child eating a cupcake near adults holding alternative gifts for 2 year olds

19 Practical Alternative Gifts for 2 Year Olds

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Too Much Stuff? Here are the Best Non-Toy Gifts for Toddlers

If you have a toddler and you’re already frustrated with the cumulation of toys that have taken over your house, then this one’s for you.

It’s a list of practical alternative gifts for 2 year olds that will help you come up with the perfect Christmas or birthday present — without adding to the clutter.

Trust me, I get it. I have a four year old and a soon-to-be two year old. Between the two of them, we’ve already had five birthdays and four Christmases.

If we don’t start getting rid of some of these toys, and soon…well, it’s not gonna be pretty!

Anyway, let’s get started. Which of these non-toy gifts do you think your toddler would love the most?

pin this image to share the list of non-toy gifts for toddlers

1. Helper Tower

What exactly is a helper tower, you ask? Let me tell you.

It’s a Montessori style step stool that you can pull right up next to the counter, so you can involve your toddler in whatever you’re doing.

I like this helper tower because it also converts into a desk, meaning you get even more bang for your buck. 🙂 

2. Potty Chair

This is right around the age that many toddlers start taking an interest in using the potty. 

A realistic potty training toilet is a practical alternative gift that will help your two year old start practicing for the real thing. 

(And to be completely honest, my four year old still uses the potty chair sometimes!)

3. Binoculars

Last year, our then 3.5 year old was asking for her own ‘noculars, so she got a set of pink binoculars for Christmas. (Don’t worry, they’re kid proof!)

She still uses them ALL the time, as does her little sister. Who knew they would be such a big hit??

4. My First Reading Club

Books are my go-to gift, and a monthly subscription box, like My First Reading Club, is the perfect way to build your toddler’s library.

What do I love most about My First Reading Club? Not only do you get to choose from five different age groups, but there’s also a little gift for Mom in each box.

Click here for more info.

5. Piggy Bank

Piggy banks have come a looong way since I was a kid! They make ‘em in all different shapes and sizes now.

Save up your 2 year old’s birthday money in their very own piggy bank, like this adorable owl or whatever you think they’d like best.

You might also enjoy: Homer Reading App Review: The Learning Journey That Grows With Your Child

6. Rocking Chair

A kid-sized rocking chair is a must in every household with young children. We had one when I was a kid, and now my girls have one of their own. 

If it’s well-made and survives their childhood, you’ll probably even want to pass it down to their children one day.

7. Table and Chairs

Another super practical alternative gift for toddlers? A small table with child-sized chairs!

Trust me, my daughter got one for her second birthday, and it’s gotten sooo much use already in just two short years. (And we’ll be able to use it for at least a few years still.)

8. Easy Bake Oven

This comes with one caveat: A two year old will definitely need close parental supervision.

However, an easy bake oven is a fun way for toddlers to get started baking!

My girls are still too young to use it on their own, but they love helping stir the batter — and they really enjoy eating the tiny cakes we’ve made in it!

9. Class or Membership

Bonus points if it’s something you can do together!

Museum and aquarium memberships are a couple ideas to consider. For classes: music, dance, art, and tumbling are a few possibilities.

10. Window Bird Feeder

What better way to learn about different types of birds than seeing them up close and personal?

A window bird feeder (along with a big bag of birdseed) was a really fun gift that our daughter received for her birthday this year. 

window bird feeder

11. Digital Subscription

Is your child just starting out with a little screen time and has access to a Kindle Fire Kids or another device?

A digital subscription to educational kid-friendly books, videos, and apps is a great gift if you simply don’t want to buy more “stuff”. Here are a couple options that I think your kiddo will enjoy! (Plus, you can try them out for FREE.)

Homer Learning to Read

Designed for kids age 2-8, HOMER takes kids on a personalized learning journey that grows with them as they build skills for school and life! Try it out FREE for a month using this link.

FreeTime Unlimited

Use my link to grab a FREE 30-day Amazon FreeTime Unlimited trial, and you’ll get unlimited access to more than 16,000 products — plus parental controls to create a unique experience for your child.  

12. New Bedding

If your two year old is transitioning to a toddler or twin bed, then new bedding might be a good gift:

– sheets and pillowcase

child-size pillow

– blanket or comforter

13. Green Kid Crafts

Give the gift of at-home hands-on learning with Green Kids Crafts.

Each box comes with up to six kits, and yes, they even have boxes for two year olds!

Learn more here.

14. Personalized Coloring Book

Give your budding artist a personalized coloring book from ReallyColor.

You can turn your photographs into coloring pages, or even an entire coloring book, filled with pictures of your toddler that they can color.

Click here to download the FREE stay-at-home bucket list for 100+ activity ideas, and your kids will never get bored!

15. Personalized Bedtime Book

Did you know that you can order custom storybooks with your child’s name printed within the story? Super cute! This bedtime storybook is just adorable, and your baby will enjoy reading “their” story for years to come.

16. Personalized Busy Board

Keep your little one occupied with a busy board, complete with a personalized puzzle to help them recognize their name. 

This busy board puzzle looks like a lot of fun — in addition to a personalized name puzzle, it has gears for spinning, numbers and shapes, and even some pegs to move around.

17. Knit Beanie and Mittens

Clothing is a super practical gift for kids, since they outgrow it (or wear it out) so fast.

And the odds are good that your toddler no longer fits into the little baby hat you used last year. Check out this cable knit beanie with matching thumbless mittens!

I think they’d look adorable on any 2 year old.

18. Wooden Lacing Activity

A wooden lacing activity like this one is the perfect tool for working on fine motor skills, such as hand-eye coordination and building the pincer grip.

You might also enjoy: Useful Gifts to Put in a Christmas Eve Box for Babies & Toddlers

19. Tricycle

Because our 4 year old got a new bike for her birthday, a Radio Flyer tricycle is in order for our younger daughter’s second birthday. They’ll have a blast cruising around together next summer!

Now, we just need to decide whether to buy the trike in red or pink….

Best Alternative Gifts for 2 Year Olds

And that’s a wrap! Nineteen non-toy gifts for toddlers so that you can keep the playroom mess to a minimum. 

Which one are you going to choose?

Read more:

Fun Winter Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

21 Fun and Unique Gifts for Preschoolers

5 Toddler Craft Subscription Boxes (that Busy Moms Will Love!)

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  1. These are great ideas! Our boys have accumulated so much over the years as well and every year we end up donating tons of toys. I love these non-toys ideas.

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, Lina! It’s crazy how quickly toys pile up. I want my girls to have SOME toys, and they do play with most of them, but non-toy gifts definitely help keep the toy clutter down!

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