You can always spot two-year-olds by the blurry streak left in their wake, as they dart from one activity to the next. If this sounds like the toddler on your holiday list, we’ve got you covered with a slew of carefully curated toys meant to stimulate and engage your busy little one, no matter what his or her interest. From toys to games to instruments and books, scroll through to see our top picks for gifts for a two-year-old.

LeapFrog LeapBuilders ABC Smart House

They’ll be growing up in a smart home-world, so it’s only fitting that tots today have a Smart House toy out of the gate. Not only are the building blocks in this 61-piece set the perfect size for two-year-olds to grasp, but they also include 20 double-sided interactive learning blocks, ready to engage young minds with songs, phrases and simple challenges. Plus, the blocks fit with other LeapBuilders sets, so it makes expanding your world super easy. Who doesn’t love a new twist on an old favorite?

Available at target.com, $31.99.

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My First Game: Bears in Pairs

Six playful bears are hiding behind six colorful doors. Can you find the two that look alike? Tots can take turns opening doors to the bears’ hiding places as they try to make pairs in this 3-D game. When the game’s over, invite them to play again or to explore the bears and their house with just their imagination. It’s like two toys in one!

Available at amazon.com, $15.99.

100 First Words for Little Geeks

Whether your little geek-in-training is into sci-fi, fantasy or pop culture touchstones, as she flips through this board book, she'll learn the vocab she needs to speak geek with the best of them. Colorful illustrations help guide your tot into the land of wormholes, cyborgs, werewolves and druids. Oh my, indeed!

Available at uncommongoods.com, $10.

photo: Green Toys

Elmo’s Wagon

Oh, the things they carry! Give your little gatherer the perfect-sized carrier to hold his many prized possessions with Green Toys’ new Elmo’s Wagon. Made from 100% recycled plastics, with no BPA, phthalates or PVC’s to speak of, it’s sturdy enough to carry treasures both inside and outside, and it features your favorite furry guy—Elmo—on the wheel hubs and wagon sides. Our favorite part? The cute red pull that’s easy for toddlers to grip. Load it up!

Available at greentoys.com, $24.99.

Highlights Number Dragon

A smiling dragon leads the way on this 2019 release from Haba. It’s all about fine motor skills—but don’t tell your tot. She’ll spend hours working the needle through colorful blocks to make the delightful dragon dance, and along the way, she’ll practice counting and colors, too! Educational and engaging toys are always a joy to give … and receive.

Available at habausa.com, $14.99.

 

Wild Ones Junior Kick Scooter

Add to your tot’s balance game with Razor’s newly released Wild Ones toddler scooter. It looks just like a big kid scooter, but it’s especially wide with slow-moving wheels, a low deck and comfy handgrips to make it the perfect starting platform for two-year-olds. This durable, stable scooter comes in three sleek designs: shark, dinosaur and unicorn. Which one’s right for your wild one?

Available at target.com, $39.99.

DUPLO Mickey’s Vacation House

Sure, your kids love going on vacation to visit Mickey. Have you ever wondered where Mickey goes to vacation? Turns out he’s got a sweet two-season cottage he’d love to let your tot explore. This 57-piece DUPLO set features a roof that sports snow in the winter and turns red hot in the summer when you flip the tiles. It also comes with a sled, a tea set and a nifty blue plane Goofy’s been dying to fly. Let’s go on vacation with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Pluto this winter!

Available at amazon.com, $49.99.

Play-Doh Ice Pops ‘n Cones

These super cute Play-Doh cones and pops are what ice cream dreams are made of. They also double as air-tight Play-Doh containers—how sneaky! Packaged in a themed box that looks like a freezer, each pop is a blend of two different colors and can be re-used to make any number of frozen sensations. All it takes is imagination and plenty of Play-Doh combos.

Available at walmart.com, $9.99.

My First Safari Animals

Sheer animal magnetism. That’s what makes this toy so engaging for kiddos. The magnetic heads and tails of six of their safari faves (think hippo, lion, elephant and more) click together to make magical new creatures or recognizable everyday animals. The magnets make it easy for tiny hands to create and re-create hilarious animal combos to their heart’s content.

Available at hearthsong.com, $24.98.

Kaleidoscope Lion Wooden Tambourine

We’re not sure which is more adorable—Petit Collage’s new lion tambourine or the cute dances your tot will come up with as he bangs out one song after another. The lion’s smiling face and brightly colored mane will be what draws him in, but once he’s figured out the beat, he won’t stop playing with this classically-designed toy instrument. Parents can rest easy knowing the materials used include non-toxic and veggie-based inks and varnish. Rock on!

Available at petitcollage.com, $15.

Mirari myStorymaker

All it takes to make a great story is a hero, an adventure and a happy ending with Mirari’s new myStorymaker wooden tablet. Lighted story buttons guide tots through the exciting story-making process until they’ve penned a masterpiece. Then it’s time to sit back and give their tale a listen. Our favorite part? Little authors getting a special shout out from the narrator when parents record their name on the device. Imagine that!

Available at amazon.com, $29.99.

