Games for two year olds: these are the 26 best toddler games

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Always something to do for the holidays or rainy day?

Play Choice now has the ultimate activity book collection, with over 60 pages of fun coloring pages and educational puzzles.

"Why? But why? Then why mommy and daddy?”

Your two-year-old Thunderstone is probably very curious about everything and exploring the world.

When it comes to entertaining your 2-year-old, often very little is needed.

In fact, for this age group that is constantly learning, less is always more.

Games for two year olds: these are the 26 best toddler games

Playing games with your toddler is not only fun but also stimulates the development of various skills.

We've rounded up the best playing tips for you, including expert advice and suggestions for games for two year olds that you can play (for free)!

First, let's take a quick look at how a toddler of the age of two likes to play:

From toddler to toddler activity book collection

Educational games and coloring pages for 3 to 6 years

Your toddler and preschooler will love this e-book, along with the accompanying printables. He or she can play with it at every stage of development, together with mom and dad.

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Simplicity is key

Young children are still trying to figure out how the world works.

So if you're looking for games to play with your two-year-old, skip things with complicated rules.

Choose activities that are simple and open to interpretation.

Said Tovah Klein, director of the Barnard Center for Toddler Development and author of How Toddlers Thrive:

“The best games for 2-year-olds are those in which they make something themselves, usually with a parent, an older child or another adult”

This can also include making your own game with, for example, a tea set, rolling balls around or building with square wooden blocks.

Any open-ended items, such as blocks or Grimm's beautiful wooden toys, give toddlers the opportunity to create without rules.

Games shouldn't be right or wrong at this age, they should just be fun. Your child wants to feel free.

Be involved

Simple, repetitive activities can be mind-numbing for you, but they are the height of fun for your toddler.

“Toddlers learn best from simple, engaging and interactive games”

So says Rebecca Schrag Hershberg, author of The Tantrum Survival Guide.

When parents and children play together, it's all about promoting connectedness, which is the foundation for everything else, especially learning.

The most important thing a parent can do is encourage a sense of comfort and security while playing with their little one.

In this way the child is free to work things out for himself and that is also nice to see as a parent.

While playing, make sure you:

  • Stimulates your baby
  • Guidance offers
  • Especially a lot of encouragement

Include life skills

For kids who haven't yet mastered the art of sharing (read: all toddlers), Lisa Clegg, author of The Blissful Toddler Expert: The Complete Guide to Calm Parenting and Happy Toddlers, to teach a few life lessons to your toddler during playtime.

Toddlers don't get a lot of attention and many haven't yet understood the concept of sharing, so it can be helpful to play games that involve taking turns.

This teaches them to play and socialize together.

To prevent boredom in your two-year-old, make sure that no one waits too long for their turn.

Other life skills your child develops while playing include:

  • Creative / symbolic thinking and coming up with creative solutions
  • Increase abstraction ability
  • Language proficiency
  • Fine motor development
  • Social and emotional development
  • Cognition
  • Processing emotions / emotion regulation
  • Overcome fears
  • Strategic insight
  • Strengthen bond

Best games for a 2 year old

Ready to play? Here are a ton of games for toddlers that are sure to be a hit.

So the right game can improve your child's cognitive, physical and emotional skills.

Looking for hot and cold toys

Hot and cold toy search with your toddler

Grab his favorite toy, one he always plays with. For example, hide it in a basket and then have him search the room.

When he strays from it, he's cold and as he gets closer he's warm, hotter, hottest!

If he gets frustrated, you can hold his hand while he looks around.

This game improves your child's emotional skills:

  • he learns patience
  • perseverance
  • and the realization that just because you cannot see something does not mean it is not there.

One for you, one for me

Funniest games to play with 2 year old learning to share

Perfect for younger toddlers, this game teaches sharing in a playful way.

How do you play it? Easy!

  • Choose a number of objects, such as colored pencils, buttons, beads or marbles
  • Ask your child to divide the objects between you
  • Every time they put down an object they can say "for you, for me" or "one for you, one for me" etc.

Make sure you have a container each for your growing collections.

You can also do it with food, but that is a very big challenge!

Here too, your child learns to develop emotionally:

  • Learning to share
  • Development of empathy
  • Self-control
  • Social roles
  • Although children can only really share from the age of 6, it is important to start at an early age.

Hokey Pokey

De-hokey-pokey for good coordination

Another classic that is super fun to play and helps young children follow instructions and learn the names for its body parts.

