Discover gifts and toys for 3 year olds that will provide hours of imaginative pretend play time, develop fine and gross motor skills, practice preschool skills, and more.
Don’t you love buying toys as gifts that will give them hours of imaginative play? Or building play?
Give these rewarding toys, games, and books to your kids, grandkids, friends, and neighbors.
Best Gifts and Toys for 3 Year Olds
Play-Doh Activity Table
Use the flat side and the playmats or the 3D side with a pretend river and other features. This includes 15 accessories and 6 colors. When you want to clean up, simply place everything inside the table and put on the lid. My kids would have loved this table!
Medical Kit Doctor Bag
Pretend play to make going to the doctor less scary. Use the stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, thermometer, otoscope, syringe, bandage & fabric ‘doctor’ bag to be the doctor and give checkups!
Melissa and Doug 8-piece Chunky Wooden Puzzle
Puzzles are so good for children’s brains. This one with large, chunky pieces are easy to grasp. The colorful scene will help kids learn about African animals.
Pizza Play Set
My kids loved these pretend play sets from Melissa & Doug. And who doesn’t love pizza!? Kids get to cut slices, serve, and add toppings. Yum!
Green Toys Cargo Plane
Made in the USA from recycled plastic, this is a popular, high-quality toy that stands the test of time– and that kids love!
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems (book and plush)
Introduce your kids to the funniest pigeon who REALLY WANTS to drive the bus and will use all his reasoning powers to convince you, the reader, to let him.
Ocean Sensory Bin
Scoop, sort, dog, and build in the soft sand and water beads. Comes with ocean animal toys.
I Am Dog! written by Peter Bently, illustrated by Chris Chatterton
Playful rhyming, simple text shares a day in the life from a dog’s perspective. “I am a dog. Dog is me. I like walkies. I like tree.” Dog likes to chase, splash, dig, and bark.. among other things like searching for the smell he sniffs which makes a big mess! The illustrations are essential to this story of the dog’s day — and what is really happening. This is the perfect read aloud for 2 – 5 year olds!
On the Farm: Color & Erase
Color in this reusable activity pad of farm scenes with the included washable markers.
LEGO DUPLO Wild Animals of Asia
Buy on LEGO.com
This playset will give your 3 year old children hours of imaginative play. You’ll get a foldable playmat and 11 animals, plus a sound brick and 117 pieces to snap together.
Construction Truck Toys
Kids will love driving this carrier truck that carries four other trucks. I love this toy for 3 year olds because it’s so playful!
Intro to Tools & Building
Learn how to use a hammer, screwdriver, and wrench, and the basic engineering principles behind how these tools work. This 3 year old toy set develops fine motor skills, visual-spatial skills, and reasoning.
Design & Drill Flower Power Studio
How fun is this kid-friendly drill, plates, and bolts? Match the included designs or create your pictures, patterns, and shapes. My neighbor says this is one of the best toys for 3 year olds that her twins have ever been given.
How to Count to 1 by Casper Salmon, illustrated by Matt Hunt
Can you count to 1? And no higher? Silly illustrations and humorous writing will surprise and engage growing mathematicians as they follow the directions and count to ONE. One worm in disguise, one giraffe (among other African animals,) one duck rollerblading, and well, you get the idea– ONE! What’s even better is that the illustrations often mislead you to think you might be counting higher. Except– you are not. Brilliant!
My First Math Dice
This first math game helps three year olds pair the amount of counter chips to the appropriate number as well as teaches about more and less than and simple addition.
Push, squish, pop, and learn! Silicone bubbles make a fun popping noise. Read and learn the numerals 1 to 10 and matching words. Great for preschoolers.
My First Crayons
Build hand strength (which is important for handwriting) with these colorful crayons, perfect for little hands.
On this interactive audio system, tap any Craftie, Audiobook, or Trivia Card on top of the device and activate educational and entertaining audio content (Music/Songs, Fables, Fairy Tales, Stories, Biographies, and so much more.) My friend’s 3 year old kids LOVE their Storypods. This is a gift for a 3 year old that encourage literacy!
Timber Tots Tree House
From Fat Brain Toys, encourage hours of pretend play with this darling treehouse home with two Timber Tots and 11 accessories. An imaginative toy for 3 year olds.
Bluey fans will love this playhouse with lights and sounds that include Bingo and Bluey and much more including a moving dancefloor.
BRIO Builder STEM Set
Get your young engineer building with 136 building pieces including nuts, bolts, a hammer, a screwdriver, and more.
Atticus Caticus by Sarah Maizes, illustrated by Kara Kramer
A boy and his adorable cat friend have a fun day together in this rhythmic, darling story with hilarious made-up words and a sweet relationship. “Atticus Caticus jumps…/SPLAT-a-tat-taticus!” From waking up to breakfast all the way to bedtime where the cat sleeps on his head, these two best friends always have fun.
