My daughter is turning two next week and these are all things she is currently enjoying or that I am buying for her birthday. Most of these would also apply to any toddler, but I’m just speaking from my experience with my two-year-old and what I’m buying for her birthday or Christmas.
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Water table and Mud kitchen. My daughter loves her water table, especially washing lemons in it. There are lots of other things you can do with your water table also, such as sensory play. A mud kitchen is something I would have loved as a child and if we move to a house with a dirt patch, hope to procure for Lily. She is not currently a fan of dirt, but every toddler must go through a muddy stage, right?
Learning Tower. This has been super fun for Lily to use in our kitchen. She likes to stand in her tower (it’s like an enclosed stool) and wash dishes with me. Soon I plan to include her in cooking and baking and she will stand in it to reach the counter. I’m especially excited to use it to make Christmas cookies.
Play jewelry. My daughter currently has one teething necklace, and a few bracelets, and loves to wear them. I’m planning on buying her some more, and some rings because she’s fascinated with her grandmother’s rings.
Play kitchen, play food, and a teaset. There are a large variety of play kitchens, from large to small, wooden to plastic, wide to narrow, with accessories or without. We have a narrow one to fit in her room but I’m hoping to get her a larger one in a year or two. She has a variety of plastic and wooden dishes and food to pretend with, including some I found at Target’s Dollar Spot last Christmas. We have this food-grade plastic teaset and my two-year-old loves to pour water back and forth between the pieces, taking sips between every pour.
Building blocks. Lily really likes to stack building blocks and knock them over. She has a good sense of how to balance blocks, and can get her stack pretty tall.
Baby dolls and accessories. She has five baby dolls (plenty) and about a million stuffed animals, so we’re not asking for more of those. However, she loves to use her stroller and her baby doll bed set so I’m looking into other baby doll accessories like clothes and baby food. She has one baby bottle between her five babies, and loves to feed them.
Books. Lily loves books – being read to, identifying objects on the pages together, and looking at them by herself. At this age, you can still give them board books, but they are also interested in lift-the-flap books, pop-up books, and can handle some paper books. Lily enjoys Disney Pooh Bear, Disney princesses, and animal books, especially if they have ladybugs in them. These are our favorite Lift-the-Flap books, our favorite Spanish-English books, and our favorite ladybug books.
Crafting Supplies: Lily enjoys any crafting activities we do with her. Some things she enjoys are: painting, coloring, water wow coloring books, water coloring aqua mat, playdoh, stickers, and reusable sticker pads.
Outdoor toys: At my in-laws house, Lily loves to play with their slide and swing. I am also thinking about getting her a toddler trampoline with handles, but I’m not sure if I want to encourage a lot of jumping.
Vehicles: For her 2nd birthday, we are buying her a scooter and a tricycle. I also found this really cool ponycycle, a pony they can ride that will actually move around the house or yard.
Dollhouse, People, and Accessories. Lily has a Little People house set and a farm set, but there is a huge variety of them. When she gets a little older, we can upgrade and get a different brand of dollhouse set but she still loves these Little People.
Train and vehicle sets. Lily has a set of wooden town pieces and enjoys setting it up, and driving the vehicles around. This is a 100-piece set with trains, tracks, buildings, vehicles, and more.
Puzzles. Lily has been really into puzzles these past few weeks so I bought her some simple jigsaw puzzles and a giant floor puzzle. She already has two-piece matching puzzles, an alphabet puzzle, and some personalized wooden name puzzles on Etsy.
If you are getting them a stuffed bear for their birthday, consider Build-a-Bear: they have a pay-your-age program. During your child’s birth month, they can buy a bear for the amount of their age (so the bear will only cost $1 for your one-year-old).
Membership or tickets to a class or experience. Lily loves visiting the zoo, the aquarium, Disneyland (of course!), parks, and her music class. Little ones are usually free to visit some places up to a certain age but the parents need tickets.
If you want more non-toy gift ideas, check out Kelcey’s post. She offers 10 non-toy gift ideas for Christmas. This post here also has a nice list of gifts for families to receive all together and make memories with.