At 3 years of age the world of children’s toys really enters another level as children begin exploring independently, socialising, initiating conversations and letting you know what their interests are. At this age children are beginning to learn things like their basic shapes, numbers and colours and starting to engage in more in-depth pretend and imaginative play.
With this in mind when shopping for the best toys and gifts for 3-year-old, any open ended toy that fosters pretend and imaginative play is sure to be a hit. But it’s a good idea to look out for educational toys that will start getting them ready for preschool, especially if they help practice numbers, letters and shapes. Of course, 3-year-olds still have the attention spans of toddlers, so you’ll also have to find something that’s fun and engaging first and foremost.
To help, Ruth (primary school teacher, toy expert and mother to 2 young boys) has picked out her top toy gift ideas for 3 year olds that are sure to be a hit.
42 brightly-coloured wooden magnetic blocks which can be arranged on the board to replicate any of the 50 full-colour puzzle cards, such as animals, faces, vehicles, flowers, structures and more! Plus, the magnetic creation surface doubles as a dry-erase board. The colourful pattern cards are numbered in order of difficulty, ranging from beginner to expert. As each pattern becomes more challenging, patience and confidence is gained through trial and error. Once recreating the patterns has been mastered, creativity takes over through free play. Imagination Patterns inspires hours of continuous play and will quickly become a household favourite! Features a sturdy wood carrying case with durable hinges and rope handles.
The Hurlóg is the perfect gift for your 3 year old budding hurlers / camogie players. Made of a light, soft foam it is safer for younger children to use. A soft foam ball is also included. The Hurlóg is soft, light, safe and great fun to use both indoors and outdoors. The Hurlóg has been hugely popular at Cogs since we started stocking it in late 2022.
A junior hockey version is also available here.
This easy-to-learn game is ideal for 3-year-olds because it involves no reading and no dice with numbers to count — instead, there’s a spinner to flick on a coloured wheel and matching acorns to pick up — yet it still fosters learning in a quick-paced setup, teaching about colours and improving fine motor control. Games like this also teach the skills of sharing, turn-taking, and handling frustration when losing.
Give dress-up playtime a creative boost with costumes and role play accessories from Melissa & Doug. Dress up as your favourite career specialist – Fire Chief, Pediatric Nurse, Doctor, Police Officer, Veterinarian, Pilot, Astronaut, Scientist, Chef, Cowboy or Construction Worker. These dress-up-and-play sets come with everything a child needs to look the part, plus exciting accessories to spur imaginative play. Recommended for ages 3 to 6.
Read the funny story of two inquisitive kids, Ty and Karlie, and build simple, non-motorized models of the robots they construct and fix during their adventure to an automated candy factory! During this zany outing, Ty and Karlie build various robots to perform tasks and solve problems in the factory. The robots have moving parts, wheels, and gears, so kids can learn first hand about simple machines and gear trains. As you follow the story, you can build models of the ten robots featured in the story. Large, colorful plastic building pieces make it easy for small hands to put the models together.
Have fun scooping up some cool treats for your friends and family with this adorable Wooden Ice Cream Counter. The sturdy all-inclusive, 28-piece tabletop counter holds eight wooden scoops of different-flavoured ice cream, six assorted toppings, two cones, a plastic cup, an ice cream scooper, tongs, and a wooden spoon. The scooper fits into a hole on top of the scoops to lift, stack, and release. Take orders on the reusable menu card, pay with play money, and serve up delicious fun!
A fun and easy way to help develop your child’s creativity, concentration and hand-eye co-ordination skills. This original Hammer-Tic game provides a cork board, coloured pieces and a hammer for your child to hammer whatever designs their imagination desires! A great idea for a present or rainy day activity, this set can be used again and again.
6 quality painting sticks in plastic dispensers. Simply twist the base and use to draw and colour. The painting sticks glide smoothly over paper and are quick to dry. Mess-free, no need for paintbrushes or water.
One of Cogs The Brain Shops all time best seller, Squigz are fun little suckers! Construction with suction! Apply pressure to two Squigz. Air rushes out and the fun rushes in! Named Best in Play by Parenting Magazine, these fun, flexible little suckers come in eight different shapes and stick to each other and any flat, non-porous surface without leaving a mark. Just break out your creativity and fine motor skills to make anything your pliable little mind can dream up. Build a tree, a rocket ship, an octopus.
The Orchard Toys Shopping List lotto game uses quick and simple gameplay which holds children’s attention! Players take it in turns to turn over cards showing everyday items, from tomatoes to washing powder to pizza. If they match the pictures on their shopping list, they are encouraged to say the item out loud and add it to their trolley.
Older children can play more strategically by remembering where the cards from their list have been placed. The winner is the first player to collect all the items on their list and fill their trolley or basket!
A great way to extend learning is to ask children to recognise the different grocery items from their list and read them aloud, both while playing the game and on a trip to the supermarket!
When you play bingo with these bears, it’s never the same game twice! Kids build counting, color, and other toddler preschool learning skills every time they challenge the Bingo Bears from Learning Resources. This skill-building take on the classic game of bingo gets kids thinking from the very beginning—with this toddler brain toy, you build your own bingo cards, so it’s never the same game twice! Once kids have assembled their cards, they can choose from this set’s two smart bingo game modes—kid can either match their pieces by number, or sort and match by color and size on their way to victory! In addition to building school-ready counting and color skills, kids also learn essential social-emotional learning skills, including taking turns, following directions, and more.