Toddlers LOVE their toys and we LOVE giving them something that keeps them happily playing, laughing and learning. There are so many fantastic toys designed especially for this curious age, which is great for them but not so great for our wallets. It’s hard to resist buying ALL the toddler things.
This is why Mum Central put together our Best Toddler Toys for 2021: Products perfect for your growing tot and sure to bring hours of laughter and fun. Have a look at which toddler toys made our list and our top tips for buying the right toys and gifts for your two and three-year-old.
Best toys for toddlers
Here are some of the best toys to look for when shopping for a two or three-year-old.
1. Toys that let them get messy! Sensory toys are ideal for toddlers, including things like paint, play sand, play dough, musical instruments and water and bath toys.
2. Toys that let them pretend. Children learn through mimicking us which is why imaginative play is so important at this young age. Play kitchens, cooking and BBQ sets, dolls and dress-ups, train and car sets, toy vacuums, toolsets and mowers are just a few of the many imaginative toys out there.
3. Toys that inspire creativity and building. Open-ended toys are ideal for letting toddlers show off their creative side. Building blocks, Duplo and stacking toys are a big hit with toddlers.
4. Toys that promote literacy, problem-solving and numeracy recognition. While toddlers aren’t quite ready to read and write just yet, it’s never too early to start them on this path. Puzzles, books, drawing equipment, flashcards make for great educational toys.
5. Toys that help them develop those fine and gross motor skills. And get rid of some of that crazy toddler energy in the process. For example, bikes and ride-ons, trampolines, play gyms, slippery dips and any sort of ball/sporting equipment.
Mum Central Picks: Best toddler toys of 2021
TV character favourites
Toddlers love a familiar face and some of their favourites are those they see on TV! These licensed toys are sure to be a huge hit for two and three-year-olds.
PAW Patrol’s Rocky Reuse It Truck
WHERE TO BUY: Big W
If there’s one show toddlers ADORE, it’s PAW Patrol. Rocky’s Reuse It Truck is a great way to bring the show to life in your playroom together with the concept of recycling. Toddlers will love rolling the Reuse It Truck around the house, sliding the dumpster onto the truck’s arms and loading it up with the metal cubes (two included). There’s plenty of gadgets to discover – push the level, slide the knob and rotate the arms – great for those fine motor skills!
Rocky’s Reuse It Truck comes with a recycling truck, a Rocky figure, one dumpster, two recycle cubes and three tools.
PAW Patrol Movie Ultimate City Tower
WHERE TO BUY: Big W
With PAW Patrol: THE MOVIE hitting cinemas nationwide real soon, we know Paw Patrol fans will also adore this HUGE 3FT Ultimate City Tower. It’s the tallest PAW Patrol toy yet and is packed with places to play and exciting features to discover.
The set includes 6 pup toy figures, Chase cruiser and a clip-on backpack, plus plenty of lights and sound effects. Your PAW Patrollers can send the pups to the top of the tower and so much more. You can also buy other PAW Patrol character cars sold separately.
Cocomelon Torch and Books Light Up and Rotating Projector Dome
WHERE TO BUY: Big W
PRICE: $15.00 for torch and book set, $20.00 for dome
Turn your child’s bedroom into a light show extravaganza featuring Cocomelon or The Wiggles with either of Hunter Leisure’s Projector Torch & Book Sets or their Rotating Projector Domes. Featuring their favourite pre-school characters, these are sure to be a hit!
The Torch and Book set features a slideshow projector torch that projects images from the books up to 1 metre wide, with 2 discs that feature 16 scenes and 2 read-along storybooks.
The rotating projector domes also feature unique The Wiggles and Cocomelon designs that can project onto ceilings up to 3 metres away! They also act as a nightlight to illuminate the room and assist young ones to get to sleep in a semi-darkened room.
The Wiggles Collector Set
WHERE TO BUY: Big W
PRICE: RRP $59.95
Celebrate 30 years of Wiggly fun with the new Mini Plush Collector Set from the Wiggles. Featuring your favourite Wiggly performers Anthony, Simon, Emma, Lachy and their friends Wags the Dog and Dorothy the Dinosaur, this set will make a special gift for little fans!
Each character is the perfect size for little hands to carry as they play all day and crafted from soft plush material making them safe for daytime cuddles and bedtime snuggles.
Blue’s Clues & You! Sing-Along Guitar
WHERE TO BUY: Big W
Step by step and clue by clue – it’s Blue’s Clues & You! Perfect for mini musicians who love to move, toddlers can sing and groove to great songs from Blue’s Clues & You! with the Blue’s Clues & You! Sing-Along Guitar. Press the bridge button to hear music and watch it light up in tune to the song!
A toy that inspires adventure and encourages movement is always a winner for active toddlers!
VULY Balance Bike
WHERE TO BUY: VULY Play
All toddlers need their very own transportation and a balance bike is an awesome choice! Designed for toddlers as training bicycles, the Vuly Balance Bike helps even the littlest one balance and steer – while creating a whole lot of fun and adventure! They are recommended for ages 2-4 years and available in three vibrant colours.
