Recently I wrote a blog with Gift Ideas for Babies Turning 1. Lots of parents wrote me messages thanking me for the blog, so I thought I’d follow the course and write one with present ideas for two-year-olds. A lot of development happens in the year between one and two. Your child will probably have taken their first steps and they will be practicing sounds and words. They will also be able to express what they want to do (and don’t want to do) which often leads to frustration and tantrums. If you have a child in your life who is turning two and you’d like to buy them a gift, here’s 10 that I’m happy to recommend.
- Chunky Chalks. When your child is in one of those moods, sometimes the only solution is to get out of the house! These chunky chalks are perfect for a little street artist in the making. They are perfect for working on fine motor skills, learning colours and just having fun outdoors. They cost €4.99.
- Small children have amazing brains. They learn things so quickly, so it’s no harm to have some educational puzzles to encourage things like sounds, numbers, and letters. These Melissa and Doug Alphabet and Numbers puzzles are wooden and durable. They have pegs for little hands to lift them in and out and underneath each puzzle piece is something beginning with the letter or the number. They cost €7.99 each
- Duo Puzzles. These are 2 piece puzzles that are easy for little hands and minds to manage. I stock four different types of them – Vehicles, Mum and Baby, Habitat and Numbers. They cost €9.99 each.
- Imaginary Play goes up a whole level when your child turns two and although they are still not great with playing with other children (they will happily play beside them), you can model role play scenarios with them. If you invest in some play food now, you’ll find that years later it will still be played with. That’s why I recommend durable play food. I stock a large selection here but if I was starting out as a parent again, I’d invest in some eggs (€9.99) a pizza (€24), a Tea Set (€32.99) and either felt food (€22) or cutting food (€24.99)
- I also stock some lovely wooden vehicles that make lovely presents. Two of my best selling ones are the Melissa and Doug Wooden Car Transporter (€22) and the Magnetic Car Loader (€22). Both come with trucks and smaller wooden cars that can be driven separately and then put back onto the truck. There’s hours of fun to be had with these.
- Now that your baby is getting older, getting them to sit in one place gets harder. It’s worth investing in a few small toys that you can bring in your handbag for when you meet a friend for a coffee or if you are traveling. I’ll probably do another blog on this at some point. A lot of smaller toys are certified for children aged 3+ as companies are worried about smaller children choking on parts. Buying these toys is at the discretion of parents, who know their child best. Personally, I like these Flexi Robots (€4.99) and The Zoo in a Tin (€13.95)
- If your child has gone past the ‘sucking books stage’, it is worth investing in some nice books with lots of colourful pictures. Don’t expect to be able to read every word on every page before they flick it to the end but encourage it none the less. This Little Library of Gruffalo Books costs €8.50 and is small enough to fit into your changing bag. It contains 4 board books with familiar characters from the Gruffalo.
- Your child’s fine motor skills will be developing so investing in some Duplo or Building Blocks will encourage creativity and imagination. I stock a drum of colourful wooden blocks for €33.99 and a bag of natural wooden blocks for €30.99.
- If your child is fascinated with doors, locks, and keys, I have two great toys that make lovely presents. The Melissa and Doug Doorbell House costs €34.95. It has four doors, four doorbells, 4 keys, 4 locks, and 4 peg people. The Melissa and Doug Latches Board costs €29.99 and has six different locks for your child to master!
- Finally, I’m a big fan of the Melissa and Doug Nesting and Sorting Barns and Animals set which costs €27.50 and helps children explore size, numbers, and animals. It comes with 6 barns and 6 wooden animals.
Now that your child is turning two, there’s so much they could play with but be careful to not over stimulate them. By giving them too much choice, they may not know where to even start. If you have a large family, who all give birthday gifts, then I’d recommend that you put away some of them and bring them out throughout the year. By introducing one toy at a time and teaching your child how to play with it, you’ll encourage proper play. Often it’s not the number of toys but the quality of toys that are well selected for your child. Don’t despair if your child just plays with the wrapping paper – put the toys away and introduce them a few months later. If you haven’t found what you are looking for, here is my full range of toys for this age group.
I hope your little one has a wonderful 2nd Birthday and that the year ahead is full of fun and games for you all!