John Deere Monster Tractor
How cool is this? Motion-activated lights pop as you roll the tractor in any direction.
Design & Drill Bolt Buddies Barn
Use a kid-safe toy drill to build a farm with crops, fences, and animal friends.
Construction Site Folding Sandbox Playset
Open up the Construction Site to reveal a contained play space! When you’re finished playing, the sandbox easily folds up and fits everything inside for storage or portable play! Wheel the dump truck around the site and use the truck’s 3-brick mold in the back to build brick walls.
Design & Drill Bolt Buddies Police Motorcycle
Use a real drill to build a police motorcycle and sidecar. Then play with your police dog and police person. Great for fine motor skills and imaginative play.
LEGO Duplo Garbage Truck
Build, organize, and play with a recycling man and a boy, a movable truck that tips, 3 bags, and 3 waste bins.
Little Tikes First Slide
We had this exact slide in the living room for EVER so that my kids could get movement and have fun at home in the winter months. It’s totally the perfect beginner’s slide, sized especially for younger kids. And it folds down without tools for compact storage and moving. (Move it outside to end in a little inflatable pool– that is also a blast.)
My kids LOVED this so much and so did I because it gave them fun ways to learn their letters and letter sounds with the letter’s name, sound, and many songs. Highly recommended.
Knight Owl by Christopher Denise
When knights go missing from the castle, Owl applies to become a knight, excelling as a Knight Night Watch. When a hungry dragon arrives with a whoosh, Owl convinces him to eat pizza instead of eating him. They stay up all night chatting and become close friends. Also, no more knights go missing! Gorgeous illustrations with dark blues and yellows give this a nighttime ambiance with a dose of adorableness in Owl.
Play-Doh Sweet Shoppe Cookie Creations
Make cookies out of Play-Doh using the cookie cutters and rolling pin!
100 Dogs: Playful Pups to Count by Michael Whaite
“Small dog, tall dog, playing with a ball dog, big dog dig dog, burying a bone.” Kids will love all the different kinds of dogs in this colorful, inviting book that is sure to be a favorite read-aloud!
Little People Surprise and Sounds Home
Can you believe the longevity and fun of Fisher-Price? Buy this pretend home that makes sounds, songs, and phrases and watch your kids experience hours of pretending. Little People always offers high-quality, fun toys for kids, this one is no exception. A TOP gift your 3 year olds will love.
Learning Resources New Sprouts Camp Out!
Pretend to camp anytime you want with this fun set that includes 2 logs with flame, a glow-in-the-dark lantern, fork, hot dog, marshmallow, chocolate bar, 2 graham crackers, and duffle bag.
Super Sorting Pie
Even though it’s meant for young learners, my kids played with this toy until they were late elementary school! It’s great for math concepts like patterns, sorting, and numbers, and makes for lots of fun if you open up a pretend restaurant, too.
Rainbow Case with 5 Stuffed Animals
5 plush toy animals in a colorful rainbow bag!
Animal Cube Puzzle
6 puzzles in 1 wooden cube puzzle. Sturdy and will grow with your child.
A beautiful princess house for playing, reading, and pretending!
It’s Okay to Make Mistakes by Todd Parr
I love the message of this picture book — that it’s okay to make mistakes. In fact, not only will this book remind 3-year-old kids that making mistakes is totally normal and okay, maybe it will help remind us as parents, too.
Manhattan Toy Forest Friends Huck Hedgehog
Measuring 8.5″ tall seated and 16″ head to toe, this plush hedgehog toy features a smooth, stretchy main body with a weighted bottom and embroidered facial features.
Farm Railway Set
Build, imagine, and problem-solve with the farm railway set that comes with 20 pieces including a train engine with cargo car, farm tractor with trailer, double-height barn with magnetic crane, track crossing, cow, hay and fencing.
Ravensburger Friends of a Feather
A quick game for two to five players and perfect for preschoolers!
Green Toys Dump Truck
I gave this as a gift to my chiropractor’s 3-year-old son, and he’s played with it every day for months and months. Fill up the back, dump it out, repeat! Drive around on it! (He even sits on it.) This is an excellent, eco-friendly, open-ended toy.
Prextex Plush Farm House
What an adorable soft farm playset. Includes a handle for easy carrying. Zips open and close for storage. Includes four plush horses., a farmer, and a hay.
Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game!
Preschoolers love to play this award-winning game. Parents and teachers love it because it builds color recognition and counting practice as well as fine motor practice. Use the squirrel Squeezers to put the colored acorns into their logs. The first person to fill up their log wins. (Full review here.) A best game for kids under five.
