45 Of The Best Toys And Gifts For The 3-Year-Old In Your Life
Three is the age when memories start for children, so go make some good ones with a fun, thoughtful, and even educational prezzie.
We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.
1. A two-sided Learning Resources "Big Feelings Pineapple" so kids can learn emotions (as well as their opposites) and express their big feelings (and little ones too). Adult bonus to this gift? You can store all the parts inside the pineapple!
Promising review: "We love this pineapple! It’s been a great help for us when we talk about emotions as a family. I really like the feelings poster (would love if it was a bit larger!) and I love that the pineapple has two sides. Learning Resources products are impressive! I also appreciate the online resources they have (free printables) that can be used with the pineapple. Highly recommend!" —Katie Shuknecht
Get it from Amazon for $9.99.
2. A 14-piece, nontoxic Hape wooden tool box and accessory play set to lightly and gently hammer home the basics of building and repairing while fine-tuning those hand-to-eye skills. This prezzie will pay dividends when they're older and you need help with actual projects!
Includes: wooden tool box, hammer, screwdriver, wrench, three sets of screw and screw caps, board connector, two gears and plastic nail.
Promising review: "After watching his dad and me put together his new toddler bed, my son got super excited over 'helping' to fix things, but of course letting him use real metal tools wasn’t something I wanted to do just yet...so I was trying to choose between a plastic set of tools that were cartoonish styled, and this wooden set that was a little more expensive. I am soooo glad I got this set instead! It’s not been out of the box more than 30 minutes, and he has learned how to hammer in 'nails,' take them out again with the back of the hammer, use a wrench And screw driver in tandem to work a 'screw' and 'bolt,' as well as put gears on the side of the kit so that they spin each other. The tools are all very well made but not heavy, so there’s no fear of him breaking stuff if he decides to run around hammering things." —Khestra
Get it from Amazon for $21.99.
3. A lightweight, aluminum-frame Mongoose Title Tot bike for giving tikes some confidence and the gift of balance before graduating to a bigger bicycle with pedals. The quick-adjust seat even accounts for those fast-growing kids.
When I was a lad all the cool kids had Mongoose bikes (I had a Huffy). Not sure if my kids will be into BMX (or pretend they were like the kids I knew) but they'll certainly get a jump start on two-wheeling thanks to this beautiful, bright orange balance bike. Easy to assemble, easy to adjust (the seat), and easy to store plus it's way cooler than a scooter!
Get it from Mongoose for $119.99 (available in two colors).
4. A three-chord Loog Mini acoustic guitar so little punk kids can learn the entire Ramones catalog. Comes with flashcards of chord diagrams and full access to the Loog Guitar app. Hey! Ho! Let's go!
Promising review: "My daughter and I learning how to play the guitar together. Even if we don't become rock stars the quality time we are spending together is all the justification I needed to make the purchase. The strings are perfect for her little fingers." —JSpriggins
Get it from Amazon for $79 (available in five colors).
5. A Plus Plus Big construction building set packed with 15 "shapes" to construct the featured animal or anything minds can imagine and little hands can, well, handle. A big bonus to this gift? All the sets work together!
Promising review: "I got these for my 3-year-old for a seven-hour flight and two weeks of road tripping and she absolutely loved them! She played with them all the time and never got bored with them!" —Meetmow
Get it from Amazon for $9.99 (available in multiple styles from animals to figures to a Christmas tree).
6. An indoor or outdoor Wiwiurka wooden trapeze bar that will give acrobatic kids the gift of strength and balance while they spin themselves round in circles (and hopefully don't puke).
Note: Mounting hardware not included.
Wiwiurka is a Mexican woman-owned business located in Tepoztlan, Mexico that creates sustainable children's toys using water-based paints and non-toxic materials that are inspired by Pikler, Montessori, and Waldorf’s educational standards.
Promising review: "My kid won’t get off this trapeze! He loves it and he is getting so much better at his 'tricks' everyday. When we ordered it we hopped it would keep him busy but we never imagined how much time he would spend on it. It’s beautiful, high quality and so much fun. I wished I would have had one as a kid." —Montserrat K.
Get it from Wiwiurka for $70 (available in five colors).
