Turning three years old is a particularly influential time in a boy’s life. For the very first time, they’re learning to interact with their peers and surroundings in entirely new ways. Kids are also sponges at this age, absorbing information and knowledge like never before.
It’s essential to provide kids with things that will facilitate their development in age-appropriate ways. The best toys for 3-year olds take advantage of the lightning storm of energy and creativity inside the typical toddler brain. From drum sets to scooters, this is when toy shopping for young children really starts to get fun.
We’re reviewing 50 of the best gifts for toddler boys and taking a closer look at some of the things we learned along the way. By the end, you’ll know precisely how to shop for the most unique presents that any three-year-old boy will love!
The Best Toys & Gifts For 3-Year Old Boys (2022 Update!)
It seems like STEM-based toys are all the rage these days, and for a good reason. Toys that entertain a child and provide some educational value are no-brainers. The Write & Learn Creative Center by VTech is one such toy, offering a litany of features and functions designed to boost your kids’ creative and intellectual development. This little work pad can do everything from stenciling to doodling and letter learning to shape recognition. The best feature is a small digital readout screen that can show your kid how to make letters.
Most of the kids we knew growing up never had a trampoline of their own, probably because they can be so bulky, expensive, and hard to deal with. Now, you can give your child the bouncy magic of a trampoline in a significantly cheaper, smaller, and easier way. The 3’ Trampoline from Little Tikes also features a sturdy crossbar for your son to hold onto as they jump up and down. This feature makes this version much safer than a full-size trampoline. If you’re looking for a gift for an energetic toddler, this is the toy you want.
Related: More Top Rated Trampolines
The 3-In-One Race And Learn Game is much more than just a video game. This console-style driving unit is pre-loaded with three different vehicle games, including a race car, fighter jet, and motorcycle. Your kid will cruise down the digital highways while hearing the realistic sounds coming from the pretend-shift stick and ignition key. The real treat here is the educational value, as each one of the playing modes teaches shapes, letters, and numbers. It’s so much fun; kids don’t even notice they’re learning. The vibrating steering wheel is a realistic touch that will have any youngster giggling up a storm.
The magic behind the Aqua Magic Drawing Board is a water-activated color board. The pictures children can create are nothing short of amazing. All you need to do is fill one of the included magic pens with warm water, replace the cap, and it’s ready to go. Young artists can start creating brightly colored doodles instantly, laughing in amazement as their pictures slowly fade back to white. There’s literally no end to the number of pictures kids can draw on the Aqua Magic Drawing Board.
Tyrannosaurus, stegosaurus, pterodactyl, oh my! By picking one of these Assorted Mini Dinosaur Figures Kits, you are opening a portal to a prehistoric world of fun and adventure. Standing at only 2 inches tall, these little lizards are the perfect companion to an afternoon of fun. Because there are 60 of them in the pack, they also make a great party favor for 3rd birthdays, family reunions, and many other occasions. Is your kid already a dinosaur-nerd? No worries; these accurate dino models encourage budding paleontologists to learn even more about the natural history of the dinosaurs.
When it comes to tabletop board games, there are only a select few that absolutely everybody knows about. Candyland is one of them. Now that your kid is three years old, he is likely ready to experience the magic and excitement of the Kingdom of Sweet Adventures. He can embark on a cross-board journey to try to reach the legendary Gumdrop Castle. Bright colors, yummy drawings, and memorable characters are just a few reasons this game has remained popular for so many decades. This is genuinely the best introductory board game out there.
We haven’t reviewed that many vehicle play toys by the relatively young toy-maker Green Toys. However, we feel that we will see more and more of their products hit the shelves in the months and years to come. Almost every toy Green Toys makes consists of 100% recycled plastic. So eco-conscious parents don’t have to worry about contributing to an already saturated plastic waste problem in the world. The Car Carrier Vehicle Set has three different cars that can all fit inside or on top of the big blue truck. Now playtime is more mobile than ever before.
