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32 Best Gifts and Toys for 2-Year-Olds in 2022

From educational puzzles to kitchen tools, these expert-approved ideas will help toddlers develop skills while having fun.

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When kids turn 2 years old, there's so much more they can do — which makes playing all the more fun. When shopping for the best toys and gifts for kids of this age, there's so much more they can handle. "This is a huge jump in their thinking skills!" says Rebecca Parlakian, M.A., E.D., a parenting expert from Zero to Three, an organization that focuses on kid development during the early years. "As they are discovering that they, themselves, are individuals with their own thoughts and feelings, they are also learning that others have their own thoughts and feelings too. Pretend play gives children a chance to take on these different perspectives. Usually the first pretend play parents see is 'playing house,' since it’s what children know best, but really children act out any familiar scenario — like when my daughter picked up a toy phone and said, 'Shhh, I have a conference call.'"

Parlakian also says roleplaying items can encourage pretend play, including toy kitchen items, dolls and strollers or vehicles with chunky figures that can fit inside. In addition, she suggests looking for toys that encourage problem-solving like wooden blocks, building toys and puzzles. Toys and games that support open-ended play and can be used multiple ways are good, too.

But the best toys and gifts for toddlers still have a lot of safety considerations, too. Two-year-olds are still too young for toys with small parts that can be choking hazards, and they still don't have enough motor coordination for some complicated toys and games.

With all this and in mind, and to help prepare kids for pre-school and beyond, the experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute test hundreds of toys for safety, functionality and fun factor. They look for toys that build on these developmental skills, toys that are well constructed and playthings toddlers will return to again and again. Some of our recommendations are even previous Good Housekeeping Best Toy Award winners! With all that in mind, these best toys and gifts for 2-year-olds in 2022.

Puzzles, educational toys, interactive games and gifts that inspire open-ended play did best with our testers, as did toys with some of their favorite characters from shows like Peppa Pig or CoComelon. Here are our testers' faves, sure to please any 2-year-old on your list.

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1
Best STEM Toy for 2-Year-Olds
WowWee
Pinkfong Baby Shark Tablet
WowWee
2
2022 Good Housekeeping Kids' Book Award Winner
HarperFestival
Roar! I’m a Dinosaur
HarperFestival
3
Good Housekeeping Best Toy Award Winner
Just Play
CoComelon Ultimate Learning Bus
Just Play
4
Fun Learning Toy for 2-Year-Olds
LeapFrog
Scoop & Learn Ice Cream Cart
Now 31% off
5
Best Art Toy for 2-Year-Olds
Crayola
Easy-Clean Finger Paint
Crayola
6
Former Good Housekeeping Parenting Award Winner
WowWee
Indoor Slide
WowWee
7
Good Housekeeping Best Toy Award Winner
TOMY
John Deere Build-a-Buddy Johnny Tractor Toy
TOMY
8
Good Housekeeping Expert Favorite
Learning Resources
Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog
Learning Resources
9
New Twist on a Classic
Mr Potato Head
Create Your Potato Head Family
Hasbro
10
Best Puzzles for 2-Year-Olds
Melissa & Doug
Wooden Peg Puzzles
Melissa & Doug
11
Best Toy Tablet
LeapFrog
Touch and Learn Nature ABC Board
Leapfrog
12
Best First Trike
Radio Flyer
Scoot About Sport Trike
Radio Flyer
13
Best Stuffie for 2-Year-Olds
Squishmallows
Squishmallows
KellyToy
14
For Fine Motor Coordination
Constructive Playthings
Dressed to Nest Cloth Dolls
Constructive Playthings
15
Fun Counting Toy for 2-Year-Olds
LEGO
DUPLO My First Number Train
LEGO
16
A Wagon That Grows With Kids
Fisher-Price
Laugh & Learn Pull & Play Learning Wagon
Fisher-Price
17
Popular Toy on Amazon for 2-Year-Olds
Playmobil
My Take Along Noah's Ark
Playmobil
18
Best Block Set for 2-Year-Olds
Lovevery
The Block Set
Lovevery
19
Fun Musical Toy for 2-Year-Olds
WowWee
Baby Shark's Big Show! EEL-ectric Guitar
WowWee
20
Good Housekeeping Best Toy Award Winner
HUGIMALS
Weighted Stuffed Animal
21
Interactive Cooking Toy
LeapFrog
Smart Sizzlin' BBQ Grill
LeapFrog
Now 44% off
22
Great Role Play Set for 2-Year-Olds
Green Toys
Tool Set
Green Toys
23
Coolest Shape Sorter
Fat Brain Toys
Shape Factory
Fat Brain Toys
24
For 'Frozen' Fans
Fisher-Price
Elsa’s Enchanted Lights Palace by Little People
Fisher-Price
25
For Social-Emotional Learning
Learning Resources
Learning Avocados
Learning Resources
26
2022 Good Housekeeping Kids' Book Award Winner
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Me and My Mama
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Now 38% off
27
Bilingual Toy for 2-Year-Olds
BeginAgain
Cat Family Color Names Puzzle
BeginAgain
28
Fun Wooden Toy
Peppa Pig
Peppa Pig Wooden Car and Wooden Boat
Hasbro
Now 37% off
29
For Spelling and Building
Plan Toys
Hand Sign Alphabet Tiles
Plan Toys
30
Best Non-Toy Gift for 2-Year-Olds
Hanna Andersson
Peanuts Long John Pajama Set
Hanna Andersson
31
Best Lego Toy for 2-Year-Olds
LEGO
Doctor Visit
LEGO
32
Best Fidget Toy for 2-Year-Olds
Kido
Rainbow Pop It
Kido
How we choose the best toys
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Before including our favorite picks in an article, the Good Housekeeping Institute does rigorous toy testing to ensure we're recommending only the best. Many of our choices come from our yearly Toy Awards, where we test each item based on the following criteria:

✔️Safety: Our engineers and analysts make sure that each toy reaches all safety standards. They also assess things like pinch points and make sure toys won’t shatter into small pieces to pose a potential choking hazard.

✔️Ease of Use: We look at each toy to evaluate how simple it is to assemble, how well it’s constructed and how durable it is during play.

✔️Kid Approval: Aside from testing each toy for skill-building attributes, like how well it develops social-emotional skills, all our final decisions come from more than 100 children, ages 1 to 15, who assess the fun factor!

Why trust Good Housekeeping?
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For decades, the Good Housekeeping Institute has provided expert reviews and advice on everything parents and children love, including STEM toys, educational toys, sensory toys and more.

Much of the toy testing for this article was overseen by Rachel Rothman, the Good Housekeeping Institute's chief technologist and director of engineering, with the help of Marisa LaScala, Good Housekeeping's senior parenting and relationships editor. For more than 15 years, Rachel has put her training in mechanical engineering and applied mathematics to work by researching, testing and writing about parenting products. Plus, as a mom to three kids under 5, she has plenty of first-hand experience.

Marisa has covered all aspects of the world of parenting, from the postpartum years through the empty nests, since 2015, and she's pitched in with Good Housekeeping's toy coverage since 2018. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter, who are both avid toy collectors.

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Shop more toys and gifts for kids
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Looking for more great gifts for kids? Let the experts do all the hard work for you!

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