The BEST Toys for 3-Year-Olds

Looking for the best toy for a 3-year-old?


I have some amazing learning and play toy ideas that will be a HUGE hit! My little ones are currently 3 and 5, so I feel like I am an expert when it comes to the best toys out there for this age group.


It’s the best feeling to give gifts to kids that they will enjoy and use repeatedly. It drives me crazy when toys just sit on the shelves for months, and they don’t get played with. I promise you, with the toys on this list, that won’t happen!


Let’s get started with my list of The 30 BEST Toys for 3-Year-Olds!


Toy #1: Connetix Magnet Blocks


Connetix Magnet Blocks are one of the most popular open-ended toys on the market.


Kids can build many different structures with them, make patterns, create shapes, put them on the fridge, the list can go on and on.

Connetix Shop

Ways to Play


A. Build structures


Build amazing structures with Connetix Tiles! Let your little one’s creative juices flow by allowing them to come with their own design ideas or help them come up with a plan. Create castles, a car garage for their vehicles, or a home for their toys!


My kids love dinosaurs at the moment! They love building dinosaur cages!



B. Practice letter/number learning


Write on the blocks using a chalk marker! It wipes right off using a wet wipe. Make a letter match or create a number line. Have even more fun by doing this on the dishwasher, fridge, or even the garage door outside!



C. Color Sorting


Work on those fine motor and color matching skills with this fun sorting activity. It’s SO simple to put together and the kids will love being able to use kid-friendly tweezers.


Toy #2: Learning Puzzles


If you have seen my other articles or a part of my Instagram community, you know about my love for puzzles.


Puzzles are how my kids learned their letters, numbers, colors, and shapes as toddlers. I don’t like to brag about this, but I am very passionate about telling you what works so you can do this at home with your kids.


learning puzzles

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This set is the best because you get three puzzles, and they are all Disney-themed! You can’t beat that.


Ways to Play




For your child to learn best with these puzzles, you need to work with them and do them quite often. I suggest at least once a day! Even if you just pick one to work on each day, going over the letters, numbers or shapes daily will help teach your little one.



B. Independent play


Once your child knows some of the letters, numbers, or shapes, see if they can figure out where each puzzle piece goes!


C. Games


Hide the puzzle pieces around the house and have your little ones search for them. Once they find a piece, they can bring it back to the puzzle and place it where it belongs!


RELATED: The BEST Learning Toys for Toddlers


Toy #3: LEGO’s


LEGO’s have quickly become one of our favorite toys around here. We have DUPLO and the classic set as well for my 5-year-old.


Both are fantastic! I am going to first talk to you about the DUPLO blocks! This is a great set because you can build a whole bunch of different things; it’s not a themed set.


Lego Duple blocks

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Ways to Play


A. Build structures


We buy LEGOs to build, right?! Let your kiddos go to town and build whatever structure they like. It doesn’t even have to be anything specific. My kids love to be creative and make their own buildings from video games they like to play, imaginary castles, etc.


B. Letter building


Play and learn by creating letters of the alphabet with my LEGO letter-building worksheets! Letters A-Z are available!


LEGO Letters Mat




or… if you have older ones, you can practice


Word building


I love using LEGO blocks to work on spelling and sight word building with my 5-year-old. What a fun way to practice sight words, right? Write letters on the blocks with a dry erase marker to build specific words. You can write the full word on a bigger LEGO piece, and then they can use the blocks to match up the letters to create the word.


C. Bath time with blocks


You will thank me after this recommendation! Bring your LEGO blocks into the bath with your little ones. They will love filling them up with water and also creating things that can float in the water!


RELATED: Teaching Resources


Toy #4: Mideer Puzzles


I love puzzles because they help kids use their critical thinking skills! I especially love puzzles like this that can help kids learn after they build!


