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My previous two blog posts ( 10 Gift Ideas for someone turning 1 and 10 Birthday Present Ideas for a 2-Year-Old) have been very well received, so I thought I’d follow the course and give you some ideas of what to give a child who is turning 3.
Children who are turning three are probably starting pre-school soon or have already started. Here, they will learn to play with other children and they will also be introduced to lots of new toys. You will start to notice the types of toys they gravitate towards and so you should be able to make more informed choices when it comes to choosing toys and games for this age group.
One great thing about choosing toys for this age group is that the variety and number of toys increase hugely. This is because there are very strict quality standards for toys for children under the age of 3, so most toys (even though you’d probably think are designed for a one or two-year-old) come with a warning that they are not suitable for children under 3. Now that your child is turning 3, you will have more choice. However, with this in mind, choose carefully. If you choose a toy that is too advanced for your child, they will give up on it early and possibly never return to it, even when they are able for it.
Anyway, let’s get on with the show! Here are my favourite gifts for three-year-olds.
It’s fun to play games with your kids, especially games that challenge you too. This Matching Pairs Game from Djeco is great for all ages. Children this age can also manage games like Dominoes and Bingo/Lotto
Imaginary play is part of everyday life for children this age and giving a gift of play food will go down well. Whether it’s a tea set, a pizza or cutting food, when you invest in wooden play food, you can be sure it will last.
Stamps are a great way of expressing your creativity and with a little bit of guidance, your child can create lovely scenes using wooden stamps and colourful ink. The ones that I stock that are most suitable for three-year-olds are the Melissa and Doug Wooden Stamps. I love the Butterflies and Hearts. Each set comes with 4 wooden stamps and an ink block with four coloured ink.
Have you noticed how independent your child is becoming? They want to copy everything you are doing including food preparation! This could be dangerous, only for Kiddies Food Kutters and Peelers which are designed for use by children as young as 3 and have no shape blades but are effective in cutting fruit and vegetables and peeling them.
Your child will be learning pen control and these fun sets of 6 paper masks come with 6 pens. They are ideal for doing with their little friends or for keeping your child busy while you have a peaceful cup of tea. I stock them in Princesses and Dinosaurs.
Children love picking stickers off and sticking them on things and these foam mosaic crafts from Djeco are perfect for three-year-olds. Choose between Elephant and Snail images to cover with stickers or Dinosaur ones. The stickers colours are numbers and each sheet has numbers on it, guiding your child to what sticker to place where.
It’s great to be able to encourage independent play and imaginative play and having a few larger toys that can be used outdoors or indoors and can be played with alone or with friends make great investments. I personally love the quality of Bruder Toys and (I no longer) stock the John Deere Tractor, the Schaeff Mini Excavator and the Ausa Mini-Dumper.
These books have black and white pages, but use the magic water pen on them and colours and patterns appear on the pages. The best thing about these books is that they dry within minutes and when they dry they return to the original black and white form, ready to be used over and over. On each page, there are also items to spot and count, adding an educational element to this activity. They cost €7.75 each and I stock them in Animals, Pet Mazes, Under the Sea, Fairytale, and Makeup and Manicures.
You will find that your child has more control over their fine motor skills and they will be able to manage more intricate jobs like dressing dolls. The Lottie Doll range is an Irish company and their dolls and accessories are gorgeous and top quality yet affordable. Unlike similar dolls on the market, Lottie is shaped like a girl and not a woman and the accessories are clothes or activities that children wear and do, so your child can relate to the doll and activities.
Every child is different when it comes to ability and puzzles. But if your child likes jigsaw puzzles, aim for puzzles that have between 24 and 50 pieces. This World wooden jigsaw puzzle has 24 pieces and it costs €10. While this Ballerina, and Fairy puzzles from Djeco have 36 pieces each.
At this age, you can introduce magnets to your child. I love this Magnetic Pattern Box and also this tin that you can make different faces and expressions with. Finally, your child could have great fun with this wooden magnetic dress up people
I hope this blog post has given you some inspiration on what to buy for that special three-year-old in your life. If you need more ideas, check out my full range of toys for 3-5-year-olds here. I hope your child has a wonderful third birthday.