The sheer joy that a toddler shows when they get the perfect new gift or toy can make anyone feel like a million bucks. On the flip side, if your 2 year old doesn’t love the gift you’ve gotten them, they’ll have no trouble letting you know. With so many toys on the market, it can be a challenge to find ones that are fun, developmentally appropriate, and able to withstand the tough life they’ll have in a toddler’s toy box. If you aren’t sure what toy or gift to get the 2 year old girl in your life, the task can seem daunting. But, fear not! We’ve reviewed hundreds of toys and have compiled a list of the 10 best toys for 2 year old girls, so you can be sure to get something she’ll love.
2 Year Old Developmental Milestones
With so many new milestones on the horizon for your 2 year old girl, it’s a great idea to use gift giving occasions as opportunities to provide developmentally appropriate toys that will help them reach their physical and cognitive development milestones.
Physical milestones can be broken down into two groups, gross motor and fine motor. Your 2 year old’s ever-improving gross motor skills will include; running, jumping with both feet, throwing and kicking balls, climbing stairs, and even balancing on one foot. In the fine motor department, you’ll see your toddler becoming more independent in simple selfcare tasks with each passing day, but she’ll still need your help along the way. She’ll be able to brush her teeth and hair, and become more efficient at eating with utensils. These fine motor advances can also be seen in activities like coloring, where she’ll be able to hold crayons in a writing position rather than with a fist.
Cognitively, you’ll find it easier to communicate with your 2 year old as many children will know 200+ words at this time. Additionally, they’re now able to follow 2 step directions, which should make it easier to get out the house (in theory). During this year, you can also look forward to conversations becoming much less one-sided. Expect to hear lots of questions like, “What’s that?” and “Why?” when you’re reading to them or talking with them about their developing preferences.
While creating the 10 best toys for 2 year old girls list, we made sure to factor in each of these developmental milestones. Each toy we’ve chosen is designed to be enjoyed by your child while helping her make developmental strides.
Note, this list is also great for 2-year-old boys. as the developmental standards are the same. Many of the products in the list are gender neutral or have color variations for both boys and girls.
Your toddler’s world is getting bigger every day. So, why not give her a set of wheels so she can explore? A tricycle is a great way to help your 2 year old improve her gross motor skills while having a blast outside. The Fisher-Price Barbie Tough Trike has a sturdy construction and is designed for children between 2 and 5, so she’ll be cruising for years to come. We also love the under-the-seat storage compartment where she can store any treasures she finds along the way.
This parent favorite has over 1,500 five-star reviews and for good reason. The LeapFrog Shapes and Sharing Picnic Basket tics a lot of boxes: imaginative play, shape sorting, and sharing. This fill and spill toy will provide your 2 year old with hours of solo-entertainment, but it’ll also be a big hit at playdates. With two of everything, your toddler will be all set to share a pretend picnic with a friend.
Help your little one develop a love of learning with the interactive Touch & Teach Word Book. Throughout 12 detailed pages full of fun illustrations your child can simply press an image to hear the corresponding word for 100 everyday words in categories like clothing, household items, food, toys, and more. Beyond vocabulary, this interactive book has three other modules focused on letters, matching, and music. This Vtech book isn’t just great for language development, it’s also wonderful for practicing fine motor skills. Best of all, it’s travels easily and is perfect for long car rides!
Pretend play is essential to toddler development. The act of pretending to cook chicken for a friend or share an apple helps your 2 year old work through emotions, problem solve, and better understand social cues. Common activities like cooking, that children see their parents taking part in each day are often the foundation of imaginative play. That’s why we love the versatility of Melissa & Doug food groups. With 21 food items ranging from fish to watermelon, your child will be able to work on identification, sorting, learning the basics of nutrition, all while making meals for family and friends.
No playroom is complete without building blocks. If you’re looking for the perfect starter set, we are big fans of this 80-piece Mega Bloks Building Bag. Mega Bloks are colorful and large so they’re appealing and easy for little hands to work with. Your junior architect will love building tall towers and tunnels with you, but in our experience, they’ll enjoy knocking them down even more. As a bonus, the reusable bag makes it highly portable and easy to keep organized.
