The best gifts for two-year-olds – Chicago Tribune

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With so many children’s toys available, it can be difficult to sift through which toys would make great gifts and which toys are duds. When selecting a toy for a two-year-old, you’ll want to make sure that it will not only keep their attention but will also help in the development of crucial skills such as hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.

Whether you’re looking for toys that encourage physical activity or toys that strengthen the mind, check out this list of toys perfect for any two-year-old.

Best gifts for two-year-olds 

OBUBY Toddler Musical Instruments Sets: available at Amazon

Our take: Encourage your child's musical abilities with this incredibly robust set of musical instruments.

What we like: Your child will be rattling, shaking, pounding and tapping away to the beat with this exciting and fun collection of instruments. This set features 17 types of instruments made of high-quality BPA-free materials and a carrying bag for storage. The instruments include bells, triangles, maracas, xylophone, tambourine, trumpet, a harmonica and more.

What we dislike: Some reviewers reported that the paint on some of the toys came off quickly.

UTEX 3-in-1 Pop-Up Play Tent with Tunnel: available at Amazon

Our take: Bright and inviting three-in-one pop-up tent with ball pit that any two-year-old would enjoy.

What we like: This easy-to-assemble light-weight play tent with a tunnel is made from high-grade polyester and is built to withstand wear and tear. The package features a tent and a ball-pit connected by a long tunnel and includes a bag for portability.

What we dislike: Balls are not included with the tent.

Playskool Sit 'n Spin Classic Spinning Activity Toy: available at Amazon

Our take: A simple sit-and-spin toy that will entertain your toddler for hours.

What we like: This spinning toy helps your child practice balance, coordination and motor skills while spinning around and around as they giggle away. Simply pull the stationary wheel and the base will start to spin, with the child controlling the speed.

What we dislike: Only one child can spin at a time.

Lego Duplo My First Number Train: available at Amazon

Our take: Learn how to count with this buildable locomotive set illustrated with numbers 0-9.

What we like: This brightly colored 23-piece Lego Duplo set includes a train and three wagons, two figures and a black cat. Encourage your child's imagination and work on their counting skills with these buildable blocks. This set is also compatible with other Lego Duplo sets.

What we dislike: Some reviewers mentioned their set arrived with the postage directly on it, instead of being mailed in a protective box.

Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn 3-in-1 On-the-Go Camper: available at Amazon

Our take: Push-along walker and camping center with countless activities that grows with your child.

What we like: This incredible little activity center features over 100 songs, sounds and phrases that help your toddler learn their colors, numbers and shapes. Fifteen pieces of campfire food, fishing poles and fish will have your child engaged for hours. Pretend to roast s'mores over a fire, use the compass to find the course for your next adventure or press the music buttons to light up the lantern. The possibilities are endless.

What we dislike: You can't lock the wheels to fix the walker in place.

Little Tikes Go and Grow Dino Indoor Outdoor Ride On Toy: available at Amazon

Our take: Adorable dinosaur-themed toddler tricycle with a wide front wheelbase and an oversized rear wheel for balance.

What we like: As an indoor or outdoor toy, this easy-to-assemble tricycle features an adjustable seat that can be raised as the child grows. Best for 24 months to 5 years of age, a built-in rear wheel guard ensures that no little fingers get stuck in the wheel.

What we dislike: May damage certain floors if ridden inside and does not work well on carpet.

Little Tikes Home Grown Kitchen: available at Amazon

Our take: Fully-stocked play kitchen with real boiling water sounds and an oven that opens and closes.

What we like: This adorable and easy-to-assemble play kitchen offers plenty of storage space for the over 20 accessories included like pots, pans, food and cooking utensils. Your kids will spend hours playing with all the different features. Recipe cards are included to encourage cooking skills.

What we dislike: Some parents noted that screws were missing from the box.

KidKraft Modern Outdoor Wooden Playhouse: available at Amazon

Our take: This cedarwood playhouse comes with special touches like a picnic table, mailbox and grill.

What we like: This incredible high-quality playhouse has so many special features such as a picnic table attached to the side with two seats, a mailbox with an operational flag, a working front door, a chalkboard and an outdoor grill. Several sets of windows allow an abundance of natural light into the structure and a set of indoor curtains makes it feel just like home. Water and weather-resistant roof and side panels guarantee that this structure will last for many years.

What we dislike: It can take up to six hours to assemble.

Tyuweddinggifts Custom Baby Puzzle Name: available at Etsy

Our take: Toddlers will love playing with this simply adorable custom wood puzzle with letters and animals.

What we like: This highly customizable lindenwood puzzle can hold up to three names and eight animals. Each beautifully illustrated animal and letter feature a small knob so your child can easily pull them out. Pick the color of each letter from 25 different water-based, non-toxic paint colors.

What we dislike: These name puzzles are made to order so if you need a quick gift, you should choose something else.

Stefanie Hammond is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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