It’s so easy to find a toy my two-year-old son wants to bring home. If it were up to him, we’d own all the toys. However, because we don’t have all the money or all the space, that’s not really an option. Sorry, dude.
What’s not so easy is deciding which toys actually are worth the money and space in your house. With so many gift options to choose from for birthdays, Christmas, Hanukkah, and other special occasions, it’s easy to spend hours and hours looking for the best toys. But really, who has time for that?
Therefore, to make your life just a little easier, we present 26 gifts your little man will love. They’ll bring him hours of fun while also helping him develop the important physical, mental, social, imaginative, and creative skills that are so critical for this age.
Our Top Gifts and Toys for 2-Year-Old Boys
|VTech Kids Drum Set|
|Step2 Easel for Two|
|M & D Water Wow Bundle|
|Alex Discover Button Art|
|CoolSand 5 Pound|
|M & D Band-in-a-Box|
|Active Toys/Outdoor Toys|
|Little Tikes First Slide|
|Lawnmower Bubble Machine|
|Deluxe Steer & Stroll Trike|
|Up & Down Roller Coaster|
|Waterpark Play Table|
|VTech Smart Shots Sports|
|RC Cartoon Race Car|
|Playskool Sit 'n Spin|
|LEGO DUPLO Alphabet Town|
|Dr. Suess Book Collection|
|Farmer's Market Color Sorting Set|
|LeapFrog My Own Leaptop|
|Mega Bloks First Builders|
|Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog|
|M & D Classic Peg Puzzle|
|ThinkFun Roll and Play Game|
|Skoolzy Peg Board Set|
|3 Bees & Me Dinosaur Toys|
|M & D Wooden Railway Set|
|Ferry Boat with Mini Cars|
|Thomas the Train Ride-on|
|VTech Drill and Learn Toolbox|
|USA Toyz Rocket Ship Play Tent|
|Launch and Loop Raceway|
Creative Toys for 2-Year-Old Boys
As toddlers reach the age of two, they are just gaining the desire and ability to be creative. The following products will foster their interest, from artistic creation to musical expression and more.
1. VTech Kids Drum Set
This cute little drum set comes with three drum pads and a cymbal, which all make sounds and light up when hit. You can even change the sounds from drum to silly sounds, animal noises, or DJ sounds. Your child can play with his hands or use the drum sticks to feel like a real rock star. There are nine songs for your child to play along with, or he can pause the background music and play his own awesome drum solo!
The set has four playing modes. In Free Style, your child can play along with a song. For learning letters, the Alphabeats mode will light up one of the drum pads, and hitting the right one will let your child hear a letter, letter sound, or word. The Numbers Jams does the same thing, only with the numbers 1 through 30 and back down. Finally, the Follow Me mode works on your 2-year-old’s memory by playing a sequence he has to remember and copy. Again the lights lead the way, and a new one is added each time your child gets it right.
The set is small–tabletop size–which makes it easy to take with you when you travel. And best yet, there’s volume control! Hallelujah.
2. Step2 Easel for Two
This easel is a chalkboard on one side and a magnetic whiteboard on the other. It comes with 94 foam magnetic letters, numbers, and signs for your child to use.
Large clips on both sides of the easel can hold paper for coloring or painting, and a deep tray underneath is great for holding all of your little artist’s supplies.
With two sides to work on, this easel is perfect for play dates and sibling time. (Hey, your kids might actually play well together with this!).
3. M & D Water Wow Bundle
I still remember when a set of these arrived in the mail from my mother-in-law for my then-two-year-old daughter. It was an absolute lifesaver–the only way I was able to make dinner in peace that night. My daughter thought they were magic! And the magic of them still hasn’t worn off for her, nearly two years later.
Each book is a collection of black-and-white drawings. When your child colors on them with the refillable water pen, the colors (and a few hidden images) appear. Then, when the water dries, the color fades away again. Your child can use them over and over again!
This particular set features animals, numbers, and letters, but there are all kinds of designs available. Plus the pads are small and light, making them great for cars, airplanes, the doctor’s office, church, or anywhere you want your kids to be quiet for awhile. There’s even a place on the front to hold the water pen so it won’t get lost.
