( This post contains affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info here. )
This gift guide is a comprehensive list that will surely help you find the best 3 yr old gifts. Whether it’s a Christmas gift or present for their 3rd birthday, these toys will keep your toddler entertained while helping them develop important skills.
How do I know what the best toys for 3-year-olds are? Well, my 3-year-old boy/girl twins have A LOT of toys! They both get the same amount of presents as most children do, so when you have two the same age, you wind up with a lot of 3 yr old toys. These have made it to the top of the list because my kids play with these the most (and some are so loved they even get slept with.)
What are the best toys for 3-year-olds?
- something they’ll play with for long periods of time for several months or even years!
- toys that are durable and safe
- something that sparks imagination and creativity
As a mom, I prefer the toys I buy through Amazon Prime. I’m confident that I’m getting the best price with fast (and free!) doorstep delivery.
Related Post: THE BEST BEDTIME BOOKS FOR TODDLERS
The Best Building Toys for 3 Year Olds
These building and construction sets get played with almost every single day at our house. They’re a big investment initially but are worth every penny once you see how much they get played with.
This train set has kept my kids occupied longer than any other toy we’ve had so far.
If you can get a less expensive one somewhere else (IKEA, for example) than do it! It really doesn’t matter what kind of train set it is as long as the pieces are durable and fit together tightly.
But beware – I’ve seen cheaper sets where the tracks were so loose-fitting that they were constantly disconnecting – making for one frustrated toddler! My kids have been playing with this wooden toy train set and these train cars since they were two!
If you’re an organization freak like I am, you will really appreciate having this play table to go with it.
2. Tool Set:
If you’re looking for a good toddler toolset, this is it! Even a two-year-old can have fun with it. The parts and the tools fit perfectly in little hands and are extremely durable. It’s a great way to teach your child the names of the tools and how to use them.
The only downside is that your house will forever be scattered with screws, bolts, and drill bits.
This building toy is so well made and I just love the idea behind it! I was a little skeptical that my little one couldn’t do it, but after a few times with assistance, he can now build it on his own.
The tools (and working drill) are well made and perfect for small hands.
This toy is of great value! Not only can you drive it around like a train, but you can also use the blocks for stacking towers. My kids play with this wooden train a lot because of its multi-functionality.
The Best Educational Toys for 3 Year Olds
These toys have helped our kids become more agile, communicative, and creative. 3-Year-Olds aren’t babies anymore and need learning toys to practice these skills as much as possible while still having fun.
When we relocated from Germany back to the States, we had to get our kids some new balance bikes. Even with 3 years old, our kids just don’t get pedals and want nothing to do with them. These balance bikes are not only of excellent quality (and look cool!) they have also helped our little ones improve their agility immensely!
If you’re looking for a less expensive alternative, check out my article on the best-rated balance bikes under $50.
6. Toy Barn:
If your toddler loves figuring out how to open things, this is the perfect toy! There are 5 different kinds of latches on this toy barn which are great for developing motor skills. The 4 farm animals that come with are fuzzy, which makes playing with them even more fun. What I also appreciate about it is that it’s a gender neutral toy, so both my son and daughter enjoy playing with it.
They even make sure to lock up their farm animals safely in their barn every night – that’s how much they love it.
We really enjoy teaching our kids about animals. Even in the winter time, we can see turkey, deer, squirrels, and smaller birds right out our living room window. These binoculars really work and especially help with spotting small birds. It also comes with a magnifying glass and a compass. The hand-pumped flashlight is especially fun for the little ones.
Do you have a little helper at home? Give him this set and let him help you out around the house. Toddlers love to help…take advantage of it before they grow up. This set is very sturdy and takes lots of abuse.
Yes, we got tablets for our 2-year-olds to help up get through international flights. We’ve had these protectors for over 4 months now, and I can only say good things about it. They’ve saved our tablets from all kinds of falls, icky sticky goopy messes, and even juice spills.
In case you’re wondering, we got our twin toddlers these tablets and couldn’t be happier with our decision. Our kids especially love watching shows on YouTube Kids as well as playing a variety of puzzles or matching games. (My son also likes flight and farming simulators – with assistance of course.)
If you have an airplane lover on your hands, get this plane. You wouldn’t believe how durable it is. Ours have been stepped on, driven over with bikes, and even had the wings and tail ripped off (on purpose!) All you need is super glue and accelerator and you’re back in business.
They’re big enough to look impressive and small enough for little hands to throw and have a long glide before they hit the ground.
