The age of 2 is a critical period for toddlers to enhance their physical and cognitive development by learning through imaginative play.
The Australian market is flooded with so many toys for 2-year-olds that it’s hard to keep track of which ones have the best developmental impact on young minds. Our guide was designed to sift through all the different child’s toys in the market from retailers like Petilou to B Toys and beyond to come up with the best toys for 2-year-olds that truly have a positive impact on your child.
The toys below are designed to not only help children develop their cognitive and motor skills but also to ensure that they have fun while doing it. As per experts, learning through playing is one of the best ways to teach your child. We’ve scoured the web to look for toys that toddlers like just as much as mum does and made a list of the most effective toys to help babies develop their cognitive and motor skills.
How We Researched
With a background in Toy Design, we are able to use our industry experience to identify toys that we know are well suited. We also consult the literature to help inform our selections when making claims about certain benefits such as skill development. For example, to help write this guide we referenced “Using Toys to SupportInfant-Toddler Learning and Development“.
With this methodology, we then looked at toy retailers, little and large, across Australia to find toys that matched our criteria. We wanted a set of toys that offer various types of play, have good build quality, and are not overly expensive.
The list below represents the 6 best toys for toddler development in Australia.
The Best Toys for Toddler Development
- Best for Listening Skills: Melody Mix
- Best for Problem Solving Skills: ABC Classic Wooden Blocks
- Best for Stimulation: Activity Walker
- Best for Gross Motor Skills: Balance Bike and Trike
- Best for Fine Motor Skills: Magnetic Drawing Pad
- Best for Color Identification: Pound and Tap Bench
Melody Mix: Best for sound Identification Skills
Melody Mix is a fun way to help toddlers learn how to identify sounds which is very useful when trying to teach them how to talk, listen, and ask questions. Everything starts with fun and curiosity and with this toy, toddlers will have a fun way to identify different sounds from 10 different instruments; xylophone, drum, tubular chimes, triangle, cymbal bells, maracas, castanet, double guiro, and a pair of rhythm sticks plus two strikers and a scalper.
First of all, the toy uses a non-toxic finish on its sustainable rubber wood to ensure that children are safe whenever the toys end up in their mouths. The toys are also too big to swallow and are created with smooth edges to ensure nobody gets hurt from pokes or getting hit.
Keeping a child preoccupied with music is a great way for them to learn how to identify sounds by exercising their ears. Although not a tuned instrument, the different sounds a 2-year-old can produce are enough to keep them entertained for hours while learning that each toy has a different sound.
Being able to differentiate different sounds is an important step when learning how to talk. After all, words start off with sounds, and the more sounds a 2-year-old get familiar with, the more their ears will be attuned to learning new sounds. Aside from its cognitive benefits, the Melody Mix is a great way to get your child into music.
Giving your child a chance to express themselves can be very beneficial to their development. Not only do they get to have fun and make memories along the way, but they also get to do so in a way that promotes brain development through memorization or familiarization.
Start your child on their musical journey with the best musical toy in town. Help them develop their listening skills by giving them the best musical toy for 2-year-olds.
ABC Classic Wooden Blocks: Best for Motor Skills
ABC Classic Wooden Blocks aren’t just designed to introduce toddlers to the alphabet, they also hold an important role in helping them develop their motor skills. Professionals say that a 2-year-old should be able to stack at least six blocks on top of each other but with the 28-block set, toddlers are free to go as high as they can.
Designed with functionality in mind, ABC Classic Wooden Blocks, helps kids learn how to better control their grasp and cognitive abilities. Aside from stacking, blocks are a great introduction to letters, numbers, animals, and math symbols without seeming too formal.
For 2-year-olds, learning should always be paired with having fun and this is exactly why these wooden blocks are great toys. Blocks help toddlers practice their eye-hand coordination while allowing them to capture their imagination by forming buildings, cars, and anything their mind wants to create.
The ABC Classic Wood Blocks are designed with non-toxic basswood and colored with child-safe ink to ensure safety whenever toddlers place the toys in their mouths. The toys are 4.5cm x 4.5cm in size which is too big for them to fit in their mouths.
