My Top 10 Gifts for Twos and Threes

As we approach the holidays this year, our gift to you is a series of Top 10 gift guides which promote active play and healthy development!  Click here for other guides in this series.

Between the ages of two and three, your child is coming to the end of her "babyhood" and taking on bigger challenges than ever before.  Children this age are keenly interested in helping and mimicking what they see people do around the home and in their world (capitalize on this while you can!).  Movement and active play is still really important, as 2s and 3s are building the skills of balance, running, throwing, climbing, etc.  Keep reading to see ten of my favourite gifts for this age!

10 gifts for 2s and 3s choosen by a child development specialist

Please Note: Some of these links are affiliate links, meaning we get a small percentage of the sale if you purchase something through that link.  I would list these items regardless, as they are honestly my favorites and excellent for children.  We use the funds earned to support more content like this, so thanks for your help! 


Real Tools for Real Help

Check out all the tools over at For Small Hands.  Children this age need quality tools that really work, sized to fit their smaller hands.  There's tools for the kitchen, for the garden, for cleaning, and more.  

Tracks for cars, trains, or marbles 

These toys offer a limited amount of pieces and a chance to explore movement. The car racer track pictured is perfect for this age.   I also love this simple wooden train set from IKEA, just $10! 

Building Block Set

There are many excellent building block sets.  Look for high quality wood that will stand up to years of play.  I'm a fan of these wood blocks from Kubiya Games because they fit well into this tray, adding a layer of challenge! These magnetic wooden blocks are pretty awesome too, especially for travel. 

Small Table and Chair

For twos and threes, a place to work that's just their size is essential.  Pick a set made from wood that's well-made, sturdy, and easy to clean.  I like this farmhouse set from KidKraft, and this one from IKEA.  


This trike from Hape toys offers a slightly greater challenge with a front wheel that steers than the Wheely bug I suggested for toddlers.  

Classic Record Player

I'm a huge fan of this throwback toy.  It's simple and durable enough to take some rough use by a young child.  The mechanics are fairly visible and playing music requires some effort (not just pressing a button).  

Puzzles with 2-8 pieces

Simple wood puzzles with knobs are an appropriate challenge for this age.  Melissa and Doug make several excellent ones, like this, this, or this.  

Image from Pingvini

Image from Pingvini

Plain doll with simple clothes

A doll encourages gentle care play and a chance to play grown-up.  I have also used dolls to illustrate self-care activities, gentle touch, teach body parts, and as a third party in grace and courtesy lessons.  Bamboletta makes beautiful handmade dolls of heirloom quality.  You can also find a wonderful handmade doll on Etsy, like this one from Pingvini. 

image from Wiwiurka 

image from Wiwiurka 


This rainbow wood climber is also a bridge, rocker, store front, and whatever else your child can dream up. This one is handmade in Mexico by Ana & Marek of Wiwiurka, and ships to you ready to assemble.  

Yoga Cards and Mat

Yoga offers a perfect challenge for this age: following the sequence, making your body hold a pose, and keeping focused.  These cards offer a bit more direction,and you can also find simpler cards here.  Grab a mat too. 


What items are on your top ten for this age?  Share it with us over on our Facebook group for parents! 

Leanne Gray, M.Ed is the owner of The Prepared Environment, which supports families in creating an ideal environment for their children at home. She has over fifteen years experience working with children in both public, private, and Montessori schools, and is AMI primary trained. She particularly loves to hear from you!  You can always contact her for personalized support and answers to your questions. 

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