It is every little boy’s dream to be just like dad, who can fix just about anything as long as he has his trusty tool set. Now, boys as young as three can enjoy their own full-featured construction tool set and workbench. This incredible set comes from the folks at Toi Choi’s. There are over 100 pieces in this set, ranging from simple tools like hammers and pliers to more advanced pretend tools. It even has a power drill and spinning plastic saw-blades. The most impressive thing is that you can break down the whole set to fit inside a suitcase-sized carrying case.
Kids love playing make-believe, and one of the games they play most commonly is doctor. Perhaps it is because, as humans, we have an innate drive to care for one another. There is something about the mind of a child that understands this fully. The Deluxe Kids Doctor Kit from KidzLane has everything you need for a detailed game of doctor. It includes a stethoscope, a pressure pump, thermometers, and many other detailed medicine toys (12 in all). KidzLane is one of the few toy-makers featured on our list that offers a Satisfaction Guarantee. It’s just one more reason to buy this awesome set.
In the process of putting together our list, we knew that there would be a lot of dinosaur-themed toys and probably an equal number of race-car toys. After all, what two things could young boys possibly like more? Now, it’s possible to have the best of both worlds with this incredible 142-piece Dinosaur Race Track Set by HOMOFY. It features a flexible track you can re-shape and a collection of detailed dinosaur figurines. Your son will use the included park jeep to escape the dino-monsters and get to safety. There are even a few plastic palm trees included to complete the scene.
There is nothing like a bit of unstructured drawing time to stoke the imagination and calm the nerves of any overly-energetic child. This three-pack of drawing paper pads offers 150 sheets children can use for anything from mindless doodles to ongoing works of art. The paper is heavyweight, which stands up well to the crayon & colored pencil scratching of the average 3-year-old. The additional thickness also means markers won’t bleed through as much. Therefore, your child to use both sides of the paper instead of just one.
When you’re three, you’re barely too young for many Lego sets due to their small pieces. But fortunately, Duplo is there for all of us. As the more toddler-focused brand of Lego, all Duplo sets are designed specifically for kids as young as 2. The bright colors and jumbo-sized pieces are big selling points for any toddler. Plus, the real swiveling action makes these just as cool as some of the more expensive truck toys out there. This set comes with two small vehicles and two worker figurines. It’s the perfect gift for brothers or the multi-child household.
No matter how old your kid is, it never hurts to make bath time a little more enjoyable. The Fishin’ Bath Toy by Munchkin is a quick way to make bathing more fun. A cute plastic fishing rod with a working reel and magnetic bobber pulls adorable plastic creatures from the water’s surface. The three different underwater bobbing characters are all fitted with magnets, making it easy for kids to fish them from the bubbles. They are also airtight, making them resistant to mold and mildew, unlike some bath toys.
One of the best ways to teach your kids about commerce, community, and good food is to let them play inside their very own natural foods store. This beautiful freestanding wooden shop from Melissa & Doug lets kids manage the shopping experience all on their own. With a grocery belt that really moves and a series of shelves with labels, your kid will feel like they are experiencing the real thing. The best part about the Wooden Grocery Store though is that it makes it easy for more than one kid to get in on the action, whether they choose to be the customer, the cashier, and maybe the store manager!
Boys grow up fast. Even if yours is relatively new to the world, it won’t be long before he picks up the patented need for speed. Indeed it seems that once a child can walk, they are trying to run. If you put some wheels under them, you might be surprised at how fast they can go. The Harley-Davidson Tough Trike by Fischer-Price is an affordable, stylish way to add some speed to your youngster’s life. Easy-grip handlebars and a pedal-powered front wheel make this the perfect starter trike for any kid.
There is nothing like an afternoon in the yard with the Hot Wheels collection to keep three year old boys entertained. From dragsters to speedsters, tractors to firetrucks, the Hot Wheels collection is more varied and impressive than ever. With new additions coming out all the time, this is one of the most collectible toys around, meaning that your boy will likely keep these for a long time. He might even give some to his younger brother when he’s old enough. Personally, we can name more than a few adult men who still have some of their Hot Wheels from childhood. And that is saying something!