7. A super-realistic four-piece Schleich Shiba Inu playset which makes the ideal gift for the little dog-lover in your life who's not quite ready for that real pup yet. Plus, think of the memes you can make with these tiny toys!
Promising review: "I am a grown woman who, nonetheless, collects figurines of cute animals. I got the Shiba Inu mother and puppy set. Both figures are adorable and a great addition to my collection. I like the Schleich brand in general because their figurines are fairly realistic and whoever paints them does a competent job. I expect to keep these guys on my display shelf for a long time." —Lauren Votava
Get it from Amazon for $9.99+ (a variety of animals including pigs, wolves, alpacas, lions, bears, and more).
8. An Educational Insights "Design & Drill" Bolt Buddies fire truck that teaches the concepts of construction and engineering with a working but still kid-safe drill. Plus the eco-friendly packaging that turns the box into a play set is a bonus gift to Mother Earth.
Note: requires three AAA batteries (not included).
Promising review: "This Design & Drill Bolt Buddies Fire Truck has many layers of fun. My daughter loved to attach the wheels with the drill, put stickers on the truck, drill the bolts and use the fire and water attachments in different ways, configure and seat the firefighters and dog and use her imagination to 'drive' the truck and be a hero. The 'splash' drill bit is fun and I love that the firefighters' heads and hats are interchangeable and that they have different expressions. It's a nice-sized truck that can endure some heavy play. The box can be turned inside out to build a cool play set, and as a parent, I love that all the pieces can store inside the truck." —N. Min
Get it from Amazon for $38.21.
9. A Red & Olive Mr. Beary + Beanie Set handcrafted to be a "soft, durable, and timeless" best-stuffed-buddy for years to come. The best part? The matching hat that will fit kids ages 1 through 10!
Red & Olive is a Peruvian- and American-blended family and a woman-owned business that supports woman artisans through flexible schedules and fair wages for their ethically, handmade dolls and hats. 10% of sales go to Starlight Children's Foundation benefitting seriously ill kids all across the United States.
The quality of this stuffie simply can't be denied! It doesn't feel mass-produced (because it's not) and has some weigh to it. We named ours Teddé (pronounced Teh-day) and we're looking forward to her being dragged everywhere by our daughter and being a part of our family. Plus, we can't wait to see them both in their matching beanies!
10. A subscription to Little Spoon "Plates" balanced and preservative-free toddler meals (with plenty of hidden veggies) starting at under $5 a plate delivered directly to their door. What better gift is there than a well-fed child you didn't have to actually cook for?
Plates will launch with over 15 different recipes — from chicken pot stickers with quinoa veggie stir fry and edamame to broccoli bites with sweet potato carrot poppers and green beans. Yum!
Promising review: "We just got our plates and I’m amazed! My toddler is EATING. Something other than PB&J... he thought it was so cool to pick an animal out by the packaging, and he helped microwave it. Raving reviews from my toddler and I!" —Danielle
11. A two-sided, A-frame art easel with chalk board, magnetic dry erase board, storage, and paper feeder for aspiring artists who are still experimenting with their preferred mediums. Plus it's a great way to teach kids about writing "thank you" notes!
Promising review: "Very nicely made product! Took 45 minutes to built but well worth the minutes and looks awesome too. Excited using it with my kid and being able to multitask all in one area with the chalk board, white board and painting being optimal without the layout mess. Love that it has the built in clips to dry the painting also the storage area and the shelf to place extra paints. Really recommend for a long durable product to use and/ or gift." —beauty4life
Get it from Amazon for $149.99 (available in five colors).
12. A lightweight but durable Ten Little recycled backpack made from (you guessed it) 100% recycled materials, with side pockets for water bottles and juice boxes and plenty of room for lunchboxes, toys, and extra clothes. Plus you can hide another present inside!
13. A Polly Pocket unicorn party play set with over "25 surprises to discover" including a stream of confetti (so watch out). It's like the gift that keeps on giving!
