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35 Best STEM Toys for 2-Year-Olds in 2024

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The best STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) toys for 2-year-olds are educational and can help your toddler reach important developmental milestones.

The best part? My toddlers have no idea they’re learning because playing with STEM toys is so much fun.

If you’re ready to keep your toddler engaged and teach important skills at the same time, read on to learn about the 35 best STEM toys for 2-year-olds.

Most of these are also open-ended, which is just the cherry on top.

What Are STEM Toys?

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. According to Southern Illinois University, STEM toys provide “hands-on, problem-based learning.”

A toy that falls under the STEM category doesn’t have to address all four categories, either.

Here’s what the Administration for Children & Families says about STEM learning for toddlers:

“STEM can refer to the subjects individually or one or more working together, but can also mean a way of doing things that includes solving problems, asking questions, and exploring the world around us.”

Your toddler will start to understand concepts and build on skills that support getting ready for a school setting.

Plus, it’s such a good feeling knowing that when your 2-year-old is stacking blocks, they’re actually soaking up so much education!

Toys in the STEM category can introduce kids to early science concepts, such as engineering, hypothesis forming, and hands-on learning.

toddlers playing with magnatiles

Other toys highlight technological concepts like coding and challenging kids to think sequentially to solve problems.

Toys that encourage number, shape, and pattern recognition offer introductory math skills that kids can use to solve problems.

Ultimately, the goal of STEM toys is to bridge play with learning.

“Play is the work of the child.”

–Maria Montessori

STEM Toys for 2-Year-Olds Shopping Tips

Before you start shopping for the best STEM toys for your 2-year-old, here are a few things to think about:

  • Your child’s interests: with so many STEM toy options available, you can choose one that suits your child’s interests, whether they love to build and create, read, or solve puzzles.
  • Skill development: perhaps your toddler is great at color recognition but could use some help with numbers. Choose STEM toys that meet their current educational needs to develop the necessary skills for preschool and beyond.
  • Toy construction: if choosing eco-friendly toys is important to you, you can find many toys on this list that use recyclable, renewable, and child-safe constructions.

The bottom line is you don’t need all 25 of the toys in this guide, so hopefully, these tips will help you pick and choose which STEM toys are best for your little one.

And the ones you don’t buy straight away? Add them to your Christmas wishlist so your family gets you toys you actually want in your home. 😉

Top STEM Toys for 2-Year-Olds

Explore this list of STEM toys for 2-year-olds to give your toy collection an update with educational options that your child will enjoy.

1. The Investigator Play Kit

Lovevery Amazon Alternatives The Investigator Play Kit for Months 31, 32, and 33

Price: $120

The Investigator play kit from Lovevery was developed for months 31-33, and it has some incredible toys in it.

The Liquid Lab is an obvious stand-out when thinking about STEM, but all of these toys have great educational benefits.

This play kit supports natural curiosity, problem-solving, and critical thinking.

I remember watching my daughter’s gears spin when trying out the Twist & Pivot Pattern Puzzle for the first time. It’s really something to watch!

Children using Lovevery educational toys

If you want to gift STEM-friendly toys that have a ton of other educational and developmental benefits, this would be my top recommendation.

2. Water and Sand Sensory Table

kiwico water and sand sensory table for early stem activities

Price: $179.95

This sensory play table from KiwiCo comes ready for all kinds of splashy, sandy, creative fun. It’s perfect for early STEM activities!

Kids can create custom water features with the pipe set, explore art with the paint crayons, or dig into a sand bin.

The height is adjustable so it’ll grow with your child, from toddler to big kid.

Most water tables on the market are plastic, so I really appreciated that this one was made of wood.

3. Thomas & Friends Wooden Track Set

thomas the train

Price: $53.99

Another STEM toy we absolutely love in our house is wooden train tracks. We have a mashup of different brands at this point (most will fit together), but the highest quality ones we have are hands-down Thomas & Friends.

If you’re on a budget or want a higher volume of tracks for the price, the next best would be BRIO (in my opinion). Both brands fit together, so you can have both (we do).

