The Best Construction Truck Toys for 2-Year-Olds

Last Updated on March 1, 2023 by admin

Of all of the types of toy trucks that toddlers love to play with, construction trucks are probably the most popular of all. After all, the drama of the construction site combines toddlers’ great loves of both large vehicles AND mud.

The best toy construction truck gifts for 2-year-olds are generally the larger ones (about 10 inches long) that can withstand outdoor play as well as indoor play. (Smaller, handheld trucks certainly can be fun, too, but I think the larger trucks are generally more fun for younger toddlers to open and play with. Also, as I mentioned in my post on heavy work toys, pushing the trucks along the ground with both hands can satisfy toddlers’ craving for proprioceptive input.)

There are lots of toy construction truck options to build a working construction crew. Here were my own kid’s favorite construction truck toys in order of popularity:

  1. Dump trucks
  2. Tow trucks
  3. Bulldozers
  4. Loaders
  5. Excavators
  6. Cement trucks

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1. Dump Trucks

These are the most popular truck toy there is. I think it’s because a toy dump truck can easily replicate what REAL dump trucks do — and they’re fun for toddlers to move dirt and rocks and sticks around in their playtime.

Here’s a selection of toy dump trucks for 2-year-olds.

Green Toys Dump Truck, $18 (10 x 7.5 x 6.75 inches), machine washable and made from recycled bottles
Mega Bloks Dump Truck, $23
(23 inches long, 12 inches high), my kids liked this because of its slightly taller height
John Deere Dump Truck, $25
(15 x 7.5 x 8 inches)
Wonder Wheels by Battat, $13
(20 cm x 30 cm – or approximately 8 x 12 inches)
Tonka Steel Classics, $19
(8 x 17 x 11 inches), this one is technically recommended for ages 3 and up, perhaps because it’s heavier and has metal parts

2. Tow Trucks

It seems that people in general aren’t as excited about tow truck toys as my son was, because I could only find a few toy tow trucks geared toward toddlers on Amazon. However, for my son, the tow truck played a central role in his imaginary construction site play. (The other toy construction trucks were always getting stuck in the mud and needing to get pulled out.)

Tonka Steel Classics Tow Truck, $20 (6 x 13.5 x 6.75 inches), this is a similar model to the one my kids’ played with from my husband’s childhood!
Wonder Wheels, $10 (12 x 6.5 x 7.5 inches)

3. Bulldozers

Toddlers tend to love mud and trucks, but they also love the thrill of smashing and destroying stuff. That’s what made the toy bulldozer so popular in my house. Again, my son mostly played with a vintage metal Tonka truck from my husband’s childhood. Tonka still sells a similar truck, shown below, although some reviews indicate that the “steel classics” line of toys still have plenty of plastic components these days. Plus, metal trucks can do damage if they’re thrown or used to hit, and some 2-year-olds will certainly do that.

Cat® Construction Tough Rigs Toy Bulldozer, $24
Bruder 0244 Track-Type Tractor, $34
Tonka Steel Classics Bulldozer, $42

4. Excavators (“Diggers”)

My toddler used to correct me when I’d use the word “excavator” instead of “front-loader” or a “backhoe” or whatever the real term was for the vehicle in question. For the other pendants out there: Excavators have the swively top part (that’s an official term) and a scoopy bucket. The loaders are in the next section. I think the reason that my own kid didn’t play with the excavators/diggers as much was how difficult it tended to be to actually get the trucks to scoop and carry real dirt. The excavators pictured below have buttons and are mostly for indoor play, with the exception of the Tonka excavator, which seems like a great choice if you’re cool with the risks of handing a toddler a heavy metal toy.

Blippi’s Excavator, $29 (14 x 5.2 x 11 inches)
CAT Toys Excavator, $24, (15 x 8 x 9 inches)
Tonka Steel Classics Mighty Excavator, $60 (7 x 17.5 x 11 inches)

5. Loaders

These vehicles are kind of a combination between bulldozers and excavators. They play a crucial role in loading up the toy dump trucks and pushing sand, pebbles, or dirt around the play site.

Green Toys Loader, $36 (13.25 x 6.63 x 7.3 inches)
Tonka Steel Classics Front Loader, $29 (8.25 x 21.5 x 9.5 inches)
CAT plastic wheel loader toy, $ (10 x 5 x 7 inches)

6. Cement Trucks

I put cement trucks last because despite my kids’ fascination with them in real life, they weren’t ever as excited about the toy cement trucks they got. My son had the Battat cement truck with the little driver below, which matched some other Battat trucks. The line is made of shiny plastic that seems more geared toward indoor play, and he wasn’t that into it. The barrel on the Wonder Wheels truck barrel can both move up and down and spin (without a crank). The advantage of the Mega Bloks cement truck is that it can actually store and dump blocks, but that might not make it ideal for outdoor play.

Note: I saw a cool toy cement truck on Amazon that appeared to actually dump sand, which would make it a clear winner in the cement truck category. Upon closer inspection, though, the instructions actually say to NOT fill the barrel with anything, which makes sense because it would be difficult to clean out. So, keep that in mind as you shop.

Mega Bloks $19
(12 x 12 x 5 inches)
Wonder Wheels by Battat Cement Truck, $11 (11.96 x 6.5 x 7.5 inches)
Battat Cement Truck, $10.50 (12” (L) x 6” (W) x 7″ (H)

7. Other Construction Toys

Maybe you aren’t feeling what I call “medium sized trucks” for a gift. If that’s the case (or you want more options), head over to the full post on The Best Toys for Truck-Loving 2-Year-Olds to get other ideas, including a construction site board game for toddlers, construction site rainboots, and ride-on construction trucks.

I also wrote a full post on miniature vehicle sets. These are toys that generally come as a group of vehicles that kids play with on a streetscape mat or a wooden track, and many of them include construction vehicles along with other city vehicles. In fact, the best lines of wooden train sets often come with optional wooden construction vehicles, too. That can make for exciting play when you incorporate the train hauling things like imaginary rubble to and from the construction site. For more on that, check out my post The Best Wooden Train Sets for 2-Year-Olds.

Finally, a lot of these toy trucks for toddlers are purchased with intent for play in sandboxes or at the beach. Many of the trucks I listed in this post work well in sand, but you can also head over to my post on The Best Sand Toys for 2-Year-Olds to check out some lines of trucks that were designed specifically for sand play.