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The best educational toys for two-year-olds in 2022

Banish boredom with our pick of the best educational toys for two-year-olds that entertain and help kids learn as they play

At two years old, toddlers are rapidly learning about the world around them. They’re becoming mobile, gaining context of their environment and developing through mental stimulation. Getting kids to engage with the best educational toys can help boost both physical and mental skills, all while having fun.

Educational toys help children learn colours, words, numbers and motor skills. They can improve a child’s hand-eye coordination and critical thinking skills. While your child is playing and having fun, they’re also working on brain development. Puzzles, role-playing and mechanical toys all help your child expand their horizons while they play. And the repetition of play with these toys help solidify a child’s newfound skills.

It may be tempting to opt for toys marketed as educational, and which often come bearing a high price tag. But the truth is, at the age of two, such toys aren’t always the right option. Toddlers are excellent mimics and some of the more advanced toys may simply be encouraging them to memorise, rather than learn. The best way for a toddler to learn is through engaging with simple toys, with parents interacting and playing alongside them.

With so many toys available to help children learn and grow, below you’ll find our pick of the best educational toys for two-year-olds. For those overwhelmed by the choice on offer, read our guide on how to choose the right toys for your toddler.

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Best educational toys for two-year-olds: At a glance

  • Best overall educational toy: Kids Building Blocks | Buy now
  • Best problem-solving toy: Little Dutch Little Goose Activity Cube | Buy now
  • Best musical toy: Baby Einstein Hape Strum Along Songs Magic Touch Guitar | Buy now

How to choose the best educational toys for your two-year-old

What types of educational toys are best for two-year-olds?

If you’re looking to add some educational toys to your toddler’s collection, there are some things you might want to consider before making a decision.

Does it encourage motor skills? Toys such as balls, blocks and puzzles help children develop their motor skills and hand-eye coordination. This helps them become more coordinated and independent as they grow.

Does it encourage problem solving? Puzzles, nesting cups and shape-matching toys help your child to work on their mental dexterity as well as physical skills. This helps them to better understand the world around them, particularly new experiences.

Does it encourage imagination? Toys that don’t have specific roles, such as blocks, can be anything your child wants them to be. They can build different structures and use their imagination to see the blocks as whatever item suits the game currently in their head.

Does it encourage new vocabulary? Children of this age have a limited grasp on language, so toys that encourage them to learn new words are always helpful. Puzzles and playsets can help children to learn the names and terms for the items with which they’re playing.

Does it encourage independent play? Or parent interaction? As mentioned earlier, toddlers learn well when parents directly interact with them, with educational toys a key tool in this regard. Helping them name items, colours or shapes will encourage interaction and learn more quickly. That said, children should also be learning independence, so a toy that they can also enjoy on their own is ideal.

Other considerations

It may feel like educating your toddler requires structure, but one of the best things you can do is let your child play pretend, with no set rules or expectations. Open-ended toys can foster your child’s creativity while encouraging communication and problem-solving skills. In reality, most toys will help your child learn and grow as they play. Just make sure they’re having fun and the learning will come!

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The best educational toys for two-year-olds you can buy in 2022

1. Kids Building Blocks: Best overall educational toy for two-year-olds

Price: £28 | Buy now from Jaques London

A classic favourite of children everywhere, wooden building blocks are a quintessential educational toy. These blocks come in a variety of shapes and bright colours, helping children to learn new words as they develop the ability to identify blocks by their appearance.

These blocks also allow your child to free play, using their imagination to build whatever comes to their mind. Children can work on their fine-motor skills, stacking blocks and keeping structures balanced. And once they have the sense of accomplishment that comes with building, they can have fun knocking the blocks down before building something new.

Blocks also allow for play with other toys, such as cars and dolls, bringing the fun of open play. Made with sustainable, FSC-approved wood, these blocks are environmentally friendly – and a timeless favourite that is sure to deliver hours of fun for your toddler.

Key details – Materials: Wood; Batteries needed: No; Independent play: Yes; Age range: 1-3 years

Buy now from Jaques London

2. Little Dutch Little Goose Activity Cube: Best problem-solving educational toy for two-year-olds

Price: £40 | Buy now from JoJo Maman Bébé

Another classic childhood toy, activity cubes offer children multiple challenges. Each side has a different activity for them to discover, so there’s plenty here to keep children playing without getting bored. All these activities help toddlers to work on their fine motor skills and problem-solving capabilities.

