The Best Learning Toys For 2 Year Old’s May Not Be What You Think!

As I mentioned in the Best Learning Toys For Babies article, the purpose of the “Best Learning Toys” series is to help you choose toys that will engage your child and help them learn language skills through play.

The toys in this article are in no particular order and are not made by a specific toy company.

They are general categories such as blocks, vehicles, etc.

I will give you ideas for how you and your child can play with these toys to enhance learning.

Keep in mind that when I talk about “learning” I am not referring to academic skills.

Rather, I am providing you with ways to enhance speech and language development, fine and gross motor skills, problem solving, etc.

All of these toys were pretty standard in my speech and language therapy sessions with 2 year old’s!

Although I don’t mention it for each description, all of these toys are outstanding for pretend play.

To skip to a toy category in this guide, click on it’s name:

Ride On Vehicles
Mr/Mrs Potato Head
Chunky Puzzles
Toy Farm Playset

6 Must Have Learning Toys For Toddlers!

affiliate disclosure

There may only be 6 toys in this list, but it’s packed with skills that can be developed by playing with these toys.


Blocks should be a staple in every child’s toy box.  My children who are now 10 and 12 still love blocks.

Although they have now advanced to LEGO, they started with basic blocks.

They actually had several sets, some plastic (like Mega Bloks) and some wooden ones (Melissa and Doug have some good wooden sets that don’t cost a fortune).

From a learning perspective, blocks of different sizes (and shapes, if wooden) are best because they allow for many building opportunities.

You can also get cube style blocks with pictures, letters and/or numbers.

While these are good for targeting vocabulary, they aren’t quite as good for building.
Hape Building Blocks Assorted Shapes For Toddlers

Here are some specifics to keep in mind when playing with blocks:

♦ Vocabulary

Talk about what you are building.  For example, maybe you are making a house.  Use the word “house” frequently and also talk about what you might find in a house (rooms, chairs, beds, people, pets, doors, walls, roof, etc).

♦ Colors

Name the colors of the blocks.  Most 2 year old’s are able to recognize a few colors and label 1-2.   But remember, try not to test your child, keep the interactions natural!

♦ Prepositions

Some early prepositions that come up regularly during block play are “on” (put the red block on the green block), “off” (take one block off) and “on top” (Put the block on top).

Other prepositions such as “in front, behind, under, over, beside/next to” may also come up.  These however, are a bit advanced for a two year old.

♦ Shapes

If you are using wooden blocks there is a good chance that they will have different shapes including squares, triangles, rectangles and cylinders (circle).

Talk about the shapes while building.

♦ Problem Solving

If your child wants to make a really tall tower, he will have to figure out how to make it stable as stacking one block on top of the next will cause it to fall down.

Help your child figure out how to make it more stable by adding blocks on either side and then building up.

♦ Team Work

Work with your child or a small group of children taking turns adding blocks to a creation.  This will become more important as your child gets older.

♦ Counting

Count how many blocks you used to build your tower or whatever it is you created.  Your child may count with you, but if they don’t do not worry about this.

Continue to be a good language model for your child!

blocks for 2 year olds button

Ride On Vehicles

A ride on vehicle is an excellent toy choice for a 2 year old and it will be one of those toys that you have around until your child is 4 or 5, or until you get sick of it or they can’t fit in it anymore.

Although if they are like my children, one will sit on the roof while the other pushes when they can no longer fit inside!

The plasma car is quite brilliant because children and adults can use it!

So you don’t have to worry about your child outgrowing it after only a few years.
Little Likes Cozy Coupe Ride on Vehicle for Toddlers

Language and Learning Opportunities For Ride on Vehicles:

♦ Vocabulary (nouns/adjectives)

Car (police), (fire) truck, door, wheels, steering wheel, gas, lights, roof, fast(er), slow(er)

♦ Vocabulary (verbs)

Drive, crash, stop, go

♦ Environmental Sounds

If your child isn’t saying much, make up some sounds a car might make.

For example, vroom, beep beep, eeeek, weeee, etc.

Environmental sounds are noises that you would hear around you but said by a person.

They usually contain early developing sounds such as “p, b, m, n, h, w, d” and are often easily imitated by a young child.

♦ Prepositions

Get “in” the car, get “out” of the car,  there’s a book “on” the car, take the ball “off” the seat, park the car “beside” the wall.

These are a few examples of how prepositions are used while playing with ride on vehicles.

