Is a toddler in your life about to turn 3 years old? Then you’re in luck because today we get to talk about the best 3-year-old gift ideas for a girl, boy, or both!
Three is one of my favorite ages as a parent!
Kids at this stage are really coming into their own personalities and unique styles and their own interests.
Along with the imaginative play that really develops at age two, the age of three brings lots of pretend play which opens up TONS of options for new toys and gift ideas.
I love building on toys my kids already own so a lot of what I recommend as birthday gifts for a
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3 Year Old Gift Ideas – Best Toys for a 3 Year Old
These are the best toys for a three year old and any of these would make great birthday gifts, Christmas presents, or fun surprises just because!
I know many gift guides like these will say items like Mr Potato Head or Paw Patrol stuff or Stem Toys…but I’m big about only sharing things WE have loved and if they aren’t items my kids have enjoyed then I’m not including them on the list! (We own several Potato Heads, for example, and they NEVER get played with and we’ve never watched Paw Patrol).
While all toys can be enjoyed by both boys and girls, I like to break my lists into categories.
3 Year Old Gift Ideas for a Boy or Girl
I have both sons and daughters and have found that my children often stick to gender stereotypes when it comes to their favorite toy items, but I also gravitate towards buying neutral items when possible to make it easier to pass them down to siblings too!
Hopper Ball for Kids 3-6
My kids each have their own hopper ball and they are one of those 3 year old gift ideas that bring COUNTLESS hours of fun!
We allow them to bounce around the downstairs of our home and they love chasing each other on them and they are a great way to get energy out and encourage exercise indoors! A great active play item!
Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden Standing Art Easel
The age of three is when kids are really able to participate in crafts and enjoy making their own artwork.
We have this easel and it’s remained in excellent condition for over 7 years now!
I love how easy it is to fold up for storage and how easy it is to clip paper onto the easel to minimize mess!
Your kids will love showing off their creative skills and it’s a great way to have artwork to send to the grandparents too.
Ride on Jeep Vehicle
The big gift for my kids at age 3 is a Power Wheels Jeep.
I love the jeep because I have fond memories of it as a kid but also because it can seat two kids at once which means siblings can share in the fun!
They have several different designs (my daughters have a Frozen one that sings!) and they hold up GREAT over time!
Stuffed Animal Storage Bean Bag Chair
I spent a TON of money on a fancy PBK bean bag chair for my oldest and it has not held up to the test of time.
If I could go back and do it again I’d purchase this stuffed animal storage bean bag chair – it’s GENIUS!
Kids start to really love stuffed animals around age 3 so why not get them a comfortable spot to store them in?
I will totally be a customer when my youngest turns three!
FurReal Roarin Tyler, the Playful Tiger
This is one of those toys that I was SO excited to give to my kids!
The tiger is so cute and feels realistic and is highly interactive. A WOW present they will love!
Moon Star Projector 360 Degree Rotation
While my kids don’t use nightlights they LOVE having “dance parties” in their bedrooms where they turn off the lights and turn on flashlights or one of these awesome star projectors.
My three year old was SO excited when she was gifted this for her birthday and it’s continued to be a bonding toy between siblings.
Classic Characters Matching Game for Boys & Girls
Once kids turn three they are really able to start playing games, which make fantastic 3 year old gift ideas.
At this age, we start having family game time in the evenings and a simple matching game is a PERFECT first game for your three-year-old!
A tip: start off just using a few of the cards rather than all of them…keep it quick and easy and help build that confidence before adding in all the cards in the pack!
Love brain toys that get that mind working 😉
Fishing Game Toy Set
Another great first game is the classic fishing game.
Perfect to work on developing hand and eye coordination and fine motor skills.
A good one to give a little further into the age of three to make sure the child is past the stage of putting everything into their mouths!
Melissa & Doug Easel Companion Accessory Set
Even if your child doesn’t own the easel this is still a great first art set.
I LOVE the paint cups! They make clean up SO easy when painting and help with avoiding mixing colors but using the paint conatiners and filling them according to their coordinating paint!
Magna-Tiles Clear Colors 100 Piece Set
If you have been reading my other gift guides then you may be thinking “why the repeat?” But magna-tiles are THAT good of a gift that they need to be on multiple lists for a variety of ages!
Yes, they are pricey. However they are a must-have item for creative play.
Older kids and younger kids alike will enjoy coming up with all sorts of creations and they work well with other toys and toy sets and are a great distraction activity when Mommy is trying to get dinner on the table.
VTech KidiZoom Camera Pix
I love age 3 because it means I can FINALLY bribe my kids to smile for pictures 😉
I am totally “that mom” who takes pictures of my kids non-stop and naturally they want to be behind the camera too!
My kids have an older version of this camera and it’s held up great over the years and I never have to worry about it breaking.