The song "Hokey-Pokey" is simple with instructive lyrics. Playing is easy (you just do what the song says) and there are no losers!

Throw your left arm forward and then back again
In, out, in, out, just throw it out
Do the Hokey-Pokey and spin around
Just stamp on the ground

Throw your right arm forward and then back again
In, out, in, out, just throw it out
Do the Hokey-Pokey and spin around
Just stamp on the ground

Ooooooh, do the Hokey – Pokey
Ooooooh, do the Hokey – Pokey
Ooooooh, do the Hokey – Pokey
Knee, stomach, arm, main role role role

And throw your left leg forward and then back again
In, out, in, out, just throw it out
Do the Hokey-Pokey and spin around
Just stamp on the ground

Throw your right leg forward and then back again
In, out, in, out, just throw it out
Do the Hokey-Pokey and spin around
Just stamp on the ground

etc, etc, and so on.

Benefits of good dancing:

  • Good for physical development
  • Cognitive development
  • Social awareness
  • Good for developing emotions
  • Language proficiency
  • Self-confidence (guts)
  • Facing and overcoming fears

You can come up with all kinds of things yourself to move forwards and backwards or you can always set up Jus Roos from Youtube (on the kids app) to accompany you musically.

Scavenger hunt

Scavenger hunt challenges hidden little car and blue vases with yellow flowers

Is there anything more fun than a treasure hunt with funny assignments? Send your toddler on the hunt for objects in the house using commands, such as “find the…” or “where is the…”.

Also nice if you have more of something like “point all…. On".

Good for:

  • The fantasy
  • Self-confidence and finding solutions
  • Mobility
  • Memory
  • Abstraction ability

clay

Playing with clay is a very nice activity for little ones, they get to know a new texture and they can also make endless different shapes.

You can press it with molds, knead it, roll it, squeeze it - all different movements that stimulate your child's fine and gross motor skills.

  • Mess around together and let the little artist run free with his imagination.
  • Make things together, and ask your child questions: which color do you think fits this?
  • Please note that the clay is suitable for small children!

The benefits of claying:

  • Development of gross and fine motor skills
  • Fantasies
  • Abstraction ability

Play-Doh is a great toy, but don't forget to consider kinetic sand for sensory play

Hide and seek

Baby is hiding and toddler is looking behind a door

Also this game you need to make a little bit simpler to be fun for your 2 year old, but it already teaches your little kid problem solving skills by hiding from him!

My son really loved this and kept yelling "Huh?!?" if I was hidden again.

And soon he started doing it himself, especially behind the curtains to proudly present himself with “Yes!!!”.

Or, if you'd rather not hide (or have done so a hundred times already), you can always ask them to hide an object in another room or a sneaky place of your choice.

You can then start looking. And vice versa is of course also possible.

There are also special toys to play hide and seek with such as this one from Miffy which almost everyone has had with a child between one and a half and three.

Or do you still have a noisy toy at home? Which parent not ?!

Instead of silently cursing the musical object every time it goes off, use it for hide-and-seek.

Have your little one leave the room, turn it on and hide it. Your 2 year old will love his yacht.

In addition to great fun, there are also a number of other benefits of playing hide and seek:

  • Good for social skills
  • Learn to play as a team
  • Development of empathy
  • Helps them cope with separation anxiety

Shadow game

There are so many cute videos of children discovering their shadow for the first time, which can sometimes come as quite a surprise!

Maybe first explain where that shadow actually comes from, and then? Time to play.

You can play tag by jumping on each other's shadows.

If the weather is not nice, you can point a lamp at the wall and make funny figures together, or make up a story that you act out with the shadow animals on the wall.

The advantages?

  • Empathy
  • Development of the fantasy
  • Playing together / social roles
  • Body awareness

Obstacle course

Toddler who climbs on a crate and toddler who crawls through a tunnel

Promote gross motor skills, coordination and balance with a fun, safe obstacle course.

If space allows, you can set up a small track in your living room or outside in the garden to let your child roll, jump and run around, over or under objects or markers.

Every toddler loves navigating a mini (age-appropriate) obstacle course.

Hula hoops, cones, makeshift tunnels – the configurations are endless. And that also applies to the benefits of gross motor skills.

At two years old, it's best in the grass (or soft tile if you have those somewhere) so it's done safely and they learn to trial and error safely.

The first time my son didn't really want to, so we had safely built a small track inside and put down some of his favorite corn stalks. He loved it!

