Two year old boys are some of the most energetic creatures in this world, growing up fast and exploring their world with enthusiasm. When it comes time to find them a great gift, focusing on their growing abilities is best. They’re learning to coordinate their movements, communicate more effectively and sort and categorize. Opportunities to bolster those skills are sure to be a hit with kids and parents alike. Searching for fantastic gifts for 2 year old boys? Check out our list of winners for some awesome picks.

The Winners

#1

VTech KidiBeats Drum Set

Best Overall

Three drum pads and a cymbal all bring unique sounds to this VTech KidiBeats Drum Set. VTech is known for their top of the line educational electronics, and this drum set doesn’t disappoint. It features nine awesome rock, pop and dance melodies that kids can jam out to as they bang along with their safe, toddler-sized drumsticks. There’s four play modes – Free play, letters, numbers and follow along. The LED lights and music engage their senses while they rock. Just a side note: You’ll want to be prepared with 3 AA batteries to get this one going.

Developmental & Play Insights Melissa & Doug Pounding Wooden Toy

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#2

Prince Lionheart Balance Bike

Upgrade Choice

The Prince Lionheart Balance Bike is packed with old school style, but it’s not just the cute retro look that parents and kids will love. It’s got a durable, sturdy 100% birch frame, and it’s a great pick for helping them learn steering and boosting coordination and balance. The solid rubber handlebars are easy to hold on to, and the seat adjusts to accommodate little riders as they grow. Solid rubber tires offer impressive grip on this toy, which is best used with a helmet for safety. It’s a great transitional pick from ride ons to real bikes that will get them used to the look and feel.

Developmental & Play Insights Prince Lionheart Balance Bike

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#3

Melissa & Doug Pounding Wooden Toy

Best Budget Buy

Pounding benches are a classic developmental toy that boosts hand eye coordination, and this pick from trusted educational toy manufacturers Melissa and Doug is an adorable pick. The Melissa & Doug Pounding Wooden Toy has natural red base wood bench surface , and features 8 colorful pegs with cheerful faces to greet kids as they play. The mallet is the ideal size for two year old hands, and the bench encourages imagination without being overstimulating. It’s also a great tool for teaching color identification.

Developmental & Play Insights Galt Toys Nursery Trampoline

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#4

Galt Toys Nursery Trampoline

The adorable tortoise design is our second favorite thing about this Galt Toys Nursery Trampoline. The first? The safety, of course. Suction feet secure this durable unit to the floor, letting kids bounce to their heart’s content while the trampoline stays in place. The adjustable handle grows with them, keeping them both safe and comfortable while bouncing. Plus, it’s not too far off the ground, so the injury risk is generally minimal! It’s a great way for two year olds to work on developing balance and coordination as well as muscle strength.

Developmental & Play Insights Galt Toys Nursery Trampoline

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#5

Casdon Dyson Ball Vacuum

Learning to imitate adult behaviors is a major milestone for two year olds, which means it’s around the time that “pretending” toys modeled after items parents regularly use become a fascinating pick. This working model of a Casdon Dyson Ball Vacuum helps kids improve gross motor skills by getting them up and moving. It has real suction action, so it can actually pick up small debris – think tiny scraps of paper and poly beads. The swirling beads in the translucent center column look just like the cyclone in the real thing for an extra level of creative immersion. For noise averse kids, this pick can be great for helping overcome fears about the vacuum.

Developmental & Play Insights Casdon Dyson Ball Vacuum

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#6

Tot Tube Playset

Toy cars are a quick favorite for 2 year old boys, and the Tot Tube Playset lets them race all their favorites down a tubular ramp for high speed action. It’s compatible with Hot Wheels, Matchbox and Little People cars, as well as other similarly sized picks. Small balls, like super balls, can also take a turn racing down the long tube, which can be propped on a couch or chair for ease of use. Two tubes can be used side by side for racing fun, or connected in order to make a super long downhill straightaway. The tube, which has a clear plastic portion in the center so kids can watch cars as they race, breaks down into three pieces for easy storage. Assembly is tool free, too, so this is a great pick for some quick and easy playtime.

Developmental & Play Insights Tot Tube Playset

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#7

Melissa & Doug Take-Along Tool Kit

Melissa & Doug are experts at giving our kids awesome ways to play pretend. This Take-Along Tool Kit is a very cool portable pick that lets them improve their small motor control using tools that look just like the real thing. The totally safe hammer and screwdriver let kids insert nails and screws into the handy carrying toolbox or the enclosed planks. It’s great for stimulating imagination and creativity, and since it’s a 24 piece set, it’s a perfect pick for sharing. It also builds hand eye coordination and can help improve reasoning skills.

