Discover toys and gifts 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 Toys and Gifts for 3 Year Olds
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!
Push, squish, pop, and learn! Silicone bubbles make a fun popping noise. Read and learn the numerals 1 to 10 and matching words.
My First Crayons
Build hand strength (which is important for handwriting) with these colorful crayons perfect for little hands.
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.
My Town Block Set
Build your own town with chunky and colorful wooden blocks and a jigsaw puzzle base.
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.
LEGO Duplo Town Airport
An airplane with a building and three figures will encourage kids to build and play!
John Deere Monster Tractor
How cool is this? Motion-activated lights pop as you roll the tractor in any direction.
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.
Little People Food Truck
A push-along musical toy food truck flips open to give people an outdoor dining area. Push the driver’s seat for songs, sounds, and phrases.
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.
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.
An engaging, monthly subscription for ages 2 to 4 with 2 – 3 projects to spark learning through play. Illustrated parent guide, stories, puzzles, recipes, and more.
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 one 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.
Simplay3 Sand and Water Table
A sand and 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. I like this design because of the table AND that it doubles as a lid for outside. (If you have a cat– this is important.)
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 with flashing lights and siren and 2 LEGO DUPLO firefighter figures plus more figures.
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 wan 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!
The Pigeon Needs a Bath Book + Bath Toy
Read this favorite hilarious story to your children and let them play with this cute pigeon bath toy. 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!
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.
Paw Patrol City Cruiser Toy Car with Motorcycle
Do your kids love Paw Patrol? Then they’ll love Chase’s cruiser that also launches a motorcycle and features lights and sounds effects.
Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas
Bob just doesn’t fit in with the other rhyming dust bunnies which makes this book a total crack-up! Because he’s trying to warn them that there is a vacuum coming. Too bad his fellow Dust Bunnies ignoring his warning. Will they get all vacuumed up?!
An interactive sloth that claps its hands and bobs its head along to fun lights, songs, and music. Press the buttons on its feet for songs and phrases about the alphabet, numbers, opposites, and colors, plus colorful lights.
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 Set
Follow the directions in the booklet to build 20 police concepts including a police station, a car, an armored truck, and more. OR use your imagination and the Magformers to make your own creations.
Haba Kullerbu Parking Garage
Play for hours with this garage, car wash, fuel pumps, ramps, and vehicles — all made out of a combination of wood and plastic make a sturdy pretend play toy.
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.
Melissa and Doug Colorblast No Mess
So fun! Use the magic pens to color in the pictures and do the activities.
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