4. ALEX Discover Button Art
This is a simple, easy way to introduce your little one to the world of artistic creation. This set comes with 10 colorful pictures with several holes in them that your child can fill in with large, plastic buttons. All they have to do is match the color of the hole with a button of the same color and snap it in.
There are 46 colorful buttons and a storage tray to hold them in so they don’t get lost. The storage tray also acts as a holder for each of the thick cardboard pictures, keeping it in place as your child works.
In addition to teaching those all-important skills of hand-eye coordination, color matching, and fine motor function, this set can also foster your child’s creativity as he breaks the “rules” and experiments with different colors in different holes.
5. CoolSand Play Sand
What little boy doesn’t love dirt? I know mine does! Only we moms don’t like having dirt all over our homes, which are already so hard to keep clean. I used to think sand only belongs at the beach. Enter kinetic sand! It has all the dirty, sandy qualities of, well, sand, but it brushes right off of your hands and clothes. It only sticks to itself!
It’s also non-toxic and doesn’t dry out over time. Your child can use it with sand molds, and it will hold its shape well. He can also stage a dinosaur dig or create a construction site with digger trucks. The possibilities are endless.
CoolSand comes in a variety of colors, some of which are glittery. This option comes with an inflatable sandbox to keep everything contained.
6. Melissa & Doug Band-in-a-Box
This 10-piece musical instrument set includes maracas, a clacker, mini cymbals, a tambourine, a triangle, and tone blocks. There’s no shortage of fun sounds your child can make! As he plays along with his favorite music or creates his own beat, he’ll learn more about rhythm. By practicing playing loudly and softly, he can experience dynamics.
A set of musical instruments is a great toy for teaching social interaction and group play. Every member of the family, or a group of friends for a play date, can choose an instrument and play together. Your child can even pretend he’s a conductor!
This set of well-made music makers will last your child for years. Plus everything can be stored in the small wooden crate for easy clean-up.
Active Toys/Outdoor Toys
If only it were possible to bottle the energy of a two-year-old boy. Think of the money people would pay for that! But until that day comes, here are some fun outlets for your little one’s energy.
7. Little Tikes Red/Blue First Slide
Every toddler mom needs a slide in her house. Because sometimes you want your kids to play outside, but you just don’t feel like taking them to the park. Or maybe you can’t. This slide from Little Tikes is great for outdoor or indoor use. You can even have the slide end in a kiddie pool or a mini ball pit. There are so many possibilities (and your child will think of them all, I’m sure).
Stretching to three feet long, this little slide easily collapses for storage or relocation. It can hold children up to 60 pounds, so your little one can use it for years to come! With the growing concerns about children becoming less and less active, this toy is perfect for keeping your kid active no matter what the temperature is outside.
8. Lawnmower Bubble Machine
What 2-year-old doesn’t love a push toy? And bubbles? Being outside? A lawnmower bubble machine is the perfect toy, right? This bubble machine is light weight so it’s easy to push. It plays music, and it makes more that 2000 bubbles per minute! Your little one will have a blast “mowing” the lawn.
It comes with the electronic mower, 3 wands, a tray, 4 mini wands, and 3 bottles of bubbles. The bubble solution is mild and won’t bother your little one’s eyes or skin. It runs on 3 AA batteries, so be sure to have some on hand!
9. Radio Flyer Steer & Stroll Trike
This versatile tricycle can be used in two different ways–as a ride-on toy pushed by a parent or as a regular trike pedaled by your child. When an adult is pushing, the pedals lock so the child can use them as foot rests. When the child is ready to ride by himself, the pedals unlock and the push handle is easily removed.
The trike’s big foot pedals are great for smaller, first-time riders, and the three molded wheels provide a lot of stability. As with a real bike, the seat is adjustable to fit your growing child. A covered storage bin in the back and a bell on the handlebars are just icing on the cake.
Your kid will love riding around and feeling like a big boy. And as an added bonus, he’ll be strengthening his leg muscles and developing important gross motor skills at the same time. Win-win.
