Last Updated on November 9, 2022 by admin
If you’re interested in buying a dollhouse or another miniature playset with figurines (such as a play firehouse or a play castle) for a 2-year-old, you’ll probably find yourself distracted by a ton of really cool-looking options. There are stylish and minimalist modern wooden models, exciting plastic ones with realistic details, and a ton of interesting themes and “places” to choose from.
However, most of the dollhouses and miniature sets on the market aren’t designed for 2-year-olds. They tend to come with lots of tiny accessories that 2-year-olds can’t really appreciate — and at worst, those tiny pieces can become dangerous choking hazards.
Related post: All About Small Parts Warnings
That said, there are several lines of toys that were designed specifically for toddlers. These toys are choke-hazard-free and appropriate even for 18-month-olds, but can still interest young kids for a few more years before those kids graduate to more complex miniature sets and dollhouses.
Here are a few of the best lines of miniature toys for 2-year-olds.
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This line of miniatures from Fat Brain Toys features cute woodland animals. The playsets often serve as self-storage for the little figurines, and many include fun features like the slide shown here or other elevators or rotating parts. Besides the schoolhouse shown here, there are several woodland homes, a little shop, and even an adventure van.
This popular line from Fisher-Price has toys for just about every conceivable context: There’s a school, a farm, construction toys, a set of babies, and a Christmas manger, to name just a few. There are also Little People modeled after famous characters, including Run DMC and the characters from The Office TV show, that are all compatible with all of the sets, so that makes it extra fun for the grown-ups.
I’ve already sung the praises of Green Toys in other posts about play vehicles for 2-year-olds and even pretend toys for 2-year-olds (because of their food-friendly tea set). The high-quality plastic holds up great over time: The Green Toys plastic dump truck we have is probably 6 years old at this point and is fully intact — and I can’t say the same for many other plastic trucks that have lost wheels and cracked buckets. They don’t specialize in miniature sets, but I love this toddler friendly camper toy. Toddlers can pretend with the little figures and also work on their fine motor skills as they connect the various parts together.
If you search for “play farm” on Amazon or elsewhere on the internet, you’ll see plenty of options to choose from. This play barn from Battat seems to be a solid choice with almost 10K Amazon reviews. It’s relatively affordable and pretty simple, but play barns are a classic toy for a reason: Kids are always drawn to them.
Playmobil has released a line of toys specifically for the 18-months-and-up crowd. I thought this take-along preschool, which closes up so it can be conveniently carried, was a cool choice. The line also has a family house, a barn/farm set, and playground sets.
It seems like I recommend Duplo in almost every post I write, but so be it: Duplos are great as building sets, but they’re also essentially miniature toy sets because they come with little people and animals. Because kids can follow the directions to build the sets, they’re arguably better for logical and spatial skills than other more static miniature sets. And because kids can take the sets apart and make their own creations — especially if you build up a collection over time — Duplo is much more versatile than the other sets on this list. Plus, somehow Lego (which makes Duplo, of course) has figure out how to make toddler safe figurines that can actually move a little bit, when the rest are just solid molded plastic.
For more on what 2-year-olds need developmentally from toys, check out my full post on the topic: The 10 Types of Toys 2-Year-Olds-Need.
Unfortunately, the Sesame Street playset that my kids played with so much as toddlers (shown in the featured image of this post) has been discontinued.
However, a wide variety of Sesame Street miniatures are still for sale, designed for 18 months and up, and can be a lot of fun for toddlers even even without the playset. One nice thing about these simple plastic miniatures is that they can double as bathtime or water toys and are easy to pop in a purse or a carry-on bag if you need to entertain small children during an unexpected wait.
There are a lot of character-driven miniature toy sets out there. You can find small plastic toys for pretty much every children’s show that your kid watches. But I noticed that these Peppa Pig sets are actually designed for ages 2 and up, unlike many of the other sets that are deigned for 3-plus. This set folds flat for easy storage and most of the pieces can be stored inside.