Promising review: "All I can say is WOW!!! As an original Polly Pocket fan from back in the day I would have DIED to get this as a kid! There are soooo many fun surprises in this thing! My daughter couldn’t believe her eyes! You get so many versatile pieces — there’s all kind of cute little things you can put on necklaces or rings (anything with the little heart on the bottom can go on a ring) my little one plays with this all the time and loves switching out her jewelry with the different little pieces! The only con is be careful when you open it — there’s tons of confetti in the things! So make sure you are over a trash can or have the vacuum ready :)." —Amazon Customer
Get it from Amazon for $21.99.
14. An electric Kid Trax USPS mail delivery truck with working headlights and horn, because real heroes (the ones who deliver kids' packages and presents) don't drive jacked-up Jeeps or sports cars. Comes with a mailbox and reusable plastic letters.
Promising review: "I purchased this specifically for my best friends' kids and they love it! They also enjoy the included mailbox and envelopes to deliver! If you're searching for a ride on that sparks imagination, then this one is a great choice! I've purchased ride-ons before but none of them had the advanced features that this product does. Not only does it have working headlights and a horn, but it even has a FM radio/MPS player input! The tires seem to have decent traction too. The instructions for assembly were clear. Some of the parts came pre-assembled, such as the spacers on the wheels. (So if you think you are missing a part, simply double check the product pieces.) It feels sturdy and will work really well for the recommended ages!" —Amazon Customer
Get it from Amazon for $229.99.
15. A two-pack of soft and breathable Pact "Dream Big" pajamas made with pre-washed, shrink-resistant, 100% organic cotton worth every penny. As any parent knows, PJs are rarely just for sleeping in!
A question parents often face when it comes to buying clothing their constantly-growing little creatures is whether to invest in quantity or quality. Quantity often wins because you can buy more for less, let the laundry pile up a bit (risky, very risky), and not give a second thought to the investment. But kiddos tend to spend a lot of time in their PJs, especially compared to their number of outfit changes throughout the day due to their peak human levels of messiness.
I've tried and tested a LOT of pajamas between my two children these past three years but this super soft two-pack from Pact really sets the standard. Finding anything that's 100% organic cotton is not only a challenge but it's going to come at an added cost. However, from post-bath time hijinks to sleeping soundly through the night to early morning hang time, they've been totally worth it (especially when they stop growing out of things so quickly).
Get them from Pact for $50 (available in sizes 18M–10 and five color sets).
16. A Hand2mind Numberblocks MathLink Cubes activity set based on the award-winning BBC series that actually makes learning numbers and math fun (and musical) in the best possible way (kids learn, parents enjoy it too).
"1-2-3-4-5-Numberblocks!" is a theme song that I hear multiple times a day and have still somehow not tired of. Why? Because my kid loves it and so do I. Maybe it's the catchy tunes, maybe its the British accents, but this show gives every number a personality (some of my favorites include 8, 13, and 15 but you'll have to watch to find out why). So it's no surprise that the toys based on this show are just as fun and educational. I wish I learned about numbers and math this way instead of through flash cards and times tables. Lucky kids!
Get it from Amazon for $24.99.
17. A durable metal Big Dig sandbox digger crane with 360-degree rotation for serious backyard, beach, or playground excavation projects. No permit needed! Just a great prezzie the kiddies will, um, totally dig!
Promising review: "I don't write reviews often but we have had this for two days and my boys (3 and 5) woke up at 6:30 a.m., ate breakfast and got dressed and hustled outside on a gloomy rainy mid February morning in Seattle to play with this. They normally fight over whose turn it is, but instead they have been taking turns and playing like civil humans for an hour already. Best toy ever, bought a second one already so they don't have to share because there's only so long siblings can go before someone throws down." —Rk
Get it from Amazon for $49.99.
18. A 3-in-1 LED globe, constellation map, and night-light to illuminate kids about not only the world they live in but the stars in the heavens above. And if that gets way too scary (or deep) that night-light will sure come in handy too.
Promising review: "This is a wonderful globe. I bought this for my nephew and this is a fun way to give him the basics. He enjoys learning countries and he loves the night-light. The constellations are pretty cool in the dark. The size is perfect and the quality is amazing. The countries and regions are clear and they are easy to read. The base is strong and stable. It doesn't tip when spinning. The guidebook has more detailed information about the constellations and it's location. This globe definitely captured my nephew's attention and he is learning with interest. Overall, this is a perfect globe and can't go wrong with it." —Lucky10z
Get it from Amazon for $49.99.
