Two year olds have learned an astonishing amount in their short lives and are still learning at a tremendous rate.
Their language has now progressed from single word sentences to using 2 words or even full sentences and by the time they are 3 they will have a vocabulary of 200+ words. By now you will be very aware that the more you talk to your little one, the more they will talk back. Talk about everything from what you can see out the car window to how you are carrying out everyday household chores- it simply doesn’t matter to them, but will extend their vocabulary and speech enormously.
At this age they will reach and exceed many physical milestones, learning to jump with two feet, climb the stairs while holding on to the rail, kick a ball, run, stand on one foot and even climb on furniture or the playground equipment that a few weeks ago they could not do. Their fine motor skills are not far behind as they start brushing their own teeth, pulling clothes up and down, build a tower of at least 4 blocks, turn on the faucet and wash their own hands, and even start practicing with zippers and snaps.
Most two year olds have or are making huge jumps in their cognitive development, grouping toys together by size, colour or type, their pretend play becomes far more complicated and well thought out, such as pretending that box is a spaceship, castle or dinosaur. Many can now recall and talk about things that happened in the past using phrases such as ‘the other day’ or ‘a long time ago’. Their memories are now improving and they can easily repeat a song or favourite book to you and for the most part can follow simple two-step instructions like ‘take your coat off and hang it up’,but only when they want to of course.
My two year old is currently very good at mimicking those around him, another important milestone in the social and emotional side of his development. It is often funny to listen to them as they repeat to you what you say to them such as when looking for his bedtime toy his dad had said to him ‘use your eyes’ and he then repeated it to his dad ‘use your eyes daddy!’
So while keeping all this in mind the toys that they use need to extend and encourage their development even further.
There are also some key points you need to keep in mind;
- Cost: Toys can vary in price hugely, depending on where they are being purchased from and the brand of the toy. If you are going to make a significant financial investment in a toy, ensure that it will continue to grow with the child and not be thrown on a shelf when the child becomes too old to play with it in a few weeks time.
- .Durability: Toys that stand the perils of being played with by little people all day are the best investment. Toys that are well made out of durable materials such as plastic (as a parent I am trying to limit the amount of plastic toys that we purchase in order to be more environmentally friendly), wooden toys are fantastic and the feel of a natural material for children is exciting.
- Longevity: in my opinion the best toys you can buy are the ones that children continue to play with, well after the suggested age range has come and gone.
- Intended use: Is the toy intended to be used in the child’s own home or is intended to be able to be a mobile entertainment tool. You would then need to consider the toy’s size, ease of transportation, space the toy takes up when set up and any mess that can be contained.
- Multi use toys: These are the toys that come with multiple different activities, such as musical instruments, shape sorter, number recognition all on one toy. These are usually the best value for money and have the longest life span.
Best Educational toys for your 2 year olds
Vtech Touch and Learn Activity Desk.
One of the best educational toys for 2 year olds, as it supports preschool development.
This toy is packed with lots of different activities to keep your little ones busy and engaged. Introducing letters, numbers, phonics, animals, body parts, music, shapes, colours and seasons.
encourages children to pretend play, use their imagination and creativity.
Mag-genius building tiles.
Best toy of the year award winning construction toys. This is a good example of construction toys for toddlers. This toy encourages creative and imaginative play and also enhances the development of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) subjects. This is also a good example of problem solving toys for toddlers.
This set comes complete with 104 pieces which includes 1 car base with wheels.
There are 15 different shapes including cones, which means your child’s imagination has no limits when it comes to this building toys for kids. It also comes with its own storage bin, so all those pieces can be kept safe for another day of fun and construction.
You simply add magnets on the inner edge, these are strong enough to build any structure and for it to survive the demands of the most enthusiastic toddler.
Melissa and Doug Latches board.
Toddlers love to play with things that they shouldn’t, like cupboards, locks and chains. A great toddler brain toy.
This latch board provides them with all of the excitement of those elements without any danger.
This board will help toddlers build their dexterity and fine motor skills as they snap, click, hook and slide those latches.
To add to the fun there is a little surprise behind each door or window that they open. These toys are designed to capture and engage little minds, while they learn colours, numbers and animals.
