by Anna Karsten

Awesome Toys for 3 Year Olds

The preschool stage is a fun age, because kids become very communicative, learn easily and can use things to learn, explore and play with their friends.

Here are some of the best toy ideas for an active and curious toddler. Make sure to also check my other toy gifts ideas for a 2 year old toddler and 1 year old toddler, as there are many things on those lists that will last them for a few years.


• Best pretend play toy: Realistic Doll or Tool Set
• Best for walks with a toddler: Scooter
• Best toy for outdoor play: Binoculars
• Best for a curious toddler: Toddler Camera
• Best toy for an active toddler: My First Trampoline or Backpack
 Best for a little individual: Wooden Rainbow or Tonie Box

Amazon Tablet

Let’s be honest – we didn’t want to give a tablet to our toddler, but we faced the reality.

Quite often it was a choice of dealing with him yelling and screaming wanting to run around or sitting quietly playing with his tablet. Especially on long-haul flights, the choice was simple.

Tablets don’t have to mean endless hours watching Cocomelon. Your kids can learn to write, read or count on the iPad.

In fact, he’s playing an educational game on his iPad while I’m putting together this post.

Kids Tablet
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Toddler Camera

Kids want to be as parents. My son has been trying to steal and operate our camera ever since he could walk.

We gifted him this one so he can use it himself without having to worry he’ll accidentally drop or destroy our fancy DSLRs.

Some parents prefer Vtech cameras that looks more like a toy, but it’s extremely durable. It’s a good alternative – but my son prefers things that adults would use as well.

Toddler Camera
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Telescope or Binoculars

It might happen that at this age, your toddler already shows specific interest in some type of activity or subject.

Suppose the stars, planets, and astronauts are something that your kid is excited about.

In that case, a small telescope or a pair of binoculars could introduce them to a different dimension of this world other than what they see in books.

Even if it’s not their primary interest, it would definitely spur curiosity and help them grasp more complex information about the earth.

Toddler Binoculars
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Scissors

A child needs to know how to use scissors. They can use kids scissors as early as 2 years old (I got a pair for mine when he was a bit above too and he got hooked instantly).

It can teach them patience, fine motor skills and occupy them for extended periods of time.

Toddler Safe Scissors
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Memory Games

Djeco has a great selection of memory games that usually consist of a set of cards or different objects that your toddler has to match or remember as they’re turned face down.

Picture dominos also turn out to be very appealing to toddlers. You can choose a theme that you know the child is passionate about, such as animals or firefighters. 

Through logic and memory games, toddlers enhance their observation skills, deductive reasoning, cooperation, and concentration abilities. 

Memory Games
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Piggy Bank

A piggybank can teach your child the concept of saving money.

You can get a simple rubber piggy bank, or something more fun that lights up when you insert a bill or coin. Possibilities are endless.

Piggy Bank
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Backpack

The idea is as simple as it gets – a backpack. Literally any you can find, but you might want to get a cute design that matches the child’s interests (eg. I got mine bugs pattern).

A preschooler wants independence. He or she can load their own toys and belongings into the backpack and carry it around on trips, to the park, or even around the house – mine does it.

Cute Backpack
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Realistic Doll

Toddlers and preschoolers love babies.

A preschooler wants independence. He or she can load their own toys and belongings into the backpack and carry it around on trips, to the park, or even around the house – mine does it.

Realistic Dolls
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Wooden Rainbow

Wooden rainbow is one of the most popular toys in Montessori education community, even though it’s not a Montessori toy at all.

It offers amazing possibilities as it teaches children patience, imagination, and creativity.

You don’t need to buy an expensive Grimms Rainbow unless you want to and have funds for it.

Wooden Rainbow
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Keyboard with Microphone

Keyboards aren’t usually on lists of toys for 12 month old. We got a keyboard from my father a few months before Dylan turned 1 which I thought was a bit odd. Surprisingly, it’s a hit.

He loves to sing to the microphone and pass it for us to sing too. He plays, he changes beats, it’s been used ever since he got it for years now.

Keyboard
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Piano Matt

Piano mat is a great toy to get the energy out of the toddler. You need to jump on it to play.

You can roll it up and take it with you anywhere. At home, on a road trip, airports, it packs so small I can roll it and store in the closet when we’re not using it.

Piano Matt
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Scooter

Balance scooter encourages balance and fine motor skills. It can also help you keep your little one entertained on walks, as it’s way more fun than sitting in the stroller.

The 2 front wheels provide a clear kick-path, making this the ideal first toddler scooter.

Scooter
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Tool Kit

Which child doesn’t love to play with tools? It’s a great gift for boys and girls.

It makes a wonderful gift idea for little toddlers who enjoy hanging out with mommy or daddy in the garage or around the house.

A battery-powered drill that works like a real drill is the hit.

Tool Kit
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Tonies Box

Tonies have been around Europe for a while, but are still very unknown in the US.

The Toniebox is an imagination-building, screen-free digital listening experience that plays stories, songs, and more.

The figurine on top tells a story when put on top of the box. There are so many of them available, even in different languages, that your kids won’t get bored.

Tonies Box
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