Yeti’s Pool Party

Splish, splash, your kid’s taking a bath … with a Yeti. Part of Sago Mini’s silly new bath toy, the Yeti’s living it up at the local pool, where he loves to go head-first down the waterslide and practice cannonballs off the diving board. Your clean kid will love being the personality behind this cute creature, who doubles as a squirt toy. Meanwhile, parents will love the genius of this bath toy’s design—it makes clean-up a cinch.

Available at amazon.com, $23.25.

First Play Safari Animal Puzzles

Take your kiddo on a safari adventure, in search of elusive animals, like the lion, zebra and giraffe. You’ll find them center stage in Melissa & Doug’s new First Play puzzle series. The right fit for two-year-olds, these four wooden puzzles feature rounded edges, easy-grasp pieces and the friendliest set of safari animals you’ve ever met. Get your hands on a set this holiday season.

Available at melissaanddoug.com, $29.99.

photo: Madame Alexander

Sweet & Happy Baby Doll

There’s “love in the details” of this sweet new Target/Madame Alexander collaborative doll series. From the soft, gently weighted body that makes baby doll seem real, to the sparkle in her eyes, she’s the perfect gift for wannabe mamas and papas. Each 14” doll comes with an adoption certificate kids can complete, and she dons a cozy sleeper and cap making her ready for snuggles straight out of the box.

Available at target.com, $17.99.

photo: Uncle Goose

Cubelings

Venture deep into the forest alongside the owl, fox, deer and skunk with Uncle Goose’s new forest Cubeling collection. Each endearing creature is painted with non-toxic inks on sustainably grown Midwestern basswood. The set comes with paper accessories (think mountains, tent and trees), the perfect backdrop for your new friends’ adventures. Focused on open-ended play and igniting imagination, you’ll be surprised at how engaging these blocks really are. 

Available at unclegoose.com, $17. 

photo: Learning Resources

Hoot the Fine Motor Owl

The secret to this new Learning Resources toy isn’t in the fun. It’s in the fine motor actions that help build those toddler muscles. Watch your kiddo flex as she tweaks Hoot’s nose, or uses her pincer grip to flap his wings. Twirling his eyes will keep her muscles working, as will dropping coins into his head, but she won’t even break a sweat because she’ll be so focused on the play. Get a leg up on development with this aptly-named toy.

Available at amazon.com, $14.99.

Large Aqua Doodle Mat

Because laying out butcher block paper for your sweet tot isn’t always on your to-do list, there’s Miserwe’s Doodle Mat. Spread it out, fill the included six pens with water, and let your tot have at it—drawing with stamps, stencils and rollers to create a memorable masterpiece. The best part? It dries to a clean slate in just 10 minutes making creating and clean up easy as pie.

Available at amazon.com, $16.99.

photo: Begin Again

Lunar Lander Stacking Game & Play Set

Take one giant leap with Begin Again’s new Lunar Lander game and play set. Designed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11’s moon landing, it’s got all the bits and pieces your toddler needs to play through the historic mission. The astronauts, rockets and rovers are all made from sustainably grown rubberwood, and the colorful artwork on each piece is made with water-based, non-toxic stains so you can rest easy when your little earthling decides to see what the moon tastes like. It’s a blast!

Available at beginagain.com, $25.

STEM Discovery Ball Table

Leave it to Step2 to marry two favorite toddler toys—a ball pit and a water table. That’s what you’ll find in their STEM-themed activity table that allows kids to use a pulley system to shuttle balls from the basin to the top of the ramp, where they can watch them roll down, down, down through twists and turns. Like all of Step2’s products, the table’s EverTough resin makes it the perfect companion to your outdoor play space. It can double as a sensory table too—all you need to do is add water. There’s no denying your kids will have a ball with this one!

Available at step2.com, $59.99.

photo: Fat Brain Toys

My First Discovery Scope

The perfect addition to any budding scientist’s laboratory, Fat Brain Toy’s Discovery Scope is the microscope primer your mini needs this holiday season. Just like a real microscope, it lights up, and little fingers can easily move from one insect slide to the next, while curiously peering through the lens above. Add in nature sounds and playful versions of your tot’s favorite insects, and you’ve got a STEM toy that’ll get her thinking.

Available at fatbraintoys.com, $21.95.

photo: Oribel

VertiPlay Tree Top Adventure

Your little adventurer will love this squeal-worthy wall toy that’s all the rage. Get your toddler giggling by sending Mr. Caterpillar down the wooden ramps, dropping and rolling along past silly squirrels, curious rabbits and other onlookers, until he finally comes to a stop near the acorn. Then it’s time to run him through the paces again. It’s as simple as peeling and sticking this easily-adhered wall toy to get them started.

Available at amazon.com, $37.84.

Love to Hug Elmo

He’s back! This year’s Elmo can’t wait to give your cutie a hug: With every squeeze he gets, he gives one back with open arms (triggered by a tummy squeeze) and a sweet phrase for his new friend. Elmo also likes to sing songs and give kisses to the kids he’s playing with. Did we mention he’s bilingual? Parents can have Elmo deliver sweet messages to kids in either English or Spanish.

Available at amazon.com, $21.99.

—Allison Sutcliffe

 

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Editor’s Note: At the time of publication, all items were available for purchase.

All images courtesy retailers.