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Your little boy probably has tons of energy and is curious about everything. So finding a toy that can actually get and hold his attention is no easy feat. Luckily there are a few toys that are entertaining and even educational.
Below are the best toys for 3-year-old boys.
Fat Brain Toys Squigz Starter Set - 24 pc.
Squigz are designed for kids ages three and older, but don't be surprised if your child is still playing with these when he's in elementary school. This starter set comes with 24 pieces in eight different shapes, and both joining them together and unsticking them (they pop loudly) is incredibly satisfying. They're made from dishwasher-safe, BPA-free silicone, and additional sets can be purchased separately if your kid needs to go big with his creations.
"Squigz are deceptively simple and incredibly portable. This single set can be a great bath time toy, an activity while making dinner (our son loved sticking these to the fridge), or a fun way to improve fine motor skills during free play time."—Shannon Wells, Product Tester
Prextex Cartoon R/C Police Car and Race Car Radio Control Toys
These little remote control cars are a perfect gift for 3-year-old boys with a need for speed. The pack comes with two vehicles—a police car and a race car. Each also comes complete with not one, but two, removable action figures. The cars have flashing headlights and make lots of great sounds that will delight your little ones.
"The cars managed to survive minor tumbles, getting driven off a 3-foot-high table, and even being thrown by a 2-year-old. Our kids tended to grab the cars by the antennas, which are covered in flexible rubber (thus leaving them unscathed). Needless to say, they can take quite the beating."—Danielle Directo-Meston, Product Tester
Magna Tiles Magna-Tiles
Yes, Magna-Tiles are worth it! These cool building blocks of sorts let kids dream up whatever they want as they magnetically stick together. While they come with a hefty price tag, your kid will spend hours with these as they work on their STEM skills which will help them learn in the math and science fields. These tiles are also durable so they will last your family for years to come.
"This toy was entertaining enough to hold the attention of our two toddlers for at least an hour every time."—Danielle Directo-Meston, Product Tester
Stomp Rocket Jr. Glow
He’ll be soaring high when he receives a Stomp Rocket. The kit comes with one stomp launcher and four rockets. Kids simply run, jump, and stomp as hard as they can on the soft launch pad, and send the rockets soaring up into the sky. And soar they do! Rockets can reach heights of up to 100 feet depending on just how hard they stomp. Even better, these rockets glow in the dark, which makes them great for day or night.
"There’s a good 30 to 45 minutes worth of “ooohs!,” “wheeees!,” and “whooooaaas!” to be had with the Stomp Rocket, especially among two kids and a supervising adult. Given that the set includes four foam rockets, there’s plenty of opportunity for turn-taking and playing fetch, so kids will no doubt get their fair share of physical activity."—Danielle Directo-Meston, Product Tester
Educational Insights Design & Drill Activity Center
Power up the fun with this great activity set. The handy little man will love his own power tools. It comes with a reversible power drill, a screwdriver, a combination wrench, two drill bits, and 120 colorful plastic bolts. The workspace is a sturdy activity board with holes in it, which the bolts can be driven into for a variety of patterns, pictures, and other creations. They can use one of the 20 accompanying activity cards to aid in their design or freestyle all by themselves.
"Given that our 3.5-year-old son was able to find multiple ways to play with the drilling set, we felt the toy was very age-appropriate. Even our 21-month-old had fun sorting and play-counting the bolts as well as using the power drill to screw the pieces into the board. Again, just keep in mind that the pieces may pose a choking hazard for younger tots."—Danielle Directo-Meston, Product Tester
VTech KidiBeats Kids Drum Set
Here’s a rockin’ gift for a cool little dude—a drum set. He’ll just want to bang on the drum all day as there are three drum pads and a cymbal to make a variety of noises. Drumsticks are included, and it lights up as well for extra rockstar action.
Not only can he bang out some awesome tunes, but he can learn a thing or two while doing so. The drum set has four modes to select from: free play, letters, numbers and follow along.
