There are many options available in the toy world, which can be daunting. However, sensory toys go back to the basics by giving kids a means to engage with their senses. Instead of just momentary entertainment, sensory toys engage your toddlers and offer beneficial enclosure. Children who engage in sensory play have the chance to see the effects they have on their environment and learn about the world around them.
In this article, we are going to review the best sensory toys for 2-year-olds, but before that, let’s talk about what exactly these toys are and how they can benefit your toddler.
What Are Sensory Toys?
Any toy specifically made to pique one or more sensory perceptions is known as a sensory toy. Your young ones may find sensory toys more enticing since they can help them stay calm and give them the desired sensory experience.
To stimulate one or more of a child’s five senses, sensory toys come in a range of shapes and sizes, all of which intend to hold their interest and challenge your child’s cognitive and physical development:
- Sight – Bright colors and contrasts can pique a baby or toddler’s interest and enhance their visual senses when used in toys or nursery décor.
- Hearing – Toys that create noise, such as bells, crinkling, whistles, or any other percussion sensory toys, can encourage auditory engagement.
- Touch – Tactile material is the primary source in the production of sensory toys. It can come in a wide range of shapes and textures, with surface patterns of different contrast ranging from supple and feathery to rough and abrasive.
- Smell – Particular aromas can pique your child’s interest and heighten their sense of smell.
- Taste – Teething rings and other related products are known to be the primary source of providing oral enjoyment with appealing sensations.
Benefits of Sensory Toys for Toddlers:
When it comes to child development at a young age, sensory toys are highly beneficial. Children that play with such toys benefit from increased sensory awareness, feedback to their sensory systems, and control over their sensory requirements.
Sensory play offers newborns and young children a broad spectrum of physiological advantages. Here are some of them:
- Cognitive Development – Playing with sensory stimuli can aid in promoting brain development and improve memory and the capacity to handle challenging activities. It also promotes hand-eye coordination.
- Vocabulary Building – When sensory toys are given to young ones, they are more likely to talk about different textures and shapes, which promotes language practice and the use of new vocabulary related to the toys or activities they are doing.
- Gross Motor Skills – Fine motor abilities are the capacity to synchronize small muscle groups in charge of more dexterous actions like handwriting and fastening shoelaces. Gross motor abilities are the ability to coordinate the bigger muscle groups for motions like walking, climbing, running, and jumping. With toys like the baby gym, tactile play may encourage babies to move around and be active while also helping to develop their fine and gross motor skills.
- Social Skills Building – Young children can play more interactively and develop social skills like turn-taking, communication, sharing, and confidence in using sensory toys, which can assist foster play that is more engaging.
- Soothing Impact – Even if the agitation appears due to boredom or discomfort, a restless baby or young kid can be soothed by playing with a sensory object since it may allow them to control their internal pain.
- Attention – Children who engage in active sensory play become more aware of their environment and highly alert. You can assist toddlers in learning to distinguish between useful information and the one that could be blocked away.
- A Fun Activity – Sensory play encourages newborns and young children to explore and learn about their environment by being not only educational but also entertaining.
Best Sensory Toys for 2-Year Olds:
As we just covered, sensory toys are essential pieces of equipment for any 2-year-old. We have conducted a list of the 15 top-rated sensory toys, including sensory bottles, sensory boards, sensory bins, and other relevant toys.
So here we go:
1. Wooden Kids Baby Activity Cube
This sensory toy incorporates five different exercises into one. Your youngster can happily count the colorful beads, move clock hands, sort shapes, move gears, and many other things. This toddler-sized wooden toy will entertain your child for hours while helping them grow cognitively, perceptually, and physically.
Dimensions: Wooden Kids Cube activity comes with dimensions of 7.48 inches in length, 7.48 inches in width, and 7.09 inches in height. The sensory toy weighs 2.9 pounds.
- It is affordable and highly durable.
- It is a sturdy material with bright colors that are perfect for those tiny hands.
- Instead of solid wood, thin plywood is the primary source in the manufacturing of this toy.
2. Baby Sorter Toys Colorful Cub
This sensory toy comes with six bright multicolored shapes. An elastic band surrounds the cube-shaped box where your child is supposed to push the multicolored items inside. This piques the curiosity of young minds, and they tend to learn more about the mysterious disappearance of each item inside the cubical-shaped box. They can also shake the box filled with toys, and that will stimulate the hearing senses.