10. Step 2 Up & Down Roller Coaster
This 10-foot long mini roller coaster is every child’s dream toy. I mean, really. It has two fun hills and no line to wait in! Designed for indoor or outdoor use, the car can be used on or off the track, and the track can be used for balls, toy cars, or anything else your child wants to watch roll down.
At the top of the coaster is a recessed wheel well to keep the car steady as your child climbs in. A handle at the front and foot rests on the sides keep him safe as he coasts down. There are non-slip steps attached to the top of the track, and you don’t need any tools to put it together.
Your kid will love having his very own roller coaster to ride whenever he pleases. And you’ll enjoy a little peace (though maybe not very much quiet) as he plays happily by himself for hours. When playtime is done, the track easily comes apart to be stacked out of the way and hidden from view.
11. Little Tikes Spiralin’ Seas Water Table
This water table really is like a little waterpark. It comes with five water-squirting character balls that get to do the “rides.” They can be dropped down the spiral in the middle of the table or ride the ferris wheel around and around.
Your child can use the water cup to pour water into the funnel to make the mini water wheel spin. He can also create waves by turning the green spinner. And, of course, there’s always the simple fun of just splashing around!
The table is 31.5″ tall and holds seven gallons of water. It’s a great way for a two-year-old to play with water unsupervised, as a kiddie pool may still be too dangerous for solitary playtime.
12. VTech Smart Shots Sports Center
Consisting of both a soccer net and a basketball hoop, with their respective balls, this toy has a light-up scoreboard that counts your child’s successes and cheers him on. Buttons teach shapes, numbers, and letters, as well as play more than 50 sounds, phrases, and songs.
Your child will love dunking the basketball into the hoop or kicking the soccer ball into the net. And in addition to the academic things he’ll learn from the auditory parts, he’ll gain important gross motor skills, such as balance and hand-eye coordination.
Assembly is fast and easy, and the whole center doesn’t take up too much space. There is also a place to store the balls when not in use. And, as we parents love to hear when it comes to sound-making toys, there are two volume levels and it will actually turn itself off after a minute or two of inactivity.
13. Playskool Sit ‘n Spin
You can’t go wrong with this Playskool Sit ‘n Spin toy! A playtime staple for generations, this classic activity toy delights toddlers as they push and pull the wheel to spin around. The best part is that kids determine how fast they go by how hard they pull. Not only does it provide endless laughs, but it also improves balance and coordination skills. It can be played with outdoors or indoors, making it a great option for anyone living in a small space. What better way to burn off some energy on a rainy day?
As with all Playskool toys, this product is sturdy and built tough enough for any rambunctious 2-year-old boy. Thankfully, it assembles quickly and easily with just a few screws. Just keep in mind that it is small so it is recommended for kids 18 months-6 years.
Toddlers are like little sponges; they absorb so much more than we realize! Because they learn through play, it’s so important to provide them with toys that teach them more about themselves and the world around them. The following gifts will help them learn motor skills; color, letter, and number recognition; spatial awareness; and more.
14. LEGO DUPLO Alphabet Town
This Lego Duplo Classic Alphabet Town Building Set is a great way to introduce little boys to the creative world of Legos. The pieces are just large enough for little hands to start building cars and buildings . . . and knocking them over of course! It is a great first Lego set for a toddler.
This STEM toy is also a great way to help a 2-year-old start to recognize the ABCs, colors, and shapes. The set includes all the letters of the alphabet, a car that drives, and a boy, girl, and a little pug.
Not only do Legos help with eye hand coordination, but they are a great way to encourage creativity. There are 87 pieces in this set, which is plenty for him to build a town, drive a car around, knock some buildings down and build other ones to take their place. A 2-year-old boy will love to see how big of a building he can make. And he will love that he can open and close the windows. This Lego set is a great gift for any occasion . . . or no occasion!
15. Dr. Suess Book Collection
In 1957, Dr. Seuss wrote what he hoped was a more entertaining approach to the primers that were then used (remember Dick and Jane?). In this simple book, he put words and pictures together in such a way that young readers were soon not only recognizing words but reading them back to their parents.