This space puzzle is amazing from Mideer products. This one is especially unique from other puzzles out there because it’s a circle shape! The kids wanted to create this one over and over!


space puzzle

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Ways to play


A. Build the puzzle


Work on this puzzle as a family or challenge your child to build it on their own! This is a puzzle that grows with kids, which makes it perfect for preschoolers and early elementary-aged kids!


B. Teach the planets


Build this puzzle and then review the planets with your kids! Also, teach them some important facts about each planet.



C. Shape Building


Here’s another Mideer puzzle product we love! This is a magnet set that kids can build vehicles with!


My 3-year-old LOVED this puzzle. This is great for STEM skills.


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Talk about different forms of transportation with this fun magnetic puzzle. Also, have the kids work on building skills by showing the cards to the kids to see if they can build each one!


Toy #5: Marble Run


Some open-ended toys are excellent because they teach children how to use problem-solving skills.


Marble run is a fun toy for kids! It challenges them to build structures to allow the marble to go through the tubes to make it to the bottom. However, kids need to use critical thinking skills to create the structure, so it stands and allows the marble to make it through the towers.


marble run

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Ways to Play


A. Ideas from the book


There is a booklet that shows different designs that you can create for the marbles to go through. These designs can be helpful in the beginning when learning how to work with the blocks with this toy.


B. Create your own


Most of the time, we create our own marble track. What I love about this is that there are a lot of fails in the design. I stated earlier that this is a great toy to practice problem-solving skills. Have your kiddos try to figure out how to fix any issues.


Marble Run STEM engineering toy


C.  Marble races with two towers


Create two separate towers; they can be the same or different, and see which marble can make it to the bottom first! The kids will go WILD for this activity. They won’t want to stop doing it :).




Toy #6: Me Reader


We’ve had our Me Reader for about 3 years. In the beginning, my daughter just listened to the stories; now, she is actually reading the stories without the Me Reader.


These stories have been her favorite ones to read lately! She is so proud of herself for reading these books, and I am proud of her too!


me reader books

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Ways to Play:


A. Listening


The Me Reader is designed for your little one to flip the book’s pages and click on the shape that matches the page to hear the story. If your little one is too little to do this, you can do this part for them.


B. Looking at the pages


Looking and imagining what’s happening in the story is an excellent activity for kids. They will create ideas about the story, discover different characters, and learn about different settings.


C. Reading


Once your child gets old enough, they can start reading the books on their own without the Me Reader. Even if they have memorized the words to the book, this is still helpful because they see the words on the page and recognize them.


RELATED: Engaging Sight Words Activities For Kids


Toy #7: Blocks Rock!


These wooden blocks are AMAZING! We have a set and we just adore them! There are so many learn and play activities that you can do with these.


I love STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) toys. They have the kids use critical thinking skills as well as their creativity.


blocks rock

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Ways to Play


A. Color Match


The kids got to be active in this activity! I placed some colored tape on the floor. Then, the kids matched up the colored blocks with the correct squares on the floor.


B. Math Comparisons


Grab my FREE printable on my website for these blocks! These are great for work on math comparisons like greater than, less than, and equal. Use a dry erase folder to do this activity over and over again.


Click HERE for your FREE Blocks Rock Math Sheet


C. Building Competitions


Use their building cards to do building competitions to see who can build their towers faster. Ring the bell when they are finished!


Check out the video below to see how these activities are done! 



RELATED: STEM Toys for Kids 


Toy #8: TOOB Toys


I keep on purchasing more and more of these TOOB toys by Safari LTD. There are so many different options to choose from. They have animals, insects, cars and so many more options!


These figures are small, which is fantastic because you can use them in so many different ways.


toob toys

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Ways to Play


A. Sensory play


My kids LOVE these little animals or figures in sensory bins that I create! They also really love covering them in play-doh or slime. They are perfect for creating small world set-ups! Check out this one I did this fall season using our farm toys.

fall sensory play


B. Painting


Kids love creating process art! It’s so fun to watch them create projects and be as creative as they want. We have used these small animals when painting by doing dinosaur footprints and bug prints. The possibilities are endless, and it’s a blast!