"Our toddler was initially drawn to the lights and sounds, but he quickly tired of all the bells and whistles. It seemed he found them overstimulating, and we felt the toy encouraged passive instead of engaging play. Of course, older toddlers might stay engaged longer if they can follow the learning sequences, which offer the ability to teach both letters and numbers."—Hailey Eber, Product Tester
KidKraft Ride Around Train Set and Table
All aboard for fun! If you’re looking for a big gift that’s going to be a big hit, you’re on the right track with this train set and table. It comes with 100 pieces for an amazing array of adventures. Included is everything from wooden train tracks to trains, airports, helipads, trees, people, street signs, police cars, and more. They’re so much to see, do, build and imagine.
"The track is easy to work with and can be set up in multiple ways, which creates more opportunities for play. My son and his pals have now spent countless afternoons coming up with new play scenarios using the vehicles, animals, and people that populate this train set."—Sarah Vanbuskirk, Product Tester
Blockaroo Magnetic Foam Builders
Every kid needs a set of building blocks and this set is a great option with some unique features. The blocks are made of foam and they're magnetic. So parents won't have to hear the crashing of hard, wooden blocks and the 360 degree rotating figures let kids create imaginative designs.
Reeves International The Big Dig Sandbox Digger Excavator Crane
If you're looking for the coolest toy for a 3-year-old boy you've found your winner. This excavator can have them digging in the sand at the beach, gravel at home, or pretty much anywhere in the backyard. As they dig away they'll be working on both their fine and gross motor skills.
You'll be so impressed with how entertained this toy keeps them you'll end up taking it with you everywhere! Another plus, they'll play with this till age 8 so it doesn't have a short lifespan.
Melissa & Doug Fire Chief Role Play Costume Set
Fire up his imagination with this fire chief dress-up set. He can jump into hero mode by donning this dapper uniform. It comes complete with a bright red jacket, sturdy adjustable helmet, official-looking badge, and reusable name tag so he’ll look just the part. Even better, it also comes with accessories that include a fire extinguisher and a bullhorn that makes sound effects (Note: The bullhorn requires two AA batteries, which aren’t included). Both of them fit into the jacket’s built-in utility belt, so he has everything he needs to save the day right at his fingertips.
Amazon The Day the Crayons Quit
You can never go wrong with a book as a gift for a 3-year old boy. This favorite follows the day the crayons quit! Besides sparking imagination, your kid (and you!) will laugh along at all the hilarious protests these crayons make. Available in hardcover or a board book and child will get a kick out of this clever read.
Little Tikes 3' Trampoline
3-year-olds get the wiggles frequently, but with a trampoline, they can bounce them out, Tigger style. This model was created for kids ages three to six, and can safely hold up to 55 pounds (it's meant to hold only one kid at a time). There's a stability bar to help with balance, and the jumping space is three feet wide, offering plenty of room to move.
Pottery Barn Kids Anywhere Beanbag
If you're looking to skip the toy route for a gift for a 3-year-old boy, a bean bag chair is a smart buy. It gives him a space to read a book, watch his favorite show, or even a place for mom and dad to sit while he is playing on the floor. This one from PB Kids can be personalized and comes in an array of colors so you're sure to find something that fits.
PJ Masks PJ Seeker
Get your kids the PJ Masks PJ Seeker, which is based on the popular show, and they can pretend to chase villains like Luna Girl, Romeo, and the Night Ninja. The large trailer can fit four vehicles in the detachable carrier and three figures in the front cabin; note that it only comes with Catboy and the Cat-Car, others are sold separately. It has flashing lights, sounds, and even a searchlight for nighttime expeditions.
Little Tikes Inflatable Jump 'n Slide Bounce House with Heavy Duty Blower
Every parent of a 3-year-old knows—tire them out and bedtime is a breeze. Add bouncy fun to the mix and you are the parent of the year. This bounce house is made to be puncture resistant and includes a built-in blower for constant inflation during use. Slides and safety mesh make for easy on and off and parental supervision.
