Toys for Three-Year-Olds

Three-year-olds are on the cusp of their school lives. They benefit immensely from toys that teach them things they’ll use in school such as fine motor skills and creative thinking. In this article, we’ll outline several toys for your 3-year-old that will help keep them both entertained and intellectually active as they progress through this important developmental phase.

1. Fishin’ Bath Toy by Munchkin – $7.01

Image Source: Amazon

A lot of kids enjoy their bath time. This is a great time to incorporate both fun and learning by teaching hand-eye coordination, cause-and-effect, as well as several other skills. Munchkin’s “Fishin’ Bath Toy” accomplishes all of the above and will keep your child entertained for countless bathing sessions.

Pros:

  • Helps your child practice hand-eye coordination
  • Includes fishing rod and 3 bobbing characters
  • Characters feature magnets on the top for easy attachment to fishing rod

Cons:

  • Characters and fishing rod may retain water
  • Rope does not wind up or down
  • Screws in fishing rod may rust

2. Let’s Play House! Dust! Sweep! Mop! by Melissa & Doug – $29.99

Image Source: Melissa and Doug

Kids often enjoy helping with things around the house like cleaning or cooking. Having this toy handy will ensure your child has the tools they need to practice crucial skills they will use later in life.

Pros:

  • Six-piece set includes a kid-sized broom, mop, duster, brush, dustpan, and storage stand
  • Made from natural wood
  • Strong cords to hang tools when not in use
  • Encourages kids to help with chores and be responsible

Cons:

  • Wood may be unfinished and have a gritty feel
  • Mop does not function with real water

3. Scoop & Serve Ice Cream Counter by Melissa & Doug – $49.99

Image Source: Melissa and Doug

This toy encourages children to learn about jobs and responsibility. This Melissa & Doug set promotes imagination and lets your child get their first look at what it’s like to run a business. Utilizing this set can teach various skills such as counting, interacting, and multi-tasking.

Pros:

  • A 28-piece pretend ice cream counter that comes with a menu and play money
  • Allows kids to practice customer interactions such as greetings and handling money
  • Lets imaginations run freely with numerous ice cream and topping combinations

Cons:

  • Ice cream may be hard to get in and out of the scoop
  • Scooper may wear easily and become non-functional

4. Alpha SlideWriter by Think & Learn – $20.00

Image Source: Fisher-Price

Children at this age are developing their handwriting before school begins. The Alpha SlideWriter is an excellent way for them to practice in a mess-free setting where they’re free to write as much as they please. This set has several features that will aid your child in constructing words and can be extremely beneficial to their reading and writing progress.

Pros:

  • Provides mess-free writing
  • Features moveable letters so kids can practice spelling different words
  • Has a specially designed pen that is easy for kids to grasp
  • Screen features writing guidelines and an eraser for continuous practice

Cons:

  • Moving letters around the board may be difficult and tedious
  • Limited number of vowels and blank tiles

5. A to Z Learning Zoo by Fisher-Price Little People – $39.99

Image Souce: Fisher-Price

It is always sensible to teach your child about animals. Children usually love to learn about them, which makes it a fun avenue to provide an educational environment for them. Using this Fisher-Price Learning Zoo, your child will learn to associate animal names with the corresponding animals. They’ll also learn more about letters and word formation.

Pros:

  • Each letter that your child learns corresponds to an animal whose name begins with that letter
  • Letters are spoken when their button is pressed or the animal is shaken
  • Brightly-colored animals are easy to hold

Cons:

  • Does not come with a list naming all the animals
  • Not all animals have a home in the small set
  • Sound mat may wear easily

6. Shape and Learn Colors and Shapes by Play-Doh – $6.50

Image Source: Wal-mart

At this age, your child might already be a fan of Play-Doh. This toy combines their love for Play-Doh with their love for making unique crafts. The shape cutters are double-sided and ready to create crisp shapes for your child to learn.

