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Gifts for 2-year-olds

Gifts for 2-year-olds

A 2-year-old is bursting with energy and curiosity, so look for gifts that grab his attention. As a toddler gets more mobile, he'll take an interest in toys to push, pull, and drag around with him. Some great tips from

He'll also get a thrill out of things that challenge his mind, like puzzles and blocks. And his imagination is developing, so toys that encourage make-believe are sure to be a hit. Read on for our list of choice gifts for 2-year-olds.


Large and small colorful balls for kicking and throwing are great for outdoor play, as are oversize T-ball sets made of lightweight plastic. Bowling with soft farm animals or goofy plush toys for "pins" is great indoor fun, too.


Who isn't charmed by a classic red wagon? And when your little one is tired from the park, she can sit back and enjoy the ride home while you know she's safe right behind. At home in the yard, she can push and pull the wagon herself or just pile her toys in it.

Art supplies

Everyone treasures those early scribbles! They go on Grandma's refrigerator and Mom's wall at work. Give your budding artist the tools she needs – markers, crayons, watercolors, and construction paper – and watch her go. Don't forget to check labels to make sure everything is nontoxic and washable.

Play kitchen

Get your child ready to be Rachael Ray, Jacques Pepin, or Emeril with a play kitchen. Toddlers enjoy playing with plastic fruits, vegetables, pots, and spatulas. Food toys let him imitate what grownups do in the kitchen and will hold his interest for years, even as his play gets more sophisticated.

Sand toys

Sandbox time will be more fun with a pail and shovel – she can build a castle or just make piles. For added interest, consider a bright yellow dump truck or front-end loader. She'll have a grand time loading up trucks and dumping her cargo.


A book is a fitting gift at any age, but for a toddler, look for books with more than just a few words on each page and more complex story lines than basic baby books. Try such favorites as Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar or Dr. Seuss's There's a Wocket in My Pocket. Or visit a bookstore and pick out something new that catches your eye.

Bath toys

It's easy to turn bath time into fun time – even zoo time! Beyond the requisite rubber duckies, you'll find bath toys that can help get a child clean. Look for hippo or tiger bath mitts and fish or bear soap.

Make believe toys

Toddlers love to imitate what adults do, whether it's playing dress-up and going to "work" or using kid versions of the tools Mom or Dad have. Look for a toddler-size plastic laptop that lights up and makes music. A tool kit, complete with plastic hammer and nails and a drill with oversize plastic drill bits, will come in handy when a toddler assistant is needed to help fix things around the house.

Large construction blocks

Blocks are perfect for building a toddler's growing skills – grabbing, stacking, and sorting. Avoid a choking hazard by choosing a set with pieces that are too large for a toddler to fit in his mouth. He can experiment with how many blocks he can pile up before his tower topples, or just enjoy sorting by color and shape.

Pull toys

Pull toys have endured as a universal toddler pleaser, and most also have at least one bell or whistle – flapping ears, wagging tails, or slapping feet. It's a good bet that if you find one you like, it will also appeal to the 2-year-old in your life.


Toddlers take great delight in the challenge of puzzles, and learn shapes and colors along the way. Choose one of the many beautiful wooden animal puzzles in your local toy store, or check out puzzle boards that hook, button, buckle, and snap.



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