Last-Minute Gift Ideas for 2-Year-Olds

Last Updated on December 15, 2022 by admin

Looking for a gift for a special 2-year-old and need to get it quickly? Below are a selection of gifts that are:

  • available at most major retailers and/or Amazon Prime eligible
  • relatively easy to wrap (no giant gifts or assembly required)
  • popular with most 2-year-olds regardless of their personal interests (for example, they’re enjoyed by truck lovers and princess lovers alike)
  • doesn’t require checking in with the parent to make sure they don’t already have the toy or that they have other things required to make the toy fun

As an Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Any Play-Doh Set

Play-Doh 10-Pack, $8

A lot of play dough and play sand can’t be 100% safe for toddlers because a few of them will probably try to eat it. I’m not sure how, but the Play-Doh brand has been able to legally market itself toward ages 2 and up, so I’m guessing it has passed the mandated tests for choking hazards and toxicity. Most parents have a love-hate relationship with Play-Doh because it dries out easily and can make a mess, but it’s tough to overlook the appeal of fresh squishy colorful dough for kids of all ages. (I’ve seen plenty of scented play dough being marketed toward adults who want to play and relax, as well, which kind of proves that it’s fun for everyone.) Working with dough also helps young kids develop hand strength and fine motor skills, and toddlers especially seem to crave that kind of tactile experience. One thing that makes this a good gift is that even if they already have Play-Doh, they could always use more.

A Play Barn

Fisher-Price Little People Animal Farm, $42

If you search for “play farm” on Amazon or elsewhere on the internet, you’ll see plenty of options to choose from. Many of these play farms are advertised for ages 3 and up, though. As I wrote in my post explaining small parts warnings on toys, the “3 and up” recommendation might be due to small parts that could potentially break off the toy, or it could just be that the toys are heavier or more complicated than is ideal for 2-year-olds. That said, you can easily find a plastic barn like the one shown here that is designed for the 1.5+ year crowd. Related: Farm Toys for 2-Year-Olds, Miniature Sets for 2-Year-Olds.

An Animal Stacker

Le Toy Van Animal Stacker – Forest – $20

This one is a little more specific to a certain brand, but Le Toy Van toys are Prime eligible where I live and are also available at my favorite local toy store. They’re the only animal stacker that is advertised for ages 2 and up. These are cute, eco-friendly, and come in several themes.

A Duplo Set

LEGO DUPLO Classic Deluxe Brick Box 10914 Starter Set with Storage Box, $60

Duplo is a great last-minute option for 2-year-olds for several reasons: There’s a set for every price point and for every interest, they’re available at almost every major retailer, and even people who already have Duplo sets can always add to their collection to make it more interesting. These toys are safe, easy to clean, and are played with for many years.

Wooden Blocks

Wooden Blocks for 2-Year-Olds
Hape Wooden Blocks, $18

If the family you’re buying for seems environmentally conscious, some high-quality wooden blocks might be even more appreciated than the more popular plastic interlocking ones. It’s difficult to have too many blocks, because more blocks just means taller towers.

A Shape Sorter

Playskool Shape Sorter, $11.99

The nice thing about this is that even if they already have Squigz, more in the collection means the ability to make longer chains and more interesting play

The nice thing about this is that even if they already have Squigz, more in the collection means the ability to make longer chains and more interesting play

A Board Game or Matching Game

My First Orchard Game, $24.99

Most major retailers will carry at least a few introductory board games that are appropriate for 2-year-olds. I have a full list in my post The Best Board Games for 2-Year-Olds.

Potato Head

Mr. Potato Head Toy, $7.99

My own kids were never big fans of the Potato Head toys, but plenty of other kids do as evidenced by the reviews. I also wanted to list them here because they’re widely available at most retailers and are one of the few toys that are actually suggested for ages 2 and up — just a little too complicated for the average 1.5 year old but also free of potential choking hazards. These are also super affordable and their interchangeability makes them versatile in a collection.

A Stuffed Animal

cuddle + kind Noah The Dog

Age 2 might be the peak age for playing with stuffies. Not all kids continue to show interest in these types of toys throughout their childhoods, but you can’t exactly go wrong choosing a stuffed animal for a 2-year-old. This gift works even better if you know a little bit about which kinds of animals the kid likes in real life.

A Sturdy Pail and Shovel

This Green Toys sand set is about $22 on Amazon.

True, this might not be as exciting for a 2-year-old to open as a toy vehicle or doll, but a sturdy pail and shovel will get tons of use throughout a childhood — at the sandbox, at the beach, in the snow, and during outdoor water play.

Need more ideas?

If none of these are really striking your fancy, head over to the more thorough post on what to get a 2-year-old for Christmas.