C. Sorting activities


We have a large collection of these toys. There are times that I dump them out, and we sort the animals by category. For example, they find water animals, insects, and artic animals and separate them.


Toy #9: Play Kitchen


There is an endless amount of activities you can do with a play kitchen and fake food!


We’ve had this play kitchen for about 5 years, and the kids still play with it at least once a day.



play kitchen

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Ways to Play


A. Dramatic play


We have played restaurant, grocery store, cooking lessons, baking play, and many more dramatic play scenarios with our play kitchen. The kids love pretending to work in the kitchen to whip things up for us to pretend to eat. I love their imagination that goes into these dramatic play activities. Each time we play, it’s different, which makes it still engaging and interesting to the kids.


B. Food group sort


Learning how to sort food into their correct category is a great homeschool lesson for kids that is simple to pull off! On a cardboard piece, I wrote the category names at the top, and then we worked on sorting the foods into their groups. This is a great way to teach kids what is healthy and what foods are not healthy.


food group sort


C. Create recipes


This kitchen comes with measuring cups, pretend condiments, cups, and utensils. Come up with some recipes with the fake food and kitchen supplies for your kids to make. They will LOVE this activity and want to do it over and over again. Plus, it’s great practice for learning how to cook and understand what measurements are.


fake food for kids

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Toy #10: LeapFrog Smart Building Blocks


The LeapFrog Smart Build Blocks are one of the coolest toys that I have come across!


Kids get to use the blocks to play, create, and learn! It’s an interactive toy, which is nice because it’ll tell your kiddo what each letter is!


This is nice because you aren’t able to teach your child every moment of the day. This is a toy that they can listen to and learn along with.


LeapFrog Smart Building Blocks

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Kids can build with the blocks and interact with the alphabet by placing the letters in a spot where it will tell them which one it is and a word that starts with the letter.


How to help your child learn with this toy:


A. Focus on learning about 1-2 letters per until your child starts recognizing some of the letters. Keep on repeating those letters they know, along with 1-2 new letters!


B.. Point out the different letters to your child, and if they are old enough, ask them to find specific letters to place in the playset.


C.  For older learners, have your child place the letters in order on the playset in a specific spot, just a few at a time, because it’s not big enough to put the whole alphabet in one place.


Specifically, for alphabet learning, the phonics house is excellent! They also make different Smart Blocks; take a look here to see all their products to help with learning skills. 


Toy #11: Play-Doh


Play-Doh is a HUGE hit around here! Do your kids love Play-Doh as much mine? My kids could play with it for hours when we pull all the pieces and parts out.


I wish this were around when I bought all my Play-Doh supplies! This is amazing that shapes, numbers, tools, and animal cut-outs are all together in one pack!



play-doh set for kids

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Ways to Play


A. Number and shape recognition


 Included in this pack are number stamps and shape cut-outs. Play-doh is an excellent sensory activity for kids and a hands-on learning experience. Kids will learn to recognize shapes and numbers through this fun way of learning because it will create a fun memory for them.


B. Play-Doh Tray Play


I enjoy creating tray play activities for my kids; it gets my creative juices flowing.


You need some loose parts (pom-poms, sequins, feathers, googly eyes, popsicle sticks, and pipe cleaners). You place these in an organizational tray and let the kids use their imaginations to create something with the objects you placed in front of them. Here is an example of the Toy Story themed Play-Doh tray I did.


toy story play-doh tray play


C. Practice fine motor skills


When kids use the Play-Doh tools, they use fine motor skills. I love Play-Doh accessories, too, because they are safe for kids to use! There is a roller cutter, a small plastic knife, and scissors. Using these tools will help them develop small muscles in their hands to build their fine motor skills!


Toy #12: Kinetic Sand


Kinetic sand is one of my favorite sensory bin fillers! I use it for letter and number learning sensory activities.