♦ Following Directions

Give your toddler a few simple directions and see if she can follow them.

For example, you could say “drive the car to the couch” or simply “stop the car, I see a red light!”.  Don’t over complicate the directions.

Make sure that when you are giving directions they are still part of natural play.

You aren’t giving your child a driving test 😉

♦ Gross/Fine Motor

Children will need to use their hands to open the door and their feet to move the car forward.

Many cars come with a plastic key that you can turn in the ignition.  This will require the use of their fingers.

♦ For Older Children

As your child gets older you will find that the way they play with a ride on vehicle gets more creative.

For example, a 2 year old will most likely do one or all of the following: “drive” back and forth, open and close the door or get in and out of the car numerous times.

An older child however, will come up with more elaborate scenarios.

If your older child needs some ideas for how to incorporate a ride on car into play you could suggest: drive to the store and go shopping, drive around and have the car break down, have the car turn into a time machine or spaceship, etc.

♦ Problem Solving

This will happen more with children between 3 and 4 than it will with 2 year old’s.

When playing out a pretend scenario such as one of the one’s I mentioned in the previous section, there are many opportunities for problem solving.

Problem solving can also occur when more than one child is playing with a vehicle as they will need to figure out who gets a turn first, where they are going to go with the car, or should the car be something other than a car.

As you can see, a ride on vehicle is so much more than a toy a child can “drive” around!

Note: I specifically didn’t mention battery operated vehicles for kids.  While they may be a lot of fun they don’t provide the same learning opportunities as an old fashioned push with your feet vehicle!  And they do not provide opportunities for physical activity either!

ride on vehicles for toddlers button

♥ You Might Also Like: 7 Unexpected Ways A Toddler Ride On Fire Engine Will Benefit Your Child ♥

Mr./Mrs. Potato Head

Did you know that Mr. Potato head was invented in 1949 by a man named George Lerner?

The toy was then manufactured and marketed by Hasbro beginning in 1952!

This is such a simple toy with a long history and it is definitely a childhood favorite.

If you get a Mr. Potato head for your 2 year old, keep it around for a few more years.

It will also be useful for the preschool and Kindergarten years!

It is another toy that will get a lot of use.

Mr Potato Head PlayskoolLet’s look at how Mr. or Mrs. Potato Head can be used for language and learning:

♦ Vocabulary

Talk about the various body parts as you are assembling Mr. Potato head (eyes, nose, arms/hands, feet, ears).

If you have Mr. Potato Head’s eyes, you could say “I found his eyes, where are your eyes?”

When talking about a body part your child might not be familiar with, make sure you talk about where on your and his body that part is.

Many Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head dolls also come with accessories such as hats, purses, glasses, etc. Label these items and tell your child where they go.

For example “let’s put the hat on his head”.

You can also get theme based Mr. Potato Heads such as Star Wars.

For a 2 year old, I would stick with the neutral Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head.

♦ Pronouns

He,she, his and her can be targeted while playing with either Mr. or Mrs. Potato Head.

Keep in mind this is more appropriate for a child 3 and older.

I wouldn’t expect a 2 year old to know pronouns.  But, this shouldn’t stop you from using these words.

The more your child hears proper grammar and pronoun usage the better likelihood that they will use these terms herself when they are ready.

♦ Prepositions

These concepts are for older children, not necessarily a 2 year old.

However, you can still talk about how something might be  “in front of” or “behind” Mr. Potato Head.

“Under” and “on” are prepositions more suitable for a 2 year old.  Try hiding things “under” or “on top of” the potato head.

“In front” and “behind” can be hard to teach as well as learn for some children.

Many objects do not have a distinct front and back so a child must know whose perspective they are taking with “in front” and “behind”.

But, if you are using Mr. Potato Head, or any other doll/stuffed animal, there is a front and a back so it doesn’t matter where the child is in relation to Mr. Potato Head.

♦ Emotions

Some Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head dolls come with a few different eyes, noses and mouths of varying expressions.

You can also purchase separate body parts packs.

When putting Mr. Potato Head Together talk about how he might be feeling based on the body parts selected.  You could even ask your child “show me your happy/sad/mad/silly face”.

♦ Fine Motor Skills

It can actually be pretty tricky to get the body parts into the holes.

At first it will probably be easier for your child to pull them out after you have put them in.

♦ Hand/Eye Coordination

Equally as tough as getting the body parts into the holes is finding the small end of the body part and then matching it up with one of the holes on Mr. Potato Head.

