It's been too long since my children were that small. I have one of each. My daughter always preferred books, wooden puzzles, (quiet thoughtful toys), while my son loved anything with wheels or that was mechanical (or anythng that WASN'T a toy). Have you tried looking at one of the on-line sites for ideas? Anything that requires placing shaped objects into holes is good. My daughter also loved wooden blocks, dolls (age appropriate), play food (groceries & a cart for instance). I also just did a search and found the following:
"Your toddler is becoming more excited about independence but is constantly being reminded of her own limits. So while she insists on doing something "Myself!" one moment, the next might find her turning to you for help.
The way she learns what she can do is by getting her hands into everything. She fiddles with knobs, opens and shuts doors, flips light switches on and off â€” it's enough to drive any parent nuts. Toys with interlocking parts â€” pop-up toys, nesting toys, sorting toys, trucks with doors that open and shut, play kitchens with knobs and doors â€” can create endless opportunities for your child to explore, and push, her limits while keeping her away from the light switch.
At this age, children learn best from unstructured play, so just make the toys available and off she'll go.
Plastic tea set or playhouse: Your child will get a kick out of play eating and drinking. And in general, scaled-down toys, from rakes, push brooms, and shopping carts to miniature kitchens, give her a chance to do one of the things she loves best â€” mimic what she sees the adults around her do and organize her world to her own satisfaction.
Large and small blocks: Working with blocks lets your toddler build her handling skills by grabbing, stacking, and sorting. Large cardboard bricks easily add up to toddler-size forts and hiding spaces. Small wooden ones can be sorted and organized into any number of original designs.
Toy instruments: Children generally love music and the chance to create their own sound, no matter how cacophonous. Give her a toy guitar to strum or a keyboard to bang on and she'll treat you to many original compositions. Make sure whatever instrument you find has a volume dial you can turn down so that you â€” and your neighbors â€” can tolerate those early tunes.
Puzzles: Puzzles are a good way to give your young child little victories â€” the simple satisfaction of putting something exactly in place is a marvelous thing. Choose puzzles that have very few pieces and are made of thick, easy-to-manipulate blocks of wood.
Illustrated books and cassette tapes: While recorded stories are no substitute for reading to your child, many toddlers do enjoy the novelty of hearing a voice come out of a machine and can appreciate that the voice is new and different. The regular patter of nursery rhymes is particularly pleasing to a toddler's ear. For more ideas, see our recommended books and music for this age.
Train sets: Your toddler can use her new dexterity to link the cars and run the whole train around the house. She'll love seeing how it can take corners, and the difference between running it over a carpet and across a bare floor.
Washable crayons and paper: Your child is becoming more interested in making her own mark â€” on floors, walls, furniture. Clear a space for her to work, give her a big sheet of paper (tape it to the table) and a couple of crayons (you don't want to overwhelm her), and she'll get the idea that art has its place. Hang up whatever she makes for you. (See our article on writing and your toddler.)"