We say this at the risk of dating ourselves, but in our day, Hot Wheels were a lot smaller than this. The Hot Wheels Ride-On Thrill Coaster is a toy unlike any other. It offers real ride-on action, and a gravity-fed ramp will send your kid flying across the yard or lawn. By pushing the blue race car up to the top of the ramp (using the safe staircase), kids can position themselves for an exciting ride. A small bump at the bottom will reduce their speed before they reach the ground. But on a hard surface, they will keep on rolling!
Any golf-loving parent will want to get their kid into the sport as quickly as possible. After all, they want to give their kids a chance to develop the skills that might one day win that coveted Gold Jacket. But your boy doesn’t have to have aspirations to dominate the sport of golf. They will still thoroughly enjoy this smartly made golf set by iPlay / iLearn. With a spiraling, foot-controlled ball loader, your kid can whack ball after ball with little more than a step of their foot. Because of the patented lowering arm, the golf balls mount easily on the tee every time. For young kids with less developed balance, this is a great way to make them feel more confident with their swing.
Until recently, bounce houses were something you could only find at fairs and amusement parks. With Little Tikes, it is now possible to take all the excitement of big bouncy houses to your own yard and living room. Check out the Inflatable Jump ‘N Slide Bounce House. Powered by a heavy-duty air blower, this fluffy castle is the perfect way for your little ones to burn off all that extra energy in a safe, contained way. And because the whole thing collapses to a small, packable size, it features a no-hassle setup and breakdown. Now your kid can jump as often as he wants.
Teach your kid all about the “Jeep Thing” with this faithfully rendered miniature recreation of the classic 4WD adventure vehicle. The Power Wheels Jeep Wrangler ride-on toy has some of the best wheels, biggest battery, and snappiest brakes of the entire Power Wheels collection. A roomy rear storage compartment gives your kid space to pack up for their adventure. And a rapid 12V battery charger will ensure they never wait too long to refuel. Because this model is available in many exciting themed paint jobs, there is a good chance you can find the perfect one for your boy.
The John Deere Ground Force Tractor is the kind of toy we wish we had when we were little. Imagine the look on your son’s face as you present them with one of the coolest riding tractor toys around. It features a highly detailed design, a working FM radio, and a 2-speed electric motor. This tractor will have your boy feeling just like a real farmer. The big farm tractor wheels can provide excellent traction on grass and dirt, two surfaces many ride-on toy cars cannot handle due to their small wheel size. The pull-behind trailer is the icing on the cake. It allows your eager farmer to help out with the yard chores in a fun way.
There is no denying that few things go together better than boys and dogs. If your kid is a little too young to have a pet pup of their own, you might want to consider getting them the next best thing, a wolf. This super-soft plush wolf toy from Wild Republic will surely be your child’s hard and fast friend. Their new pal can join them on imaginary journeys through forests or keep them company as they drift off to sleep. Once they become best friends, your kid won’t want to leave this furry guy behind, even as they get older.
Should we sit or stand? It’s a question we humans often ask ourselves. Fortunately, with this neat 2-in-1 ride-on scooter from Lascoota, your kid can change his mind on that question as often as he would like. Simply remove the handlebar, slide on the seat attachment, and crank it down. You’ll have a sit-down scooter for a more luxurious ride. Another great feature is the variable-length handle shaft, which means that this little scooter can grow with your child. Cool LED light-up wheels are an aesthetic touch that any kid will undoubtedly appreciate.
Art is one of those things that children of any age can get into full swing. Therefore, a fully-functioning art easel is perhaps one of the best gifts you can get for kids around the age of three. Because of the dual height adjustment knobs, this easel can shrink down for youngsters, then slowly get taller alongside your kid. It includes a roll of craft paper that hangs on a dowel at the top. This paper roll provides an ongoing source of art paper for things like crayons and pens. One side of the easel features a magnetic whiteboard, while the other is a chalkboard surface. This means that there are three different ways to create new masterpieces.
