We think it's a shame that two-year-olds so often get a bad rap. Sure, it's a time of explosive emotions, but it's a time of explosive development. And we've literally all been there. The Terrific Twos collection has masses to stimulate those busy minds, encourage them in their first steps towards independence and help them - and you - navigate the bumpy emotional terrain.

“A two-year-old is kind of like having a blender but you don’t have a top for it.”
Jerry Seinfeld

Open-ended toys

Open-ended play is more than a buzz phrase. Best described as play that has no pre-determined limitations and no fixed answer – children simply go where their imagination takes them - it's particularly helpful at this stage, when toys with fixed outcomes can frustrate if they're a bit 'beyond' them. German brand Grimm's are masters of beautifully crafted toys that let them explore and express themselves. Their Boat Stacking Tower is designed in the shape of a ship, but the beautiful pieces lend themselves to all sorts of other things. It's ideal for developing their hand-eye co-ordination and fine motor skills too.

"It’s such an attractive toy. The wooden pieces are bright and smooth. It almost looks like a piece of art."
Lauren, Parent Tester

Grimm's Boat Stacking Tower

Grimm's Boat Stacking Tower

A 'feelings' book

Reading about what we're going through helps all of us, at all stages of life. For 2-year-olds it's no different. A book in the shape of a face, We All Have Feelings is perfect for helping them begin to understand different emotions. The story involves easy-to-follow situations and helps them to recognise different emotional states: proud, happy, sad, scared, brave and curious.

"If little ones are overwhelmed by an emotion, this book helps them to recognise what they are feeling and why."
Megan, Buyer

Thames and Hudson We All Have Feelings

Thames and Hudson We All Have Feelings

Space to create

Their own space in the home begins to be really important at this stage. Somewhere they can call their own really feeds their sense of self. An easel gives them somewhere they can go wild creatively, without having to clear away for dinner or move over for mummy or daddy's laptop. This clever design by Classic World is height adjustable. On one side is a chalkboard and on the other, a magnetic whiteboard, so two children can get arty at the same time. There are plastic paint cups for painting sessions and magnetic letters for learning fun, plus it folds away to save space.

"We love that this easel is easily adjustable, so it will last kids their whole childhood."
Catherine, Buyer

Classic World Multi functional Easel

Classic World Multi-functional Easel

“When little people experience big emotions, it is our job to bring the calm, not join the chaos.”
L.R. Knost

Velcro shoes

Putting on your own shoes helps everyone. Saves you time, gives them a dose of can-do confidence. These Natural World Velcro Canvas Trainers are made from 100% organic cotton, with natural rubber sole that offer plenty of flexibility, plus the simple velcro straps make getting the right fit a doddle.

"Daisy was ecstatic when she saw them. Thanks to the Velcro straps, she popped them straight on and ran to the mirror."
Kerry, Parent Tester

Natural World Velcro Canvas Trainer

Natural World Velcro Canvas Trainer

A turn-taking toy

Role-playing, pretend play and playing with others becomes part of the fun at this stage. But we all know how difficult sharing can be. Toys that encourage kids to see themselves as collaborative playmates can really help. A lovely tea set is a great pick that lets them get imaginative and turns any afternoon into a toy's birthday.

"Put the kettle on for afternoon tea with all the trimmings - including a cake and serving tray."
Catherine, Buyer

Le Toy Van Tea Set & Tray

Le Toy Van Tea Set & Tray

This may surprise you

  • A two-year-old does not know that their mind is separate from those of other people. They think that you know what they are thinking.

  • At two, a child doesn’t yet understand what is real and what is not real, including what they see on TV. They might blame the path if they fall over, or believe a cup fell because it wanted to.

Dive a little deeper

Great advice on The Second Year, month by month, by Motherly.

We hope this has helped you shop the Terrific Twos collection.

You might find the Potty Training collection, or its accompanying Top Pick & Tips article useful next.

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