ABC Classic Wooden Blocks, are aesthetically pleasing with a traditional design. They can practice building, stacking, and sorting. Blocks are also extremely flexible and toddlers can practice their imaginations by finding new ways to play with them like dragging them around like a car or flying them around in the air like a plane.
Mums won’t have to look further for a flexible toy that helps 2-year-olds get accustomed to letters, numbers, animals, and even mathematical symbols.
Activity Walker: Best for Stimulation
The Activity Walker is a great way to help kids learn through stimulation. Aside from its xylophone, the toy has multiple different puzzles to help toddlers develop their problem-solving skills. Its mesmerizing design will ensure toddlers stay entertained for hours.
On top of imagination, discovery is also a huge part of a child’s cognitive abilities. The more a toddler is able to explore, the more it helps to stimulate their curiosity towards other things. The more curious a child is, the more likely they are to learn faster since curiosity remains a huge proponent of growth.
The toy also comes with its own concealed storage area to make it a great way for toddlers to learn how to clean their toys. Aside from learning how to play with toys, learning how to keep them away is also equally important.
The Activity Walker is highly practical for kids since it lets toddlers enjoy different plays alternating from each one. Since the toy is fairly large in size, the toy is designed to aid gross motor skill development. Kids can learn how to push up off the floor stand promoting strength and sit down promoting balance.
Due to its versatility, 2-year-olds can enjoy carrying out different plays all in a single toy. Another great advantage of this toy is that it only has one additional part meaning parents won’t have to worry about clutter after playtime.
If you’re looking for a clutter-free way to entertain your child while unlocking their curiosity, look no further! This toy is perfect for parents that want to ensure that children stay entertained while learning.
Balance Bike and Trike: Best for Exercise
The joy of movement becomes more self-directed and the more a child learns how to balance on their own, the more they’ll use this confidence in other things in life. The toy helps improve toddlers’ strength, mobility, motor skills, and coordination with a safe toy that brings a lot of fun. Along with the enjoyment a child gets from riding their bike, the action itself requires extremes of movement which help them exercise and build strength.
The Balance Bike and Trike is made of birch plywood and rubber tires which are lightweight, durable, and safe for 2-year-olds. If you feel like your child has a lot of potential when it comes to physical capabilities, what better way to help them expand on these abilities than with a bike or trike.
Aside from exercise, the bike also makes for a fun bonding experience for parents and their kids. If your kid sees maybe an older brother or sister riding a bike, they’ll usually want one of their own, and being able to provide them a safe toy that lets them feel like they’re older is a great way to boost a 2-year-old’s self-esteem.
Kids can be very observant of their surroundings and if your kid has expressed intent when it comes to riding a bike, what better way to grant their wishes than with a safe toy that also helps them become stronger and more coordinated. Transportation is not usually an important experience for kids but once they are given the opportunity to control where they go, they’ll be able to explore their own strengths and push a little further with each step.
A kid’s confidence is often related to their capabilities and the more things they learn how to do, the more confident they usually become. With every small achievement, it is recommended that parents give them affirmation like riding the bike or trike a couple of feet across the hall.
Build your child’s confidence and let them explore their own strength in the safest and most entertaining way possible. This toy helps kids grown not only stronger, but braver as well.
Magentic Sketch Pad: Best for Drawing
The Magnetic Sketch Pad is a great way to get kids to learn how to write. While pen and paper might not be entertaining enough for them, the sketch pad lets 2-year-olds practice everything from their ABCs to their drawing skills in a fun, safe, and clean environment.
Just painted your house? Well, it’s hard to keep the paint clean with a 2-year-old trying to practice their drawing skills. “The world is your canvas” is a line taken literally by most kids which is why providing them a safe place to practice drawing is very important.
No matter how many times you tell your kids not to draw on the walls, if they don’t have a fun place to practice, you’ll most likely be repeating yourself again and again. Coordination skills are very important to develop and with the Magnetic Drawing Pad, your child can find a way to improve their skills through curiosity and enjoyment.