You could ignore the countless studies showing how beneficial musical toys are for young children. But you would still have a hard time arguing against the KidiBeats Drum Set by the pros over at VTech. These bangin’ drums and drumsticks allow kids to play along with 9 different pre-recorded melodies, from rock & roll to dance and pop. Or, boys can take control of the free-play mode and rock out to their hearts’ desire. There is also an innovative letter-learning mode, which helps teach about the letters and numbers on the drum’s printed surfaces.
One of the hottest new toys on the market is also one of the simplest and most affordable. Touted as a mixture of 98% sand and 2% magic, Kinetic Sand is a new, exciting moldable substance great for all sorts of creative purposes. The sand magically sticks to itself but not to your hands. So it’s easy to shape into things like castles, monsters, landscapes, and anything your kid’s imagination can come up with! The material does not leave a residue, which parents will appreciate, and is also entirely non-toxic.
It’s time for your kid to meet the Learning Friends, a trio of animal companions that help teach some of the most common words in the English language. Plus, they teach Spanish, too, considering this particular model showcases bilingual programming. Mr. Turtle, Mr. Tiger, and Mr. Monkey will be the guides through this literary adventure. They encourage your child to press on different images to her the corresponding word. This is an excellent toy for any kid between 18 months and 4 years old. So you might as well pick one up early and give your child the head start they deserve.
The most ferocious creatures to ever walk the face of the earth are now the subject of some of the coolest kid’s toys. This LED Walking Dinosaur from Windy City Novelties features LED light-up effects on the spinal fin and mouth. It also has automatic walking action that will send it stamping across the floor in search of its next meal. This dinosaur’s audible roar will have lesser lizards fleeing for their lives. But it won’t scare that brave dinosaur-loving adventurer of yours. When it comes to dinosaur toys for boys, this one is a great starting point considering the price.
Bring the excitement and action of TV game shows to your living room or playroom with this 4-pack set of light-up, sound-making buzzers. Each buzzer has a different colored light and, on top of that, a different sound effect when you press it. This makes it possible to get all the kids together for a rousing round of educational trivia games or any buzz-in games you can think of. An excellent choice for classroom and home use alike, these buzzers are highly likely to change how your kid wants to learn.
Without a doubt, one of the most iconic American toys of all time is Lincoln Logs. John Lloyd Wright invented these toy building logs over 100 years ago. Today, you can celebrate their centennial anniversary with a great deal on an updated classic. Inside the tin, you will find 100 all-wood pieces with notches at either end. The notches allow builders to easily snap them together to create an infinite amount of structures and buildings. Or, you can follow the included directions to build the classic Lincoln Cabin straight out of the history books.
Quit worrying about your iPad, and get your kid an interactive screen all of their own. The VTech Little Apps Tablet is a fun way to introduce your toddler to the world of electronics. The push-button pad gives kids control over various fun applications, from letters to numbers to matching. With 8 educational activities and 4 fun games, your kid will feel like they have their very own smart device. (And i’s one that actually delivers educational value.) This tablet operates off AA batteries, but an automatic shutoff mechanism will kick in to save power when not in use.
Is your kid a fan of the Paw Patrol cartoon series? Even if he isn’t, there’s a good chance he’ll love the action, adventure, excitement, and friendship packed into Little Red Rescue Box. Inside, you will find a collection of four different fold-out “board books.” Each book tells its own tale through adorable, brightly colored images that will have your kids’ eyes gleaming. There is also a digital Kindle e-book version available for parents who want to take these incredible stories on the go.
