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Choosing toys for two and three year olds

As your child turns two, their physical and language skills are becoming more advanced. As well as toys that give them the chance to practise their physical abilities, they need toys that encourage them to widen their vocabulary and opportunities for pretend play to exercise their growing imagination. And these days we don’t have to restrict girls to playing with dolls and boys to playing with toy cars either!

They're able to concentrate better at this age, so provide games they can sit and do quietly by themselves too. As the age of 3 approaches, they will also want to start playing with other kids of their own age, rather than just alongside them.

Of course, you don’t need to buy new toys. Our page on shopping second-hand has tips for picking up toys in charity shops.

Toys for two and three year olds

Toys that encourage them to be physically active

  • pedal trike
  • pedal car
  • swing
  • see-saw
  • slide
  • beanbags
  • balls
  • blow-up toys.

Toys for quiet play

  • child-sized table and chair
  • pegboard
  • counting frame
  • big Lego Duplo blocks
  • threading beads
  • blackboard and chalks.

Toys for pretend play

  • tea set
  • doll’s cot
  • dressing-up clothes
  • puppets
  • toy telephone
  • scaled-down versions of grown-up things such as brushes, workbench and tools
  • gardening tools.

Creative toys

  • whistle
  • drum
  • saucepan lid and wooden spoon
  • finger paints
  • blunt scissors
  • humming top
  • games
  • puzzles
  • picture lotto
  • picture snap
  • simple wooden jigsaws.

Last updated: 25 Aug, 2022