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Best Toys and Gifts for 2 Year Old Boys in 2017

Your son undergoes a lot of changes as he transitions from a baby into a toddler. At the two-year mark, he’ll likely be able to walk, and talk in short sentences. He may even be capable of dressing himself, or even riding a tricycle.

Your son’s fine and gross motor skills are still developing, but they’ll be at the point where he can grab and grip things easily. He’s also learning about socializing, and will usually take part in parallel play, though sharing may be beyond him at this point.

Of course, there are the temper tantrums too. They don’t call them the “terrible twos” for nothing. I, and many other parents, suddenly find that “no” became my son’s favorite word at two years old.

As a result, you need to find toys that keep him engaged and make him want to play.​

Choosing the Right Toys

You have to take all of the above into account when choosing toys for your two-year old son. Generally, I find that toys that capture his attention and engage his developing skills work best. With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of 20 toys that are great for two-year-olds.

1. VTech KidiBeats Drum Set

If there’s one thing that my son enjoyed at two years old, it was hitting things with other things. This drum set allows him to do that without causing damage to your home. It’s a simple kit, which includes a cymbal and three drums that all make their own sounds when struck.

It’s a great learning tool too, thanks to the in-built melodies. Your son can play along to nine tracks that cover several genres. As a result, he learns the basics of music, as well as some language and numeracy skills.

The set also comes with a pair of drumsticks, so you don’t have to shell out extra. It does need three AA batteries for the extra features, but you get a set as part of the package.​

What's Great About It: The set develops your son’s gross motor skills and teaches basic music, mathematical, and language lessons. Though it needs batteries, your son will still enjoy bashing away even if they run out.

2. Thomas the Tank Engine Up & Down Roller Coaster

Any boys who enjoy the Thomas & Friends TV show will gravitate toward this toy, but it is fun for any two-year-old boy. It’s a low-gradient slide with a couple of bumps along the way. You also receive a Thomas vehicle, which your son rides from the top to the bottom.

I like the little steps at the far end of the track, especially because they have a slip-free coating. The train also looks like the “real” thing, with the face decal being particularly impressive.

Security is always an issue with ride-on toys, but this one handles it well. The train features a handlebar, foot rests, and a seat with a high back to keep your son secured. The track is quite narrow though, so I recommend supervised play to ensure your son doesn’t fall off.​

What's Great About It: This ride-on toy combines a beloved children’s TV show with minor thrills. The train has plenty of security features, and I particularly like the slip-proof stairs.

3. LEGO DUPLO Town Truck & Tracked Excavator

LEGO has plenty of educational benefits for kids, as it develops lateral thinking and problem-solving skills. This toy keeps things simple enough for a two-year-old, featuring large blocks and a pair of construction vehicles.

I particularly like the excavator vehicle because its tracks move and the cabin rotates. The truck comes with extra bricks, so your son can stack them into the back and then activate the tipping mechanism. You also receive a pair of LEGO figures, each of which comes with their own hard hats and construction tools.

I couldn’t find much to gripe about with this toy, outside of the fact that it’s a little light in pieces. Your son may get bored with it, but it’s a great introductory set and you can add more sets if your son enjoys playing with LEGO.

What's Great About It: You receive two vehicle toys that your son can play with away from the LEGO blocks. The blocks themselves are large enough for easy gripping, so your son develops his fine motor skills.

​4. Little Tikes T-Ball Set

This T-Ball set gets your son active and introduces him to the basics of baseball. It’s also great for developing hand-eye coordination, as your son learns how to make the best contact with the ball to make it fly away.

You can adjust the stand’s height, so the set grows with your son. I was particularly impressed with how the oversized balls and bat mimic the adult versions, while still being light enough to play with safely.

You receive five balls and a bat with the set. It also hangs against the wall, making it easy to store when it’s not in use. However, there’s no way to secure the stand to the floor, so it will fall over if your son hits the stand.

What's Great About It: This T-Ball set develops your son’s motor skills and coordination, plus you can use it to educate him about baseball. The balls and bat are lightweight and easy for your son to hold.

​5. Fisher-Price Harley-Davidson Tough Trike

While I’m going to talk about the Harley Davidson version here, the tough trike also comes in Kawasaki and Thomas the Train variants. It’s a big and bulky trike, with large pedals at the front that makes it easy for your son to ride.

I think this is a great introduction to cycling, as it keeps your son secure while developing the leg muscles he needs for pedaling.

The handlebars come with an easy-grip design, plus there’s a storage compartment under the seat for your son’s other toys. This makes the trike a great choice for family outings, as it means you don’t have to worry about carrying other little toys around.​

What's Great About It: The wide base ensures that the trike doesn’t topple, while the big pedals make it easy to ride. I was particularly impressed with the storage compartment, if only because it means I don’t need to take a toy bag out with me.