So it develops gross motor skills but is also good for:

  • Your child's physical development
  • Learning to estimate (by searching a particular route)
  • Come up with creative solutions
  • Self-confidence, facing and overcoming fears
Healthy snacks on an obstacle course

Puzzles

Puzzles are great games for toddlers because they contain all the basic developments:

Toddler plays with puzzle at the table
  • Physical (from fitting the pieces)
  • Cognitive (solving the puzzle)
  • and emotional skills (learn to be patient)

Building a puzzle can also strengthen your child's memory as he learns about different shapes.

It's a fun way to help him set (and achieve!) simple goals.

Jonas

A golden oldie that always remains fun: Jonas in the whale.

If you don't have a partner nearby to jonassen your child, you can jonassen together with your child.

You take a sheet or a blanket and put your favorite stuffed animal in it while you sing:

Jonas in the wallevis
Captured tonight
From you one, two, three!

On three you swing your child / the cuddly toy extra high into the air.

Not only a very nice game, but it also supports the development of motor skills, language skills and fears.

  • Overcoming fears / self-confidence
  • Mobility
  • Language proficiency

Stranger in our midst

Strange duck in the bite fun games for toddlers

Place a series of blocks of the same color for your 2-year-old and be sure to add at least one block of a different color (nice to do with small fruits or veggies or buttons, with anything really).

Once he's had a chance to see all the blocks, ask him which one is the odd one out.

You can make this game more difficult by using cards with pictures or sets of objects and then asking which ones are similar and which ones are different.

This usually works at a somewhat older age.

Good for:

  • cognitive development
  • development of concentration ability
  • Memory
  • and abstraction ability

Finger paints

You probably want to pull out some old clothes for this, but oh what a fun activity!

Cover the table with cling film, put on an old t-shirt and grab a large sheet of paper (paper on a roll is very handy, you can easily tear it off and put a new canvas on the table).

You can decide to practice shapes or critters or just mess around.

Here too, feeling a new texture is a fun experience, and mixing different colors is often quite a thrill as well.

And who knows, you might have the next Picasso at home.

Helps with:

  • developing fine motor skills
  • color recognition
  • develop creative

Picture lottery

Picture lottery

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I love bingo with pictures or numbers because it is easy, fast and again a very educational game.

Children don't have to wait long for their turn and you can teach them things like colors, numbers, letters and pictures.

Helps with:

  • developing your child's cognitive memory
  • Abstraction ability
  • Memory

View it here at bol.com

Roll and Play

Roll and play educational game for 2 year olds

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Roll and Play will not only help toddlers sharpen their memory skills and learn their colors, they will also get a kick out of the activities they have to perform.

Roar like a lion? What 2-year-old said doesn't want that?

So advantages are:

  • memory skill
  • creative development
  • abstraction recognition

View the most current prices and availability here

Build a fortress with blankets and pillows

This might be our favourite! On a rainy day, collect all the pillows and blankets and build a great fortress together.

The building itself is of course great fun, but afterwards reading a cozy story in the fort or playing knight is a real party.

  • Fantasies
  • To overcome fears
  • Spatial awareness

First orchard

Haba first orchard game

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In addition to being a quick game to play (about 10 minutes), Haba's First Orchard promotes a sense of togetherness and cooperation.

Your toddler has to work together to pick the fruit before the raven reaches the end of the path.

  • Abstraction ability
  • Memory
  • Cooperation / social roles

Here the current prices.

Funny faces game

Goki funny faces game

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Goki's funny faces game is fun and silly, and it helps little ones develop a multitude of skills, including fine motor skills, critical thinking and emotional intellect.

A perfect game for 2 year olds! Watch it here

Drumming

This may not be suitable if you have very thin walls, but drumming is also great fun for small children.

It helps develop gross motor skills and they can also experiment with sound. If you tap the drum or hit it hard, what happens?

You can play a game where you each make a sound and then have to imitate it.

If you want to make it a little more difficult, add that sound over and over and make a whole sequence, see how far you can get.

  • Gross and fine motor skills
  • Fantasies
  • Learn to collaborate
  • Promotes concentration

Freeze dance

The freeze dance

Want to get your little one moving while showing him how to follow simple directions? Then do the freeze dance!

We are big fans of freeze dance in our house. My son is always genuinely surprised when I stop the music, and I love watching his cute moves!

It's fun to play with music that they get to know like the song Bumba, because he soon learns where the break is.

But you can also come up with a song yourself and pause at any time.

