Your 2 year old is full of energy and curiosity. They can solve simple problems through trial and error and often like to 'practise' an activity over and over until they have got it the hang of it– and it's slightly driven you up the wall! At the age of 2, children also start to pretend more during play, using familiar objects and situations to copy the grown-ups in their lives.


So what kind of toys suit a 2-year-old child best? First things first, it's got to be indestructible. Like, really indestructible. And fun, obviously. There's no point a toy having amazing development-boosting potential if it's simply not much fun to play with.

As well a pretend-play toys, and toys that offer opportunities to explore and repeat, ride-on toys get a big thumbs-up, as do anything that lights up or beeps when you press its buttons. Simple puzzles and construction toys can also come into the mix, now that your child's hand-eye coordination is improving.

And of course, it doesn't have to be plastic and noisy to light up a toddler's eyes: there are lots of great wooden toys that are perfect for 2 year olds, too.

To save money on toys, check out our toy deals to keep updated on the best toy sales.

How to choose and use toys safely

Here's what to look out for when choosing the right toys for your toddler:
  • Look for the CE mark, which is the manufacturer's claim that the toy meets regulatory requirements
  • Look for the voluntary British Toy and Hobby Association's Lion Mark (a red lion inside a yellow triangle)
  • Buy from retailers that you know and trust
  • Ensure the toy is appropriate for your child's age. Small pieces (such as plastic eyes on teddy bears that appear 'fastened on' but aren't properly secured) are choking hazards up to the age of 3
  • Beware of any items that detach or have sharp edges
  • Check toys regularly for things such as loose threads or escaped filling

Best toys for 2 year olds at a glance

  • Great for learning body parts: CoComelon Boo Boo JJ from Bandai, £44
  • Great for dancing and fun: Fisher-Price DJ Bouncin' Beats, £44.99
  • Great for TV show role play: Golden Bear Bing's House Playset with Bing and Flop Play Figures, £39.99
  • Great eco-friendly choice: Dantoy Blue Marine Large Dumper, £22
  • Great for balance skills: Kidvelo Rookie 12 Balance Bike, £130
  • Great for vehicle role play: Toot-Toot Drivers Fix & Fuel Garage, £49.99
  • Great for hugging close: iFrodoll Personalised Deep Skin Tone Plush Doll Nevaeh, £19
  • Great budget buy: Crazy Fast Cars Assortment in PDQ Wave 3, £5.99 for 4
  • Great indoor ride-on: Beehive Toys Bumblebee Ride-on, £39.99
  • Great for learning colours: CoComelon Colour Learning Sheep, £22.99
  • Great for shopping role play: LeapFrog Count-along Basket & Scanner, £39.99
  • Great for reinforcing cause and effect: Musical Hop Out Mizzie Music Box, £25
  • Great for fine-finger control: Early Learning Centre Wooden Stacking Train, £25
  • Great for hospitality role play: LeapFrog Scoop and Learn Ice Cream Cart, £59.99
  • Great for active fun: VTech 3-in1 Sports Centre, £41.99
  • Great for household role play: LEGO DUPLO Modular Playhouse, £54.99
  • Great for shape recognition: Woody Treasures Butterfly Gear Game, £11.99
  • Great for early maths skills: LEGO DUPLO Number Train, £12.99
  • Great outdoor ride-on: Little Tikes CozyCoupe Ride-On, £59.99
  • Great for problem solving: Orchard Toys Big Bus Jigsaw Puzzle, £11.50
  • Great for spatial awareness: Janod Sweet Cocoon Stacking Stones, £30

Here is our pick of the best toys for 2 year olds, as tested by children and rated by parents

1. CoComelon Boo Boo JJ, £44

– Great for learning body parts

CoComelon Boo Boo JJ from Bandai with child tester

Age suitability: 2+ | Best for age: 2+ | Size: L10cm x W12cm x H30cm‎| Batteries: 3x AAA (included) | Awards: Gold, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2022

You do pay a bit of a premium for Cocomelon-themed toys but this cuddly plush doll definitely does deliver on the toddler-thrill front. He's nice and big to hold and squeeze and comes with 3 brightly coloured Velcro-backed fabric plasters – which you put on his head, elbow, knee or foot when that area lights up and JJ tells you he's got a 'boo boo'. Get your plaster in the right spot and JJ giggles and tells you he's feeling better. You can also press his tummy and he'll sing the Boo Boo song.