Not only is it great for learning, but it feels AMAZING! Every time I have it out for my kids and my husband is around, I always catch him playing with it too!


kinetic sand for kids

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Ways to Play


A. Building with sand toys


Included in the pack are a few sand toys that your kids can use to build castles in the sand. Building castles is easy for even toddlers to do with this type of sand! You can also use sand toys that you play with outside too! The kids also enjoy hiding toys inside the castles we make so they can search for them with the tools.


B. Sight word sensory bin


I created a construction-themed sensory bin for both my kids to play with. My younger one (2 yo) worked on alphabet recognition with the stones, while my older one (5yo) worked on sight word building. This was such a hit with both kids. Along with the kinetic sand, there are small stones and construction vehicles in this bin.

construction sensory sight word bin


C. Shape puzzle


Create a shape puzzle by putting shape blocks inside the kinetic sand! Use shapes from a shape puzzle to create the design of each puzzle piece into the sand. Pick up the pieces and have your kids try to match up the shapes in the correct spot.


RELATED: The BEST 22 Sensory Bins For Kids


Toy #13: Easel


Do you have a child who loves art? Easels are a perfect toy for kids to work on a bunch of different art projects!


The best part about having an easel is the giant paper. Having the large butcher paper is great for your kids to do art projects on the easel, and I also use the paper for different projects, not on the easel.

easel for kids art

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Ways to Play


A. Free Draw


Let your little one draw, paint, or color with different supplies! Let them create whatever they want! This is an excellent way for kids to show their creativity and imagination!


B. Draw/paint the season


This is one of my favorite activities to do on BIG paper! Write the season at the top of the page. Brainstorm with your little one what objects, foods, weather, clothing, etc. remind them of the season that it is.  We used our watercolor set to paint for this activity. This is an excellent homeschooling activity for preschoolers!


season water color art


C. Spray the letters/numbers


There is a chalkboard on the other side of the easel! How awesome is that, right? Write the letters of the alphabet or numbers that you want to work on with chalk. Fill a spray bottle with water and ask your child to squirt a specific number/letter!


RELATED: 23 SIMPLE Number Recognition Activities


Toy #14: Moonlight Stories


Do you do a bedtime story with your kids at night?


The Moonlight Story set is a different way to tell stories. Turn off the light and watch the story unfold by listening and watching the pictures appear on the wall!


moonlight stories

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There aren’t a whole bunch of different ways to play with this toy; I just had to include it on my list because it’s such a neat spin on reading!


I can’t wait to see her face when we turn off the lights and start listening to the story at bedtime!



Toy #15: Cash Register


Looking for a fun way to introduce the concept of money to your little ones?


A toy cash register can be used for so many different play scenarios to show your child about the different coins, dollars, and how to give change.


toy cash register

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Ways to Play


A. Coin sorting


Coin sorting activities are a great way to introduce the concept of money to your kids. I have a Money Learning Packet available for you to work on these skills with your kids. Use the coins and the dollars to bring these worksheet activities to life to help your kids learn about money.

coin sort worksheet

CLICK HERE to grab your FREE Money Learning Packet


B. Play store


This can be any type of store! The grocery, ice cream shop, restaurant, Starbucks, Target are some of our favorite pretend scenarios. Have your child ring up the items, type it in the cash register, and then return change if needed! This is a play-based learning strategy that will help teach the concept of money.


C. Add money


While playing store, switch roles, and have them be the person who buys the products. Work together with your child to add the money to see if they have enough to buy each item. Inside the Money Learning Packet, there are also activities to add pennies, dimes, quarters, and dollars along with this fun who has more activity! 


adding money


RELATED: Teaching Resources


Toy #16: Jumbo Droppers


I just got these for us to use at home, and we are LOVING them!


