The best toys for three year olds will really help them embrace the changes and child development stages they are going through at this age.
Three year olds show an increased sense of independence, curiosity in the world around them (you will be asked lots of questions) and will have developed skills like holding a pencil well, climbing, scooting, riding a balance bike and more.
These new skills and newfound independence mean there are a whole host of new toys for three year olds that they will love to play with and we’ve rounded up the best below.
So, whether you’re looking for the perfect present for a three year old or just treating a little tyke in your life to a new toy, we’ve got you covered.
Best toys for 3 year olds 2021
Giant Road Jigsaw
Age Suitability: 3 years + | Batteries required: None | Price: £8.99
This ginormous 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 traverse time and time again.
Age Suitability: 3 years + | Batteries required: None | Price: £109.99
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.
Personalised Twinning Superhero Cape Superstar Rainbow
Age Suitability: 3 years + | Batteries required: None | Price: £34
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 three year old, the great quality fabric means the cape will last for years to come.
Wooden dolls house
Age Suitability: 3 years + | Batteries required: None | Price: £220
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
Petit Collage Fishing Around Wooden Fishing Game
Age Suitability: 3 years + | Batteries required: None | Price: £11.16
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 GoodToKnow‘s 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.”
Toy vacuum cleaner
Age Suitability: 3 years + | Batteries required: Yes | Price: £19.99
Anyone else have a three 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.
Learning Resources Smart Scoops Math Set
Age Suitability: 3 years + | Batteries required: None | Price: £16
Scoop up early maths skills with this fun, hands-on, ice-cream themed sorting activity set that supports a variety of early maths skills such as colour recognition, matching, sorting and counting within young learners.
Lawn mower toy
Age Suitability: 12 months + | Batteries required: None | Price: £25
Much like the trusty toy vacuum cleaner, a toy lawn mower is a staple when it comes to toys for three year olds who love to mimic what they see happening in the world around them. A great garden toy that also improves gross motor skills like balance and coordination.
Age Suitability: 3 years + | Batteries required: None | Price: £49.95
This bestselling toy is loved by adults and children alike thanks to the hours of good, clean fun it provides for young ones. Parents reported their children spending hours playing with this toy in the garden and with a lock, lock gates, crane, a marina ramp, an amphibious truck and a transport boat with containers all included – we can totally see why.
Wooden Teaching Clock
Age Suitability: 3 years + | Batteries required: None | Price: £12.99
Toys for three year olds that help them build number and colour recognition are a great way to help prepare them for pre-school and this wooden clock is also a fun way to help build on their new perception of time.
First Mosaic Pictures Craft Kit
Age Suitability: 3 years + | Batteries required: None | Price: £6.99
A fun activity to encourage manual dexterity, colour and shape recognition as children match the foam tiles to the coloured shapes in the pictures to create colourful pictures.
Wooden Toy Kitchen
Age Suitability: 3 years + | Batteries required: None | Price: £139
This smart wooden kitchen is a great way to spark a child’s imagination and encourage creative play between kids. This wooden toy kitchen comes with a clock, sink, oven dials and an opening oven door. You also get pots, pans and a set of utensils for the full mini kitchen experience.
SmarTrike Scooter T3
Age Suitability: 3 years + | Batteries required: None | Price: £64.99
The T3 has two adaptable stages – a practice mode and a freestyle mode – that help to improve your child’s skills in a fun, innovative way and allows them to get more fun out of the scooter as they become more confident. The handlebar height isn’t adjustable on this one though, so it won’t grow with your child.
Melissa & Doug Lacing Beads In A Box
Age Suitability: 3 years + | Batteries required: None | Price: £12
Kids will love playing with these colourful beads in all different shapes and sizes. The design is great for colour and number recognition and threading the beads onto the string will be a fun challenge for little ones as they develop their fine motor skills.
