26 of the best toys for 3 year olds in 2022

A collage of the best toys for 3 year olds

The best toys for 3 year olds will allow them to do something they absolutely love at this age – playing with others.

Child development expert and psychologist Dr. Amanda Gummer (opens in new tab) told us, "As children get older, their friends have a bigger and more important role to play and this starts with the transition around 2 or 3 years of age from parallel play to cooperative play. Children go from playing alongside other children with minimal interaction to playing with them, either competing with them or collaborating with them."

You will start to see how they enjoy pretend or make-believe games and may even invent an imaginary friend.  Dr. Amanda added, "As children start to get ready for school, playsets and dressing-up toys and other games that they can play with friends are great. At 3 years old, social skills such as sharing and turn-taking are also important. Playing simple games and having play dates where children can practise sharing are great."

It's at this age that you'll notice a leap as they develop their fine and gross motor skills. They'll also become more adventurous. Your 3 year old's language skills (opens in new tab) will be improving every day, making it a good time to introduce them to letters and sounds.

Your child’s memory will also be improving. They may be able to remember the words and tunes of favourite songs or nursery rhymes. 3-year-olds may also be able to count to 10 and recognise some colours. So any games and activities for toddlers (opens in new tab) that help practice these skills are a good idea.

Dr. Amanda added,  ‘holistic development’ is just as important as ‘learning things like letters and numbers. "Communication skills are key when in a group setting. So helping children develop their language skills so they can be understood and can ask for things when they are in a childcare setting is really beneficial.

Best toys for 3 year olds in 2022

1. Personalised Twinning Superhero Cape Superstar Rainbow

Father holding son who is wearing a personalised Superhero Cape

Age Suitability: 3 years + | Batteries required: None

This personalised rainbow printed superhero cape with a matching mask is the perfect gift for any child reaching for the skies. A gorgeous present for any 3 year old, the great quality fabric means the cape will last for years to come.

No doubt you'll notice a child show an interest in superheros at some stage - even if it's just fleeting. What we love most about this superhero cape, however, is the fact that it isn't branded. There's no Batman or Robin type logo, for example. This makes it a much more classic, timeless choice.

VIEW AT NOTHS | £34 (opens in new tab)

2. TP Toys Junior Chef Wooden Mud Kitchen

Mud kitchen - one of the best toys for 3 year olds

Age Suitability: 3 years + | Batteries required: None

A mud kitchen makes messy, imaginative play easy and this one comes with a robust splash tub, refillable water butt and real working tap. You also get a starter set of mini stainless-steel pots and pans so your little garden chefs can get going right away.

A mud kitchen will keep messy play contained and you can add your old pots and pans to the mix to keep things fun and fresh. Suggested toys in the garden range at Jojo Maman Bebe include the Wooden table with sandpit inside and Plum sanpit with a canopy. The Mud Kitchen is ideal for sand as well as mud and has a top shelf that leaves plenty of room for 'garden' ingredients such as flower, grass and perhaps the odd wiggly worm or two!

VIEW AT JOJO MAMAN BEBE | £109.99 (opens in new tab)

3. Orchard Toys Giant Road Floor Puzzle

3 year old sitting on the floor playing with a giant road jigsaw toy

Age Suitability: 3 years + | Batteries required: None

This huge road jigsaw is one of Orchard Toy's best-selling toys for 3 year olds and comes with 20 interchangeable road-themed floor jigsaw pieces. Kids can build tons of different roadways for their toy vehicles to journey through time and time again.

If you've got the space - either in the playroom or in a kid's room - we think this make a fun addition to your play set up. While you can buy rugs that are completely rectangle in shape and display a similar track design, this puzzle is unique in that kids can put it together themselves. If your child is showing interest in puzzles and wants to try more, also check out the Galt Toys Alphabet Animals floor puzzle, (opens in new tab)  which is a fun and colourful design.

VIEW AT AMAZON | £11 (opens in new tab)

4. Le Toy Van Cherry Tree Hall Dollhouse

Age Suitability: 3 years + | Batteries required: None

A doll’s house is arguably a staple in any child’s playroom. This smart wooden house, split over four floors and featuring working wooden shutters on the windows, is certainly the best on the market for your child’s toys to move into! A doll’s house is a perfect way to encourage imaginative play, storytelling and is a great way to develop a child’s communication and social skills.

'I love the fact that this doll's house has a beautiful wooden finish and isn't garish like some of the plastic toy houses you can find online,' says Gemma, mum to Oliver and Sienna. 'I can't wait for my kids to start collecting all the little miniature pieces to go inside - such as mini telephone, piano, beds, tables and chairs etc. It's something that we'll keep forever and pass down to the grandchildren one day.'