The kids enjoy the colors of them, and they know when they get brought out that they are doing a fun art or science project.

jumbo droppers for kids

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Ways to Play


A. Mixing colors


Kids loving creating their own “potions” by combining colors with these droppers. The best thing about this is that it’s super simple to set up. You need a few clear cups, depending on what colors you want to use, food coloring, and a larger clear jar our cup to create the potion in. Put some water and a few drops of food coloring in each small cup. Place the color droppers inside the cups with the food coloring. Let your little one choose which ones they want to add into the larger jar, and let the fun begin!


B. Rainbow cloud experiment


This is one of my favorite experiments to do with my kids! In a clear glass, fill it 3/4 of the way full with water. Then, squirt a thin layer of men’s foam shaving cream on the top. Drop a few drops of food coloring on the top of the shaving cream, and voila! Check out this beautiful rainbow in a glass! Your kids will love watching the colors in the glass.



3. Dropper learning


Break a longer piece of paper towel off and write a few numbers or letters with different colors scattered all over it. In a few separate cups, fill the cup 1/2 full of water with a few drops of food coloring, depending on what colors you want to use! Call out a number or letter you want your little one to find. With the dropper, they will squeeze up the color liquid and squirt it on the paper towel! This is a fun and great way to practice recognition skills.


dropper number activity

RELATED: How to Teach Toddler Colors (9 SIMPLE strategies)


Toy #16: Slime Kit


Are your kids obsessed with slime as much as mine? The Nickelodeon slime kit is the best! I don’t know why this isn’t actually at the top of my list!


My kids play with this slime kit almost daily! Slime is just a blast to play with! 


slime kit for kids

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*There are some parts in this toy, so make sure to have a parent watching children who are younger playing with this toy.*

When playing with slime, I also suggest grabbing an art smock. This way, your little ones’ clothes won’t get slime all over it when they are playing!

art smock

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Ways to play


A. Create blends


There are SO many different colors to choose from in this set. Mix colors to see what they would change into! See if you mix the colors if they would make a new color!


B. Add in the extras


You get some little foam balls, pom-poms, and sequins to add in the same. This will change the consistency. This is a great sensory activity for the kids to explore!


C. Cover toys


Grab those TOOB toys or other small figures and cover them with the slime! My kids love doing this activity the most. They love pretending and imagining by doing this activity.


Toy #17: Vehicles


Toy vehicles are the best because they can be used both indoor and outdoor play!


My kids have played with cars on our carpet, kitchen floor, outside on the grass, on tables, you get the drift. They can be used anywhere, which makes them a fantastic open-ended toy.


cars for kids

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Ways to Play


A. Painter’s tape road


This is fun and easy to create. Race cars by creating a road with painter’s tape! Have the kids race little vehicles, remote control cars, or even robots if they have them!


B. Cardboard box play


We had a giant cardboard box, and we created a little town set up with it! We used markers and do-a-dot markers to make the town. The kids used trains and cars that we had to play with! They played the entire day with this set-up.


C. Car washing Sensory Bin


I created this color car wash sensory bin for my kids to play with. It was the biggest hits with them. To pull this bin off, I mixed men’s foam shaving cream and food coloring together. I scooped it out of the bowl and placed it all in a container. If you don’t want to color it, you can just use white shaving cream; it’ll work just as well!


car washing sensory bin


Toy #18: Sports balls


Yes, that simple, a ball!


There are ENDLESS amounts of gross activities that can be done with a ball for kids. I am a physical education teacher, and one of the must-haves in my gym is a bunch of playground balls.




ball set for kids

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Ways to Play


1. Throw and catch


Practice throwing and catching skills with the football and basketball! Show your child the correct way to throw the ball underhand and overhand. These are critical gross motor skills that will help them later on when playing sports and games at school with their friends. Make sure to have them step with one foot towards their target, throw with one hand, and aim for their partner’s hands!


RELATED: 14 PROVEN Basketball Drills For 5-Year-Olds


2. Kick and trap


Soccer is one of the best games for little ones because it’s all about running and kicking! Also, work on trapping and passing skills by passing back and forth with this soft soccer ball!


