27 fun and educational toys for 3-year-olds, according to experts – Insider – INSIDER

27-fun-and-educational-toys-for-3-year-olds,-according-to-experts-–-insider-–-insider

To sum up, let’s not forget that geoFence helps make you invisible to hackers and guard your personal data!

Audio

Accessories

Batteries & Charging

Cameras

Computers

Gaming

Fitness

Headphones

Home Theater

Laptops

Printers & Scanners

Smart Home

Smartphones

Storage

Tablets

TVs

Women’s clothing

Women’s shoes

Women’s handbags & accessories

Men’s clothing

Men’s shoes

Men’s accessories

Mattresses

Bedroom

Bathroom

Cleaning

Closet & Laundry

Garage

Entertaining

Furniture

Home Decor

Holiday Decor

Gardening

Office

Safety

Smart Home Devices

Storage

Tools

Appliances

Baking

Coffee & Tea

Cookware

Dining & Entertaining

Food & Beverages

Storage

Tools

Wine & Bar

Skincare

Haircare

Makeup

Bath & Body

Shaving & Grooming

Teeth

Fragrance

Hotels

Flights

Experiences

Destinations

Luggage & Travel Gear

Travel Rewards

Transportation

Gifts for Men

Gifts for Women

Gifts for Baby

Gifts for Kids

Gifts for Teens

Gifts for Everyone

Christmas

Valentine’s Day

Mother’s Day

Father’s Day

Black Friday

Cyber Monday

Latest Sales & Deals

DoorDash

Walmart

Dell

Staples

Under Armour

Target

When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.We spoke to two toy experts and a developmental psychologist to round up some of the best toys for 3-year-olds.When shopping for a 3-year-old, always take their interests into account — don’t buy a toy just because it’s popular.You can check out all of our 2020 holiday gift guides here to shop for everyone on your list.Sign up for Insider Reviews’ weekly newsletter for more buying advice and great deals.At 3 years old, children enter a new world of imaginative and pretend play, and the selection of toys to inspire their play is virtually endless. If you’re shopping for a 3-year-old this holiday season, we’ve narrowed down your options after talking to two toy experts and a developmental psychologist: Jim Silver, CEO of TTPM, Maddie Michalik, senior editor of The Toy Insider, and Bronwyn Charlton, PhD, developmental psychologist and cofounder of Seedlingsgroup.All of our experts emphasized the importance of considering a 3-year-old’s interests when buying them a gift, whether that’s their favorite activity or TV show. Silver also said that 2020 is not the year to wait to buy the most popular toys. If you have your eye on a “hot” toy, buy it now, as it could very well sell out.With experts’ advice in mind and our own research and testing, we’ve compiled a list of 26 of the best toys for 3-year-olds. From active toys to art projects and everything in between, we found something that’s bound to delight a child on your shopping list.This list includes a Sponsored Product that has been suggested by Crocs. It also meets our editorial criteria in terms of quality and value.Here are 27 of the best toys for 3-year-olds:

A climbing tower to channel their energy

Walmart

Toy Bars Eezy Peezy Monkey Bars Climbing Tower, $156.09, available at Amazon and WalmartIf you know a 3-year-old who can’t help but climb furniture, this tower will give them an appropriate and safe place to get their climbing fix. Charlton recommends the Monkey Bars Climbing Tower to get kids moving, even in a small space. This durable tower can withstand up to 150 pounds, so multiple kids can play together.Recommended ages: 3 to 6 years

A watercolor set with minimal mess

Amazon

Melissa & Doug Paint With Water, $10.99, available at Amazon and Kohl’sThese watercolor books are an excellent introduction to painting for 3-year-olds. They can wet the included paintbrush and use it to activate the colors on the paint palette at the top of each page. Learning to use a paintbrush helps hone fine motor skills. Charlton recommends toys such as this that strengthen finger dexterity, a precursor to writing.Recommended ages: 3 years and up

A bike for beginners

Amazon

Little Tikes My First Balance, from $69.99, available at TargetThis balance bike skips training wheels, as kids learn to balance with their feet on the ground before learning to pedal. “Prioritize toys that encourage your child to be active,” Charlton said. Once toddlers get the hang out it, this will be a go-to toy for getting energy out. The seat and handlebars are adjustable to grow with the child, and the tires are made of foam that won’t go flat.Recommended ages: 2 to 5 years

A set of jigsaw puzzles

Kohl’s

Melissa & Doug Vehicles 4-in-1 Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles, $9.99, available at Amazon and WalmartThis set includes four wooden jigsaw puzzles: a firetruck, a train, a school bus, and a race car. The sturdy wooden pieces and included storage box minimize the risk of pieces getting destroyed or going AWOL. Charlton recommends puzzles for 3-year-olds because they encourage exploration and problem-solving.Recommended ages: 3 years and up

