16 gift ideas for three-year-olds
Your preschooler is walking, talking and brimming with imagination – here are 16 gift ideas to help take them to the next level!
By three, your little one likely has a mind all of her own.
While there’s no doubt this can be frustrating at times (like when they want to wear gumboots and a beanie in the blazing August heat!), it also means they’re becoming their own little person with their own likes, dislikes, preferences and tastes.
The good news: choosing gifts is simpler for you! Your preschooler might be into dinosaurs and dump trucks, or play-doh and pencils (or all of the above!).
In this article, we’ll go over:
- Where three-year-olds are developmentally
- Chemicals to avoid in kids products
- Sixteen gift ideas & our product for three-year-olds
Scroll down to learn more!
Where Three-Year-Olds Are Developmentally
Developmentally, your three-year-old will make some huge leaps this year – here’s how to tailor gifts to their amazing little minds, even as they grow before your eyes.
How your preschooler is progressing
By now, your three-year-old is well aware of their emotions and can distinguish between feeling happy, sad, afraid and angry. While they’re not fully in control of how they feel, they’re aware of how other people react and feel, making imaginative play quite fun. They may like to act out certain scenarios (like being “dad” or “going to work”). Dress-ups are a great option for gifts, as well as toys that can act as props for imaginative play, like toy hammers, doctor’s kits, and play food.
Your three-year-old is striking up friendships and becoming attached to objects, too. You may find them having a tea party with their stuffed animals, or being a doctor when their friends are over for a playdate. Encourage this creative play with books to stimulate ideas and toys that let their imagination run wild.
As you probably already know, your three-year-old wants to know everything. NOW! If you’re not there already, be prepared for plenty of “what,” “why,” “when,” “where,” “how” and “who” questions. While this may be frustrating to hear over and over, it’s your preschooler’s way of making sense of the world. You could encourage this curiosity with games that spark questions.
Physically, your preschooler will be throwing and kicking balls, if not quite yet catching them. They’ll likely be very interested in outdoor play, and even activities like gardening. Encourage this love of the outdoors with a toy gardening kit, a large round ball (preferably one that bounces!) and clothing that can be muddied without too much drama.
Language and numbers
By now, your three-year-old will have mastered simple sentences and usually, most people will understand them when they speak. They’ll have a relatively big vocabulary (up to 1000 words) and will likely be interested in more advanced picture books (she may even have the attention span to listen to short chunks from chapter books). As for numbers, they’ll be counting to ten before you know it, and should recognise some written numerals very soon.
Chemicals To Avoid In Kids Products
At The Tot, we only use and recommend products that have passed The Tot Safety Test. This means we’ve reviewed third-party testing, examined ingredients lists and asked in-depth questions about a product’s composition to ensure they’re free of all the chemicals we avoid.
When you don’t know what your child’s toy, you can run the risk of exposing them to potentially harmful ingredients such as BPA, BPS, Phthalates, PVC, Formaldehyde, Lead and other Heavy Metals. This is particularly worrying for babies and toddlers who inevitably put these items in their mouths. Many of these chemicals have been linked to prostate cancer, breast cancer, female infertility, obesity, endocrine disruption, behavioral problems, and even irreversible brain damage.
16 Gift Ideas & Our Product Picks For Three-Year-Olds
As parents who have collectively raised A LOT of three-year-olds, we’ve found the below to be total winners!
- A play kitchen
- Non-toxic play dough
- Wooden vet set
- Wooden train set
- Wooden pretend baking set
- Wooden construction truck
- Woodland fairy house
- Wooden pirate ship
- Wooden fire engine set
- 2-in-1 Scooter
- Wooden tool bench
- Non-toxic kids art set
- Wooden doll house
- Kids piano
- Doll set
Scroll down to see our picks for each!
Available in more colors
- Looking for educational toys for your 3-4 year old? Check out The Tot Play & Learn Set (3-4 Years)!
- What We’re Reading: Minimalist Homeschooling: The Desk Every Kid Needs