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1. Playdough and Playdough tools
Playdough is always a big favorite at our house. And it always seems that we go through quite a bit of it. I also found that it is a great way to encourage fine motor movements and use of common objects like playdough scissors or tweezers. My little one also loves to use her playdough pizza cutter and rolling pin. If you prefer (for whatever reason) you can also make your own playdough at home. A quick google search reveals a variety of recipes. Another tip would be to use plastic silverware and plastic cookie cutters that you already have at home to supplement your playdough play.
2. Melissa and Doug Easel
We were fortunate to find this Melissa and Doug Easel at our favorite second hand children’s store here locally and we have used it almost every day since. We use it a multitude of ways, with chalk on the one side, with dry erase markers on the other, with the clips to hold up paper for painting or coloring. During the winter we put it out on the lanai and then don’t have to worry about how big a mess we make with the paint.
3. Boon Bathtub Toys
These bathtub toys have been such a huge hit at our house that I have given them as birthday gifts several times since. My little one loves pouring and catching water through them. Also they actually stick really well to the bathtub compared to some other similar toys. This is also a little bit of a negative as my little one is unable to move them herself.
4. LeapFrog Tad’s Fridge Phonics Magnetic Letter Set
We got an older version of this toy as a hand me down from a friend and it has remained a favorite since I brought it home. My daughter loves to take the different letters in and out to hear the phonics. We use it on our metal exterior door as opposed to the refrigerator which gives her more space to play. We have also used the magnetic letters to work on letter recognition, matching games with capital and lowercase letters and to start working on simple spelling, like spelling her name. At the age of 2 she was able to correctly identify approximately 10 letters, even pointing out certain letters on products in the grocery store which I attribute partially to this toy.
5. Cozy Coupe
This classic has proven to be a fun addition to our outdoor toys. My little one loves to get in, open and close the doors and turn her key. Various baby dolls are also along for the ride. This toy is great because it gets her moving and works on reciprocal lower extremity movements. We found ours at our favorite used children’s store for more than half off the original price. Some times it pays to buy used and put the difference towards an item she will enjoy later when she is older.
6. Mr./Mrs. Potato Head
Another classic toy comes in next on our list. We used Mr. Potato Head a lot when she was attending speech therapy to work on a variety of words including more, please, thank you and different body parts. My daughter also loves to laugh and giggle when she puts the parts in the wrong order. We also used this toy when we were working on learning about Pablo Picasso and modern art. Check out our art history section for suggestions for introducing your little one to one of the greats!
7. Kinetic Sand
Kinetic Sand is another great indoor activity on a cold or rainy day. Our set came with miniature sand toys with which she can build small sand castles. My little one loves how the sand sticks together easier than regular sand and mom enjoys that it makes it easier to clean up. We play kinetic sand in her highchair in order to help keep it contained. This is another activity that you can DIY with several recipes available with a quick google search.
8. Water Beads
We were introduced to water beads at a friends first birthday party. They are a great sensory activity. I will hide small plastic toys in the water beads in order to add to the fun. We ordered one bag of water beads over a year ago and still have lots left as they expand so much.
9. Bubble Machine
My little one loves anything that has to do with bubbles. We did purchase a bubble machine to use while she is playing with her bubbles as it just helps to make so many more bubbles while she is blowing bubbles. It also cuts down on the amount of bubbles Mom and Dad have to blow!
10. Melissa and Doug Cutting Fruit
I found this set used and it has provided endless hours of fun. My little one loves “cutting” the fruit with the wooden knife and then sticking it back together with the Velcro. I also like that it works on a functional real world activity without the risk of a real knife.
What toys does your two year old love to play with? Leave us a comment and let us know.