Cool birthday gifts for 2-year-olds should be able to keep up with them — even if you can’t. Imaginative play toys help channel that boundless curiosity into something more productive than, say, taking a crayon to your wall, while other toys will help build important skills like strengthening their memory or learning to follow directions. (Win!)
Of course there’s also playroom art and decor, cool clothes…we found so many cool gifts for 2-year-olds, the biggest challenge might be getting them to sit still long enough to unwrap all of them.
Be sure to see our full list of the coolest birthday gifts for kids by age
All gifts have been editorially determined by our staff, there is no compensation in exchange for picks.
CMP is an rstyle and Amazon affiliate which means we may receive a small commission from certain purchases to help us remain independent and support our staff.
($300+, Heritage Bicycles)
A brand new bike is such an iconic birthday gift and this beauty from Heritage may be the gold standard. It’s entirely handmade in Chicago and sized to ride with your child — right through their third, fourth, and fifth birthdays too. So while it’s an investment, it’s a worthy one.
($29.99+ at Amazon)
The most delicious-smelling dolls, Corolle’s vanilla-scented, water-friendly dolls are ready for bath time, the swimming pool, or jumping small waves on the beach. Find baby girls, boys, and many skin tones to choose from.
($9.99 at Amazon)
An ABC book is a must for any two-year-old’s bookshelf, and this beautifully illustrated new board book is just that much cooler than your average “A is for Apple” option. There’s even a cool NYC ABCs poster to go with it.
($43 at Chasing Fireflies)
Australia’s Emu makes these leather sneakers that are as comfy as they are fierce. Plus Velcro makes them easy to get onto or off of wiggly two-year-old feet.
($35.95 on sale, Fat Brain Toys)
One of our own favorite childhood toys, the Fisher Price vintage turntable is not only so easy for little hands to use, but the nursery songs it plays are fun for toddlers too. Plus, it’s a great way to teach them about records without pulling out your own beloved stash of 45’s.
($16, Ridgeway Creative Shop; $20, Fab Fly Fancy)
Celebrate one of the things that makes the birthday boy or girl special with a soft tee, also featured in our roundup of meaningful gifts for kids who don’t need more toys. There are so many to choose from, but we like these two, from two cool Black-owned small businesses.
($99 unframed, $199 unframed at Alexander & Co)
If your nursery art is now feeling too babyish, vintage inspired styles at this shop range from a Grand Prix racing poster to “ads” for chocolate or sporting goods (shown here) to a very cool 80s mix tape. In other words, unlike cartoon character art, this something a kid won’t outgrow even when they hit their fickle tweens. Maybe.
($39.98 at Amazon)
There will always be a doctor in the house with this clever, portable, and space-saving doctor’s office play pillow from Sago Mini. A perfect birthday gift for big dreamers — and small homes.
($30 at MoMA store; 10% off for members)
Will it keep her in bed even one minute longer? Score! Perfect gift.
($12/4-pack, Out of Print)
If you’ve got to cover up the cutest toes ever, at least do it with the stars of fave kidlit books from Maurice Sendak to Mo Willems. Psst…wrap them up with the board books themselves for a terrific birthday gift for a 2-year-old!
($379.99, Palumba Camden Rose)
The perfect-sized toddler play kitchen, this beautifully handmade wooden set includes a stainless sink with knobs that turn, a faucet that rotates, and a cutting board and baking racks that slide out. So there’s lots to play with before you even play food.
($74 at My Sweet Muffin)
This beautifully illustrated playhouse is built for little kids with big imaginations.
($25+, The Trendy Tot)
One-of-a-kind handmade clothes make such cool birthday gifts, and we love these leggings so much, we could fill an entire wardrobe with the designer’s llama, sloth, emoji and unicorn styles.
($59 at Crate and Barrel)
If you prefer the classics when it comes to birthday gifts, this set of blocks designed by artist Elizabeth Olwen is one of those special keepsake gifts that will last long past childhood.