Written By: Psychologist Natasha Tanic
Toddler years are the stage of rapid changes in your child’s development. Your little two year old boy is full of energy. He is curious and always on the go.
He can now name items in a picture book, he loves pretend-play games and can scribble on his own.
Your toddler can follow two-steps verbal commands, build towers of four or more blocks, and use items such as a spoon and a cup.
You will notice that your 2 year old boy is increasingly independent. He now talks, explores the world around him, and uses every opportunity to play.
But many parents wonder what do two year old boys like? And what can they do to help their toddler reach his milestones as he develops and grows?
Two year old boys like playing all sorts of games with a wide variety of toys. They also enjoy spending time outside and exploring nature as well as a variety of art, craft, and sensory activities.
Play and Its Developmental Significance
Free, unstructured play is crucial for a child’s development. Young kids gain knowledge about the world through exploration.
Play encourages your toddler to make connections, gain knowledge about his environment, understand cause and effect, and anticipate and predict outcomes.
Different aspects of play such as safe home and nursery school experiments, blocks, shape sorters, and puzzles encourage eye-hand coordination and problem-solving.
Pretend-play, dress-up, and things like puppets promote abstraction, creativity, and imagination.
Play also boosts your toddler’s social and emotional development, encouraging him to experiment with social roles and developing his empathy and ability to understand different standpoints.
Furthermore, play promotes gross and fine motor skills development, encouraging your toddler to practice and master his coordination, balance, and control.
Pretend-play games allow your little boy to work through conflicts and learn positive ways to communicate his feelings and needs.
Free play helps young kids learn how to cope with unpleasant feelings such as anger, grief, jealousy, or worry, allowing them to act out these emotions in a safe environment.
Free play also promotes language and speech development by enabling children to practice essential language skills and build the vocabulary and fluency, express ideas, search for and provide information, and develop humor.
Through active play, children learn to coordinate large body movements that involve control over arms, legs, head, and trunk and to control small movements of their hands and fingers.
Toys and play increase brain development, promoting the growth of new neural connections in the brain and enhancing the brain’s plasticity and flexibility.
Games to Play with Your Toddler Boy
Play with your child whenever you get the chance. Playing together will deepen the bond with him and allow you observe the progress in his development.
Games and toys for toddlers not only make them happy but also support their learning and growth.
Here are some of the games that most toddler boys enjoy playing:
- Stacking blocks
- Pretend-play games
- ‘Simon Says’
- Different obstacle course games
- Dress-up games
- Games with balls
- Popping the soap bubbles
- Hide and seek
- Painting, scribbling, drawing
- Molding play-dough
- Sensory games with natural materials
- Stop! Go!
- Body tracing
How to Choose the Right Toys for Your 2 Year Old Toddler Boy
Toddlers love playing with all kinds of toys. Educational toys for toddlers are a great way to keep your two year old boy entertained while he learns new skills and builds upon his existing knowledge.
When choosing a toy, always consider the toy’s safety, your child’s ability to understand how to use the toy, and your toddler’s needs and interest as well as the skills that are emerging.
Toys are fun! You probably won’t find a typically developing child who doesn’t find pleasure in playing with toys.
However, children’s toys are more than just fun and games.
Most toys are designed to provide opportunities for kids to learn and develop. Young kids use toys to learn about the world around them.
Toys help toddlers learn how to talk, walk, write, count, interact with others, problem-solve, etc.
Every new color, texture, shape, and sound, is a new learning opportunity for your little boy.
The main aim of educational toys is to help young children reach their developmental milestones while having fun.
Providing age-appropriate and safe toys to your toddler boy helps him discover his senses and learn about his environment.
So, choosing age-appropriate toys for your toddler is very important in helping him reach developmental milestones.
Some of the must-haves for toddler include:
- Blocks (help develop eye-hand coordination, fine and gross motor skills)
- Musical toys (reinforce language, cognitive, and social skills, promote relaxation, develop gross and motor social skills)
- LEGO (promotes patience and organizational skills, encourages fine motor skills development, improves concentration and focus)
- Wooden toys (promote sensory and language development, cognitive growth, and fine motor skills)
- Balls (improve hand-eye coordination and gross motor skills)
- Puzzles (promote persistence and focus, language skills, hand-eye coordination, abstract thinking, etc.)
- Building toys (boost hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, patience, and focus)
- Pretend-play toys such as food toys, dolls, doctor’s sets, etc. (encourage social and emotional skills development, language development, etc.)
- STEM toys (boost problem-solving, critical thinking, and help develop lifelong skills)
Educational Benefits of Toys
The best toys to engage your 2 year old boy’s senses, encourage learning, gross and fine motor skills development, emotional expression and control, and social interaction.
Educational toys will also boost your toddler’s language and speech development, spark his imagination and creativity, and help him learn about social roles and rules.
Additionally, toys like colorful shape sorters or puzzles teach toddlers to match similar items and help develop language and vocabulary.
These toys also promote motor skills and problem-solving abilities.
Language and literacy-promoting toys are important in preschool and kindergarten age kids, as they introduce them to things they will be learning at school.
Your relationship with your toddler greatly influences his development. A close relationship with a parent/caregiver promotes a child’s social-emotional, language, and cognitive development.
Reading books together is a great way to take part in your toddler’s learning.
Promote early literacy skills by talking and reading to your boy as much as possible.
Language, literacy, and speech development is crucial for a child’s later success in academic, personal, and professional life.
Language and speech are the basics of future learning and exploration.
Reading books to your toddler is the best way to promote language, literacy and speech development.
Studies show that books with lots of interesting pictures and illustrations are the most stimulating ones for the young child’s brain.
While reading, point to pictures in the book to your boy and name them.
Fun stories help children develop speech and language skills.
Reading promotes a love for language and reading.
It also develops the child’s ability to use language to express their feelings and builds a strong foundation for the abstract thinking processes.
Art and Sensory Play
Through art and craft activities and sensory play, toddlers develop their senses and hand-eye coordination. Art and sensory activities also boost fine motor development.
Although fine motor skills seem so natural, these are skills that actually involve coordinated efforts of your child’s brain and muscles.
Fine motor skills expand the brain functions and promote the child’s overall development.
Art and sensory activities require a child to hold and small objects like crayons, pipe cleaners, brushes, play dough, pom poms, beads, etc.
This promotes the development of small muscles and encourages hand-eye coordination.
Also, art and sensory promote your child’s creativity, curiosity, and imagination.
Art, craft, and sensory play promote creativity, encourage social and emotional skills development, which help a toddler learn to express emotions and interact with others.
Also, art and sensory activities help create and strengthen neural connections and neural pathways in the child’s brain.
This helps support your toddler’s language and cognitive development, problem-solving, and motor skills.
Two year old boys like playing games with a variety of toys and they also like playing without toys.
They love spending time outside, so make sure to provide as many opportunities for outdoor play as possible.
Outdoor toys like balls, obstacle courses, riding toys, and push-toys help toddlers develop gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination, confidence, and independence.
Encourage your toddler to use imagination, construct things, and freely explore his environment (while you’re supervising him).
Also encourage him to experiment with different art, craft, and sensory materials.
When choosing the toys for your 2 year old boy, always consider his developmental level and interests.
An age-appropriate toy is one that matches the child’s age, developmental stage, and interest.
Keep in mind the toy’s safety (choking hazards, etc.) and the educational value.
The best toys and games are those that engage all of your child’s senses and help him learn and develop while having lots of fun!