  • Language proficiency
  • Body awareness
  • Memory
  • Fantasies

Memory

2 photos of toys on the table, but one is missing from photo 2

There is a fun variation on the classic memory game. Place some of your 2-year-old's favorite toys on a table.

Have him take a mental picture and then have him leave the room while you remove one of the objects.

See if he can guess which one is missing. In any case, he will be very happy when you put it back!

The benefits are huge:

  • Stimulates memory
  • Increase the ability to concentrate
  • Abstraction ability

Run and chase

Run-and-chase-with-toddler on the beach

Run and Chase is one of my favorite games for toddlers, and you don't need anything for it.

Let your child lead while playing, and it will let them know that no matter how far they run, you will always catch them.

It is a metaphor for life that lets them know that you are always there for them.

Good for:

  • Social development
  • Physical development
  • Learning to deal with separation anxiety

Football

Playing soccer with the toddler

Whether you have a real goal or an improvised goal, few 2-year-olds can resist kicking a ball to a designated spot.

And it is also very good for the physical development of your child:

  • There is a load in the body and that is good for the development of the bones, joints and muscles.

Scooping and sorting of lids

Water fun-with-your-toddler with a watering can

Another great outdoor idea is to fill a container with water, along with lids of different sizes and colors (lids on those food containers work perfectly).

Let the little ones scoop out the red ones and put them in a red container, and so on.

The best thing is if you have a few containers and lids with different colors so that they can mix and match and keep transferring.

Ideal for a hot summer day.

The advantages?

  • Good for cognitive memory
  • Good for fine and gross motor skills

Throwing beanbags

Bean bag toss and other games

All you need are some bean bags and a bucket for them, or a trash can or something.

See if your little one can throw the bags in a container or bucket. And if he doesn't want to, well what 2 year old doesn't like toss?

Good to:

  • learn to estimate distance (spatial insight)
  • development of gross and fine motor skills

Hide the object in the sand

Hide objects in the sand and other games with your toddler

Just like they love hide and seek, toddlers love to hide and find objects or toys in sand, in play dough and under boxes.

This makes for a great game, open and close a box with a hidden toy. They love to find it again and again.

The advantages:

  • Fantasies
  • Abstraction ability
  • Self confidence
  • Mobility

Chase the bubbles

Toddler is chasing bubbles in the yard

When it comes to 2-year-old games, I'm pretty old-school.

I think a child at this age will learn more by playing an engaging game of "chase the bubbles" in the grass than by something billed as an educational game.

  • Body awareness
  • Physical development
  • Gross motor skills
  • Fantasies

Why are games at home for 2 year olds so good?

When it comes to this age group, there really is no need to spend a lot of money or make things more difficult than they are.

You've probably heard the saying that kids are like sponges, this is especially true of toddlers.

Two year old kids are always absorbing new things. Their main learning mode: playtime.

They start out by playing side by side next to you and others (called parallel play) and then move on to more interactive things, where they engage with and absorb information from their playmates.

The right games at home can improve your child's cognitive, physical and emotional skills, so start early by trying out whatever interests him or her.

Which toys can stimulate play in 2-year-olds?

Toys for 2-year-olds should be educational and safe, with no small parts they can swallow. It is important to consider their interests and level of development when choosing gifts for Christmas or birthdays.

Overall best small cheap birthday gift for 2 year old

EyelikeReusable Stickers

Your child can be creative by covering the windows of the holiday home, or the airplane or car windows with this fun set of window toys.

8.9
Toy score
Product image

Best dinosaur toy for 2 year olds

Melissa & DougThick Dinosaur Puzzle

This set is great because the puzzle pieces are nice and thick. This means you can also stand them upright and use them for pretend play.

8.2
Toy score
Product image

Best toy farm for 2 year olds

Fisher-PriceLittle People Interactive Animal Care Farm

A nice, sturdy farm and the surprise buttons are a real plus: there is a button to open the barn doors and you hear nice songs and phrases.

9.1
Toy score
Product image

Puzzles, books and interactive toys are good options for toys for 2 year olds , and also consider non-toy gifts, such as subscriptions to children's books or activities.

Always something to do for the holidays or rainy day?

Play Choice now has the ultimate activity book collection, with over 60 pages of fun coloring pages and educational puzzles.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Speelkeuze.nl is a content marketer, father and loves trying out new toys. As a child he came into contact with everything related to games when his mother started the Tinnen Soldaat in Ede. Now he and his team create helpful blog articles to help loyal readers with fun play ideas.