Mr./Mrs. Potato Head is another toy that you can have around for several years.

The way you and your child interact with it will change depending on your child’s age.

see more potato heads button

Chunky Puzzles

I love puzzles for toddlers!  Another must have toy for a 2 year old.
Melissa and Doug Wooden Chunky Puzzles for Toddlers

How To Use Puzzles to Focus on Speech-Language Development and Learning:

♦ Vocabulary (nouns)

Most chunky puzzles for toddlers are theme based (farm, pets, zoo, vehicles, construction, forest, tools, bugs, etc.).

Label each puzzle piece as your child is exploring them.  For example, “Where is the cow, do you see the cow?

♦ Vocabulary (verbs)

Target verbs that would go along with the puzzles theme.

For example, if you have a vehicles puzzle, some verbs you could use are “drive, stop and go”

♦ Prepositions

“In” and “out” can be focused on with these as well.

For example, “Let’s take the cow out” or “Let’s put the cow “in”.

♦ Fine Motor Skills

It can be tricky for some children to pick up a puzzle piece and release it into the correct spot.

Playing with chunky puzzles is a wonderful way to practice this skill.

♦ Hand/Eye Coordination

By finding a puzzle piece and then locating the matching cutout a child is working on hand/eye coordination.

♦ Turn Taking

Take turns finding a puzzle piece to put into the puzzle.  Use words such as “my turn” and “your turn”.

I could give many more examples of activities you can do with a chunky puzzle, but I have written an entire article on that subject!

chunky puzzles for toddlers button


It’s unfortunate that dolls are marketed to girls.  Even if you have a boy, get him a doll.

So much pretend play and language can happen with a doll (or a few of them).  A doll is another toy that your child will have for many years.

However, not all children will want to play with dolls.

My daughter was one of them.

She preferred her stuffed animals when given the choice.  My son on the other hand loved pushing dolls around in a stroller.

But when my daughter turned 8 she suddenly started playing with dolls.
Dolls for boys and girls toddlers

Language and learning Tips For Playing With Dolls:


This list can get quite extensive depending on what you are doing with the doll, but the doll itself has many vocabulary word  you can talk about.  For example, body parts, clothing and actions.


Talk about where the doll could go.

Some early prepositions are: in, on, under, out, off.  For example, the doll can sit on a chair.  The doll can hide under the bed.

 Pretend Play

As I mentioned in The Best Learning Toys For Babies article when I was discussing stuffed animals, dolls can be use in pretend play scenarios.

You can pretend it is bed time and go through a bedtime routine.  The doll may need to put pajamas on and get tucked in to bed.

Or maybe the doll needs a bath (you don’t need to use water, just pretend).  Incorporate vocabulary words while giving the doll a bath.

If you find that your child really enjoys playing with dolls, there are many accessories you can add such as a bed, stroller, bath tub, play food, carseat, etc. to extend the pretend play possibilities.

♦ Questions

Tailor your questions to your child’s language level.

If your child is learning body parts ask questions such as “where is baby’s nose?”.

Or if your child is already speaking ask more open ended questions such as “baby is thirsty, what does the baby want to drink?”

see more dolls button

♥ You Might Also Like: Do Your Son A Favor & Buy Him A Doll! ♥

Toy Farm Playsets

A toy farm playset was one of the first toys I purchased when I started working as a Speech-Language Pathologist.

This is one of the most versatile toys out there for young children!
Melissa and Doug wooden farm playset

Speech-Language and Learning Ideas For a Pretend Play Farm:

♦ Vocabulary

Label all of the animals as well as the sound that each animal makes.

Did you know that animal sounds can be counted as words for toddlers?

As long as your child is making the correct animal sound for the corresponding animal and does so on a regular basis, it is technically a word.

So every time your child sees a cow (real, picture or toy) and says “moo”, you can count that as a word in his vocabulary.

But if your child says “moo” for all animals, then that is not considered a word.

Be sure you are always using the real word so your child hears it many times.  Soon enough, “moo” will become “cow”.

If your toy farm comes with other accessories such as a farmer, tractor, fences, etc, label these as well.

♦ Prepositions

In, out, under and on are some early prepositions that you can target when playing with a toy farm.

Have an animal go “in” the barn.  The farmer could get “on” the tractor.  You get the idea.

♦ Early Concepts

Opposites such as big/little, fast/slow.