Dimensions: The sensory item follows the dimensional calculations of 5.16 x 5 x 4.88 inches. This sensory item is 9.1 ounces or 257.99 grams in weight.
- The good quality material used in the production of this item makes it extremely durable.
- Affordable, multi-functional, and very entertaining
- The toy’s colorful curbs come with a separate suction to attach the item however, the suction power is a bit weak and sometimes the object comes off.
3. Hand2mind Sensory Fidget Tubes
You can help your children learn how to regulate their emotions, focus, and engage in calm interactions by providing them with these four colorful Sensory Fidget Tubes. Children who require support to reduce their anxiety can use firmly closed, cozy-to-hold bottles, which have intriguing trajectories. These sensory bottles improve your child’s ability to learn and help them become emotionally stable.
Dimensions: The bottle weighs about 1.72 pounds and comes with dimensions of 2.5 height x 8 length x 9 width inches.
- These sensory bottles are colorful in texture which piques the interest of young ones.
- It is slightly more cost-effective than the other sensory toys.
- The material used in the production of this item is not as good as the other sensory toys.
- Prone to leaking
Discover the best sensory bottles for toddlers
4. Esjay Toddler Busy Board
This multifunctional sensory board has been a popular choice for many parents. It includes 14 distinct tasks with buckles, zip pockets, lace, and other materials that will give your toddler diverse sensory experience. It is made with varying degrees of difficulty to be hard without being too much for your toddlers to find it interesting. The material used in the production of this sensory board is completely non-toxic, and the surface texture is soft. The edges are polished and smoothened removing all the sharp edges, making it suitable for your toddler’s playtime.
Dimensions: The product comes with dimensions of 11.4 inches in width, 7.7 inches in length, and 1.6 inches in height. The 14 different tasks on this toddler busy board make it weigh about 8.8 ounces in total.
- The quality of the material used in the production is great.
- This busy board sensory activity is easy to follow and not overwhelming.
- This sensory board comes with multiple packages in the form of colorful latches, zips, and other entertaining stuff which makes it a perfect gift item for young ones.
- The product is not easy to clean.
- It has very small parts which are not suitable for babies due to choking hazards.
5. Melissa & Doug Latches Wooden Activity Board
Given the age-appropriate restriction set by the manufacturer and the safety locks on the sensory package, this playing board is safe to use. Toddlers gain knowledge of vivid colors, numbers, wildlife, and much more while honing their gross and fine motor skills by playing with interactive toys from Melissa & Doug. This solid wood sensory board has a smooth-sanded play area for young children and surprises hidden behind the windows with doors.
Dimensions: The dimensional calculations that this product follows are 15.7 inches in length, 11.6 inches in width, and 0.4 inches in height.
- The multi-colored hues on the wooden activity in the form of latches pique the interest of young ones.
- Since the material used in this sensory activity is purely wooden, it is more durable compared to any other sensory play item.
- The wooden material used in the activity board makes it sturdy, due to which this item appears to be long-lasting and a popular choice for young ones.
- Much to the parent’s fortune, this wooden activity board is a little bit more expensive than the other sensory toys.
- There have been more complaints about the stiffness of the locks used on this wooden board.
Here are the 7 best sensory boards for kids
6. LEARNING ADVANTAGE Crocodile Activity Wall Panels
Despite regular sensory boards, sensory boards for the wall are also very popular amongst young children. A Crocodile Activity Wall Panel is a great way to get your young ones playing with their sensory panels on the walls. The display features a mirror, percussion instruments, threading exercises, rotating parts, magnetic pen and balls, and other objects to stimulate various sensory skills. You might think about mounting the sensory board slightly below the average child’s level so that your little ones can play with it while lying on the floor.
Dimensions: The dimensional calculations that the panel follows are approximately 6’2″ in length and 24″ in height.
- The crocodile learning activity wall panel comes with easy-to-follow instructions that make it easy to put together.
- The material used in the production of this sensory activity item is of good quality which makes it durable and long-lasting.
- The crocodile activity wall panel with its out long shape might injure your young one’s hands due to its sharp plexiglass usage.