VULY balance bikes come with all the bells and whistles too: 12″ wheels, soft handgrips, footrests and an ergonomic saddle seat with an integrated handle for parents underneath.
Hunter Leisure’s Animal Hoppers
WHERE TO BUY: Big W
A friend AND a bouncing toy – what’s not to love? Animal Hoppers are bound to keep up to your tot having fun while being active, both indoors and outdoors. Featuring Grab ‘n’ Grip Ears, they help to develop muscle and motor skills while giving your little one hours of fun. There’s a whole gang of animals to try out too – Dog, Unicorn, Dinosaur, Giraffe, all durable and ready to bounce!
Little Tikes Fun Zone Battle Splash Water Table
WHERE TO BUY:
Bring water play to the backyard with this epic water table from Little Tikes. Complete with bullseyes, targets and floating boats, it’s perfect for kids of all ages. They’ll have a blast keeping cool while they play various games and revelling in the cause and effect of water play.
Imaginative play is at the heart of every toddler and these pretend play toddler toys are just perfect for role play!
HAPE Adventure Van
WHERE TO BUY: Catch.com.au, Ed Resources, Kidstuff and all good toy retailers
HAPE believes that to play is in the DNA of every child, and that their job is just to awaken it and guide it gently. That’s why HAPE toys are created to inspire play, learn, and explore the world we live in. The HAPE Adventure Van is an all-in-one camper van with dolls, accessories and activities. Your toddler will adore the campfire, picnic set and cooking accessories, not to mention the adorable surfboards and hang-glider.
Open the roof of the van and it doubles as a wave to surf on, plus the top of the van acts as a tent for sleep time. So much outdoor fun!
BRIO Early Learning My First Railway Beginner Pack
WHERE TO BUY: Toy Universe, Discount Toy Company, Tiny Fox and several other toy retailers
Inspire epic train trips around the house with this adorable BRIO My First Railway Pack. BRIO is the master of train sets and The My First Railway range is a fantastic introduction to this world for the younger child.
The train set includes 18 pieces of brightly coloured interactive fun. It’ll encourage your child to explore while creating a huge range of assembly options for the tracks. Including also is a train and freight car to test their effectiveness on their newly made tracks. Perfect for small hands, imaginative play and stimulating children’s development, and with no batteries required, BRIO train sets are fully compatible with all major brands of wooden trains.
Lilliputiens Baby Doll and Carrier
WHERE TO BUY: Lucas Loves Cars
PRICE: $59.95 each
These adorable plush dolls and matching carriers are the perfect introductions to role-playing mummy and daddy for little ones. There are a few in the range and each one comes with a reversible carrier, matching blanket, and removable nappy and pyjamas. So sweet!
Dress up – Rubies Deerfield
WHERE TO BUY: Rubies Deerfield
PRICES: Varies depending on the costume
Bring pretend play to new heights with an adorable costume of their very own. Rubies Deerfield has hundreds to choose from, including licensed dress-ups including Marvel, Disney, PJ Masks, Baby Shark and The Wiggles, plus non-licensed costumes (careers, animals, storybooks, etc). So many to choose from making it so easy for you!
Rubies stands out for the quality and comfort of their costumes plus the massive range. And not just for toddlers either, they’ve also got costumes for the entire family.
Educational Toddler Toys
Start them on the path to learning success with these educational toddler toys that promote literacy, numeracy, problem-solving and building.
Reusable colouring-in mat
WHERE TO BUY: HeyDoodle and Lucas Loves Cars
PRICE: From $16.00
Toddlers LOVE to colour-in, over and over and over again. HeyDoodle lets them release their colouring creativity in a much more eco-friendly way compared to colouring-in books or paper.
HeyDoodle is a large erasable drawing mat made of premium silicone that easily wipes clean. There are heaps of HeyDoodle designs to choose from including traceable numbers and letters. Plus, you can easily take HeyDoodle with you – ideal for trips away, meals out or days spent at the grandparents.
LEGO DUPLO Creative Play – Alphabet Truck
WHERE TO BUY: Kmart, Target, Big W, Amazon and most toy retailers
Of all the educational toys for toddlers, Duplo has got to be one of the very best. It’s perfect for little fingers and there are so many fun kits to collect. Our top pick this year is the Alphabet Truck – great for creative building, imaginative play and number recognition too!
The set comes with a truck, 26 letter bricks plus three characters and, of course, is compatible with all other Duplo sets.
Skip Hop Zoo Crew Memory Game
WHERE TO BUY: The Stork Nest, David Jones and Amazon
Memory is such a great game for little kids and Skip Hop Zoo Crew Memory Game is sure to bring a whole zoo of fun to the table.
These large, durable and sturdy cards are perfect for little hands and the 24 cute and colourful critters are ideal for teaching kids about the various animals too. Memory encourages all sorts of learning, promotes taking turns and develops fine motor skills, memory, matching and hand-eye coordination. They can play by themselves or with up to 4 people.
Where to shop for toddler toys
Major toy retailers like David Jones, Myer, Big W, Kmart, ToyWorld and Target offer a great range of toys for two and three-year-olds but there are plenty of other retailers out there too. We recommend also having a look at UGames, Lucas Loves Cars and The Stork Nest as well.