Paw Patrol Mighty Pups Super Paws Lookout Tower Playset
Would your kids watch non-stop Paw Patrol shows all day if you let them? This massive lookout tower comes with an elevator, zip line, and six vehicle areas, as well as the Chase figure and his car. It's especially fun to launch him directly down into his seat via a trap door. Other figures and cars can be bought separately, which you'll want to do if your kid has a preferred pup. The blinking lights and sound effects are a given, of course, and just like on the show, you'll be able to hear Ryder reciting missions from the control tower.
Sesame Street Love to Hug Elmo
Sesame Street's famous red monster is still a go-to holiday gift for the preschool set. "Love to Hug" Elmo, who speaks both English and Spanish, lives up to his name: After a belly squeeze, he'll lift his arms for a hug. And when kids do embrace him, he responds with kisses, songs, his signature giggle, and phrases like "Hugs, please!"
Simplay3 Carry and Go Durable Track Table for Toy Cars, Trucks, and Trains
Traditional train tables can be fun, but they also require a ton of real estate in a bedroom or playroom. This portable, two-sided alternative weighs just under seven pounds and has a carrying handle, so it can be easily moved between a table and the floor. It has two sides: One has classic figure-eight train tracks, the other is a race track with obstacles for toy cars and trucks.
PlasmaCar Ride On Toy
Is it sorcery? There are no gears, batteries, or pedals on this ride-on car, but with enough practice, kids can get themselves up to a speed of six miles per hour. It has a weight limit of 220 pounds, so some adults can even take it for a spin. Kids won't realize that all the twisting and turning as a sneaky benefit: Developing key motor skills like core strength and hand-eye coordination.
Kinetic Sand Beach Sand
Kinetic Sand is all the rage and it is easy to see why. This fun sand lets kids (and adults) craft up castles, designs, and more with no need to worry about a sandy mess being left behind. The sand all magically sticks together so clean up is a breeze. The sand will never dry or harden so you'll get a lot of miles out of this 3-pound pack.
Little Tikes EasyScore Basketball Set
Basketball is such a classic game and this set has everything to get started. The hoop adjusts to six heights (2.5 to 4-feet) and has an oversized rim so little ones can make shots. The set also includes three kid-size basketballs that they can easily grip.
Fat Brain Toys Shape Factory
Learning the basic colors and shapes will be fun with this Fat Brain toy. The puzzle has large pieces (great for small hands to grab!) that have to be fit into the appropriately shaped pegs. This is fun but also teaches important motor skills.
Ryan’s World Vending Surprise
This vending machine from the popular YouTube channel, Ryan's World, is perfect for kids three and up. The machine is full of toy juices and snacks and inside each package is a fun surprise. Your little one might find slime or even a fruit-shaped eraser. There are 16 surprises in all and the machine has lights, sounds, and the voice of Ryan himself.
Munchkin Fishin' Bath Toy
Let’s face it, 3-year-old boys can be a sticky, messy sort, so scrub-a-dub-dub time in the tub is a frequent necessity. This bath toy comes with a magnetic fishing rod made for little hands and three adorable sea critters that float. He can reel them in over and over again—no bait, required. This game also works well in a swimming pool, in the kitchen sink, or even on dry land, and promotes hand-eye coordination. Of course, don’t forget that children this age must be supervised during bath time and near water at all times.
Age Check the age recommendations on a gift’s packaging, but remember this isn’t an absolute — it’s just a guideline based on average maturity, motor skills, and cognitive development.
Complexity Books, wooden toys, and other single-function toys can be lots of fun. But also consider a gift with more than one function — toys that light up, make noise, move, or have interactive features tend to hold a child’s attention for longer periods of time.
Type Avoid stereotypes when shopping! Not all boys love cars and tools. Rather than defer to gender norms, think more carefully about the personality of the 3-year-old boy you’re buying for.