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Best Gift Ideas for 2-3 Year Old Boys From Birthday to Christmas - Tried and True

Updated on April 9, 2014

Hands on Gift Guide

It's been quite a year for our nephew, there are so many things a boy learns through ages 2 to 3 and boy do they grow fast - and I don't mean only inches (or centimetres) but their mental development is making huge leaps month by month. It's wondrous and a joy to watch.

Picking out toys for this age group would like isn't all that hard as they get excited by pretty much everything and are still to young to be too demanding. Picking out appropriate toys that will also help in their development is another thing though. Over the course of the year we (me and my partner and his parents and other family) have bought quite a few toys and some worked out great and some were quickly discarded so I've made this list which contains tried and true toys both him and his parents loved and that proved to be something more than just your average toy.

Photos on this page are taken by me or are product photos.

Toys he got for his 2nd birthday (24 to 25 months)

Boys are known to start talking later than girls and many of them are still not talking when they turn 2. Our little champion already talked when he turned two although the term talk is used very loosely here (to be honest I don't always understand what he's about even now as he is turning 3 :).

At this age toddlers like to mimic things their parents do so anything that will help them do that is a great pick - a safe play kitchen or a tools set will entertain them beyond reason.

As they are developing their skills and balance (and are super cute doing it) something to help them out with that is a great pick too.

Anything to help their brains grow (sorting toys) are great too!

What we and his parents got him

Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Cube - Classic Wooden Toy With 12 Shapes
Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Cube - Classic Wooden Toy With 12 Shapes

Sorting toys are great for this age and we got him this Melissa & Doug Sorting Cube. This cube has 12 different cubes, well differently shaped blocks and each one fits in one of the holes in the cube. The little one really enjoyed this one, true he has outgrown the toy by now and does not play with it all that often now but when he got it he really was engaged. It's a great skill training toy.

Stackers are also great and are a must for any toddler - it's one of the best toys for developing motor, color and size differentiation skills. Most households with toddlers already have this toy but if there isn't one do get it.

Fat Brain Child's Personalized Name Puzzle- Up To 9 Letters
Fat Brain Child's Personalized Name Puzzle- Up To 9 Letters

Personalized name puzzle! This has got to be the best thing ever invented. His parents got him this (the little guy is Max by the way) and he loved it. When they explained what the puzzle means and that it has his name on it he was so intrigued he wanted to learn the letters. He learned all the letters and could read all the alphabet and understand short words by the time he was two and a half (he only beat me by 4 years...).

There's no guarantee your kid will have the same experience, I guess they were lucky, but in any case this makes a great personal gift and is a fun puzzle.


They sure grow fast - toys he got when he was 26 to 27 months old

Cars and trucks were becoming a big deal with him at that age so we really couldn't go wrong with getting a few. We also got a few of those pull back cars - you know the ones you pull back and they drive by themselves for a while but at that age the mechanics behind it were a bit to much for him - but he did get super excited when daddy showed him how it's done. This is a classic toy almost all boys love and I do believe the pull back ones were making his brain work harder as he wanted to figure out why daddy can do it and he can't (in the end he did understand the connection and is now a pull back car master).

Another thing that worked really well are building blocks. You can find them suitable for ages as early as 1 and up to 99+ as you can never have enough of building fun.

Building blocks are a must toy for both boys and girls

LEGO Duplo Building Set-71 pieces (5506)
LEGO Duplo Building Set-71 pieces (5506)

He's a stacker! He loves placing blocks one on top of another and build towers. He also get's pretty creative with car blocks and likes to play with his new car creations. He get's super excited if you sit down and build something for him.


Brave Little Fireman (28 and 29 months old) - He loves Mickey

I always thought it to be interesting as he hasn't been watching all that much television how he developed love towards Mickey Mouse. It has to be that Disney magic.

Fisher-Price Disney's Mickey's Fire Truck
Fisher-Price Disney's Mickey's Fire Truck

Mickey's Fire Truck will have them engaged as firemen are something kids admire and the truck makes fun sounds - from Mickey talking to the sound of siren.