Personalised Pink Wooden Tea Set
Age Suitability: 3 years + | Batteries required: None | Price: £28
It’s tea time! This cute yet durable play set comes with a teapot, 2 cups and saucers, 2 spoons and a tray. Plus, it can be personalised which make a lovely present for the three year old in your life.
VTech Toot-Toot Drivers Fire Station
Age Suitability: 12 months + | Batteries required: Yes | Price: £29.99
There’s hours of imaginative play potential with this fire station toy for 3 year olds thanks to the spinning fire pole, slide with flip-down flames, open and close windows, spinning disk, launcher, pop-up fire, lift, alarm and swinging flag. The track pieces are all interchangeable too.
Learning Resources Playfoam
Age Suitability: 3 years + | Batteries required: None | Price: £9
This non-toxic play foam is great for messy play, but it doesn’t stick to hands, hair, clothes or carpet, so you can let little ones play for hours without worrying about where the foam will end up . Kids love it and parents are impressed with how long it keeps their children entertained – as well as the fact it doesn’t go everywhere!
John Lewis & Partners Wooden Rocking Cradle
Age Suitability: 3 years + | Batteries required: None | Price: £35
Parents love the fact that this dolls cot is good quality and very sturdy – handy for when your three year old hasn’t quite learnt their own strength yet! Kids will love playing dolls and putting their ‘babies’ to bed in the cot.
Osmo Little Genius Starter Kit
Age Suitability: 3 years + | Batteries required: None | Price: £82.09
This toy for 3 year olds is great for encouraging imaginative play, critical thinking, letter recognition, phonics, construction and vocabulary.
A holistic approach to early learning, the Little Genius Starter pack is designed to take kids aged 3–5 on a hands-on learning adventure. The only downside for some families is that the set requires you to have an iPad or Amazon tablet to play.
Baby Doll Pram
Age Suitability: 3 years + | Batteries required: None | Price: £35
This toy pram is a bestseller, with parents and grandparents loving how good quality and sturdy it is. Kids will love pushing around a pram just like they’ve seen adults doing and the little basket underneath means they can fit any accessories they desire along with their toys into the pram for an adventure.
BRIO World Railway Starter Set
Age Suitability: 3 years + | Batteries required: None | Price: £24.99
Children will have hours of fun playing with a train set and the different pieces and characters provided in this box well be great for helping to build their vocabulary. Storytelling and role play also promote personal, social and emotional development.
Mum and consumer expert Heidi Scrimgeour says: “Brio is one of the best toys money can buy, and I particularly love that the sets are all compatible so you get real value for money. Start with this set and then add to your collection.”
What kind of games can three year olds play?
The best toys for three 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 explained to 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.’
A child’s imagination begins to really develop at age three too, so this will change the way that they play too. You will start to see how they enjoy pretend or make-believe games – and may even invent an imaginary friend.
‘As children start to get ready for school, play sets and dressing up toys and other games that they can play with friends are great,’ Dr Amanda recommends.
What are the best learning toys for three year olds?
Your child’s language skills will be improving every day around this age, making it a good time to introduce your child to letters and sounds.
You don’t want to put them under any pressure to learn however, so keeping it fun and playful with educational toys is a great way to do this. We’ve included some below in our round up of the best toys for three year olds.
Dr. Amanda Gummer also advises that ‘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,’ she explains.
‘Social skills such as sharing and turn taking are also important so playing simple games and having play dates where children can practise sharing are great.’
Your child’s memory will also be improving now, and they may be able to remember the words and tunes of favourite songs or nursery rhymes. Three year olds may also be able to count to 10 and recognise some colours. So any games that help practice these skills are also good.
What are the best toys for three year olds?
Below we’ve rounded up the best toys for three year olds out there for 2020. From toys and dolls that will encourage their emotional development to games that will challenge their newly learnt skills.
The most important thing about all of the toys for three year olds included below? Kids and parents alike both love them! So you can be assured that you’re in good company when purchasing one for the lucky three year old in your life.