Best Learning Toys For Toddlers Aged 2

  • By: The DIG for Kids
  • Time to read: 13 min.

At the age of two, your toddler is quickly growing, developing, and learning–and they are busy! Toddlers are very curious creatures that want to get involved with everything and they enjoy modeling behavior they see in others. This is the perfect opportunity to provide your child with toys that will help with their cognitive development.

The best toys for toddlers are ones that help them learn skills that are appropriate for their age and developmental stage. At two years old, children are building their gross motor skills through play activities like jumping and running that make use of their arms and legs. They are also developing fine motor skills through grasping objects or turning knobs.

Language development is also huge at the toddler stage so toys that encourage learning letters, words, and communication are recommended. This can include a range of things like alphabet magnets for the fridge, letter cards to match up, and of course, books to read!

QuTZ Flash Cards For Toddlers – Best Overall

There are a lot of super complicated and advanced toys out there for toddlers these days. This can be overwhelming for kids. I’ve seen my own children struggle along with a toy that’s advertised as being suitable for an 18 month old when really, a five year old would have trouble figuring it out. 

But that isn’t the case with these simple flash cards. It’s as simple as slotting a card into the reader which then reads aloud the word. It’s perfect for younger children for word association but is also ideal for kids with autism and learning difficulties. 

You get a great number of flash cards covering a wide range of themes from animals to vehicles, foods to people and much more. That said, while this toy is simple and easy to learn, it could become a little repetitive and you might find that your child gets bored quickly with it. For this reason, it’s probably best for one on one time when you have a spare five minutes to learn with your child. Perhaps as a post dinner activity. 

ProsCons
Wide range of vocabulary to learnChildren may bore quickly of this toy
Great for speech therapy and learning difficulties 
Very easy to use
Bright, clear and colourful pictures
Affordable

Leapfrog Scout and Violet 100 Words Book – Best Vocabulary Learning Toy

Kids start to pick up language much more easily when they have a way of learning that feels enjoyable to them. This electronic book features 100 key words for two year olds and is bursting with colourful pictures and exciting sounds. 

If you’ve ever used the VTech range before, you’ll be familiar with Scout and Violet. These two playful pups make learning fun and the full interaction makes your child feel as though they’re part of the action. 

There are a lot of similar products out there, but VTech is one of the leaders and what sets this apart from the competitors is that it’s really tailored to be age specific and easy to use. I once purchased a cheap word learner for my child and it was an incredible let down. 

While you might pay that little bit extra for this compared to some others, it’s worth the investment if it boosts your child’s learning. That said, it is worth keeping in mind that the book is very sensitive to touch and since the pictures are very close together, your toddler may end up pressing several at once which does take away from the learning experience. 

ProsCons
Teaches words in english and SpanishTouch sensitivity is a little too much
Easy for children to use
Songs and fun facts
Familiar characters
Made by a company that focus on educational products

Hapyland Wooden Peg Puzzle – Best Vintage Learning Toy

Modern kids are constantly playing with electrical toys so it’s nice sometimes to take it back a notch and let them learn the old fashioned way. Not only do these bright, colourful puzzles give your child education on a variety of different themes, but they’re also perfect for improving physical skills such as hand eye coordination. 

What we really love about this product is the versatility. For a very reasonable price, you get six puzzles with everything from dinosaurs and animals to letters and numbers. There aren’t many other toys that offer such a wide range of educational material. 

The puzzles are made from top notch materials and kid-friendly paints and treatments. However, as a parent myself, I have noticed that these toys will only hold a child’s attention for so long. So be prepared to use these as a let’s fill five minutes type of activity. 

ProsCons
Excellent qualityWon’t entertain a child for long periods of time
Brightly coloured to capture kids imaginations
Versatile range of themes
Simple to use
Helps to improve fine motor skills

VTech Touch And Learn Activity Desk – Best Versatile Learning Toy

If you liked the Scout and Violet words book but want something a little more advanced from VTech, then this learning desk is perfect. It’s packed with activities, music and fun sounds to keep little ones entertained. What I particularly love about this is that it’s a great toy for when you need to get a few household chores done and need something to hold your kids’ attention. 

Where the 100 word book might keep them quiet for ten or fifteen minutes, the Touch and Learn desk could keep them busy for an hour. That’s because it doesn’t only have interactive things to do but there’s also a drawing easel and chalkboard. It’s got everything in one!

One thing that does let this toy down, however, is that you are no longer able to buy the expansion packs. VTech has stopped making these so what you see is what you get. That’s OK if you’re going to use it as an occasional toy but if your kid uses it every day, they may bore of the content. 

