The 25 BEST Educational Toys for 3-Year-Olds (2024)

Looking for educational toys for 3-Year-Olds?

I have a list of my favorite toys to help teach your toddlers right at home. These are also wonderful toys to use in the classroom if you are a teacher.

Let’s get started with the best educational toys for 3-Year-Olds.

#1. LeapFrog Smart Building Blocks

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

It’s a great educational toy for 3-year-olds to introduce the alphabet to them in a fun way.

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 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! But they also make different Smart Blocks; take a look here to see all their products to help with learning skills. 

YouTube video

#2. Elmo’s On The Go Letters

In my experience with teaching my children, being able to touch and play with letters is the BEST way for kids to learn the alphabet.

This Elmo set was by far one of the most used toys we used when my kids were toddlers. This is a great educational toy for 3-year-olds.

Elmo On the Go Learning Letters

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This toy doesn’t have sound, so for your child to learn from it, you will need to work with them 🙂

How you can help your child learn using this toy

A. Focus on 1-2 letters a day.

B. Repeat past letters that they have learned daily-this is critical. Kids will forget at the beginning of learning the ABCs if they don’t practice each day. 

#3: Magnet Blocks

Magnet blocks are one of my favorite educational toys for 3-year-olds. They are one of the best open-ended toys out there for all ages.

Kids can use their imagination to create new things every day with these blocks.

How to help your child learn with this toy

A. Let them play! See what they want to build with these blocks. Letting the kids play and explore to see how these blocks work is so much fun.

B. Use a chalk marker to write the letters of the alphabet on the tiles. This is a great way to review the alphabet. We matched upper and lower case letters together.

C. Color Sorting- work on fine motor skills and color sorting by making squares of each color. Have your child use kid-friendly tweezers to sort craft poms in each box.

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#4. Alphabet Sound Puzzle

Realistically, we aren’t able to sit on the floor and play with our kids 24 hrs a day. That’s why this alphabet puzzle is an excellent addition to your toy collection.

This educational toy for 3-year-olds is helpful because the puzzle tells kids what each letter is! This puzzle can also grow with the kids when they are starting to work on beginning sounds.

MD Alphabet Sound Puzzle

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How to help your child learn with this toy

A. If your child knows some of the letters of the alphabet, ask them to find individual letters that they know on the puzzle. If they are beginning to learn, talk to them about each letter, it’s always better coming from you.

B.  Phonics: Talk about the pictures behind the letters, tell your child what it is if they don’t know, and make the sound of the beginning letter to help them understand what sound the letter makes.

YouTube video

#5: Vtech Desk

This educational toy for 3-year-olds couldn’t be cuter. Your kids will love sitting at their own desk to explore everything it has to offer.

This desk can transform into a chalkboard or even an art easel for your kids to create with! I love it!

How you can help your child learn with this toy

A. Review the letters of the alphabet with them on the mat. You can ask them where the letter is, and they can point to it!

B. On the human body mat, ask your kids to name each part of the body to see if they can identify each one.

C. Work on counting skills with the counting mat and number recognition.

RELATED: Ways to Teach Your Child Numbers

#6. LEGO Duplo My First Number Train

Duplo LEGOs are great for little ones who love to build! This is a wonderful educational toy for 3-year-olds because they can work on learning numbers.

When the kids are a little older too, they can put their numbers in the correct order. I love when toys can grow with kids.

Lego train

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How you can help your child learn with this toy

A. Tell your child what each number is on the blocks when they are playing with it.

B. Put a few number blocks in a line and ask them to find a specific number.

C. If your child is old enough and knows how to count, have them count to ten while you put the number blocks in sequential order.

D. If your child knows how to count and knows their numbers, have them try to put the numbers in order!

#7: Train Table

Our train table has been one of our most beloved toys throughout the years. Even now, we have transformed it into a LEGO table since my kids are older now.

The best part is, is that this train table comes with a bunch of accessories and storage.

How you can help your child learn with this toy

A. Work together with your kids to build a train track that they will love!

B. Teach your child vocabulary words with all the fun accessories included.

C. Let your child enjoy some imaginative play.

RELATED: The BEST Open-Ended Toys

#8: Wooden Number Puzzle

I can honestly say that both of my kids learned their alphabet and their numbers by using Melissa and Doug puzzles.

This is a great educational toy for 3-year-olds to practice numbers and counting! Again, this puzzle can be used when the kids are older since it goes up to the number 20.