"I've never seen a doll like this before," said Sophie, mum of our child tester Amelia, 2 (pictured above). "It's very original. And Amelia is very excited about him – and especially about the plasters!"

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"JJ hurt. Fix JJ!" said our other child tester Vinaj, 2, proudly. His mum Bhavisha added: “He has figured out he has to press the red light to make JJ feel better and this doll is helping him getting more and more familiar with the names of body parts. He keeps running to play with JJ throughout the day.”

Comes with a fabric carry case to keep the plasters in.

Available at: John Lewis, Smyths Toys and Bargain Max

2. Fisher-Price DJ Bouncin’ Beats, £44.99

– Great for dancing and fun

Fisher Price Bouncin Beats with child tester

Age suitability: 9 months+ | Best for age: 18 months+ | Size: L17cm x W30cm x H33cm | Batteries: 4 x AA (included) | Awards: Editor’s Choice, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2022

A musical learning toy with an interactive, hopping twist, this fun, plastic rabbit bounces around when your child presses the buttons between its ears. Ears flashing and face glowing, it plays more than 75 songs, sounds and phrases at 3 levels, aimed at different stages of development and including letters, colours, numbers and opposites.

It’s suitable from 9 months but we reckon it comes into its own at the toddler stage, when your child can press the buttons themselves and match the bunny's bopping with dance moves of their own. And they'll start to see the silly joy of the mic button, which records your voice and plays it back remixed with music and other effects.

From the first press of a button, our child tester Bran, 2 (pictured above), was overjoyed with his new bunny. "His face lit up and he was screaming in delight," said his mum Christy. "Once he got used to the vigorous hopping, he found it enormously fun to play and his older sisters have enjoyed using the recording feature with him. It was really rewarding watching him laughing and dancing from the off – no long set-up time or need for me to teach him; he understood quickly that bashing the buttons equals fun and music."

Available at: Amazon, Argos and Smyths Toys

3. Bing's House Playset with Bing and Flop Play Figures, £39.99

– Great for TV show role play

Golden Bear Bing's House Playset with child tester

Age suitability: 12 months+ | Best for age: 2+ | Size: L12cm x W33cm x H33cm | Batteries: None | Awards: Bronze, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2022

This foldout playset with a carry handle and chimney, inspired by the popular CBeebies show, features 4 room sets (kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and living room) and comes with 2 posable figures (Flop and Bing) and 9 accessories including a sofa, bath, toilet, fridge and – of course – Brenda the Blender.

It's pretty robust and portable, with well-sized accessories for little fingers and plenty of sweet details to savour (carrots in the blender, curtains you can close). The fridge and cupboard open and close, and there are little places to put the figures – after you tuck Bing into bed, for example, you can pop Flop in the bath to recover from a long day of dealing with Bing. You do have to spend a bit of time placing the background stickers onto the room walls, though, before the house is ready for play – and lining them up perfectly is a little tricky.

It certainly ticks all the right play boxes for our child tester Eadie, who's just turned 3 (pictured above), and especially likes getting Bing ready for bed. "Eadie likes the bubbles on the bath," said her mum Amanda, "and the fact that she can put the covers on Bing once in bed. She also likes to sit Bing and Flop on the toilet!"

Available at: Amazon, Boots and Very

4. Dantoy Blue Marine Large Dumper, £22

– Great eco-friendly choice

dantoy blue marine large dumper truck with child tester Eadie

Age suitability: 2+ | Best for age: 2+ | Size: L28cm x W13cm x H15cm | Batteries: None | Awards: Gold, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2022

Made from reclaimed and recycled marine plastic including nets and ropes, this Danish-designed dumper truck is really sturdy and robust. Thanks to its giant-sized dumper and large twin wheels that can push through sand, water and mud, it's a great choice for outdoor play. The handle on the dumper makes for easy carrying as well as acting as a lever for tipping the huge bucket and emptying its contents.

We did wonder if its minimalist detailing (no cab windows or doors, for example) would reduce our testers' role play – but not a bit of it. "I love it!”"were the first words from our child tester, Milo, 2, as the dumper came out of the box. He immediately loaded the truck with his cars, marvelling at the size of the bucket and how many cars it could carry, then counting the wheels and spinning them.

Our other child tester Eadie, just 3 (pictured above) filled up her truck with sand and shells, and said, 'I like this truck's wheels." Her mum Lauren said, "I think this is a very reasonable price for a sustainable toy." And Milo's mum, Carly, agreed, adding, "It’s more than just a great dumper truck for role play. It's also a platform to start conversations about environmental issues and recycling."

Available at: Coolshop and Kidly

5. Kidvelo Rookie 12 Balance Bike, £130

– Great for balance skills

Kidvelo Rookie 12 balance bike with child tester

Age suitability: 18 months+ | Best for age: 2+ | Weight: 2.89kg | Maximum child weight: 30kg | Batteries: None | Awards: Gold, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2022

A balance bike is a great buy for a 2-year-old, allowing them a good couple of years to become a pro at steering and balancing on two wheels before moving on to a 'proper' bike with pedals. And we really like this balance bike, with its sturdy frame, 12" wheels and bouncy tyres, because it's very lightweight and super-adjustable.

The saddle height that can be fine-tuned between 30cm and 48cm (giving it great longevity) at the pull of a lever and the handlebars can be rotated with an Allen key (included) to alter the reach depending on your child's arm length. There are also angled integrated footrests with non-slip grip riders, a control-improving threadless alloy headseat (a feature more usually seen on adult performance bikes) and – a huge hit with our testers – a little bell. It's worth knowing that the tyres are air-filled (lovely for smooth riding on any surface but you'll need a foot pump) and there are no brakes (tricky for a toddler to master but included on some balance bikes).

"At first look, I thought that this was pricey for a children's balance bike," says Kellie, mum of our child tester Chester, 2, "but this quickly changed. Now I think that it is great value for money, as it's so well made and will last Chester so many years. It's also so light: Chester can easily hold it up on his own and pick it up and down kerbs when needed. The customer service is great too: they were brilliant at helping us get the right seat height. Since we've had the bike, Chester has asked to go out on it every day and has grown in confidence so much."

And Chester’s verdict? "I love my bike, Mummy. It’s super fast!" Choose from Green (as pictured with our child tester Ayla, 2, above), Blue, Red and Pink.

Available at: Kidvelo, Amazon and Lesters Nursery World

6. Toot-Toot Drivers Fix & Fuel Garage, £49.99

– Great for vehicle role play

Toot Toot Drivers Fuel and Fix Garage with child tester

Age suitability: 1+ | Best for age: 2+ | Size: L28cm x W74cm x H52cm ‎| Batteries: 2 x AAA (demo batteries included) | Awards: Bronze, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2022

This nicely sized 3-level plastic garage has a car wash, a repair zone with a push-up car stand, a tuning station, a petrol pump and 6 SmartPoint locations that play phrases and sounds when the little green stock car (included) comes over them.

We particularly like the washing noises when the stock car's in the car wash. The car itself lights up, has lots of cheery sounds and its bonnet opens.

It’s bright and toddler-friendly, with lots to keep small hands occupied – though you need to be prepared to do a bit of grown-up sticker-placing before you hand it over.

Paula, mum of our child tester Oliver, 18 months (pictured above), said: "This garage is now one of the first things he goes to play with most days. He spends a lot of time moving the car up and down the ramps and putting it in the car wash."

