can also come into the mix, now that your child’s hand-eye coordination is improving.

Although it doesn’t have to be plastic and noisy to light up a toddler’s eyes: we’ve found lots of great wooden toys, too.

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

1. My First Totem, £19.99

Age: 18 months+

What it is: A set of 8 chunky, easy-to-connect magnetic blocks, each with a different look, sound and texture, for your child to stack and build. Comes with a set of MyFirst cards, which features 24 ‘building challenges’.

Why we love it: The bright, colourful blocks, with fun noises, totally kept our toddler testers’ attention – and the magnetic element makes them easy to stack and connect, meaning there’s lots of scope for independent play. We like how this toy will grow with your child, as they become more capable of following the building challenges on the cards. Won Gold in the Best Construction Toy category of our MadeForMums Toy Awards 2019.

Available from: BrightMinds and Amazon

2. Wooden Ice Lollies, £10

Age: 3+ (but fine from 2+ with adult supervision)

What it is: Six 12cm-high pretend ice lollies on a stick that can each be taken out of (and put back into) their bright blue stand.

Why we love it: Lovely, colourful lollies that are just perfect for toddler pretend play and are well-made enough to last for ages. We like the little bites that are taken out of 2 of them! Great value for money, too.

Available from: John Lewis

3. LEGO DUPLO Town Submarine Adventure Bath Toy 10910, £17.99

Age: 2+

What it is: A chunky 24-piece set that fits together to make an underwater arch with seaweed and a submarine that you can submerge in the bath. Comes with 2 diver figures, a clownfish, a whale, a seagull and snorkel, flippers and underwater camera for the divers.

Why we love it: Not only does it float, our toddler testers discovered, it releases bubbles when you submerge it underwater (as does the little clownfish)! A well-pitched toddler construction toy with the potential for loads of extra play fun. Won Silver in the Best Toddler Toys category of our MadeForMums Toy Awards 2019.

Available at: LEGOJohn Lewis and Argos

4. Stickle Bricks Fun Tub, £19.99

Age: 18 months+

What it is: A tub of about 30 construction bricks of different shapes and sizes, including wheels, axels and faces, that fit together (and come apart) easily.

Why we love it: Stickle Bricks have been around for decades but our toddler testers were very taken with them, and were soon building all sorts of cars and animals and houses. Won Silver in the Best Construction Toys category of our MadeForMums Toy Awards 2019.

Available from: The Entertainer, Next and Very

5. MURO, £189

Age: 12 months+

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 (pictured) 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 hefty 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. Won an Editor’s Choice award in our MadeForMums Toy Awards in 2018.

Available from: Muro

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

Age: 2+

What it is: An interactive musical push-along 21cm x 52cm x 63cm cart stacked with ice cream combos for your child to create and serve. Comes with 6 activity cards you can insert into the cart to hear ice-cream orders to make and then ring through the till. Requires 3 AAA batteries (included).

Why we love it: It’s a definite toddler play magnet and the ‘magic ice cream scoop’ which recognises all 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 pretend-gobbles up all the left-over ice cream.

Available at: Amazon, Smyths ToysArgos and The Entertainer

7. LEGO Duplo Number Train, £12.99

Age: 18 months+

What is it: A buildable, wheeled locomotive and 3 carriages (37cm long in total), with numbered bricks to load on board. Comes with 2 child figures and a very cute cat.

Why we love it: A colourful train that’s easy to build and fun to push along, and introduces numbers and counting in an appealing way. A real hit with the children who tested it out in one of our MadeForMums product tests. Nice and light, too: would be a good toy to stash in a carry bag when you’re travelling.

Available at: LEGO and Amazon

mega bloks GGVO5 Build n Learn Table

8. Mega Bloks Build & Learn FGVO5 Table, £23.99

Age: 12 months +

What it is: A 13cm x 61cm x 40cm table with foldable, lockable legs that comes with 30 building blocks that include 2 rolling vehicles, a petrol station, traffic lights, and fruit and veg (for a market stall). Choose from Classic (blue and red, pictured) or Pink (pink and purple).

Why we love it: The table is a great height for toddlers and is super sturdy, and the blocks are cleverly decorated to encourage imaginative play, and colour and number recognition. Folds up nicely and there’s a clever storage space under the table surface for all the blocks once playtime’s finished.

Available from: Smyths Toys and Amazon

peppa pig camper van wooden shape sorter

9. Peppa Pig Campervan Wooden Shape Sorter, £15

Age: 2+

What it is: A 14cm x 17cm x 11cm wooden shape sorter with 4 holes and 8 coloured blocks to post through them.

Why we love it: It’s sleek, sturdy and scores excited toddler points with its Peppa-themed paintwork. Sometimes, a simple wooden toy like this appeals – and lasts – longer than any number of plastic, bells-and-whistles competitors.

Available from: John Lewis and Amazon

My Buddy Wheels Dinosaur Balance Bike

10. My Buddy Wheels Dinosaur Balance Bike, £70

Age: 2+

What it is: This innovative, lightweight, rubber-wheeled balance bike (max weight 25kg) comes with a soft, padded, washable dinosaur that you can attach over the frame and saddle, so that you’re scooting along on your cuddly prehistoric friend. Also available as a (brown) Horse or (pink) Unicorn.