1-20 Melissa and Doug Number Learning Puzzle

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When your child feels the numbers and can put them in a specific spot, they start to memorize what that number is.

It’s just a matter of repeating the information over and over again so they remember it.

How you can help your child learn with this toy

A. When your toddler picks up each number, tell them what it is, and talk about the picture behind it.

B. Focus on the same 1-2 numbers each time you play with the puzzle until they start recognizing those numbers. Once they begin remembering some numbers, you can move onto 1-2 more.

C. Say each number to them out loud in order so they start understanding number order.

#9: LeapFrog Fridge Phonics

Does anyone else’s kids love taking magnets off the refrigerator? 

The second I saw this toy. I knew we had to get it because I knew it would be a hit. This is a great educational toy for 3-year-olds because it’s interactive!

Fridge Phonics

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I love this toy because it practices letter recognition, tells you the sound of each letter, and helps with sentence-building skills.

How you can help your child learn with this toy

A. Ask them to find a specific letter and place it on the bus.

B. This toy is interactive, so it does say what each says, have your child repeat what the letter says after it tells them.

C. If you press the letter twice, it says a word with the specific letter and a sentence with that word. To expand on this, you can ask your child to come up with a sentence with that same word. If they are older, you can ask them to come up with another word for that specific letter and come up with their own sentence.

YouTube video

#10: LeapFrog My Own LeapTop

The LeapFrog LeapTop interactive toy is a great educational toy for 2-year-olds. There are many different learning skills covered included.

Leapfrog Leap Computers

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It’s a great on-the-go toy, which can be super helpful even on a 15-minute trip to the store if your child doesn’t enjoy car rides.

The LeapTop computer laptop is excellent for your child to work with individually, which is essential, too, because kids also need to have the chance to play without you. 

How you can help your child learn with this toy

A. If you are working alongside your child, you can have them search for a specific letter.

B. There is a game mode on the computer; it will ask your child to find the beginning letter of a picture that comes across the screen. For beginners, help them figure out what the picture will be and see if they can figure out what letter it starts with.

C. In the message section, the computer asks questions to your child. Challenge them to answer the questions.

YouTube video

#11: Vtech Alphabet Apple

I have talked to several parents that have this toy, and their kids love it.

It’s a fun educational toy for 3-year-olds to start learning the alphabet! It also has a lot of other functions that can grow with your kids.

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 ABCs.

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

YouTube video

#12: Skillmatics Search and Find Mats

This search-and-find activity mat is the perfect educational toy for 3-year-olds!

Actually, my kids are 5 and 8, and they still love this, so you can tell they are pretty neat.

Get 20% off your order with Skillmatics by using the code DEENA20

How to help your child learn with this toy

A. Build vocabulary- your kids can learn new vocabulary words by searching for the images provided in the key on the mats!

B. Writing skills- practice writing skills by having the kids create a circle around the pictures they find.

#11: Melissa and Doug Color Puzzle

Clearly, you can see I am a huge fan of puzzles.

I have had success teaching both my kids about the alphabet, numbers, shapes, and colors through these Melissa and Doug puzzles. All it takes is a little time and effort to play with these toys each day.

melissa and doug color puzzle

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How to help your child learn with this toy

A. Start with talking about 1-2 colors. Once your child has started learning 1 color, you can attempt to teach them another one.

B. Show them different objects throughout the day about the 1-2 colors you are focusing on.

C. When introducing a new color to your child, show them one color that they know and put the new color next to the one that they know to show the difference between the two. Ask them to point out the color they know. Then, introduce a new color to them.

#13: Fine Motor Letter Locks

These alphabet locks work on letter recognition, beginning sounds, phonics skills, and fine motor skills. It’s the perfect educational toy for 3-year-olds!

This toy will grow with your child since there are so many different learning skills involved!

Learning locks upper and lower case alphabet

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These letter locks work on connecting 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 lowercase 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 you move onto the next letter.

#14: Learning Basic Life Skills Set

My son goes to a school that focuses on real-life lessons, and these dressing boards are something they use.

This is a wonderful educational toy for 3-year-olds to start practicing basic life skills!

Learning how to use fine motor skills to be able to zip a zipper, button their clothes, and tie shoes can be difficult and take some time, so this is why these boards are good to practice from time to time to help them learn!