Encouraging your kid to draw is a great way for them to cultivate their imagination and although their drawings might first look like circles and scribbles, they’ll evolve into pretty artsy pieces later on. Drawing, like most things, requires a lot of practice and children don’t tend to practice unless they are entertained while doing it. With the Magnetic Drawing Pad, your 2-year-old can become more creative while having fun.
With the Magnetic Drawing Pad, you’ll provide your kid with a fun way to improve their writing skills and help them build self-esteem without having to worry about them making a mess. The toy is also non-toxic and doesn’t cause clutter and is small enough to store away on a shelf, box, or compartment.
Stop worrying about your walls getting dirty and start providing your kids with a simple and fun way to exercise their writing and drawing skills.
Pound and Tap Bench: Best for Color Identification
The Pound and Tap Bench is a great way to teach your kids about colors through sensory cues while kids have fun pounding out the balls. 2-year-olds often need a fun way for them to remember the colors red, green, blue, and even yellow and purple. The toy is also designed with bright colors with durable, water-based paint.
Sometimes the best toys for 2-year-olds don’t have to be the most sophisticated and this toy is just that; cute, simple, but still engaging. Even simple boxes or balls could mean the world to them. When practicing motor skills, hitting something is perfectly normal but this can often result in harm or danger when not done on the appropriate toy.
With the Pound and Tap Bench, 2-year-olds will be able to enjoy learning about colors while encouraging manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination. Since designed without finer and miniature details, the toy is easy to be cleaned and contains numerous elements where kids can shift their attention. The moment the child gets bored doing one thing, they can easily move on to doing another thing.
The Pound and Tap Bench is a perfect example of cause-effect play. Children can learn what actions come with what results and see how certain movements or plays can result in different sounds or movements.
Learning doesn’t always have to be so formal. Start teaching your kids about colors in the most entertaining way possible.
Toys for Growing Toddlers Development: Buying Guide
When looking for the perfect toys for 2-year-olds, it’s important to look for one that is safe, fun, and helps children learn about different things. Make sure to read the guide below to find the perfect toy for your child.
What we Look for When Choosing Toys for Growing Toddlers’ Development
Buy the perfect toy for your kids to help them develop the best of their capabilities in a safe and fun environment. Here are a few things to look for when choosing the right toy for your child.
The more complicated a toy is, the harder it will be to use for growing toddlers’ development. When choosing a toy, make sure that it is simple in design and very straightforward to use to avoid confusion for the toddler when playing with it.
Sometimes simplicity is all it takes to be able to teach your kids very valuable skills. Although development comes first, it’s important that the toy is simple and fun in design to make it more engaging to the young mind.
Although toys are fun to play with, it is important for parents to ensure that they are safe in terms of design and material. When looking for a safe toy, first look for a toy designed without sharp edges and non-toxic materials including the ink used.
Although most toys are designed with safe and non-toxic materials, it’s important to first ask the manufacturer before assuming. Toys also have to be light in order to avoid accidents or danger when they are flung around or when they fall.
Child-Friendly Design and Color
It’s important to look for a toy with a child-friendly design and stimulating colors. Although colors are an additional touch to the design, they also help catch the toddler’s attention. Being attractive is an important part of a child’s toy since the more eye-catching it is, the more likely the child will be to play with it.
Aside from its color, its design should also be child-friendly with more curves and minimal sharp edges. To protect a child from harm, it’s important that the edges are smooth but can still be manipulated by the toddlers’ hands.
Looking for an age-appropriate toy is very important when trying to cultivate a child’s development. The reason for toys being best for certain ages is that they enhance the child’s abilities based on their cognitive level.
Toys that are designed for older kids are often more advanced and thus harder to use for younger kids. Toys that aren’t age-appropriate can cause frustration when the toddler isn’t able to play with them properly.
Having toys with flexible plays is very important to keep them entertained for longer periods of time. Depending on a child’s attention span, it could take just a short period of time before they get tired of playing with one toy and start looking for another.
Flexible toys are designed to keep toddlers entertained for hours since they can alternate from one play method to another. Since some kids tend to get bored easily, it helps to have a toy with different play methods for them to experiment with.
Toys for kids can range from cheap to extremely expensive and it’s important to look for a safe spot when it comes to price. In terms of affordability, the important thing to look for is a toy that helps growing toddlers’ development while being entertaining.