Jumbo Primary Stringing Bead Set.
This development toy for toddlers includes 30 jumbo plastic beads in various shapes, 3 strings in different colours. They are ergonomically correct for a toddler to easily manipulate and thread on the strings. Developing fine motor skills, helps promote counting skills and sequencing.
The various shapes enable learning to be extended with colour and shape recognition, vocabulary and early math skills.
The whole kit packs into a cute storage bag enabling it to be transported anywhere you go.
Vykor Musical Wooden Instruments.
22 piece all wooden percussion instruments. This set includes 4 shaker eggs, 2 Maracas, 2 Finger Castanets, Recorder, Tambourine, Bell Bracelets, Wooden Duck, Triangle with striker, Xylophone, Rainmaker, 4 different kinds of bells, and a backpack so this set can be taken anywhere.
These are one of the best learning toys for 2 year old, as it helps to develop coordination and motor skills, boosts creativity, listening skills, patience and concentration are also developed.
For many children this is their first experience of musical instruments and can lead to a lifelong love of playing music.
Tegu 24 piece Magnetic Wooden Block Set.
Tegu is an amazing twist on the conventional building blocks for toddlers. With its magnetic system, building has never been so much fun or creative.
This set comes with 24 pieces that your child can stack, stick or build animals, cars or people. The possibilities are endless.
These educational toys for 2 year olds help child development over time through play, building fine motor skills, pattern recognition, balance, sense of scale, imaginative play, problem solving and storytelling.
Anatex Deluxe Mini Play Cube.
This Parents Choice Gold Winner, multi purpose toy provides opportunities for hours of engaging and intriguing fun. A perfect problem solving toy for 2 year olds.
With activities on 5 sides provide opportunities for visual tracking, maths skills, letter and number recognition, colour recognition and many more, making it a great educational toy for 2 year olds.. It also promotes basic learning skills such as hand eye coordination.
This toy will challenge any toddler with its Abacus, Roller Coaster track, Pathfinder, Gears and Learn the alphabet.
Melissa & Doug geometric stacker.
This beautifully made set comes complete with 25 multi coloured assorted shapes. These development toys help to build early shape, colour and size differentiation skills.
These can be further developed by Adults playing games with children to extend their learning further. By removing all the pieces to a flat surface and helping children to name each shape, comparing size both on a flat surface and by using the rods, the pieces can be sorted by colour, shape or size. This could also be a construction toy for toddlers as every child will try to build a free standing tower to knock over.
This would be an exceptional addition to any gifted child’s toy box.
Munchkin Letters and Numbers.
This colourful set includes 26 floating letters and 10 numbers. Made from soft durable non toxic foam.
This is a good example of educational toys for toddlers.
All the foam shapes will stick to the bath sides when wet, providing a different learning environment for children.
These letters provide the platform for skills such as early letter recognition, motor skills and coordination.
For the more advanced toddler these can also provide opportunities for practicing letter manipulatives and even form letter strings or words.
Melissa and Doug wooden building block set.
This wooden block set includes 100 durable blocks in 4 vibrant colours and 9 different shapes. It’s an oldie but a goodie providing hours of educational fun for many different ages and stages of development.
This set is designed to stimulate children’s creativity and imagination. It also introduces early shape recognition, colours and counting. Children are developing their gross and fine motor skills without being aware of it and while still having fun. An important skill children need to learn is resilience and these blocks are the perfect example of how to do this, by experiment with building towers, knocking them over and re building!
The blocks are made from durable wood that is lightweight and safe for children. The rounded edges and smooth surfaces ensure that they are free from splintering.
Although the age group that these are recommended for is 3-8 years, these are a fantastic toy for children from 6 months to adults.
Traditional Wooden Train Track set.
This wooden set comes complete with over 100 pieces including all track, trains, cars, shops and other accessories as pictured above.
This will give children hours of imaginative play as they visit the shop, post office or bank by either train or car.
One of the best things about this set is that it is compatible with most other wooden train tracks, meaning as your child grows so can their train track and the complexity of them.
This is a great problem solving toy for toddlers as they discover what shape track they want and can build, where to put a level crossing, a bridge or a big loop.