How to help your child learn with this toy

A. Focus on one board each time you play with this toy unless your child is picking things up quickly; then, you can introduce more.

B. Start with easier skills, like snapping or buckling, before moving on to zipping and tieing.

C. For the lacing and tieing boards, try using a poem like, “Over, under, pull it tight, make a bow, pull it through to do it right.”

#15. Vtech Write and Learn Creative Center

This is a great educational toy for 3-year-olds that will grow with them as they get older!

When it comes to writing, it’s a little more complicated because kids need the chance to practice with worksheets. However, there are a few toys out there that are great for early writing skills!

Vtech Writing Creative Center Toy

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The writing center has 6 activity modes to practice upper and lower case letters. It also has fun stamps and stencils so kids can practice making shapes and different objects as well.

How to help your child learn with this toy

A. Show your child how to hold a pencil before they begin!

B. Have your child choose which letter they want to practice writing so they can see what it’s supposed to look like on the screen above the writing center.

C. If they are just beginners, have them hold the pencil along with you to get a better understanding of how the letter is made.

D. Have them practice writing the upper case and lower case letter on the writing center together so they can start connecting that they are the same letters even though they look different.

E. You can also practice writing numbers, their name, and making shapes! 

#16: Matching Egg Shape

Now this educational toy for 3-year-olds surprised me. I’m going to be honest, I didn’t think this was going to be a hit.

My kids both LOVED this shape-matching toy. I loved taking them apart and finding the matches over and over again.

Matching shape learning eggs

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These eggs come in a plastic carton, which makes them super easy to store!

How to help your child learn with this toy

A. Explain what making a match means to your child if they don’t know.

B. Show your child 1-2 shape eggs by breaking open the egg and explain how to match the color and shape up to close the egg back up.

C. For older kids, talk about how many sides each of the shapes have.

#17: Shape Beanbags

Kids want to PLAY and LEARN. These beanbags are the best educational toy for 3-year-olds to help them learn shapes.

Adding some movement patterns or gross motor skills into learning will keep kids interested for a more extended time, which is essential when trying to teach them!

Shape active beanbags for learning shapes

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How you can help your child learn with this toy

A. Scatter the bean bags around a room and ask your child to find specific shapes. You can make this a little more active by asking them to skip, gallop, side slide, run, walk, hop, or leap from bag to bag.

B. Create a starting line and place all the bean bags at the line. Set up three bins (laundry bins or storage bins). Write a 2,4, and 6 on a piece of paper and tape it to each storage bin. Have your child use an underhand or overhand throwing strategy to try to make a bean bag into one of the containers. Before deciding to throw the bag, ask them what shape it is. This can be a great math activity for older kids to add up the points that they earned at the end!

C. Place all the bean bags at the end of one hallway in your house. Have your child start at the opposite side and have them run to get a specific bag that you tell them to.

I honestly have so many ideas for this toy, if you need more, comment on this post, and I have plenty of fun ways to incorporate physical activity in teaching your kids!

#18: Shape Sorting Clock

This shape-sorting clock works on so many different learning skills! It’s a great educational toy for 3-year-olds.

Practice number recognition, shapes, and the clock.

How you can help your child learn with this toy

A. Review shapes- Go over the shapes that your child knows and see if they can find where it belongs on the clock. Then, go over some new shapes! This clock has a lot of new shapes!

B Numbers- Help teach your child what each number looks like on the puzzle piece. Then, show them where it belongs on the clock.

C. Explain the clock- when your child is older, start teaching them how to read the clock!

RELATED: Shape Activities for Kids

#18: Melissa and Doug Alphabet Building Blocks

I have such good memories of our alphabet building blocks from Melissa and Doug.

They are such great building blocks and are jam-packed with learning opportunities.

How you can help your child learn with this toy

A. Practice the letters of the alphabet. When your child is building with the blocks, tell them each letter!

B. Talk about the different animals on each block. See if they can identify each one.

C. Stack from biggest to smallest or just work on a few blocks at a time to see if they can tell which one is bigger and which one is smaller.

#19: Cleaning Toys

Kids love helping out the adults, especially when it comes to cleaning.

This educational toy for 3-year-olds will provide your kids with so many hours of fun.

How you can help your child learn with this toy

A. Show your child how to use each cleaning toy and what it would be used for. This is so helpful for real-life skill learning.

