Best Toys for 3-Year-Olds in 2021
Updated 11-03-2021 – Lucy Walters
3-year-olds are a tricky bunch. They are somewhere in between school-aged kids and toddlers. By the time they reach 3, your child would start developing a lot of skills from socialisation to more imagination and creativity, so pretend play or creative toys are great for them. Their gross and fine motor skills are also refining at this stage, so puzzles and other construction toys should also be in the mix. Don’t forget about their continuously developing senses, too. Any toy that stimulates their senses is always an excellent choice for 3-year-olds.
Things to Consider When Buying Toys for a 3-Year-Old
Here are some general things to consider when looking for toys for your 3-year-old, followed by our top picks for the best toys available in the UK for 3-year-olds.
No Loose or Sharp Attachments
Make sure the toy has no loose or sharp attachments such as thread, long ribbons, or sharp edges as this always pose a safety risk to your little one.
Larger is Better
Avoid small toys and toy accessories that can fit in your preschooler’s mouth, nose, or ears. Toddlers love to discover things by experimenting, so you never know what they can and will do. Avoid marbles, coins, or coin-sized objects as when this gets accidentally swallowed, it can block your little one’s windpipe, causing extreme difficulties with breathing.
Safe Battery Storage
If choosing battery-operated toys, make sure the batteries are encased in super secure, childproof storage. Batteries can cause chemical burns and damage to a child’s stomach when swallowed, among other things.
Child-Friendly Paint Material
Ensure that paint and other plastic materials are free of harmful chemicals such as lead or BPA.
|Desire Deluxe Magnetic Building Blocks||Best product||9.6|
|ToyStar Mercedes Benz Ride On Car||Premium product||9.4|
|Play-Doh Dino Tools||Value product||9.5|
|Ravensburger Paw Patrol Puzzle||Best puzzle toy||9.3|
|Crayola My First Easy Grip Jumbo Crayons||Best arts toy||9.2|
|Leapfrog Count Along Till||Best pretend play toy||9.2|
|Melissa & Doug Take-Along Tool Kit||Best for little boys||9.2|
|Little Live Pets Cozy Dozys||Best for little girls||9.2|
|Stoie's- 18 Piece Musical Instrument Set||Best musical toy||9.2|
|Top Bright Wooden Tumble Tower Game||Best interactive toy||9.2|
1 Desire Deluxe Magnetic Building Blocks
Desire Deluxe is a UK-based online retailer of a wide variety of toys and accessories for children of all ages.
The Desire Deluxe Magnetic Blocks set is a 94-piece construction set containing a mix of magnetic squares, triangles, hexagons, connecting roads, racks, as well as non-magnetic alphabet and number cards.
Don’t be put off by the word magnet as this is securely and enclosed in a food-grade hard and durable tiles that are resistant to wear, ensuring lasting, safe play for your little one.
All materials in this set come with round edge designs, so you don’t have to worry about your little one getting accidental cuts or scrapes.
The idea of the toy is simple, the tiles connect to each other using super strong magnets. It’s an excellent toy to encourage your little one’s creative young mind and imagination. It’s also a great way to further refine their fine and gross motor skills.
It comes at a relatively affordable price point, which makes it even better. Finally, because of the thousands of possibilities, one can create with these magnets, your child will take a long time to outgrow this, and perhaps even play it even through to their teenage years.
2 ToyStar Mercedes Benz Ride On Car
Toystar is a Swiss toy company with a wide range of toys for kids from toddlers to teenagers.
The Toystar Mercedes Benz Ride On Car is a licensed scaled-down version of the real thing and comes available in red or white.
This ride-on-car has a foot-to-floor design making it easy for your 3-year-old to drive it around. Unlike most ride on, this toy has a working steering wheel, which allows your child to turn the front wheels to whatever direction they want. It’s an excellent toy to allow them to mimic your driving.
