Your little boy is no longer a baby. He’s reached toddlerhood. It’s an exciting and sometimes challenging time as he exerts his new found independence – sometimes with fierce defiance. Choosing the most appropriate toy for a 2 year old boy can be tricky to get right. It should be something that will match his motor skills and emotional and cognitive abilities. Get this right and you’ll keep his focus and determination healthily engaged (for at least 15 minutes!)
In compiling this list, we’re confident that each toy will be a hit with your 2 year old toddler. They’ve been chosen to fit his developmental stage, and nurture his learning through play and exploration. They each come highly recommended by other parents.
Our top picks of gift ideas for 2 year old boys
#1 Power Wheels Ride-on Thomas Train with Track
Your little guy will have a blast riding on this electric Ride-on Thomas (check price on Amazon). It can be set up with tracks or without. This means you can either keep him contained indoors (you’ll have 18-foot of tracks to work with, so you can get creative with different shaped tracks) or let him roam free outdoors (with a top speed of 2mph, you’ll be able to catch him if he makes a break for freedom!).
Thomas has a 6V rechargeable battery and an easy on/off button. Note that you’ll need to grab some extra AA batteries for the train sound effects. (If you’re interested, we’ve also reviewed other motorized kids toys.)
Why He’ll Love It: He’ll get to ride his favorite train in real-life.Check Price on Amazon
#2 Prince Lionheart Balance Bike
This lovely wooden balance bike by Prince Lionheart (check price on Amazon) is made from birch wood which is sourced from an FSC approved forest. It comes with 12-inch, air-filled rubber tires and the seat is adjustable so that the bike can grow with your child. The handlebars have handle grips for a secure hold and a rubber bumper to protect your tot’s hands should they bump into anything on their sides.
Balance bikes are an excellent way to introduce children to bicycles. They are pushed along by foot whilst allowing them to learn how to balance. Once they’ve got this down, transferring to a real peddle bike becomes far easier.Check Price on Amazon
#3 Fur Real Roarin’ Tyler
This is an adorable, interactive, and smart stuffed animal tiger. When your little guy roars or makes noises, Roarin’ Tyler (check price on Amazon) will roar right back. With over 100 different sounds and movements, this cute tiger will keep kids engaged and wanting to pick him up and play. He even responds when he’s given his favorite plaything.
Why He’ll Love It: As well as being clever, he’s super cuddly.Check Price on Amazon
#4 Playz Pop up Play Tent & Crawl Tunnel
This 5-piece set features a pop-up play tent, crawl tunnel and ball pit, and will surely be a smash with your tot. Toddlers can crawl back and forth, they can chase their friends, and they can play in the ball pit. The pieces of the tunnel are interchangeable, so there are many different combinations.
The pop-up tent teepee has a basketball hoop. It also has 5 mesh holes that can be used to play different games. It has a padded structure to protect little knees while crawling around. It does not come with the balls, but it is equipped with an area for a ball pit. The tent and tunnels can be used indoors or outdoors. So, even if there is a rainy day, your kids can still have a lot of fun without tearing apart your house.
Why He’ll Love It: The set provides limitless ways to play, even for the smallest child.Check Price on Amazon
#5 Gourmet Wooden Play Kitchen (Hape)
Toddlers love imaginative role play and this kitchen (check price on Amazon) offers the perfect tools for him to do this. As ever, Hape has crafted this kitchen beautifully with wood – a refreshing and environmental alternative to those garish plastic ones.
If you’re going for this, then we recommend you pick up the wooden kitchen accessories and wooden food set too. Made by Hape, these are also great quality.
Why He’ll Love It: Big red knobs, a movable tap, and opening doors provide a rich kinesthetic learning experience. Plus, it’s big enough to grow with him and allow for group play when he’s ready to let other toddlers join in.
Watch for: Hape recommend this kitchen for ages 3+, but if your little man is anything like ours, he’ll be ready for this sooner.Check Price on Amazon
#6 Cartoon Radio Control Car
It might be a while before your little guy climbs behind a real wheel, but that doesn’t mean he can’t have some fun with cars in the meantime. This Cartoon RC Car (check price on Amazon) can go backward, forward, and turn by pressing one of two buttons. Your boy will have a blast while gaining motor and spatial awareness skills. It’s a win-win!
Why He’ll Love It: As if being a remote control car wasn’t enough, this toy makes honking noises and performs music. Your little guy will also be able to play with the action figure, which he can take out of the car.Check Price on Amazon
#7 Little Tikes 3′ Trampoline
It can be hard burning off that little boy energy on a rainy day, but this Little Tikes trampoline (check price on Amazon) can make it easier.
With a handlebar for safety and rubber tipped legs to keep it in place, it is surprisingly quiet as your little guy plays. Just remember, it’s made only for indoor use, has a 55lb weight limit, and does require some assembly.