Here are a few product recs:

Note: Make sure to get the wooden tracks and not the plastic ones!

jack playing with the train table

A box of train tracks, a few accessories, and a few trains will keep your 2-year-old busy for hours. It’s also kind of fun for parents and grandparents, too.

Figuring out how to design a train track that closes up neatly is a challenge, and 2-year-olds love it when their family gets on their level and plays with them!

This hands-on toy is sure to challenge your child’s imagination and creativity and help them build their fine motor skills as they move the engine around the track.

4. Roll ‘n Go Wooden Marble Run

Roll 'n Go Wooden Marble Run

Price: $54.95

The high-quality, solid wood construction makes for a long-lasting toy that’s fun and looks good.

Your toddlers can experiment with a marble run that doesn’t have tiny, dangerous pieces. Marble runs are fantastic for STEM learning as it involves creativity, problem-solving, critical thinking, and hand-eye coordination.

5. Connetix

Connetix packaging

Price: $115

Magnetic tiles allow toddlers (and parents, let’s be honest) to use their imaginations to build castles, buildings, vehicles, and so much more while considering spatial and engineering concepts.

Magnetic tiles are quite possibly one of our favorite toys of all time. Connetix is the best brand (I tested 14 different magnetic tiles and blocks) as the magnets are strong and the construction is safe and durable.

Related: Picasso Tiles vs Magna-Tiles: The Great Debate, Settled

another angle of connetix build

Kids can also practice their hand-eye coordination and dexterity as they fit the magnetic tiles together. This is also a great investment if you plan to have multiple kids.

my three kids under age 4 having a blast with magnatiles

My 11-month-old loves playing with these, and my 4.5-year-old does, too. This is one of those toys that will be a staple in your house for years.

toddlers playing with magnatiles

6. Connetix Ball Run

As long as we’re talking about magnetic tiles, I have to mention the Connetix ball run.

connetix sams club ball run pack

Price: $109

The Connetix ball run comes with clear tubing, and it’s the ultimate STEM toy. It introduces so many different concepts, particularly engineering, as your toddler or child can experiment with different layouts.

At age 2, you’ll need to help a bit, but my almost 2-year-old absolutely loves dropping the wooden balls down the ball runs I make with my older kiddos.

connetix ball run

The balls are much larger than magnets, so you don’t have to worry so much about choking hazards.

7. Lovevery Block Set

lovevery block set

Price: $90

A brilliant, practical system of solid wood blocks for building spatial, language, and problem-solving skills. Crafted by child development experts, these wooden toy blocks offer years of learning through play.

Our kids absolutely love the Lovevery Block Set.

Jack using shape sorter part of lovevery block set

We finally just put it in the closet for a break in our toy rotation, but I’m telling you, those have been firmly on our toy shelf since we bought them in May of 2021.

I’ve written a post about 10 reasons why the Lovevery Block Set is worth the price, but here’s the gist: it fosters so much creativity, exploration, and learning.

It was made by child development experts and allows kids to categorize, stack, roll, and connect the blocks in many ways (you can even use the wooden storage box to turn the thing into a pull car!).

my daughter actually riding in the pull car block set box this thing is so sturdy
My daughter riding around in the wooden storage box, which they transformed into a car. This thing is so sturdy!

The age-based activity guide also shows you how to make the most of the set and offers learning opportunities for your 2-year-old.

block set activity guide

Plus, the convenient wooden storage box makes cleanup a cinch.

8. Atom Bead Maze

atom bead maze

Price: $34.95

Discover sensory and fine-motor play with a scientific spin. Made of solid beechwood, the beads represent the six electrons in a carbon atom, while the clutching toy represents the nucleus. 

I love how this bead toy has a scientific spin on it. The chunky beads are perfect for 2-year-old hands, and they’ll get so many benefits out of this, including motor skills practice.

9. Learning Resources Smart Counting Cookies

smart counting cookies

Price: $24.99

What kid doesn’t love cookies, and what parent doesn’t love the math concepts these bring to the table?! What a fun STEM activity from a brand that has a ton of educational toys.

The set includes a cookie jar with 11 cookies that have the numbers 0-10 printed on the bottom and the corresponding number of counting chips on top.

