Educational Toys For 2 Year Olds (Top 10 Recommend Toys!)

Receive weekly Activity, plans, and resources tailored to boost your child’s fine motor skills, sensory exploration, and cognitive abilities. Join our collaborative community of 20k+ parents & educators.

Two-year-olds are very active and love to play, move, touch, and test boundaries.

They are making leaps and bounds in developmental milestones like walking, running, climbing, pushing buttons, turning knobs, kicking balls, and many more.

Educational Toys For 2 Year Olds

What are the best educational toys for 2 year olds? The best educational toys for 2 year olds are those that match their interests and developmental needs. It should be fun and engaging because toddlers get bored and get distracted easily. Choose learning toys that are safe, easy to clean, and made from natural materials.

What are Educational Toys For 2 Year Olds?

Educational toys, also known as learning toys or instructional toys, are specifically crafted to facilitate skill acquisition and expand knowledge in various areas.

These types of playsets aim to teach fundamental abilities to your little ones such as coordination, fine motor skills, critical thinking, cause and effect, and matching.

Additionally, they can provide lessons on specific subjects like colors, letters, numbers, words, language, math, or science.

Want 20 Easy & Fun Montessori Activity for Your Child?

Grab your FREE printable activity guide now!

    No spam, promise.

    Why Do Toddlers Need The Best Educational Toys?

    It is important to note that while a playset can be beneficial, it should not replace adult interaction and guided learning experiences.

    At around this age, children are in a critical stage of development, and the toys they play with can have a big impact on their learning and growth. 

    Toddlers greatly benefit if parents choose the best educational toys for the following several reasons:

    Developmental Stimulation

    Learning toys are designed to engage and stimulate various aspects of a child’s development, including cognitive, motor, language, and social skills.

    These toys provide opportunities for active exploration and learning, supporting the overall growth and progress of your little one.

    Skill Enhancement

    Learning toys help kids develop and refine essential skills.

    Ready to make a lasting impact on your child’s future? Download our FREE 20 Fun & Easy Montessori Activities Ideas you can use today to supercharge your child’s development. Click here to get your free printable activity guide.

    They promote coordination, fine motor skills, problem-solving abilities, spatial awareness, creativity, and critical thinking.

    By engaging with these toys, toddlers can practice and strengthen these skills in a fun and interactive manner.

    Cognitive Development

    The best toys for toddlers facilitate cognitive development by encouraging kids to think, reason, and make connections.

    They may involve activities like sorting, matching, stacking, and problem-solving, which stimulate cognitive processes and helps children understand concepts such as shapes, colors, numbers, and cause-and-effect relationships.

    Language and Communication

    Many toddler toys incorporate language learning elements. These types of toys can teach kids about the alphabet.

    They can feature letters, numbers, words, or simple phrases, helping children expand their vocabulary and language skills.

    Additionally, toys that encourage pretend play and social interaction contribute to language development by promoting communication and conversation.

    Imagination and Creativity

    Instructive toys often foster imaginative play, allowing kids to explore their creativity and invent new scenarios.

    Through role-playing and storytelling, children develop their imagination, self-expression, and problem-solving skills. These activities also contribute to emotional and social development.

    Confidence and Independence

    The best Montessori toys provide various activity options for toddlers to accomplish tasks independently, fostering a sense of confidence and autonomy. 

    As children successfully complete challenges or solve puzzles, the toys help children learn how to build their self-esteem and belief in their abilities, which positively impacts their overall development.

    Joyful Learning

    Toddler learning toys create a positive and fun learning experience for toddlers.

    By incorporating playfulness, colors, sounds, and interactive features, these toys make learning engaging and exciting.

    When children have fun while learning, they are more motivated and enthusiastic about exploring new concepts and skills.

    Top 10 Best Education Toys For 2-Year-Olds 

    There are many educational toys for 2-year-olds out there.

    We have researched and come up with the top 10 best toys and learning playsets in 2023 that we believe will keep your toddler engaged while learning.

    #1. Wooden Alphabet Abacus

    The wooden alphabet abacus is simple, easy, and fun to use. It has double-sided blocks with a letter or a number on one side and an illustrated example, a picture, or a word on the other side.

    This is a great toy to develop letter and number recognition. It is also a great educational toy to enforce learning the alphabet to your kids.