Why He’ll Love It: It’s a trampoline. In the house. Need we say more?Check Price on Amazon
#8 Casdon Dyson Ball Vacuum
The Casdon Dyson Ball Vacuum (check price on Amazon) provides a way for your child to copy mommy or daddy when they are cleaning up around the house. Not only does this toy come equipped with real sounds, but it is also a replica of the adult version of the Dyson Ball.
What’s more, it is a working vacuum and actually picks things up off the floor, depositing them into the debris drawer. After learning how it works, your little man can then dispose of the dirt in the trash. It is fun and educational.
Why He’ll Love It: He will be able to help mom and dad with cleaning while he is having fun.Check Price on Amazon
#9 HABA Tree Magnetic Maze
Your child will improve his fine motor and spatial skills, as well as his color recognition abilities, with this little game (check price on Amazon).
The object is to guide the magnetic balls into the nests and baskets located at the end of the trails. To add an extra level of challenge your little one can be encouraged to match the colors to certain places, such as the white balls can go to the bird’s nest as eggs. And don’t worry; the marbles are securely encased in the maze.
The rope on the magnetic pen used to move the marbles is a bit short, but this game is known to engage many tots.
Why He’ll Love It: Although this game is simple enough to play, if your little guy loves solving puzzles, he’ll get a kick out of this toy.Check Price on Amazon
#10 Eco Farm Playset (Green Toys)
Green Toys is a company that makes its toys in the USA with 100% recycled plastics that contain no BPA, phthalates, or PVC. So it’s a guilt-free buy for us parents.
This eco farm playset (check price on Amazon) is simple but contains all the classic elements to engage your little man in imaginative games for hours.
Why He’ll Love It: It has little fences so he can round up the two sheep and two pigs that come with it.Check Price on Amazon
#11 VTech KidiBeats Drum Set
Hey, fake drums are still better than the pots and pans, right? This little set packs plenty of educational value, teaching letters, music, and more, as well as providing unique sounds to encourage auditory sensory development. The VTech KidiBeats Drum Set (check price on Amazon) has four modes and includes a set of drumsticks.
Oh, and you can lower its volume if you want. Bet your pots and pans can’t do that.
Why He’ll Love It: This drum set will engage your tot with organized play while allowing for free play at the push of a button. It includes enough features, bright lights, and fun sounds to keep any toddler occupied for a good long while.Check Price on Amazon
#12 Fisher-Price Loops ‘n Swoops Playset
This toy comes with a two-foot tall base down which your boy can send the included Wheelies cars. The variety of loops and twists can help teach cause and effect thinking, while positioning the cars on the ramps will aid in the development of fine motor skills.
Why He’ll Love It: Between the lights and the sounds of this toy, your little boy will find himself entertained. But when he watches his cars make a 360° loop on their own, he’ll be enthralled.Check Price on Amazon
#13 Tot Tube Car Playset
The Tot Tube (check price on Amazon) allows your kids to race balls and cars down a tunnel. It is exciting to see how fast the cars can get down the tube. They can change the height and angle of the tube to make things go faster or slower. It requires no screws or tools to put it together and provides the type of simple fun that 2-year-old boys love.
Note that while no balls or cars come with the tube, your kids can use any of the ones they already have.
Why He’ll Love It: You can get two of them and your kids can have races with them to see who is fastest. Or they can connect a few of them together, so they have a super long tube.Check Price on Amazon
#14 Green Toys Dump Truck
This gorgeous dump truck by Green Toys (check price on Amazon) is the quintessential gift for a 2-year-old boy. Not only does it look adorable and ‘dumpy’ in the sweetest way, but Green Toys always go the extra mile in terms of their green credentials.
This toy truck is constructed from eco-friendly materials which are BPA, phthalates, and PVC free. It also meets FDA food contact standards which is good to know because, let’s face it, it’s gonna get chewed! What’s more, it comes in a gorgeous recycled cardboard box making it perfect for gifting.
Why He’ll Love It: The working dumping motion and wheels give his developing muscles plenty to grasp and his burgeoning mind lots to focus on.Check Price on Amazon
#15 Melissa & Doug Wooden Pounding Bench
This “#1 best-seller” from Melissa & Doug (check price on Amazon) is a beautifully made modern classic. As your tiny man hammers one of the colorful figures, another one rises up at the same time. This gives the toy an interactive “peekaboo” quality that is sure to keep him busy.
Made from wood, the pounding bench has pegs that are fixed in place. This save on clearing up and means they don’t get lost. The little hammer is excellent for developing his gross and fine motor control, and the exercise teaches him the basics of cause and effect.