Pros:

  • Encourages creative thinking and develops fine motor skills
  • Comes with 8 shape cutters, 8 small tubs of Play-Doh, and 2 double-sided playmats
  • Includes a Together Time Guide

Cons:

  • Shape cutters require a sizeable amount of Play-Doh to create a shape
  • Playmats are made of paper and not plastic

7. B. Woofer Hound Dog Guitar by B. toys – $22.99

Image Source: Target

Creating music can be a very healthy hobby for your child to have when they are older. This toy definitely encourages kids to learn about music and explore their creative sides. Playing instruments can also turn into something really fun for a lot of kids. This toy also encourages kids to try new instruments to discover cool sounds.

Pros:

  • Features 20 classic children’s songs
  • Guitar design includes a strap and realistic strings
  • Has a colorful and unique design that your child will love

Cons:

  • May wear easily
  • Sensitive to being dropped

8. Horse Barn by Our Generation – $79.99

Image Source: Target

This toy promotes kind and caring behaviors towards animals. It teaches kids about all the ways you can take care of your animals. It shows them that having animals means you must be willing to devote time to keeping them healthy and happy. In addition, 10% of all Our Generation purchases go towards Free the Children’s Power of a Girl initiative

Pros:

  • Perfectly sized for Our Generation dolls and horses (fits dolls up to 18 inches tall)
  • Features stalls for three horses
  • Barn features 2 stall doors to prevent horses from leaving

Cons:

  • Maybe too big for your available space
  • Stall doors may be too flimsy

9. Learn & Groove Musical Mat by LeapFrog – $23.99

Image Source: Wal-mart

This musical playmat is great for one or more players. It lets kids work together to create unique tunes and encourages kids to be active through dancing and jumping. The musical mat is a great way to encourage interaction with other children in a way that can provide educational value.

Pros:

  • Over 4 feet wide
  • Features over 50 songs and phrases
  • Teaches your child about counting, animals, and instruments
  • Features three modes: Explore, Music, and Game

Cons:

  • Very low volume
  • Requires a lot of pressure on the mat to work

10. My Own Mail Box by Melissa & Doug – $16.65

Image Source: Wal-mart

This realistic mailbox teaches kids about the mail system, and why creating and sending mail is crucial for long-distance communication.

Pros:

  • Teaches kids about real-world responsibilities and actions
  • Features reusable parts like postcards, pencils, and crayons
  • Has letter and number stickers so your child can practice creating their own correspondence

Cons:

  • Mailbox door may not stay shut properly
  • Crayons may be oily or soft

11. Ford F-150 by Fisher-Price Power Wheels – $370.00

Image Source: Mattel

This truck is kid-sized and ready to roll. It teaches kids important responsibilities, like safe driving habits and awareness for their passengers. Create some safe driving courses to let your child practice different driving maneuvers. Ensure your child practices driving with a passenger, and that they share the driving responsibilities in equal turns. When the fun comes to an end, emphasize the importance of parking your vehicle in a safe place and taking your keys and belongings with you.

Pros:

  • Works in various road conditions such as mud, wet grass, and rough terrain
  • Features Power Lock brakes and a real FM radio and MP3 jack
  • Drives both forwards and backwards with maximum speeds of 2.5 and 5 mph
  • Has room for two
  • Works with a 12-volt battery and charger
  • FM radio requires 4 C batteries

Cons:

  • FM radio requires 4 separate C batteries
  • Radio may not stay on while driving
  • Tires may wear easily

12. Easy Score Basketball Set by Little Tikes – $27.99

Image Source: Little Tikes

Kids often play sports for energetic release, as well as to have fun while working with others. Sports are a great way for kids to remain active and healthy. This toy will help your child discover the world of basketball while improving their hand-eye coordination. It includes both a basket and a 6-inch basketball.

Pros:

  • The height of the basket can be adjusted to 6 different settings, between 2.5 feet and 4 feet
  • Wide rim and large backboard allow for easy scoring
  • Base of the stand may be filled with sand for added stability
  • Can be used indoors or outdoors
  • Promotes team cooperation as well as friendly competition

Cons:

  • Rim may be crooked, causing it to fall off easily
  • Stand is very easily tipped over

Three-year-olds are open-minded and are always looking for new ways to have fun. Toys like these can provide several ways to teach them skills they’ll need as they grow as well as encouraging interaction with other children.

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