10 Educational Toys for 2-Year-Olds

Your little toddler is getting into all sorts of things. At this age, children are growing intellectually, physically, socially, and emotionally. 2-year-olds are learning many skills around language and problem-solving. Your child might be able to follow simple directions (when she wants to). Most children at this age can sort shapes and find things hidden under several covers.

Toddlers are also growing physical skills. Many 2-year-olds might be able to climb on the furniture, run well, and kick a ball. Fine motor skills such and coloring with a crayon also develop during this time. This age group is also developing their social and emotional skills. They copy others and play pretend. Typically, 2-year-olds are excited to see their friends and engage in corporative play. Toddlers learn best through play and exploration of their natural environment. Parents and caregivers can promote learning by providing opportunities to interact with educational toys and experiences.

1. Fat Brain Toys Personalized Name Puzzle – $27

Image Source: Fat Brain Toys

Some toddlers may start to recognize the letters in their name. The personalized name puzzle from Fat Brain Toys promotes letter recognition, name recognition, self-esteem, problem-solving, and fine motor skills. Each and every name puzzle is carved out of solid, high-quality wood and painted with vibrant, non-toxic colors. Promote your toddlers individuality with a unique, custom puzzle. The puzzle will be carved out exactly as typed on Fat Brain Toy’s website (Capital letters A – Z only). Each letter is 3-inches tall. The base measures 4.5 inches high. The width of the base depends on the length of the child’s name.

Why we Recommend?

  • Custom made — uncommon names are no problem
  • Up to 9 characters per puzzle
  • Promotes logic, fine motor, name spelling, and self-esteem
  • Solid wood construction
  • Vibrant colors
  • Non-toxic paint
  • Pieces are just the right size for little hands to grasp

2. Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn, Learn to Dress Puppy – $18

Image Source: Fisher-Price

The Fisher-Price Learn to Dress Puppy is a great toy for 2-year-olds to learn basic getting-dressed life skills. This Puppy also helps improve fine motor coordination. This toy is loaded with upbeat songs and encouraging phrases to teach toddlers how to get ready for the day. The songs, sounds, and phrases play when you press Puppy’s belly. Toddlers can learn about different types of clothing, daily routines, body parts, and shapes. Your little one can practice buttoning a shirt, buckling a belt, tying one shoe, and using the velcro strap on the other. As toddlers practice buttoning, buckling, and tying to help Puppy get dressed, they are learning all-important life skills. This can boost their confidence in their own ability to help themselves.

Why we Recommend?

  • Promotes fine motor development
  • Exercises dexterity and hand-eye coordination
  • Provides practice for self-help and daily living skills
  • Buckle, button, shoelace, and velcro strap
  • 30+ playful songs
  • Introduces body parts, shapes colors, and daily routines

3. Melissa and Doug Dump Truck – $20

Image Source: Melissa and Doug

Shape sorters and vehicles make excellent toys for 2-year-olds. This Dump Truck from Melissa and Doug is a combination an cool truck and wooden block shape sorter. Toddlers can drive blocks and small people figures around as they play. The shape sorter emphasizes basic math skills. Each of the 9 blocks fits into a different shaped hole on the side or top of the dump truck. Smooth rolling wheels deliver the payload wherever your little one desires. Lift the tailgate and dump the blocks out to play again. Toddlers can work on motor skills and hand-eye coordination as they fit the shapes into their corresponding holes.

Why we Recommend?

  • 9 wooden blocks in vibrant colors
  • 2 people figures fit nicely in the truck’s cab
  • Solid wood construction
  • Teaches shapes and colors
  • Encourages imaginative play
  • Promotes motor skills and hand-eye coordination

4. Tag Toys Wooden Tumble Down Counting Pegs – $65

Image Source: Tag Toys

Teach counting in a concert, active, and enjoyable way with Tag Toys Wooden Tumble Down Counting Pegs. To start learning, put one of the 10 interchangeable number plates on top of the counting box. Encourage your 2-year-old to place pegs into the holes while counting out loud. When first learning to use the toy, and adult may need to count for the toddlers. However, with repeated interactions, toddlers can learn to count the pegs all on their own. Once the counting is complete, the child can pull the knob and the pegs tumble down. This cause-and-effect interaction stimulates like a reward, reinforcing the activity as a fun way to learn.

Why we Recommend?

  • Teaches number recognition
  • Child learns to count from one to ten
  • Introduces the concept of quantity
  • Promotes fine-motor skills, dexterity, and hand-eye coordination
  • Self-reinforcing, educational play
  • Wood construction

5. Lakeshore Learn the Alphabet! Dough Mats – $10

Image Source: Lakeshore Learning

These colorful alphabet mats turn dough art into a fun, educational experience. Learn the Alphabet Play Mats from Lakeshore Learning outline upper- and lowercase letters. They also feature pictures of things that start with each letter. Children can use their own dough to form each letter on the mat. The whole thing comes with 26 mats that are size 8-inch by 10-inch. The dough is sold separately.