They love taking pictures of everything…feet, walls, their toys, and occasionally a selfie of possibly just their nostrils 😉
Little Tikes Cozy Pumper Multi, 13.5 long x 8.5 wide x 17.5 high
Here’s one of those 3 year old gift ideas that also teaches them a valuable life still too 😉
Candy Land Kingdom Of Sweet Adventures Board Game
Candy Land is a CLASSIC and for good reason – it’s a great first family game that doesn’t require any reading but helps kids learn colors!
Pro parent tip: rig up the card stack to make the game go quicker if you’re playing before bedtime. 😉
We have enjoyed our Candy Land so much over the years that the box is literally taped together. When my kids are grown adults I will still always smile whenever I see Candy Land because it is such a special bonding time with my babies!
Balance bikes are a great way to transition into bikes with pedals and are very easy to ride and to practice balancing.
Yes, one more game! But this is another favorite for this age and one of the very first games we play together as a family! For 3 year old gift ideas, you really can’t go wrong with fun family board games!
Simple to set up, so many laughs and a quick game that can be over and done within a solid 10 minutes before bedtime!
Bear Hooded Bath Towel
Hooded bath towels are a great gift for kids and at age 3 I find that my kids get really excited about which towel they get to use after bathtime.
They are especially big fans of animals that have fun sounds associated with them 😉 Little ones of all ages enjoy a fun towel!
Modern Home 6ft Oval All Weather Resistant Outdoor Sandbox Kit w/Cover
I’m all about getting the kids OUTSIDE as much as possible and my current three-year-old is ALWAYS wanting to play in our sandbox. He loves it!
This sandbox has held up awesome over the years and the lid fits tightly so we never have to worry about bad weather or random animals getting into it. He stays busy for hours playing with trucks and tractors in the sand and I highly recommend this sandbox – a worthwhile investment!
12 Piece Safari Animal Set
Simple toys are often the ones that get the most love and are played with the most frequently, making them great 3-year-old gift ideas.
A set of animal toys is a must-have for this age and they can be used along with so many other toys!
Car play mat? Animals attack! Train set? Animals on the loose! Dollhouse? Family visits the farm!
These types of toys are also great for travel or running errands…elephants on parade along the shopping cart while Mommy grabs groceries 😉
Cute Toddler Pillow
This age is when most kids are comfortable sleeping in their big boy or big girl bed but may still need comfort objects to help get that good quality sleep during naptime and bedtime.
When I was growing up I slept with my “little pillow” every night and my teenager still loves his special small pillow.
I love the small pillow size as they are perfect for road trip adventures, flying on airplanes, or just sleeping at home! These come in super fun animal designs and the cover is removable for washing too.
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Best 3 Year Old Gift Ideas for Boys
At three years old boys are SO FUN and wild and adventurous and it’s an age where my son started showing more interest in imaginative play.
Of course all of the gender neutral items above are excellent for boys or girls and many of them have color options if you want something more gender specific, but these items are ones I consider more “boys toys” and that make great gift ideas for a 3 year old boy!
Hot Wheels Mega Hauler Truck
Hot Wheels Cars become a BIG favorite for boys around this age and are such a great (affordable!) gift to give.
Three-year-olds love to line things up and organize their items and having a big hauler truck to house their hot wheels cars will provide countless hours of FUN
PLAYMOBIL Rescue Ladder Unit
Playmobil makes high-quality toys that LAST. I still have many of my sets from childhood and enjoyed starting to purchase sets for my son when he turned three.
The working lights and ladder will make it a win and the figurines allow for that developed play.
Along with imaginative play, Imaginext toys are also the fabulous quality and have TONS of different options with lots of features.
My oldest is currently 10 years old and a lot of his toys have been packed up, passed down, or given away…but his Imaginext toys continue to be played with on a regular basis.
He still loves setting them up and using the figurines to play with! I’m glad I started investing in these pieces when he was three as they’ve really been a huge winner!
Learning Carpets City Life Play Carpet
I LOVE this playmat and recommend it regularly to other mamas.
I had one similar growing up and have such great memories playing on the mat with my brother and our cars. It’s an especially great gift for the 3 year old boy who has everything, because you can play with so many toys on it!
It is a great quality and rolls up very easily for storage.
I really did my research when deciding on a play carpet and this one fit all the qualities I was wanting!
I wanted lots of parking spaces, building, divided roads and space for a race car to zoom 😉
Wooden Train Set with Accessories
Another toy that I still bring out on a regular basis for all of my kids to play with is our wooden train set.
At three your child may get frustrated with putting the track pieces together until their motor skills develop so be warned that it may work best for you to set it up and then let him (or her) play with the track once assembled but it won’t take too long for them to get the hang of it and to start creating their own track designs.
I love the quality of the magnetic wood pieces – I still have some of the tracks from our childhood set that work great with newer pieces I bought for our kids.
