This age has been the first year where my daughter has been really vocal about her likes and dislikes and about what she wants and doesn’t want. This makes buying gifts so much easier! This is also an interesting year because they become more independent and adventurous. It has been fun to watch her blossom into the little human being she is.
Picking the right gift can be a little tricky, especially if you don’t have kids that age or if your kids have many toys. That’s why I curated this list of toys that would make great gifts for kids ages 2-3. The toys on this lists were chosen based on what my daughter and her friends liked between 2 to 3 years of age.
Most of the toys on this list are hands on activities, and toys that help develop fine and gross motor skills. Many of them are also easy to travel with. I found that at this age we needed toys we could bring with us easily to outings, family gatherings, playdates, etc.
If you’re looking for gifts for younger kids, check out my previous posts on Gift ideas for babies 0-6 months, Gift ideas for babies 6-12 months and Gift ideas for 1-2 year olds.
The Best Toys for 2-3 Year Olds
Click on the name or picture of the toy to see more details or to purchase.
Mudpuppy pouch puzzle
This year she got really into puzzles. These are our favorite because they are the right size for my toddler to do them on her own. Since they come in a pouch we save these for when we go to restaurants. Click on the title to see all available scenes.
Melissa & Doug jigsaw puzzles
We love doing these puzzles at home and have many of them. The good thing about the 12 & 24 piece ones is that kids can do them on their own. [Click on the title to see all different scenes.] The one pictured below is definitively her favorite.
If you’re looking for something bigger, check out the floor puzzles.
Melissa & Doug magnetic dress-up set
These are great toys because you get to dress them up and they’re magnetic, which makes them great toys for when you’re on-the-go. They have anything from a fireman to a princess. Click on the title to see all the different options.
Melissa & Doug Deluxe Latches Board
This board is pretty cool and teaches them how to open different types of latches. It takes them a while to figure it out so it’s a good toy to keep them busy.
Tegu Magnetic wooden blocks
We love blocks and these are our favorite because they are magnetic. We also have this portable one for when we go out to restaurants.
Melissa & Doug My First Daily Magnetic Calendar
This is a great educational gift to learn about the stuff that goes on their day. I recommend this toy for older 2 year olds. It is the perfect gift for a kid that will turn 3.
Crayola My First Color Me a Song
What kid doesn’t love drawing and music? Need I say more?
Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. My First Microscope
This is one of our favorite toys. My daughter loves to go on hikes and pick random stuff to bring home and see it under the microscope. This specific one has also a light so it makes it easier to see things if it’s dark.
Melissa & Doug stamp sets
We love putting stamps on all of our drawings. The one pictured is her favorite set but you can see all available sets by clicking on the title. I recommend buying extra ink since the sets just come with 2 colors.
Eco Kids Natural Plant Dye Modeling Dough
We love this eco-dough and play with it at home or when we’re out. What I love the most is the ingredients used to make this play dough! Green toys also makes a non-toxic dough – check it out here. Pair the dough with this cute set of wooden play dough toys.
Educational Insights The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game
We’re starting to get into board games and this is her favorite one, along with Hungry Hungry Hippos. There aren’t many board games for this age range, which is why we were so excited when we found this one! These game are for kids ages 3 and up but we started using them when my daughter was 2.5 years old.
Little Tikes EasyScore Basketball Set
We live in an apartment and don’t have much room but we made room for this because our daughter loves playing hoops! This is one of those toys that’s made to last and we ended up using it in multiple homes and with both of our kids.
Kid’s Balance Bike
A balance bike is a great purchase for a toddler and a great way to introduce them to riding a bike without using training wheels. I was on the hunt for a balance bike that was the right size for my toddler – It was hard to find since most of them are bigger. However, I found the one pictured below, which is made for kids ages 18 months up to 5 years.
Radio Flyer Fold 2 Go Trike
If you opt out of the balance bike or want to have a trike first, try this one. I got it on a whim and my daughter rides it everywhere. This is perfect for kids 18 months and up and it’s also adjustable to your kids size!
Safari ltd TOOB
These little animals are super cute and easy to carry. We have many different sets that come with us wherever we go. We also love using these toys for our sensory bins. To see all different options click on the title.
Melissa & Doug 20 Animal Magnets in a Box
We got this magnet set for our fridge and she loves it. The entire bottom half is filled with them and she likes to play pretend with them while I’m cooking.
ALEX Toys Little Hands Button Art
This one keeps them busy for a while and my daughter and her friends really like it!
Little Tikes 3′ Trampoline
This is an addictive toy for kids. Haha! It provides hours of fun and even a few fights between kids because they all want to jump on it. It’s perfect to use both indoors or outdoors – we set it up in our living room.
Guidecraft block set
We love these blocks because they’re so original. You can use them like regular blocks or on a light table. Click on the title to check all the different options, some have glitter in them, other have beads or sand.
Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. Kidnoculars
When we go hiking or to the zoo these are a must for our kiddo. She loves to look through them and pretend she’s an explorer!
Click on the link and check out the video of this ride-on toy. It will make you want to have one and it holds up to 200lbs, so it’s perfect for all ages.
The sound might drive you nuts but this is a favorite around here. It really does sound like a train and it’s fascinating for the little ones!
We saw this gem at a friend’s house and had to get it. You can put the pieces together and make your saxoflute the size and shape you want. It’s awesome. Quercetti makes a wide range of musical instruments that kids can put together, check them out!
We love these because they’re not too small so they’re easy to use and our baby won’t choke on them! We got the set pictured below since it came with its own storage case. This toy has been in our home for 8 years now and has been used by both of my kids and all their friends.
All kids are into coloring, drawing and painting so anything like that will be great. There are plenty of options out these and these are a great gifts. We get our markers and paint from Ikea because they’re a great price and non-toxic but we do get some of our art supplies from Amazon.
These are out go-to papers: Melissa & Doug Drawing Pad and Melissa & Doug Finger Paint Paper Pad and this is a fun coloring pads for those kids that are beginning to color: Melissa & Doug Jumbo Coloring Pad.
Once our kid got into painting we started going through many paint brushes so I just got this set that has lasted us for quite a while.
Oh and if you have a kid that’s into glitter, check these Crayola Glitter Markers out.
Whew! That’s a long list! Hope you’re able to find some fun gifts that your kiddo will love.
What are your favorite toys for 2-3 year olds?
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