We were recently invited to a birthday party for a 2-year-old, and you know what I don’t remember? What 2-year-olds like. It’s funny how that was only three years ago and yet I had to go back into my journals to find out even what KIND of toy the kids were playing with at that age.
One idea we considered was musical instruments. Several of our kids were invited, so it seemed like a good way to bring a gift from each child: maybe one could bring this cool percussion toy (photo from Amazon.com), and one could bring bendy bells, and one could bring a harmonica and a kazoo.
Or maybe one kid could bring an instrument and one could bring a set of helping/digging garden tools (photo from Amazon.com).
I like the look of this Melissa and Doug beach set (photo from Amazon.com), and it’s particularly perfect for a late-spring or early-summer birthday.
I remember looking for fun tub stuff for this age. Some bath tablets to change the water color (photo from Amazon.com) seem like fun. Maybe these from one kid, and water flutes from another.
The LeapFrog fridge toy (photo from Amazon.com) is more expensive, but my kids had it and liked it. It sings a little success song whenever you put in the front and back halves of a vehicle—and if you do a mismatch, it sings a silly song. I liked Fridge Phonics even better, and so did two of my kids, but the vehicle one was more universally enjoyed.
I think this geometric stacker (photo from Amazon.com) is so pretty on the shelf, and has a nice long play time of baby to preschooler. It would make a good baby gift, too.
A water-drawing board (photo from Amazon.com) was one of our most successful toys overall. I bought one when Edward was 2 years old and we had a long car trip ahead of us, and it was great for that and great afterward too. It’s surprisingly expensive (this one would be a gift from all three kids), but I have it in my “worth it” category.
This Dwell Studio puzzle (photo from Amazon.com) is the kind of gift I’d give with the additional happiness of knowing it was likely to be very pleasing to the parent as well. Hip cool cute Dwell Studio animals!
I love dress-up puzzles. They’re one of the few toys I will play with when a child is not even around. The Melissa and Doug bear family is a fun one to start with, and one of the few that isn’t girls-and-dresses.