Find all the big animals and put them on one side of the farm.  Then get all of the small animals and put them on the other side.

♦ Questions

Ask your child some questions while you are playing.  For example, “where is the horse?”, “what does the duck say?”, “what is the cow eating?”.

Keep the questions simple and incorporate them into natural play.  Your child may ignore you.  This is ok.  You can answer the question for your child.

Kids will often “ignore” because they don’t know the answer or because they are too busy playing.

best learning toys toy farm playset button

Which Is The Best Toy From An Educational Perspective?

Hopefully you weren’t expecting a long list of toys.  There is a lot of information here for only 6 toys.

However, these are the best learning toys for 2 year old’s to facilitate language development and learning.  One isn’t better than another.

As you can see there are many similarities among what can be learned with these toys.

Try to think of other toys you have for your child, could you use them in some of the ways I have described?

Do you feel that there are some important toys I have missed?  Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Related Reading
Simply Amazing Educational Toys For Preschoolers
7 Toys For Babies To Encourage Language Development & Learning

The Best Learning Toys For 2 Year Old's To Encourage Language Development
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The Best Learning Toys For 2 Year Old's To Encourage Language Development
Look no further, these are the BEST Learning Toys For 2 Year Old's. And by learning I don't mean ABC's and 123's. These toys will set the foundation for...
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  1. Boniface

    Hello Tanya,

    These are some of the best tips I’ve read for how simple toys can help two-year-olds to learn! I have a 2-year-old son and it’s true that he’s at an age where he’s quite curious about colors. He’s not good with cube style blocks yet but for toy cars, he’s a big fan. I’ve seen how I can teach him new vocabulary using the very things he loves playing with.  You have also helped me see how much my child is learning simply while playing.  And now that I know just how much he can learn with some of these toys, I will be paying more attention when I am playing with him.

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Thanks! I’m so glad to hear you see the value in how much children can learn by playing with simple toys.  I am really encouraging parents to step away from the push to introduce “early academics”.  Children have their who lives to learn ABC’s and 123’s.  But so many essential skills are learned through play.  And without these children often struggle with academic skills later on.

  2. John

    Thank you for sharing this educational list of toys for 2 year olds.

    I believe that young children are very capable of learning but we as parents need to start teaching them early enough. From the list, I love the building blocks the puzzles the most.  My kids have these and love them. Kids learn even when we don’t realize they do. I once worked in a kindergarten class with kids and I discovered they learn so much from a simple toy like blocks. Things like colours, numbers, words and shapes are basic knowledge that kids need to have, and I believe blocks provide that knowledge.

    Again I must say I feel really inspired by your effort in putting this educative post together. Thanks for sharing as I’m definitely sharing this with an acquaintance who will find it helpful.

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Thanks John!  Glad you liked the article.  And thank you for sharing it!

  3. Shanta Rahman

    Many thanks to you for giving us such a wonderful article and for giving us the opportunity to discuss something wonderful through your article. You have mentioned through your article several wonderful toys for young kids.I had no idea just how much kids can learn by playing with these toys.  I am away from home a lot because of my profession and I cannot give my kids as much time as I would like. And whenever I come home I talk to my kids and play games with them. My kids love to play peek a boo game, when I spend time with them.  I have been looking at some educational apps for them to help them learn while I am not around.  What do you think about these?

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Thanks for your comment and question Shanta.  I am not a big fan of “educational” apps for kids as they are still overstimulating and can suck a child in for hours (and away from doing something more productive and actually educational).  However if your child is over the age of 3 a good quality app now and again will not be harmful.

  4. smjtuhin

    Thanks a lot for such an amazing article about learning toys for toddlers. You have some super valuable info on here that may be beneficial to a wide group of parenting. My kids have a ride on vehicle and Mr Potato head. They are very happy with these toys and play with them regularly. So I can say that these products are of very good quality. I think a lot of parents still don’t have a good idea about learning toys. So if they read your article, they will be learning a lot. That’s why I will share your article on various social media platforms.

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      You’re welcome.  I’m glad to hear your kids have some of these toys and love them!

  5. Bai Asha

    Hello,Your guide on each topic is awesome. I recently come on your webpage and find everything related to our child education. Now our baby is one year . I already bookmarked you site for updates. I noticed you also added parenting tips. I will read and follow them. Hope buy learning toys also when my baby grow. I know learning toys plays an important role in their learning skills. Thanks for sharing your awesome tips and suggestion.