T-ball is one of those all-American activities that every young boy should get the chance to experience. Now, that is even more possible with the highly affordable Little Tikes T-Ball Set. This brightly colored plastic set includes an easy-to-load tee, four hollow plastic balls, and a big yellow bat to smack them with. The base plate doubles as a storage mechanism, allowing you to click the t-shaft and the bat in for easy transport and storage. From basic motor skills to more advanced batting techniques, the Little Tikes T-Ball set is a grand slam (pun intended).
There are only a few types of toys out there that are pretty much guaranteed to bring a smile to a boy’s face. One of them is a good old-fashioned truck toy. This highly detailed Matchbox Garbage Truck has intricate detail, awesome electronic sounds, and a lever-action can grabber. All of these awesome features deliver for one of the most immersive play experiences that you can get. While the Amazon listing calls it a Garbage Truck, this green-colored beauty also features the iconic recycling logo. Therefore, you can take advantage and teach your kid a thing or two about how to recycle.
While many of the 3-wheeled kids’ scooters on the market can be sluggish and hard to operate, the Micro Kickboard 3-Wheel Scooter is the opposite. It has two wheels in the front and only one in the back. Your kid will no longer have to worry about banging their little ankles against the rear wheels, bringing them to an immediate and unfortunate stop. The lean-to-steer design of the front end is great for kids who are just learning to scoot around. Plus, an easy-function push brake makes it a breeze to quickly come to a safe stop.
The Paw Patrol cartoon is one of the most popular children’s TV programs out there. So, it’s no surprise for us that the Paw Patrol Toy Series is currently one of the best-selling groups of toys on Amazon. The Paw Patrol My Size Lookout Tower allows kids to get in on the action in a detailed and engaging way. Your son will have a blast operating the all-important look-out tower and dispatching the various Paw Patrol officers to emergencies across the land. A twisty firefighter slide is a fast way for one of the figurines to reach their vehicle in a hurry. And a functioning elevator will bring them right back up to the top.
If you’re unsure what Picasso Tiles are, then you are not alone. You can snap these colorful plastic tiles together in all sorts of ways to build intricate designs and complicated architecture. Picasso Tiles have a signature neon translucence, making them one of the coolest-looking toys of the year. They’re not only highly versatile, but they also happen to be the winner of the Brain Child award from the Tillywig Toy Awards and a PTPA award winner. With those accolades, you can be positive that you are getting one of the best toys around.
Since its initial creation over 100 years ago, Play-Doh has become one of the most popular toys in the world. This popularity is because of its unique ability to provide a fun, creative outlet and its remarkable affordability compared to many other toys. This massive 24-pack of Play-Doh cans is the ultimate stocking stuffer for the kids, providing endless hours of entertainment. Kids can let their imaginations soar, whether playing with Play-Doh on its own or in tandem with one of the company’s many Play-Doh Playsets.
The world of radio-controlled cars can be a little too fast & overwhelming for the average three year old. Therefore, most boys have to wait until they are a little older to experience the exhilaration of controlling their own little car. But now, kids as young as three have an intro-level RC car explicitly designed for them. The RC Cartoon Police Car from Prextex is easy to handle and safe to operate. Best of all, it comes as a two-pack, meaning that your kid will never have to play alone. Let the race begin!
It might be a few long years before your boy is old enough to get behind the wheel of the family automobile. But as long as they’re at least three, they’re not entirely out of luck. The Ride-On 2-Speed Toy Car is one of the most affordable ride-on car toys on the market. In fact, it’s significantly cheaper than comparable Power Wheels toys with the same amount of power. Speaking of power, the 12-volt battery can fully recharge itself in only a couple of hours. So you’ll always have enough juice for a leisurely drive around the yard when toddler life gets too stressful.
Whether it is a fun-filled trip to the moon or simply a meeting of the “no-girls-allowed” club, every boy needs a place to hide away and play. This awesome rocketship-shaped play tent is perfect for kids who are just starting to understand the value of a secret hideout. It boasts a brightly colored star pattern and sleek rocket fins on all four sides. It’s the perfect setup to be the ideal imaginary rocketship right out of the box. The pop-up style construction of this particular tent means that it goes up in a jiffy, unlike some of the more frustrating kids’ tents out there.
