When shopping for toddler gifts, I look for fun toys that kids will absolutely love and play with for hours. At the same time, these are bright little minds that are full of energy, and I want gifts that will help them with basic learning and coordination. Here are the best gifts that my granddaughter and grandson received around the 2 year age mark.
Melissa & Doug Puzzles
Melissa & Doug wooden puzzles are a great learning and coordination tool that toddlers also seem to really enjoy. These are one of the few toys at this age where you see smart kids start to concentrate and focus on a task. With other toys, even the smartest toddlers might quickly lose interest and move on to new toys within a few seconds, but they tend to stick with puzzles until they complete them.
Fly Bike Foldable Glide Tricycle
The best feature of this little Fly Bike Foldable Toddler Tricycle is that it’s foldable and easily transportable. The sweet spot for this foot-powered gliding three wheeler seems to be age 1-2. Beyond that, your toddler may be too tall. It does take some strength and coordination to figure out how to push it forward smoothly, but once they get it, they will take off and be active for a long time.
Eggsnow Play Tent
Toddlers are always actively building forts and climbing into small spaces where they feel safe and secure. The Eggsnow Kids Play Tent is beautifully decorated, well-sized for the corner of the room, and easily collapsible into a lightweight, flat mass when you want to store it away. I thought I’d need to store mine in the closet, but it is now a permanent fixture in the family room.
Smart young toddlers around age 1.5 will love Mega Bloks even if they are not coordinated enough to construct anything yet. They will at least be able to stick a few pieces together, and it’s fun for them to assemble more and more pieces (and higher and higher towers) as their coordination improves beyond age 2. Parents will also love that this is a relatively quiet toy to keep kids occupied for a good while.
Crocodile Creek Playground Ball
The Crocodile Creek Playground Ball is not as large as a kid’s kickball but is made of that same rubbery, bouncy texture. Toddlers love the texture of the ball and that it’s small enough for a 1 or 2 year old to hold and throw. They also come in attractive designs and colors featuring the solar system, dinosaurs, wild animals, and underwater animals. These are too small for older kids wanting to play kickball but perfect for young toddlers.
Little Tikes Toddler Basketball Hoop
You’d be surprised how much the young ones who have just learned to walk love to put the ball through the Little Tikes Toddler Basketball hoop. It’s a great exercise in coordination and a welcome distraction from throwing their toys behind the sofa. Probably most suited for age 2-3, both active boys and girls will love the goal-oriented nature of this starter sized basketball hoop.
Indoor Ball Pit
This convenient Eggsnow ball pit is durable, super lightweight, easily folds flat for storage, and makes active toddlers squeal with delight. Remember to also buy a bag of balls online (don’t worry – they’re inexpensive), and prepare to deal with stray balls all over the room, and maybe even the house. But the kiddos will love it from as early as age 1.
Little Tikes Inflatable Bounce House
This is definitely more of an expensive investment, but the Little Tikes Bouncer will allow the active kids to burn off a lot of energy outside or even inside if you have the space in your home. High energy toddlers love it and will be more than ready for that afternoon nap after hours of fun bouncing and sliding.
Power Wheels Lil Quad
When your smart 2-year old is ready to start driving, the Power Wheels Lil Quad is a great option. Ok maybe not full blown driving, but they will absolutely love this first “car.” Power Wheels contain a surprising amount of power and battery life, and even your older kids will want to drive them around. Your little ones will love the freedom of cruising around like the big kids do.
Play Doh has stood the test of time – toddlers today still love it as much as toddlers 30 years ago did. Play Doh is a great creative and sensory toy that will occupy your smart 2-3 year old toddler for hours and is something they will come back to every day. The sets are inexpensive and you can easily order new ones when your old ones inevitably dry up because your toddler has left it sitting out for too long. If you are afraid of the mess, you can buy a Play Doh mat that will keep your floors mostly Play-Doh free.
The Step2 Sand Table is a nice alternative to a full blown sand box if you are space constrained. Active toddlers love the sensory nature of the toy and can surprisingly stay entertained for a long time with the help of just a few toys in the sand box. Best to dust them off outdoors unless you want sand tracked into the house.