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Thank you!  Since you have a one year old you might also be interested in reading my guide on learning toys for babies.  It is aimed at children birth up to 2 years old.

  6. Diana


    Beautiful article and beautiful website. Even though I no longer have a little child ( mine is 19 already), I remember the times, when I used such practical toys to engage my son’s creativity, ability and knowledge.

    Despite not having a toddler, I still love reading articles like this!  I have always had an interest in child development.  I definitely prefer classic toys and games for children, which maintain a healthy interaction, rather than using a tablet.

    I’m going to share your website with some of my co-workers who are new first time parents.  They are always asking questions about baby and toddler stuff that I can’t always remember since it has been a while for me.

    Thanks for sharing. Great job!

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Thanks so much Diana!  I tell parents who ask about screen time and toddlers that even if the screens themselves are not inherently bad for development, the activities children are missing out on (such as playing with traditional toys and games and interacting with peers and adults) can result in developmental delays.

  7. sabrina

    Thank you so much for sharing such a beautiful article with us.  These are some beautiful learning toys that would be great for my son. I always worry about my boy and want to make sure I am giving him the best toys. My son is 2 years old and mostly likes cars. But I like the blocks and plasma car.  I think I might get these for him and hopefully he will like them.  I like the tips you shared for how children learn with these toys.  I had no idea!  I think your article will be very helpful to all parents. Best of luck.

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      You’re welcome Sabrina!  I bet your son would love some blocks!  Try incorporating the blocks with his cars while he plays.  If they are wooden blocks, he could build a road for his cars to drive on.  With a LEGO style block he could build bridges for the cars to drive under.   There are so many ideas with these 2 simple toys!

  8. jahangir

    Thank you for writing such a wonderful article about kids learning toys for 2 year olds. Joyless education is not an education.  I was looking for some toys like this for my toddler. I really enjoyed reading your article, and I found some toys my child will probably really like. I think the toy farm playset is a wonderful idea.  I did not know just how much kids can learn with a toy like this. I’m looking forward to reading more of your articles on children’s toys in the future. I will share the article with friends, so they can buy some great toys for their kids.

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      You are welcome!  I’m glad that you found the article helpful.  I’m sure your kids will love a toy farm set.  My kids played with theirs for a long time!

  9. Patrick

    Hey, LEGO blocks is great for teaching letters!LEGO are neat. They are big enough for my toddlers to play with, They really like them. We really love LEGOs in this family. My son can spend hours playing with them. I really like them because he can be creative. Once he is done putting together the item he will often make his own creations. 

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      I agree Patrick, LEGO is such a versatile toy.  It is so simple yet the potential for learning is great!  I wouldn’t recommend the small LEGO bricks for toddlers, but Mega Bloks and Duplo would be fine!

  10. Pete

    Thanks a million, I have been finding it challenging to get my little boy from watching too many cartoons. But I struggle with what else to use to keep him occupied.  This has been challenging.   I love all of your suggestions for how these toys can help with a child’s development.  With the chunky puzzles, I can keep him engaged on the zoo or the pets and even vehicles. This will do well after crèche

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      You’re welcome!  It is important to keep young children away from devices (including TV) as it takes them away from other activities that actually help their development.  And remember, it is ok for a child to be bored.  You do not have to feel like your child needs to be entertained every waking minute!

  11. Benny

    Hi, I love this website you have created.  And this article really is one of a kind.  The depth of information you have provided is wonderful.  I have a 2 year old and struggle to find ways to keep him entertained.  He has some of the toys you mentioned but seems to get bored quickly and wants to watch TV or play on the tablet.  Now I know just how useful these simple toys are.  This has helped me to be able to play with him while helping him build new skills.  Thanks so much!

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Thanks Benny!  The reason kids are drawn to the TV or tablet is because of the constant stimulation that these devices provide.  Low tech toys like blocks and puzzles require more attention. But this is absolutely necessary for children to develop and thrive.  I really want parents to understand that learning toys for toddlers do not have to be high tech.  In fact the simpler the toys the better for a child’s development!

  12. Marija

    Your site is great, I agree with everything you wrote. I think it is very important that children from birth should be active and exploring.  I love how you provide so many examples for parents for how to use everyday toys like puzzles for learning.  I don’t have children yet but have friends who do so I am starting to be more aware of what is out there for little kids. There really is a lot of information which can get overwhelming. Your site is very interesting and I will share it with my friends.