Discover the 7 best sensory boards for the wall
7. Light Up Magic Ball Wand
It produces an amazing light show when a button is pressed. The toy is very beneficial for young children who battle anxiety. Three AA batteries are already installed in the magical band so it will give way to immediate entertainment for your young ones. The kaleidoscope’s vivid colors keep your young ones engaged and intrigued. They will adore this magic ball wand’s mesmerizing spinning light show, which is a recipe for nonstop, joyful fun.
Dimensions: The overall weight of this magic light-up ball wand is 0.64 ounces. The dimensional calculations for this sensory item follow with 7.8 inches in length, 2.6 inches in width, and 2.6 inches in height.
- This toy is light in weight, which makes the item easy to carry
- It does not require rocket science, just a couple of batteries and it is easy to use.
- The colorful hues in the glass dome of the magical wand add to its visual appeal.
- The kaleidoscope comes with a glass dome that is fragile and easily crackable.
8. Light Up Montessori Busy Board
The infant and toddler sensory board, which features a variety of light colors and music effects, will occupy your kids at home or while you’re away. Given its uniqueness, the LED light switch toy is an essential part of this toddler activity board. Your kids will be drawn in by these bright lights and audio systems.
Dimensions: Given the combined weight of the LED system and other systems, this Montessori busy board weighs around 2.2 pounds. The light-up sensory board follows the dimensional calculations of 15.7 inches in width, 11.4 inches in length, and 0.7 inches in height.
- The material used in the production of this sensory busy board is completely non-toxic, and long-lasting, which makes it more durable and sturdy.
- One thing that stands out in this Montessori busy board is the smooth and polished edges, which means that the board has no rough edges, making it a child-friendly item.
- The battery compartment is easy to open
Discover more sensory toys with lights
9. Explore + Create Sea Life Sensory Bin
The expanding water beads, imprint rollers, impression molds, shovels, kinetic sand, sifter, and other things in this sensory bin are available for play immediately after you open it. Due to the play sand’s extraordinary elasticity, you can shape it in any way you choose. It also grows and shrinks in water
Dimensions: The whole sensory kit of sea life and tiny creatures weighs about 2.93 pounds. The dimensions for this sensory bin are 14.5 inches in width, 3.31 inches in height, and 9.75 inches in length.
- One of the positive things about this sensory play is that it does not require any battery or electronic screen to operate. It just offers some non-electronic time for young ones.
- The sea life sensory bin kit comes with three bottles full of water beads that are more than enough if your young ones accidentally lose some of their water beads.
- This sensory play leaves some mess where placed, which is often hard to clean.
10. Garden and Critters Sensory Bin
This imaginary garden construction toy is a fantastic way for young children who enjoy using their hands to make things to develop important early learning skills. Since it allows for infinite play while they create their gardens, scoop, sort, and learn using their creative thinking, this is a great indoor and outdoor game for kids.
Dimensions: The Garden and Critters sensory bin come with dimensions of 14.5 inches in width, 10.25 inches in length, and 4.75 in height from the ground.
- The quality of material used to produce the gardening tools is good which is why the buyers are satisfied with its long-lasting period.
- This critters sensory bin has basic gardening tools that make it a fun activity and an easy-to-follow entertaining outdoor game.
- The plastic material used to make the container of this garden and critters sensory bin is not sturdy but rather fragile which makes it prone to easy breakage.
Related: Best Sensory Bins For 2 Year Olds
11. Baby Einstein 4-in-1 Kickin’ Tunes Music and Language Play Mat
This music and language play mat can keep your 2-year-old occupied for hours. Your young ones will enjoy tummy time and it will eventually put your baby under a calming spell with the help of the provided support cushion as they take in the surroundings. The self-discovery mirror, the textured music note, the triangle rattle, the entertaining flash cards, and other discoveries are just a few of the sensory play items that keep the excitement going.
Dimensions: The piano mat has dimensions of 34.0 inches in length, 27.0 inches in width, and 18.0 inches in height from the ground. This piano mat requires 3AAA batteries that are not included in the package.
- This entertaining and vocabulary-building fun play mat has multi-colored hues on the keyboard that piques the interest of young minds.
- It has a multi-colored outer appearance and great durability
- The arches may not stand up easily
12. Sensory Mat Module Set of Massage Game
The massage mat gaming package contains eight pieces or eight modules of different textures like two pieces of Thorns, two pieces of Soft Grass, two pieces of Cones, and two pieces of Pebbles First Step. This package develops an encouraging behavior in your young ones that promotes different ways to proceed with an exercise to enhance your child’s motor skills and raise their overall movement effectiveness. These orthopedic sensory mats help your child’s steady development of their feet and guard against flat-foot concerns.