If you have enough space in your home, I highly recommend getting one of these awesome slides. They’re not very expensive and your toddler can slide and slide all day long. Sometimes we even blow up an inflatable baby pool and fill it with balls for the kids to slide into. That’s a great way to keep the slide from getting dull. Of course, you can also use it outdoors, but this is so practical during the winter months, and you can always go to the playground in the summer.
12. Snow Shovel:
This one may sound boring, but a snow shovel is a must-have toy for toddlers who live in snowy areas.
I couldn’t believe how much my kids love “helping” us shovel the drive! Their snow shovels get used every time they play outside (almost every day.) A snow shovel is a very inexpensive way to entertain your child on a snowy day.
13. Sand Toy Set:
As a mom, what I love most about this set is the carrying case. Every single thing fits back in and prevents sand from getting all over everything once you get it home.
My kids love it because of the variety. There’s everything you need – sieve, molds, shovel, rake – and (most popular) a watering can.
Be sure to get two sets if you have two kids, getting them to share is next to impossible!
Related Post: THE BEST-RATED TODDLER BALANCE BIKES UNDER $60
The Best Toys for 3 Year Old Boys
14. Car Ramp:
My kids couldn’t believe their eyes when their auntie gave them this awesome car ramp! Most car ramps are popular with kids, but the loop at the end make this one extra special.
I know this seems like the parade of Melissa & Doug toys, but they really do make perfect toys for 2 and 3-year-old toddlers. Get the race car carrier – your toddler will love it!
My son has a huge fable for tractors – and we’ve gone through a lot of them. We’ve had this tractor with frontloader for over a year and a half now and it hasn’t been destroyed yet. Yes, it’s more expensive than your usual toy tractor, but Bruder is a German company = excellent quality. My little guy especially likes using the out-of-cabin steering wheel.
17. Pixar Cars:
These are fun for role-playing or just lining them up in a straight row…the Pixar cars with their cute personalities are all over our house.
18. Super Wings:
ditto the Pixar cars above. I had to get each child a set of these because I couldn’t stand the bitter crying when they didn’t want to share.
When my husband told me to get one of these, I thought he was crazy. This seemed like the most boring toy on the planet – a rug? come on! Not only did it look boring, but it also took up a lot of space on my living room floor.
Boy, was I wrong. The kids love role playing with this playmat, the construction trucks that go with it, and anything else with wheels. They go to the construction site, transport stuff, go over the bumpy patch of road…a hoot!
The Best Toys for 3 Year Old Girls
My daughter LOVES her princesses and carries them around in this ballerina jewelry box. There are lots of different Disney princess collections, but I chose this one because the figures don’t have any removable parts. We have enough tiny pieces of toys flying around the house already!
21. Play Kitchen:
A play kitchen is a great toy for 2 to 6-year-olds. It’s expensive in the beginning, but if you consider that you’ll get a few years out of it, it’s worth the price. We chose this one because it’s made of real wood. We used to have a less expensive one made of plastic but it was trash after only a few months.
Our son doesn’t care that it has girly colors, he plays with it just as much as his sister does.
22. Fairy Set:
We got this set for Christmas last year, and amazingly enough – everything survived through the past year! You can get fairy sets at the dollar store too. They may not be of the same quality but are less expensive. So check there first. Your little girl will love it.
23. Crowns & Tiaras:
We’ve gone through our share of crowns & tiaras. I’d always get the cheap ones and they’d break within one or two days. I highly recommend skipping the cheap stuff and just getting this set from Melissa & Doug. You get a nice variety and they’re VERY durable. They fit (and stay on!) every head too – even Daddy’s!
24. Princess Tent
My little girl loves her little private space. It’s where she goes to when she just needs a few minutes alone. One thing I do wish about this tent is that it had opaque walls so that we could make it dark inside.
The Best Bath Toys for 3 Year Olds
My daughter LOVES dinosaurs almost as much as she loves taking a bath. These squirting dinos are a big hit at our house! They also make awesome stocking stuffers.
It lights up and looks like a real koi…what more could you want in a bath toy?
27. Rain Cloud:
This one just never gets old. My 3-year-olds have loved this one since they were babies!
This toy is super cool. It’s even educational. But my destructive toddlers couldn’t restrain themselves and had to take it apart while I wasn’t watching…resulting in a trip to the trash can. A big fat parenting fail on my part.
Though it is a little big, this seaplane has to go in every bath.
A boat AND a helicopter…need I say more? They even come with a captain and pilot!
I hope you found this selection to be helpful in finding the best toys for 3 year olds – but if you’ve already read to the bottom and aren’t already shopping on Amazon, I suppose I didn’t do a very good job.
What would you like to have seen on this list? Please let me know in the comments below!
Related Post: MY TWIN BABIES’ FIRST CHRISTMAS LIST