Skip to main content

Tired of toys? Here are 4 gift ideas for a 2-year-old

For better or for worse, the reality is that many children these days have an excess of toys. If you have a 2-year-old’s birthday coming up and are at a loss on what to gift them, we applaud your decision to avoid toys. The key to hitting it out of the park with your gift is to tap into your child’s true interests. By age 2, many kids already have well-defined likes and hobbies. Use their preferences to seek out non-toy gift ideas for toddlers that will offer hours of enjoyment. For all you know, these gift ideas could inspire the next great thinker of a whole generation.

For the budding Picasso

Toddler painting at a table

It’s fair to say that some kids are natural-born artists. And, even if they’re not, exercising the right side of the brain helps develop better communication skills and boosts their self-confidence. Not to speak of the hours of entertainment that a creative toy provides for a 2-year-old.

If you have an artistic child on your hands or if you want to be a patron of the toddler arts, here are some great gift ideas for you:

  • Art supplies are an open-ended gift that lets children express themselves.
  • Dancewear supports children’s love for the moving arts.
  • Music instruments will encourage an interest in music.
  • Cooking materials develop your child’s taste buds and allows them to experiment with food.
  • Art lessons — including drama, music, painting, and dance — encourage their artistic interests.

For the growing Marie Curie

STEM is all the rage these days, and 2 years of age is not too young to get little ones started on their path to science. An educational toy that focuses on science and math lets your child explore and experiment. It fosters ingenuity and resourcefulness while encouraging creativity and resilience.

These are some of the best STEM gift ideas for toddlers who are so inclined:

  • Kids’ fish aquarium teaches responsibility.
  • A balance bike lets them learn about their own human body.
  • Zoo membership is a chance to learn something new every time.
  • A toddler chemistry kit lets them test out different things and see what happens.
  • Giant building blocks are a free-form way to learn about physics.

For the flourishing Maya Angelou

If your child has a way with words, you may have a promising writer right in front of you. And although a 2-year-old doesn’t read or write yet, it’s never too early to develop early literacy skills. They help your child develop social skills, spark the imagination, and stimulate curiosity.

If you’re wondering how to teach a young child the value of books and stories, here are some gift suggestions for you to support their love of reading:

  • Audio books help young readers imagine before they learn how to read words.
  • Book lights help your bookworm read to their heart’s content.
  • A bookcase with a reading nook creates a comfy space for your reader to enjoy themselves.
  • Pillow lap stand makes it comfy for your book lover to enjoy their favorite classics.
  • Flash cards teach letters to beginning readers.

For the next Steve Jobs

Girl toddler with toy camera

Techie kids love brain candy. But if you see your 2-year-old’s future in Silicon Valley, don’t be surprised if their best gifts don’t include a screen. At age 2, kids don’t need screens to learn all about technology. What they need most is their imagination to inspire all the possibilities ahead.

Here are some of the best gifts to awaken your child’s entrepreneurial spirit and awaken their curiosity for what the future has to offer:

  • Digital cameras are great for tech lovers who are also artistic.
  • Toddler inventor kits let the imagination run wild.
  • Walkie-talkies foster communication from a distance.
  • Jetpack backpacks are great for adventures.
  • Indoor ball pits are a sensorial experience for toddlers.

The great thing about toddler gifts is that with a little extra thought and love, you can truly shape the way a child sees the world around them. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best gifts for 2-year-olds and it doesn’t include any toys. Why? Because to a toddler, everything is a toy!

By offering a child the opportunity to play with different items, you’re gifting them the opportunity to exercise their creativity. The important thing is to tap into what kids love and support their imagination. Chances are that as your child grows, their inclinations will also change. But as long as you continue to support their interests, you’ll create a safe environment for them to grow and experiment. Just let your child enjoy themselves and watch them blossom into a curious individual who finds joy in everything they do.

Editors' Recommendations

No pool toys? No problem! 5 safe, fun pool games for 8-year-olds
Make a splash with these fun, toyless swimming games
Kids playing games in a pool

Splish! Splash! Are the kids still enjoying the swimming pool as summer is coming to a close? Whether you're hosting a pool full of friends of your 8-year-old, a birthday party, or a quiet afternoon of family fun in the pool, having a diverse menu of swimming games for kids is a must. Don't worry if you don't have a stock of pool noodles, beach balls, and floaties on hand in the shed. There are plenty of cool games to play in the pool without toys. Many classic swimming games have been doing laps around backyard pools for ages.

Keep these fun swimming games in the repertoire. They're safe, easy to play, and are all games 8-year-olds, as well as kids of all ages, will enjoy when hanging in the pool. Even adults will have a splash playing games they used to when they were kiddos. Another perk to all of these splashin' swimming games? They all let kids work on their swimming strokes while having a blast.

Read more
6 fantastic reasons to enroll your child in toddler gymnastics classes today
If you're looking for a great activity for your busy tot, try toddler gymnastics classes

You don't need to have aspirations of your child becoming an Olympic athlete to enroll your child in toddler gymnastics classes. Anyone who has ever had a toddler or been even remotely close to a toddler knows they are full of limitless energy. Parents and caregivers can spend hours every day simply trying to entertain a boisterous three-nager, thoroughly exhausting themselves in the process.
Toddler gymnastics classes have become increasingly popular over the last few years as a way to not only get kids active in a safe and monitored environment but also as a way to teach children from a young age the importance of exercise and how to work with others as a team. They also give parents and caregivers a much-needed break while their toddler enjoys socializing with other children. If you're not convinced that toddler gymnastics classes are right for your family, here are a few reasons why you should consider enrolling your child.

What are toddler gymnastic classes?

Read more
The best party games for your sports-loving kids
Need a list of the best party games for your next birthday party? We have you covered
Kids running with each other at a party.

It's never fun when your kiddo says for months that they want an Encanto-themed birthday party but then switch it to Frozen the week before after you've already purchased everything. But if your child is into sports, that makes things a whole lot easier. Whether you've got a kickball fanatic or a budding soccer star on your hands, choosing the birthday party theme for your sports fan is a no-brainer.

There are tons of fun birthday party games out there, and there's no need to stick to one sport when choosing the activities for your little one's big day. From soccer-themed games to kickball games, there are a ton of options for all your guests. Indoors or outside, whatever space you have available, we have the best sports games for your little athlete's party.

Read more