ProsCons
Lots of versatile activitiesNo option to buy expansion packs
Great for keeping kids occupied for longerDrawing board does not lock
Reliable brand
Manual activities such as drawing built in
Perfect for more advanced children

Joyjoz Baby Musical Mat – Best For Playrooms

If you want to add a spot of colour and something interesting and educational for your child to do in their playroom, then we would highly recommend this musical mat. It’s perfect for mini Mozarts and comes with a range of songs and musical instrument sounds for the creative child. 

That said, this is a very simple toy so if your child is a little more advanced and wants something to challenge them, this might not be the best option. But for everyday fun and music, it’s a great way to pass some time on a rainy afternoon. 

Some play mats don’t come with excellent safety features but this one is anti-slip so you can feel confident in letting your child use it without worrying about an accident. The material is also very easy to clean and super hygienic; as parents, we all know how important this is especially when those sticky fingers are let loose!

ProsCons
Very affordableNot the most advanced educational toy
Great for kids who enjoy music and rhythm
Helps to improve motor skills and develop the senses
Non slip and safe to use
Portable so great for on the go

Do Toddlers Need Toys?

While toys are not required for toddlers to be happy and have a healthy development, they can certainly make things easier and more enjoyable for both the child and the parents. Toddlers need love, attention, and stimulation above all else–and of course, having their basic needs met like food, clothing, and shelter. Household items and outdoor play are excellent alternatives to toys, however, there are benefits to providing your toddler with age-appropriate toys.

The first five years of a child’s life are incredibly important for their development and this time sets the stage for their future. Your toddler is growing and learning at a fast pace and brain development occurs rapidly during this age. Providing your child with appropriate stimulation helps to develop their cognitive, physical, and social development.

Many parents feel the need to go out and purchase dozens of the latest toys on the market for their toddlers, but this really isn’t necessary. Your toddler will learn from using items around the house, such as helping you bake in the kitchen, using a child-size broom to clean the floor, or helping you dig in the garden. The addition of toys can provide extra fun and entertainment for your child.

What Toys Should My 2-Year-Old Be Playing With?

Ideally, your toddler will be playing with toys that offer a combination of enjoyment and learning opportunities. At the age of two, your child is developing their fine and gross motor skills as well as their language and communication skills, so toys that assist with these activities are recommended. Since many toddlers still enjoy putting toys in their mouths, choose materials that are safe and non-toxic.

There are several options for toys that can help your toddler with their fine motor skills. Choose a toy that has buttons or knobs that they can manipulate with their fingers or one that requires them to place shaped objects through matching holes. Your toddler’s gross motor skills will benefit from things like kicking or throwing a ball, walking up stairs to a slide, and using ride-on toys.

You will be amazed at how fast your toddler picks up words and begins speaking in more complex sentences during this stage. Reading books with your child is one of the best ways to help them develop their communication and language skills. You don’t need to spend a fortune at the bookstore either–libraries are a wonderful, free resource where you can borrow children’s books to enjoy.

Why Are Learning Toys Important For Toddlers?

Providing learning toys for your toddler can assist with various aspects of their growth and development. These toys allow your child to build their cognitive skills during a critical time period for brain development. Learning toys can also assist with aspects of emotional intelligence and social development when used with other children or parents.

Toys such as a jack-in-the-box can teach your child about cause and effect as your toddler learns that every time they wind up the handle, the toy pops out of the box. Your child will also develop problem-solving skills through play–for example, putting together a wooden train track will require them to try different pieces to determine which ones fit together. Games such as Memory or I Spy are great for toddlers as well since they develop observation skills and build your child’s ability to focus and pay attention.

Another reason that learning toys are ideal for toddlers is that they can help them learn about solitary play and become more independent. While parents can and should join in play with their toddlers much of the time, it is also important that children learn to play on their own and entertain themselves. Many learning toys are designed for individual play which not only boosts a child’s independence, it also gives parents a much-needed break from the demands of toddlerhood!

What Are Examples Of Educational Toys?

Almost anything, whether it is a toy bought at a store, a household object, or something found in nature, can be used for the purposes of educating your toddler. Young children are like sponges–they are eager to learn and soak up information and skills faster than at any other point in their life. Educational toys are toys that assist with any aspect of your child’s learning and development, whether this is cognitive, physical, social, or emotional.

Blocks are a great example of an educational toy–despite their simplicity, they offer several opportunities for learning. Building with blocks helps your toddler develop their fine motor skills as they pick up the blocks and set them on top of the others, carefully balancing them so that they do not topple off. Your toddler will learn about colors, sizes, and shapes and develop their creativity and imagination by building different structures.

