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Age 2 is a beautiful sweet spot of gift giving and receiving. Sure, 2-year-olds get a bad rap for the terrible 2s and tantrums galore, but let’s focus on the positive side.
Kids at age 2 are becoming more independent and opinionated, but they aren’t quite at the level of asking for specific toys for their birthday. You still get to be in control of what they end up getting. Of course, you want to get gifts that they will be excited about, but it doesn’t always have to be toys. Start to think beyond the toy box. Consider items that will encourage them to be active, be adventurous, be crafty, learn, and explore.
When seen through the eyes of a toddler, shoes just aren’t shoes. Instead, they can be puddle-jumping park shoes. Cookies cutters aren’t just kitchen supplies, they are a fun way to get messy (that ends with a sweet treat!).
For my baby’s first birthday, I had created a wishlist full of toys. By the time she was turning 2, I focused on items we needed (like those water shoes) and things that would get a lot more use than a toy (like a craft table). Don’t get me wrong, toys are great, and having a few around the house is wonderful. But it can very quickly go from a few nice toys to an overwhelming amount of stuff you don’t really need or use.
Whether you are brainstorming a gift wishlist for your own 2-year-old or are buying for another toddler, here are some of the best 2nd birthday gifts that aren’t toys.
2nd Birthday Gifts Under $25
Allow kids to get messy with a set of fingerpaint.
This roll of paper will make the perfect gift packaged along with other art supplies.
Amazon | stbeyond
Encourage a love of baking with a fun set of cookie cutters.
Amazon | Herve Tullet
This sweet book is simple yet interactive, perfect for a 2-year-old.
Kids of all ages love bubbles, and this set is a great way to get little ones running around outside.
Amazon | VIVOHOME
Set up a birdhouse in a spot where a toddler can keep tabs on who stops by for a midday snack.
2nd Birthday Gifts Under $50
Two is a great time to get a toddler their first set of wheels!
A toddler bike seat is a great way to spend time outside with little ones.
Amazon | Isabel Sanchez Vegara
This board book bundle comes with five inspiring stories that you can read with kids.
The Dough Project
This plant-based play dough is a great way to get toddlers' creativity juices flowing.
Create a mini backyard oasis with this adorable inflatable pool.
What toddler doesn't love playing dress up and twirling around? Whether you are getting a gift for a budding ballerina or just a toddler who likes to spin in circles (don't they all?), this super soft dress from Kyte Baby is a fun piece of clothing that feels special.
Encourage outdoor play and puddle jumping with a fresh pair of waterproof shoes or boots.
Bonus: Add a cute umbrella for a themed gift.
Clover Baby & Kids
Hopefully you know a 2-year-old that loves to sleep. Gift them a unique pair of pajamas, like this custom limited edition one from Clover Baby. Plus, a portion of proceeds goes to charity.
Hedley & Bennett
For a budding baker or chef, a kids-sized apron is a sweet gift.
Rey to Z
This super cute hat can be personalized with an initial or a saying as a special and useful gift.
Etsy | Club Chainstitch
It's no secret we love a personalized gift, especially when it's something they can wear over and over again. This custom embroidered tee comes in a number of colors with 10 stitching color options.
personalized sweatshirts also available
2nd Birthday Gifts Under $75
Age 2 is when toddlers may start to get more adventurous, and a helmet will come in handy as they start scootering or riding a bike.
multiple patterns available
This Adventure Bundle will get kids outside exploring nature.
Around age 2 is when toddlers are learning the alphabet. This set is a fun way to help with the learning.
Amazon | Braoses
A tree swing is sure to get a lot of use for years to come.
This interactive weather station will get toddlers excited about the daily forecast.
Amazon | GONGE
These stones help kids practice their balance and are a fun element to at-home obstacle courses.
Amazon | SDADI
Kitchen helpers are an amazing way to get kids involved in the kitchen. It's not only a fun bonding activity but may also help with picky eaters.
2nd Birthday Splurge-Worthy Gifts
Etsy | Domestic Objects
Use this fun playhouse to set up a reading nook for a book-loving toddler.
multiple colors available
This play kit is perfect for kids but also works for adults to join them at the table (chairs hold up to 200 pounds, far more than most kids; play chairs!). Use this table for meals, crafts, and eventually even school work.
Etsy | Wood and Room UA
Indoor climbing is made possible with this 3-piece Montessori set.
Encourage kids to build, jump, and even do a little rough-housing with this play couch.
multiple colors available
Amazon | Keenz
Around age 2, you might find that toddlers are a bit resistant when it comes to time in their stroller. It's a great time to ask for or get a wagon. It will make adventures a bit easier and make any 2-year-old feel like a cool big kid. This one from Keenz is versatile with lots of fun features.
Balance bikes are a great splurge item for toddlers as they learn to ride.
multiple colors available
Pottery Barn Kids
Little ones will feel so grown up when they have their own personalized suitcase for upcoming travel.
multiple prints available
The House of Noa
Toddlers tend to love two things: snacks and play. Get them their own special playmat that they can use for imaginary and real picnics. This one from House of Noa wipes clean and is easy to use at home or on-the-go when adventuring with toddlers.