Finding a practical and useful Christmas gift for a 2 year old can be challenging.
Or perhaps it’s a Birthday gift you are in search of.
Look no further!
Below is a list of 10 toddler toys that are unique, engaging and of course since they are featured on Seeme & Liz, they will promote speech-language development and learning!
And not one is over $100. Actually, most are under $50!
It was really tough to narrow down the list to just 10 toys.
I came up with this list based on several different criteria that each toy must meet.
Here are some examples of how I chose the toys:
- Majority of the toys are open ended.
- Most are BPA free or made from wood
- Encourage imaginative and pretend play and language development
- Provide learning of skills such as prepositions, opposites, color, fine motor, gross motor etc.
- Come from high end toy manufacturers (the quality will be great)
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*NOTE: Some of these toys have a recommended age of 3 by the manufacturer. However, they are suitable for most 2 year old’s with parent’s discretion*
Top Bright Toddler Magnet Toys
This is a great fine motor toy for 2 year olds.
It will also help strengthen hand eye coordination.
Toddlers will have fun finding worms hidden in the tree, pulling them out with the “mother bird” and then feeding them to the “baby bird”.
You can play this game with your little one in order to practice skills such as turn taking and finding certain colors.
Ask your child “can you find the blue worm?”, for example.
Little Tikes Cook N Grow Kitchen
Kids play kitchens are my go to toy whenever anyone asks me “what is the best toy to promote speech and language development?”
Play kitchens offer hours of open ended play where each play scenario can change depending on the child’s mood.
Play kitchens are also great because they are the one toy that you can easily have for 5+ years.
The language and learning possibilities are endless.
Do you want a complete list of reasons why every child should have a kids play kitchen?
Check out these 3 articles:
I choose the Little Tikes Cook n Grow Kitchen for my Top 10 list of Christmas Gifts for 2 Year Old’s because it is one of the only kitchens that will grow with your child.
It has 2 height settings making it great for younger children and older children.
Roll and Bounce Tower (Fat Brain Toys)
This is a great toy for learning through play! Some of the skills your little one can learn or strengthen include:
- Hand-Eye Coordination
- Fine Motor Skills
- Visual-Spatial Reasoning
And many more!
Mega Bloks First Builders
These aren’t as unique as some of the other suggestions, however, I feel that every child needs blocks!
And the Mega Bloks First Builders set is a great set to get started with to encourage free play with blocks.
Both of my children got started with this set.
Now they are Lego fanatics.
These blocks work well for teaching color, size and perseverance.
And they are also great for building creativity.
If you are wondering why I am not recommending a wooden block set, it’s only because they tend to cause a lot of frustration during the building process for little ones.
Mega blocks stick together well and make building less challenging.
That being said, you can get magnetic wooden blocks which are great, but they do come with a bigger price tag (for fewer blocks).
You can start by building a tower but you can elaborate on it and make a rocket ship.
Depending on what you and your child build, you can focus on vocabulary words around that theme.
So let’s take the rocket ship as an example.
You can work on prepositions such as “up” and “down” and phrases such as “blast off”.
Talk to your child about going to the moon.
Don’t worry if they don’t fully understand.
Melissa and Doug Beginner Pattern Blocks
The Melissa and Doug Beginner Pattern Blocks will make a great addition to your list of Christmas gifts for 2 year olds.
I highly recommend all Melissa and Doug toys as they are high quality and each one offers many learning experiences.
We could probably open a Melissa and Doug store from our house!
This set comes with 5 (2 sided) pattern boards and 30 shape pieces.
It is wonderful for teaching vocabulary (fish, butterfly, dog, flowers and more).
You can also expand on each word.
For example, if you are doing the fish puzzle you can talk about how fish live in the water, that they swim, etc.
This is also a playful way to introduce basic shapes and colors!
Fold n Go Dollhouse from Melissa & Doug
This folding dollhouse from Melissa & Doug offers an excellent introduction into dollhouses and would make the perfect gift for a 2 year old.
This is a simple dollhouse but a toddler does not need anything fancy.
And the price is great for a starter wooden dollhouse (usually a little over $50).
Many dollhouses start at over $100.
I suggest if you are buying a dollhouse for a 2 year old to go with a simple one to make sure that the child likes it.