Developmental & Play Insights Melissa & Doug Take-Along Tool Kit

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#8

Melissa & Doug Magnetic Car Loader

Trucks are a great toy for encouraging both small and gross motor skill development, so it’s a good thing that lots of two year old boys go wild at the sight of a cool one. This Melissa & Doug Magnetic Car Loader features a bright, cheerful red cab and a natural wood flatbed. The attached magnetic arm “lifts” four snazzy racecars cars onto the flatbed with minimal assistance. The truck and cars all have real working pinchless wheels, so they’ll have tons of safe fun racing. Like all Melissa & Doug products, it’s geared toward encouraging imagination and creativity – they’ll have a blast pretending and telling stories with this standout pick.

Developmental & Play Insights Melissa & Doug Magnetic Car Loader

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#9

AquaDoodle

Art projects and crafts are some favorite ways that little ones express themselves while also building fine motor skills. That’s not always a neat and clean proposition, but AquaDoodle offers a way for kids to show off their inner Picasso while keeping their clothes, hands and faces picture perfect. The large mat with soft edges has a unique surface that reacts only to special enclosed pens when moistened with water. The red, blue, green and purple pens can be used to create lots of fun drawings, and when the water dries, the drawings evaporate. No messy cleanup, no wasted paper and an art project they can do again and again – what’s not to love?

Developmental & Play Insights AquaDoodle

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#10

Holy Stone RC Cartoon Race Car

Remote control cars are a blast at any age, but finding one that’s safe for toddlers is special. This cute, compact race car in bright green, yellow and red features a blue driver model who’s ready to race. The driver can also be removed from the car for even more fun creative play. The super cute remote is shaped like a steering wheel, so it’s easy to hold and just the right size for a two year old.

The Holy Stone RC Cartoon Race Car features two channel motion, so it goes forward and backward, plus it has lights and music to engage their senses. This RC is made out of non toxic plastic that’s highly durable and has soft edges for safety. To make sure they’re ready for fun right out of the box, make sure you throw in the 5 AA batteries they’ll need to play!

Developmental & Play Insights Holy Stone RC Cartoon Race Car

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#11

Melissa & Doug Monster Bowling Game

There are no scary monsters in the Melissa & Doug Monster Bowling Game, just cute furry friends. The six monster pins can be set up in formation easily thanks to their weighted bases, and kids can take turns knocking down the 6 fuzzy pals with the green beast ball that’s enclosed. When not in use, the whole set stores conveniently in a zippered bag, so cleanup is easy and kids can help. It’s a mega fun social toy that encourages hand eye coordination and gross motor skill development as well as balance and coordination, plus it’s lightweight and really easy to take along on a trip or to the park.

Developmental & Play Insights Melissa & Doug Monster Bowling Game

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#12

Melissa & Doug Wooden Chunky Puzzle

Puzzles are a great way for kids to develop logic skills and improve their hand eye coordination. Melissa & Doug are known for their awesome wooden puzzles, and this fun Safari Wooden Chunky Puzzle has animal pieces that can be used independently for creative play. A lion, giraffe, ostrich, hippo, zebra, elephant, rhino and alligator all populate this jungle watering hole. When pieces are removed, full color images where they sat help kids match the animals to their spot at the safari. It’s a great pick for teaching color and animal identification, and there’s no choking hazards or small pieces, so it’s totally safe for a 24 month old.

Developmental & Play Insights Melissa & Doug Wooden Chunky Puzzle

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#13

VTech Little Apps Tablet

VTech specializes in educational tech that keeps kids learning and having fun. The VTech Little Apps Tablet is a perfect first digital toy pick, because it’s durable, easy to understand and has valuable learning content for little ones. The color changing screen, piano keys and full alphabet keyboard let them interact easily, playing games that help them expand their skills. It has progressive learning levels, so it stays interesting and beneficial as they grow. There’s volume control, which parents will love, as well as an auto off feature that really saves on battery life. Another pro, though, is that it only requires 2 AA batteries – not many at all for the amount of entertainment they’ll get from this pick.

Developmental & Play Insights VTech Little Apps Tablet

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#14

Little Tikes T-Ball Set

T-ball is a classic precursor to baseball that helps kids understand the game and learn without the difficulty of hitting an active pitch. Little Tikes specializes in sturdy, safe and fun outdoor gear for toddlers, and this Little Tikes T-Ball Set in bright primary colors is a great addition to any backyard. The T adjusts easily for growing kids, and the inclusion of five balls makes it a great pick as a social toy, as they can take turns quickly in rotation without anyone getting bored. If you’re running low on space for toys, this set is a great pick – it can be hung on the wall when not in use, taking up minimal room.

