Buying the right gift for a 3 year old is hard. You don’t want your gift to be tossed aside, stored away unopened, unloved and unplayed with. Forgotten about and eventually donated to charity (Well at least that’s one positive).
To prevent you making a poor gift choice I have put many hours of research and taken from my own experience with my 3 year olds to bring you the best, super exciting, most played with toys. My picks for the ideal for gifts for a 3 year old in 2019!
I feel your pain about how frustrating it is to look for great gift ideas. I would look through pages and pages of gift ideas and their picks seemed to be at random. Some of the ideas were just ridiculous, I read one list and the cheapest toy on it was over $30. I mean what if I want a nice gift for a neighbours 3 year old?
I’ve tried to think of all the possible situations of buying a gift for a 3 year old. Then I’ve tried to give you the perfect selection of gifts to match, from my own experience and research. Want to spend under $10 but still find the perfect gift? A gift for the 3 year old who has every toy? A special occasion for a much loved niece or nephew? Whether its birthday or Christmas gifts I have you covered, find the perfect gift right here!
THE COMPLETE 3 YEAR OLD GIFT GUIDE 2019: QUICK LINKS
THE BEST GIFT FOR A 3 YEAR OLD UNDER $10
Munchkin Fishin’ Bath Toy
My 3 year olds love this at bath time. Its hard to get them to stop playing with it. Sometimes they get me to fill up the bath and they just go fishing. The little characters float around the bath. Sometimes I make it harder for them to find by putting bubbles in the bath!
Have a check of the current price on the Amazon page. I can’t think of a better value toy.
Play-Doh is an absolute classic. 3 year olds absolutely love the stuff. The best thing is, you can never have enough. I know from our girls that it gets dirty, mixed, lost, and dry. I love when they play with it as its so creative but not too messy. We get ours from Amazon. (Link to listing)
CLASSIC CRAYOLA JUMBO CRAYONS
Who doesn’t love doodling with giant colorful crayons? I don’t know how many hours of fun my 3 year olds have had quietly drawing with these jumbo crayons. Hours of peace for me too! I wouldn’t be without a pack of these and some paper in the house. I buy ours from Amazon (Listing page).
THE BEST GIFT FOR A 3 YEAR OLD UNDER $20
Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog
My girls received this as a gift. I wasn’t quite convinced at first that my 3 year olds would find it fun, but I was wrong. They absolutely love it. Plus it’s great for their motor skills, learning colors and numbers. All the pegs fit back into it’s body so it tidies away neatly. I love it, well made and designed. Spike the Hedgehog (Amazon link).
AquaDoodle Drawing Mat
My girls played with this at a friends house and they all loved it. It works as a giant doodle pad on the floor and comes with fun stencils. It works really well and stops the potential mess of some other coloring play. I need to get one ordered for my girls. They were asking for one as soon as they got home! My friend bought the AquaDoodle mat on Amazon (Link to listing)
Giant Rainbow Kite
There is something magical about getting your kids out in the fresh air and watching their faces light up with joy as they see this Giant Rainbow Kite (Amazon link) soaring off in the distance. I remember fondly the sunny days I bonded so much with my dad flying our kite. Give them that same feeling.
THE BEST GIFT FOR A 3 YEAR OLD UNDER $50
PAW Patrol Ulitmate Fire & Rescue Truck
I think this PAW Patrol firetruck (Amazon link) is going to be a birthday gift for one of my 3 year olds. It won TOTY 2019 Toy of the Year competition. It looks so much fun. It’s a giant working firetruck with a working extendable 2ft long ladder. I think this one will be a sure-fire winner.
Spiralin’ Seas Water Play Table
My kids used with this Spiralin’ Seas Water Play Table (Amazon link) at their local play center. They were hard to pull away from it! (There were tears). It gets splashy, so this one is best outdoors. I had to ask the people who run the center where they bought it from. Great summer fun!