It’s a great way to introduce early counting and math concepts to a 2-year-old.

10. Window Bird Feeder

window bird feeder

Price: $27.95

Toddlers get a kick out of seeing animals, so why not bring them to the window?

Bird feeders are an awesome opportunity to observe nature with your toddler. Life is so busy these days – take a moment to slow down and appreciate the beauty.

You can also buy a bird species book and try to identify bird species with your little one. You’ll probably learn a thing or two along the way!

It’s likely best to buy a bird species book that corresponds with where you live. This one from National Geographic covers North America, but you can also buy books specific to your state.

11. Blockaroo Blocks

blockaroo

Price: $129.99

If you’re looking for a STEM toy for bath time, Blockaroo Blocks are it! These foam magnetic blocks click together, float, and stick to the side of the tub.

My kids are obsessed with these, and I have three that span from ages 11 months to 5 years old. This is a STEM toy that’ll last a whole lot longer than just age 2!

toddler making rocket ship with blockaroo magnetic blocks

Not only are these foam shapes fun to play with, but they allow your toddler to learn about colors and shapes as they bathe.

Kids can stack them in a variety of designs, challenging their creative thinking and building abilities. Good news for parents: These blocks are dishwasher-safe, allowing you to clean them with ease.

12. Enthusiast Play Kit

enthusiast play kit

Price: $120

This Play Kit includes opportunities for your child to refine their motor precision, explore geometry, and experiment with weight and balance. The tea set in this one was our kid’s favorite toy!

The balancing scales in this kit are definitely the most “STEM-focused” as you can introduce early concepts of balance and measurement.

If you would rather pick and choose the items you want from this play kit, you can check out the Amazon alternatives post I wrote here:

13. Computer Engineering for Babies Book

computer engineering for babies

Price: $33

A showstopper STEM toy that focuses on technology is the Computer Engineering for Babies book. This book actually teaches babies and toddlers the principles of coding.

With two buttons and an LED, the book explores basic computer logic gates, including NOT, OR, AND, XOR, and a Latch. The book uses light sensors to detect which page is open and change the operands accordingly.

Who would’ve thought you could reasonably expose your toddler to this type of tech in a way they can truly absorb?!

Hats off to this small business! I reached out, and they provided me and my readers with code TWOMAMABEARS for 10% off. Doesn’t get better than that.

14. Melissa & Doug Take-Along Wooden Tool Kit

melissa and doug take along wooden construction set

Price: $9.99

This sturdy wooden pretend play set helps toddlers develop hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills while also teaching them about counting, sorting, and color recognition.

My son always wanted to do what daddy was doing, so a toddler-friendly toolset was always a staple in our home.

It’s a great toy for engineering and math concepts, and while it’s primarily recommended for ages 3-5, age 2 is when our son was the most interested in toys like this one.

15. Blippi My First Science Kit with Color Experiments

blippi my first science kit

Price: $17.18

Blippi is here to help you teach your toddler about primary and secondary colors in a fun way with this all-inclusive science lab kit. My toddlers are obsessed with color mixing, and if yours love Blippi, they’ll be even more excited about it.

Color mixing is a great science activity for two-year-olds. If you already have vessels at home, you could opt to just purchase the color tablets. Those are perfect for stockings!

16. Baby University Board Book Set: A Science for Toddlers

baby university

Price: $25.25

The bestselling Baby University baby board book set features colorful, simple introductions to scientific principles for babies. Its approach to early learning is beloved by kids and grownups!

The set includes:

  • Quantum Physics for Babies
  • Rocket Science for Babies
  • General Relativity for Babies
  • Newtonian Physics for Babies

This baby board book set is the perfect way to introduce basic scientific concepts and STEM to even the youngest scientist. It’s rates for babies through age 3 – it really is never too early to start introducing your child to science.

I love books like these that make it approachable.

17. Lovevery Drip Drop Cups

Lovevery drip drop cups

Price: $20.99

The Drip Drop Cups are one of our most-used and loved Lovevery toys. They are constantly in our toy rotation because they provide so many ways to play.

