Top Ten Toys to Those Terrible Twos

My youngest sibling is two years old, but he’s going on three in just over a month. I’d say that puts me in as an expert in what these terrible twos are interested in nowadays. A few rules to begin will help you to decide which toys your child will play with and which ones will collect dust in their toychest.

Rule #1: An expensivve toy is not always a great toy. I know when I was that young, I got more of a kick out of the big box a toy came in than the toy half the time. Don’t think the best toy is going to cost you an arm and a leg.

Rule #2: What does the kid like? Who does the kid like? My littlest bro loves me. On a trip home to visit, I picked up this stuffed bunny with floppy ears because I thought he might like it at the tender age of one. He did and still plays with it all the time. No batteries. No gimmicks. It really is the thought that counts.

Rule #3: When all else fails. The child is two years old and the one thing that will almost always work is noise. If you find something that is loud and obnoxious as a parent, the kid is going to love it! All joking aside, there are a few choice toys that fall into the category of educational noisemakers. The dancing elmo is not one of these. Educational can be fun if you do it right.

And so, after careful consideration, let us begin the top ten toy choices for those terrible two year olds.

Coming in at #10, the E-L-M-O Elmo*. This thing has to make my list simple cause the kids love it for whatever reason. This is the dancing Elmo that does the Elmo version of the YMCA. Live from Sesame Street, dancing Elmo takes this slot.

Coming in at #9, the Fisher-Price Fun2Learn Preschool Center*. First, the toy is desk-like and teaches children how to draw shapes, letters and numbers. This desk opens up into a musical learning center complete with drums and keyboard and lets kids play and learn about music. This one is a bit pricy at $55 and takes three “C” size batteries, but if your kid is anything like my little brother, you can be sure they’ll love it.

Next at #8, this is a tossup due to age. I want to say Legos**. As always, blocks are math and thinking oriented and promote learning. My college roomate was big on playing with legos even at his age. Legos are a fun toy, but at the age of two you need to decide exactly what to buy. Some legos are quite small and may be found edible by some kids. especially the ones that are hard to pull apart and they bite them to separate. So, in this slot, I would like to include Legos, Duplos, and Lincoln Logs. The latter being the least favorite suggestion as they don’t have the same options provided by Legos or the larger Duplos. If you chose Lego toys, be wary about the battery powered ones.

Reaching #7, I’m going with dolls. Alright, this one is a girls only thing, right? Well, there are a few exceptions to ever rule and there are a few boys that get along well with girls and would even play with a doll. It might be rare, but it can happen. It’s all in the creativity of the child and their nature. I personally would not buy my little brother a “doll” but I have no doubt that he might or might not play with a doll. He plays nicely with babies, and that’s the personality trait to look for if a doll is a thought for a gift. For those of you who have doubts, feel free to include action figures and stuffed animals in this list as well. I’d like to point out to you the Lavander Lab**** as an option here.

Coming in at #6, Balls. Be it oversized kick balls, footballs, soccer balls. teeballs, whiffle balls, or baseballs. This one is going to be a good one. Teeball sets, plastic golfing and bowling sets are also on the market. This may often be looked at as a “boy’s toy.” If your buying for an active girl and what kid isn’t active at two, even if you don’t think football will be a big thing in her life, think about a soccer ball or something else. A ball is a fun toy for most children at this age. Actually, a ball is a fun toy for a lot of kids at most ages, even full grown adults sometimes.

At #5, For the girls, the Dora the Explorer Trike comes in at $25. Any self-respecting boy would prefer a classic Big Wheel though which is currently a $40 toy sold at Of course, that’s an original Big Wheel and you pay for quality. There is also a pink version out there for girls. Back in the day my sister had a pink one that matched me and my elder little brother’s Big Wheel. I haven’t seen them often in stores, but new ones occasionally sell on ebay still so they are out there. A kid who likes to travel will always want a trike and the original is always the best. This is one of those no batteries toys that won’t run down when they are having fun.

Coming in at #4, Art Supplies* make an appearance here. Messy messy fun! Crayons, paints, pencils, and pens for boys and girls offer creative options to inspire them to use their imagination. This can be a messy toy and messy ranks right up there with noisy in fun.

At #3, we have the classic slide. I would suggest the four step up plasic slide at this age for both safety and longevity. This type of slide should keep a child up to the age of five entertained easilly.

#2 comes marching in with drums and cymbols pounding. No battery noise makers. Percussion instruments are one of the best toys a child will love to get. No replacement batteries for the parents to keep buying make instruments a great toy. The parents’ hopes for peace and quiet will be completely dashed and the kid will love you that much more.

We’re finally here. The #1 toy the terrible twos…Alright, I’ll level with you, I really don’t have one on hand. There is no one toy that every kid is going to love. My best suggestion to you here is to find a toy that they can’t play with. A great toy that fills this category would be a see-saw. This is a toy that your child just can’t play with. Because a see-saw needs at least a second person. They can play with you or they can play with their friends. This is a difficult category, but the idea here is to pick a toy that will promote cooperation and sociability.

Congratulations on making it through my list of the top ten toys for tots in their terrible twos. I know there are a lot of options out there, but try to remember the basics of what makes a toy fun. Some of the toys above exercise the body and some exercise the mind. A lot of the toys listed above let a child play on their own and have options to play with multiple people. Please remember the best toys are toys that let your child open up and be creative with others.

*Please remember the most important thing about a toy like this. If you buy a toy that takes batteries, please have the courtesy to buy the batteries to hand over with it cause a child will be upset if they can’t play with it when they open it.
**Some Lego sets carry the same battery issue as above, please include batteries as appropriate. Battery powered Lego sets are not suggested for the age of two.
***This one can get messy. You may want to have a place they can be creative without making a mess of the house.
****This claims to double as a sleep aid as is contains lavender which is meant to aid people in sleeping better. The parent may love you for this one more than the child.

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