The cube’s top features wire spirals with beads to push around and spin, with the other sides offering gears that turn, plus shape sorting, sliding puzzles and spinning puzzles. Each activity will engage a child in a different way, helping them to identify shapes, colours, animals and numbers, as well as practise hand-eye coordination as they play.

Made up with a palette of soft colours, the design here is a nice contrast to the often bright and brash colours of many kids’ toys, helping them learn different shades of similar colours. If hours of stimulation and entertainment is what you’re after, this is a great choice.

Key details – Materials: Iron wire, teawood, beech wood, non-toxic water-based paint; Batteries needed: No; Independent play: Yes; Age range: 18+ months

Buy now from JoJo Maman Bébé

3. Top & Bake Pizza Counter Play Set: Best educational cooking toy for two-year-olds

Price: £47 | Buy now from Toy Street

For a unique twist on the typical play kitchen, let your toddler learn to make pizza! This play set has 34 pieces to help your child use their imagination and learn a variety of things in the process. Children can work on their fine motor skills when building and cutting pizzas, while expanding their capacity for storytelling as they work their own pizza parlour.

The set includes a wooden crust, felt cheese and sauce, wooden pepperoni, olives, mushrooms and peppers. The parts have self-stick tabs that help keep the pizza together as the child builds it. Also included is a parmesan cheese shaker, a counter with a built-in pretend oven, a pizza paddle and rolling cutter. There’s a reusable menu, delivery box and pretend money, too.

Children can learn to count and sort while playing independently or interacting with adults, while also working on critical thinking and dexterity.

Key details – Materials: Wood, felt; Batteries needed: No; Independent play: Yes; Age range: 18+ months

Buy now from Toy Street

4. Baby Einstein Hape Strum Along Songs Magic Touch Guitar: Best educational musical toy for two-year-olds

Price: £30 | Buy now from Smyths

The positive effects that music has on young children is well documented. As such, it makes sense to include musical items in their range of educational toys. Made of wood, this play guitar with Magic Touch technology will see your child interact easily to produce realistic acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass and banjo sounds in six different keys.

The guitar responds to your child’s strumming action, allowing them to make their own chord combinations. Children can also play along to pre-recorded songs, while the guitar’s whammy bar activates Silly mode, which produces a wide variety of weird and wonderful sound effects.

A toy guitar helps children to learn about rhythm and sound, helps their motor skills and also encourages self expression. Here, children will also learn about colours and animals, which feature on the frets.

Key details – Materials: Wood; Batteries needed: Yes; Independent play: Yes; Age range: 12+ months

Buy now from Smyths

5. 1-2-3 Build It Rocket Train Helicopter: Best educational engineering toy for two-year-olds

Price: £27 | Buy now from Bright Minds

If your toddler has taken a particular liking to cars and other vehicles, this STEM-authenticated play kit may be just what they’re looking for. The 17-piece kit allows children to construct either a rocket, a train or a helicopter. But the fun doesn’t end there: children can use the pieces to build their own creations, too, encouraging imaginative play.

All of the pieces are colourful and easy for toddler hands to grasp. Even the wrench is adequately chunky, making it easy for small hands to use. Arriving with a reusable storage box, children can also learn about the important task of putting away their toys.

A superb toy for developing fine motor skills and their vocabulary, children will likely need parental help to follow the picture instructions and build the rocket, train or helicopter.

Key specs – Materials: Plastic; Batteries needed: No; Independent play: Yes; Age range: 2+ years

Buy now from Bright Minds

6. Shape Sorting Cube: Best educational matching toy for two-year-olds

Price: £15 | Buy now from Jaques London

This is another classic educational toy – and with good reason; there’s so much a child can learn with this one little cube! As well as learning shapes and colours, children will develop problem-solving skills and be able to practise their hand-eye coordination through this one simple toy.

Including basic shapes such as the triangle, circle and square, this shape sorter also offers more challenging designs including a trapezoid, sector and hexagon. With shapes sporting different hues, children will even get the opportunity to learn colours.

Toddlers can play by matching the correct shapes to the correct slots on the cube to improve fine motor skills, or simply match by colour. A sliding lid keeps all the pieces contained within the cube for storage, and makes this toy conveniently portable, too.

Key details – Materials: Wood; Batteries needed: No; Independent play: Yes; Age range: 12+ months

Buy now from Jaques London

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