Available at: John Lewis, Argos and Amazon

7. iFrodoll Personalised Deep Skin Tone Plush Doll Nevaeh, £19

– Great for hugging close

iFrodoll Personalised deep skin tone plush doll Navaeh with child tester

Age suitability: From birth | Best for age: 2+ | Size: L9cm x W14cm x H34cm | Batteries: None | Awards: Silver, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2022

One of a range of soft dolls with brown and black skin tones that can be personalised – for free – with your child's name, Nevaeh has a smiley round face, curly, textured hair in a top-bun, and wears a (non-removable) dress with a tutu skirt.

She's super soft and just the right weight (128g) and size for a toddler to carry about or wrap arms around and snuggle tight at bedtime. She's also machine-washable.

The face of our 2-year-old child tester Tilly (pictured above ) lit up when she saw Nevaeh for the first time and she hugged her straight away. "She became a friend very quickly," said her mum Alexandra, who believes the doll will be a firm favourite for years to come. "This toy really resonates with me as a black parent to two black daughters because representation is so important, and the lack of black dolls on the market can be frustrating. This doll is attractive, appealing and very well-made. I think any child of any ethnicity will be able to see the beauty in Nevaeh."

Available at: iFrodoll

8. Little Tikes Crazy Fast Cars Assortment in PDQ Wave 3, £5.99 for 4

– Great budget buy

Crazy fast cars with child tester

Age suitability: 3+ | Best for age: 3+ | Size: H8cm ‎(roughly; designs vary) | Batteries: None | Awards: Silver, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2022

These are great – and very nicely priced. Each pull-back-and-whizz wooden car is chunky to hold and brightly coloured and they go fast – but not too fast for a toddler. Although the age suitability is 3+, they're fine for a 2 year old to play with under supervision. They also go an impressively long way.

We particularly like the electric one, which is super-whizzy and goes faster than all the rest. Our only quibble with these simple, high-on-pleasure little toddler cars is that the markings are made for a US market, so there's a red car that says 'Fire Dept' or (if you buy the older Wave 2 pack) a police that car says 'state trooper', for example.

Our child tester Louis, 2 (pictured above) loved his cars so much he took them to bed with him. And our other very happy child tester Oscar, 3, said, "They’re cool and really fast. Can I take them in the car?"

There are others Crazy Fast Cars to collect in all sorts of pack sizes, and you can still buy the older models in this range.

Available at: Little Tikes, The Entertainer and local toy shops nationwide

9. Beehive Toys Bumblebee Ride-On, £39.99

– Great indoor ride-on

Beehive Toys Bumblebee Ride-on with child tester

Age suitability: 18 months+ | Best for age: 2+ | Weight: 2.5kg | Size: L39cm x W26cm x H54cm | Batteries: None

If your toddler's not quite ready for a balance bike like the one further up in his list – or you'd like a ride-on that can be whizzed around on indoors – this funky plastic bumblebee might fit the bill. It has a curved ergonomic shape, a seat height of 28cm, rounded comfort handlebars and 4 silent, non-scratch enclosed safety wheels, which can be used on any smooth, level surface, indoors or outside.

It's eye-catching, feels high-quality and hard-wearing and it's great value for money. It's also fab for honing some early balancing skills and for burning off some toddler energy.

Kirsty, mum to our child tester Iris, 2 (pictured above), said, "Iris loved riding it round the house, or dragging it up the garden to whizz down the slope. I’m amazed at the quality for the price! It has really smooth safe wheels – I like the fact that little fingers can't get to any of the mechanisms and get stuck – while the seat has a padded bit that makes for a good ride."

Minimal assembly required (attaching handlebar with tool provided).

Available at: Amazon and Beehive Toy Factory

10. CoComelon Colour Learning Sheep, £22.99

– Great for learning colours

CoComelon Colour Learning Sheep with child tester

Age suitability: 12 months+ | Best for age: 2+ | Size: L13cm x W8cm x H14cm (sheep) | Batteries: 2 x AAA (not included)

This grabbable white sheep glows a different colour to match the object it's placed on – and then plays Baa Baa Black Sheep with the ‘black’ changed to its glow-colour.

It's definitely got the thrill factor – and that's even before you add in the CoComelon association.