Some toys are good for development but they can be a little boring. When deciding how much to spend on a toy, first assess how beneficial a toy would be for your toddler. If you’re confident that a toy has a positive impact on a toddler but is still a bit expensive, you can look for a cheaper alternative for the toy.
The problem with some toys is that they easily break down and this isn’t good for both parents or kids. Some kids form emotional attachments with their toys by giving them sentimental value and losing a toy could be devastating for a young child.
Before buying a toy, look for materials that are strong, sturdy, and don’t break down easily. Durable toys are also great for parents with more than one child since they can be passed down to the younger siblings.
The younger the child, the larger the toy should be. Toys shouldn’t be small enough for toddlers to put in their mouths which is why when choosing the right toy, you should look for one that is the right size for them.
It can be tricky to choose a toy too small or too big for a child and as a rule of thumb, look for toys that are at least twice the size of their fist. This would ensure that the child doesn’t end up placing the toy in their mouth. The older the child becomes, however, the more they’ll be able to resist placing toys in their mouths.
When looking for the right toy, make sure it is designed to promote development in the right department. If you want to improve your child’s imagination, look for a toy that allows them to manipulate it like a drawing toy or a building toy. If you want to improve your child’s strength, make sure to look for a toy that helps them exercise.
It’s important that your child is well-rounded and not just highly developed in one area but lacks the skills in another area. Providing kids for every department of development is a great way to ensure your kid does not lack skills for every single development department.
Benefits of Using Toys for Growing Toddlers’ Developments
There are a lot of benefits that toys for growing toddlers’ development provide. Here are the most important advantages of providing your toddler with the best toys for 2-year-olds:
Keeps Toddlers Entertained
The hard part of raising a child is keeping them busy the right way. Although toddlers have a way of trying to entertain themselves, this might not always be the safest or best way for their development. The key is to look for toys to keep children entertained while helping them learn.
Flexible toys usually keep children entertained for hours since they can alternate different play methods whenever they get bored. Instead of handing them multiple toys, you can try out toys that let kids play through different play methods.
Helps Make Learning Fun
Not all children appreciate formal learning which is why some toddlers learn faster when they are having fun and this is where toys come in. Fun toys that are designed to help a toddler’s development are a great way for kids to learn while playing.
Another good thing about the right toys for toddlers is that it allows toddlers to discover new things on their own. Instead of just relying on external teachings from parents or older kids, they can explore new ideas or new ways to play with a toy which helps them build creativity.
Great Family Bonding
Playing with your kid might not always seem like a fun thing to do for adults but it usually means the world to them when they have a friend to play with. Although you can bond with your kids on things for older people like watching movies or listening to music, this is not always the best way for them to learn especially if they are only 2 years old.
Younger kids often rely on toys to teach them certain things and with mummy and/or daddy playing with them, they’ll most likely be able to create an important memory for them. Building memories with your kids is also a great way for them to learn while building memories along the way.
Since children usually consider toys as their own possessions, this can be a great way for them to build empathy through connection. Teaching kids how to be responsible with their toys is a great way for them to develop good character later on.
Becoming more empathetic starts with caring for certain things. Giving your kid a few toys is a great way to start them on a journey to take care of their possessions. When kids learn how to be careful with their toys, they can use what they’ve learned on other things as well.
Build Core Memories
When children have what they need to learn and be happy, they often develop a healthy childhood with important core memories. Having good core memories is an integral part of a healthy childhood and playing with your kid could help them develop these memories.
You won’t need to spend too much time playing with your kids but as long as you help them figure things out, you’ll be helping them learn and create memories of their own. The more fun a kid has, the better the memory will most likely become.
Help Boosts IQ
Different toys are designed to help boost a child’s IQ by stimulating their minds, promoting creativity, and helping them retain what they’ve learned. Age-appropriate toys help kids develop the skills needed to boost creativity.
In order to help boost a child’s IQ, they have to be able to perform certain tasks. This can be done by problem-solving certain toys. The good thing about toys is that they provide a fun way for kids to solve certain problems without being over-stressed.