3-year-old tots are interested in… all the things, which makes them particularly hard to shop for. As they’re perfecting the skills they already have and acquiring new ones, you want to find toys and games that make learning and exploring fun. From musical instruments to toys that foster imaginative play, we’re taking the guesswork out of your search and rounding up our absolute favorite toys for 3-year-olds.
There’s nothing like a dress up set to play pretend. These Superhero capes, masks, and slap-on bracelets (5 each) are a crowdpleaser, and we love the drawstring bag for easy cleanup and storage.
Brio Deluxe Train Set ~$394
A classic, open-ended toy system that offers endless fun and creativity, Brio’s train sets are responsibly made and made to last. This package is the “ultimate” collection (a big set and a big investment $$), but there are smaller more affordable options that make for great starter sets.
Personalized Name Crayons ~$varies
These rainbow letter crayons make for a colorful and special gift for any little artist — there are tons of beautiful options available on Etsy. 🎨
A fun twist on the traditional toy doctor kit, this is a great play set for children who have a special interest in animals. Like any kind of role-play gear, it’s perfect for imaginative play, socialization, and open-ended exploration.
Math, but make it fun! This set introduces basic arithmetic and numeracy while also helping children practice motor skills and concentration.
The ultimate gift for role-playing, a dollhouse is sure to get any child’s imaginative juices flowing. We love this house, as it comes with lots of fun accessories and even has solar panels on the roof, which is a great opportunity to discuss environmental issues.
Toy Kitchen ~ $99
Another must-have for role-playing — toy kitchens allow children to explore food in a playful way, which could spark curiosity at the dinner table too. We like Kidkraft’s options in the play kitchen category for being both high-quality and economical.
While the illustrations and the storybook prose may leave something to be desired, the cover design on these is lovely and the concept itself is so cool: record the book yourself and the recipient can press the button on each page to listen to the audio story read by you! Made by a great company committed to pre-literacy.
Strider Balance Bike ~$119
A good balance bike helps toddlers develop the skills and coordination they need to ride an actual pedal bike. We love the Strider because it is both sturdy and lightweight.
Hey Clay Sets ~$19
This clay set comes complete with an app that provides easy, intuitive, step-by-step instructions to create six farm animals. You can also choose from other sets that feature monsters, dinosaurs and so much more.
This puzzle-like rendition of the classic memory game is perfect for three-year-olds: lift the ladybugs to find and pair matching images. The game board comes with ten different background patterns so you can keep changing things up!
We hope you found something here that will keep your 3-year-old engaged, inspired and having fun!