A child’s mind changes so much once they are three, and the things that once encouraged play can shift. Three-year-olds are full of transitions; potty training, a big kid bed, preschool, maybe a new sibling, and the list goes on. These significant life changes also make them grow a little more independent, confident, and curious. They are moving a mile a minute and learning new skills every day. All of these changes can be expressed in their play. Having toys and games for them to play with that will help foster this growth will not only allow them to grow even more, but it will also entertain them more too!
I have compiled a list of my favorite toys for 3-year-olds to help promote growth, learning, and play simultaneously!
Best Gifts for Your Three-Year-Old
Free Standing Slide: What a cute way to get some energy out inside. This slide offers just that and more to free stand in your play area at home.
Radio Flyer First Bike: This traditional bike is a great way to start independent play outside. Giving your child their first mode of transportation seems like you gave them the world! Before you know it, they will be riding off into the sunset.
Modern Playhouse: At this age, children often need a space to escape. This adorable modern playhouse will allow them to retreat away and calm down at times. It is a chic addition to your backyard and is so inviting for tea parties, house play, and more!
Green Toys Dump Truck: This adorable truck is exceptionally durable and made of recycled plastic milk containers. Sturdy, strong, and colorful dump trucks are an engaging classic toy that helps kids do everything from transporting toys and dirt to serving as a great prop in construction pretend play.
Play Tent with Tunnel: If you’re looking for an easy-to-assemble outdoor-friendly activity set, this play tent with a tunnel will give little ones hours of active fun. The tent can be used as a reading nook or even a ball pit (balls not included). Made of durable material, it’s waterproof and can stand up to any spill.
The Anywhere Chair: Allowing our toddlers to feel like they own something is so important at this age, so give them their own seat- the name explains itself. The Everywhere Chairs allows your child to have their own personalized seat for media time, storytime, and relaxation when they wish.
Magic Drawing Board: This beautifully-made hand-crafted wooden drawing board allows unlimited drawing and creativity onto the 4 colored magical background. The perfect quiet time toy!
Lace and Trace: This simple game is a perfect activity to start around this age. It is helping grow fine motor and problem-solving skills. It is also a great activity to promote independent play.
Super Sorting Pie: This incredibly multifaceted toy looks pretty educational, which it is. Trust us, though; every toddler loves it so much. They will keep asking to play.
Busy Board: Busy three-year-old kids have extremely busy hands. And, they sure like to use them. A lot. This adorable busy board comes in vibrant primary colors and provides plenty of snapping, buckling, threading, and zipping opportunities. Your preschooler will get a head start in some valuable skills to help them with specific skills like getting dressed and abstract skills like problem-solving.
HABA Fantasy Blocks: These blocks are fun, colorful, and enchanting. Kids can create countless fantastical buildings with squares, steps, cylinders, and many other shapes designed to encourage creativity and imagination. This pack even comes with some swinging bells, glitter, and mirror foil. They’re made of quality solid beech wood.
Mr. Potato Head: A classic toy never goes out of style! Kids will love playing with the variety of different parts and pieces included in this Mr. Potato Head Silly Suitcase toy.
Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game
Zoo Crew Memory Game: Introducing the concept of a game at this age can be challenging, but this fun and memory-enhancing game will get your toddler jumping for more.
Duplo Town Playhouse: This new-age playhouse is perfect for perfecting their fine motor skills and building skills simultaneously. I love how fun it is to add to this set and create all things Duplo from now on!
Jumbo Floor Puzzle: This jumbo floor puzzle is sure to excite your little one. After all, they’re creating a picture as large as they are! Also, it allows for problem-solving and gross motor skills all at the same time.
The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game: This is one of the best-selling preschool games, five years running. Who can resist adorable squirrels and colorful acorns? It’s a color matching game that promotes strategic thinking, matching skills, and taking turns. Kids can help a new fun forest friend to find some snacks!
The Ladybug Game: Fun for the whole family! Ladybug Game introduces your child to basic math concepts as they learn addition and subtraction. They will even learn some cool stuff about bugs!
The Dough Project All Natural Dough
Color and Cuddle Washable Pony
KidKraft Wash n Go Car Garage: Most 3-year-olds are fascinated by how things work, especially those fancy car washes. Here is one they can make-believe on their own day in and day out. It also will lend itself to more imaginative play for all those cars and trucks you may have lying around.
The Dough Project: Let their imagination run wild with six jars of all natural, plant-based playdough in rainbow colors!
Play Dough Kit: This play dough kit is full of different treasures and, seasonally themed, it is such a great gift for a toddler, leading to endless play. This kit is from a small shop, which adds a bit of a personalized touch. You know, if a mother herself makes it, it must be worth it!
Reusable Sticker Pad: This is genius and the perfect on-the-go toy as well. Allowing your child to create and recreate over and over again. Coming in multiple themes, it is sure to be a favorite.
Color and Cuddle Washable Pony: Color, wash, repeat! This machine washable pony is the perfect art activity that your child can do again and again!
