Christmas Gift Guide 2021 : Best Toys For 2-3 Year Olds

2021 top gifts 2-3 years

Babipur Christmas Gift Guides

If you’re looking for natural wooden toys and gifts for babies, toddlers and children, you have come to the right place! We specialise in natural toys for kids, we only stock toys that are safe to chew on made from natural wood and natural rubber and are finished with water safe based paints. In this guide you’ll find our recommendations for the best toys for 2-3 year olds.

We are proud to stock such a wide and varied collection of ethical wooden and natural toys for toddlers and pre-schoolers from the very best sustainable toy brands. But as a parent the choice can be a little overwhelming, so we’ve narrowed it down to some of our favourites.

You’ll find some tried and tested toys that kids and eco-parents love and discover some new brands that have arrived on the Babipur shelves this year. So, whether you’re an avid wooden toy collector, or simply trying to navigate the world of eco-friendly Montessori toys this Christmas then this blog post is for you! Here you’ll find our top gifts for 2 and 3 year olds Christmas toy recommendations this year.

Christmas Gift Ideas for 2-3 Year Olds

We’ve split our Christmas gift guides into age groups to make shopping easier for you. You’ll never find our toy split into Girls Toys or Boys Toys. We strongly believe that toys are for everyone and aren’t defined by gender. We’ve been awarded the Let Toys Be Toys Toymark Award for eight consecutive years. This recognises good practice within the toy industry, specifically awarded to retailers and toy manufacturers providing a welcoming and inclusive space for all children.

At two and three years of age children are actively engaging in play. There are a huge range of toys which will open up learning opportunities at this age. Have you noticed your child engrossed in a particular type of activity, repeating it over and again? These activities are known as schemas and indicate a deep level of learning. Young children are compelled to repeat these actions in different ways during play.

For example, a child exploring a rotation schema may live to spin and twirl, but will also draw circles and spirals, and watch the movement of wheels and cogs. A transporting schema may be recognised when a child wants to move items from one place to another, including dolls and prams, containers and baskets or using wagons and trailers. If you can recognise these schemas there’s the opportunity to extend learning by choosing toys that fit into the child’s area of interest.

Reel Wood letters

The Best Natural Toys For Early Years

At the age of children are really starting to explore the world around them. Open ended toys including blocks and rainbow stackers will be incorporated into all sorts of play. Larger activity toys such as Wobbel rocker boards and Triclimb pikler triangles will encourage gross motor skill development and are great for building confidence.

At two and three years they may be becoming more independent in their play. They will be interacting more with their dolls and teddies in imaginary play, or delighting in small world play with wooden figures. Children love colour matching and sorting and sorting at this age, helping with colour recognition and introducing them to counting and numbers. Singing and music is a wonderful way to support developing language, and musical instruments are always a favourite!

We’ve selected some of our all-time favourite natural toys for 2-3 year olds. Bringing together toys recommended by our Babipur Hangout community, customer favourites and our bestselling children’s toys this year. Choosing a natural toy for a child for Christmas is a lovely way to introduce children and parents to the wonderful world of wooden toys.

From much loved stacking toys by Grimm’s , blocks from Plan Toys, pikler triangle from Triclimb, and wooden animals by Lanka Kade, there’s plenty of special gifts that will be loved, kept and passed down to future children. Without further ado, let’s take a look at what makes our Christmas list for 2-3 year olds this year.

Eighteen of the Best Eco-Friendly Toys for 2-3 year olds this Christmas

Abel Blocks

Children will be drawn to these tactile curved wooden blocks, creating amazing circular structures, bridges and mandala shapes. Made from sustainably sourced beech wood they have a smooth, natural finish and beautiful grain. Logical thinking and practical physics can all be discovered through experimental play.

Abel Blocks
Abel Blocks

A wonderful open-ended resource, Abel blocks can be incorporated into other play. For example, making ramps for cars, enclosures for farm animals as well as combining with other wooden blocks for creative play.

Grimm’s Rainbow and Semi Circles

Stack, build, create with Grimm’s! There are so many ways to play with the Grimm’s rainbow and semi circles. This is a classic and much loved Waldorf toy, for open-ended play and had to be included in our list of best toys for 2-3 year olds.

Grimm's rainbow
Grimm’s rainbow and semicircles. Image credit Liz Loh

The Grimm’s rainbow is one of our best selling wooden toys and it’s easy to see why. Combined with semi-circles the play options are endless. Make ball runs, tunnels, mazes, enclosures for wooden animals, and team it up with other Grimm’s block sets or Grimm’s Friends. We love the combination of the bright rainbow with natural semi circles – the contrast really makes the colours stand out.

For more ideas on ways to play with the Grimm’s rainbow and semi-circles, check out our blog post HERE or the video below!

Grapat 7 Moons Weekly Calendar

The Grapat 7 Moons Weekly Calendar is a tangible way for children to learn about the rhythm of the 7 day week. Each coloured Nin representing a different day. This Waldorf toy set is perfect for all sorts of play and games too. The Nins can jump in and out of their vessels or stand on top of them. Young children can learn colours, learn to count and match the coloured Nins to their bowls.

