Best Educational Toys For 3 Year Olds – We independently review everything we recommend. When you make a purchase through our links, we may receive a commission. Learn more>
At 3 years old, the gift-giving game changes. Most children probably know what they want. Many of them will have more opinions, interests and language to express their excitement than before. But this excitement does not negate a good surprise. “Often the idea of receiving a gift is what excites them, not necessarily the gift,” says Heather Singh, director of educational programs at Thinkery, a children’s museum in Austin, Texas.
Best Educational Toys For 3 Year Olds
Three-year-olds are ready for toys that encourage lots of imaginative play, says Singh. Therefore, open-ended toys that inspire creative storytelling and interaction are better than one-trick pony toys. Toys and clothes that allow for role-playing and board games that encourage group interaction promote the development of social skills in 3-year-olds. And many kids this age are ready for faster, softer toys — like scooters and tricycles — that reward their growing body confidence.
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We’ve got toy suggestions from Singh and other trainers below. Our staff members have added a variety of keepsakes that have experienced the best in the lives of 3-year-olds. If you’re looking for more baby gifts, check out our guide to the best gifts for 1 year olds, 2 year olds, 4 year olds, 5 year olds, 6 year olds, 7 year olds, 8 year olds, and 9 year olds. and 10-year-olds, as well as fantastic stocking stuffers for kids. (We also have gift guides for teens and tweens.) Because children are so different in personality, interests, and development, we recommend taking these age recommendations with a grain of salt. And please share your best ideas in the comments below.
Cooperative board games, where players work toward a common goal instead of competing against each other, are ideal for 3-year-olds who are learning to follow directions, take turns, and work in groups. Count Your Chickens is a favorite with preschoolers and parents at Toybrary Austin, our local Texas library. Players team up to return a mother hen’s chicks to the cage. It’s simple and, just as importantly, quick – perfect for a 3-year-old’s attention span. (Once you’ve mastered the art of herding chickens, try The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game, another great co-op board game for beginners, or Go Away Monster, a silly touch game that we recommend in our guide to the best board games for We recommend you guys, check it out…)
It’s hard to go wrong with a gift of new art supplies. My son got a set of these dot markers when he was 3 (and just started obsessing over rainbows this year). These sticks are easy for little hands to grip and the colors are vivid enough to look bright on cardboard boxes as well as plain paper. I love that they have the feel of the colors but with less mess and effort. You may want to pair them with paper or additional art supplies, such as scissors and a glue stick.
During the long, early days of sheltering in place, one of the toys that kept my preschooler reasonably busy was Melissa and Doug’s 100-piece Safari Floor Puzzle. Even after the world began to open up, it remained in high gear. Large, durable pieces were easy for him to manipulate (plus hard to lose). And since there were 100 pieces, the puzzle challenged him and held his attention for more than five minutes. My son loves wild animals, so this particular theme, with giraffes, elephants and rhinos in the savannah, appealed to him. Melissa and Doug also offer a 100-piece underwater puzzle with a similar collection of underwater creatures. If 100 pieces seems too daunting, start with one of Melissa and Doug’s 48-piece puzzles instead (dinosaurs and the solar system are two options).
Best Stem Toys For 3 Year Olds
Toys that do double duty are my favorite for my two kids, and these eight colorful cookies provide learning and fun in equal measure. Each candy separates to reveal a different shape, the tops matching the bottoms and the bottoms matching the corresponding divisions in the pan. My younger son enjoys the challenge of sorting shapes and identifying colors together. My preschooler uses these baked goods in pretend baking games, picnic scenarios, pretend shopping trips, and more. This collection is nearly indestructible, and I find myself picking it up every night while cleaning my room—a sure sign it’s forever in rotation.
Bugzzle is basically a tangram – a puzzle of geometric pieces that can be arranged into different shapes – for toddlers. An early STEM toy that provides a gentle and visual introduction to fractions, Bugzzle includes a sturdy shape frame, 18 half-round plastic puzzles and 40 cards with increasingly difficult patterns to recreate within the shapes. My 2 1/2 year old is a little young to match the cards. She mostly enjoys just making her own designs or coordinating pieces in a solid color. However, a friend’s 3-year-old can recreate the patterns using the problem-solving and spatial reasoning skills that Bugzzle is designed to foster. For a more traditional format, Melissa & Doug pattern blocks and boards encourage the same critical thinking skills as Bugzzle using colorful wooden shapes.
My 3-year-old loves every part of this Jenga-style stacking game for kids: the spinning and calling of the rolled paint, the precise removal of each block, and the dramatic collapse that indicates victory or defeat. He even likes to completely redo the tower layout, which is objectively the worst part of real Jenga. Admittedly, playing according to strict instructions can be difficult—you have to remove each bug block by yourself, which isn’t easy. But once you create loose and forgiving rules, the game is fun, fast and engaging for all ages.
Welcome to Jazz: A Swing-Along Celebration of America’s Music, featuring “When the Saints Go Marching In” by Carolyn Sloan, illustrated by Jessica Gibson ($18 at time of publication).
Best Learning Toys For 2 Year Olds
By Carolyn Sloan My 2-year-old (who I initially thought might be a little young for an introduction to jazz) immediately picked up this book – from the vibrant illustrations that include three cats learning the origins of jazz to the 12 Button to play different parts of “When the Saints Go Marching In” when pressed. (A 3-year-old might be in a better position to enjoy it.) My son loves hearing the deep double bass, the bouncy rhythm section, the free-flowing scat—and he’s learning the names of jazz legends like Billie Holiday. . And King Oliver is a musical introduction we can all get behind.
By age 3, some children show an interest in picking up a pencil and trying to form letters or numbers. This magnetic writing board is a basic handwriting tool that’s fun, tactile, and even semi-addictive. Kids use a thick magnetic pen to trace letters by dragging small metal beads in place. The beads are enclosed, so they cannot be found or lost. Directional arrows help budding writers know where to start and end each letter. Kid O also makes a Magnatab to practice numbers. For free magnetic drawing and writing, it offers a simple slate. (Kid O also sells replacement pens in case you lose yours.) We also like the Boogie Board Scribble n’ Play, which has an LCD surface that feeds a colorless pen that you can erase with the push of a button. do.
Kids will love opening this box, packed with a variety of craft supplies and instructions for making 16 projects. They can turn tissue paper, crayons, glue eyes, pipe cleaners, paste, stickers and more into animals, puppets, collages and pictures, or use materials and ideas as a starting point for their creativity. I like that the creature shapes are sturdy enough to be used as templates to trace and cut out the paper versions – to keep the fun going even longer.
IKEA’s colorful polyester play tents offer long-lasting fun at low prices. The youngest children may enjoy playing hide and seek inside or peeking behind the curtain. Three-year-olds may like to load them up with stuffed animals, use them as a private place to play or relax, or turn them into rocket ships. I can attest to their durability: we had a rocket that lasted at least five years, and during that time there were many disastrous rockets. The IKEA bus play tunnel, which we recommend in our guide to the best gifts for 2 year olds, pairs beautifully with the circus tent and was another hit with my kids.
Best Toys For 5 Year Olds 2022
My child’s peer group absolutely loves pretend play and dress up. One minute they’re doctors, the next firefighters, and at one point they’re all split into different versions of Spider-Man on a team-up mission to bring down the house. While these Melissa and Doug costume sets don’t offer options for superhero heads, they do allow kids to take on the roles of real-life heroic professionals like a vet or a pediatric nurse. Each outfit comes with accessories – a hard hat, hammer and saw for the construction worker. A fedora, a pair of sunglasses, and a deciphering lens for a spy – that’s the setting