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Thanks Marija!  I’m glad you liked the article and would love it if you shared it with your friends!

  13. Mamun

    Thanks for sharing a very informative article with us.

    I have been trying to find some good learning toys for my nephew, but there are just too many toys on the market. I am confused about which learning toys are perfect for my nephew.  Your article removed my confusion and helped me to figure out what is good and why. Thank you so much for the amount of detail you provided.  I had no idea that something as simple as blocks would have so many learning benefits!  I will be sharing this article with my nephew’s parents as well!

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      You’re welcome.  It is tricking navigating the toy market these days.  Every toy claims to be the best for learning.  Unfortunately that is not always the case!

  14. Josh Ellery

    What a thorough article.  Despite only having a few toys on your list of the best learning toys for 2 year old’s, the one thing I really admire about your selection is that they are educational.  That is what makes them great value as a two in one. Your kids can have fun and learn stuff at the exact same time.

    I also think it’s great that you explain why these toys are great for both boys and girls.  Especially the dolls.  I didn’t realize how much a child can learn playing with dolls.  This is definitely something boys need to play with as well.

    Do you have any children and do any of your own children have these toys?

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Hi Josh,

      Thanks for your comment.

      I do have 2 children and when they were younger (they are 8 and 10 now) they owned all of the toys on this list.  I also used these toys in my speech therapy sessions on a regular basis.

      You can read more about me and my background here.

  15. Madelaine

    What an AWESOME website. My daughter is one year old. I agree with you. I especially love the BLOCKS. Hey they’re fun, plus you get to teach them all about shapes and colors, and they get to work on their coordination! I also love the blocks with letters. My daughter Jane get’s a kick out of it when I spell things out for her. It’s so sweet!

    Have a good day!

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Thanks Madelaine!

      Blocks are a wonderful toy and something that can be played with for years.  My kids started with Mega Blocks and they also had some wooden alphabet blocks.  But as soon as they were between 3 and 4 we introduced them to Lego.  They were still a bit young (but not where we were worried about them eating the Lego.  They weren’t doing that anymore) so it was my husband and I that were doing most of the building.
      But now they both love Lego and are always coming up with new things to build.

  16. Lorrie

    This is a great article. I wish I had this information when my kids were young. It’s hard for parents to know what the best toys are that will help with learning, language and other cognitive skills that are so important for their development.

    You did a fantastic job at explaining how to use several toys to help with everything from vocabulary to shapes and teamwork.

    I know of several new moms who would benefit from your post and blog.

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Thanks Lorrie!

      I’m hoping to show parents that toys don’t need to be complicated for learning to occur!  Thanks for sharing my site with your friends!

  17. Martina

    I love these concepts and ideas. My girls like to pretend that they are driving to the salon, or to the grocery store, but we don’t have a ride-on car for them just yet due to space. I love how simple it is to incorporate learning into play, thanks for the reminders and suggestions. Ill be sure to do more of this with our little boy who is almost 2.

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Hi Martina,

      If you have some cardboard boxes lying around you could suggest to your girls that they make a car out of cardboard! My kids love creating with cardboard. Sometimes it is more fun than what came inside the box!

  18. Eric100

    Doing a review for toys to help all the parents around the world is really great. You give them some info that can help them to raise their children very well. Even though I have not yet experienced becoming a father I felt that your website is very helpful to all parents. I also learnedyhat toys are not only to stop a child from cring and keeping them entertained, but also to teach them how to build their knowledge. Thanks a lot Tanya

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Hi Eric,

      Thanks for your comment. Based on all of the comments I receive on my site I feel like I should write an article about the hidden secrets of toys. So many people don’t realize how much a child learns when playing with toys. A toy is so much more than a form of entertainment and a way to avoid boredom. However, having a child sit in front of a screen for hours on end is definitely entertainment, especially for young children.

  19. Alex

    Wow, that is a good article. I didn’t know what you can do with some of these toys. Of course, I don’t need them at the moment, but I’ll be sure to remember to check this once I get surrounded with kids and kids toys.

    Loved the one about toy farm. I had that one as a kid and I thought about how I played with it, and what you talked about.

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Hi Alex,

      Thanks for stopping by. The toy farm is a must have for all children. I too remember mine from when I was a child. I am pretty sure it was a Fisher Price Farm!

