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What are the best non toys gifts for 2 year olds, and why do these types of toys matter? In this post, we’ll look at why non-toy gifts are a great option for a 2-year-old and I’ll also give you a few examples of non-toy gifts for 2 year olds that help develop different skills.
Why non toy gifts for 2 year olds are a great idea
We’ve all come across the “toy headache” at some point: overwhelmed with toys and not quite sure what to do with them. Many kids have too many toys and too many things, and that’s not always a good thing.
Science says that having too much stuff is bad for kids. Several studies have found that when children receive too many things, they become more easily accustomed to turning to external resources to satisfy their needs. In other words, researchers have found that too much stuff tends to make kids more needy: the more they have, the more they want, and the more stimulation they need.
On the contrary, children who receive fewer toys learn to look within when faced with situations such as boredom. They are more creative, better organized, more imaginative, cooperate more easily with others, and are better problem solvers.
Having too many gifts is also complicated in terms of organization and storage. Most end up being forgotten or ignored, with kids preferring to play with empty boxes to build forts!
Non toy gifts for 2 year olds are also a great alternative to traditional gifts because most of these gifts propose experiences rather than things.
Below are a few non toy gifts that your 2-year-old will love!
Memberships are great gifts that aren’t toys for 2 year olds
If you’re wondering about what would make great non toy gifts for your 2-year-old, why not try memberships? Memberships are awesome because each month, your child receives a box with age-appropriate activities developed in line with their skills.
Book subscription boxes
Book subscription boxes are good non material gifts for 2 year olds. Each month, your child receives several carefully selected, high quality, books.
At this age, books are a great option because they help children develop their language and literacy skills. Also, research has shown that the earlier young kids are introduced to books and to reading, the smoother the transition to school.
The award-winning Bookroo Box is a book subscription box that carefully selects books adapted to your 2-year-old. Each month, your child receives three sturdy board books corresponding to their level of development.
The Reading bug box is also a great book subscription option designed to inspire even the youngest readers. Each month, your child receives a curated box with three books chosen in line with their level of development.
The best thing about book subscription boxes is that they adapt to your child’s level of development, meaning that as they grow older, the books proposed change to take into account their changing needs.
There are many great book subscription boxes for toddlers to choose from. You can check out other awesome options here.
A craft subscription box
The Little Learners Busy Box is one of the few subscription boxes that proposes activities for 2-year-olds.
Your child gets to practice fine motor skills, visual discrimination skills, hand/eye coordination and much more. Every month, they receive their box with objects around a specific theme. All boxes revolve around hands-on activities to encourage them to learn as they play.
A feeding set
At age two, your child is probably eating by themselves or wants to. At around this age, they are becoming more independent and want to imitate the rest of the family.
Cute feeding sets are practical gifts that your child will love. They can also encourage them to experiment with self-feeding.
Here are several sets that your 2-year-old will love:
This toddler utensil set by Doddl, which is BPA free, is perfect for encouraging self-feeding. It comprises a fork, spoon and knife designed in a way that makes the use of utensils easy and enjoyable.
This utensil set helps improve your child’s dexterity, coordination and control. The Doddl set has won multiple awards and is dishwasher safe.
Your child will love mealtimes with this four-piece feeding set. The set is BPA free and microwave safe. They will love picking their finger foods and self-feeding with their favorite Disney characters. If your child isn’t a huge Minnie Mouse fan (it happens!), check out these other cute characters that they won’t be able to resist.
Your baby will love this dinosaur-themed feeding set made of 100% food grade silicone that is BPA, BPS, PVC, latex and phthalate free.
The utensils are easy-to-grip and can therefore help your child improve their self-feeding skills. This set is both dishwasher and microwave safe.
Cute sheets are not only great gifts, they are also practical. You’ll both love Burt’s Bees Baby sheets which are made from organic cotton. If you’re not interested in sheets, check out the 100% organic quilts which they propose.
If you’re looking for practical non toy gifts for 2 year olds, you won’t be disappointed with these cute and funky pajamas for all seasons and all tastes!
Gifts to increase autonomy
Did you know that kids prefer participating in real life activities compared to pretend tasks? Several researchers were interested in understanding whether children preferred actual activities or pretend play.
The kids were presented with nine different scenarios where they were asked whether, for example, they preferred to feed a baby doll or feed a real baby.
The study, which was conducted at the University of Virginia, found that when presented with different activities, kids preferred real to pretend activities.
Children didn’t want to pretend to bake cookies, they wanted to really bake cookies. They didn’t want to pretend to feed their dolls, they wanted to feed real babies. The kids wanted to cut up real vegetables rather than pretend vegetables.
Although the study showed that the preference for real activities emerged between ages three and four, then was constant through age six, we know that young kids love participating and imitating real life activities, and this is what helps them develop new skills or reinforce their existing ones.
Montessori education revolves around proposing tools and resources that enable young children to fully participate in real actual activities. Gifts that encourage them to gain autonomy and learn real skills are therefore a great gift option.
Here are a few examples that you may want to check out.
Age-appropriate tools make great gifts that aren’t toys for 2 year olds, and they can help your child participate in participating more actively in the family life. For example, most young kids will enjoy helping you slice soft fruit and vegetables, but they can only do so if they are provided with the right utensils.
This Montessori wooden knife with its cartoon fish shape will make a cute non toy gift for your 2-year-old.
Its ergonomic design ensures that your child can use it with ease to help cut up soft fruits and vegetables in the kitchen. The rounded corners ensure that they can safely use this knife which is made of natural beech wood.
A learning tower
Maria Montessori believed that children should be given tools that enable them to fully participate in real life. This explains why learning towers are a great hit with Montessori enthusiasts.
Learning towers are great toys because they increase children’s autonomy and allow them to participate in family life more easily: preparing meals, undertaking simple chores such as helping to set the table, reaching shelves by themselves, and so on.
Your child will love this adjustable kitchen tower that is safe, secure and reliable. It is made of solid wood and has anti-slip pads to ensure that they stay safe!
An alarm clock
Your two year old will not only love their alarm clock, but this clock will also make it easier for them to understand instructions and follow set routines.
For example, the alarm will help them know when they can get out of bed, or you can use it to set certain limits: “you can watch your program until the alarm rings”, “or when the alarm rings, it will be time for your bath”.
Experiences are great gifts for 2 year olds that aren’t toys
If you want to give your child non toy gifts that they will remember, why not choose experiences. These could include things such as:
- Swimming lessons
- Dance lessons
- Introduction to music lessons
- Visits to a zoo or an aquarium
I hope you’ve gotten a few ideas of non toy gifts for 2 year olds. Here are other ideas you might like