7 Moons Grapat Set Weekly Calendar
Grapat 7 Moons Weekly Calendar

The perfect introduction to small world play as they don’t pose a choking hazard. Children will create their own imaginary worlds and the peg dolls can be the characters. This is a beautiful set that’s sure to be treasured and played with for many years.

Gluckskafer Dolphin Puzzle

This beautiful 9 piece block set makes up the shape of a blue dolphin. Stack it up to make an ocean scene, and play with the dolphin independently. This is a really beautiful puzzle for creative play.

Glückskäfer 9 Piece Dolphin Puzzle
Glückskäfer 9 Piece Dolphin Puzzle

Grimm’s Elements

A whopping Grimm’s eco puzzle set depicting the four elements: earth, air, fire and water with a cave, rainbow, flames and waves. This incredible 23-piece giant wooden block set will look amazing in the playroom and is perfect for creative play.  

Grimm's Elements, one of our best toys for 2-3 year olds
Grimm’s Elements

This large Grimm’s building set gives the child the tools to assemble the elements puzzle, as well as create their own stunning landscapes, patterns and creative structures. Great for developing their motor skills, spatial thinking and problem-solving abilities as they play.

Gluckskafer Tower Building Slats

Build towers with the 60 colourful wooden slats by Gluckskafer before removing them one at a time. See how many you can take out before the tower topples! A fun family game that children and adults alike will enjoy playing together.

Glückskäfer 60 Tower Blocks
Glückskäfer 60 Tower Blocks

The 60 brightly coloured wooden blocks can also be used to make patterns and combined with other wooden blocks to make colourful buildings and cities. Great for developing co-ordination, creativity and problem-solving abilities, and children displaying the positioning schema.

Bajo Tipper Shape Sorter

A fab two-in-one toy that 2-3 year olds love! Combining a shape sorter and wooden vehicles to create a fab tipper truck toy with a painted cab and a shape sorter compartment on the back. Slot the three colourful shapes into the natural wood sorter, roll the truck along before tipping off the load and starting all over again.

Bajo Tipper Shape Sorter - Blue
Bajo Tipper Shape Sorter – Blue

If your child is showing an interest in the transporting schema, then this is the toy for them! We love this Bajo take on a classic wooden toy – fabulous Bajo quality and ingenious design.

Bajo Tipper- Blue. Shape sorters are one of the best toys for 2-3 year olds
Bajo Tipper- Blue

Uncle Goose Classic Wooden ABC Blocks

Something new this year – Uncle Goose wooden toy blocks. The Uncle Goose Classic ABC Blocks are a set of 28 wooden cubes with the alphabet, numbers, maths symbols and animals carved into the sides. Alphabet blocks are a classic toy for toddlers and preschoolers, and we love the engraved details on these solid wooden blocks.

Uncle Goose Classic ABC Blocks wooden blocks for toddlers
Uncle Goose Classic ABC Blocks

The bright colours make learning fun and exciting, allowing children to develop fine motor skills and explore the positioning schema by stacking and lining them up. Uncle Goose blocks make a lovely gift that’ll be enjoyed for generations. They are truly timeless.

Plan Toys 40 Colourful Unit Blocks

A great starter set of colourful wooden building blocks by top eco-toy brand Plan Toys. Perfect for all kinds of open ended and imaginative play, stack them up, make simple structures, and enjoy putting them in order!

Plan Toys 40 Unit Blocks - Orchard
Plan Toys 40 Unit Pastel Blocks

The ideal addition to a Montessori playroom, young children can hone their fine motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination while playing. This fab wooden block set is made from solid sustainable rubberwood, making a it a great ethical gift for a 2-3 year old.

Lanka Kade Wooden Animal Figures

Fair Trade wooden animal figures by Lanka Kade are handmade in Sri Lanka. These really are an all time favourite at Babipur, a great affordable choice for eco-conscious parents. It’s not surprising they made our list for the best toys for 2-3 year olds! Brightly painted using eco-paint or left natural, these chunky wooden animals are perfect for story sacks and small world play scenes.

Great for collecting, there are farm animals, wild animals, sea animals, birds and insects – something to spark all little minds.

Lanka Kade Sea Creatures
Lanka Kade Sea Creatures. Image credit Danielle Benner.

Lanka Kade Block Puzzles

Brightly coloured Lanka Kade block puzzles are made up of 4 cubes, painted on each side, to allow your little one to put together 6 different animals. A simple but engaging puzzle for pre-schoolers. 

Lanka Kade Minibeast Block Puzzle
Lanka Kade Minibeast Block Puzzle

Block puzzles are great for developing both language skills and fine motor skills, as children discover each animal they are trying to piece back together. Younger tots will love how the chunky wooden blocks feel, and also be drawn to the bright colours used. Watch as your child hones their logical skills and see the delight on their face when they work it out. This wooden puzzle is a must-have for any playroom or Montessori nursery setting. 

Reel Wood Letters

Beautiful, chunky and top quality wooden letters from Reel Wood are available in upper and lower case, individually or in the full alphabet. The Reel Wood wooden alphabet letters from a to z are hand cut from a single piece of sustainable American White Oak wood so the wood grain runs through the whole set, making it uniquely special. Use them to spell out your child’s name, animals, seasons or other learning themes. These chunky handmade letters are a fabulous Montessori teaching resource that will support children’s letter recognition and learning the alphabet.