Let’s Play House: Dust, Sweep & Mop
Get extra brownie points from the parents for giving this gift. When is it too soon to get them helping out with the chores? No, joking aside. 3 year olds naturally love to help out. I think this is a great looking gift that the kids will absolutely love. Check the current price of the set on Amazon. Last time I looked it was very reasonable and so cute!
THE BEST GIFT FOR A 3 YEAR OLD UNDER $100
Kids Kick Scooter
At 3 years old, kids love nothing more than feeling the wind in their hair and the thrill of the speed of a scooter. Our two 3 year olds love their scooters. They turn a boring trip to the grocery store into an exciting activity. They keep my kids active and they are nice and safe with the handlebars so there are fewer accidents. The Kids Kick Scooter (Amazon link to which ones I bought), a perfect gift.
Laugh & Learn Servin’ Up Food Truck
My niece has this adorable little Food Truck by Fisher-Price (Amazon link). She absolutely loves it. I can’t tell you how many times I have been a customer of hers at the food truck! This is definitely on my “to buy” list for my 3 year olds. They would love it.
PAW Patrol My Size Lookout Tower
This Paw Patrol lookout tower (Amazon link) is great fun. It’s really big. My two loved the little escape slide from the top. It also has lights, sounds and a little periscope coming out of the top. They have played with it for hours. It’s the start of so many creative adventures for my 3 year olds.
THE BEST GIFT FOR A 3 YEAR OLD BOY
John Deere Sandbox Vehicle Set
These tough little trucks look like they would be so much fun in the sandbox. WIth working dumping and pushing actions. Great value too. I always remember one of my favorite toys, when I was little, was a sandbox dump truck. So when I saw these they reminded me of happy times. And if the dad is a John Deere fan then your onto a winner with these sandbox trucks (Amazon link).
3-in-1 Triple Splash T-Ball Set
If I had a son who was 3 years old. This Triple Splash T-Ball set (Amazon link) would be one of the first toys I would buy him. Whats not to like? Batting practice where they can step on the pedal and load the ball themselves. Then when they improve they can spring the ball into the air. And even better, you can connect a hose and they can bat with the ball held up on a jet of water. How cool is that?
Harley Davidson Tough Trike
This obviously has nothing to do with me wanting a Harley Davidson for myself but how cool would it be to see your precious little dude rolling around the garden on this Tough Trike (Amazon link) with shades on. It looks cool, it’s tough and well made and it keeps them fit and active. I love it.
THE BEST GIFT FOR A 3 YEAR OLD GIRL
Starlight Princess Tent
We recently bought one of these Starlight Princess tents from Amazon (Link to listing). My girls absolutely love it. The fairy lights that come with the tent make it look absolutely magical. They play in it, read in it, nap in it. It’s like a beautiful little safe haven for them. It has seen so much love already, and we use it indoor and out. You wont be disappointed.
Scoop & Learn Ice Cream Cart
The girls have had this ice cream cart (Amazon link) for about a year now and it still sees almost daily use. I have had so many (play) ice creams from it. I’m thankful they weren’t real ice creams or I would be very unfit! It has music, a till and lots of fun ordering cards, so the girls can play on their own with it too.
If the little girl you are buying for loves Barbie, then you can’t go wrong with the classic dream camper (Amazon link). There are so many options for pretend play. With a pool, dining room and bathroom. Plus all the little camping items that every Barbie needs for their dream trip. Plus I think it’s much better value and more compact than the Barbie Mansion.
THE BEST GIFT FOR A 3 YEAR OLD WHO HAS TOO MANY TOYS
The Day the Crayons Quit
The Day the Crayons Quit (Amazon link). Is one of my and my girl’s favorite books. We have read it hundreds of times. It’s actually starting to look a bit worse for wear. It is hilarious, and it really paints a wonderful picture of the tiny personalities of each crayon. My girls have even started to look at their crayons as if they have tiny little lives! I loved it. Anyone would love this book as a present.