We purchased a $150 wooden Kidkraft dollhouse for my daughter when she was 3 years old.
No matter how much I tried to get her to play with it she was not interested.
Luckily my son did show interest in the dollhouse when he was about 2 years old. So we did end up getting our money’s worth.
They allow for hours of open ended play and the language opportunities are endless.
You can introduce new vocabulary each time you play with it.
You can ask your child questions, think of what might happen next in a play scenario and so much more.
Another reason I love the Fold n Go Dollhouse from Melissa & Doug is because it does not require batteries or make any sounds.
This allows for more imaginative play by the child as they have to come up with the sounds and words to go along with the play.
They cannot simply be entertained by pressing buttons.
This dollhouse comes with everything you see in the picture.
Spiekind Wooden Power Tool Workshop
A tool bench makes a wonderful gift for a boy or a girl.
As I mentioned above, my daughter had a dollhouse that she was never really interested in.
But, she loved her tool set and would play with it for hours.
We had a plastic Black and Decker Toolset.
It was a bit flimsy and I wish we would have had something wooden instead.
Tool sets are great from a language development perspective as you can introduce new vocabulary such as nouns: saw, hammer, wrench, screw driver as well as verbs.
You can talk about what you could build or fix.
A tool set is also great for strengthening problem solving skills, cause and effect and developing persistence!
My children loved fixing things with their tool sets.
Melissa and Doug Fold and Go Wooden Barn
A barn is a must have from a language and learning perspective!
It’s a great way for toddlers to learn about animal names and their accompanying sounds.
I selected the Melissa and Doug Fold and Go Wooden Barn because it does not need batteries.
And this means that there are no buttons for the child to push to elicit sounds, lights, etc.
While there is nothing fundamentally wrong with these types of toys (my children had many), children often get fascinated with the cause and effect aspects of the toy.
Also, when there are buttons to be pushed, the level of parent interaction tends to decrease.
Aside from learning farm vocabulary, you can focus on other vocabulary words with this toy such as “open” and “close” as the barn door slides open.
There is also a fence that the animals can jump over or knock down. In addition, the barn opens up and animals can go into stalls.
They can either go on top or on the bottom. These are all vocabulary words that can be targeted!
You can purchase additional sets to go with this one. For example, a tractor and farmer.
If you are a big Fisher Price fan, the Fisher-Price Little People Animal Friends Farm is another fantastic option!
While it does require batteries to activate the sounds, they cane be left out.
Learning Resources Pretend and Play Fishing Set
A fishing set is a classic toy for all children. However, there are many to choose from and some are better than others.
I love the Learning Resources Pretend and Play Fishing Set because it is more than just a fishing set.
I see it as more of a kids costume/role playing set. Your child can be a Fisherman/woman for the day.
Everything packs nicely into the tackle box which means it can be taken on camping trips or outings to see the grandparents!
With a fishing set, you can talk to your child about fishing vocabulary such as: fishing rod, hook, fish, reel, cast, worm, vest, tackle box, water, “catch a fish”, my turn, your turn, etc.
The pretend and play fishing set comes with a magnetic fishing rod, a net, 3 fish ranging from small to large and 3 accompanying worms.
This toy provides opportunities for working on size concepts as well.
A 6 page write and wipe activity book is also included (crayons needed to write are not included).
*NOTE: The manufacturers recommended age for this toy is 36 months and older. I feel comfortable recommending this set for children 24 months and up. However, the worms are quite small so if your child is still putting objects in his/her mouth, please make sure you are supervising them carefully.
My Town Block Set
This isn’t just another block set!
It’s a pretend play town.
It starts with a puzzle which becomes the scene for the the blocks.
The puzzle could be a bit challenging for a 2 year old, but with some help they can get it put together.
This set comes with a large variety of blocks including a hospital, police station, fire station, school, grocery store, wooden vehicles and more!
My Town is perfect for hands on learning of fine motor skills, spatial reasoning and imaginative play!
Christmas Shopping For A Toddler Has Never Been Easier!
All of these toys are great from a developmental perspective. Your final decision will most likely come down to your budget.
I hope that this list has helped give you some ideas for Christmas gifts for 2 year old’s (or Birthday gifts).
If you feel there is another fabulous toy that I have not mentioned please let me know in the comments.
Or if you have one of these toys let me know what you and your child thinks of it!