​6. Fisher-Price Bright Beats Dance & Move BeatBo

This toy drew me in because of its bright colors and happy face, and it will inspire the same reaction in your son. It has buttons on the feet and tummy, which activate songs and cause the BeatBo to start dancing.

I really like the Learning & Games setting, which introduces your son to basic concepts like the alphabet and counting. There’s also a recording function, so your son can talk to the toy and it repeats the phrases back to him.

​The toy reacts whenever your baby interacts with it. However, Fisher-Price has used hard plastic for the toy, which lends it durability, but does make it slightly difficult for a toddler to carry.

What's Great About It: I’m a fan of the interactive elements, as your son will enjoy seeing what happens when he presses buttons and speaks to the toy. The Learning & Games setting also introduces your son to basic math and language skills.

7. Melissa & Doug Construction Site Vehicles Wooden Peg Puzzle

Simplicity is the key with this toy, as it combines familiar vehicles with a peg puzzle game. It contains six flat wooden cars, which your son has to slot onto the correct peg to complete the game.

I like the use of real wood for the pieces, as it gives them durability. However, you may have to teach your son not to throw them, as they’re hard enough to cause damage. The puzzle itself develops basic motor skills and hand-eye coordination too.

​Unfortunately, I did find that my son tired of the puzzle once he’d figured it out. As your son gets closer to three years old, you may want to move him on to more advanced puzzle games.

What's Great About It: It’s a simple peg puzzle which your son may be familiar with thanks to other toys. This Melissa & Doug puzzle uses wood for the puzzle pieces, which makes them sturdy enough to withstand vigorous play. Your son can also play with the pieces without the puzzle element.

​8. Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table

As soon as your son can stand, he’ll have fun with this water table. It comes with a little plastic bucket, but I was really impressed with the waterfall pieces. Your son can use them to connect the top tier to the bottom, creating a waterfall in the process.

I particularly like how there are different waterfall configurations, as this inspires creativity. Furthermore, you can always add your son’s other bath toys into the mix to add variety.

​Your son will play with this toy for years, so it offers more longevity than most toys for two-year-olds. Of course, there’s plenty of splashing involved, so you’ll want to keep it away from electrical appliances and sockets.

What's Great About It: The toy allows your son to enjoy the benefits of water play outside of bath times. It comes with several accessories, with the waterfall maze pieces spurring creativity.

​9. VTech Spin and Learn Color Flashlight

VTech packs a lot of educational content into this handheld toy. It plays music with a focus on teaching your son about animals. For example, the big ladybird button plays a song or sound snippet, of which there are 50 in total.

It’s also good for teaching early numeracy skills, as your son can count along with one of the toy’s features. I also appreciate any noisemaking toy that has a volume controller, plus it turns off automatically after 45 seconds if your son doesn’t interact with it.

It does require a couple of AAA batteries, but you get a set with the toy. The five lights at the front also make it a great toy for little explorers who want their own flashlights.

What's Great About It: The flashlight offers several educational opportunities and encourages your son to enjoy outdoor play. It has volume controls, plus the automatic shutoff feature conserves battery life.

​10. Cloud b Tranquil Turtle Night Light

Many toddlers have a fear of the dark, so it helps to have a toy that soothes them to sleep at night. The Tranquil Turtle combines a nightlight with a couple of soothing nighttime melodies. You can also adjust the volume through six settings.

You don’t have to worry about leaving it on all night, as it shuts off automatically after 23 minutes. Your son will hopefully fall asleep in that time, but you can also teach him how to use the buttons to turn it back on if he’s still struggling.

I particularly like the starry lights, as they make this a great toy to take on little adventures. For example, it can light up an entire tent if you go camping.

What's Great About It: The toy soothes your son to sleep if he’s having a restless night, plus it’s so easy to use that he can turn it back on if he wakes up during the night. It has two soothing melodies and a star-based nightlight.

​11. 3 Bees and Me Dinosaur Toy Set

You receive four dinosaur toys with this set, each of which has wheels so your son can push them along smooth surfaces. This develops your son’s basic motor skills, plus they’re small enough to take anywhere with him.

The focus on non-toxic plastics impressed me, as the toys contain no Bisphenol-A (BPAs), lead, or phthalates. They’re sturdy too, so they should be able to withstand most drops and throws.

My only minor quibble is with their simplicity. Your son may lose interest with them after a while, as they don’t do anything besides roll along the floor. You could mitigate this if you use the toys as a pathway to teaching your son about dinosaurs.

What's Great About It: The set comes with four dinosaurs at a reasonable price. They’re great for teaching your son about dinosaurs, plus they contain no toxic materials.