Some of the more unique and innovative products to come out of the workshops of Melissa & Doug are these brightly colored Scratch Art Mini Notes. Young artists reveal vivid rainbow colors by drawing with the included wooden ‘pen’ across the black surface of these small notes. This lets kids make cool-looking notes and drawings they can stick absolutely anywhere. It’s also an inspiring way to create lasting works of art, so don’t be surprised if your kid goes through these faster than you imagined. Considering that the whole box is just over five bucks, this is what we call a no-brainer stocking-stuffer.
We’ll be honest; we had no idea what a “Squigz” was until we sat down to comb through the bestselling toys for 3 year olds. It turns out that these funny-named rubber toys are one of the most popular new bathtime toys of the year. They offer fun suction-cup action allowing users to stick them to any smooth surface. Or, you can connect the Squigz to form long chains and intricate shapes. This Squigz Starter Set includes 24 Squigz pieces, enough to have all sorts of fun. They also work great on windows and glass!
Young fans of the Amazon original series The Stinky & Dirty Show will be pleased to know that their favorite wise-cracking cartoon tractors are now available in toy form. The results are amazing. Here we have the Backhoe Deluxe Vehicle, a friendly-faced work truck with the ability to help your kid move rocks and dirt. Or use it to move the toys scattered all over the floor. With motion-activated music and sounds, your kid will feel like they are part of the crew, just like in the popular TV cartoon series. Frustration-free packaging is a good bonus in the age of excessive plastic consumption.
Whether you are shopping for a birthday, holiday, or ‘just because’ occasion, one of the best things you can get for a boy is a race car. What distinguishes the Take Apart Racing Car by Play22 from the competition? Kids can completely take it apart and reassemble it again, using intuitive plastic screws and tools. This might seem a bit complicated for the average 3-year-old, but they should have no trouble operating the hassle-free power drill. The drill features fun lights and sounds. Plus, the car comes pre-loaded with super-cool race-car sounds that play as aspiring racers push it.
Here we have a stylish little speedster that is the perfect size for any 3 year old boy. It’s guaranteed to provide the speed and exhilaration this age group wants. With smoothly-spinning wheels and a highly responsive steering wheel, this baby can move. It can reach speeds of up to 6 miles an hour before it starts to wobble even a little, making it the perfect vehicle to buzz around the driveway or park. One of the best features, however, is the increased weight limit. Able to support a full 220 pounds, this thing is strong enough that some adults will be able to ride it with their kid. Or you can cheer your Nascar star from the sidelines.
We’ve got a lot of truck-based toys on our list. But none of them are as sturdy or strong as the Tonka Classic Steel Mighty Dump Truck made by Funrise. Because it consists of actual steel, this truck is not going to bend or break as other toy trucks will. In fact, it’s pretty much guaranteed to last for as long as you decide to keep it, which will likely be for as long as you have kids. The dump bed is functional, meaning that you boy can load it up with stones, dirt, grass, or toys. Then he can haul them effortlessly across the living room or yard to their final destination.
Some pretend food toys look so delicious that they’re making our stomachs growl as we write this. The playful and detailed pieces included with the Top and Bake Wooden Pizza Counter will do more than just stoke the appetite. Your kid will jump at the opportunity to operate their own full-service pizza joint. They can prepare the dough, add toppings, and take a pretend cash payment. There is even a pretend folding pizza box they can use to transport the pizza to its final destination. Unless, of course, the little-sister delivery driver doesn’t call in sick again.
With the ability to hold a whopping 24 different toy cars, the Toy Car Transport Carrier by Play22 is an absolute must-have present for any Hot Wheels lover. The storage slots are the perfect size for these tiny speedsters. Toy car enthusiasts can carry their whole collection just about anywhere, whether across the room or the country. A convenient carrying handle folds out of the top and makes it easy to pick up. Or, for shorter trips, you can simply wheel it across the room or yard.
