Dating gifts by year
We like this rocking lamb, mainly because it has a nice face and is very strokeable, but also because it is strong enough to feel like you can ride it without it falling apart.
And the self-assembly element is minimal (you have to attach the rockers to the lamb’s legs) which may go hand in hand with the previous point.
We think that all the products listed below are suitable for most two-year-olds, but it is important to note that some of them have a manufacturer’s recommended minimum age of three or above.
Please ensure that any product is safe and suitable for your own child before giving it to them.
We like this Funfair set – it’s not cheap but contains three rides (carousel, rocket and pirate ride), three vehicles (ice cream cart, train and fun bus) and seven characters (including very un-scary clowns), so in theory there is plenty here to play with other children too, though we can’t guarantee they won’t all want the same character on the same carousel horse at the same time. Brio My First Railway Beginner Pack: .15, Amazon We may live in an era of aeroplanes, space rockets and buses that bend in the middle, but it’s still train sets that capture children’s imaginations more than anything.
There are many wooden train companies offering track and train of the same gauge (for non-train aficionados that means they are compatible with each other) but the Swedish company Brio is a cut above in terms of quality.
This set includes plenty of basic bricks plus opening windows, a boy, a dog, flowers and a wheeled base for a vehicle.
Not everyone who plays with Duplo and Lego as they get older goes on to be an architect or engineer, but I’d bet my bottom dollar that every architect or engineer played with bricks like these. Early Learning Centre Happyland Funfair: .44, Amazon The Early Learning Centre Happyland range is great for many reasons – not just developing imaginative play but also because the plastic figures are ideal for kids at the putting-everything-in-their-mouth stage, so they can act as unofficial teethers too.
In theory this toy creates a tree, a toadstool and a flower, each topped with an animal, but this interchangeable stacking toy means that the child can create their wooden garden differently each time – toad-flower or tree-stool anyone?
This should last your little ones until they reach three years old. Little Tikes Gas ‘n’ Go Mower: .97, Walmart This great bit of equipment seems to captivate children of all ages – if only they were so keen to mow the lawn when they got older – and is ideal for children as soon as they can walk.
The gas can that children can use to pretend to fill the mower up and the balls that pop as you push mark this out from cheaper alternatives, as does the sturdy design.
I am sure a child could get bored of pushing this up and down, but we’ve not seen it happen yet. Book Storage Cart – Mr Bear: £69, Piccolo House Adults tend to keep their books on shelves, or stacked on their bedside tables, but children like to carry their favourite objects around with them.
This lovely bear pull-along trolley allows them to do just that, though they will need parental help to assemble it – so beware, there is no instant gratification upon ripping the paper open.
Buy now Duplo is the Lego range for younger children.