The Best Educational Toys for 2 Year Olds


Choosing the right educational toys for your 2-year-old can have a profound impact on their cognitive, physical, and social development. At this age, children are curious, eager to explore, and rapidly absorbing information from their environment. In this article, we will guide you through a selection of top educational toys specifically designed to engage, entertain, and support the developmental milestones of 2-year-olds. From building fine motor skills to fostering creativity and problem-solving, these toys are not only fun but also provide valuable learning opportunities.

As part of the selection process, we decided a number of things were important to consider;

  • Affordability – Of course, quantity and quality will affect the amount that you spend, but there is nothing in the list that will break the bank. Buying toys and playing with your child shouldn’t financially cripple you or give you buyer’s remorse. Charity shops, Facebook Marketplace and borrowing from other parents are just a few ways to save the pennies, Don’t be too proud, some of the best purchases I’ve made for Jack have been 2nd hand! Plus it’s more eco-friendly!
  • Availability – You’re not going to need to scour the earth for these recommendations, they are all very attainable be that on the high street or online 
  • Suitable for Rainy Days – Of course nothing on the list is restricted to inside use only, and they can be used outside, but we all know that rainy days require an armoury of activities to keep little people entertained, which is why they have made the cut. 
  • Reusable – Ok, paint might not quite make the grade here, but by and large nothing on the list can’t be used time and again, and that’s good for both your pocket and the environment. 
  • Variety – As a big kid myself, nothing bores me more than same old same old, and Jack, being a chip off the old block is exactly the same – i’d hazard a guess that this is universal for all toddlers to be honest, variety is key for happy stimulated toddlers. 

Shape Sorters and Stackers

Shape sorters and stackers are excellent toys for developing fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and cognitive abilities. These toys typically feature various shapes that children can manipulate and sort. Look for sets that offer different textures, colours, and sizes to engage multiple senses. The act of matching shapes and stacking them helps enhance spatial awareness and problem-solving skills.

Puzzles

Puzzles are fantastic for promoting cognitive development, problem-solving, and concentration. Opt for puzzles with large, chunky pieces that are easy for little hands to grasp. Start with simple puzzles that have recognizable images or themes your child can relate to, such as animals, vehicles, or objects. As they progress, gradually introduce more complex puzzles to challenge their growing abilities, and fortunately there is a endless variety of designs to keep them engaged. The only downside I have found is having to desperately fight the urge to intervene when it’s clear as day which piece fits in a certain hole. 

Building Blocks

Building blocks are classic toys that stimulate creativity, imagination, and spatial reasoning. They allow children to experiment with stacking, balancing, and creating different structures. Look for blocks that are lightweight and safe for young children. Blocks with numbers, letters, or images on them can introduce early numeracy and literacy concepts in a playful way. And yes, it is totally natural for you to want to build a tall tower and equally it’s fine if your toddler time and again smashes it down. 

Musical Instruments

I’m keen to avoid living vicariously through Jack, but would absolutely love it if he turned out to “be musical”, as despite loving music, my dancing and sense of rhythm has been described as “chaotic at best”. Anyway, introducing musical instruments at an early age can foster a love for music and enhance sensory development. Simple instruments like drums, xylophones, shakers, or bells encourage rhythm, coordination, and auditory discrimination. Engage in musical playtime together to nurture your child’s appreciation for different sounds and rhythms. Plus watching toddlers dance is not only endearing but let’s face it, it’s also hilarious. 

Pretend Play Sets

Pretend play sets, such as kitchen sets, doctor kits, or tool sets, offer opportunities for imaginative play and social interaction and some of these items will already be present in your house. These toys encourage language development, creativity, and the exploration of different roles and scenarios. Look for sets with realistic and durable accessories to enhance the pretend play experience.

Sensory Toys

Sensory toys engage a child’s senses, fostering exploration and stimulating brain development. Look for toys with various textures, colours, and sounds. Examples include sensory balls, textured blocks, squishy toys, or activity boards. These toys provide tactile, visual, and auditory stimulation, promoting sensory integration and cognitive growth.

Art Supplies

It might be a little bit early for Art Nouveau and Cubism, but toddlers can make a mean Jackson Pollock piece right from the get go! Art supplies like crayons, washable markers, finger paints, and playdough unleash a child’s creativity and fine motor skills and the limit to the fun here is only your imagine (and your child’s, but in all likeliness theirs is limitless!). Encourage your child to explore and experiment with colours, shapes, and different materials. Artistic activities promote self-expression, hand-eye coordination, and cognitive development, just be sure to have painting aprons/overalls or be prepared for a lot of extra washing!

Conclusion

Investing in high-quality educational toys for your 2-year-old can offer a range of developmental benefits while providing endless hours of fun and exploration, and enhance the bond between you and your child.

The toys mentioned in this article, including shape sorters, puzzles, building blocks, musical instruments, pretend play sets, sensory toys, and art supplies, are specifically designed to engage young minds and support their cognitive, physical, and social growth. By incorporating these toys into playtime, you can provide your child with valuable learning experiences that lay the foundation for their future development.

 

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