The expert toy makers at FAO SCHWARZ have really knocked it out of the park with this one. It’s a highly customizable and versatile building block set that will unleash your child’s true imaginative powers in a big way. With 150 durable wooden pieces, your kid can start to form their kingdom piece by piece. They’ll have a ball stacking the blocks in all sorts of new and inventive ways. When it comes to toys, there is nothing sturdier than wood, meaning that these blocks are likely to be in the family for more than just a couple of years. A smaller 75-piece set is also available for kids who might not need so many blocks. Alternatively, it’s a great size if you’re thinking about expanding your kid’s already mighty kingdom!
Toy Buying Guide For 3-Year-Old Boys
Now that your kid is three years old, they are about to enter a new phase of mental, emotional, and physical development. Plus, they’re likely facing these changes all at the same time. Three is about the age at which kids develop the desire and ability to interact with other children more meaningfully. For example, playing a cooperative game of make-believe or racing against one another with miniature cars. These games represent an internal understanding and empathy for others, which is an incredibly exciting and important time in the child’s life.
The best toys for this age not only please, but also support the unique needs and mindset of the average three year old. For instance, a Construction Work Bench like the one made by Fischer Price allows toddlers to pretend to be someone else entirely. Role-playing in this way is an exercise in empathy that is invaluable in childhood education.
Next up, we’re going to detail some things you should pay attention to when looking for gifts for 3-year old boys. Afterward, we’ll reveal a few of our own top picks.
The Different Types Of Toys For Your Toddler
As you can probably tell from seeing our list, there are more than a few types of toys available specifically for 3 year olds. With options from action figures to board games, it seems like just about anything can be a toy for a young boy.
The first step of shopping for your toddler is to choose what type of toy you want to buy. After that, preferring something more specific becomes a little bit easier.
Here is a rundown of the different toy types on the market, as a well as a few words about how each type can be beneficial to boys around the age of three.
Whether static or dynamic, action figures and figurines have been an essential part of any boy’s childhood for centuries. Playing with figures allows children to imagine the life of another, which in turn helps them develop the natural human skills of empathy and sympathy. Figures can also make for fine friends. So, don’t be surprised if your boy chooses a few favorites over the years that he refuses to get rid of.
Spelling & Numbers Games
Any good parent will want to give their kid a head start in school if possible, and if they can get that done through a fantastic toy, then all the better.
Kids develop at different rates. However, the ages of two and three are when children really become interested in all the numbers and letters they see around them. Even if they can’t yet read, they are becoming familiar with the shapes and figures that make up our written language.
Any toy that features the alphabet will be helpful to a child. However, toys that can correspond letters with electronic sounds are the ones that are the most engaging.
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics … four broad topics educators and toy-makers have bundled into one convenient term. Simply put, STEM toys are designed with education in mind, focusing on one or more of the topics above.
For instance, a building block kit can provide the basics of engineering, while a Deluxe Doctor Kit might be able to teach a little something about science. At three, most boys are not yet ready for the best STEM toys. But in general, if your kid is learning anything from the toy, you are on the right track.
Puzzles are a great way to pass the time, but they also have a surprising number of mental benefits for kids and adults. For the 3-year-old toddler, puzzles will be pretty basic, offering big wooden pieces and easy-to-understand placement systems. Often, these puzzles feature electronic sounds or lights to make them more exciting for the child.
You might know them best as Power Wheels, but ride-on toy cars are so popular that many different companies have started producing them. Many are modeled after real cars, allowing parents to have a little say in their kid’s style on the road.
Sometimes controllable by a radio remote, these cars are one of the most exciting toys young boys could ask for. Integrated safety features usually include a parent-controlled remote that can turn the car off in the event of danger. The anti-lock brakes bring the vehicle to a swift but safe stop, so there is no danger of getting hurt by whiplash.
