Updated: Nov 18
Choosing toys might feel like a challenge for this age group as their interests are not yet necessarily clear and quite fleeting, their attention span can still seem very limited, their imagination is only just starting to develop and yet they are changing and developing at massive speed and possibly move like a whirlwind too!
It is at this age imagination begins to be seen in play but is still limited too emulating and copying the world around them and what they observe. They are becoming more capable with their fine motor skills, they enjoy cognitive challenges like puzzles and games, are more able and willing to share and take-turns and they are readily exploring their physical capabilities and mastering skills.
Here are my best-buys from Timeless Toys within this age group that fulfil this stage of their development.
1. Train Sets
Wooden train sets are great for this age. Children like connecting the track pieces together, and train accessories like bridges and cranes offer the opportunity to practice their fine motor skills they so desperately want to master. They offer their first introduction to magnets when connecting the train carriages and will enjoy pushing and pulling the trains up and down slopes and round bends.
Train sets are an all round toy for any child and can grow with them from a simple small starting track to adding additional accessories as they become more adept at building their railway worlds. With a few figures, whether that be people, animals or dinosaurs, their imagination will soon be sparked to create stories and copy the things they have seen and heard. BUY HERE
Children from the age of two begin to enjoy simple games and the feeling of winning and accomplishing something. I especially like games where even the youngest players can play with autonomy; without the need for an adult to do it for them. We stock a few games in store specifically designed with the 2-3 age range in mind like those from Haba.
3. Animal Collection
From 2 years old, children love being able to identify, categorise and sort items so it's the perfect age to start an animal or dinosaur collection or buy a play set that has animals and dinosaurs with it.
The Deluxe Lanka Kade Ark comes with 22 colourful wild animal pairs. When I have this in my window display, children will line up the animals in long rows or pair and group them; sorting them by size and colour or animal type. As well as Arks, Farm Sets with a tractor are popular, Safari Play sets with a jeep and Dinosaur Island Play Sets, enable this small-world play with lots of animals. BUY HERE
4. Pretend Play Kitchen Fun
Children of this age are keen to role play and copy their parents in the home and in this way process and understand their world. You may not have the space for a complete kitchen so I particularly like the Honeybake sets by Le Toy Van and play food sets by Tenderleaf, as they can be complete standalone items with detailed pieces included, and will offer additional play value for those with a bigger kitchen play setup. Play food is also popular for their keen skills mastery as they chop vegetables, carry tea set trays, practice making tea and cake for everyone, serve plates of food and even make their favourite ice creams and pizza's! BUY HERE
5. Cognitive & Fine Motor Skills
Puzzles and jigsaws in all styles and forms will help develop both cognitive skills and fine motor skills. It's good to have a range of different types available.
Different types are: Jigsaws of 6-15 pieces for this age range, Shape sorters, Stacking & balancing toys, Sliding puzzles, Number jigsaws, Magnetic Mazes, Colour sorting toys, Pincer Grip activities, Construction toys, drawing boards.
We have a wide range available covering all of the above. BUY HERE
6. Balance Board
These are great for this age and such a versatile open play toy. They will enjoy rocking items on the board and seeing how they interact, rolling balls and trains and cars underneath, you can use it for ball games, it can be used as a hill in farm and train play, a slide off the sofa... endless possibilities. At this age developing their vestibular system is also really important, as a well developed vestibular system, our most connected sensory system, aids concentration and self-regulation as they grow older. The more they move now, the more they will be able to concentrate in a few years time. BUY HERE
Other popular choices in store to also consider are:
Search & Find Books
Search and find books offer children an interactive learning process where they can find the things that are familiar to them and explore and find the things less familiar, and in this way develop their problem solving abilities. These are a great way of developing their language, communication and memory skills through highly detailed and colourful illustrations and distinguishable characters on pages often packed with lots activity taking place to discover.
Dolls are ideal for this age, when they are wanting to learn to dress and undress from their own clothes and master skills such as buttons, zips and poppers, shoes and coats. Equally play is emulating and copying what they see around them and for most they will see babies being cared for either in the home or outside of it.
Stacking and Sorting
It is at 2 years old they begin to understand that things can be grouped by colour, shape and size. They enjoy counting and are starting to recognise numbers up to 10. Colour, shape sorting and matching are the foundations of learning and recognising numbers and letters. So toys that enable them to practice this are really important.