Our child tester Eadie, 2 (pictured), loved dancing and singing along to the music, saying, "My sheep, my sheep!" whenever she wanted to play with it. Eadie's mum Amanda was impressed with how well it helped her get to grips with matching colours. She thought the paper rainbow mat wasn’t very robust (as do we) but we can see that the toy comes a QR code that allows you to print more, if you need to.

Can also be used as a nightlight.

Available at: Amazon

11. LeapFrog Count-along Basket & Scanner, £39.99

– Great for shopping role play

LeapFrog Count-along Basket Scanner with child tester

Age suitability: 2+ | Best for age: 2+ | Size: L17cm x W24cm x H32cm | Batteries: 2 x AAA (included)

This vibrant shopping basket comes with 8 pieces of play food and an interactive 'scanner' that recognises each food item as it's scanned. It has 3 game modes based on colours, shapes, counting and food groups. The handle on the basket can also be pulled out to turn it into a rollalong trolley basket.

It's solidly made, brightly coloured, with well thought-out games (and a friendly, encouraging voice to guide you through them) – but it's the scanner that's the absolute star feature. The fact that it recognises each piece of play food captivated all our toddler testers.

Donna, mum of child tester Holly, 2 (pictured above), said the toy hadn't left her daughter's side since she got it. "Holly enjoys playing shop," she said, "so this toy with the scanning device took it to the next level. She keeps wanting to show it to anyone that comes round. She is playing with it independently and saying the names of the different food items, so already she is learning from it. I can see great potential for this toy in imaginative play for many years to come."

Comes with instructions and 3 scannable double-sided shopping lists.

Available at: Very and Argos

12. Mizzie The Kangaroo Hop Out Music Box, £25.20

– Great for reinforcing cause and effect

Mizzie the Kangaroo music box with child tester

Age suitability: 18 months+ | Best for age: 2+ | Size: L13cm x W13cm x H14cm | Batteries: None

A retro-style, battery-free, jack-in-the-box toy: you wind the lever and, to the tune of Pop Goes the Weasel, out of the tin pops soft and furry Mizzie the kangaroo. It’s a great toy to teach about cause and effect, while guaranteeing plenty of giggles too. "He kept saying 'Again! Again!' He thinks it's hilarious and couldn't stop laughing," said Samantha, mum of one of our child testers, Taran, 2.

Our other child tester Albie, 2 (pictured above), was also entranced, and loved pushing Mizzie back into the box once she’d jumped out (you do need to make sure she’s properly back in before you wind the handle again).

"Albie learnt to say ‘Roo’ for Kangaroo as well as 'hidies' when he pushed Mizzie back into the box,” said Albie's mum Lisa. "The music is engaging and the toy is so entertaining. I've watched Albie continuously come back to play with it and firmly tell his brother, 'Mine!'"

Available at: Amazon, Mizzie and Not On The High Street

13. Early Learning Centre Wooden Stacking Train, £25

– Great for early number and letter skills

Early Learning Centre Wooden Stacking Train with child tester

Age suitability: 12 months+ | Best for age: 2+ | Size: L45cm x W10cm x H16cm | Batteries: None

The little wooden engine pulls 2 wagons, all made from FSC-certified wood, that you build from a set of wheels, a flatbed with a stacking pole, and 15 stacking blocks – 6 of which have numbers on one side and letters on the other.

It's sturdy, bright and well designed. With all the colours, numbers and letters, it offers lots of stacking and learning opportunities on top of simple push-along train play.

Meghan, mum of our child tester Ava, 2 (pictured above), said her daughter adored the train. "She plays with it a least once a day," she said, "building the bricks into a tower or pushing it around and going, 'Choo choo!' She laughs and giggles the whole time."

Available at: Boots and Early Learning Centre

14. LeapFrog Scoop and Learn Ice Cream Cart, £59.99

– Great for hospitality role play

leapfrog scoop and learn ice cream cart

Age suitability: 2+ | Best for age: 2+ | Size: L52cm x W22cm x H63cm | Batteries: 3 x AAA (included)

This interactive push-along trolley is stacked with ice cream combos for your child to create and serve. It comes with 6 activity cards you can insert into the cart to hear ice-cream orders to make and then ring through the till.