    It also enforces math skills and reading. Your toddler can point to or touch or spin the block when you say the letter or number.

    The blocks are painted with simple fun colors and they spin! A great way for kids to learn math while having plenty of fun. After playtime, the abacus can also be put in a box or cabinet for easy storage.

    #2. Wooden Jumbo Knob Puzzles

    Jumbo knob puzzles are wooden puzzles that are made of different shapes and colors that are designed for your toddler’s little hands and fingers.

    The large knobs are thick, sturdy, safe, and easy to grab.

    This toy lets your child develop certain skills like hand-eye coordination, visual perception skills, color and shape recognition, and fine motor skills.

    #3. A Kiddie Kitchen Set

    Young children love to imitate adults – their mannerisms, facial expressions, and the chores they do.

    At two years old, it is the perfect time to teach them about house chores, especially in the kitchen.

    Your toddler can practice kitchen work, and develop their imagination through their kiddie kitchen set.

    It will help your child learn and develop motor skills, independence, creativity, and imagination. It also encourages social interaction and language.

    #4. Pikler Triangle

    A Pikler triangle is one of those rare toys that grow with your child. It strengthens the muscles in the legs, arms, and stomach which helps in improving gross motor skills and balance.

    A Pikler triangle is a fun wooden climbing gym that your kid will love. It is a great toy that will improve their grasp and climbing skills. It fosters imagination and creativity as well as language. It also keeps them moving.

    A Pikler triangle is one of those rare toys that can grow with your child. As they grow older, it can function into other things your child can imagine. It is sturdy and durable too, so it can last a long.

    #5. Simple Activity Books

    2-year-olds are ready for their numbers and letters. They can hold crayons and pencils. Simple activity books are a great way to introduce letters, numbers, action words, colors, shapes, and many more.

    Activity books are structured and easy. It will teach children to follow instructions and learn new information that will prepare them for math, reading, and other important skills.

    Simple activity books are socially interactive because you will be involved. This will improve their speech, fine motor skills, and social skills.

    It can also teach kids about different stem learning activities and teach critical learning skills.

    #6. Building Blocks

    Building blocks toys are a classic and versatile type of instructive toy that consists of various blocks or bricks that can be stacked, connected, and arranged in different ways.

    These toys are popular among toddlers and children of all ages due to their numerous benefits. 

    Playing with these blocks helps teach engineering skills and teach critical skills. They learn to grasp, manipulate, and stack the blocks, improving their dexterity and control over their movements.

    Further, it helps them build and encourage open-ended play, sparking children’s creativity through imaginative play.

    They can create various structures, objects, or scenes using their own ideas and designs, promoting divergent thinking and self-expression.

    Building blocks toys are fun for toddlers and preschoolers because they come in various forms, such as wooden blocks, plastic interlocking bricks, or magnetic tiles.

    It’s important to choose blocks that are age-appropriate, safe, and free from small parts that could pose a choking hazard.

    Additionally, parental supervision is recommended, especially for younger children, to ensure a safe and enjoyable play experience.

    #7. Water Table

    Water table toys are interactive playsets designed for children to engage in sensory and imaginative water play.

    They typically consist of a raised table or tray with a basin filled with water, along with various accessories and features that enhance the play experience. 

    Manipulating water toys like cups, funnels, and scoops in a water table helps children refine their fine motor skills. Pouring, stirring, and transferring water objects require hand-eye coordination, finger dexterity, and muscle control.

    Water tables offer opportunities for children to learn about basic scientific concepts related to water, such as observing how objects float or sink, discovering the effects of water flow, or investigating surface tension.

    They can also explore natural elements like water currents, waves, and erosion.

    Many toys like these encourage outdoor play and provide a refreshing way for children to stay active.

    Engaging in water play can be a fun alternative to screen time and sedentary activities, promoting physical movement, and overall well-being.

    When using these toys, it’s crucial to prioritize safety. Always supervise children closely, ensure appropriate water depth for their age and abilities, and use clean water to get the perfect learning experience.

    Depending on the specific water table set, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for setup, maintenance, and any age recommendations.

    #8. Color Sorting Toys

    Color sorting toys are instructive toys designed to help children learn and practice color recognition, sorting, and matching skills.

