Wrapped gifts for two-year-old
Raising Kids

30+ Practical Gifts for Two-Year-Olds that Parents will Appreciate

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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.

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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.

  • A set of nice big flashcards will help parents quiz the two-year-old on shapes, colors, and words.
  • Sturdy board books. Look for books with flaps or textures for an extra treat!
  • A book subscription such as this from Cratejoy will deliver curated books to the two-year-old each month. (Also, although not a gift, be sure the two-year-old is enrolled in the free Imagination Library program if it’s available in his or her area!)
  • This fridge toy teaches letter sounds through song (and might just occupy kids while their parents are busy in the kitchen!).
  • 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-Olds

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.

  • 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.
  • A craft subscription such as this from Cratejoy delivers fun projects to your two-year-old’s doorstep on a monthly basis.
  • Two-year-olds (and their parents) will need a place to store all this beautiful artwork. Try these portfolios by ALEX as a solution.
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. Some varying options of toddler-sized seating include:

  • 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 child-sized wooden table and chair set makes eating or play more fun and convenient for the two-year-old.
  • 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 kind with the attached steps.
Hygiene-Related Practical Gifts for Two-Year-Olds

From brushing their teeth to styling their hair, two-year-olds will have daily use for practical gifts that will help with their personal hygiene.

  • BrushyBall is a toothbrush holder and brushing trainer for two-year-olds who are learning to brush their own teeth. It uses encouraging words and upbeat music to help toddlers know how long and how to brush their teeth!
  • This best-selling hairbrush gets top ratings for detangling hair. Throw in some hairbows 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 the infant-sized towels they may have started with 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.

  • 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! We have this set, but the only downfall is it is not easily stored. For that reason, you may want to try the Melissa & Doug version, which has a 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.
  • 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. Also be sure to read my post on ten outdoor toys for kids for other gift ideas!

  • Puddle Jumpers are perfect life jackets for two-year-olds (once they have 30 pounds). Prepare them for their trips to the pool or beach.
  • 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. 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!
  • To keep your two-year-old dry on rainy days, pick out a cute umbrella as a practical gift.
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.

  • 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.
  • Pick up this popular portable toddler bed for a cozy place to sleep when out of town or at a sleepover.
  • 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 and wipes or tissues!
  • A travel tray will allow the two-year-old to color or eat while traveling and keep all the fun travel supplies organized.

Also consult this list of STEM-related educational toys for even more practical gift ideas for toddlers, and this list of useful and educational gifts.

There you have it! More than 30 ideas for practical gifts for two-year-olds. Happy shopping, and if you’d like to recommend something else, please leave your ideas in the comments.

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  • Rebekah

    Thank you for this article! As a professional organizer I hate getting the children in my life MORE toys that get broken, forgotten and that parents have to figure out how to store. Many of your suggestions not only are practical, but more experience driven than the latest “it” toy. I will be using this list for the next couple of years for my nephews and nieces and for a wish list for my own 1 year old.

    • Jennie

      I am so glad you found this list of gift ideas useful, Rebekah! Hopefully your nieces and nephews (and their parents) appreciate the practical gifts you choose. I think that’s so much better than gifting something that will only be used once or twice!

  • Amber

    I love this list of gifts for 2 year olds. My daughter just turned 3 and would still love each of these! The travel tray is a great idea and so practical!

    • Jennie

      My two-year-old has been getting some use out of her balance bike this spring. She looks so cute riding it around and is getting pretty fast on it!

  • Katie

    These are all great gift ideas! I love that toothbrush holder! I like that this list is more on the educational and helpful side than just toys. Great list, thank you!

  • Ariana

    One of the best compilation gift lists I’ve ever seen! Thank you for not putting stuff on here just to put it. Everything serves a purpose and I could see myself buying all of it for my daughter!

    • Kay

      Thanks for this list of gifts, it’s so useful! We get so many toys for birthdays, that we always love the practical gifts when we receive them. A useful list when thinking of what to buy for presents!

      • Jennie

        Thanks, Kay! I’m glad you found this list useful! You will have to let me know if you ever give or receive any of these items 🙂

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