Since then The Cat in the Hat has become a favorite for children and adults. In fact, if you are like I am, the rhymes still pop into my head . . . “The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play, So we sat in the house All that cold, cold, wet day.”
This is a perfect gift for new parents or grandparents, birthday or Christmas gifts. This collections contains 5 Beginner books: The Cat in the Hat; One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish; Green Eggs and Ham; Hop on Pop; and Fox in Socks. The books are hardbound and fit into a nice box with images from the books. These are ideal for 3 – 7 year-olds . . . but I still love them and I’m a little older than that!
16. Learning Resources Farmer’s Market Color Sorting Set
Toddlers love to sort things, which is good, because it helps them to learn! In particular, this set teaches color recognition and–with your help–can also teach counting. The package comes with five barrels, each with its own color label, as well as five fruits and vegetables in each color. Your child can sort the foods into the appropriate barrels and count them as he goes.
As an added bonus, this set can also be used as pretend for imaginative play. After all, is there a two-year-old alive who doesn’t like to play with fake food? Best yet, the foods are all healthy options and can help to expand your child’s food repertoire. Perhaps he’ll be inspired to try bell peppers or eggplant! (Hey, a mom can dream, right?)
17. LeapFrog My Own Leaptop
It’s a universal fact that all kids like electronic devices. They’re both a blessing and a curse. But thankfully, the toy industry has found a way to allow children to feed their need for electronics while providing parents with guilt-free options that are way more educational than YouTube. (Man, I hate those “daddy finger” videos!)
The cleverly named Leaptop gives kids a toy that resembles Mom and Dad’s laptop but is much more limited and directive. There are four modes–ABCs, Messages, Games, and Music. Your child can send and receive pretend messages; learn letters, phonics, and corresponding vocabulary; and play 16 unique songs.
You can even customize the Leaptop with your child’s name, and it will teach him how to spell it! The device also folds like a real laptop and includes a handle for easy transportation.
18. Mega Bloks 80-Piece Bag
Building blocks are a favorite toy of toddlers everywhere. In addition to being fun to build up and then knock down, they also instill in your child a number of important “right brain” and “left brain” skills. Your child’s imagination will be stimulated as he brings new creations to life, and his sense of logic will grow through the trial and error of figuring out which methods of construction work and which ones don’t.
This particular set is the gold standard of building blocks. Eighty colorful blocks come in various shapes, including several base pieces to support larger constructions. The different pieces fit together securely for tantrum-free building but are still easy for little hands to take apart, teaching your child important motor skills in the process.
Best yet, these blocks improve spatial awareness, which studies have found helps with children’s success in math and science later in life. Made of sturdy polypropylene plastic, they also come in a handy carrying case to make clean-up a breeze and allow for easy travel.
19. Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog
This unique toy is one that most kids gravitate to. I am not sure if it is the quills or the fact that it is an animal. Whatever the reason, when friends come over this is the toy everyone wants!
The hedgehog has quills that are easy to put into the holes on the hedgehog’s back and a snap to take out. It is a great way to encourage fine motor skills and helps build hand muscles. Spike is also educational while being fun. Kids can learn early math skills as well as colors and matching skills. Therapists like using this toy for occupational and vision therapy, although it is great for kids of all abilities.
Clean up and storage are easy, as everything fits together well. I love compact toys like this! Spike the Hedgehog would be a great addition to any 2 year-old’s toy box.
20. Melissa & Doug Classic Wooden Peg Puzzles
Puzzles are an excellent way to teach your child fine motor skills and help develop his hand-eye coordination. They’re also great for teaching problem-solving, shape recognition, and patience. Melissa & Doug puzzles are well-loved by parents and kids alike, and this set of three puzzles is no different. Your child will love the colorful illustrations, and you’ll appreciate the sturdy wood construction.
The three puzzles help teach letters, colors, and numbers. The pegs on top of each piece make it easy for little hands to move them around. Under each puzzle piece is a colorful picture that is revealed when the pieces are removed, making the puzzle a sort of matching game.