Another example of an educational toy that is suitable for toddlers is any type of musical instrument–though parents may not always appreciate the noise! Exposing your child to music at a young age can help them with sensory development, for example, strumming the strings on a guitar helps with fine motor skills in the fingers as does using a mallet to strike the keys of a xylophone.

What Are The Best Toys For Intellectual Development?

Plenty of different toys can help with your toddler’s intellectual development, including puzzles, sorting and matching toys, manipulative toys, and sand and water toys. Puzzles are a great option for toddlers as they allow your child to feel a sense of accomplishment each time they are able to fit a piece into the correct spot. Choose puzzles that have large pieces and have knobs for your toddler to grasp.

Sorting is one way for your child to learn to distinguish between size, shape, color, texture, and other attributes of items. Give your child a container of large buttons and have them put all the blue ones in a pile or all the large ones together. You can also play Memory with your toddler and have them match up identical images to each other.

When the weather is nice, playing outside with sand and water toys is a great option for stimulating your child’s cognitive development. Using measuring cups to scoop up water can help your toddler learn about size and volume. Building castles or other structures out of sand teaches them about balance, gravity, and measurement. Combining water and sand together will get messy, but it introduces your toddler to science and the concepts of liquids and solids.

What Is The Most Educational Toy?

Different toys offer various types of learning opportunities, so it is best to have a few kinds for your toddler to play with. The most educational toy would be one that your child can use in multiple different ways to maximize their skills. Toys that allow your toddler to learn many skills or that build different areas of their development will offer the most education in a single toy.

A shape-sorting block is a very educational toy because it teaches your toddler many different things. Your child will learn to identify the colors of the blocks as well as their shapes and they will develop problem-solving skills while determining which block fits into what hole. Since this can be challenging for some toddlers, this toy also offers the opportunity for your child to learn about their emotions, how to identify them, and how to regulate them (within reason!)

Blocks are another toy that is deceptively simple but extremely useful when it comes to toddler development and learning. The best thing about blocks is that there is no set way to use them–children can use their imagination and creativity to build a structure or engage in pretend play by repurposing them as furniture for a playhouse or food for a doll.

How Many Toys Should A Toddler Have?

There is no perfect number when it comes to deciding how many toys your toddler should have, but there is such a thing as too many toys. Toddlers can be easily over-stimulated and overwhelmed by the presence of too much stuff and too many choices. If you have a lot of toys for your toddler, a great idea is to rotate them every couple of weeks–not only does this provide variety for your child, it also means less to clean up!

It’s recommended that you have a mix of different types of toys available for your toddler to play with at any given time. For example, you might have one puzzle, one set of blocks, some play food and dishes, a set of dress-up clothes, and a sorting toy. This is plenty to keep your toddler busy and when you find them getting bored with the options available, you can rotate in other toys to keep things new and exciting.

If you are short on space or don’t have the funds to purchase many toys for your toddler, don’t worry. Many libraries and early learning centers have programs that allow you to borrow toys for a few weeks at a time–you can also trade toys with your neighbors or friends that have kids of a similar age. Also remember that toddlers can be entertained by stacking tupperware, playing with measuring cups in the sink or bathtub, and playing hide and seek.

Where Can I Find Toddler Learning Toys?

There is certainly no shortage of places to acquire learning toys for your toddler. The obvious–and most expensive–-option is to purchase new toys from a toy store or department store, whether at their physical location or online. You’ll typically find a wide selection of toys and they are usually sorted by age group which can be helpful. 

Purchasing second-hand toys can be a fabulous way to obtain toys for your child–not only will you save money but it’s better for the environment than purchasing new ones. You can find used toys for sale at garage sales, thrift stores, or in online groups and marketplaces. Be sure to check for any broken pieces or jagged edges and give them a wash with soap and water before letting your toddler play with them.

There are lots of no-cost options for toddler toys as well. If you have friends or family with older children, ask them if they have any toys put away that might be suitable for your toddler to have–often people are just happy to get things out of their home to make space! You can also check in with your local Buy Nothing Group, library, or early childhood center to see if there are toys available for borrowing.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are a multitude of ways to provide your toddler with learning opportunities through toys and play. Ideally, you will be able to give your child a selection of different toys that can help them build various cognitive, emotional, social, and physical skills. While choosing appropriate toys is important, remember that what your toddler needs more than anything is to spend time with you and soak up your love and attention.

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