Two year olds are showing new independence and developing new cognitive and physical abilities—at times seemingly right before your eyes. They’re learning new skills like jumping, walking up and down stairs, kicking and throwing a ball, and singing nursery songs. They’re starting to learn letters and numbers, solving simple puzzles, and beginning to enjoy playing with others. Two year olds are interested in make-believe play and imitating the behavior of those around them. They’re also starting to really assert their individual personalities! Two year olds are usually quite active, though play preference, attention span, and communicative ability all vary by child. The best gifts and toys for 2 year old girls will flex their new skills and encourage social, physical, and cognitive growth.
Toddlers learn by doing! Toys that two year olds can manage independently or with minimal adult involvement can be especially fun. Some popular gift options include dolls and stuffed animals, ride-on toys, props for pretend play, sound-making toys and simple musical instruments, puzzles, art supplies, shape sorters and stackers, and books (by two years old, most children can handle paper books but still also enjoy board books).
Some Tips For Choosing The Best Gifts And Toys For 2 Year Old Girls
Two year olds are growing and changing almost daily! There’s a big difference between a young two year old and an almost-three year old, so you may want to consider the child’s exact age when she will receive the gift, or you may prefer a gift that will be used more as she gets older. Look for toys that are safe for two year olds but can be used at different developmental stages.
A toy doesn’t have to be expensive or complex to provide hours of fun and learning for a toddler. In fact, toys that can be used in multiple ways and that promote open-ended, creative play are some of the most highly recommended by child development experts.
You may want to consider gender neutral options. Two year olds are just starting to understand gender identities, and while most children will play in a gender stereotypical way at least some of the time, gender neutral options can help a child explore her own individual interests and encourage creative thinking. (Gender neutral toys may also have a longer life as play things for siblings.)
If the gift is not for your own child, keep in mind her parents’ preferences. Some parents prefer gender neutral toys, avoid TV and hand-held screens for their child, or choose all-natural and/or organic materials. Parents with strong preferences will probably have made them known to friends and family; a thoughtful gift giver will respect these wishes. You may also want to avoid potentially messy options or toys that require complex assembly.
Best Gifts And Toys For 2 Year Old Girls Reviews
Experts agree—open-ended toys that encourage imagination and creative free play are some of the best options for two year olds. Blocks and other building toys are a great option for free play. They also have the advantage of versatility—they can be played with immediately and also enjoyed for years to come.
Valtech Magna-Tiles are sturdy plastic tiles in translucent colors that have magnets along each edge to allow the tiles to connect in any direction. Suitable for little hands, these are great for developing fine motor skills, encouraging imaginative play, and learning about space, colors, and shapes. This starter set is compatible with all styles of Valtech Magna-Tile products.
Mega Bloks 80-Piece Big Building Bag is an alternative popular option for this type of toy.
Two year olds love imagination play and imitating the people around them. Play sets and make believe props can be used creatively and develop memory and spatial learning, fine motor skills, and even vocabulary. They’re also great for teaching social skills and cooperative play.
This Hape Wood Play Kitchen comes with a set of wooden accessories, making it a great starter option. Young two year olds may enjoy just opening doors and turning knobs, while older children will enjoy creating and serving “meals” with friends. It includes a sink, stove, oven (with knobs that click when turned), cabinet, and shelf, but is still one of the smaller options on the market; it also comes fully assembled. It’s also available in red or orange.
Two year olds enjoy puzzles and are starting to learn letters and numbers. A themed puzzle can be a great choice for familiarizing children with letters, numbers, colors, and categories, while promoting fine motor skills and developing problem solving skills. They’re also great for providing a sense of accomplishment when she figures out how it all fits together!
This option from perennially popular toy maker Melissa and Doug includes three durable wooden peg puzzles featuring numbers, letters, and colored fish. The pegs are easy for little fingers to grasp, and the colorful illustrations below each puzzle piece aid matching and encourage learning about the letter or number. The pieces of the fish puzzle fit in any of the cut-outs, allowing young twos to focus on the fine motor skills of putting each in a place and older twos to focus on correct color matching.
Other great options include a matching puzzle, like this food themed option.
Two year olds are quickly developing motor skills and new physical abilities. A ride-on toy can be a great option for promoting exercise and developing coordination and strength. They can also be great for encouraging outdoor play.
