Best gifts for 3-year-olds

Activity

The best gifts for 3-year-olds encourage sensory and motor skills, promote activity and engage the imagination.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

Which gift for 3-year-olds is best? 

It can be challenging to shop for an excellent gift for a 3-year-old these days. With so many TV shows, characters, apps and games out there, choosing one can be daunting. Who is their favorite character lately? What do they like to play? Which toys will allow your 3-year-old to build their brain? 

With its 3 Smart Stages learning levels, the Fisher-Price 4-in-1 Ultimate Learning Bot is a great toy to encourage both play and education.

Choosing an age-appropriate gift for a 3-year-old

Three-year olds are full of wonder and excited to discover the world around them, but they can get frustrated if a challenge is too difficult. Here are some of the things that you’ll need to think about as you pick out an age-appropriate gift for them.

Movement

At the age of 3, kids are learning to use their bodies to interact with the world around them. Some of the skills that are helpful to work on include:

  • Holding small items like with their index fingers and thumb, like puzzle pieces or crayons
  • Jumping with both feet together from one place to the next
  • Balancing in one place or while walking
  • Alternating feet while going up steps
  • Catching and throwing balls and other soft items to improve hand-eye coordination

Classification

Three-year-olds love to sort items into categories. With this in mind, gifts that can encourage sorting skills focus on:

  • An array of colors
  • Various sizes
  • Common shapes

Feel free to think outside of the box when it comes to gifts. A set of toy cars can easily be used to compare colors, shapes and weights, while also providing great motor skills!

Imagination

When you want to encourage creativity and play, it’s easy to find gifts for 3-year-olds. At this age, kids are learning how to tell stories. Lean into this developmental milestone with a fun gift that encourages dramatic play, arts and crafts, singing silly songs and working together in creative ways.

Things to avoid

While it can be a lot of fun to teach kids new skills, 3-year-olds can get frustrated when their toys, games and activities have a lot of rules to follow. 

Make sure to keep things simple and avoid toys that require a lot of physical strength, precision or steps that have to be followed in a specific order.

By age 3, children are able to interact with the world around them in new and exciting ways. It’s the perfect time to find fun gifts to encourage learning, movement, and cooperation with others.

Best interactive gifts for 3-year-olds

Making playtime a learning experience enhances a child’s mind and imagination while keeping them entertained. Interactive gifts allow for a great, entertaining learning environment.

Fisher-Price 4-in-1 Ultimate Learning Bot

Fisher-Price 4-in-1 Ultimate Learning Bot

This brightly colored robot changes and “grows” with children and is appropriate for kids between the ages of 6 months and 5 years. Kids can build the robot and listen to it sing over 100 songs, phrases and sounds.

Sold by Amazon and Kohl’s

 

CoComelon official interactive JJ doll

CoComelon official interactive JJ doll

CoComelon is all the rage with young children right now, and it’s easy to see why. This interactive doll comes with a bowl of peas and a spoon for kids to feed him. He talks and “eats” the peas, sings songs and giggles, too.

Sold by Amazon 

Best ride-on toys for 3-year-olds

Kids love movement, and when they can produce movement on their own, the fun increases to an all-new level. Just get ready to get some exercise as you try to keep up!

Bumper Car Toys

Bumper Car Toys

This little electric car powered by a rechargeable battery is easily controllable by kids with a simple joystick. It will even spin a full 360 degrees and can go a max speed of 1-2 mph. 

Sold by Wayfair

 

Sakar self-balancing kick scooter

Sakar self-balancing kick scooter

This self-balancing scooter has a foot-activated brake, an extra-wide deck and a three-wheel platform for safety and stability. Shoppers can choose from various designs, including those featuring a unicorn, a dragon, a dinosaur, a fire truck, a dump truck or a cat!

Sold by Amazon

Best bath and bedtime gifts for 3-year-olds

Some kids are afraid of the dark, and some children don’t like taking baths. Make bath time and bedtime fun and engaging with these gifts for 3-year-olds.

Snuggle Monster Hide & Seek storybook and sleep aide

Snuggle Monster Hide & Seek storybook and sleep aide

This adorable little plush comes with a bedtime book that will help make bedtime a fun time. The monster is part of the bedtime hide and seek game and is also a bed buddy to help ease fears of the dark.

Sold by Bed Bath & Beyond

 

Color the Ocean Color Magic bath book

Color the Ocean Color Magic bath book

This adorable little novelty book is made just for bath time. Colors appear throughout the pages as they are submerged underwater, bringing fun right into the bathtub.

Sold by Amazon

Best play set gifts for 3-year-olds

Play sets take children to other worlds and other places, expanding their imaginations in adventurous and fun ways.

Fisher-Price Little People Launch & Loop Raceway

Fisher-Price Little People Launch & Loop Raceway

Perfect for children up to age 5, this colorful vehicle play set features several different tracks, a crash zone, sounds and lights. The set also comes with two Wheelies vehicles, and additional vehicles are available separately for purchase.

Sold by Amazon

Miscellaneous gifts for 3-year-olds

JoJo Siwa Bluetooth karaoke machine

JoJo Siwa Bluetooth karaoke machine

This fun interactive karaoke machine is brightly colored and has a working microphone. It uses a USB port and Bluetooth power, and users can expand the content and get more songs for little singers to sing to with unlimited audio.

Sold by Amazon

 

Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond water table

Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond water table

This water table toy encourages young children to develop their sensory and fine motor skills while having fun for hours splashing around. It features ramps, buckets and mazelike spinners that are activated by the water.

Sold by Bed Bath & Beyond and Amazon 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Sarah Harris writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.

Most Popular