For the color puzzle, each fish is the same shape, so your child will have to rely on color matching to complete it. Under each of the number pieces is an image showing that number as a quantity of a particular item. The alphabet puzzle depicts different words starting with each letter.
21. ThinkFun Roll and Play Game
My son always wants to join in on the board and card games his sister plays, but he’s not yet old enough to understand how to play them. But now, finally, there is a game designed just for someone his age!
The game is played by rolling the large, plush cube and selecting a category card based on the color that lands face up. The categories include emotions, body parts, animal sounds, colors, counting, and actions. Each card requires the players to do something such as roar like a lion, find a blue object, or make a sleepy face.
Your child will love the active nature of this game, as well as the bright colors and illustrations. Plus he’ll get to see Mommy or Daddy making silly faces and noises, too! Playing this game with your child will encourage family bonding as well as teach the basics of game playing, including taking turns and following instructions.
22. Skoolzy Peg Board Set
Though it seems really simple, this peg board set is great for teaching several important skills, including hand-eye coordination, visual perception, and fine motor skills. The set comes with 30 colorful pegs and a 8.5″ square foam board to stick them into. The pegs stack on top of each other, allowing children to stack them in various ways.
As they do so, children can develop color recognition, counting, sorting, patterning, and very basic math skills. The set even includes a downloadable activity guide full of appropriate learning activities for both toddlers and preschoolers, so you can get the most out of this gift.
The pegs are large, making them easy for small hands to grasp. They also come with a drawstring bag to help with clean-up and storage.
Imaginative Play Toys
Imagination is so important for a child’s development, and two is the age when most kids begin to understand imaginative play. The following toys will help expand your child’s mind and teach him to think creatively and uniquely.
23. 3 Bees & Me Dinosaur Toys
Sometimes it’s the simplest toys that become our children’s favorites. This particular one, while rather basic, is guaranteed to provide hours of fun–particularly if your child loves dinosaurs and/or cars. This set of four dinosaurs includes a T-Rex, a Brontosaurus, a Triceratops, and a Stegosaurus, all of which are on wheels! They are even self-propelled when you pull them back and let them go.
In addition to being a good size for small hands, these little dinosaurs are very durable. As your child rolls them around and plays pretend with them, he’ll nurture his growing imagination and foster an interest not only in dinosaurs but in science in general.
24. Melissa & Doug Wooden Train Set
Unlike a lot of the other sets you can purchase, this one includes so much more than just the wooden track pieces. In addition to 100 track pieces, it also comes with 13 train car pieces, trees, signs, a conductor, an engineer, a suspension bridge, and more.
The pieces are pretty easy to put together, though your child will likely need your help to set up more complicated tracks, such as those that are elevated. But thankfully, this set includes instructions for how to build four different configurations. So don’t worry about being creative!
Then, once the tracks are built, your child will have endless fun pushing the trains around and, if he’s anything like my son, shouting, “All aboard!” It’s a toy that will truly grow with your child and continue to entertain him for years to come.
25. Green Toys Ferry Boat with Mini Cars Bathtub Toy
Wait a minute–a toy that includes a boat and cars and can go in the water? Where’s the bad? That’s pretty much how my son feels about this toy. It combines three of his favorite things (and, I suspect, the three favorite things of many two-year-old boys).
Made in the U.S. from 100% recycled plastic, this little boat is dishwasher safe and comes apart easily for more thorough cleaning. (I found this out after a recent poop-in-the-bath experience. I was very grateful.)
Your child can play with this toy in many ways, from driving the cars up the boat’s ramp or driving them along the bathtub wall, to shoving the boat underwater until it fills and then pouring the water out. The bubbling sound it makes when you do this is my son’s current obsession. Any hey, anything to distract your little one from splashing you is good, right?
26. Thomas the Train Ride-on Toy
Trains and 2-year-olds go together like peanut butter and jelly. That is why this Thomas the Train ride-on toy is a big hit with so many little boys. Seriously, what little boy doesn’t want his very own train that he can ride any time he wants to?
This ride-on toy is 27.75 x 13.1 x 17.5 inches and it comes with 18 feet of tracks. The tracks make it really easy for little ones to learn to use a ride-on. As soon as he is comfortable on the track then anywhere is fair game for this toy: carpet, hardwood floors, linoleum, inside or out.
