My oldest child is turning 3 in two weeks… How can it be!? We already have so many toys that we have accumulated over the last three years. So I want to pick gifts that are REALLY useful… not those toys that she only plays with for three days and then they get stuck rotting on the bottom of the toy dresser. After researching, I found few good gift ideas for 3-year-olds.
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Reading is a huge part of kids’ learning. At age three, they start to outgrow the board books. It’s also a good age to start working on sight words. I mentioned in my previous post the “Pete the Cat: I Love my White Shoes” book that my daughter just loves, is from the library so we are going to buy our own. She also loves Corduroy. Such a sweet book.
2. Toy Cash Register
A toy cash register is great because it teaches children basic math concepts (the learning part) while enhancing imaginative play (the fun part).
Another idea I had was to use some of the birthday money to download educational game apps. These are some great ones.
Magnetic letters and numbers can go on the fridge (or a magnetic board) and are a simple and low-tech way to learn the alphabet.
Wooden puzzles with letters, numbers, animals, and shapes are another favorite for teaching problem solving and developing fine motor skills.
7. Dress ups
There are so many costume options out there: princess dresses, fireman hat, wand, etc. Open end imagination is just as good as running and jumping outside.
A set of play food and cutting food playsets (that have “cut up” plastic fruits and knives)are terrific fuel for pretend play and have the bonus of developing fine motor skills.
9. Art Supplies
Art is as much about the thought process and the development of fine motor skills as it is about exploring senses, lengthening attention spans, and building self-esteem. Three-year-olds have a harder time expressing their feelings, so art is a great tool for them to express their feelings.
Preschoolers have developed enough language skills to be able to learn words to songs, remember hand movements, and move to music to reflect different moods. My daughter loves to sing jingle bells with her bells even though it’s middle of summer. Ha! She also loves tapping with her drumsticks singing, “This is how we tap our sticks… so early in the morning.”
My daughter loves Magna-Tiles so much that she plays with them every day. They’re really easy for her to build without any frustrations with them falling apart. Right now we only have thirty pieces. We definitely can use some more Magna-Tiles. They can keep a roomful of children occupied for hours.
A great toy is one that children will interact with in creative ways, and that they will come back to again and again for many years. I hope this list will help give you some ideas for what gifts to get for your 3-year-olds!
What’s your child’s current favorite toy?