Getting him a balance training bike when he was 30 months old - Ever wondered what's the right age to get a balance training bike?

These are excellent for balance and I've seen kids use them from as young as two years old - the main factor in deciding when your kid is ready for is his (or hers) hight and the ability to walk (if they can't walk jet a trike is the way to go).

He loves his wheels a lot! He did have some objections to wearing a helmet at first but you know how it is, they say no and then they like it and don't want to take it off. There were quite a few falls and bumps in the beginning but he never got discouraged (he is always reassured as mummy is always there to kiss away the pain in case she can't prevent the fall). As you can imagine he loves riding downhill the most (small slopes) and now as he's almost 3 he does it with his feet in the air - he enjoys it and mummy get's her exercise as she runs after him (not that she doesn't have enough exercise already).

Grandma nails it when he's 31 months old! Happiest boy in the world!

It really is a mystery how a child's mind works. He already had a ton of plush toys and each of them was received with joy and happiness. He loved them all to some extent. But then grandma gifted him a plush dog and something got triggered as it was instant love. This is his IT toy, the Doggy (that's the name) follows him everywhere and does everything he does, when it's time to eat they eat together, when it's time to go to sleep they are together. He really got attached to this toy and no one know's figured out what is that makes this plus toy so special.

When buying a plush toy we always knew he could (and should) get attached to one so we always made sure we buy quality products - and that's all you can do. The magic connection happens on it's own.

Hide & Seek Safari Jr. - Lion
Hide & Seek Safari Jr. - Lion

This is just a random plush I have selected as lions are one of my favourite animals.


The artist within - the boy got really creative! Gifts for 33 to 34 months old!

He started expressing his artistic side when he was about 33 months old. He did draw way before that age but he wasn't really into it before. Now he wants to draw 24/7.

This little masterpiece might seem tricky at first but if you talk to him everything makes perfect sense. You see that big circle like thingy with two little circles is a cat and those doodles across the cat is cat food as the cat was hungry. I think the small round spots are poo.

On the right side it's me - you can see the two dots that are my eyes and a line beneath it that is my mouth - the black doodle at the bottom of my shape is supposed to be my hair (he missed it a bit but all is forgiven). The line on my left is a car and the line on the right is my house. Makes sense now, no?

I love the way he draws, one line can be pretty much everything and he has endless fun doodling lines.

Easel For Kids

Melissa & Doug Deluxe Standing Art Easel - Dry-Erase Board, Chalkboard, Paper Roller
Melissa & Doug Deluxe Standing Art Easel - Dry-Erase Board, Chalkboard, Paper Roller

We didn't get him an easel designed especially for kids but I wish we would. We got him a regular easel (one you put on the table and he uses it on the floor) and as it's not children safe someone to be there all the time so I suggest getting the one designed specially for kids as it will be a lot more kid-friendly and safe. That said he really loves drawing on the easel as he often saw his favourite TV characters do it. He's still far away from creating an eye catching masterpiece to hang on the fridge for all ages but we're slowly getting there.


His fav toy at 35 months - A flash light dog

This was one of those accident buys... You know you are at a store and you see something cute and thing to yourself - oh this would be perfect. That's how me and my partner bought this toy and when we gave it to Max he was overjoyed. His parents explained he was at his light on light off faze where all that emit's light impresses him so we couldn't have nailed it more.

Little Tikes Glowin Animal Flashlight Mitts Dog
Little Tikes Glowin Animal Flashlight Mitts Dog

This little toy is a flash light and it barks so it is the perfect tool for fighting night fright.


Last but not least - What we got him for his 3rd birthday (36 months)

He's turning 3 on December 27th so this one is a bit shy of being tried and true (it is tested by me though as I couldn''t resist).

He has some issues when it's bath time as this isn't his favourite time and he does need toys to be distracted.

Robo Fish Water Activated Orange Clownfish 3 Inch
Robo Fish Water Activated Orange Clownfish 3 Inch

These are really life like and they start swimming as soon as you pop them into the water (and stop when you take them out). I hope he will enjoy these!



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