    These toys typically include various objects, blocks, or discs in different colors and a corresponding sorting or matching mechanism.

    These toys are toddler favorites that are specifically designed to introduce and reinforce color identification skills in children.

    By interacting with the toys, children learn to differentiate and name different colors, developing their color recognition abilities.

    As children engage with the toys, they can learn and use color names, engage in conversations about the objects and their colors, and describe their activities, enhancing their language development.

    Sorting objects based on color requires visual discrimination and perception. Children learn to notice and differentiate subtle differences in shades and hues, honing their visual observation skills.

    Further, these toys can be used independently, allowing children to engage in self-directed play. They can help kids learn to explore and experiment with different ways of sorting and matching, fostering creativity and independent thinking.

    #9. Shape-sorting Puzzle

    A shape-sorting puzzle is an instructive toy that consists of a board or container with various openings or slots, each designed to accommodate a specific shape.

    The puzzle typically includes different geometric shapes, such as circles, squares, triangles, and more, that children need to match and fit into the corresponding openings.

    Playing with these toys improves coordination as children manipulate and orient the shapes to fit them into the correct slots.

    It also teaches your child to control their movements and refine their fine motor skills.

    Shape-sorting puzzles promote cognitive development by challenging children to think critically and logically.

    They learn to observe and compare the attributes of different shapes, make connections, and apply problem-solving strategies.

    Many of these toys incorporate colors alongside the shapes, providing an additional learning aspect.

    Children can practice color recognition as they match the colored shapes to the corresponding slots, enhancing their color identification skills.

    Completing these toys also helps kids of all ages to learn concentration and focus. Children need to pay attention to details, stay engaged in the task, and persist until they successfully fit all the shapes, enhancing their ability to concentrate and sustain attention.

    Successfully completing a shape-sorting puzzle provides children with a sense of accomplishment and boosts their self-confidence. It reinforces their problem-solving abilities and motivates them to tackle more challenging tasks.

    These puzzles come in various materials, including wood, plastic, or foam, and can be found in different levels of complexity to suit different ages and skill levels.

    When choosing these types of toys, consider the appropriateness for your toddlers and preschoolers’ ages, ensure the shapes are safe and non-toxic, and supervise playtime to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

    #10. Ride-on Toys

    Ride-on toys are popular playthings that children can sit on and move around using their feet, or hands, or by being pushed or propelled by an external force.

    These toys provide an interactive and enjoyable way for children to engage in physical activity while also developing various skills. 

    Since these toys require children to maintain their balance and coordinate their movements, they learn to shift their weight, control their speed, and maneuver around obstacles, enhancing their balance and coordination skills.

    Maneuvering this type of toy helps children develop spatial awareness and directional skills. They learn to navigate their environment, understand concepts like forward, backward, left, and right, and gain a sense of orientation.

    These educational toddler toys are typically designed as outdoor toys for 2-year-olds, providing them with opportunities to explore and interact with their environment.

    They can ride around the yard, park, or sidewalk, connecting with nature and enjoying the fresh air and outdoor experiences.

    When selecting ride-on toys for kids, consider the age appropriateness, safety features (such as seat belts or protective handles), and the terrain it is designed for.

    Always supervise children while they ride and ensure they wear appropriate safety gear, such as helmets and knee pads, to ensure their safety and well-being.

    Factors to Consider When Shopping for Educational Toys

    When shopping for instructive toys for your kids, always consider these key factors:

    Safety

    Like all products, safety should always be a priority. 2-year-olds love to put things in their mouth, are still wobbly on their feet, and are not aware of risks and dangers when they are busy playing and exploring.

    It is your responsibility as a parent or guardian to make sure that their surroundings and the toys they are playing with are safe.

    Avoid toys with small parts, batteries, sharp items, sharp edges and corners, and pinch points. Also, avoid toys that are made of materials that are not safe to put in their mouths. Always check the labels and instructions.

    Your Child’s Interests

    Choose instructive toys based on their current interests. Young children learn naturally when they are interested and engaged.

    Pay attention to what your children are drawn to. If you buy instructive toys they are interested in, it will increase the chance that they will play with them.

    Let’s face it, toddlers don’t always play with the toys we buy them. Don’t waste your money, buy according to their interests.

    Educational Milestones

    As a parent, you know your child’s educational milestones. You know your child best. Keep their abilities in mind when shopping for toys.