5 year old soccer spot shot

RELATED: 26 Soccer Activities for 5-Year-Olds


3. Aiming skills


With the soccer ball, practice how to kick the ball to a target like a soccer goal or in-between cones. If you also have a smaller basketball hoop, you can practice aiming skills in the basket! Your kiddo will be a step above the rest if they start practicing these gross motor skills at a young age. Plus, it’ll boost their confidence if they practice these skills! They will be more willing to play in the future if they know some skills already.


Toy #18: Letter Learning Locks


Most children’s toys focus on upper case letters, which is excellent. However, if kids only know uppercase letters, when it comes time to reading, they will be lost.


That’s why kids must learn both upper and lower case letters!


Learning locks upper and lower case alphabet

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These letter locks connect which upper case and lower case letters go together by putting the correct key in the lock! The lock won’t open unless the right key is placed inside.


How to help your child learn with this toy:


A. For younger children, pick 3 letter locks and put them in a line. Ask your child to find a specific letter if they know their letters already.


B. Explain to them that there are upper case and lower case letters. They may see either of them when you read stories to them. Even though they may look different or smaller, they are still the same letter.


C. Show them the lower case letter key for whatever letter lock you are asking them to find. Talk to them about what letter it is and how they can unlock the lock with the key!


E. Repeat and show once more the upper and lower case letters before moving onto the next letter.


RELATED: FUN Fine Motor Activities


Toy #19: Scooter for Preschoolers

Our scooter that my preschooler has is her #1 favorite toy.


She’s on that thing every time we go outside! We even took it on our latest family vacation so she could ride it around the town. I couldn’t recommend this toy more!



scooter for toddlers

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Ways to Play


Materials to extend learning: sidewalk chalk and toddler’s helmet


A. Start slow


Whenever you introduce a new concept, have your little ones start slow. Show them how to use the scooter correctly. Also, show them the importance of putting on a helmet correctly whenever using the scooter.


B. Switch feet


Once they gain some confidence, have them try to switch which foot is on the scooter and which one is on the ground pushing off. This will develop good coordination, gross motor skills, and balance on both legs!


C. Scoot to the shape


With sidewalk chalk, draw a bunch of different shapes on the sidewalk or your driveway. Call out a specific shape and have your little one use their scooter to scoot to the correct shape! This is a great way to work on shape recognition in a FUN way!


RELATED: Outdoor Toys for Toddlers


Toy #20: Dinosaur Building Set


My little guy has been really into building, taking things apart, and then rebuilding again!


I just grabbed this toy for Christmas this year for him. I love that they get to really learn how to put a toy together.


dinosaur building set

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Ways to Play


A. Build


Putting these dinosaurs together will be so exciting for kids. They will feel so proud once they complete the task! Learning how to put a toy together works on critical thinking and problem-solving skills. This is a perfect STEM toy because of that fact!


B. Play


After they are all done building the dinosaurs, they can use them to play with! They can pretend and use their imaginations.


C. Rebuild


Take the dinosaurs apart and rebuild them! Half the fun for kids is messing things up, right? They will enjoy taking these toys apart to re-do it all over again!


Toy #21: Recordable Storybook


This recordable book is a memory and a gift that will last a lifetime. We made recordable books for both our kids with my voice and my husband’s. I know that they will love and keep these forever.


If you are a parent, grandparent, aunt/uncle, or just a friend to a child, this is the perfect present. You can record your voice telling the story for them to listen to.



recordable storybook

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There are several options available for different stories you can choose from. We did Christmas books for my kids for presents in past years. However, this book could be used all year round.


I know I would have loved a present like this of my grandmother’s voice before she passed away. It would have been something so special to be able to hear her voice whenever I wanted to. This is a must-have on your lists for a little one in your life!


Toy #22: Sand Table

One of the most beloved toys that we use outdoors is our sand table. I especially love the one that is shown below because there is a space for sand and water!


