Parents tend to fear the age of two–hence the popular name “terrible twos”–and we don’t blame them.
It involves critical developmental changes and tricky behavioral patterns, so it’s a challenging stage–especially with twins! But it’s also full of opportunities, which we want to focus on in this article. If we could describe 2-year-olds in one word, it would be curious.
Play is one of the main aspects of child development. So, to choose the best toys for 2-year-old twins, it’s essential to understand their different stages.
Stages of Play: How Babies Learn to Play
Every single stage of child development plays a vital role in the process. Understanding each step is essential to dealing with all the changes that occur as your twins grow and, most importantly, helping them cope.
Unoccupied Play (0-3 months)
At this stage, babies are discovering their body and how it moves. They do activities for no particular reason, such as kicking their legs or shaking an object while holding it. They don’t interact with others very much and usually lack focus.
Solitary Play (0-2 years)
This is when children play alone. They have little interest in playing with other children or adults but start to show interest in toys and can focus their attention more.
Onlooker Play (2 years)
Children show interest in how other children play and behave during this stage. They will observe other children play without getting involved, usually due to shyness, fear, or disinterest.
Parallel Play (2-3 years)
Parallel play involves children playing near or next to one another but not together. They might observe or mimic each other and share toys, but their play games will be separate.
Associate Play (2-3 years)
Children start to acknowledge or interact with each other at this stage but do not necessarily play together. They observe and mimic, but from a closer distance, they might also chatter and ask each other questions. However, they still have different play goals.
Cooperative Play (4+ years)
This is when children begin to play together and typically show an entire interest in socializing. They have the same play goals and cooperate to achieve them. Although they’ve reached socialization, their social skills are still developing, so they’ll still need guidance in aspects like winning and losing, sharing, etc.
The Not-So-Terrible Twos
The “terrible twos” refers to a normal developmental stage in a child’s life in which they’re balancing between reliance on adults and a desire for independence. It doesn’t necessarily happen when they turn two–it can begin anywhere between 18 to 30 months of age and even last into their third year.
This stage is characterized by frustration, mood changes, defiant behavior, and tantrums. These are all normal behaviors, considering they undergo significant intellectual and physical changes.
During this time, your twins will develop gross motor skills, like jumping, and fine motor skills, like scribbling. They’ll also learn to talk, form opinions, and identify emotions. However, they’ll still lack some skills, such as communicating their wants and needs or performing specific tasks, which is why they can get easily frustrated.
But the age of two is also an excellent phase full of essential milestones. Your twins’ skills and interests will blossom quickly, and their imagination and creativity will be through the roof!
The Best Learning Tools for 2-Year-Olds
If there’s a valuable learning tool for a 2-year-old, it’s playing. Play allows for developing other skills such as movement, language, thinking, emotional, and social skills. Let’s discuss some activities you can do with your twins to help them get the most out of this phase.
Pretend or imaginative play involves exploring different roles and playing make-believe games. Your toddlers will use their growing thinking skills to act out different scenarios, typically with props. For instance, they might pretend a ball is a car or operate a blanket to act like a superhero.
Although you should allow them to use their creativity to make up their games, you can help encourage this type of play by offering ideas or participating in the game. You can also demonstrate how they can use different objects to create new scenarios.
Playing dress-up is a fun way for your twins to play pretend. You can facilitate this by using costumes–whether you make them with stuff you already own or buy them, this is something that will make their imagination fly. You can also use clothing to encourage them to play pretend: for instance, these HONISEN Bathing Suits will make your little girl feel like a mermaid!
Art activities are an excellent way for toddlers to use their hands. They can pick up and hold objects at age two and learn to control hand and finger movements. Exploring with colored pencils, markers, or crayons can help them practice and play-dough. Also, if you ever need gift ideas for a relative’s or friend’s 2-year-old, these all make great gifts for toddlers.
To stimulate this type of play, you can show your toddlers how you draw simple shapes and see if they want to imitate them. But if they stick to their ideas, let them–after all, this type of activity is also helping them develop their creativity.
Activities like building block towers, solving puzzles, or playing memory games require logical thinking, patience, and resilience. This is why they’re some of the best toys for 2-year-old twins…they’re excellent tools to help your toddlers develop problem-solving skills!
This Humble Crew Table and Chairs Set is an excellent complement for these types of games. Although your twins are still at an age where they prefer to play independently, playing in the same space will allow them to observe each other’s play and start bonding.
The Bottom Line: What Are the Best Toys for 2-Year-Old Twins?
Shopping for toddlers can be overwhelming with so many products on the market. But finding toys for 2-year-old twins is not as hard as it may seem, considering how explorative this stage is for them. The key is to help enhance their development through those toys and stimulate daily play.
Whether you’re looking for gifts for 2-year-olds or shopping for your little ones, toys that allow for creativity and exploration are always a great choice.
We feel you if you’re reminiscing about those days you spent feeding your twins, putting them, tossing them in matching onesies, sleeping, and dressing. Although your twins might get frustrated quickly during this time, they will also find new interests and grow their skills. This is why the best thing you can do is be there to help them through the challenging moments and be patient. Watching your kids grow can be bittersweet, and each stage comes with new challenges…but also very special moments!