Lovevery sells some of their standalone toys at Target, which is super convenient if you don’t want to subscribe to the full-blown play kits.

You can use these stacking cups in the bathtub, you can stack them, nest them, pour from one to the other, do some color sorting with objects inside the cups… the possibilities are endless.

When stacking, your 2-year-old can develop balance and logic skills. Nesting, pouring, and containing the water in the cups lets kids learn about sizes, shapes, and what fits into what.

18. Melissa & Doug Lace and Trace Activity Set

Melissa & Doug Lace and Trace Activity Set

Price: $9.09

Challenge your toddler’s dexterity and build their fine motor skills with these lacing cards from Melissa & Doug.

Your two-year-old can practice weaving the laces through the holes, which can also boost their hand-eye coordination.

This is a particularly great toy to have during car rides, church services, or other times when you just need your little one to be occupied for a bit.

19. Monster Math Scale

hape monster math scale

Price: $23.99

The Hape Monster Math Scale toy offers plenty of STEM-based learning and fun. The monster weights are numbered, helping with number identification and forming and solving simple equations.

Kids can use their reasoning skills to determine which monster weighs more and then test their hypothesis using the scale. This toy comes with a convenient storage bag, offering easy clean-up that I certainly appreciate.

Hape brand toys are generally of a higher quality – if this particular toy doesn’t seem right for you, I’d definitely browse their other toys. They have some really good ones!

20. Boynton’s Greatest Hits The Big Blue Box (Boxed Set)

boyntons greatest hits book box set

Price: $16.79

Boynton’s books are not only my kid’s favorites (you can’t beat the rhymes!), but there are always beginner math lessons tucked inside.

Some of her very best books are in this box set:

  1. Moo, Baa, La La La!
  2. A to Z
  3. Doggies
  4. Blue Hat, Green Hat

One of my favorites of all time is Blue Hat, Green Hat, which has all kinds of educational concepts hidden inside.

We have color recognition (what color is this shirt?), counting (how many shirts are on this page?), and size comparisons (which shirt is bigger? which is smaller?).

21. Guidecraft Stacking Transparent Rainbow Pyramid Set

Guidecraft Stacking Transparent Rainbow Pyramid Set - 6 Pieces

Price: $39.95

With hardwood frames and vibrant, transparent acrylic windows in primary colors, these blocks invite exploration and learning for children aged 2 and up.

The educational focus spans a spectrum of skills, from fostering coordination and sorting to honing stacking abilities.

The solid wood frames have inset colored acrylic windows, making them ideal for light table activities and encouraging color exploration. I love that these are fun and open-ended while promoting cognitive development in a fun and engaging way.

22. HABA Wooden Wobbly Tower Stacking Game

haba wooden wobbly tower stacking game

Price: $19.99

Crafted with a playful wobbly curved base, this set of ten colorful stacking discs, made from sustainably grown beechwood, encourages children aged 2 and up to explore fine motor skills and satisfy their curiosity.

The package includes nine double-sided template cards featuring various structures of differing complexities, providing an engaging challenge for young minds.

haba wooden tower cards

This German-made toy prioritizes safety, utilizing 100% non-toxic stains and adhering to rigorous testing standards.

23. The Book of Mistakes

book of mistakes

Price: $13.59

Told in minimal, playful text, this story shows readers that even the biggest “mistakes” can be the source of the brightest ideas—and that, at the end of the day, we are all works in progress, too.

As one artist incorporates accidental splotches, spots, and misshapen things into her art, she transforms her piece in quirky and unexpected ways, taking readers on a journey through her process.

I love finding STEM learning opportuities in books, and this one is no exception. Lines like, “One eye was bigger than the other. That was a mistake.” introduce size comparison concepts.

I’ll let you discover all the other learning opportunities here, but at the end of the story, the story and message is absolutely stunning.

24. Learning Resources Smart Snacks Number Pops

Learning Resources Smart Snacks Number Pops

Price: $24.99

These Ice Cream Number Pops are wonderful for building number and color recognition, early math proficiency, and fine motor skills.