Has bedtime with your toddler become a bit of a battle? Let your 2 year old practice their bedtime routine on Wee Baby Stella! Dolls are so great for imaginative play and are one of the best ways to help toddlers work on their nurturing skills. Stella comes with a bottle, pacifier, teddy bear, and story book so your little one will have all she needs to help her little one get ready for a good night’s sleep. If bedtime is no trouble, consider the original Baby Stella which is larger, and comes with a pacifier and removable cloth diaper.
7. The Learning Journey My First Match It – Things That Go – 15 Self-Correcting Vehicle Matching Puzzles
Learning Journey’s My First Match It is a great way introduce jigsaw puzzles to your 2 year old while they improve their vocabulary and understanding of the world around them. Each set comes with 15 two-piece puzzles and they are available in several categories including, Things That Go, Things I Eat, Dinosaurs, and At the Ocean. Assembling these puzzles will help them boost their problem solving skills and patience, as well confidence. We think these puzzles are especially fun when played with a parent or grandparent and are ideal for wind down play before naps or bedtime.
The list of benefits of arts and crafts for kids is a long one that includes improved coordination, better self-esteem, and enhanced executive functioning (not to mention, fun!). Of course, arts and crafts projects do have their drawbacks…primarily the mess. The stains, the drips, the spots; it can sometimes feel like setup and cleanup take longer than the art itself. Thankfully, that’s not the case with the Bigear Aqua Magic Mat. This 34” x 23” mat changes colors when wet, so your toddler can make beautiful and temporary art with just water. The mat comes with a set of markers to fill with water, but you could also use paintbrushes, sponges or whatever you have handy.
A dollhouse can provide hours of independent play as it aids in increasing creativity, empathy and dexterity. My First Dollhouse comes with a Daddy, Mommy and Baby doll in a two-story home complete with a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and nursery. Watch as your 2 year old gets lost in a world of her own as she role plays and imitates what she sees going on around her each day.
We all know there are huge benefits when it comes to outdoor play for toddlers. Physical activity is a big part of it, but on top of burning all that energy, toddlers learn so much through their senses. Feeling the warm sunshine, smelling the freshly cut grass, or hearing the birds singing are all wonderful sensory experiences for your child. Sensory play is thought to build nerve connections in the brain’s pathways, which is one of the reasons we recommend the Simplay 3 Sand and Water Activity Station. Having both sand and water provides two fantastic sensory experiences for your child, which also makes for a great parallel play area for young toddlers. And, if your little ones want to take a quick snack break, the Simplay folds easily into an adorable bench.
Toys for Other Age Ranges
For more toy and gift ideas for girls, check out our other great articles:
Or get inspired with the best toys for boys:
- Best toys for 1 year old boys
- Best toys for 2 year old boys
- Best toys for 3 year old boys
- Best toys for 4 year old boys
- Best toys for 5 year old boys
- Best toys for 6 year old boys
- Best toys for 7 year old boys
- Best toys for 8 year old boys
- Best toys for 9 year old boys
- Best toys for 10 year old boys
- Best toys for 11 year old boys
- Best toys for 12 year old boys
We hope you’ve enjoyed this list. While we don’t suggest that these are the only toys your child will ever need, we do think this list of great educational toys for girls is a strong start. If you have any suggestions or feedback, please reach out to us.
Criteria for Placement
While listing the best educational resources is never an exact science, we’ve done our best find products that rank highly on the following criteria:
- Developmental impact: Many toys out there like plush dolls are somewhat limited in their developmental impact. We’ve critically evaluated the toys on this list for their impact on physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development.
- Safety: All toys on this list are safe to use, free of toxic compounds like lead and BPA
- Durability: Children love to throw, jump on, and touch everything in sight. The toys on this list are fit to withstand the bumps and hard landings.
- Price: Parenting doesn’t need to be outrageously expensive. We looked for the cheapest products that still meet our developmental and quality requirements.
- Developmental milestones for typical 2-year-olds – understood.org