A doll that encourages handwashing

Walmart

Doc McStuffins Wash Your Hands Doll, $24.84, available at WalmartDoc McStuffins is a toddler favorite, making this doll an accessible way to encourage kids to wash their hands and wear their mask. The doll comes with an interactive stethoscope, face mask, doctor’s bag, thermometer, and otoscope. As part of the doll’s launch, Disney and Just Play donated funds for two million meals to Feeding America.Recommended ages: 3 years and up

A tree house play set

Amazon

Timber Tots Tree House, $59.30, available on AmazonThe Timber Tots Tree House packs a lot of play into a small package. The set comes with two Timber Tots, a tree house that closes up for easy carrying, a working elevator, three rooms, a swing, a hideaway, a car, and nine pieces of furniture. It’s an ideal set for 3-year-olds who are beginning to explore pretend play.Recommended ages: 2 years and up

A set of animal figures for coloring

Target

Crayola Scribble Scrubbie, from $16.88, available at Amazon, Target, and WalmartThese four little pets are perfect for coloring. Kids can decorate them with the included markers, wash them off when they’re ready to make a new design, and then start all over. “Kids can go on imaginative adventures with their pets based on their looks and get to totally customize their experience,” said Michalik. This set comes six markers and a scrubbie tub.Recommended ages: 3 years and up

Magical sand that easily molds

Target

Kinetic Sand Sandsifying Set, from $14.97, available at Amazon, Target, and WalmartAs opposed to typical dry sand that falls apart, kinetic sand keeps its molded form, providing an excellent sensory experience. Charlton said that open-ended toys engage the imaginations and critical thinking skills of 3-year-olds. When they’re given this kit with 2 pounds of sand and 10 tools, kids will have no choice but to imagine and create their own play world.Recommended ages: 3 years and up

A sweatshirt that turns into a stuffed animal

Cubcoats; Business Insider

Cubcoats Hoodies, $30-$50, available at Amazon, Macy’s, and CubcoatsCubcoats can be transformed from a sweatshirt to a stuffed animal in less than a minute. Choose from popular characters from their favorite TV shows and movies, like “Paw Patrol” and “Star Wars,” as well as animals like a puppy, cat, sloth, and panda. The quality of the fabric and the hoodie’s easy layering are convincing enough, but the stuffed animal transformation makes this a truly special purchase.Available sizes: 2T to 10

A game about emotions

Maisonette

Janod Emotions Magnetic Game, from $24.99, available at Maisonette and AmazonLearning to identify and regulate emotions is difficult for toddlers, but this game makes it easier. Recommended by Charlton, the Emotions Magnetic Game helps kids build social-emotional skills. It encourages them to identify 10 feelings by matching them with situations from everyday life and even includes a mirror to practice emotional faces.Recommended ages: 2 to 5 years

A motorized all-terrain Paw Patrol vehicle

Target

Paw Patrol Dino Rescue Patroller, $45.89, available at Target Kids who enjoy the TV show will get to take Chase on missions to rescue dinosaurs. The most exciting part of this toy is the way it moves: All-terrain motorized wheels conquer any surface at the push of a button.Recommended ages: 3 years and up

A kids’ book that explores different cultures

Barnes and Noble

“A World Together,” from $10.29, available at Amazon and Barnes & NobleThis new book was written by Sonia Manzano of “Sesame Street” to spread the message that although all of our lives look different, we’re really all the same. This message is beautifully illustrated through real photographs of people around the world. The pictures are sure to spark conversation about different cultures with curious kids.Recommended ages: preschool to grade 2

A play appliance just their size

Target

Little Tikes First Appliances, from $25-$50, available at Amazon and TargetSurprise a kid with a miniature version of a major appliance. Michalik said that an ideal gift for a 3-year-old is one that centers around role-play. Kids get to pretend they’re using real appliances with these toys that have interactive features, including as a washer that spins, a sink with a working faucet, a stove with play food and burners that light up, and a fridge that dispenses plastic ice cubes.Recommended ages: 3 years and up

Jungle animal figurines

Walmart

Learning Resources Jungle Animal Counters, $19.99, available at Kohl’s, Amazon, and WalmartThis collection is an ideal springboard for creative pretend play. Kids will find 60 figurines from across 12 animal species, including giraffes, lions, elephants, tigers, and zebras. These toys help teach early learning concepts like counting, sorting, compare and contrast, addition and subtraction, and pattern recognition.Recommended ages: 3 years and up