Why we love it: The dinosaur covering is ever so soft and comfy and makes the whole idea of learning to ride a balance bike so much more appealing for less adventurous types. Our testers’ parents rated it for being easy to assemble and for having a lovely, simple seat-height adjustment mechanism (no tools required). Won Silver in the Best Balance Bikes category of our MadeForMums Toy Awards 2019.

Available from: Halfords

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

Age: 12 months+

What is it: An updated version of the bestselling, award-winning 13cm x 45cm x 33cm interactive fire-station set that includes 6 interchangeable track pieces, a spinning fire pole, a slide, a lift, a spinning disc launcher, flip-open windows, a pop-up fire and a swinging flag. Comes with a fire engine that has a moveable ladder. It also plays tunes and, when the engine rolls over any of the 4 SmartPoints in the station, says phrases, such as ‘I’m a brave fire truck!’ Requires 2 AAA batteries (included).

Why we love it: It’s easy to assemble (though best done away from your child, as there are lots of stickers to stick on before it’s good to go). And our toddler testers loved how much there is to do and hear and play with. It’s compatible with other Toot Toot sets and vehicles, too. There are 2 noise settings, by the way – though you might not find the ‘quiet’ one quite as quiet as you’d really like…

Available at: Smyths Toys, B&M and Selfridges

12. Little Tikes Magical Unicorn Carriage, £139.99

Age: 18 months+

What it is: A large (95cm x 115cm) unicorn-drawn carriage upgrade on the classic Cozy Couple (see no 15, below) 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: It 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). Won Silver in the Best Ride-On Toy category at the 2018 MadeForMums Toy Awards.

Available from: Amazon and Very

13. Orchard Toys Big Bus Puzzle, £10.50

Age: 2+

What it is: A big (59cm x 42m) 15-piece floor puzzle of a bustling British red bus. Comes with a learning guide on the back of the box.

Why we love it: The big pieces are super-sturdy, wipe-clean and fit together well. And there’s so much detail in the completed picture, there’s masses to point out, count and talk about when the jigsaw’s complete.

Available at: Orchard Toys, Amazon and Ocado

14. Melissa & Doug Animal Rescue Shape Sorting Truck, £14.99

Age: 2+

What it is: A 26cm x 17cm x 11cm wooden safari truck with 2 rangers, and 7 animals that each fit into to the 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

15. Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Ride-On, £59.99

Age: 18 months+

What it is: The classic toddler ride-on car (40cm x 77cm x 82cm), with working wheels, 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 Police Response, Dino, Fairy and Princess Unicorn Carriage (see no 12, above).

Available at: Little Tikes, Argos, Smyths Toys and Amazon

16. John Lewis Cleaning Set, £9.60

Age: 2+

What it is: A colourful, toddler-sized cleaning playset, including a mop and bucket, broom and dustpan and brush.

Why we love it: This high-quality set’s perfect for the toddler who loves ‘helping’ with household chores – our testers were beside themselves at having an actual mini mop bucket they could fill with water! Great value, too.

Available at: John Lewis

17. Chad Valley Tots Town Tots and Car, £10

Age: 18 months+

What it is: A set of 2 15cm-high cars (blue and yellow) and 2 drivers (a businessman and a policewoman). 

Why we love it: They’re lovely and chunky and sturdy – at a really great price. Our testers had a lot of fun putting the drivers in and out of the cars and taking them on imaginary trips (though there was a bit of rivalry about who got to have the police car….)

Available at: Argos and Sainsbury’s

18. Playmobil My Take Along 123 Noah’s Ark, £29.99

Age: 18 months+

What it is: A rigid-plastic Noah’s Ark (31cm x 18cm x 18cm) 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

19. Ozbozz My First Scooter, £19.99

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 with a small tool kit. Choose from Blue & Green (pictured), or Pink and Yellow.

Why we love it: It’s light, easy to ride and excellent value for money: judging by our testing session, a brill starter scooter for toddlers. Won Gold winner in the 2018 MadeForMums Toy Awards.

Available at: Argos, Amazon and Halfords

20. ALEX Toys Learn To Dress Monkey, £37.95

Age: 18 months+

What it is: A cute cuddly 12cm x 20cm x 50cm 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.

Why we love it: It teaches proper real-life fine-motor 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

21. 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 spoken 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. And it’s just really good fun – though the sound quality’s not exactly cutting-edge stuff. We like that there are also 8 pre-recorded songs, in case your child’s a little mic shy to begin with…

Available from: Amazon and Bright Minds

22. Plan Toys Juicer Set, £16

Age: 2+

What it is: A 15cm wooden lemon squeezer (with a top that lifts off), with a lemon and orange you can ‘cut’ with a wooden knife. Comes with a little wooden cup.

Why we love it: It’s well-made (just the right scaled-down size for toddler hands) and beautiful to look at. But most of all, it’s an excellent pretend-play toy: our testers loved pretending to cut and squeeze the fruit, and then offering round the ‘juice’ they’d made. Cute.

Available from: Amazon and Babipur

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