VIEW AT SELFRIDGES | £220 (opens in new tab)

5. Petit Collage Fishing Around Wooden Fishing Game

Petit Collage Fishing Around Wooden Fishing Game

Age Suitability: 3 years + | Batteries required: None

This wooden game is great for developing dexterity in children and getting them to learn to focus to achieve their goal. Sure to keep children entertained for hours they can play on their own or in small groups, learning to take turns.

Mum and our consumer shopping expert Heidi Scrimgeour says: 'I was surprised by how much my children loved these fishing games when they were smaller. Such good value for literally hours of fun! My top tip is pop away a spare set for when the fishing rods inevitably get lost.'

If you're a fan of the Petit range you may also be interested in the Petit Collage Magnetic Play Set. (opens in new tab)  An easily portable toy, it gives you the tools to decorate an animal treehouse scene.

VIEW AT AMAZON | £11.16 (opens in new tab)

6. Casdan Dyson DC14 Toy

Casdan Dyson vacuum cleaner - one of the best toys for 3 year old

Age Suitability: 3 years + | Batteries required: Yes

Anyone else have a 3 year old that just loves to clean? Children of this age love to copy the adults around them – and that includes mimicking the chores they see you do around the house. Get them their own little vacuum so they can potter to their heart’s content.

This Casdan Dyson vacuum cleaner is a replica of the Dyson DC14 - we wish it would actually work, but alas it only features spinning beans and has realistic sounds. Sadly, you'll still need to use your own elbow grease should you want to keep your house looking tidy.

VIEW AT AMAZON | £19.99 (opens in new tab)

7. Learning Resources Smart Scoops Math Set

Learning Resources Smart Scoops Math Activity Set

Age Suitability: 3 years + | Batteries required: None

Hands up who wants ice cream? You'll be hard pressed to find a 3 year old who isn't interested in this ice cream toy. Scoop up early maths skills with this fun, hands-on, ice-cream themed sorting activity set. It supports a variety of early maths skills such as colour recognition, matching, sorting and counting within young learners.

'I like the way all the pieces can be neatly stored inside the tub after use,' says Jenny, mum to Logan and Becky. 'While my kids thought it was just an ice cream game, it has an educational element to it, which I really love.'

For a similar game that builds on numeracy skills, you can also try the Learning Resources Super Sorting Pie game. (opens in new tab) This game develops colour recognition and develops counting skills.

VIEW AT AMAZON | £16 (opens in new tab)

8. Little Tikes Gas n Go Plastic Mower

Little Tikes Gas n’ Go plastic mower - one of the best toys for 3 year olds

Age Suitability: 12 months + | Batteries required: None

Much like the trusty toy vacuum cleaner, a toy lawn mower is a staple when it comes to toys for 3 year olds. Many kids love to mimic what they see happening in the world around them through play, and this lawn mower will help them do just that. It's a great outdoor toy that also improves gross motor skills like balance and coordination.

Kids can use it in the garden come summer time, and you can bring it inside come winter. 'I love the way this toy encourages kids to get green fingered and take pride in the garden,' says Lindsay, mum to Arlo. 'I'm always gardening and my boy loves to watch and feel like he's involved, and this toy is a great way to occupy him while I get to the hard work of pulling up weeds!'

VIEW AT SELFRIDGES | £26 (opens in new tab) 

9. AquaPlay LockBox

Aquaplay LockBox

Age Suitability: 3 years + | Batteries required: None

This bestselling toy is loved by adults and children alike thanks to the hours of good fun it provides young ones. Kids can splash around in the garden with this toy. It comes with a lock, lock gates, crane, a marina ramp, an amphibious truck and a transport boat with containers all included. It makes a great fit for any marine-loving 3 year old.

Kids who love to play with this AquaPlay toy may also like the AquaPlay Boatset Children's Vehicles set (opens in new tab), which comes with 7 toys including five boats/vehicles to include in the water. 'My kids simply love water play,' says Emily, mum to Bethany and William. 'A toy like this is so versatile as when it's not filled with boats or cars, it can also be used as a base for washing little dolls or filling with bubbles and maybe even a little bit of food coloring to make the water play even more satisfying.'

VIEW AT AMAZON | £49.95 (opens in new tab)

10. Hape Chunky Clock Puzzle

3 year old playing with a Wooden Teaching Clock

Age Suitability: 3 years + | Batteries required: None

Toys for 3 year olds that help build number and colour recognition are a great way to help prepare them for pre-school.  This wooden clock is also a fun way to help them learn to tell the time. (opens in new tab) There are a number of wooden toy (opens in new tab) clocks you can buy online at Amazon too, including the Jacootoys Wooden Shape Sorting Toy Clock (opens in new tab) and while there's not that much difference in them, we've found that this Wooden Teaching Clock from Jojo Maman Bebe has the most luxurious finish we've found.

VIEW AT JOJO MAMAN BEBE | £12.99 (opens in new tab)

11. First Mosaic Pictures Craft Kit