Imagination and pretend play really comes to the fore for three-year-olds, so they will love playsets with animals and characters (from farm sets to princess castles) as well as pretend tools, doctor’s kits and lots of other accessories to enhance their make-believe games.
Check out our favourite toys for 3 year olds, based on what they’re doing, loving and learning at this stage in their development.
- Painting And Drawing
- Riding And Pedalling
- Laughing At Silly Jokes
- Playing Co-Operatively (Sometimes!)
- Playing Make-Believe
- Dressing Up
- Playing Ball Games
- Talking (A Lot)
- Asking ‘Why?’
18 best toys for 3 year olds
Here are our top gifts and toys for 3 year old girls and boys.
A home of their own
A backyard delight, the layout of this clever design can be changed around to suit your backyard and kids. Complete with a cubby house, handles, stairs and balustrades, add slides and accessories for a bespoke finish.
Up, up and away
Take off on a handmade Airplane Swing lovingly crafted in Australia and sold by Upper Notch Club. A quality, unique outdoor swing made from top-quality timber with a flight path completely controlled by the young pilot – swing high or swing low, the choice is theirs.
Everything in its place
Buttonworks Square Animal Puzzle ($34.95)
A timber teaser with 10 tricky Australian animals to pop in their rightful place. Each square critter is crafted from a different type of timber, so just like their real thing, each is unique!
Little Belle Night Lights (from $139.95)
These comforting handmade night lights make stunning decorative pieces, and they couldn’t be more perfect for adding a touch of magic to kids’ rooms. Choose from mushrooms, toadstools, Elfin and fairy houses in pastel shades.
Drape the beautifully detailed Petite Maison Play Tablecloth over the dining table and it’s instantly transformed into a world of pretend play. With ties to hold it in place and sweet details like windows and doors, these indoor cloth cubbies are designed in Australia and sold by Upper Notch Club.
Linen House Woodlandia Quilt Cover Set ($109.95)
Make bedtime beautiful with a special quilt cover for their big kid bed. Sleepy adventures await snuggled under a cotton cover with hand-painted designs that have co-ordinating patterns and designs on the reverse.
Marmalade Lion Australia Birds Nesting Dolls ($59)
Just as pretty atop the shelf as they are in the curious hands of a three-year-old, these exquisitely hand-illustrated Australian birds nest one into the other, from the largest cockatoo to the smallest little penguin. How ‘tweet’!
Make Me Iconic Wooden Dentist Kit ($64.99)
A role-play delight, this dentist kit is bursting with dental tools including forceps and x-rays and even a mouth model complete with teeth that can be pulled out. Perfect for promoting healthy habits, and gently soothing a fear of the dentist.
A balancing act
Kinderfeets Kinderboard ($169.95)
Rock, balance, step, flip and hide – the play possibilities of the multi-use balance board are endless. Made from 100% beechwood, it’s sturdy and strong enough to withstand hours of fun. We love that the only limit with this toy is your three year old’s imagination.
Mechanic at play
Battat Take-Apart Airplane ($59.05)
Drill the propeller into place and screw the wheels on nice and tight. This adorable set features wheels, wings and screws for mini pilots to play with. And when the flying fun is over, set the drill into reverse and do it all again!
Mimiki Puppet Doorway Theatre Set (from $377 +shipping)
Bring stories to life with their very own theatre set that easily fits into a doorway using the adjustable aluminium bar. Complete with handmade puppets, this heirloom piece looks just as magnificent as room decor when not in use.
Easy as ABC
Janod Alphabet Magneticbook ($38.95)
Help young learners grasp their ABCs with a magnetic educational pack and play game, which includes 26 illustrated magnets and 104 letter magnets. Simply pop an illustration magnet onto the board, and spell out the word using the letters.
What’s up Doc?
Twenty-Seven Personalised Wooden Vet Set ($106)
Pint-sized animal lovers get their very own vet set, complete with their name and everything to treat their furry friends. The set includes a thermometer, x-rays, bandage, collar, syringe, vaccine bottle and stethoscope.
Jazz up Jemima
Discoveroo Dress Up Jemima Puzzle ($19.95)
Featuring Play School’s much-loved Jemima, this puzzle help tots learn logic and sequence, by layering one Jemima with four different outfits. A bit more challenging than a single layer puzzle, but just as fun.
The original gift guide and suggestions for other ages can be found HERE.