Best Toys for 3 Year Old - Three Year Old Gift Guide
These are the best toys for a three year old!
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).
Perfect for a birthday gift, Christmas gift, or a just-because present 🙂
While all toys can be enjoyed by both boys and girls, I like to break my lists into categories.
Gift Ideas for a Three Year Old 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!
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.
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!
Simple toys are often the ones that get the most love and are played with the most frequently.
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! Doll house? Family visits the farm!
These type of toys are also great for travel or running errands...elephants on parade along the shopping cart while Mommy grabs groceries 😉
Best Gifts for Three Year Old Boy
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":
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.
I know many people start buying Duplo sets at younger ages than age 3 but I like to wait until my kids are fully able to put the pieces together on their own and far enough along in their development that they can be creative and have imaginative ideas with what they want to build.
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!
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!
Hey Y’all, I’m Emily! I’m a stay at home mom and consider parenting to be my passion. Disney is my happiest place and I love making memories as a family together. I’m a big believer in transparency and share all of my real-life moments as a mother of four.
My work has been featured on Love What Matters, Today Parenting and Babywise.Life. I’m also honored to be a member of the Babywise Friendly Blog Network.