12. Fly Bike Foldable Trike

Portability is the name of the game with this trike, as it folds flat so your son can carry it over surfaces that he can’t ride on. It also fits easily into the trunk of your car, plus you can store it almost anywhere.

The trike itself offers a smooth ride, though I’d have preferred some pedals. Nevertheless, having your son propel it along using his legs will develop his muscles.

​It’s very simple to set up and use. There are also those three words that all parents love: no assembly required.

What's Great About It: This is a good early learning trike, and it helps your son develop his leg strength. It folds completely flat and it’s lightweight, so you can take it anywhere.

​13. Aqua Doodle Mat

I recommend the Aqua Doodle Mat because it inspires your son’s creative streak. It comes with a set of three water pens, which you can refill. You just need to unscrew the top, pour some water inside, and then screw the pen back together again.

Best of all, there’s no ink involved. The water pens only work with the mat, and will just squirt water if your son tries to use them to draw on walls and other surfaces.

I like the mat’s border too, as it features a few step-by-steps for drawing simple objects. It also teaches the start of the alphabet, and some basic math skills. It would be nice to have somewhere to store the pens though, as they’re small enough to get lost easily.

What's Great About It: The mat encourages your son to explore his creative side, without creating the potential for messes. You can refill the water pens too, which saves money.

​14. Little Tikes First Slide

Great for outdoor play, this 3-foot slide introduces your son to one of the key pieces of equipment he’ll find at a play park. You don’t need any tools to put it together, plus you can fold it down and store it when it’s not in use.

The slide carries a maximum weight of 60 pounds. As a result, your son can use it for several years before he outgrows it. All the while, he’ll get fitter and develop his balance and coordination skills.

I like the little blue handles on the side of the slide, as they improve stability. However, I’d prefer them to be higher, and to perhaps have a gap that my son can fit his hands into for greater grip.

What's Great About It: It’s simple to set up and doesn’t require any tools. The high weight limit means your son can enjoy this slide past his toddler years.

​15. Munchkin Fishin' Bath Toy

Another water play toy, this keeps things simple. You receive a fishing rod and three little fish to catch. The rod’s line has a magnetic tip, which latches onto a small metal strip at the top of each toy.

The toys bob in the water, and occasionally dip under the surface. I think this is great, because it helps your son develop his coordination and fine motor skills. I couldn’t find any gaps in the toys either, so I don’t think water seeping in will be a problem.

Your son can play with the toy in the bath, or stand over the side to catch the fish. You could also combine it with a water play set to give the toy some long-term appeal.​

What's Great About It: The fish toys have good seals, so they don’t take on water or develop mildew on the surface. The rod doesn’t weigh much, and is small enough for little hands to use safely.

​16. Thinkfun Roll and Play Board Game

This is one of the few board games around that’s suitable for two-year-olds. It comes with a big plush cube, and a set of 48 playing cards. Each card contains a big, bold picture and a simple instruction, such as “roar like a lion”.

Your toddler uses the plush cube like a dice, and chooses a card that matches the color that lands upwards. This helps with color association, plus tossing the cube develops motor skills. The game itself encourages creativity, and it’s something your son can share with others.

​You’ll enjoy playing this game with your son, and it’s good that many of the cards encourage exploration. The cards are a little flimsy though, so you may want to keep them out of your son’s hands.

What's Great About It: The game encourages social play, both with other toddlers and you. The cards challenge your son’s creativity and keep him active, while the dice develops his gross motor skills.

​17. VTech Smart Shots Sports Center

A great toy for active play, this sports center combines soccer and basketball. It has a hoop and soccer goal, with two balls that correspond to each game.

There’s also an LED counter that counts along as your son plays, which develops his math skills. It goes up to 10, and plays little animations between goals and baskets.

I also like the buttons that run along the sides of the soccer net. Your son can press them to play a selection of 50 sounds and songs, many of which have an educational inclination. You will need two AA batteries, but you'll have to buy them separately.

What's Great About It: I like how the toy encourages physical activity while offering educational opportunities. It’s also very interactive, so your son won’t tire of it easily.

​18. Play-Doh Fun Factory Deluxe Playset

Play-Doh encourages your son’s creative streak, allowing him to build all sorts of weird and wonderful creations. This set comes with 20 pots of Play-Doh, which are non-toxic and contain no peanut or milk byproducts. While your toddler shouldn’t eat Play-Doh, it’s good to know that it causes no adverse effects if your son puts his hand in his mouth when playing.

The set comes with over 30 molds, plus a squeezing machine and rolling pin. You also get a cleaning cloth so you can mop up after your son finishes play time.

I will say that the rolling pin isn’t the sturdiest. Your son may break it if he’s too rough, so talk him through the set when you introduce him to it.