Developmental & Play Insights Little Tikes T-Ball Set

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#15

Little Tikes Cozy Truck Ride-On

This Little Tikes Cozy Truck Ride-On grows with kids. Younger, less mobile riders can enjoy being pushed by an adult, but as they grow, the floorboard can be removed so they can explore independently. The navy blue and cheerful yellow body is sturdy, and there’s a roof that offers kids sun protection. The steering wheel really honks(two LR44 batteries make it happen), the drivers side door opens, and the grill, front and rear headlights are all realistically detailed. The safe, fun ride-on toy is topped off by a friendly face on the front bumper, waiting to greet kids when they hop in.

Developmental & Play Insights Little Tikes Cozy Truck Ride-On

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

How to Pick the Perfect Gift for a Two-year-old Boy

Consider Their Developmental Stage

Whenever you’re picking out gifts for kids, it’s wise to think about their developmental stage. After all, gifts aren’t fun if they’re not safe to use or they’re too complex to understand! Knowing a little more about the developmental milestones two year olds are reaching can help you make a choice that’ll be great for your special toddler.

By age two, children are beginning to engage in mimicry of adults. This is an important part of their social development. They’ll be especially drawn to pretend versions of adult objects, like the Dyson vacuum and tool kit we’ve listed here, among others. They’ll show more enthusiasm for socialization and more understanding and willingness toward sharing, so social toys are beginning to fit into their world well. Their sorting and categorization skills are improving, so picks related to colors, numbers and letters are great. When it comes to toys for 2 year old boys, opportunities to develop gross and fine (small) motor skills as well as hand eye coordination are important. They’re focused on in most toys geared toward this age group.

Entertainment vs. Education

At two, children are reaching a stage in their development where they can follow simple prompts. This makes it easier to introduce toys with a genuinely educational component. However, they’re still two! It’s okay for some toys to just be fun, and lessons shouldn’t be overwhelmingly complex. Simple matching games and musical prompts will be easily enjoyed, as will opportunities to engage in creativity and imaginative pretend play. It’s more important that they develop their basic physical, mental and interpersonal skills now, so toys that make skill improvement lots of fun and engage the senses continue to be great picks.

Physical vs. Cognitive vs. Social

When children reach age 2, their gait and balance have typically begun to improve. They’re not fully steady on their feet, but they’re getting there, and it certainly doesn’t stop them from trying. Both gross and small motor skill improvement opportunities are important now, as these skills inform later coordination abilities.

Two year olds shouldn’t be overstimulated cognitively, but since they’re able to follow simple prompts, they’ll be better able to understand more games and toys than they did even six months prior. Picture matching, color sorting, number identification, musical toys and blocks all offer the brand of cognitive stimulation that’s just right at 24 months.

Improving social skills mean that two year olds are a lot more interested in communicating with other kids than they were on their last birthday. Kids with siblings tend to be a bit more social, naturally, but by two, kids will generally be comfortable playing next to, communicating with and eventually graduating to sharing with other children. Games where it’s easy to take quick turns without frustration are perfect now, because as toddler parents know, patience is a life skill that two year olds have not yet mastered.

Digital vs. Manual

By age two, children are more able to make sense of digital toys, but there are schools of thought advocating both for and against their use. We think educational digital toys in moderation are just fine! As long as screen time is limited and other play styles are also embraced, cool and durable picks like the VTech tablet we mentioned can offer a relaxing way for kids to continue building skills during their downtime.

Manual toys are especially important around this age, because two year olds are not done developing physically. It’s key that they continue to work on mastering control of their hands and body, so toys that encourage both broad and small movements are great picks. Blocks, coloring sets, toys with secured moving parts, sports toys and others that get them up and moving are ideal(and they’ll burn off a lot of that magically never-ending energy while they’re at it).

Quick Decision

VTech KidiBeats Drum Set – Best Overall
It features nine awesome rock, pop and dance melodies that kids can jam out to as they bang along with their safe, toddler-sized drumsticks.

Prince Lionheart Balance Bike – Upgrade Choice
Our best upgrade choice is packed with old school style, cute retro look that parents and kids will love.

Melissa & Doug Pounding Wooden Toy– Best Budget Buy
Has natural red base wood bench surface , and features 8 colorful pegs with cheerful faces to greet kids as they play.

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Gary B.

Gary B.

Gary is a father of two, self-identified RC fanboy, and part-time guitar plucker. When he's not racing his collection of remote-controlled vehicles or strumming away, we bend his arm and get him to write with precision and expertise on a range of mechanical and electrical toys.

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