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How to buy the perfect gift for a two year old

15 February, 2017 2 Comments

How to buy the perfect gift for a two year old

Two year olds.  Not babies anymore, but still not quite old enough for all the nostalgic toys and games you remember from your own childhood.  So what on earth should you buy one as a gift?

If you don't have little kids of your own, the chances are you don't really know where to start with finding a gift that you know will go down well.  

Luckily, I have spent a lot of time since we started Be So Baby asking everyone I know about what sort of things work for their kids, and have also researched more blogs and parenting magazines than any normal auntie.

The result is this handy guide to two year olds - useful for anyone with a gift to buy, or even just wanting a little heads-up before a visit.

Check out the other guides in this series:

Guide to one year olds

Guide to three year olds

Guide to four year olds

Guide to five year olds

Two Year Olds Are Able To...

perfect second birthday gift - development stage


By this point, most two year olds are pretty steady on their feet.  They should be able to climb stairs without help, and can start to pick up new skills that require balance, such as learning to kick a ball or simple throwing and catching games (don't expect too much expertise yet!).


perfect second birthday gift - colouring in

Grasp a pen or crayon

Toddlers have developed a lot since the early days of the pincer grasp. By two years old, most will be able to hold a pen or pencil in their hand (expect a fist rather than any elegant pencil holding though) and will start to draw simple shapes and lines.


perfect second birthday gift - copying grownups

Increased attention span

One of the best things about two year olds is that as their attention span gets longer, they are able to undertake short tasks.  And there is nothing a two year old likes more than perceived 'grownup tasks'.  As an auntie, I regularly use this to my advantage (as you can see in the photo above).

Improving speech

All kids develop their speech at different rates.  While some may have been chatting away in their own way for months by this point, others will be biding their time, using signs and a few simple words to get what they want.  But before long, most kids will be mastering short, simple sentences.  And once they start talking, don't expect peace and quiet from them any time soon...

Two Year Olds Want To...

perfect second birthday gift - copying

Great Gifts for a Two Year Old

As mentioned above, most two year olds like nothing better than copying adult activity.  If a new baby sibling is around or on the way, a baby of their own to care for can be a great gift for both girls and boys, while other simple household tasks such as cooking and cleaning can keep them occupied for hours. 

Gift Ideas:

perfect second birthday gift - baby and pram

"She keeps going back to it, it wasn't the main focus on the day but she has played a lot with it afterwards"

Katie (mum of 2)

Toy Pram / Baby Doll: A lot of parents will buy this sort of gift for their own kids, so it's best to ask before buying. Other great options like this include toy kitchens, shops or cleaning acessories (eg. dustpan and brush, mop, or toy vacuum cleaner).


perfect second birthday gift - building blocks

"It's wooden so will last"

Sorcha (mum of 2)

3D Building Cubes: Wooden toys like these building cubes are a great idea.  Two year olds will enjoy stacking the blocks and re-arranging them over and over. As their skills and attention span improves further, building the different scenes in this sort of game can bring a new challenge.


perfect second birthday gift - be so baby create gift box

Be So Baby Create Gift Box: A simple way to buy a thoughtful gift - our Create Gift includes a portable chalk mat, so kids can practise their drawing skills wherever they are; masks give them a chance to decorate and create characters and games stimulating their imaginations; a simple bamboo puzzle is a great game to help develop their building and organising skills.  They will enjoy the satisfaction of completing and repeating this task over and over.


perfect second birthday gift - build a truck

"The experience and the sense of achievement of making something himself is great - it’s a bonus that at the end of the process he has a truck to play with"

Gillian (mum of 1)

Build Your Own Toy:  While two year olds are still too little to build something like this on their own, working together with an adult to build their own toy or game can be a great experience and help with their developing attention span.


simple guide to two year olds

All the useful information about key toddler development at age two is contained in our Beginner's Guide to Two Year Olds pdf.  Sign up to our newsletter here to receive your own copy

Hopefully this has helped give you more of an idea about two year olds.  Please leave any of your own tips and ideas in the comments! 

2 Responses

Linda Anderson
Linda Anderson

20 February, 2017

Love this post! It’s a long long time since my offspring were children, so I do find it difficult to remember what sort of things they were into at particular stages. Will be bookmarking this site for reference next time I need to buy a gift for a child.


15 February, 2017

Our youngest turned 2 end of last year, and I found it a difficult age to gift for even for my own kid. Our eldest got a toy pram for his second birthday, so we already had that, as well as a playroom full of bricks. In the end, we got the grandparents to extend the Lego collection so that he had some of his own and not just hand-me-downs, and we got him a really simple remote control car from Fisher Price, because his brother had gotten one for his birthday the week before that he wasn’t allowed to play with. I love that truck at the end, by the way. We have a race car from the same line. Another hand-me-down, but a well loved one. The screwdriver more so than the car itself, lol.

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