Why He’ll Love It: It makes a delightfully satisfying clacking sound as he hits it.Check Price on Amazon
#16 Peaceable Kingdom Monkey Around
Most 2-year-olds already act like monkeys. For that reason, this silly movement-based board game will make them go bananas. Silly puns aside, the Peaceable Kingdom Monkey Around (check price on eBay) is an excellent addition to any home full of children. It encourages balance, listening, cognitive skills, and other important milestones.
Why He’ll Love It: This is a board game that rewards wiggling children. It is perfect for 2-year-olds with super short attention spans.
Watch out for: Much more enjoyable with multiple players.Check Price on eBay
#17 Hape Award-Winning Wooden Art Easel
This award-winning art easel (check price on Walmart) is the perfect place for your toddler to express himself. It comes with a large tray for art supplies, three paint pots, a paper roll, a blackboard, and a whiteboard. The easel extends from 37.5 to 43.5 inches, making it the perfect present for a rapidly growing child!
Why He’ll Love It: Children love having a special space to create art and express themselves. This beautiful wooden easel comes with all the essentials. Not to mention, it is made from wood from FSC-managed forests.
Watch out for: It’s not easy to find replacement paper rolls for such as small easel. Fortunately, the other art surfaces can be used over and over again.Check Price on Walmart
#18 Radio Flyer 500 Ride-On with Ramp
This Radio Flyer ride-on (check price on Amazon) comes with a 6-foot-long red racing ramp. It offers ample backyard thrills for picky 2-year-olds. The track even has a set of molded matchbox car tracks for small-scale entertainment. The track and car fit into the ramp base for easy storage. Your little guy will be thrilled to speed down their very own backyard race track.
Why He’ll Love It: Your 2-year-old will love zooming down this plastic ramp on his very own red race car. Not to mention, he’ll be thrilled to discover that it doubles as a miniature race track.
Why He’ll Love It: Children can pick up a good amount of speed going down the Radio Flyer ramp’s subtle inclines. Always secure your child’s head inside a well-fitted helmet.Check Price on Amazon
#19 MOLUK Bilibo
This colorful plastic shell (check price on Fat Brain Toys) features a simple, approachable design that will immediately command your child’s attention. The Swiss-made toy was designed with the help of child development experts. It is made from non-toxic, shatterproof polyethylene. It serves as a swivel seat, a storytelling element, and so much more. There are no rules or set expectations with the Bilibo.
Why He’ll Love It: Children are surprisingly responsive to the Bilibo. With no clear usage expectations, little ones are free to be as silly as they want.
Watch out for: Children are quick to realize that the Bilibo can be used as a makeshift step ladder. This type of clever behavior may become a safety hazard.Check Price on Fat Brain Toys
#20 Play-Doh Modeling
No childhood is complete without everyone’s favorite moldable substance. This 10-piece kit (check price on Walmart) includes a range of colorful compounds packed into nostalgia-inducing yellow containers. It’s non-toxic, so you don’t have to worry about your toddler sneaking a mouthful. Not to mention, it offers hours of creative fun.
Why He’ll Love It: Your 2-year-old will love playing around with this incredibly bright, colorful, and squishy substance. Each dough comes in easy-to-open resealable packages. The colors can be used to create play food, objects, animals, and so much more!
Watch out for: These are the smaller Play-Doh containers, such as those used as party favors. On top of that, it is nearly impossible to keep a toddler from blending the colors. If you can deal with 10 containers of brown dough, you won’t be too sore.Check Price on Walmart
What to expect from your 2 year old boy
Think back to when your child was one. It was all about touch. Everything would be grabbed and shoved into his mouth. Now, his language skills and cognitive ability are really starting to blossom; he is beginning to problem solve and notice the principle of cause and effect. This, along with rapidly advancing motor skills, means that he is about to get into a whole new world of play.
Here’s a list of some of the things you can expect between the ages of 2 and 3. (You can see a complete list if you’re interested.)
Body, hand and finger skills
- Can jump on the spot;
- Walks up and down stairs;
- Runs headlong;
- Holds a pencil;
- Puts on items of clothing;
- Completes very simple puzzles
- Doesn’t share (it’s normal, so don’t feel pressured to teach or force him);
- Knows identity in family
- Watches other kids and begins to play with them;
- Expresses new emotions such as sympathy and pity;
- Starts to sing nursery songs;
- Likes praise;
- Loves to dawdle (and won’t be rushed!)
- Can point to a few body arts;
- Let’s you know he needs the toilet;
- Words and language exploding (he’ll learn up to 1000 words this year!);
- Can give full name when asked
- Starts asking questions such as, “what’s this?”
Over the next year, your little boy will transform. By the end of his third year, the baby you remember fondly will be replaced by tiny vibrant human being, full of personality, words and questions. It’s simply astounding, the rate of development at this age. We hope that your little boy loves the toys on this list. You should find that they are perfect for engaging his problem-solving mind and his love for physical play.