19. A Playmobil "1.2.3 Aqua Splish Splash" water park for cranking up some indoor or outdoor aquatic action. The best part of this prezzie is that it includes three figures to float down that lazy river.
I've never been disappointed by Playmobil sets or figures! Their elegant simplicity leaves plenty of room for imagination!
Get it from Amazon for $64.99.
20. A sleek and dare we say stylish Radio Flyer toddler/kids helmet with an adjustable chin strap and interior to grow with your child's noggin up to the age of five. And yes, you still have to buy them a new gift every year.
21. A "Silly Poopy's Hide & Seek" game (from the makers of What Do You Meme?) that actually involves hiding a fake plastic poo that talks and gives clues to its whereabouts.
You know when your brain tells you, "This might be a bad idea!" but your gut tells you "Nah, this is going to be hilarious! Maybe." Luckily, my gut was right this time. Silly Poopy is beyond silly and not poopy at all. It is indeed a poop-ton of fun for the whole family thanks to its infectious song that sounds like it was taken straight from a 1970s game show. Best of all, my kid loves it and hopefully, this is the only poop he tries to hide around the house.
Get it from Amazon for $12.98.
22. A super-durable, stainless steel Miniware GrowBento Box with two silipods that's dishwasher-, fridge-, and freezer-safe, and should always be gifted with some snacks already hidden inside.
The Miniware GrowBento box has been a great way for us to not only pack lunches for day trips for our son but also to get him prepared to eat his lunch when he starts going to daycare (sniffle). While I still maintain that my first plastic Transformers lunchbox (with the stinky smelling Thermos) is the thing childhood memories should be made off, this super-easy-to-clean (and never stinky) bento box is even nicer to look at than a bunch of Autobots!
Get it from Amazon for $38 (available in four colors).
23. A Bluey Mega Bundle Home & BBQ playset that packs four different rooms of fun in the Heeler house plus the barbie in the backyard! The best part is that the set combines the family figure four-pack (cue theme: Mum! Dad! Bingo! Bluey!) with the BBQ and home sets.
Promising review: "My kids love this Bluey house. It was cheaper to buy this set than the house on its own with the separate barbecue and family sets. My kids play with it all the time and they can be a little rough on the toys. They’ve held up extremely well although we’ve only had the set for a couple weeks. Mine was packaged in a separate box so the contents were hidden (which was great since my kids always come with me to the door)." —jmb
Get it from Amazon for $54.99.
24. A Nerf "Pro Shop" mini-sports-pack to introduce small hands and feet to the games of orange bounce, spiral toss, and footy while lowering the risk of any broken windows (a gift both parents and children are sure to enjoy).
Promising review: "This is a great assortment and a good value for the price. All three balls are of good quality, and feel substantial without being too heavy. (That is, they're not the lightest, flimsiest kind of Nerf, but the slightly more dense kind with the smooth coating.) Each ball is a slightly different size and texture, so they don't seem redundant with one another. The soccer ball feels like a soccer ball, the basketball a basketball. Great for small hands, and easy for small feet to kick around. Too small for serious use for older kids and adults, but still fun to play. with, so it's a purchase that everyone will enjoy." —Kevin Gamble
Get it from Amazon for $17.99.
25. A handmade (from velboa fabric) personalized toddler blanket with a side pocket for safely securing stuffies during nap time. A snoozing 3-year-old is the real gift here!
For personalization select the Name EXACTLY as you want (case sensitive), font style, and thread color (charts in photos). For monograms, note "monogram, single letter, etc." Send the full name (it will be put in correct order). Then select monogram style and thread color.
Southern Peach Co. is an Etsy shop located in Weatherford, Texas that specializes in monograms, personalized gifts, and keepsakes.
Promising review: "This blanket is perfect and so beautiful. My little girl is very excited to take it with her for nap time when she starts preschool for the first time next week!" —Sarah Samuels
26. A big, 'ol, 111-piece, made-in-the-U-S-of-A tin of real maple wood Lincoln Logs that were actually invented by the son of Frank Lloyd Wright and not by our 16th president. So you're giving the gift of American architectural history as well!