Ideal for number learning, this set features ten pops that have colored dots, each corresponding to the numbers 1-10. The magic lies in the removable covers, showcasing matching numbers and colored dots, which build 1-to-1 correspondence skills.

With 10 pops and 10 matching shells, this educational gem is the perfect example of learning through play.

25. Road Tape

Road Tape for Toy Cars stocking stuffer idea

Price: $9.25

Ignite STEM exploration with PlayTape, the original road tape. This set, featuring a 30-foot roll, becomes the canvas for constructing dynamic roads, highways, and racetracks—ideal for enhancing STEM skills.

PlayTape is safety-tested, tearable by hand, and repositionable, ensuring a hassle-free and secure play experience.

mini toy trucks and work vehicles

Winner of over 25 industry awards, including a Toy of the Year Finalist in 2016, PlayTape stimulates creative thinking, problem-solving, and engineering skills.

Empower your child to design cityscapes, experiment with layouts, and engage in imaginative play.

This set of mini toy trucks and work vehicles is the perfect addition to make the toy usable right after they open it!

26. Kinetic Sand

kinetic sand

Price: $19.99

You either love it or you hate it, but one thing’s for sure: it’s so interesting to play with. This sand is coated with poly(dimethylsiloxane), which gives it this super unique texture. The sand sticks to itself for super easy cleanup – it doesn’t create the massive mess of typical sand.

As an adult, I can sit there with my kids and play with the kinetic sand, too; it’s so relaxing!

It doesn’t get the kids’ hands messy, and it’s totally open-ended, allowing kids to get creative with imaginative play.

27. “Bathtime Mathtime” Book

bathtime mathtime

Price: $7.50

Bathtime Mathtime by Danica McKellar lets toddlers develop early math skills but in a really unique and fun way!

Kids can practice counting and simple addition equations when you read this book with them. It’s a sturdy board book that’s durable and easy for 2-year-olds to hold onto.

You can also see if this book is available at your library.

28. Caterpillar Gear Toy

Rainbow Caterpillar stocking stuffer idea

Price: $16.99

The colorful Caterpillar Gear Toy by Melissa & Doug includes six interchangeable gears in bright colors that can help your toddler with color recognition.

They can maneuver the gears to work on their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, too.

As your child turns the gears, they’ll watch as the caterpillar “crawls” along the wooden base, bringing added fun to this creative toy.

29. Learning Resources Farmers Market Color Sorting Set

learning resources color sorting farm

Price: $25.49

Fuel toddler learning with this captivating play food collection designed for color recognition and sorting skills.

The Farmer’s Market Color Sorting Set has 25 pieces of play food in 5 vibrant colors, accompanied by 5 baskets, an activity guide, and labeling stickers.

I also just love the aesthetics of this – it’s so cute!

30. Fat Brain Toys Squigz Starter Set

squiz

Price: $29.95

Squigz adhere to each other and any smooth surface, promoting creativity, experimentation, and sensory stimulation.

Crafted from 100% food-grade silicone and free from BPA and latex, this set of 24 pieces is not only dishwasher safe but also serves as a fantastic tool for enhancing motor skills and problem-solving abilities.

31. Gears! Gears! Gears!

gears gears gears

Price: $24.49

The Gears! Gears! Gears! deluxe construction set introduces fun, new colors and kid-friendly pieces for an exciting building experience.

This hands-on construction set encourages imaginative play and screen-free fun.

This open-ended toy invites little engineers to explore building possibilities, fostering critical thinking and problem-solving skills. It’ll help them work on fine motor and cognitive skills while promoting reasoning through moving experiments.

32. Fat Brain Toys Bugzzle

fat brain toys bugzzle

Price: $24.95

Challenge your two-year-old to arrange semi-circular pieces on the bug tray, flipping and rearranging to match pictures on the provided puzzle cards.

Crafted with ABS-plastic and BPA-free, this set is a safe and stimulating tool for encouraging spatial reasoning, fine motor skills, logic, and critical thinking.

The 80 puzzle pieces, along with the tray and 40 challenges, provide a dynamic learning experience that supports homeschooling and fosters a love for exploration and cognitive growth.