Green Toys Tea Set
Ready for tea? Here’s a toy that keeps on giving and provides 3 year old with many tea parties.
Take-Along Tabletop Farm
Isn’t this a darling wooden playset? It includes a truck, tractor, 2 trailers with magnetic couplers, bridge, barn with silo, grain house, trees, animals, and hay bales. This open-ended toy encourages independent play and motor skill development.
I Am Invited to a Party (Elephant and Piggie) by Mo Willems
We think all the Elephant and Piggie books are hilarious, but this book is our favorite. Piggie has never been to a party before so she relies on Elephant’s help. Which is the silliest help you can imagine.
From Educational Insights comes a mix and match creature that you can create with 12 pieces like an elephant trunk, lizard spikes, dragons wings, and more.
Step2 Rain Showers Splash Water Table
A water table is one of the best investments you can make for your home. It literally will last you years and give your kids hours and hours of open-ended play and exploration. It’s SUCH a good investment — you will thank me later, I promise.
Step2 Play Kitchen + Accessories
Seriously, a play kitchen is one of the best presents that will get kids to play and imagine for hours! Make a restaurant, cook dinner… a kitchen was one of my own kids’ favorite toys for years. Highly recommended.
Fire Station Playset
Build a fire station then play with its rescue truck, helicopter, and 2 LEGO DUPLO firefighter figures plus more fun figures for all kinds of imaginative play.
HAPA Number Maze Magnetic STEM Toy
Don’t you love the aesthetics of this mathematical learning toy? 3 year olds use the magnetic pen to move the balls around the maze, matching the colored balls to the animals and the number of slots for each animal. Plus, it’s great fine motor skills practice, too.
Road Rug Play Set
Spend hours of playtime on this washable activity rug with both town and country scenes and 49 wooden play pieces. The set includes 15 vehicles, 8 town buildings, 8 farm structures, 6 animals, 7 people, 4 traffic signs, bridge.
Button Art Toy for Toddlers
Young children will love looking at the various illustrations on this toy and making fun patterns with its vibrant buttons!
Manhattan Toy Musical Chicken
This adorable wooden musical chicken, which contains a xylophone, a maraca tail, a washboard, and much more, will help young ones learn about music and basic motor skills, all while having a lot of fun!
Lock and Roll Rescue Truck Garage
Do you know a 3 year old who would want this gift? Kids love turning the keys, opening and closing the doors, and playing with the easy to roll trucks. Big fun!
One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree by Daniel Bernstrom, illustrated by Brendan Wenzel
When a snake eats him, the brave boy makes a plan from inside the snake’s tummy to get out. He encourages the snake to eat more–from grapes to a beehive and the snake keeps eating until a small fly makes the snake burp everything all out. Including the boy! Hooray!
Guess How Much I Love You Toy and Book Set
Read this favorite sweet story to your children and let them play with this cute hare plushie. A playful reading gift for young readers.
Play-Doh Doctor Drill n’ Fill Set
Pretend to be the dentist with the classic Play-Doh Doctor Drill ‘n Fill set. A great gift for all 3 year olds but especially when you’re helping kids become comfortable with going to the dentist!
My First Scribble
This is a classic gift for young children who like to draw and write. My daughter carried this exact notebook around with her for a year until she filled it up. Of course, I saved it because it’s so precious! The spiral binding makes it so easy to use. LOVE!! Pair with jumbo crayons or jumbo colored pencils in a cute carrying case.
LeapFrog Go With Me ABC
How fun is this!? It’s a STEM and literacy toy! Growing learners choose from seven different activities while learning and practicing phonics and letter writing. Open to find 26 letters, a write and erase board, and a variety of games including letter names and sounds, writing, reading, drawing, and animals. Includes 26 letter pieces that can be plugged into the interactive letter spaces to explore the letters of the alphabet. In one mode, kids follow along while Mr. Pencil introduces letter writing. It’s interactive, educational, and fun. (ALSO AVAILABLE IN BLUE/GREEN.)
Magformers Police and Rescue Set
Follow the directions in the booklet to build 30 police concepts including a helicopter, a car, an armored truck, and more. OR use your imagination and the Magformers to make your own creations.
Crayola Pip-Squeaks Washable Markers
This carrying case makes it easy to carry your markers anywhere. And washable markers are a must-buy arts and crafts gift for creative kids!
Meet Summer Peaches, a Kindi Kid with a popsicle, peach slices, and ice cubes plus a head that bobbles and an outfit you can change.
Fresh Mart Grocery Store
Imagine the years of pretend play with this sturdy wooden grocery store that includes a hand-cranked conveyor belt, a bagging area, card swipe machine, a realistic beeping scanner, and cash drawer.
You Might Also Like: