How your 2 to 2 ½-year-old might play now

    • He knows the difference between safe and dangerous
    • She's becoming more social with other kids
    • Good eye-hand coordination means he can build with blocks and tuck a stuffed animal into bed
Ride-on toys
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    Thomas & Friends™ Lights & Sounds Trike

    Balance & Coordination Gross Motor Security & Happiness Sensory
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    Barbie™ Lights & Sounds Trike

    Balance & Coordination Gross Motor Self-Expression & Confidence Sensory
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    Nickelodeon™ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles™
    Lights & Sounds Trike

Help your child learn more:

    • Show him how it works. Ride-ons are designed so a child's feet reach the ground or pedals and body weight helps push it around. Children may not realize their feet should go around on pedals—they want to push back and forth. It may help if you put his feet on the pedals, hold your hands on top of them and push so he feels the motion of the pedals going down and around.
    • Help her learn directions by saying the words, "Now you're turning left," or "Turn to the right."
    • Take me along! Children love to use a ride-on's little storage compartments. Help your 2-year-old select a "friend" to take for a ride, or pack a little snack to enjoy on a break.
    • Where to park? Give your child a "parking spot" in the shed or garage. Say, "This is your parking spot—just like mommy and daddy park the car."
Play kitchens
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    Servin’ Surprises™ Kitchen & Table

    Imagination & Creativity Self-Expression & Confidence Sharing & Cooperation
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    Grow-With-Me Kitchen™

    Fine Motor Imagination & Creativity Security & Happiness Self-Expression & Confidence
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    Dora the Explorer Sizzling Surprises Kitchen

Help your child learn more:

    • “Let's make spaghetti!” Help your child get started by offering suggestions. “Can you cook the sauce?" Use what comes with your play kitchen as a guide, or safe items from your own kitchen as props. Your 2-year-old will think it's great if you make something in the play kitchen and then prepare the food in your kitchen; you'll add realism and richness to the play.
    • Kid cookbooks. Get some children's cookbooks with simple directions and colorful photos and make a meal together.
    • Keep it clean. Cooking together is a great time to teach your child about good sanitary practices. "Before we start, we always wash our hands so we don't get germs in the food." Also talk about the need to cook food thoroughly, keep your hair back, etc.
    • Challenge new skills. As memory skills and ability to follow directions emerge, give your child opportunities to try them out at other times, like when you're grocery shopping. "I noticed how good you are at making spaghetti in your kitchen. Can you help me find everything we need to make it for dinner?"
Sports toys
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    Grow 2 Pro™ Junior Basketball

    Balance & Coordination Gross Motor Security & Happiness Self-Expression & Confidence
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    Barbie™ Grow With Me™ 1,2,3 InLine Skates™

    Balance & Coordination Gross Motor Security & Happiness Self-Expression & Confidence
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    Super Sounds Soccer™

    Balance & Coordination Gross Motor Self-Expression & Confidence Sensory

Help your child learn more:

    • Make adjustments. Whatever sport your child is trying out, make sure it’s at the right level. If you're using an adjustable basketball hoop, for example, put the backboard at its lowest setting for a 2-year-old. An adjustment feature on a sports toy lets you challenge your child as she grows and skills develop.
    • Great job! Praise specific actions to make your support more useful. Instead of saying, "Wow! You're a great player!" be precise. "You're really getting the hang of throwing that ball just hard enough to get to the hoop."
    • Put it in words. Paint the picture of your child's success: "Take your time and think about putting the soccer ball in the net." Make your words as descriptive as you can: "You kicked the ball right into the net. Your aim was great, and it went right in. Good for you!"
    • My turn … Help your 2-year-old learn about taking turns by introducing the concept of team play. "It's your turn to throw the ball … Now it's my turn to try."
Battery-powered ride-ons
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    Power Wheels® DC Super Friends™ Batman™ Lil’ Quad™

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    Power Wheels® Barbie™ Lil’ Quad™

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    Power Wheels® Harley-Davidson® Lil' Harley®

Help your child learn more:

    • How does it work? For your 2-year-old's first adventure on a battery-powered ride-on, take time to go through how it works: show him how to make it go forward, how to stop it, how to turn.
    • Safe space. Make sure where she drives is not only safe, but big enough for her to turn around until she can back up.
    • Where are we going? Your child will love to pretend to be going places in his car—to the store, to Grandma's house, to the zoo. Add props like a bag of groceries to put in the car. Or make traffic signs with your child’s help. Talk about what each one means and how a driver is supposed to respond when they encounter one.

Dance 'til You Drop

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Most toddlers love to express themselves through music and dance. Provide your toddler with an opportunity for creative body expression, with a fun twist.

Materials

  • Audio player & playlist with a variety of music
  • Large area for dancing

Instructions

  • Play the music and stand in the middle of the room. 
  • When the first song comes on, dance to the music, and encourage your toddler to dance with you. 
  • When the music changes, change your dance to match, and encourage your toddler to change with you.
  • Dance until you drop.

Safety

Be sure the room is cleared so you don't crash into anything while you're dancing! Take breaks if you get tired.
Your child can learn

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