33. Superspace Tiles

jack peeking out superspace house window

Price: $329

Encourage your toddler to build life-sized forts, reading nooks, mazes, and more with Superspace tiles. While rated for ages 3+, our 1-year-old has an absolute blast creating forts with the rest of the family, and I highly recommend it for ages 2+!

Use code REBEKAHPARR for $10 off

Superspace Tiles are one of our three favorite magnetic toys, and for very good reason!

baby grabbing a Super Space tile
Our 1-year-old having a blast linking together Superspace tiles.

These tiles encourage open-ended play to help creativity and imagination, and there are no rules! The tiles fit together perfectly, so you can build whatever you set your mind to.

34. Find and Match Eggs

find and match eggs stem toy

Price: $16

These Find and Match eggs mesmerize my kids whenever we put them into the toy rotation. This unique shape-matching toy allows your 2-year-old to practice shape and color recognition.

Warning: you may have to hunt down egg halves in your spare time. (My daughter is a hoarder and will hide them all over the house.)

She can build her fine motor skills as she learns to open each egg and identify the shape and color inside.

She can also move eggs in and out of the included carton, allowing her to practice counting, addition, and subtraction. This toy rocks, and even though it’s plastic, I still love it and recommend it!

35. Interlocking Blocks

interlocking blocks

Price: $44.20

This set of Interlocking Blocks is another great option if you’re shopping for STEM toys for 2-year-olds. It includes 68 interlocking felt blocks in various shapes and sizes. Kids can build their creative problem-solving skills by figuring out how they can connect the blocks to build.

Plus, this toy is an eco-friendly option — the blocks are made out of recycled water bottles! This is definitely an open-ended STEM toy that’s going on our Christmas list.

These cups come with a digital play guide that offers inspiration for ways to play with them that will entertain and enrich your curious toddler. Highly recommend!

STEM Toys for 2-Year-Olds FAQs

What are the best STEM toys for 2-year-olds that cost less than $20?

The best STEM toys for 2-year-olds that cost less than $20 include Melissa & Doug Take-Along Tool Kit Wooden Construction Toy ($9.97), Melissa & Doug Lace and Trace Activity Set ($9.09), Find and Match Eggs ($16), Blippi My First Science Kit with Color Experiments ($17.18), Boynton’s Greatest Hits The Big Blue Box (Boxed Set) ($16.79), HABA Wooden Wobbly Tower Stacking Game ($19.99), The Book of Mistakes ($13.59), Road Tape ($9.25), and Kinetic sand ($19.99).son playing with sand and unit block builders to make a robot

Which STEM toys for 2-year-olds strike the best balance between educational value and fun?

Our family’s favorite STEM toys for 2-year-olds that strike the best balance between educational value and fun are the Lovevery play kits for age 2. They include several unique toys that focus on different aspects of your child’s development, and these are the toys my kids play with the absolute most. Magnetic tiles like Connetix come in at a close second for me.
connetix colors

What are the most popular STEM toys for 2-year-olds?

According to Amazon’s charts, the most popular STEM toys for 2-year-olds are Spike The Fine Motor Hedgehog, LEGO DUPLO My First Number Train, Melissa & Doug Wooden Take-Along Sorting Barn Toy, Montessori Toddler Busy Board with LED Light Switches, and The First Years Stack & Count Stacking Cups. These aren’t necessarily my favorite (we really try to avoid all plastic toys), but they sure are popular.
stacking drip drop cups

What are the most popular STEM books for 2-year-olds?

The most popular STEM books for 2-year-olds include Computer Engineering for Babies, 123 Count with Me (Trace-And-Flip Fun!), Rosie Revere, Engineer, and the Baby University Board Book Sets (Quantum Physics for Babies, etc.). You can use code TWOMAMABEARS to get 10% off the Computer Engineering for Babies book.
baby universitycomputer engineering for babies

Conclusion

With so many STEM toys for 2-year-olds available, you’re sure to find one that your child loves!

Consider picking up a few options from this list to introduce your toddler to various STEM concepts. Your child won’t even know they’re learning and building their STEM skills because they’ll be too busy having fun with their new toys.

Other articles about toys:

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