I really like the idea of a little boy learning to ride a toy on a set of tracks that controls where he goes and how fast the toy goes. On the track the train goes 1 mph, but once he masters steering and stopping he is ready to go on his own. Off the track the train goes 2 mph. It’s built by Fisher Price and is perfect for 1-3 year olds.
The train itself is easy enough for a 2-year-old to use by himself. There is a push button that makes the train go and another button that plays really cute, recognizable Thomas the Tank phrases. There are footrests that make it easier to ride. This is just a fun toy for a little boy!
27. VTech Drill and Learn Toolbox
This little toolbox is a must have for any toddler who likes to fix things. It comes with a working toy drill, hammer, wrench, nails, screws. The drill spins the gears and drills screws into the tray’s holes. It requires 2 AA batteries but it is worth it to see the wonder in a 2-year-old’s eyes.
It’s also a great learning toy. The light-up buttons play songs. Buttons also explain how the tools are used and the sounds they make. Your toddler can insert the double-sided instruction cards and learn about color and numbers.
This toy has some really cool features, including the two double-sided cards that fit over the holes and are interactive, helping to teach colors and numbers as your little one hammers/screws. There are buttons on the front that play songs, make noises and light up different colors. Admittedly, there are more realistic toy hammers and wrenches on the market, but the ones in this set are simple and functional with the screws/nails included.
28. USA Toyz Kids Play Tent
A play tent is the ultimate in imaginative play toys. A tent can be anything your little one says it is, from a mysterious cave to a comfortable house or a super fast rocket ship. And, in fact, this one actually looks like a rocket ship! As an extra bonus, this tent comes with a light that can project 24 space-related images inside.
Your child can use this tent outside or inside, and it collapses easily for hassle-free relocation between the two. To assemble it, simply unfold it; slide the sturdy, non-fiberglass poles in place; and pop it up. When you need to put it away, there’s a tote for out-of-the-way storage.
This tent has mesh windows and a roll-up door, which allow for extra airflow and easier passage in and out. And at 53″ tall and 41″ wide, it’s incredibly spacious for a children’s tent. With that much room, your child will never run out of ways to play make believe.
29. Little People Launch & Loop Raceway
I’ll never understand the joy little children get from watching a car roll down a ramp over and over again. Yet somehow, this is a favorite toddler pastime. And it makes toys like this perfect for hours of non-stop entertainment. This racing tower features steep drops and sharp curves for its two cars, which can race each other on the two separate racing tracks or take the third track ending in a Hot Wheels loop-the-loop.
To make the race more interesting, there are multiple stunt options, including a trap door for cars to fall through and a ramp for the cars to fly off. There is also a crash zone, where the two racing cars can either meet in the middle or narrowly escape a collision–who knows? Lights and racing sounds add to the excitement, and a little gas station encourages further pretend play.
How are musical toys beneficial for young kids?
Studies show that musical toys stimulate early development as the mind and body work together. In fact, when children engage with music they learn about sounds and words. Also, as children explore the different instruments on musical toys they exercise their creativity and self-expression. Clearly, musical toys offer significant benefits to young kids.
What ages of kids like to play with trains?
Trains appeal to children of all ages and even adults, depending on the complexity of the set. Few things excite a 2-year-old as much as a ride-on train or wooden train set which can be assembled in countless ways. There is something timeless about trains, making them a toy beloved for generations.
What toys for 2-year-olds can be used indoors and outdoors?
We’ve compiled a list of toys which 2-year-old boys will appreciate, many of which can be used both indoors and outdoors. For example, the slide can be set up in a large, open, indoor space such as a basement but it can also be played with outdoors. This versatility, also a feature of a toddler roller coaster and spinning toy, is a major attraction for parents wanting to switch between indoor and outdoor play.
Gifts for Other Ages
Other Toddler Play and STEM Resources
PBS Kids Education Resources
Toddler Life Vests
US Department of Education Early Learning Resources
2 Year Old Developmental Milestones