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.
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. I sell these in boxes with 15 chalks and boxes with 6 chalks. And, if going outdoors isn’t an option and you have cardboard in your recycling bin, they can get creative on it.
2. Peg Puzzles
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 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.
3. Jigsaw Puzzles
If your child can manage more than two piece puzzles then this box of progressive difficulty vehicle puzzles might go down well. This box has 4 puzzles each with a different number of pieces 4, 6, 8 and 12. They are recommended for children aged 3+ but I think some two year olds could manage them. I also stock a Farm version and a slightly more difficult Jungle version.
4. Play Food
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 , a pizza, a Tea Set and either felt food or cutting food
5. Cars and other vehicles
This Wooden Race Track is gorgeous and would suit this age.
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. My First Trucks is a set of three brightly coloured chunky wooden trucks. They are suitable for children aged 1+. I also stock a similar First Emergency Vehicles set.
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 is small enough to fit into your changing bag. It contains 4 board books with familiar characters from the Gruffalo. I also stock a Peter Rabbit version.
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 and a bag of natural wooden blocks
8. Fine Motor Activities
This Farm Balancing Game comes with a balance board and wooden farm characters to balance on it. Choose what to put where, or follow the cards to make it more difficult. Likewise, this Threading Caterpillar Activity will help develop your child’s fine motor skills and concentration.
It can be hard to find games suitable for 2 year olds. Partly because their ability to concentrate and take turns is still developing and partly because of the strict safety standards on games with small pieces, which usually only pass the age 3+ level as small pieces can present as a choking hazard with small children. This Meadow Fox Stacking Game is easy to small children to grasp how to play and doesn’t have small pieces. And this Tidy Up! Game is a fun way to teach children how to tidy up after they have played.
10. Craft Activities
Likewise, it can be hard to find craft activities suitable for two year olds and my advise is to aways be near by when they are crafting and don’t have high expectations on masterpieces! My First Handprint Pictures would make a lovely gift.
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!
PS. If you have ever wondered what age you should give certain toys to babies and toddlers at, here’s a month by month guide to Developmental Gifts for Babies and Toddlers.