Promising review: "A great gift-able tin that offers easy clean up (everything goes right back in the tin). You will be surprised how much kids love a simple toy like this. They will put down the video game and actually build something in real life. Plus, it adds a little nostalgia when parents or grandparents remember playing with the same toy as children. Very happy with this purchase." —Amazon customer
Get it from Amazon for $49.99.
27. A Dinosaur Adventure play set, which combines two childhood favorites (trains and dinos) with an obstacle course for developing problem-solving and motor skills with hand-to-eye coordination. Make sure to watch for their exploding brain when they open this one!
Promising review: "This toy is perfect. It's self contained so the only loose pieces are the two trains. Set up is a matter of attaching a piece of track to the side. It's so much fun. You push, pull and turn the levers to keep the train moving. My grandson is three and we played with it for quite a while. It's very portable. I can't say enough about this toy It is a great idea." —S. Hillebrand
Get it from Amazon for $34.99.
28. A thoughtful (but still fun) Educational Insights Playfoam "Shape & Learn" counting set so kids can squish, squash, and sculpt not only numbers (based on the included flash cards) but whatever their burgeoning imaginations come up with!
29. A screen-free Storypod starter set with classic stories, music, and read-along audiobooks that encourages active-listening and participation with the cute little "craftie" characters. Use the app to create your own stories too!
Just place one of the "smart figurines" aka Crafties or one of the read-along books on top of the Storypod. That's how kids will be able to access "classic and original stories, music, and learning topics." They can also record their own stories or listen to recorded messages from family members through the Storypod app with up to 100 minutes of space.
Promising review: "This is a very original toy. My kids (3 and 6) are enjoying it so much! You can hear to the stories and music in English and Spanish when you place the yarn figurine on top of the speaker. The volume doesn't get very high but I think that is on purpose so that the children can hear their stories without disturbing others in the same room. They can also play with the figurines while they are hearing the content because the audio keeps going once you place the crafty on top of the speaker...The audiobook is also very cool. My kids were able to read along while they heard the story and at the end they answer the questions pressing the buttons that light up in colors. It also has other functions that you can set up in the app. Any member of the family who has the app, can record what they want on their cell phones and when you place the owl (or other Craftie) on the speaker you can hear what they recorded. That is so cool! I really recommend this toy, so you can keep your kids off of the screens for a while." —Ani
Get it from Amazon for $109.99+.
30. A flower garden building activity set so budding horticulturists don't rip up flower beds or track dirt inside the house. Instead, kids will build dishwasher-safe bouquets that look as pretty as a flower no matter the season.
Promising review: "My 3-year-old loves toys that are STEM-related; things she can build, organize, make new things, & things she can make her 'own.' I was worried about all the small pieces and cleaning up, but the carrying case is a neat addition and helps with keeping everything organized. There are so many pieces and so many ways to make endless different flowers. It really has kept her entertained for quite some time. The only thing that is harder for little ones is cleaning up, because you have to place the flower pieces and leaf pieces strategically in order to fit everything. So, my little one tends to get frustrated because it doesn’t fit everything unless she puts it neatly and in a certain way Really helps with organizing, colors, hand-eye coordination and building!" —Chauntel M
Get it from Amazon for $32.99+ (available in two colors).
31. A wooden, handmade animal building block and puzzle set that promotes motor skills (especially balance), logical-thinking, problem solving, and a little imagination too. And just remember, this is a gift for kids so don't hog it after they open it.
Imooore is an Etsy shop located in London that feels, "toys create memory, they can be educational and fun."
Promising review: "I bought this for my classroom and the kids absolutely love it! They have had hours of fun building with the animals and working together to work out how to balance the pieces and fit them together! An excellent logical thinking activity. Beautifully made and very engaging! I highly recommend!" —siandemp
32. A box of 72 mini dinosaur toys because sometimes gifts aren't about the quality but the quantity and what kid doesn't love a whole mess of thunder lizards?
Also great as cake toppers and party bag favors!
Promising review: "HI, we were quite amazed at the variety of dinosaurs included in our pack. We expected the usual three but got quite a variety of dinosaurs and we got three or more of each. The colors were fantastic. Bright vivid blues and greens and purples. The size was relatively small which worked well as my daughter used them as homemade Valentines for her friends. Overall, we were very happy with our purchase." —H. Bowen
Get it from Amazon for $8.99.