My kids always want me to add water to our sand table because we don’t have a special area for water like this one. This is the one I would get if I were to do it all over again.



sand table for kids

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Ways to Play


Materials to extend play: magnetic letters/numbers


A. Sand handwriting


Have your kids practice upper and lower case letters, numbers, and writing their own name in the sand! Grab my FREE letter and number traceable, so they can look at each letter or number’s shape so they can recreate it in the sand. 


Upper Case Traceable Letter Cards


Lower Case Letter Traceable Cards


Traceable Number Cards


B. Alphabet search


Do your kids love to play searching games? Hide some letters or numbers in the sand. When they come across one, have them tell you which one they found! You can also use my FREE Alphabet sheet so they can match it up like a puzzle.


C. Bury toys


This is kind of the same concept but with toys that they love! We hid our play bugs in the sand, and my son wanted to do this over and over again. Find some toys that won’t get ruined if you put them in the sand and see if your kids can find them all! They can also count the items they found to add some learning into play.


RELATED: FUN Handwriting Activities For Preschoolers


Toy #23: Toddler Trampoline


Does your child have a lot of energy that they need to burn off positively?


Look no further! Toddlers can jump their little hearts out in a safe way since this trampoline has netting around it to keep them inside the trampoline while they play!



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Ways to Play


Materials to enhance play: mini basketballs and inflatable pool basketball hoop.


A. Free play


Let your kiddo jump their little hearts out! They will love just getting the chance to explore the trampoline and see what fun tricks they can do on it! They will burn off some energy and get some great exercise by using the trampoline.


B. Basketball play


Set up the inflatable pool hoop on the trampoline. Your little one will LOVE jumping and shooting it into the hoop. They can work on aiming skills from farther away as well!


C. Practice types of jumps


Practicing jumping skills develop gross motor skills! Here is a list of jumps to practice: straight, tuck, straddle, half turns, whole turns, and frog jumps!


RELATED: 20 AWESOME Exercises for Kids


Toy #24: Arts and Crafts Kit


If you have a little one who loves arts and crafts, this set is AMAZING!


This art set has everything you could want when making crafts, art projects, or just creating whatever they want!



arts and craft set

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Ways to Play


A. Threading


There are a bunch of bright-colored pipe cleaners and beads in this kit. Practice some fine motor skills by threading the beads on the pipe cleaners! You can even have them find the letters of their name and put them in order on the pipe cleaner.


B. Popsicle stick crafts


Popsicle stick crafts are so fun to make and simple! Create fun faces using the googly eyes and pom-poms! These are some that we made during Halloween time. They were so fun to make!


popsicle stick crafts


C. Get creative


Put all the pieces and parts out and let them go to town and create whatever they want to make! Having a kit like this will be exciting for the kids to experiment with new supplies!


Toy #25: Kids Camera


I asked my Instagram community what gifts they were thinking about getting their little ones and a kid’s camera was one of the responses that I heard the most!


This way they won’t take your phone to take photos, am I right?!


kids camera

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We have this camera, and it has been a major hit with my daughter! She can take as many pictures as she wants! It’s really heavy-duty too, which is nice in case it gets dropped.


Ways to Play


A. Take photos


The main reason you want the camera is for the kids to take photos! Upload their pictures to the computer if you want to save any.


B. Add fun backgrounds


Kids have the ability to add on some fun backgrounds or silly pictures into their photos. They can have fun adding their face into the backgrounds!


C. Games


There are a few games that they can play on the camera. 3-year-olds may struggle to play some of the games, but it’s nice that they can use it for years to come, and they will get better at it.


Toy #26: Amazon Fire for Kids


While this is not really a “toy” this tablet has educational games and hundreds of FREE books!


We have this tablet for our kids, and it is perfect for young children to use. You can also link your Amazon account to the table so all the items you download from your account will show up on the Fire!


amazon fire

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Ways to Play


A. Play educational games


There are tons of educational games that your little ones can play. When you do choose to do screen time, it always feels better when they are learning, doesn’t it?


