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Working on a toddler box - favorite things for 2 year old?


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I would like to put together a box of toys and activities that will hopefully help occupy my rambunctious 2 year old during school time. She just turned 2 in May, and she is still putting things in her mouth, so no small parts yet.


What toys, puzzles, activities, etc. have worked well to entertain your 2 year old?

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Blocks, of course big ones.

AquaDoodle anything, mine liked the playmat


ColorWonder stuff, coloring things that won't color on anything else but the magic paper, love this stuff!

Little People playset

Water play, I let my ds play in the sink and wash dishes (play dishes) with a new sponge. He loved it.


Others suggest rice to pour in different containers but I never had much luck with this, more of a mess for us than anything. Who knew a 2yo would like to throw rice and dry beans??


Plastic dishes/kitchen area?

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watercolor paint (favorite)

sorting crayons or colored clothes pin into cups or containers


water play on the patio or inside on a beach towel (put on a swimsuit, get a large bowl of water, cups, sponges and let 'em play)

homemade playdo

Lace and Trace animals (from Melissa and Doug)

nesting blocks (favorite)

Busy Beads

peg puzzles

Shape Sorter (from CBD.com) just a wooden block with colored cut outs to reinsert

Large dry erase table and chair set (another favorite)

I think my mother purchased this from Big Lots. You can erase whatever is drawn and the fun starts all over again. The markers I have are washable but you may want to have your child wear old clothes anyway.


There are also some great activities at Toddler Toddler. There are some great ideas at Tot School also.

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Wow! There are some great ideas here! There are some I have never heard of or thought of and there are some that I had forgotten. It has "only" been 4 years since I last had a two year old, but I wasn't trying to hs back then and this one seems to be a little bit more challenging...


Jessica, I know all too well about the bean throwing. A few weeks ago, one of my older two left the craft cabinet unlocked and my dd got into the beans. I think she had them spread out to every corner of the room!


Thanks for all of the great ideas!

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Another add....the "fishing" puzzles...I think we got ours from lovetolearn.net....but my now 3 year old can still keep himself VERY busy...fishing for puzzle pieces and putting them back...the pieces are larger too...I don't think any choking hazard...


stickers...I buy the giant books of stickers at walmart...they don't seem to care what they look like...just want to put them on paper!


safety scissors and a piece of paper...can entertain a long time also...also helps with fine motor skills....I just try to teach them to pick up all the little pieces!!!!


HTH...I'm enjoying looking for new ideas...



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a ball of yarn

a damp sponge for "washing" - kitchen floor, walls, etc.

big pieces of fabric

chop sticks

small tent or tunnel (well, they won't fit into a box, but it might work to set up somewhere unobtrusive)


I try to avoid things that have lots of pieces or that have the potential for "disaster" unless I'm standing right there. This means no sand, no water, no rice, no playdough, markers, or crayons or anything that can "decorate" the walls and furniture or be mashed into carpet. :tongue_smilie:

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No matter what I tried for entertaining ds when he was 2, his favorite thing was scribbling in his older sister's old workbooks. Unfortunately, he "completed" workbooks faster than she did, so then he would usually do playdough, build with all sorts of blocks, and cut with safety scissors.

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Lots of good suggestions. I agree that the favorite for my 2yo was "doing lessons" with big sis. Having some parallel activities would be great - coloring, playing with math manips, etc.


Once they get their fill of "doing school" then I start bringing out the school-only toys (like your toddler box). I reserve some of their toys to come out only during school. Already there has been a lot of good recs, but I didn't see Legos. All my kids love duplo legos.


It can become overwelming if there are too many choices for a 2-yr old, so you may want to consider a couple of boxes that you rotate. Otherwise, at least with my kids, the take out one thing, then another, then another, and then another, and then there is too much out and it's cluttered and they want to go play somewhere else. I have a drawer in the hallway that has these items, and it's like a lending library (one thing goes back in before another comes out). And because they don't have free access to it, the drawer and its contents are a little more mysterious and special.

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I like to make a cutting box--a big box for cutting up anything scrap you have. Start with tearing, then progress to scissors.


I also like to make various kinds of playdough--koolaid kind can wait tho because it smells good enough to eat! Add sawdust or sand or coffee grounds for a cool texture.


Have you seen Paula's Archives preschool baggies?

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Guest mom4life

I bought an inexpensive Spin Art at the craft store and this is keeping my 2 year old occupied for a long time. It's easy to buy squeeze bottles and inexpensive paint when you run out of the paint it comes with.

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