When my kids’ birthdays and Christmas roll around, I try to take charge and create good solid wish lists that I make available to friends and family. These lists include practical items that I know the kid will need throughout the course of the year. Gift-givers often want to pick out the gift that’s going to be the most fun or exciting for the child, and I understand that. But two-year-olds can get just as excited over practical gifts as they do over toys. And if you give a practical gift to a two-year-old, you are likely to make the parents extra happy as well! Here is a list of practical gifts for two-year-olds.
Educational Practical Gifts for Two-Year-Olds
Two-year-olds are working on learning shapes and colors, and naming objects. These practical educational gifts will help make learning fun.
This toy has stood the test of time in our home! Stick it on the fridge and your toddler can learn the alphabet, listen to catchy foods, and even perhaps stay occupied while you work in the kitchen.
More educational gift ideas:
- A set of nice big flashcards will help parents quiz the two-year-old on shapes, colors, and words.
- Interactive books for toddlers with flaps, textures, slides, and more ways to engage.
- A magazine subscription, such as High Five by Highlights, will provide educational fun in the two-year-old’s mailbox each month. My daughter was so sad when her subscription was up!
Creative Practical Gifts for Two-Year-Old
Two-year-olds are just starting to be able to express themselves through art and can work through simple arts and crafts with supervision and assistance. Aside from crayons and coloring books, consider these artsy practical gifts.
This awesome Button Art set promotes creativity and develops fine motor skills. Toddlers can match large buttons to the included templates or design their own pictures on the pegboard.
- Do-a-Dot markers allow toddlers to easily create beautiful, colorful patterns. The markers are simple for two-year-olds to use, although they can be messy! Smocks encouraged.
- Craft kits by ALEX that are rated for ages 18 months through 3 years provide simple craft projects that the two-year-old can complete with his or her parents.
- Two-year-olds (and their parents) will need a place to store all this beautiful artwork. Try these portfolios by ALEX as a solution.
Find a complete list of favorite art toys for kids here.
Toddler-sized Seating for Two-Year-Olds
Two-year-olds love to have seats that they can sit in independently and that are just the right size for them.
This table and chair set is perfect for two-year-olds! They will have their own place for reading, writing, making art, playing pretend, or eating. Bring the table and chairs out for pint-sized party and dinner guests, as well.
More toddler-sized seating ideas:
- A folding camping or beach chair, such as this one by Melissa & Doug, will give your child a comfy place to sit while enjoying the outdoors or even eating a snack around the house. We have this one from Summer Infant at home and love it.
- A booster seat might be a useful practical gift since the two-year-old is likely transitioning out of a highchair.
- A potty seat would be a practical gift if the two-year-old is still potty training! Ask mom and dad for their preference of style. We like this potty seat with the attached steps.
Hygiene-Related Practical Gifts for Two-Year-Olds
From brushing their teeth to styling their hair, two-year-olds have daily use for practical gifts that help with their personal hygiene.
To keep the bathtub tidy, gift your two-year-old this favorite tub organizer set for toiletries and toys. Your toddler will receive two suction-attaching mesh organizers for easy draining.
More hygiene-related gift ideas:
- This highly-rated electric toothbrush is made for kids between 0 and 3 years old. Its fun glow and vibration will make it a hit for kids while its built-in two-minute timer will make it a hit for parents.
- This best-selling hairbrush gets top ratings for detangling hair. Throw in some hair bows or headbands if your two-year-old is a little girl who likes to accessorize.
- Hooded bath towels make getting out of the bathtub fun and cozy. Two-year-olds might be outgrowing infant-sized towels and need some more roomy options.
Household Item Practical Gifts for Two-Year-Olds
Two-year-olds like to be both helpful and independent (although when they are being independent, it is not always helpful!). Here are some practical gifts that will support them.
Give your two-year-old a toddler-sized place to organize books, toys, and treasures when it’s time to clean up. This highly rated sling bookshelf comes with two drawers underneath for extra storage.
More household gift ideas:
- This cleaning set will allow the two-year-old to help mom and dad with sweeping and scrubbing. The items can actually be used to clean, and it comes with a handy storage stand.
- So that they can be more independent in washing their hands or helping with dishes, the two-year-old could use a sturdy stepstool.
- As two-year-olds gain more independence through moving out of cribs, they may need a little guidance about when it’s all right to get out of bed in the morning. That’s where an OK to Wake clock comes in.
Food-Related Practical Gifts for Two-Year-Olds
Meals and snacks are a big and important part of any two-year-old’s life! These practical gifts will help the eating experience for two-year-olds to be cleaner and more fun.
Your two-year-old will like carrying around and drinking out of her very own water bottle. These Camelbak water bottles are favorites in our house and come in a huge array of fun designs.
More food-related gift ideas:
- Two-year-olds need still need bibs—and large ones, at that—to keep their clothes clean while they eat. Look for snaps or buttons as Velcro and pull-off bibs are easy for toddlers to remove on their own.
- Divided plates are a must at our house. Look for plates that come in fun colors and are BPA-free, unlikely to break or scratch, and dishwasher and microwave safe.
- Snack Catchers help keep toddlers from spilling (or throwing) their snacks everywhere. Parents will thank you if you purchase these for any two-year-old!
Outdoor Practical Gifts for Two-Year-Olds
Thinking ahead to outdoor fun for all seasons, here are some ideas for outdoor gifts for two-year-olds.
Balance bikes are a wise alternative to tricycles. They help teach children to balance as they would on a two-wheel bike without using pedals. My third child used this balance bike for years, and afterward, she picked up riding a bike without training wheels as though she’d been doing it forever. Depending on the bike, children as young as 18 months can ride them. (Check the age range on the one you choose.) Don’t forget the helmet!
More outdoor gift ideas:
- Puddle Jumpers are perfect life jackets for two-year-olds (once they hit 30 pounds). Prepare them for their trips to the pool or beach.
- Your two-year-old can pitch in on the gardening with this precious toddler-sized set of outdoor tools. It even includes gardening gloves, an apron, and a caddy!
- To keep your two-year-old dry on rainy days, pick out a cute umbrella as a practical gift.
Read my post on ten outdoor toys for kids for other gift ideas!
Travel Practical Gifts for Two-Year-Olds
Get your two-year-old prepared for trips to grandma’s house, sleepovers, or airplane rides with these practical travel gift ideas.
Pick up this popular portable toddler bed for a cozy and convenient place to sleep when out of town or at a sleepover.
More travel-related two-year-old gift ideas:
- A toddler backpack or small rolling suitcase has so many uses, from storing toys to packing for an overnight trip to packing a bag of supplies for a long road trip.
- A backseat car organizer will place all of the two-year-old’s essentials in easy reach while riding in the car. This one even includes a place for a tablet!
- A travel tray will allow the two-year-old to color or eat while traveling and keep all the fun travel supplies organized.
Consult this list of STEM-related toys for toddlers under 3 for even more ideas.