Need some toy ideas for your favorite threenager? Our list of best toys for three year olds has you covered. We’ve curated this list to line up with the skills and milestones your three year old is learning to perfect. No gimmicky toys or passive entertainment here – these toys are just as great for learning as they are for having fun!
Best for Art & Creativity: Tabletop Easel $34.99
If you loved your child’s scribbles and fingerpaints before, just wait until they start attempting their first real drawings. Three is a special age for your child’s interest in arts and crafts. Whereas before they were mostly fascinated by the colors and textures of their crayons and paints, around 3 or 4 years of age, they’ll start attempting their first stick figures and other simple representations. They might be hard to make out at first, but just wait – you’ll be surprised by how fast their skills develop!
A great way to support their drawing and writing is with a fun easel of their very own. They not only make art time more enticing; they help little hands develop a proper grasp of writing tools, an important pre-writing skill! We think the Tabletop Easel is a great size for little ones, but if you want an Easel that will grow with them into the elementary years, be sure to check out our full line of kids’ art easels. $34.99
Best for Musical Fun: Lil’ Symphony Wooden Drum $18.99
A toy that can take a beating! The Lil’ Symphony Wooden Drum is tough enough to stand up to the toddler treatment – a good thing because your toddler won’t want to put it down. The included neck strap means they can start their own one-man marching band. With sturdy sticks and real drum tones, this little toy is great for inspiring an interest in music and teaching basic rhythm.
Best Toy for Fine Motor Development: On-the-Go Building Blocks Set $24.99
Three year olds are still perfecting their fine motor skills, and building bricks are perfect for increasing strength and dexterity in their hands and fingers. Skills that we take for granted – like the ability to line up two bricks perfectly or the strength to pull bricks apart – are still challenging for your toddler. The physical challenge of working with the blocks and the creativity of building their own structures make this a toy that’s sure to hold their attention.
The On-the-Go Building Blocks set is a great intro to building bricks for toddlers. It has just enough bricks to let them get creative but not enough to overwhelm or distract them. Plus, its portability makes it a great toy for meltdown-free road trips, plane rides, and meals out.
Best Learning Toy for 3 Year Olds: 60-piece Wooden Block Set $59.99
Yep, another block set! While building bricks are great for your three year old’s fine motor development, it’s still tough for them to build larger structures with them. With the 60-piece wooden block set, they can stack and connect pieces easily and push their building skills to the limit. Plus, half the fun of blocks at this age is that satisfying crash of knocking down a tower!
But what exactly are they learning as they play with blocks? A lot! Block play is associated with improved spatial reasoning, enhanced language development, and even higher math scores. One study found that the types of structures kids built as four year olds could predict how well they performed in math classes later on, so three is a great age to encourage more block play for your little one!
Best Toy for Three Year Old Girls: Lil’ Doll 2-pc. Play Furniture Set $62.99
Three year olds love anything that gives them “big-kid status,” including caring for smaller babies and dolls. The Lil’ Doll 2-pc. Play Furniture Set lets them practice feeding their baby dolls in a high chair and putting them to sleep in a cradle. They’ll gain more than just entertainment too; research suggests that doll play helps kids develop social skills and empathy.
Best Toys for Three Year Old Boys: Adventure Tracks Dino World T-Rex Tremor Cave $28.38 Only at Walmart
Where do we even start when it comes to the benefits of toy train sets? The constructive play of building tracks is great for cognitive development as well as fine motor development. Pushing trains helps develop dexterity, fine motor skills, and grip strength. And that doesn’t even touch on the elements of pretend play – especially when you have themed train sets like the Adventure Tracks: Dino World line. The T-Rex Tremor cave is an ideal, budget-friendly introductory train set that ideal for your dino-loving little guy. For even more dinosaur fun, upgrade to the Dino World Rumble & Roar Complete Set ($109.99).
Want more gift inspiration for the three year old in your life? Shop all of our bestsellers for kid-tested toys they’re sure to love!
*Prices are correct as of the publication of this article.