Ask any 2-year-old if they need help and they’ll likely shout, “I do myself!” Kids this age are hungry for more than just cookies—they crave getting their hands on everything to figure out what they’re made of independently! These slam-dunk gift ideas give the little man in your life that chance. Aside from cultivating their ever-growing developmental skills, we especially like that these picks offer a little taste of the “big boy” life.
Boys. Love. Banging. On. Things. Pros Melissa and Doug ran with that, designing a piece of playtime genius that combines a classic pounding toy with a friendly game of whack-a-mole. As kids use the mallet to depress a smiley-face peg, another pops up, and the fun continues as each one takes a hit—a great way to sharpen hand-eye coordination while teaching cause and effect. The pegs are non-removable (call off the “missing pieces search squad”—woot!) and different colored; as your child grows, use it as a fun way to quiz him on colors.
It’s going to be a while before your 2-year-old is ready for the open road, but it’s very likely that he at least wants a taste. Set him up to rule the sidewalk with this Harley ‘hog’ for the littlest of riders. Aside for sporting the iconic colors and symbol of the legendary motorcycle brand, this three-wheeler is low to the ground, making it easy to mount independently, and equipped with wide, durable wheels. The seat even lifts to stow treasures (i.e., his growing acorn collection) or an on-the-go snack.
All aboard! This 23-piece train set is a great foray into the world of building—a love that will last well into his elementary school years. The big pieces are easy to grab and snap together to assemble a three-car train, and the numbered blocks help you sneak in some counting practice. For example, tell him that the choo-choo he built won’t move until the numbers are in the correct order. Boy, girl, and cat figures are also included to spark creative role playing.