THE WONDERFUL THINGS YOU WILL BE
This book is gorgeous. The words, the art, and the sentiment it has are all beautiful. I actually think I get more enjoyment out of reading this to the girls than they do (and they absolutely love it). It’s such a positive message about love for your children. It makes me well up with tears and feel warm and fuzzy inside. You have to read The Wonderful Things You Will Be (Amazon link)
DRAGONS LOVE TACOS
Dragons Love Tacos (Amazon link). Is another classic in our house. It’s simple, silly and fun. My two have almost memorized the whole book by now. It’s often requested as a bedtime story. It’s got dragons, tacos, and spicy salsa. What’s not to love?
THE BEST TECH GIFT FOR A 3 YEAR OLD
Kids Walkie Talkies
I used to have a set of Walkie talkies like these (Amazon link) when I was a kid. They were used nearly every day. I remember in epic games of hide and seek, these Walkie Talkies were our game changing superpower. “He’s coming over to the bush your hid in, ruuuuuun!”. Good times.
Kidizoom Duo Selfie Camera
My 3 year old’s love to take photos. They are always asking for my phone to take them. That’s why I bought them this Kidizoom camera (Amazon link). It’s easy to hold and use and it takes great quality pics for a toddler camera. They have had so much fun with it. I let them print out some of their favorites which they have on their bedroom wall. It’s a wonderfully creative present for any 3 year old.
Kidizoom Smartwatch DX2
My 3 year old’s were recently at a party and they were both very interested in a friends Kidizoom Smartwatch (Amazon link). I walked over to see what all the fuss was about, I thought it’s just a children’s toy. But I was very impressed with what it could do. Two cameras, motion sensor, pedometer, games. I kind of want an adult version now. If I was 3, I would be over the moon with this as a present.
THE BEST GIFT FOR A 3 YEAR OLD WITH AUTISM
LED Light Projector
I bought one of these LED Projector Lights (Amazon link)for my kids when they were born. I was shocked at just how much they loved it from the very first time I turned it on. It’s so calming for them at night, they still love it even today, years later. This has been by far the best sensory toy I have ever bought for them. I think it would be an ideal present for a child with autism.
My Moods, My Choices Flipbook
Communication can be difficult and frustrating for any child and especially for those with autism. That’s why I think this flipbook would be a lifesaver for any child struggling to get their feelings across to an adult. Emotions are difficult to understand, even some adults haven’t got to grips with them yet. This flipbook (Amazon link) would be an amazingly useful and educational gift.
I had to include the famous monkey noodles (Amazon link) in this section. They are fun, bright and super stretchy. My kids love playing with them. They’ve had so much use for such a simple, fun and colorful little toy. Brilliant value for what I paid for them. Best value sensory toy I can think of.
THE BEST GIFT FOR A 3 YEAR OLD WHO LOVES DINOSAURS
Realistic Dinosaur Toy Pack
This Dino Toy Pack (Amazon link) is all some kids need to create their own Jurrasic world. Don’t underestimate the power of a 3 year old’s imagination. With these 12 realistic looking little dinos they could be busy for hours. I love toys like these, they are timeless. You know for a fact they will get used day after day.
Dino Egg Dig Kit
I bought a Dino Egg Digging kit (Amazon link) like this for my girls a while back. They loved using the little tools to uncover the dinosaurs inside. It kept them busy for ages. It has information cards inside too. They can learn all about the dinosaurs that they are slowly uncovering. I was super happy with this toy and the amount of fun they got out of it.
Realistic Walking Dinosaur
A friend of my girls has this Realistic Walking Dinosaur (Amazon link). They all play with it when we visit on play dates. I remember the first time my girls saw it when they were a little younger (around 2) they started screaming and crying! Haha. They are older, wiser, and definitely less scared now. In fact, they love playing with it.
THE BEST LEARNING GIFT FOR A 3 YEAR OLD
PicassoTiles 60Pc Set
PicassoTiles are the winners of plenty of awards and you can see why. They are a fun and easy building toy that’s extra colorful. Any 3 year old will get years of use building with these colorful magnetic tiles. My girls have played with these at a local playgroup. The PicassoTiles (Amazon link) are always in demand.