Pom Pom Pictures: This toddler craft kit is designed with little fingers in mind. Promote sensory development with a preschool activity that is easy to complete and encourages independent, quiet-time play!
Best of the Classics: The idea of gifting the classics to your child is priceless. Sometimes the best stories are the ones that are told over and over again.
Little Blue Truck: This little truck’s adventures and his good friend toad are sure to make you smile. A classic with multiple themed editions, it is the perfect addition to your library.
The Grumpy Monkey: Learning emotions at this age is hard; expressing them is even harder. Having books on hand that help identify emotions and guide our children to understand them will help in their daily lives of toddlerhood.
All by Myself: If you do not hear your little one saying this over and over again, then they are about to. This classic series is fun to read, so why not help your toddler navigate their independence at the same time.
Flower Garden Building Toy
Magna Tiles: These trendy magnetic tiles allow for such creative play. Start with a simple starter kit and then add on with their multiple different themed packs. Children will play with these for hours, creating so many different things.
Skill Building Smart Games: This smart game series allows your child to create and grow in ways that will make their brain work overtime.
Zoo-Ominoes: This classic toy was brightened up and includes animals now from the Zoo. WIll have your toddler concentrating and learning cause and effect in no time.
Bolt and Build Rocket: With everyone taking flight into space, our children may be more interested in rockets than ever before. This fantastic toy will allow your child to build their very own rocket ship and then create an adventure, all on their own.
Jr. Talking Microscope: Kids are natural scientists. They love to ask questions, explore, and observe. So, give your three-year-old something fascinating to look at with this starter microscope for kids. Perfect for fine motor skills, little ones can look at specimens on slides with lots of exciting pictures as part of a homeschool program or just for long days at home.
Flower Garden Building Toy: This build a bouquet craft kits allow young children to build, match and sort. They can mix and match pieces to create different flowers and creations. Great for both indoor and outdoor play!
Golf and Tee Ball Set: Why play one game when you could play two?! This two-in-one set allows your child to explore both the game of baseball and golf. It’s great for working on hand-eye coordination and perfecting their game, all at the age of three!
Little Tikes 2 in 1 Tennis: This 2 in 1 tennis game is perfect for beginners. Teaching hand-eye coordination and helping introduce the love of an iconic sport.
Little Tikes Set Pin Bowling: This is so cute, and the best part is it resets the pin for your little one. Let the strikes begin! I love this for an indoor winter sport idea!
Dress Up & Pretend Play
Melissa and Doug Toy Chest: Now that you have a 3-year-old, where are you storing all of these things? This quiet yet effective toy chest is perfect for your play area or their rooms to store personal toys out of sight!
Super Hero Dress Up Kit: Who doesn’t want to be a superhero? Creating an area of imagination and dressing up as characters for our children is so much fun. Encourage it with this adorable set.
Shopping Cart: This easy and covenant toy promotes gross motor skills and helps with learning responsibility and modeling the behavior they see us as parents do while at the grocery store. It is a great way to promote cooking in their own kitchen and may even help with picky eating.
Mine to Love Doll: This lovely doll is perfect for encouraging behavior that we are hoping to teach before or during the new arrival of a sibling. No baby on the way? That is okay! It still acts like a great friend for your child and helps with play as well.
Melissa and Doug Ice Cream Scoop & Serve: Who doesn’t want ice cream? This crowd-pleaser is a sure hit, creating a sense of ownership in our toddlers, teaching manners, colors, flavors, and more. They will be serving you a cone daily, which is such a fun treat!
Cutting and Cooking Play Food: These look good enough to eat. Fresh veggies, burgers, ice cream, fruits— it’s a cornucopia of color! Made of high-quality wood, kids get a chance to engage in culinary pretend play with various healthy foods and fun snacks. They can engage in all sorts of imaginary play by shopping, making up recipes, cooking, and presenting weird meals. These yummy morsels are a great addition to a pretend kitchen.
Dust, Sweep, Mop Set: Three-year-olds love to imitate grown-ups. They love it so much; they’ll even clean up without even being asked! Take advantage of this golden spot in their development with cleaning supplies that help with independence and confidence, resulting from a fun job well done. The set is made of wood and comes with a play duster, broom, mop, brush, and a stand.
Scout and Violet 100 Words Book
Play Osmo: This new-age technology system is one of a kind and helps children learn from age three and up. It is a toy that will grow with your child and challenge them with new skills daily.
LeapFrog Learning Pad: You may not be ready for major technology at this age. This pad allows you to introduce the concept to your young toddler and see how they handle it.
Kids Tablet and Laptop: With all of us working from home and having daily Zoom calls, this tablet is the perfect gift to make your little one feel included. Set up a workstation next to yours and have them feel important.
Scout and Violet 100 Words Book: A great early learning toy. Touching the words on the pages plays the words, sound effects and fun facts!
No matter what your three-year-old is interested in these days, you’re sure to find something on this list that they will love! And if you’re looking for more gift ideas, check out our Gift Guides here!
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