  20. Lynn

    I liked this article because I think it was both informative and easy to digest. I think its extremely crucial that very young children learn to interact and respond to things without the every parent go to – electronics like the iphone or ipad. I especially liked the part which gave examples of what sort of exercises we could practice with our children using the different toys.

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Thanks Lynn. I am glad that you found it simple to read. I do not want this information to overwhelm parents. My goal is to show parents that parenting does not need to be difficult. Nowadays it seems like so many toys require batteries and are marketed as being able to “teach” young children. However, children learn best when they play. And parents can easily interact with their children during play based activities.

  21. Derek Marshall

    Ohh Thanks for this site!

    I can definitely see how those toys can help my two year old little girl Lanna. Unfortunately toys like these are not so easily available in Thailand. You have really got me thinking about getting some and perhaps just donating them to the local kindergarten when she is too big for them.

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      You are welcome Derek! Hopefully you will be able to find some of these toys in Thailand. It is wonderful that you plan to donate them to a local kindergarten. I am sure they will get a lot of use there.


    There’s no rule-book when it comes to parenting.

    My female friends all seem to panic when their children reach 2 years old.

    “I had a brilliant mother but I’m not sure I want to raise my kids the way my mother raised me.”

    This is the type of comment that I hear frequently.

    Sending children to the best nursery possible takes away some of this pressure but the learning that a young child goes through at home, is critical to their development.

    Your post gives mothers practical, implementable ideas that they can use to stimulate learning.

    This was really informative post.

    Well done.

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      You are correct. There is no rule book for parenting. Well, actually there are many (I even wrote one! – you can get it for free), but in the end you need to take from these books what works for you and your family. Some do share some great information!

      I recently wrote an article about daycare and preschool. You may want to pass it on to your friends.

      Parents seem to be becoming more and more fixated on their child’s academic skills at earlier ages. However, enrolling a 2 year old in “academic” programs will not benefit them. They need to learn through play and a parent is a child’s best educator in the early years (0-3)!

  23. Jack

    I think this is a great website. Learning through play is such an overlooked aspect of the whole childhood developmental process. The toys, I think, would be engaging for a two year old and are a heck of a lot better than placing a youngster in front of a TV watching cartoons. I remember my toy ranch set, Mr. Potato Head, and toy blocks from chilhood so well, and they are my most treasured memories of playing as a child. Keep up the good work with Seeme & Liz, Tanya!

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Thanks Jack! You are so right, learning through play is becoming more and more overlooked as technology becomes more popular. I am all for technological advances, however, a 2 year old will not benefit from this.

      There are some cases where technology can be helpful for young children, for example, a child with Autism. These children learn differently and technology can really help them. However, they also still need to be taught through play based learning.

      A typically developing child on the other hand, will learn best through play. Play based learning makes up the building blocks for skills required for future success.

  24. Lee Zhi Wei

    My personal favourite would of course be blocks! It has certainly evolved to Lego which is an advanced version of building anything you desire. However, I felt that Lego has commercialised their products too much & lost its touch in the creativity department. Wooden blocks are my favourites as they are of 1 color & it is totally up to the kids’ imagination on what they want the blocks to be.

    Zhi Wei

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      I agree Lee, blocks should be a staple in every child’s toy box! You can still get generic Lego that are not the commercialized themes such as Star Wars Lego. Basic wooden blocks are great, but so are the colored ones as you can introduce your child to primary colors (red, yellow, green, blue) that way.

      My children can spend hours building with their blocks. And cardboard. They love building with cardboard!

  25. Ian

    Wow, this is an amazing article.

    What I really like about it is that you are promoting actual hands on toys. I think that although technology is important there is something about the screen time that could be detrimental.

    My son is three and one of his favorite toys are blocks. He loves to build things and doesn’t even want the TV on.

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Hi Ian,

      I am glad you enjoyed reading about the best learning toys for 2 year old’s. I am actually in the process of writing “the best learning toys for 3 year old’s”. I am sure you will find this one interesting for your son!

      If you have had the chance to read more of my articles, you will quickly find out that I am not a proponent of technology for young kids. They have more than enough time to learn with regards to electronics and technology. In my opinion I would much rather a 2 year old have a large vocabulary, know how to interact with others, use his imagination in play, etc. than be a whiz at swiping on an iPad.

      More and more studies are showing that children are struggling in school with reading and writing because they didn’t learn the foundation skills in their early years. There are also studies now being done that are finding that early exposure to WiFi and Electromagnetic Fields can cause harm to a child’s development.


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