Gears! Gears! Gears! Building Set
The Gears! Gear! Gears! (Amazon link) building set is so much fun. I plan to buy it for my girls as a present in the future. I saw it on display in a toy store and I ended up playing with it (which is always a good sign I think). Just look at it, you can’t help but want to turn those gears to see what happens!
Solid Wood Building Blocks
Who didn’t play with solid wood building blocks when they were a child? They are so timeless and allow children to be so creative. They are an absolute must for any 3 year old to boost their creativity. I purchased these great quality Melissa & Doug ones from Amazon. A timeless classic.
THE BEST SCIENCE / STEM GIFT FOR A 3 YEAR OLD
STEM Jr. Wonder Lab
The Wonder lab (Amazon link) was a Toy Of The Year 2019 finalist. This lab has 40 experiments to keep even the most inquisitive 3 year old busy. As well as lights and sounds. I would love to buy this for my 3 year olds. To encourage them to explore the world around them through STEM subjects. I think this would be the perfect gift for any child who loves science like I did when I was young.
My First Microscope
I had a toy microscope when I was a child. I used it all summer. Looking at bugs I found and anything else I could get my hands on. Microscopes spark an interest in science and the natural world that is difficult to do with other toys. GIve a 3 year old a microscope and you just might find they spend hours looking through it at everything they can find. This microscope (Amazon link) is the best I found for the value and quality.
Construction Engineering Blocks
I don’t think I would trust my 3 year olds with a metal Meccano set. But I wanted them to have fun, like I did, letting their imaginations run wild with a building set. I found this Construction set which is made from plastic. It still has all the fun but is a lot safer for my little ones. I bought my construction set from Amazon
THE BEST DOLL AS A GIFT FOR A 3 YEAR OLD
Mine to love Jenna Doll
I was really struggling to choose between two dolls to recommend as my favorite for a 3 year old. But I will have to go with this soft-bodied doll from Melissa and Doug (Amazon link). It is a little safer and more robust for younger 3 year olds. My two 3 year olds both have one each and they love it. The perfect size and very huggable because of the soft body. Melissa & Doug really do make the best quality toys.
Newborn Anatomically Correct Baby Girl Doll
This was my other choice when I was choosing a doll for my two 3 year olds. I decided to go for the Melissa and Doug Doll but this doll was the other best one I found. It just looked so real. I eventually decided that it would be better suited for when they were older. You have to have a look at this doll (Amazon link), it’s so well done.
My FIrst Doll Stroller
Ok, so this isn’t a doll, it’s a pram. But my kids love putting their dolls in this pram and wheeling them around all day long. I just had to include it as I think it would be an excellent gift for a child who already has a favorite doll. Have a look at the pram here (Amazon link). It’s really good looking and well made. It packs away well too.
THE BEST ECO-FRIENDLY GIFT FOR A 3 YEAR OLD
Build a Bouquet Floral Arrangement
This flower arranging set (Amazon link) is a really fun toy. It gets a lot of play time from my two 3 year olds. It was bought for them as a birthday present from a very environmentally conscious friend. The whole toy is made from recycled materials. Which is absolutely amazing, knowing how important it is to cut down on plastics.
Sand Play Set
When my 3 year olds received the flower arranging set which I mentioned above. I was so happy with the product and surprised at how eco-friendly it was, I looked at what other toys the company (Green Toys) produced. I had wanted to buy the girls a set for our sandbox so I picked this Sand Play Set (Amazon link). I wasn’t disappointed. They look great and the girls love them.
Pound & Tap Bench with Xylophone
Our twins have enjoyed Hape wooden toys for a few years now. This Pound & Tap Bench (Amazon link) is their favorite. It keeps them busy for hours. It’s also main from sustainable wood and non-toxic paint. We have never had a bad Hape toy. I will always recommend them to my friends.