At two years old, children are starting to learn more about the world around them and their place in it. They are beginning to see themselves as separate from their mothers and begin to reflect the emotions of those around them. Two-year-olds are beginning to observe their environment and interact with their surroundings in new and fun ways. They can play pretend and love keeping their fingers and toes busy with toys and games. This age gets a bad reputation as the terrible twos because, at two, many kids are finding their voice and starting to express themselves more and more. There is nothing terrible about the twos; parents just need to find toys and activities that stimulate little minds and foster growth. Educational toys are perfect for little ones, and these are some of the best educational toys for two-year-olds.
What Makes a Toy Educational
Educational toys come in all shapes, sizes, and styles. The main thing that characterizes educational toys is that they help children learn a skill or reach developmental milestones. Developmental milestones guide parents to ensure their children can do certain activities and are not falling behind their peers. The key thing about developmental milestones is that they are just a guide as children develop differently, and some children may reach milestones earlier or later than others. The CDC explains that children that are not reaching milestones may just need extra support in these areas. But parents should always consult with their pediatrician for any concerns about developmental skills.
Developmental Milestones for 2-Year-Olds
At two years old, many children should be able to do these things or be close to being able to do these things. These are some common developmental milestones for two-year-olds that connect to their social and emotional development and motor skills.
- Can point at things like a teddy bear.
- Says two words together.
- Plays with toys simultaneously.
- Knows some words for body parts.
- Shows empathy when someone is hurt or sad.
- Uses a spoon.
- Likes to play with buttons and knobs to open and close.
- Can hold, kick, and throw a ball.
- Follows simple instructions.
- Imitates actions or expressions.
Best Educational Toys for 2-Year-Olds
These toys are excellent choices for parents looking for the best educational toys for two-year-olds. These toys develop social, emotional, and language skills and help develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
1. LeapFrog 100 Things That Go
Leapfrog is known for making creative toys that stimulate little minds, and this is no exception. The LeapFrog book looks at things that go, like cars, bicycles, boats, and more. The interactive book has six double-sided, touch-sensitive pages for little fingers to move and learn. The book not only introduced little minds to new transportation vocabulary with fun images, but it does so in two languages: English and Spanish. This is a great way to introduce kids to language. This is perfect for dual-language families introducing both languages to their children. Experts agree that an early introduction to languages is the key to meaningful language acquisition, and this book is an excellent educational toy for two-year-olds to get a jump start on their language development.
2. Ednzion Talking Flash Cards
These talking flash cards prove it's never too early to start learning words and having fun. The set of 224 cards has sight words to develop speech and stimulate the imagination. While the age of two is a bit early to actually read, evidence points to the early introduction of sight words as a key to creating an early connection between images, ideas, and letters. The flashcards come in English or English-Spanish for increased language acquisition.
Interactive sight word flash cards in English and Spanish.
3. Diaodey Wooden Magnetic Fishing Game
The magnetic fishing games let kids fish for fun. The wooden board has little magnetic fishes with letters and numbers, and kids use the magnetic fishing pole to fish for the little fishes. The game is fun and stimulates hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. Plus, it comes with not just one but two fishing poles so they can play with a friend.
4. VTech Care for Me Learning Carrier
A two-year-old may not be ready for the responsibility of taking care of a pet, but they are definitely ready to learn about pet care and empathy for animals. This pet carrier case comes with a cute plushy for kids to take care of and show off. The toy teaches children all about what goes into pet ownership and facilitates their creative play. They can play pretend and imagine all the fun they will have with their pet plushy.
5. Fat Brain Toys FBT Wooden Marble Run
It is never too early to have a STEM toy. This wooden marble run lets little minds explore the aspect of cause and effect while developing fine motor skills. This is a classic toy that will engage little minds.
6. Wooden Stacking Rocks Toys
This 40-piece stacking rocks set is sure to delight little fingers. It has six different block sizes in ten different colors and is more than just a stacking toy. The odd shapes and smooth sides let kids learn patience while concentrating on logical thinking and fine motor skills.
7. Melissa & Doug ABC-123 Abacus
This abacus takes an old-fashioned toy and redesigns it with double-sided letter and number tiles to facilitate the learning experience. This is one of the best educational toys for two-year-olds as it introduces letters and numbers and encourages pattern recognition, fine motor skills, and hand-eye coordination.
8. Fat Brain Toys Timber Tots Bathtub Bay
Some two-year-olds hate bath time, but they won't when they get their hands on this little bath time timber tree. It has a slide, a color-changing crab, and a boat for all kinds of water fun. This creative bathtub toy encourages imaginative play, strengthens motor skills, and teaches cause-and-effect. But the best thing is it teaches kids they can have fun in the water, and hopefully, there will be no more tears in the tub.
9. SENSORY4U Learning to Dress Busy Board Cards
These six busy board cards teach kids to snap, buckle, velcro, zip, button, and tie laces. These make excellent toys for road trips and plane rides and are great for teaching children motor skills and improving fine cognitive skills, hand-eye coordination, and problem-solving skills.
10. VTech Touch & Teach Word Book
This touch-and-teach workbook is an interactive workbook designed to teach kids letters and words. It is great for pre-reading skills. It features twelve touch-sensitive pages that help teach children over 100 words in six distinct categories. Kids exposed to language early become better readers, can make connections, and have stronger cognitive skills than their peers. This is an excellent investment for parents looking for one of the best education toys for two-year-olds. It has words and music for hours of interactive play and will jumpstart their understanding of how language words and build essential connections that will turn tots into lifelong readers.
11. Magnetic Blocks for Toddlers
This 32-piece set of magnetic blocks is an excellent toy for creative play. The blocks come in eight different colors and develop their hands-on building skills. The sturdy, durable blocks have smooth edges for safe play. These are great first STEM toys to get little minds to problem-solve and interact with their environment. They can build and create, then knock it down and start again. Your little one will get lost in play with these fun magnetic blocks.
12. Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table
Kids love playing with water, and this water table is perfect for little hands that like to explore. The splash table has a table pond with maze-like spinners and little ramps and buckets to move water around and see what happens. The various put-and-place maze pieces can be moved around and positioned to create new waterfalls for fun. There is a hand-held spinning wheel and side flipper to move the water in all different directions. The wet and wild STEM toy teaches cause and effect, hand-eye coordination, motor skills, and not to be afraid of water. This is an excellent toy for outdoor fun on a warm day.
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