The Plasma Car from PlaSmart is good for both indoor and outdoor spaces (though it works best on smooth, flat surfaces). It doesn’t have pedals or gears, so young twos can easily get the hang of riding, but the steering-wheel propulsion option and maneuverability make this a toy that can be enjoyed for years to come. Choose from ten color options. Simple assembly required—the Plasma Car arrives in six pieces and requires a screwdriver and rubber mallet to assemble (we found a heavy shoe worked fine for this).
Along with growing motor skills, two year olds are starting to learn how to name and categorize shapes and colors, so sorting and stacking toys hold special appeal for both entertaining and encouraging cognitive development.
The rings and pegs of the HABA Rainbow Whirls Pegging Game offer all kinds of options for play, from simply fitting the pegs into the holes and the rings on the pegs, to sorting and stacking colors, to repeating patterns. Parents love the durable construction of sustainably-sourced Beech wood and baby safe lacquers.
This Melissa and Doug Take-Along Shape Sorter is also a popular option.
Another great option for imaginative and imitative play is a dollhouse. Acting out real-life scenes at a toddler scale encourages sensory and spatial exploration, social rehearsal, and fine motor skills. Dollhouses provide a great stage for role-play and building life skills.
The Fisher-Price Little People Surprise & Sounds Home has multiple sensory surprises for the curious little one, with over 50 sounds, phrases, and songs to be discovered as they play and explore. All of the pieces can be stored inside for easy clean-up (and there’s an on/off switch if the sounds become too much). The Little People series also has other figurines and playsets that can be intermingled.
It’s never too early to develop a love of reading! Books help little ones improve listening skills, cultivate imagination, and build habits that will benefit them for a lifetime. Many two year olds are old enough for paper books, though this can depend on the child. Most children enjoy board books well after age two and may even prefer being able to handle them without adult help. If buying a gift for a little one you don’t know well, board books are probably a safer choice.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar is an all-time favorite; Amazon’s listing says the book has sold more than 12 million copies, with a new one sold somewhere in the world every 30 seconds. The colorful illustrations are absorbing for little ones, while the story is great for teaching counting and days of the week.
For a good alternative, Sheep in a Jeep is another favorite; little ones love the nonsense rhymes and whimsical illustrations of silly sheep on an adventure. (Also try Sheep Out to Eat and Sheep Go to Sleep for more rhyming animal adventures.)
DC Comic’s My First Book of Girl Power is another fun option, with brightly colored illustrations and simple descriptions that highlight strong, brave, and clever heroines from the DC comic universe.
Perhaps the quintessential toy for little girls, dolls are perfect for pretend play and teaching socialization skills. Little ones benefit from dressing a doll before trying it out for themselves and practicing or re-enacting events with family and others. Great take-along (or don’t-leave-home-without!) toys, a favorite doll often will become a beloved security item.
The award winning Baby Stella doll from Manhattan Toy is constructed in soft plush with embroidered features for comfortable cuddling. It’s available in hair color and skin tone options, as well as a couple different ages, from young infant to child. The cloth doll comes with a cloth diaper and onesie, as well as a magnetic pacifier; available accessories for purchase separately include 10 outfit choices.
Simple art supplies are fantastic for encouraging creativity and reinforcing learning. A two year old is developing the coordination to hold and control a crayon or brush, as well as learning colors, shapes, letters, and a rapidly growing list of objects. She’s also enjoying making choices for herself about what to create! Most art supplies will require adult supervision, but toddler-safe options that aren’t too messy and can be easily handled by little ones can allow for more independent play.
These toddler crayons are smooth-writing and specially shaped for little hands, allowing little ones to play independently. They’re also stackable, providing multiple options for creative play.
Another great option for encouraging creativity is a simple musical instrument. Two year olds are learning to sing nursery songs and enjoy noise-making toys (in addition to all kinds of household objects that make a satisfying clang when banged together!). A simple musical instrument can be a great choice to develop hand-eye coordination and nurture musical awareness.
This Hohner Kids glockenspiel (a glockenspiel is like a xylophone, but with wood keys) is light enough for little ones to carry around. It is also sturdy enough to withstand some abuse. It’s designed to ensure the bars can’t fall off or be removed. It’s also accurately tuned—which is nice for older kids to learn about harmony, and for playing with recordings or other instruments—and produces a pleasant bell-like sound.