For young toddlers who are beginning to walk and attempting their first steps, this sensory play mat module is ideal. As your young ones enjoy climbing up onto the sensory mats and touching each component, it also provides a great sensory experience. Apart from such minor aspects, these sensory mats feature various color coding, patterns, forms, and materials that will encourage your children to experiment and discover new sensory perceptions.
Dimensions: The sensory mat for your child’s foot massage comes with dimensions of 10.87 inches in length, 10.75 inches in width, and 4.09 inches in height from the ground. The mat does not weigh much but only 4.64 pounds or 2.09 kg.
- The different textures of the sensory mats provide endless massage options.
- The colorful styles of each piece of massage mat pique the child’s interest and encourage them to jump on it.
- The different pieces of the massage mat are slightly smaller in size than they should be.
Find out the best sensory mats for babies & toddlers
13. Octopus Rocker Music Learning Toy
This musical baby toy has 12 play modes, 7 sound effects, 4 jazz drums, 4 guitars, 4 saxophones, 4 play modes, and 4 pianos. The tune changes when you or the baby touches the same sensor again. This rocker music learning toy is entertaining and educational for your young ones. It also piques your young one’s interest with its colorful style and different musical notes.
Dimensions: It weighs 1.398 pounds with dimensions of 14.21 x 11.02 x 4.33 inches. Octopus Music Learning Toy requires a 4 AA battery to operate, which is not included in the package, you have to buy it separately.
- The fact that it is easy to assemble anywhere whether indoors or outdoors is a huge advantage given that children often get bored inside the house.
- This music learning toy is both educational and entertaining for young ones which makes it a perfect giftable item.
- The material used in the production of this rocker music learning toy is not of good quality which is why the product is not sturdy.
- The music toy is slightly smaller in size than shown on the package.
14. Joyjoz Baby Musical Mats
This piano mat has approximately 25 music sounds to keep your child engaged and excited for long hours. The 25 sounds produced by the piano mat include 8 different kinds of animal sounds, 9 melodies, and 9 musical scales. It also includes 13 sets of play cards that will teach your young ones more about musical instruments. The Baby musical mat has two modes that make it easy for your child to use – you can either fully spread it on the floor to its full length or fold it to make it appear shorter.
Dimensions: The Joyjoz musical piano mat can be placed indoors with its fully extended size of 15 by 30 cm, or you can reduce the size by folding it to 6 by 12 inches. This mat needs to be powered with 3 AAA batteries that are not included in the package.
- The Joyjoz musical mat is a perfect giftable item for young ones.
- The product has anti-slip Velcro attached to it, which helps prevent the mat from moving.
- The fabric material used in the mat is smooth and soft to the touch.
- It is light in weight which makes it easy to carry anywhere.
- The piano mat is smaller in size than average.
15. M SANMERSEN Musical Piano Mat
If you are looking for a music mat that will amuse and educate kids, the M SANMERSEN music mat might be your best bet. It features 24 keys with ten demonstrations, eight instrument sounds, a volume control, record, and playback functions. Your child can choose between eight distinct animal noises, including dog, cat, chicken, cattle, horse, duck, bird, and sheep.
Additionally, children’s motor skills are enhanced by the touch-sensitive surface, and their comprehension is accelerated by colorful animal imagery. The sound from the foldable keyboard play mat is clear and has a flashing light effect. You can also change the music blanket’s volume to make it the right level for your child.
Dimensions: Sanmersen Musical Piano mat has dimensions of 71 inches by 38 inches.
- You can easily fold and carry it around
- The piano mat has a non-woven texture on it which makes it easy to clean.
- It is a great sensory play that allows children to socially interact with other young kids.
- Its fabric is durable and non-toxic
- It is slightly more expensive than the other sensory items.
Here are the best piano mats for kids
To stimulate brain development and give 2-year-olds a chance to develop a knowledge of things, places, people, and interactions, it is possible to create a sensory environment using the best sensory toys.
Children’s imaginative inventiveness is the focus of sensory toys, which are long-lasting and created responsibly from wood and plastic. A variety of sensory toys are available for babies and toddlers that are especially created to pique their curiosity, develop their senses, inspire imaginative play, and support cognitive development.