LEGO DUPLO Classic Heart Box
Three is a great age to start introducing simple LEGOS to kids and little boys especially seem to be drawn to creating and building. Duplo is a version of LEGO designed for younger kids with larger-sized pieces for those little hands to be able to grasp and without the fear of choking.
This simple set is a great starter and allows for the freedom to be creative without having to follow the instructions that many of the sets come with.
IVI 3D Kids Road Play Rugs for Toy Cars
My sons have both loves car playmats to use for their vehicles and since my youngest LOVES all things tractors we gifted him this really cool 3D Carpet that depicts a farm scene!
The company also includes a free toy with purchase that coordinates with the rug of your choice (For the farm carpet they included an adorable Playmobil horse stable set). Use code Journey15 for 15% off your purchase!
Little Tikes Easy Score Basketball Set
I personally keep this basketball goal in our playroom. It stays in better shape than it would outside and allows for more frequent play!
It’s great that you’re able to adjust the height for your child’s needs and that it can grow with your child as they get older
3 Year Old Birthday Gift Ideas for Girls
Just like three-year-old boys – three-year-old girls start getting more interested in imaginative play and very involved in pretend to play too. These gift ideas for a 3-year-old girl will delight them and engage their growing imaginations!
Ty Beanie Boos
Oh three-year-olds – the age where the obsession with stuffed animals really begins!
My girls are alllll about beanie boos and I have to admit, I think they are pretty dang cute myself.
They are a nice size so they aren’t huge but are also big enough not to easily misplace.
Resist the urge to leave the tags on like you did with your beanie babies as a kid 😉
Aurora World Fancy Pals Pet Carrier
My girls both LOVED little purses and bags at this age and the combo of a stuffed animal AND a purse? Double win as a gift for a 3-year-old girl!
We have several of these sets and my 7 year old daughter is still thrilled over getting these as a gift!
Disney Princess Dress Up Trunk
At age 3 the dress up stage of childhood is just starting and I AM ALL ABOUT IT.
I just love a little kid in dress up clothes! Personally my girls hit the dress up stage before my son did.
I recommend sizing up on dress-up clothes. If it’s a little big, who cares! And that way they can grow into it and get longer life out of it.
This set comes with several pieces and is a great starter!
Pink & White Polka Dots Foldable Doll Stroller
A baby doll is an item I buy for my girls pretty early on but I wait until age 3 to purchase one of these strollers.
They are super cheap and may break when a younger sibling goes for a ride in them (ask me how I know…) but they are also awesome because they fold up like a legit stroller for storage and provide tons of fun for pushing baby dolls, stuffed animals, etc around!
I LOVED my Puppy Surprise as a kid and still legit have the babies and my kids have loved pulling them out from time to time to play with.
When I found out they still sell them I scooped them up quick! They make great unique gifts for 3 year old girls!
Now they have all sorts of funky/fun colors to choose from but the basic concept is still the same and the puppies are still as cute and fun to collect!
PLAYMOBIL Playground Set
Playmobil sets are excellent for both boys and girls and a good toy set to start collecting at the older age range of 3 where you can trust that little pieces won’t go in the mouth.
I like to keep toys like these in a larger storage bin altogether and pull them out from time to time so they feel like a new toy!
Little Cosmetics Pretend Makeup Dream Playset
I LOVE this play makeup set! It is adorable and so realistic and I love that it’s not actual makeup. No worries about messes, but plenty of room for FUN. Little girls love playing dress up and feeling like “big girls” and looking like Mommy!
A great idea is to keep this set on hand in your bathroom or vanity area. When you get ready, let her “get ready” too. Helps keep your little one busy and occupied and can turn a task into easy bonding time too.
Fisher-Price Loving Family Dollhouse
I adore this dollhouse. We keep it out all the time in my daughter’s room and it’s played with frequently.
It’s great because everything can be stored inside of it!
All the pieces are a nice size and the house has many fun features (a must-have for me was a working doorbell!).
A great first dollhouse and a nice set to be able to add pieces too!
Play Tea Party Set
What little girl doesn’t have a tea party with her dolls or stuffed animals at some point in childhood? This is a great first tea set and fun to play together. My girls get SO excited about pouring “tea” (water) for their dolls and for each other. Even just allowing them to drink from the tea cups makes it super fun.
Want an easy way to shop the items in this list? Check out my Amazon List Here! And simply click the items to add to your cart – shopping DONE!
Check out my other gift guides here:
- Best Stocking Stuffer Gifts
- One Year Old Gift Guide
- Two Year Old Gift Guide
- Four Year Old Gift Guide
- Five Year Old Gift Guide
- Six Year Old Gift Guide
- Seven Year Old Gift Guide
- Eight Year Old Gift Guide
- Nine Year Old Gift Guide
- The Best Board Games for Kids
- Best Baby Doll
- Best Dollhouse
- Best Scooter for Kids
- Best Backyard Trampoline
- Best Backyard Playground