    Choose toys that will strengthen and continue to develop their milestones. They need to master their milestones before they move on to the next.

    Look for toys that stimulate the senses, such as soft toys with different textures, rattles, or teething toys. These toys help infants explore through touch, sound, and sight.

    Choose toys that introduce early literacy and numeracy concepts. This can include alphabet puzzles, number games, magnetic letters, or toys that promote counting and basic math operations.

    It’s important to remember that children develop at their own pace, and these milestones are general guidelines.

    Consider the individual interests, abilities, and preferences of the child when selecting toys.

    Additionally, providing a variety of toys that cater to different areas of development can create a well-rounded learning environment.

    Open-Ended Play

    Look for toys that promote open-ended play, allowing the child to explore and create in multiple ways. Open-ended toys encourage imagination, problem-solving, and creativity as children can use them in various ways, leading to more engaging and versatile play experiences.

    Interactivity and Engagement

    Choose toys that actively engage the child. Toys with interactive features, sensory elements, or those that respond to the child’s actions can enhance engagement and stimulate learning.

    Hands-on Learning

    Consider toys that provide hands-on learning experiences. Manipulative toys, puzzles, building sets, or art supplies allow children to actively explore, experiment, and discover, promoting tactile and kinesthetic learning.

    Longevity and Versatility

    Evaluate whether the toy has longevity and can be used in different ways or adapted as the child grows. Toys that offer multiple levels of play or can be used for different purposes provide extended value and can continue to engage the child as they progress in their development.

    Parental Involvement

    Determine the level of parental involvement required for the toy. Some toys may benefit from parent-child interaction or guidance to maximize the learning potential. Consider whether you are willing and able to participate in the play and learning process.

    FAQs

    What is the best way to choose an educational toy? The best way to choose a toy is by considering their current interest and their educational milestones. For example, if your child is interested in the alphabet and is starting to recognize letters, buy letter flashcards or an alphabet activity book so they can continue learning their letters and phonics.

    Is it better to bring my child when shopping and let them choose the toys? It is okay to bring your child when shopping for instructive toys. It will probably not help but it will be a fun experience for them. Two-year-olds will pick the most colorful and attractive toy, not necessarily the most appropriate one. Just keep in mind your educational goals, your toddlers’ milestones, their interests, and their safety when buying a toy.

    Are technology-based educational toys beneficial for 2-3-year-olds? Technology-based instructive toys can offer benefits for 2-3-year-olds when used appropriately and in moderation. Ensure that the technology-based toys are designed specifically for toddlers in the 2-3-year age range. These toys should have age-appropriate content, features, and interfaces that align with their developmental abilities. Remember, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends limiting screen time for children aged 2-5 to one hour per day of high-quality, educational content. It’s important to prioritize balanced play experiences and ensure that technology-based toys are used in a way that supports and enhances a child’s overall development.

    Should I buy advanced instructive toys for 2 to 3-year-olds? When considering buying advanced instructive toys for 2-3-year-olds, it’s important to assess the appropriateness of the toys based on the child’s developmental level and individual needs. Advanced instructive toys often offer more complex features, activities, or concepts. Consider whether the toy provides an appropriate level of challenge for your child. It should be engaging and stimulating without overwhelming them. It’s important to strike a balance that allows the child to experience success while also providing opportunities for growth and learning. It’s important to observe and understand your child’s developmental abilities, interests, and preferences. Providing a mix of toys that cater to their current skills and challenging them with appropriate levels of complexity can support their growth and enjoyment of play.

    Summary

    Toddlers can learn through play without the need for specific learning toys! Everyday objects such as rocks, sticks, or even your dining room chairs can ignite their imagination and facilitate learning about their surroundings.

    However, learning toys can be a valuable addition to their play experiences and serve as effective tools for teaching specific skills. They can complement real-world exploration and provide additional opportunities for learning. Here are some tried and true toddler favorites that we recommend.

    The best toys for 2-year-olds are those that match their interests and developmental needs. It should be fun and engaging because toddlers get bored and get distracted easily. Choose instructive toys that are safe, easy to clean, and made from natural materials.

    Choosing the right toys for your two-year-olds is important.

    Playing is how they learn. Be practical and intentional when shopping.