It's a definite toddler hit and the 'magic ice cream scoop' which recognises all the different colours and flavours on offer really wowed our little testers. The activity cards are great for reinforcing colours and numbers and we like how the cart "gobbles up" all the left-over ice cream.

Angela, mum of our child tester Edie, 2, said, "Edie play with this non-stop! She quickly figured out how to use the scoop and how to place the cards in the till. She listened to what the cards told her and made the correct ice cream up. As soon as anyone new comes to the house she straightaway asks what ice cream they would like!

"It is great for learning her colours as we ask her for a pink/green ice cream and also tell her the flavour. Her favourite part seems to be putting topping on to the ice cream. It is certainly a hit – and I would definitely recommend this toy to friends and family."

Available at: Very, Amazon and John Lewis

15. Vtech 3-in-1 Sports Centre, £41.99

– Great for active fun

VTech 3 in 1 sports centre with child tester

Age suitability: 12 months+ | Best for age: 2+ | Size: L58cm x W44cm x H66cm| Batteries: 3 x AA (included)

This little interactive sports centre lets you shoot a basket, net a goal or throw to hit a target (that's round the back behind the scoreboard). It comes with a pint-sized football, a pint-sized basketball and small throwing ball.

The electronic scoreboard counts the shots that score and plays encouraging phrases. It also features buttons to press that trigger songs and encourage learning about shapes and colours.

It's brash and noisy but our child testers loved it! And we really like that it combines educational elements ("find the blue triangle") with all the sporty fun. We also liked the encouraging interaction – and how you can pull the hoop down for a slam dunk!

Liz, mum of our child tester Lucas, 2 (pictured above), said, "This toy is amazing, It's well worth the money and will last for quite some time. Lucas goes running to it every morning. He caught on pretty fast to how to play and was so pleased with himself when he scored. For us, it was amazing that he played with us and even took turns!"

Some (tool-free) assembly required.

Available from: Very and Amazon

16. LEGO DUPLO Modular Playhouse, £54.99

– Great for household role play

DUPLO modular playhouse with child tester

Age suitability: 2+ | Best for age: 2+ | Size: L10cm x W36cm x H39cm| Batteries: None

This 129-piece DUPLO set builds (in 3 different ways) into a house with a kitchen, living room, bathroom and bedroom – all with opening windows.

We really like how you can build this as a tower, as well as a 3-story house and a long bungalow, and how you can decide which furniture goes where (fridge in the bedroom, anyone?). We also love the fun, outsize accessories, like the birthday cake and the rocking horse.

"The adaptability and endless options of this toy make it well worth the money," said Laura, mum of our child tester Lola, 2 (pictured above).

It comes with 3 family figures, a teddy, and a dog, as well as all the accessories, and our child tester, Lola, 2 (pictured above), is very taken with the teddy and the dog. She also loves opening the fridge door. "Lola loves cooking in the kitchen," said Laura, "as well as putting the little kid to bed – and even cleaning the windows!"

Available at: Lego and Amazon

17. Woody Treasures Butterfly Gear Game, £11.99

– Great for shape recognition

Woody Treasures Butterfly Gear Game with child tester

Age suitability: 18 months+ | Best for age: 2+ | Size: L24cm x W15cm | Batteries: None

Made with non-toxic paints, this wooden butterfly has removable shape-shorting blocks and cogs that rattle and turn once they're fitted together correctly.

It's beautiful to look at, with its bright colours and friendly face, and the shapes and cogs are well proportioned for toddler hands and fit together well.

Pooja, mum to our child tester Amelia, 2 (pictured above), was impressed by its smooth corners and clever design. She said: "It's light but sturdy and well-made – and great for teaching colours and shapes in a fun way. It is also a great way to teach cause and effect."

There are lots of similar puzzles out there but we think this one's great value for money. We'd say it's probably best aimed at younger 2 year olds, though, as older ones might find it a little too simple.