B. Have your kids help you clean the house! They will love feeling like a big kid and working together with you.

#20: Interactive Piggy Bank

My kids LOVED this piggy bank toy. We had such good memories with it.

This educational toy is great because it works on numbers, counting, and fine motor skills.

How you can help your child learn with this toy

A. Count the coins with your kids and tell them the numbers on each coin.

B. Work on color learning skills by showing them each color of the coins and see if they can point to a specific colored coin.

C. Have them attempt to put the coin in the slot. This is wonderful for building fine motor skills.

RELATED: Fine Motor Skills for Toddlers

#21: Toddler Balance Bike

One toy that I wish I would have purchased when my kids were little is a balance bike. It makes it so much easier for kids to learn how to ride a bike when it comes time.

This educational toy for 3-year-olds is great to help them build balance skills, coordination, and strength.

How you can help your child learn with this toy

A. Help your child learn how to ride a bike by practicing on this balance bike indoors at first. Once they get more comfortable, you can head outside.

B. Show them how to steer the bike so they know how to move the bike around when they want to turn.

C. This is an adjustable bike that can grow with your kids. It’s for ages 2-6 and can be adjusted to fit your child’s size.

#22: Water Table

Are you looking to have some summer fun with your little ones? A water table is your perfect outdoor toy for 3-year-olds.

Playing with water always adds more fun to any play. Kids just gravitate toward it!

How you can help your child learn with this toy

Materials to extend learning: water beadsfine motor toolstear-free soapsponges, or toothbrushes.

1. Free play- Sometimes, you don’t need to plan a specific activity. Just let the kids lead the play! Let them enjoy just splashing in the water and creating their own fun. They may learn some new ways to play as well!

2. Add water beads- Water beads are such a fabulous sensory play filler! With this specific water table, they would be SO much fun. Kids can work on pouring and scooping skills. You can also add some fine motor toys so the kids can work on building those tiny muscles!

3. Toy wash- Grab some of your little one’s favorite toys and put them in the water table. Add some tear-free soap inside the water table so they can wash their toys. Give them a sponge or a toothbrush to clean the toys! Make sure to have some clean water available in another container or bowl so they can wash off the soap.

RELATED: Outdoor Toys for 3-Year-Olds

#23: Sprinkler Splash Pad

This is such a wonderful outdoor educational toy for 3-year-olds. My mind is racing with all the fun learning possibilities that can happen with this toy!

Your toddlers and preschoolers will love splashing around on this little splash pad on warm summer days.

splash pad for toddlers

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How you can help your child learn with this toy

1. Letter search- While playing outside with this toy, practice some letter recognition! While they are playing, ask them to stomp on certain letters. Some other ideas are to have them find the letters of their name, and you can even have them find the letters of the alphabet in order!

2. Cover the letters- With some water toys, have your little one cover-up the letter you shout out! They will love searching for the letters through the water. For beginners, start in one section and just do a few letters that are close to each other. For older toddlers, you can say any letter!

3. Animal sounds- Practice animal sounds by having your little one step on the animal, you say. When they step on it, have them pretend to be that animal by making the sound it makes or even doing movements!

RELATED: Alphabet Activities For Preschoolers 

#24: Animal Sound Book

Books are some of the best ways to help teach your child. This educational toy for 3-year-olds is great for kids to learn about animals.

It makes so many fun sounds the kids will LOVE!

How you can help your child learn with this toy

A. Talk about each of the animals on the pages of the book. Then, show them the sound button for each animal.

B. Once they learn the animals, see if they can click the correct buttons themselves!

C. Have your child make the animal sound for each animal. We did this SO many times, and the kids loved it.

#25: Learning Book Set

Sitting and reading with your child creates great memories, helps them learn, and will get them started on a journey for reading.

There are 10 fun themes inside this book set that is perfect as an educational toy for 3-year-olds.

How you can help your child learn with this toy

A. Read to your child! Show them the pictures on each page and discuss what is on them.

B. Once they are older, ask them questions about what they see on each page. See what they can identify!

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

There are tons of toys out there, and trying to pick the right toy can be challenging because you want your child to like the toy and be able to use it for years to come.

I hope you were able to find some great educational toys for 3-year-olds in my article!

I would love to hear about any learning toy that has worked for you and your family! Every child learns differently, so certain toys may work for some children and not others.

If you need more ideas on how you can help teach your children with these toys, please comment below!

Happy learning!


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