Why we Recommend?

  • Teaches letter recognition
  • 26 mats in all — letters A to Z
  • Hands-on learning
  • Forming dough strengthens motor skills and hand muscles
  • Reusable mats

6. Leap Frog LeapStart – $40

Image Source: Leap Frog
Help kids build skills for the years to come. The LeapStart from Leap Frog is a versatile toy for 2-year-olds and up. Kids interact with each book using a grow-with-me stylus. The book covers a myriad of reading and language skills including problem-solving, reading comprehension, phonics, and spelling. LeapStart is an interactive, electronic learning system that is designed to get kids excited about counting, reading, problem-solving, and more. The product offers different learning activities that can be played again. The LeapStart is expandable—you can purchase 25+ separate books to grow with your child. Features touch-and-talk games, math mazes, creative challenges, problem-solving puzzles, and more.

Why we Recommend?

  • Interactive board with stylus
  • Covers many skills
  • problem solving skills
  • reading comprehension
  • phonics and spelling
  • counting and math
  • Expandable with 25+ books (sold separately)
  • 30+ educational activities in every book

7. Marvel Education Caterpillar Story Props and Book – $60

Image Source: Kaplan

Engage children in imaginative, hands-on learning with The Very Hungry Caterpillar Props and book. Act out the Hungry Little Caterpillar by Eric Carl with these soft story props. Use the large, plus Caterpillar to act out “eating” each of the 16 food props then transforms it into a butterfly. Your 2-year-old will be amazed. Toddlers are starting to develop an understanding of narrative order. Teach literacy and story sequencing from a young age. You can talk about concepts such as first, next, and last.

Why we Recommend?

  • Make literacy fun and engaging
  • Teaches story sequencing
  • Puppet changes from caterpillar to butterfly
  • 15-inch wing span
  • 16 padded food props
  • Reusable for story repitition

8. Hape Creative Peg Puzzle – $20

Image Source: Hape

Promote spacial problem-solving and fine motor skills with thisCreative Peg Puzzle. The grooved shapes add an extra dimension of challenge and fun to this colorful peg puzzle. Each peg has small wood protrusions that prevent the shape from sliding down easily. Fortunately, the shapes have grooved holes that allow them to fit when turned just the right way. Your toddler will have fun twisting to fit the grooved shapes along the complex peg system. This toy promotes logic, matching, spacial awareness, and critical thinking.

Why we Recommend?

  • Introduces logic, sorting, and matching
  • Exercises spacial awareness, critical thinking and problem-solving
  • Strengthens dexterity, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skills
  • Teaches cause and effect
  • Wood constrcution
  • Vibrant colors
  • Pieces are good size for little hands to grip

9. Fat Brain Toys Forrest and Friends Discovery Tree – $70

Image Source: Fat Brain Toys
Little ones love to keep busy manipulating things with their hands. The Forrest and Friends Discovery Tree from Fat Brain Toys is fun for 2-year-olds. This self-standing, 24-inch structure provides all kinds of fascinating activities for your toddler to discover. Spin and slide bug blocks along winding cutout tracks. Vibrant gears spin together. There is an owl in a birdhouse that flips to become a flower. Two colorful doors open and shut. The tree has spiraling wire full of bright beads. There is a clock with hands that can be set to any time. You’ll also find a spinning propeller and shiny mirror. There is just so much on this toy to keep children fascinated.

Why we Recommend?

  • Just the right hight for toddlers
  • Keeps little hands busy exploring
  • Promotes hand-eye coordination, fine motor, and cause and effect
  • Provides sensory exploration and experimentation
  • Loopy rails with vibrant colored beads
  • Spinning gears and propellers
  • Doors that open and blocks that slide along tracks
  • Lots more fun springs, spinners, and sliders
  • Durable wood construction

10. Melissa and Doug First Shapes Jumbo Knob- $10

Image Source: Melissa and Doug
The First Shapes Jumbo Knob Puzzle by Melissa and Doug is an extra-thick wooden puzzle that features a little house. Jumbo wooden knobs make it easy for little hands to grasp, lift, and place the five big puzzle pieces. Full-color matching pictures help teach colors, shapes, and matching. Each part of the house is represented by a different shaped puzzle piece. There is a blue triangle for the roof, a yellow square for the window, and a red rectangle for the door. Nearby a green oval represents a tree. And floating above is an orange circle sun.

Why we Recommend?

  • Solid Wood Construction
  • Vibrant colors
  • Teaches colors, shapes, and matching
  • Promotes imaginative play
  • Knobs are great for little hands to grip
  • Increases spacial awareness, hand-eye coordination, and visual perception
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