Reel Wood alphabet
Reel Wood alphabet

These Reel Wood wooden letters are perfect for children just starting their learning journey, helping with letters recognition. Include them in your favourite story sacks, draw around them, press them into sand, add them to your nature table to spell out seasons and weather, or team them up with alphabet boards – the learning opportunities are limitless. See the YouTube video below to see how Reel Wood numbers can be used.

Plan Toys Drum

We had to add a musical instrument (or two!) to our list for the best toys for 2-3 year olds! After all, little children love to make a noise! Music and rhythm, song and beat, these auditory stimuli are so important for developing speech and language.

Plan Toys Natural Solid Drum, musical instruments are great toys of 2-3 year olds
Plan Toys Natural Solid Drum

The Plan Toys Solid Drum is a natural rubberwood drum with a decorated side and a cut-out curved line on the top. This line makes different sounds when the drum is tapped in different places. The drum comes with a drumstick with a rubber head for softer sounds. Team up with other Plan Toys musical instruments to make a family band!

Plan Toys musical instruments
Plan Toys musical instruments

Plan Toys Xylophone

Here’s another fab musical instrument by Plan Toys! A nice and simple first xylophone for taping out a tune. The Plan Toys xylophone has 5 colourful note bars and a #small mallet for little hands to master. This is a fab sensory toy for colour recognition, motor skills and auditory exploration.

Plan Toys Oval Xylophone
Plan Toys Oval Xylophone

Wobbel Board

Wobbel is a high strength wooden curved rocker board that children and grown ups can play with and on. A traditional Waldorf rocker board concept redesigned to be robust and beautiful. The first thing children want to do is rock! Standing up, sitting down, lying, back and forth over and over they just love rocking about. All this rocking builds strength, balancing skills and confidence.

Wobbel Board.
Wobbel Board. Image credit Capture The Rainbow Photography

A Wobbel is more than just a rocker board though, children use them for all sorts of play. It can be a bridge, a roof, a chair or even a step. Once your child is introduced to a Wobbel, they just know what to do. Wobbel will grow with your child, younger children can crawl onto it and rock gently, and can use it as a bridge for their toys. Older children will stand and rock and incorporate building blocks or marble runs with the Wobbel as a base.

Triclimb

The Triclimb is an award winning pikler triangle, designed to encourage climbing and movement at a child’s own pace. Furthermore, combined with the Miri slide attachment it is one of our most popular toys at Babipur. Loved for it’s awesome design and safety elements, the Triclimb is the ultimate ‘big present’. The Triclimb is loved by young children for developing their confidence and gross motor skills. This is a key open-ended toy that will grow with its user. Children will get many years of fun from their Triclimb!

TriClimb, Miri and Wibli - our best toys for 2-3 year olds
TriClimb, Miri and Wibli – image credit Maria Craib

The Miri is one of several attachments designed to work alongside the Triclimb. This double sided slide has a clever Trifix joint which securely locks it onto the Triclimb rungs. With a smooth slide surface on one side and a climbing wall on the other. The Miri can be used as a slide, ramp, climbing wall and ball run (with the addition of Miri Sticks). One of the joys of the Triclimb and Miri is how quickly and easily it can be packed away. Folded up it really takes up very little space, making it suitable for most room sizes. Easily one of our best toys for 2-3 year olds and beyond!

TriClimb pickler climbing triangle is the ultimate toy for 2-3 year olds
Archi, TriClimb, Miri and Wibli – great set up from Maria Craib

Plan Toys Wonky Veg

Plan Toys make such a great selection of play kitchen toy sets, but the Wonky Fruit and Vegetable set has to be one of our favourites! This set tackles the problem of food waste and challenges the way we view food. Plan Toys are renowned for their sustainable principles. This is a great example of an educational toy making a difference.

Plan Toys Wonky Fruit and Veg is a great toy for fine motor skills
Plan Toys Wonky Fruit and Veg

These colourful fruits and vegetables that can be sliced up into segments using a natural rubberwood knife. This is great for developing fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination as they play. Children love to chop them up for a picnic or cook up a feast with them in a play kitchen. Each fruit and vegetable is ethically made with Planwood, a new sustainable recycled material manufactured by Plan Toys.

Plan Toys Stacking Wheels

Last but not least is a personal favourite and I think a real hidden gem! The Plan Toys Stacking Wheels are a set of three monochrome cars that can be stacked in different ways. When they’re pulled along the wheels move in opposite directions – a great cause and effect toy.

Plan Toys Stacking Wheels, a great toy for pre-schoolers
Plan Toys Stacking Wheels. Image credit Hannah Allen

Play with them individually or as a visually stimulating pull-along stack. This will really appeal to children showing an interest in the rotation schema, and those who love to work out how things work.

We hope our top eighteen best toys for 2-3 year olds has given you lots of inspiration! Don’t forget there’s lots more natural children’s gifts to discover this Christmas over at Babipur!

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