Children who are turning three are probably starting pre-school soon or have already started. If you’re wanting to prepare them for starting preschool, check out this blog – Ways to Prepare your child for Preschool. 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.
Role Play Toys
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, lollipops or ice-lollies , when you invest in wooden play food, you can be sure it will last. If they love role play activities, but already have lots of play food, how about treating them to a Tool Set, Vanity Set or a Doctors Set?
Stamps and Craft Sets
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 Happy Handle Stamp Set, Ocean Stamp Set and the Garden Stamp Set. Each set comes with 4 wooden stamps and an ink block with four coloured ink. If your child still puts things in their mouth, then it might be best to wait a little longer to purchase these, as they are small.
This set of Jungle themed puzzles has 4 progressive difficulty jigsaws in it. Starting with 12 pieces and working up to 24 pieces. Depending on the child, these puzzles may present as being too easy but they are recommended by Galt for children aged 3+. I also stock progressive difficulty puzzles in farm and vehicles pictures.
If wooden puzzles are more appealing, I stock a flat World Map one that has 24 pieces.
Your child can have fun making patterns or completing pictures which this gorgeous Animo Mosaico Peg Board from Djeco Toys.
Children love picking stickers off and sticking them on things. I stock a large range of mosaic sticker activities for this age group including the Janod Mosaic Vehicles and My First Mosaic Pictures. Both these sets have raised foam stickers, so little hands can manage them.
Often spinning tops are given to toddlers and babies – who love to watch them spin but who are too young to spin them themselves. By the time your child has reached three, their fine and gross motor skills will have developed so that they will start to manage the pumping action that the spinning top requires. These tin spinning tops are really popular on my website and they come in 3 different patterns.
Magic Painting Books
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. I stock them in Farm.
At this age, you can introduce magnets to your child. I love this Magnetic Pattern Box and also this tin where your child can create funny faces . This Magnetic doll is also great for helping your child make clothes choices and imagine scenarios.
Some three year olds love spending time splashing and playing in a bath or paddling pool. By supplying them with some water todays, you can add to their fun. These Silly Swimmers are wooden clockwork fish that move around in the bath.
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 or my blogs on Affordable Toys for 3 year olds or toys for 4 year olds. The following blogs might also come in handy – Top 10 Play Foods, Travel Activities for 3 and 4 year olds, and STEM activities for pre-school aged children.