Available from: Amazon and Woody Treasures

18. LEGO DUPLO Number Train, £12.99

– Great for early maths skills

LEGO DUPLO number train with child tester

Age suitability: 18 months+ | Best for age: 18 months+ | Size: L37cm x W6cm x H10cm | Batteries: None

This buildable, wheeled locomotive has 3 carriages, with numbered bricks to load on board. It's a colourful, easy to build and push along, and introduces numbers and counting in a fun way. It also comes with 2 child figures and a very cute cat.

It was a real hit with our toddler testers, especially Sam, 2 (pictured above) and also (in a previous model) went down very well with the children who put it through its paces in one of our MadeForMums product tests – popping 1 of the figures in (and out) of the train's cab is definitely one of the top attractions!

It's nice and light, too: would be a good toy to stash in a carry bag when you're travelling.

Available at: LEGO and Very

19. Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Ride-On, £59.99

– Great outdoor ride-on

little tikes cozy coupe

Age suitability: 18 months+ | Best for age: 2+ | Size: L82cm x W40cm x H77cm | Batteries: None

This is undeniably the classic toddler ride-on car, with working wheels, horn,'ignition switch' and open-and-close petrol cap.

The Cozy Coupe has selling like hotcakes since 1979 – and that's simply because it's a toddler magnet. There's something about the open-and-close door, the perfectly pint-sized seat, the steering wheel and the tall roof that pretty much every 2-year-old is drawn to. "This is now a fixture in our garden," says Naomi, mum of our child tester Thomas, 2. "It's sturdy and brilliantly weather-proof. Thomas loves the petrol cap and spends ages 'filling up' with petrol."

Comes in a variety of colours and looks, including the Classic (pictured, left), Fairy, Dino (pictured, right), Police Response and Princess Horse & Carriage. Some assembly required: our toddler testers' parents recommend you give yourself plenty of time to put it all together.

Available at: Argos and Amazon

20. Orchard Toys Big Bus Jigsaw Puzzle, £11.50

– Great for problem solving

orchard toys big red bus jigsaw

Age suitability: 2+ | Best for age: 2+ | Size: L59cm x W42cm | Batteries: None

This jumbo 15-piece floor puzzle of a bustling British red bus has big cardboard piece and comes with a learning guide on the back of the box.

The pieces are super-sturdy, wipe-clean and fit together well. And the parents of our toddler testers really liked that there's so much detail in the completed picture: there's masses to point out, count and talk about when the jigsaw's complete.

Available at: Amazon, Ocado and Orchard Toys

21. Janod Sweet Cocoon Stacking Stones, £30

– Great for spatial awareness

Janod Stacking Stones

Age suitability: 2+ | Best for age: 2+ | Size: Varied | Batteries: None

This clever set of 20 wooden pieces in a mixture of shapes and sizes with pastel-coloured accents and geometric lines is designed to replicate a whole bunch of natural stones.

They can be stacked in numerous ways, and offer a slightly more unpredictable and challenging alternative to classic building blocks – while still being just as much fun to knock down.

"The 'stones' are lightweight and lovely to hold," says Sophie, mum of our child tester Alfie, 2. "Alfie loves wrecking the towers I build and he also loves picking up the stones and placing them them in piles – we've been starting to sort them by colour and size."

Available at: Amazon, Natural Baby Shower and Kidly


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About the author

Helen is Deputy Editor of MadeForMums, the author of Parenting for Dummies (Wiley, £17.99) and the Head Tester for our MadeForMums Toy Awards. She has written about parenting for Mumsnet, Pregnancy & Birth, Prima Baby, Boots Parenting Club and She Magazine and she's also been Consumer Editor of Mother & Baby. She has 3 boys and a heavy-duty washing machine.


Helen Brown
Helen BrownHead of Content Delivery

Helen is author of the classic advice book Parenting for Dummies. Before joining MadeForMums over 7 years ago, she was Head of Community at Mumsnet and also the Consumer Editor of Mother & Baby.