Older Toddlers (2 Year Olds)

All Toys

  • Beginning of cooperative, social play
  • Increasing interest in pretend play
  • Love of physical, active play
  • Child prefers action toys, toys that produce movement or sounds by child’s own efforts
  • More realism preferred:
    • Begins to pay attention to qualities of objects
    • Prefers toys with working parts
  • Toys should be lightweight enough for easy lifting, carrying
  • Bright colors preferred
  • Toys should meet safety regulations for age:
    • Sturdy, unbreakable; not likely to break into small pieces and strong enough for child to stand on or in
    • Non-toxic materials
    • No sharp or points or edges
    • Too large to be lodged in windpipe, ears, nostrils
    • No detachable small parts
    • No parts that could pinch or entrap fingers, toes, hair
    • Not put together with easily exposed straight pins, sharp wires, nails
    • No electrical parts, unless supervised by adult

Active Play

  • Push and Pull Toys
    • Pull toys with strings
    • Doll carriages
    • Wagons
    • Small light wheelbarrow
    • Interest in push toys that look like adult equipment- lawnmower, vacuum, shopping cart
  • Ride-On Toys
    • Interest in realistic-looking ride ons- tractors, motorcycles
    • Ride ons with storage trays or bins
    • Ride ons propelled by bouncing up and down
    • When children begin to pedal (around 1 1/2 - 3) small tricycle
  • Outdoor or Gym Equipment
    • All gym equipment needs adult supervision
    • Tunnels
    • Climbing structures and slides
    • Stationary rather than moving outdoor equipment
    • wings with curved, soft seats and restraining straps
  • Sports Equipment
    • Sleds sized to child (shorter length than child’s height)
    • Spinning seat
    • Pool toys (tubes, mats) with adult supervision
    • Balls of all sizes, but especially large balls (All balls given to this age group should be at least 1 and 3/4 (44 millimeters) in diameter; however, if any object appears to fit easily in the child’s mouth, keep it away from the child

Manipulative Play

  • Construction Toys
    • Solid wooden unit blocks
    • Large, hollow building blocks (cardboard, wood, plastic)
    • Large, plastic bricks (2 to 4 inches or 50 to 100 millimeters) to be pressed together
    • Plastic interlocking rings; large plastic nuts and bolts
  • Puzzles
    • Fit-in puzzle:
    • 2 to 2 1/2 years, 4-5 pieces
    • 2 1/2 years - 3, 6-12 pieces
    • Puzzles with knobs easier (knobs should be firmly attached)
  • Pattern Making Toys
    • Peg boards with large pegs
    • Color cubes
    • Magnetic boards with shapes, animals, people
    • Color forms (from around 2 and a 1/2)
  • Manipulative Toys
    • Fit together toys of 5 to 10 pieces
    • Nesting toys with multiple pieces, including barrel toys that require screwing motion
    • Number/counting boards with large pegs
    • Shape sorters with common shapes
    • Pounding/hammering toys
    • Smelling jars
    • Color/picture dominoes
    • Simple lotto matching games based on color, pictures
  • Dressing, Lacing, Stinging Toys
    • Large colored beads. (All beads given to this age group should be at least 1 and 3/4 inches (44 millimeters) in diameter, however if any object appears to fit easily in the child’s mouth, keep it away from the child.)
    • Lacing card or wooden shoe for lacing
    • Dressing books and dolls
    • Frames, cubes for lacing, buttoning, snapping, hooking
  • Sand and Water Play Toys
    • Bathtub activity centers
    • Nesting tub toys
    • Tub toys with removable figures, accessories
    • Linking tub toys
    • Small boats (no metal parts)
    • Small and large sandbox tools (with blunt edges)
    • Water/sand mills
    • Sprinklers

Make Believe Play

  • Dolls
    • Soft-bodied and rubber baby dolls
    • More realistic dolls with hair and moving eyes
    • Dolls to fit in child’s arms; also small, realistic dolls
    • Talking dolls operated by pulling string
    • Large peg dolls
    • Doll accessories - simple and sturdy
    • Care taking accessories - bottle, blanket
    • Simple removable garments (hook and loop, large snap fasteners)
  • Stuffed Toys
    • Soft, pliable animals
    • Mother and baby combinations
    • Preference for realistic animals, replicas of familiar characters
    • Toys with music box inside
  • Puppets
    • Soft hand puppets (hand-and-arm puppets too large)
    • Lightweight, sized to fit child’s hand
    • Puppets doubling as stuffed toys
    • Puppets doubling as stuffed toys
    • Puppets representing familiar characters
  • Role-Play Materials
    • Dress-ups and costumes
    • Equipment should be realistic-looking
    • Child-sized equipment - stove, cooking board, refrigerator
    • All housekeeping equipment - cleaning sets, pots and pans, bath and laundry
    • Toys that can be pushed - vacuum, lawnmower, shopping cart
    • Full-length mirror
  • Play Scenes (Including Small Figures)
    • Familiar, realistic-looking scenes - farm, garage, airport
    • Scenes with multiple pieces but not highly detailed
    • Preference for moving parts, parts that make noise
    • Interior of scenes easily accessible
    • Vehicle sets with figures
  • Transportation Toys
    • Small, realistic cars (not metal)
    • Vehicles with moving parts
    • Large trucks (metal too heavy) - moving parts, parts operated by large lever (with knob on end)
    • Cars, trucks with removable figures, accessories
    • Small trains with simple coupling mechanism - no tracks
  • Projectile Toys - not suited to age group

Creative Play - Arts, crafts, music

  • Musical Instruments
    • All rhythm instruments - bells, rattles, cymbals, drums, triangle, rhythm stick, sand blocks, xylophones.
    • Horns and whistles (around 2 and a 1/2).
  • Art and Craft Materials
    • Large crayons
    • Non-toxic paints (finger and tempera) and short handled brushes with blunt ends
    • Clay
    • Sturdy markers
    • Blunt-end scissors
    • Chalkboard, large chalk
    • Colored construction paper
  • Audio-Visual Equipment (Adult Operated)
    • Operated by adult; tapes, records, CDs.
    • Hand-cranked music box if cranked music box if crank is large and easy to turn.

Learning Play

  • Games
    • Lotto matching games based on color pictures
    • Dominoes, especially giant dominoes
    • Board games based on chance - only a few large pieces or pairs
  • Specific Skill Development Toys
    • Simple teaching toys for:
      • Matching/sorting, shapes, colors, letters/sounds, numbers, concepts.
      • All electrically powered toys need adult supervision.
  • Books
    • Sturdy books with heavy paper, cardboard pages
    • Short simple stories with repetition and familiar subjects
    • Simple pictures with clear color, few details
    • Pop-up books
    • Hidden picture books
    • Dressing books