What's Great About It: The range of stencils and 20 pots means that there’s plenty for your son to play with. Furthermore, he can make his own creations, which feeds his imagination.

​19. iPlay, iLearn Kid’s Bowling Set

The heavy balls and slippery surfaces at a bowling alley present safety risks for your toddler so a home bowling set may be a better way for him to play. This set comes with a set of 10 pins and two bowling balls. They're all foam pieces too, which makes them safe to throw and fun to squeeze.

This soft play element makes them safe for two-year-old boys, but I also like the educational aspect of the pins. Each has a number, from 1 to 10, so you can teach your son some basic math skills. I found that having my son count through the pins as he put them in the correct order was useful.

The only minor bugbear I have is that the set doesn’t come with a carry case. You can still transport it easily thanks to its low weight though. You’ll just need a bag to keep all of the pieces together.​

What's Great About It: The set lets you introduce your son to bowling without taking him to an alley. The soft foam pieces present no dangers, plus the set develops math, motor, and coordination skills.

​20. VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Garage

The standout feature of this garage toy is the ability to create different garages. Your toddler can slot the pieces together however he wishes, which lends longevity to the toy. It also spurs creativity, and offers an interactive element to play time.

The set has seven track pieces and a small tow truck toy. There are also nine “smart” locations on the set, which play sounds whenever the toy passes them by or your son interacts with them. The truck itself has a button that plays three songs, and teaches your son about the truck and the letter “T”.

​The set does require a lot of batteries, needing two AAs for the garage and two AAAs for the truck. It comes with a couple of AAAs, but these don’t last very long as they’re just a demo set.

What's Great About It: This customizable garage toy has plenty of interactive elements for your son to enjoy. You also receive a little toy truck, and there’s an educational element to complement the creative aspect.

What You Must Consider When Buying Toys for Two-Year Olds

Once your son reaches two years old, he’ll start developing several skills at a fast rate. His motor skills take a big leap, as does his coordination. He also becomes more social, plus now is the time to introduce him to some rudimentary math and language skills.

Look for any toys that fulfill his growing desire to learn. Furthermore, toys that encourage the continued development of his physical fitness and basic motor skills help.

To help you along, I’ve come up with some basic features that I think toys for two-year-olds should offer.

An Educational Aspect

You son’s mental faculties develop quickly once he becomes a toddler, and he becomes more inquisitive. You’ll notice that he asks a lot of questions, and simplistic toys no longer engage him.

Ideally, any toys you buy should offer a mental challenge. It could teach him new things or encourage him to get creative with how he plays.

Physical Development

Most two-year-olds can walk unsupported, so any toys that encourage him to engage physically aid in his development. Consider trikes, slides, and other toys that develop his balance and coordination skills.

As his coordination improves, you can introduce some basic ball games into the mix. Soccer and basketball work well, as they develop kicking and throwing skills without presenting too much of a challenge.

The Social Aspect

Two-year-olds are at an interesting stage in their social development, as they still see the world selfishly, but enjoy imitating others. Toys that allow you to play along with your son help develop his social skills to the point where he can play well with others.

Having said that, don’t feel bad if your son doesn’t want to share at this point. Encourage group play, but remember that many two-year olds can’t grasp the concept of sharing yet.

Key Functions

Before buying a new toy, ask yourself how it will help your child develop in these three key areas. I prefer the toys I buy to have an educational element to some degree. Happily, most toys aimed at two-year-olds fulfill these criteria.

After that, consider the basics, like safety. If your son still puts things in his mouth, avoid any toys with easily-swallowed parts. Big and bold is still the way to go at this point.

My list contains toys that I think are suitable for two-year-old boys, but consider your son’s personal needs before making a choice.

The Must-Haves

The toys on my list have different features, but there are some must-haves that I think they all need. They include the following:

  • An interactive element, ideally with an educational slant
  • A physical development element
  • Lightness, as little boys love to throw
  • Potential for your son to use the toy to imitate your actions

The Final Word

As your son advances into the toddler years, he needs toys that he can interact with. Anything that he can grab, throw, or kick will keep him entertained, while developing his balance, coordination, and motor skills. Many toys for two-year-olds also introduce basic educational concepts, such as numbers and letters.

With my list, I’ve highlighted 20 toys that I think your son will enjoy playing with and can learn something from. Remember that your son may start developing individual interests at this point in his life too. Pay attention to what he says and the actions he imitates to choose toys that suit his needs.

Consider the educational and physical benefits that each toy has to offer. Some combine the two, which gives them longevity. Anything that stimulates a response from your son serves him well.

    Sandra Cobain
     

    Sandra is the head of content for BestForTheKids. When she’s not busy crafting posts & researching about compelling content ideas, she can be spotted playing outdoors with her two adorable children.

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