This ride-on car also has three buttons on the steering wheel, all of which trigger either songs or sound effects.
The car may not have a boot, but it has under-seat storage, for your little one to store his car tools or other small toys he wishes to bring with him on his driving journey.
For added safety, the design comes with a rear parent handle, to help steer your little one in case they need or want it.
Finally, although this ride-on is relatively more expensive compared to the other toys on this list, you get your money’s worth as your child won’t outgrow this soon, considering it has a maximum capacity of 23 kg.
3 Play-Doh Dino Tools
Play-Doh is an American company that pioneered a line of modelling compound toys. The Play-Doh Dino Tools is an excellent crafting starter set for your 3-year-old.
It features three tubs of Play-Doh, with each tub containing a different coloured compound.
The set is aimed to invoke your little one’s creativity and create dinosaurs, with the help of five various dinosaur tools. The stegosaurus and pterodactyl are great for slicing and cutting the Play-Doh. The velociraptor stamper is great to use for creating dino footprint marks on your little one’s creations. The set also comes with an egg roller for making various imprints on the Play-Doh creations.
The material used in this modelling compound is non-toxic. However, it is important to note that it contains wheat, just in case your little one is allergic to it or to gluten.
If you are after an inexpensive toy to encourage your little one’s creativity and imaginative skills, you may want to consider placing the Play-Doh Dino Tools set on the top of your list.
4 Ravensburger Paw Patrol Puzzle
Best puzzle toy
Ravensburger is a German toy and game company best known for its extensive range of puzzle toys.
The Ravensburger Paw Patrol Four in a Box Puzzle contains for jigsaw puzzles with a completed puzzle dimension of 19 x 14 cm.
It features four of the most popular Paw Patrol characters: Chase, Rubble, Skye, and Marshall. Just in case you didn’t know, Paw Patrol is a Canadian cartoon series featuring a young boy and his crew of search and rescue dogs with specific skill sets. It’s a great toy line and shows to introduce your children to a wide range of essential service professions, such as a firefighter, a police officer, an aviation pilot, a construction worker, a handyman, and aquatic rescue.
Playing with any puzzle is a great way to refine your 3-year-olds fine motor, logic, and problem-solving skills, and the Ravensburger Paw Patrol Four in a Box Puzzle is one of the best puzzle starter sets to achieve the same.
5 Crayola My First Easy Grip Jumbo Crayons
Best arts toy
Crayola is an American company that specialises in art supplies. They are best known for their crayon range. The company has since evolved into producing markers, paint, and other art and craft material.
If you are looking for a toy that encourages your little one to develop their artistic, creative, and imaginative skills, the Crayola My First Easy Grip Jumbo Crayons may be your best bet.
It is made of non-toxic material, eliminating any potential toxic risks to your child.
It is specially designed for toddler’s and preschoolers’ smaller hands, and have a jumbo thick and sturdy composition, so its less easy to break and more comfortable to grip on, as your 3-year-old starts to learn to handle a crayon or a pen and enhance the development of their hand-to-eye coordination.
The set consists of 24 vibrant colours, so the possibilities are endless in terms of what your little one can create or draw.
6 Leapfrog Count Along Till
Best pretend play toy
Leapfrog is an American company specialising in electronic educational and entertainment toys suitable from infants through to school-aged kids.
If you want a toy to encourage your 3-year-old’s imaginative mind through role-play, the Leapfrog Count Along Till is your best option as it combines role-play with fun education.
It features a talking till that says a wide range of shopping-related phrases and sings various educational toys. The moment you turn the toy on, the till would shout “open for business”.
The set features eight food items, with each food item having a corresponding display button on the till’s screen. Pressing the button would teach your child the item’s colour and name.
It doesn’t stop there as the till also features some number skill activities, such as a 1-10 display on the screen that corresponds into a counting song. Also, the till has a total button which instructs your 3-year-old the number of coins needed to be inserted onto the count-along coin slot.