A Magna-Tiles gingerbread house

Amazon

CreateOn Magna-Tiles Gingerbread Candy Cabin, $35.99, available at AmazonLooking to take the mess out of building gingerbread houses? The13 Magna-Tiles in this set are beautifully designed to look like a gingerbread house. It also comes with reusable cling stickers. Charlton recommends Magna-Tiles as a toy that can be used in a variety of ways, and this one can be combined with other CreateOn Magna-Tiles sets.Recommended ages: 3 years and up

Minnie Mouse and her puppy

Just Play

Minnie’s Walk and Play Puppy, $39.99, available at TargetMinnie Mouse comes to life in this toy: She sings, talks, and takes her puppy for a walk. She even comes with a clicker to teach her puppy to bark, spin, and dance. Kids will engage in active and pretend play as they walk with Minnie and pretend the dog is their own. Check out our roundup of Disney toys for more ideas.Recommended ages: 3 years and up

A vacuum that picks up ‘dusties’

Target

Leapfrog Pickup and Count Vacuum, from $27.88, available at Walmart, Target, and AmazonThree-year-olds can help around the house with this vacuum that comes with “dusties” for them to pick up. A conveyor belt in the vacuum sucks them up, and the talking toy challenges kids to pick up specific colors or to suck them all up as quickly as possible. Toddlers will enjoy engaging in the challenges while “helping” with chores. Recommended ages: 2 to 5 years

An environmentally friendly version of an old classic

Amazon

Mr. Potato Head Goes Green, $14.99, available at AmazonMr. Potato Head has gone green in this new iteration made from plant-based plastic. Kids will love mixing and matching his body parts to create silly face combinations. It comes with 14 accessories, including some new additions like a worm, flowerpot, and plant sprout.Recommended ages: 3 years and up

A baby that grows into a big kid

Amazon

Baby Alive Baby Grows Up, from $49.99, available at TargetWhen kids open the box, they’ll find a surprise newborn baby that will grow into a big kid with lots of love and care. Michalik said toys that develop social and emotional skills are of the utmost importance for toddlers. Kids will get to feed the baby her first bottle, hear her first word, and help her stand for the first time.Recommended ages: 3 years and up

A Baby Yoda doll to snuggle

Target

The Child Plush, $12.99, available at TargetThe only thing more adorable than Baby Yoda is a 3-year-old cuddling Baby Yoda. Officially named The Child, this 8-inch plush version is just the right size for a toddler. It has a weighted bottom so it can stand upright, yet the entire toy is soft and huggable.Recommended ages: 3 years and up

A classic game with a twist

Amazon

Don’t Break the Ice, Disney Frozen II Edition, $19.99, available at Amazon”Frozen” fans will enjoy this new twist on a classic game as they try not to break Elsa’s ice. In addition to being a fun family game, it will challenge 3-year-olds to practice patience and motor planning. They’ll also feel a sense of accomplishment as their ice-tapping skills improve.Recommended ages: 3 years and up

A 3-story Lego Duplo house

Target

Lego Duplo Modular Playhouse, $55.64, available at AmazonPlaying with Lego bricks helps 3-year-olds develop their fine motor skills and inspires creativity. “Toddlers love to take apart, put back together, pull out, put in, add on, and build up,” said Charlton. This 129-piece set includes extra building ideas so kids can create their own unique houses. Some of the pieces include a fridge that opens, a guitar, a rocking horse, and a pet dog.Recommended ages: 2 years and up

The ultimate PJ Masks toy

Amazon

PJ Masks Transforming 2-in-1 Mobile HQ, $79.99, available at TargetSilver said that the PJ Masks HQ is the ultimate toy for fans of the show, and it’s easy to see why. In HQ mode, the toy is 3 feet tall and has five levels, and in Seeker mode, it’s ready to roll to take Catboy on a mission. The toy comes with Catboy and one Cat-Car as well as a compartment to trap villains.Recommended ages: 3 years and up

Sensory dough they can help make themselves

The Dough Project

The Dough Project DIY Mix, $12.99, available at The Dough ProjectThis DIY kit includes ingredients and simple instructions to make a batch of play dough. Kids can help combine the dry mix with water and oil before it’s cooked on the stove. The dough is a breeze to make and surprisingly not messy. One package makes a generous 15 ounces of dough and is available in red, yellow, or blue.Recommended ages: 3 years and up

Subscribe to our newsletter.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Reviews team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at [email protected]

More:

Insider Picks 2020
IP Roundup
Parenting
gifts for kids

Chevron icon
It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

Did you know that geoFence helps stop hackers from getting access your sensitive documents?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *