Finding the perfect 2 year old birthday present is surprisingly easy. At this age, toddlers acquire several skills and are interested in many things, bringing about many 2nd birthday present ideas. Good options of these gifts are also available in the UK, yay!
The child also started thinking in new ways, learning new skills and love to solve problems. They also peak at their need for independence at this time.
There are a few areas we can look at for 2 year old’s birthday gifts such as movement play, role or pretend play, construction play, vehicles lovers and other practical and educational gifts for 2 years olds.
2 year old birthday present – movement play
Gifts that encourage movement play will help the 2 year old to develop their gross motor skills. At 2 years, they are mastering walking, jumping with both feet, climbing various structures, throwing and catching a ball and walking up the stairs.
Hence a birthday present that allows them to exercise their whole body will be an absolute hit.
Balance bikes are one of the most popular birthday gifts for a 2 year old as it is currently the perfect age to start with it. These ride-on toys are also popular in the UK because of the many conducive environments for young children to practice with their balance bikes.
Unlike pedal bikes, the balance bikes are simple without foot pedals or gears, making it easy for a young toddler. It teaches and encourages balance and coordination.
When buying a balance bike as a birthday present for 2 years old, find one with an adjustable saddle seat and handlebar. This helps to adjust it to fit the young child and allows it to grow along.
Another excellent balance practice gift but for indoor this time is the Wobbel board. Children know what to do with it once they see it without any need for instructions.
Essentially, the 2 year old can balance themselves on it and sway from side to side. This activity helps to build the core muscle and balancing skills. It also challenges them to move and play at home.
Besides, the board also promotes creativity as the child will also continue to find many alternative ways to play with it. It can be whatever the child imagines it to be – a balance board, a swing, a bridge, a shop, a racetrack, or a table?
Birthday gifts for a 2 year old – role play / pretend play
As the toddler hits the 2 years old mark, they begin to enjoy more complex pretend play or role play. They imagine a box is a house or assign people characters to their dolls. This ability is due to their cognitive development of remembering more time-based memories.
They also started to discern and group toys by type, size and colour. They can even grasp now a theme or the sequence of how things work.
A baby doll with accessories such as bed or pram
By now, if the 2 year old does not have its very own “baby” doll yet, give them one for their birthday! It is well known to be one of the best 2 year old birthday gifts for girl, but I must say my son loves to take care of his baby doll very much too.
The toddler loves to play pretend with their baby, taking care of it as if it is their own. They will give the baby milk, put the baby to sleep, and carry or take the baby around the house.
If the child already owns a baby doll, extend their play by giving them a baby doll bed or doll pram. They also make excellent extras as gift set along with their baby doll.
Dolls house and doll family
A dolls house will be a long-lived present for a 2 years old. It is often for a dollhouse to be handed down as “heirloom”.
A toddler gets attracted to a dollhouse naturally. They use it to enact everyday life through pretend play. Playing with a dollhouse comes with many development benefits. It helps the child acquire fine motor skills, classify materials skills, social skills and emotional intelligence.
Dolls house is also a kind of open-ended toy but within a set theme. The child can play with it again and again in different imaginative ways or scenarios.
You may also want to get a doll family to go with the new dollhouse, I like the one from Hape that goes with the dollhouse because it also comes with various ethnicities like Asian family dolls or African family dolls. Little dolls and their miniature furniture are also great ideas as small gifts. They also make good expansion to their possible current collection.
A play kitchen is also another suitable “big gift” for a 2 years old’s birthday. We recommend a wooden play kitchen for a toddler, and we found some good ones in the UK.
It is another excellent toy for role playing, as toddler loves to pretend cooking like their parents. Nothing beats cooking together in the kitchen for real, but it is also fun to cook independently and serve the parents or one another.
There are many skills to practice here at the play kitchen, such as pouring and transferring. Activities such as opening and closing doors or containers are great for fine motor skills too.
Construction and building toys for 2 years old’s birthday
Toddlers love building things. Giving them construction or building toys for their birthday will inspire them to develop their skills.
Initially, the young child stacks different objects while learning how things work. They also love to knock down what they build accompanied by squeals of delight.
Whether this birthday gift is for a boy or a girl, they will benefit from the developmental benefits. Construction toys push their creative senses, expand their imaginations while finetuning their motor skills, both fine and gross.
Playing with construction or building toys will build the foundation to their engineering, mechanics and physics knowledge.
Magnatiles / Playmags
Magnetic tiles are a wonderful birthday gift because it leaves such a big impression and will be played non-stop the minute it has been unpacked.
These STEM toys provide a unique building possibility. It will improve toddler’s fine motor skills, teach them colour recognition and improve their stacking skills. It also develops spatial awareness and problem-solving skills.
I recommend giving a set of 100 pieces so that there are enough tiles for some serious constructions. Magnatiles and Playmags magnetic tiles are well-loved by parents and kids. Their magnets are strong enough to hold large structures.
Magnatiles are compatible with Playmag, so even if the child already has one of those, giving them another of these sets for their birthday will undoubtedly expand their collection and opportunities to build more structures.
Either of these sets has received great reviews and will surely be loved as a birthday present.
Playmags 100 Pieces Clear Colour
Magnatiles 48 Pieces
These classic wooden building blocks are always a favourite as a present for any occasion. A large set of blocks will be perfect for the important 2 years mark birthday. This age is the best time to start experimenting more with block play and building.
2 year olds start to stack their blocks higher and higher or even side by side as a long train. Soon they will be building two-dimensional structures, such as enclosures, walls or doorways. Finally, they will scaffold enough skills to envelop space into 3-D shapes.
Lego Duplo is another wonderful option for construction play. This classic brand is, of course, also one of the most popular 2 year old birthday present ideas. There are many options from small gifts to big full set ones.
For example, this LEGO Duplo Construction set toy comes with a dump truck, a crane, a bulldozer and some building blocks for your child to enjoy. This set is excellent for both solo and social play, and promotes role-playing or pretend play with its various items.
This is a perfect gift as it is not only great for any 2 years old who loves trucks, it is also an excellent set to expand any existing Lego sets.
Birthday present for vehicles lovers
Vehicles and anything related hold my 2 year old son’s attention the most. Hence, it is a spot on a birthday gift for 2 year old boy. That said, I know of girls who love to play them too, so they are just great for any vehicle lovers.
You may think vehicles are only big trucks or mini cars, but actually, there are many options for expanding their vehicles play. Not to forget about all the books about vehicles that got my son fascinated all the time.
Wooden train tracks
Wooden train and railway sets for 2 years old are one of the popular toys for toddlers. This makes them a popular birthday gift.
A 2 year old loves to move the train along the tracks on structures which at first have been built for them. At some point, they will learn to create simple train tracks themselves.
If the birthday child already has some wooden train tracks, an expansion set is perfect for adding another level to their train tracks play. Extra trains and rolling cars are also always welcome and perfect as a smaller gift.
Brio Classic Figure 8 Train Set
Way to play
I first discovered this toy through social media, where it has blown up in popularity due to the creative ways children can play with it. They are simply beautiful to look at when setting up as a small world play at home, or plain rough road at the garden or even the beach!
This Waytoplay road gives your toddler the tools to make their own game. It encourages inventiveness, problem-solving skills and creativity. They may be quite pricey but as many parents attest, it will be played in multiple ways and for many years to come.
Since it is quite an investment, buying or gifting it for a birthday is an excellent excuse to get it. Trust the reviews that it will be well-loved by the birthday girl or boy!
Though I mentioned, there are more to vehicles play than just vehicles, every toddler can never have enough of them.
At 2 years old, they get even more excited at good quality toy vehicles where they can manipulate by opening or closing doors, putting little people inside, or transporting things around in a truck.
Vehicles are the only toys my 2 years old son can play independently by himself for some time, and for those of you who know toddlers, this is absolute gold.
Construction vehicles are also always a hit with the littles ones. An excavator, a dump truck, or tractor with a trailer will fit as a sweet little birthday gift.
My son loved the vehicles from Bruder as it is a true model of the real one, and there are so many things you can do with it thanks to all the working parts. I also recommend getting 1:16 sized models for toddlers this age as they are big and tough enough for their rough play.
Other 2nd birthday present ideas
A 2 year old toddler is at the peak of their independence and loves music typically. Music players are good musical toys for 2 years old.
A music player that the toddler can operate themselves will be perfect. They can now repeatedly play the music of their choice and at the same time, dance and move along with it whenever they feel like it.
This beautiful retro wooden player is made in Germany with high quality, and easy for a toddler to use. This is also a useful gift for those who want to reduce screen time.
It is high on our wish list, and though it is quite an investment, it will be a worthy birthday present that will be treasured for years to come.
Hörbert – Wooden MP3 player for kids
Schleich figurines are the best animal toys for 2 years old. They are of high quality, made true to form, and down to the finest details.
These animal figurines are not only great to play as is, but it is also good to use for vocabulary building. For role-play or pretend play, they are fun to pair with any existing farms or zoo toys.
Besides, they are excellent companions to any open-ended play or construction play, such as Magnetic tiles farm or zoo, train tracks or roads through forests, and any other imaginative world play.
In short, Schleich makes a safe birthday present that is sure to fit into any of the toddler’s play repertoire.
Schleich Animals Wild Life Set