7 Melissa & Doug Take-Along Tool Kit
Best for little boys
Melissa & Doug are real people and real parents who founded an educational range of toys from their basement, and in Doug’s parents’ garage. The company has since gained international traction, and the Melissa & Doug toy range is now distributed and available internationally.
The Melissa & Doug Take-Along Tool Kit features a 24-piece pretend tool kit, which is great for little boys (or little girls) who are interested in mimicking dad or mum’s DIY skills with their set of tools.
Like all Melissa & Doug toys, this toolset comes in a sturdy wooden construction and coloured with non-toxic paint material.
The toolbox itself is highly functional, having multiple holes where your little one can practice drilling screws or hammering nails onto. It also has a convenient carry handle (just like the real toolbox!), so your little one can easily move the toolbox to complete the handyman tasks around the house.
The Melissa & Doug Take-Along Tool Kit is an excellent toy to help your little man develop his imaginative, logic, and problem-solving skills, as well as further, refine his fine motor skills.
8 Little Live Pets Cozy Dozys
Best for little girls
Little Live Pets is a range of pet-inspired toys owned by an Australian toy company, Moose Toys.
The Little Live Pets Cozy Dozys features Cubbles, a soft and cuddly bear that produces over 25 reactions and sounds.
It is an excellent toy for little girls (and boys who love stuffed toys) as it teaches them caring and nurturing skills, along with encouraging their imagination and creative role-play skills.
The bear responds to various touchpoints, such as when you pat its head. Cubbles also giggles, slurps, and burps. It also comes with a detachable pacifier, which your little one can give the bear when it is time for a nap or a night-time sleep.
Cubbles also comes with a soft wrap blanket, which you can use to help your little one develop their fine motor skills and hand-to-eye coordination by teaching them how to wrap Cuddles snuggly for a warm night’s sleep.
Finally, Little Live Pets Cozy Dozys comes packaged in a basket case, so your 3-year-old can bring Cubbles with them anywhere they go.
9 Stoie’s- 18 Piece Musical Instrument Set
Best musical toy
Stoie’s is an Amazon retailer of kid’s musical instrument toys.
If you are looking for a set of musical toys for your 3-year-old, the Stoie’s Musical Instrument Toy Set maybe your best option.
It features 18 pieces that makeup 10 musical instruments. There is a xylophone, maracas, bell stick, egg shakers, wood sounder, wrist bells, triangle, finger clappers, a tambourine, and a drum stick.
All the instruments are covered in vibrant colours, making it more visually appealing for a 3-year-old. All instruments are made with non-toxic material, and most come constructed in wood.
The Stoie’s Musical Instrument Toy Set comes packaged in a clear backpack, which doubles as a storage case, making cleaning and storage easy after your little one’s musical playtime.
10 Top Bright Wooden Tumble Tower Game
Best interactive toy
Top Bright is a Chinese manufacturer of wooden toys and various seasonal decorations.
The Top Bright Wooden Tumble Tower Game is a great toy to buy if you are looking for something your 3-year-old can play with you, their siblings, their friends, or the rest of the family.
It features 51 wooden stacking blocks each with corresponding colourful animal prints. It also comes with 24 cards, a play dice, and an instruction manual.
Safety-wise, the material is composed of natural hardwood and painted over with water-based, non-toxic paint.
There are also multiple modes of play with these blocks. Your toddler can simply stack them together and break them apart, or they can play it using the actual game with cards. The game mode requires two or more players and blocks are pre-stacked before the game starts. Players take their turns grabbing a card from the deck, and that player must take out a block printed with an animal similar to that of the card they picked. Whoever knocks over the tower loses.
This is an excellent game to play as a family, and a fun and creative way to teach your 3-year-old about animals, matching, logic, strategy, as well as refine their fine motor skills. Finally, as it is a fun, competitive game, it’s a great avenue to teach your child early about the spirit of sportsmanship.
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