The most popular brand of miniature toy cars is definitely Hot Wheels, but other companies out there make similarly-sized replicas that can be just as good. These mini cars have been popular with kids for the better part of the century. There are literally thousands of models to choose from, making them a fun thing to collect and trade.
You can often purchase Hot Wheels and other mini car toys in large multi-packs. This makes it easy for parents to handle stocking stuffers or birthday party goody bags. Not to mention, they really kick-start a kid’s brand new car collection.
When kids turn three, they are reaching the age when they first become interested and capable of engaging in cooperative play. Board games are a particularly effective way of teaching children how to engage with other human beings through concepts like rules, turns, and fairness.
Board games for younger children need to be pretty straightforward, as most children of this age are still working on learning their letters. Our team recommendation for the best board game for a 3 year old would almost definitely be Candyland.
Painting and coloring are great ways to occupy the fidgety child. They also act as a direct stimulus to the creative part of their brain, which is learning to imagine things for the first time. Art allows kids to imagine beautiful things that have never existed before.
Painting and coloring are also particularly relaxing and introspective activities. These qualities are why educators and counselors use them as fun ways to calm and relax.
Part of growing out of the 2s is being old enough to play games with your peers. Believe it or not, a pair of 3-year-olds can develop some pretty complicated games if left to their own devices. They’re bursting with fresh and eager creativity.
As kids pretend to be other people for the first time, they learn how to empathize with other people. These imaginative exercises are actually fundamental training exercises for children, in which they will learn the rules and norms of social systems and develop their ongoing problem-solving skills.
Make-believe time can always use a helping hand. Take the Wooden Grocery Store Playset from Melissa & Doug as an example. The playset guides what kind of games are possible, giving children a fun jumping-off point for their imaginary adventures.
Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)
Q: How important is the recommended age on toy packaging?
A: All children develop physically and intellectually at slightly different rates. So there will always be a little leeway when matching the recommended age requirement on the packaging with your child’s age. Having said that, these recommended age markers often stem from recommendations from the manufacturer to address safety concerns.
For this reason, use caution if you are interested in a toy that your kid is too young for, according to the packaging. Supervise children during playtime until you’re confident about the toy’s safety.
Q: What is the best STEM toy for my three-year-old?
A: When it comes to being three, most good STEM toys are just barely out of reach. Many are often recommended for 4 & 5-year-olds. But it’s never too early to encourage a sense of scientific curiosity in your child.
Our recommendation for the best STEM-related toy would be the Wooden Castle Building Blocks. These simple, safe, and dynamic blocks can help establish some toddler-level physics and engineering basics. Also, kids love castles!
Q: Are there any good toys my 3-year old won’t outgrow too fast?
A: The fear of buying a toy your child will quickly outgrow makes sense. So pay close attention when deciding on a birthday gift for young kids. These toddlers will only continue to grow at alarming rates, so the physical size of their toys can be a big concern.
Some toys are size-adjustable, like many 3-wheeled scooters. This allows them to stay relevant for multiple years, a big selling point for parents and gift-buyers.
Other hands-on toys for three year olds like Hot Wheels Cars and stackable blocks can stay relevant on their own. This is simply because their versatile nature means that kids will just play with them in new and different ways as they grow.
Conclusion: Which Gifts Are Best For Three Year Old Boys?
So what’s the best gift for a 3-year old boy? After scrolling through our list of the top 50 toys and perusing our oh-so-interesting buying guide, you should be ready to make that decision for yourself. While comprehensive, our review of the best 50 gifts for 3-year olds is still only a fraction of what is available.
Our opinion? If you need a birthday, Christmas, or Hanukkah present for a 3-year-old boy, your most risk-free option will be the Wooden Castle Building Blocks by FAO SCHWARZ. Maybe we are just partial to castles, but these really do have a highly versatile appeal that all types of boys will like.
And if you’re really looking to make a splash with your holiday gifts, The John Deere Ground Force Tractor is simply at the top of the heap. This deluxe ride-on RC car is not something your kid will get bored with anytime soon.