The Tot Gift Guide for 3 Year Olds
Let’s be honest, most three-year-olds aka “threenagers” aren’t afraid to tell you what they want, but just in case you’re at a loss we’ve put together a gift guide with the latest toys and gear you need to know about.
At the magical age of three, little minds and bodies are moving at full speed. Whether they’re into arts and crafts, reading book after book or spending the entire afternoon exploring the backyard in a head-to-toe costume, a preschooler’s imagination is now running wild.
Let’s take a look at the little one’s stage of development and the best gift ideas to match it.
Child Development at 3 Years Old
With speech development gaining momentum around this time, educational toys that promote vocabulary like books, flash cards and colorful blocks can be invaluable.
Role play is quite common at this age as well. Toys like play kitchens and cash registers can help kids expand their vocabulary, practice manners, and introduce them to different cultures. Remember playing “Shop” as a kid? Us too. This pretend play was beyond fun and taught us the difference between fruits, veggies, canned goods, ice cream and of course – money!
Since partaking in play that uses gross motor skills is crucial for cognitive and physical development, items like pedal cars, balance bikes and climbing gyms also make great gifts. For kids to grow, they need to run, climb, jump, bounce, wiggle and wobble. Try gifting things like tricycles, scooters or trampolines.
Self-expression can really begin to shine at this age. Providing simple items like a Teepee or cubby house can create a canvas or safe place for a child to make their own. It’s a space that they can go to rest, partake in creative play or reflect on what they’ve absorbed that day. At three, the world is a child’s oyster so the best thing to do is give them items that help them feel included and empowered.
Best Toys and Gifts for 3 Year Olds
Whether you’re shopping for a Christmas gift or a birthday present idea for a 3 year old, here are our recommendations for the best gifts for playtime:
- Numbers Activity
- Cleaning play set
- Pedal cars and ride-on toys
- Balance bikes
- Toy vehicles
- Play kitchens and food toys
- Alphabet puzzle
- Musical instruments
- Non-Toxic Crayons
- Jigsaw Puzzles
- Non-Toxic Chalk
- EVA sneakers
- Dress-up clothing
Scroll down to see the high-quality products we’ve pulled for each of these gift ideas and shop below. Whether you’re shopping for a 3-year-old boy or girl, you’re sure to find the perfect toy for them!
This PlanToys Numbers set is an excellent way to develop a child’s mathematical, fine motor, tactile, and Pre Braille skills. It’s also good for developing a tot’s vocabulary.
Spring cleaning can happen all year round with the PlanToys Cleaning Set! Great for encouraging role play, life skills and hand-eye coordination, the set includes a bucket, spray bottle, squeegee, broom and dustpan.
Pedal cars are a fantastic ride-on toy for encouraging the development of gross motor skills. Equally important for promoting imaginative and active pretend play, they can also often double as decor!
Vehicle toys like this emergency set can be a fun way for kids to expand their vocabulary and learn who to call in case of an emergency.
Handmade in Louisville, Kentucky, by a husband and wife duo, the E&E Lexie Teepee can be the perfect photo shoot prop, book nook, fairy den, club-house, stuffed animal holder, and more!
You don’t have to be an animal lover to love this wooden toy vet set from PlanToys. Made of sustainable rubber wood, it includes everything your little one needs to perform a checkup or help mend a wound.
Easy for little hands to hold, Eco-Kids Sea Rocks Eco-Crayons are made from bees wax, carnuba wax, soy wax and died with natural mineral pigments.
Puzzles are great for honing hand-eye coordination and helping kids learn to problem solve by thinking critically. Petit Collage’s Mini NY Bridge Puzzle is perfect for little hands and even makes for a great birthday party favor!
Great for building social skills and expanding vocabulary, play kitchens can also be a smart way to introduce healthy eating habits.
Available in more colors
Order up! Food toys are always a win when it comes to toys for kids. Perfect for role-playing and helping develop hand-eye coordination, this option from Tender Leaf Toys is also made with non-toxic materials.
The sturdy Green Toys School Bus is ready to be loaded up for an earth-friendly ride to the classroom, a field trip, or whatever excursion little scholars see fit. Great for encouraging imaginative play and honing hand-eye coordination, the Green Toys School Bus goes to the head of the class for safety and eco-design, with no metal axles or external coatings.
A balance bike will get your tot riding a bike without a trike’s training wheels in no time! Ideal for strengthening the core and leg muscles, this sturdy kids’ bicycle also teaches steering and helps build confidence. And its adjustable handlebar, plush seat cushion and front basket make it functional and fun.
Available in more colors
A true Christmas classic, this timeless Dr Seuss book is always a winner with the kids! The best part: for every book Tiny Bee Gift Co. sells, they donate one to a child in need.
Learn the ABCs of having fun with Goki’s alphabet puzzle. Made of child-safe wood and non-toxic finishes, this toy is both fun and educational.
Musical instruments can do wonders for a tot’s emotional development. They’re also wonderful for practicing fine and gross motor skills as well as hand-eye coordination.
Made from renewable rubber wood and painted with non-toxic paints, this wheelbarrow will spark a child’s imagination while teaching them about the world outside.
Twee’s vibrant, playful and non-toxic chalks are a great way for kids to create and express themselves. Suitable for use on rough surfaces, they’re a durable option designed to last
Made with easy to wipe clean and slip on EVA, Native Shoes Jefferson Sneakers make getting out the door and into fun an absolute breeze! Available in baby to big kid sizes.
It doesn’t take much to make a child’s imagination soar. (Or shall we say, ROAR!) A simple mask and tail can take your tot to the Sahara and back before bedtime.
Flipping your fins you don’t get too far – unless you’re using your imagination! Perfect for those who want to live under the sea, this two piece set is a dress-up box essential.