33. A LittleHippo "Ready to Rise" children's trainer/alarm clock that "uses colors and facial expressions to teach your kids when it's time for bed and time to wake up." Imagine getting a full eight hours of sleep? Best gift ever!
Promising review: "I love that this compact little device serves so many purposes! It serves as a clock, alarm clock, sound machine, nightlight, and sleep trainer all in one! My daughter loves that the 'face' on it goes to sleep when it’s bedtime and the green light lets her know it’s morning and time to wake up. We do not use the alarm clock feature yet, but the nightlight component turning from yellow and then to green lets her know that morning is approaching and also when it’s the 'right time' to get out of bed in the a.m.! Everything about this device is easy to set and I love the option to lock the device once all of the settings are selected. Cute and functional addition to our daughter’s room!" —Amazon Customer
Get it from Amazon for $49.99 (available in four colors).
34. A 20-piece beach toy set with mesh bag for fun in the sand, whether it be at the beach or in a box. This isn't your basic drugstore shovel and bucket kit, which makes it all the more gift-worthy.
Promising review: "The plastic is surprisingly strong and durable. The colors are vibrant and fun. Some of these toys are porous and so we’ll be using them as bath toys. Note that it comes with a low quality mesh bag that doesn’t make for a good carrier. I didn’t need that as we already have a bag for the beach toys." —Tanner
Get it from Amazon for $13.99.
35. A kids selfie camera with 32GB SD card, 8 mega-pixels, 1080P video and nearly 8,000 5-star reviews on Amazon! But the real gift here is not having to surrender your phone to future social media superstars of the world.
Promising review: "As a professional photographer and father, my children are always making arduous attempts to get ahold of my equipment or mimic my camera use...Upon receiving the cameras, I was dazzled with the overall packaging and presentation. The box includes a microSD card with a full-size SD adapter, a lanyard and camera. I was very impressed that a microSD card is included. A lot of products continue to ship without them, charging an additional hefty fee...The cameras are made of plastic but are very rigid and durable. I would have liked to have seen a better display image, but for the price and demographic these cameras are marketed for; it is perfectly acceptable, and the children love them...Another notable feature of this camera is the ability to record video. This is not something you usually find in a child’s toy, especially at this price point. My children are obsessed with this function and find themselves creating stories and snippets from their day-to-day activities and adventures...I would strongly recommend this camera for children looking to explore their creativity and increase their technical skills, while becoming familiar with the ergonomics and functions of basic camera operation, composition and lighting...You can tell a lot of thought and engineering went into the design of this camera." —Nolen Ryan
Get it from Amazon for $30.99 (available in four colors).
36. A bean bag toss game for kids to develop the most important hand-to-eye-skills necessary for backyard good times. Folds up for storage and easy portability (like indoors).
Promising review: "I needed something that would keep my three-year-old busy while I cooked dinner in the kitchen. This thing is amazing. It fits nicely in my small kitchen, and I can even toss the bean bags with him while I cook. So we are interacting, he is entertained, and not tugging on my leg every few seconds. It also provides him something that he can do on his own. You can stand it up, or lay it down, and it provides two different levels of difficulty. It folds up really small and comes with a carrying case, so we can easily take it with us on vacations and such! I'm pretty happy with this purchase." —Jose Martinez
Get it from Amazon for $23.99 (available in three styles).
37. A rocket bath toy so kids who hate bath- and shampoo-time and their beleaguered parents who can't abide by a dirty child can finally come to some sort of daily detente.
Promising review: "I got this toy for my nephew, and he really likes it when taking a bath! He used to take a short bath because he is tired of playing with his little yellow duck during bath. Now he has this rocket, he enjoys taking a much longer bath whiling playing with this toy. The toy was made with good material, and you can feel the quality. The bottom part of the rocket will spin when filled with water, which can be used as a portable shower head. My nephew not only uses this rocket during bath but also plays with it at the beach or in the back yard. I would recommend this to parents who want their kids to take longer bath." —duan1991
Get it from Amazon for $12.99 (available in two colors).