My favorite learning games


a. ABC Mouse- you have to have a monthly subscription for this program but it has 100’s of educational age-appropriate games for your kids.


b. Teach Your Monster To Read- this is a phonics and reading game!


c. 123 Numbers- Trace and counting game


B. Read books


My favorite part about having the Amazon Fire is having access to an incredible amount of FREE books. It’s fun to look through them and read them with your little ones.


C. Watch shows


Going on a road trip or plane ride? We use this tablet for the kids to be able to watch shows when we are traveling. We don’t like to use it the entire time, but it is nice to have something for them to do when they are just sitting there for a while.


Toy #27: Super Hero Costumes


Both my son and daughter love putting on these fun costumes! They pretend they are superheroes fighting all the bad guys!


Costumes are open-ended so kids can play differently each time!


super hero capes

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Ways to Play


A. Play superheroes


Pretend to fight off the bad guys in these fun costumes! If your little one knows about the different powers each superhero has, they can use those powers!


B. Toy rescues


Put toys up on the wall using painter’s tape! Trap them inside so the kids have to rescue them but taking the tape off of them. They will love this challenge and feel like they are saving something!


Toy #28: Vtech Phonics Apple


I have talked to several parents that have this toy, and their kids love it. We don’t have it yet, but it’s on my list of toys to ask for, for Christmas this year.


Vtech Phonics Apple Learning Toy

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How you can help your child learn with this toy:


A. For beginners, start with letter recognition, asking your child to identify a letter and press that button.


B. This toy is interactive, so it will say what each letter says, but have your child repeat the sound, so they start memorizing what it sounds like.


C. For kids that know their alphabet, ask them to say it in sequential order so they can start memorizing the order of the ABC’s.


This toy also has a clock feature, so it can be used for several years to work on telling time!


Toy #29: Princess Dresses


Just like the superhero capes, these princess dresses can be used in so many different ways!


Your little ones will love putting on these dresses to pretend like they are Disney princesses!


dress up girls costumes

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Ways to Play


A. Play salon


They can get dressed up and you can do their hair and make-up like they are at an actual salon! We have the cutest little pretend make-up set that is perfect for 3-year-olds.


B. Tea party


Set up a tea party using a toy tea set or items you have. They can dress up and bring other fun characters like stuffed animals to the party.


C. Play Disney


Yes, this is a game my daughter loves to play! She pretends she is one of the Disney princesses and we have to take our photos with and she signs our autograph books. Hey, what a fun way to work on handwriting skills!


Toy #30: Number Robots


What a cool way to learn numbers! These numbers change into robots! How engaging for kids to learn.


Getting kids to sit down and learn is the hardest part. I always am looking for new ways to get my kids excited about learning, and this is one way I know will work!


number robots

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Ways to Play:


A. Learning


Before they can change each number into a robot, have them say which number it is. After they say the number, they can transform it into a robot!


B. Giant robot


Challenge your little one to build a giant robot using these numbers! This toy is a STEM toy since it works on building, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills!


C. Larger numbers


Got an older child? Put two numbers together and have them say the number. I love you can use these for so many years to come as well! You can build numbers in the hundreds and even the thousands!


RELATED: Number Recognition Activities 


Final Thoughts and Conclusion


There are so many toys out there it feels overwhelming to choose the right gift for kids!


All of the gifts that I mention in this article are open-ended toys. That means that if you choose to give one of these as gifts, it can be used in an endless amount of ways. These won’t sit in a closet for a year; I can promise you that!


I hope this list of The 30 BEST Toys for 3-Year-Olds helped you narrow down your choices! Do you have any toy recommendations for 3-year-olds that you didn’t see on this list that you think should be added? I’d love to hear about them! Please share your ideas with our community by commenting below!


Happy Toy Shopping!

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