Even though it’s not their first birthday celebration, it feels like the first really significant one! No longer are they content with what you give them to do, they can choose for themselves. Most toys claim to only be suitable from three years onward, so what should you buy a two year old?
1. Janod Buggy Walker / R890 / Brightbeans
A two year old will probably need little encouragement to move as they are known to be notoriously “busy.” Pushing and manipulating a walker or buggy will provide endless entertainment while packing and unpacking encourages gross motor development and balance. Plasticland has pull wagons that can be used outside for the same purpose (R109).
2. Shaped Bucket / R69.95 / Plasticland
It is important for children to physically experience the difference between round edges and corners. Playing with these shapes and determining where each one goes is important for developing shape perception and shape constancy. These shapes may also be used to practice sorting and learning that objects can be classified in groups (eg circles go with circles and triangles go with triangles). Carrying around the is just as much fun!
3. Moover Doll Pram / R1499 / Playtoys
Pretend play is such a great way to learn about the world and practice a wide range of skills. Dressing and undressing dolls practices fine motor skills in which the hands, fingers and eyes need to work together. Clothes with zipper and buttons are important challenges for a two year old.
4. Melissa and Doug Stainless Steel Pots and Pan / R385 / Kalahari
Not only is this a great gift to spark the imagination and creativity, but it can get your two year old involved in dinner preparation. A few pieces of macaroni, dried beans and some vegetable peels go a long way and provide excellent sensory play experiences. Dishing from one pot to the next, stirring and pouring are important for fine motor development such as hand-eye coordination.
5. Rocking Moose / R799 / Nevada Furniture
This is a rocking moose! Not only is it fun to climb but it is also a beautiful decor piece. Need we say more!
6. Little observation / R299 / Collerette
Peg boards are great for two year olds. They help with the development of colour perception and fine motor skills. Your toddler will probably need adult supervision at first, but as soon as they have the hang of it they will be able to master it alone.
7. Play Dough Set / R59.99 / Mr Price Home
Play dough is an excellent way to spark creativity. You can also address other skills such as cutting. Make long strings using the play dough and have your two year old cut this string into smaller pieces.
8. Hape Playful Piano / R799 / Toy Kingdom
Rhythm and music is such an important part of a young child’s development. Two year olds have little inhibition when it comes to dancing and creating music and should be encouraged to enjoy this creative outlet as much as possible.
9. Brown Bear, Brown Bear / R118 / Kalahari
The very hungry caterpillar / R182 / Kalahari
Stories filled with repetition are great for two year olds as it makes the story predictable. Books that incorporate counting and colours in the storyline are a great teaching tool. Interacting with your child while reading, by counting or asking questions, contributes to numeracy and active language development.