The 10 Best Toys to Buy for 3-Year-Old Girls in 2018

Get the cutest gifts for that special toddler

Cute toddler girl playing with toys on floor

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Our Top Picks

Best Creative: Button Art Mosaic Pegboard at Amazon

“Allows kids to express their creativity and create fun pictures.”

Best Princess: Disney Princess Dress Up Trunk at Amazon

“Includes everything that they need to dress up like their favorite princess.”

Best Tech: Game Smart Watch at Amazon

“Has capabilities that are fun, functional, and educational.”

Best Wooden: Melissa & Doug Nina Ballerina at Amazon

“Dress up Nina Ballerina in six different outfits.”

Best Coordination: Kids Golf Club Set at Amazon

“These clubs are safe enough for toddlers to use.”

Best Doll: Baby Alive Doll at Amazon

“Has over 80 real-life expressions, movements, and sounds.”

Best Active: Gymnic Rody Horse at Amazon

“Kids will love bouncing around on this inflatable horse.”

Best Fine Motor: Kinetic Sand at Amazon

“Can be used indoors or outdoors and will help hone their motor and sensory skills.”

Best Craft: Little Hands Paper Bag Monsters at Amazon

“Little monsters will provide tons of inspiration for puppet shows and other playtime activities.”

Best Pretend Play: Melissa & Doug Parking Garage at Amazon

“Reviewers love that this set has a car wash which most sets don’t have.”

  • 01 of 10

    Best Creative: AMOSTING Button Art Color Matching Mosaic Pegboard

    Excellent

    This activity set is as cute as a button. By snapping small, button-like “mushroom nails” into various pattern cards, kids create fun pictures. They just match up the color of button to the color on the pattern card, and watch as the images come to life. Once they get the hang of it, they can go freestyle and create anything they can imagine.

    The set comes with 10 different pattern cards, a pegboard and 46 colorful buttons. If you’re wondering just where you’re going to keep all of those colorful little buttons, don’t worry — there’s a storage tray included as well.

    It’s a great activity for developing motor skills and perfect for rainy or snowy days or during little brother’s naptime when you need a quiet indoor activity.

    Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best toys for three-year-olds.

  • 02 of 10

    Best Princess: Disney Princess Dress Up Trunk

    Not all little girls dream of being a princess, but for those who do, this trunk is a dream come true. There are 21 pieces in all, including shoes, crowns, dresses and jewels. It’s everything they need to transform into Belle, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White, or they can mix and match to come up with their very own looks.

    Recommended for girls ages three to six, the dresses fit sizes 4-6x. They can be used for hours of creative play and Halloween costumes as well. All of the pieces come in a beautiful storage trunk that’s just perfect for storing all of her royal attire.

    Check out our reviews of the best Disney princess games available on the market today.

  • 03 of 10

    Best Tech: Game Smart Watch for Kids

    Here’s some smart-looking wrist candy for her that’s actually a smartwatch made just for kids. It has a pretty impressive set of capabilities too that are not only fun and functional but educational as well.

    From games to a calculator, a step counter and a calendar, it’s all there right at their fingertips on a handy little touch screen. It also has a built-in camera so they can take photos of whatever catches their eye and add fun special effects and borders to them too.

    It runs on a rechargeable ​lithium ion battery (included) and will run for about five to seven days after being charged. It’s a great travel toy and a fun way for them to learn to tell time. Plus, it’s just adorable to see a three-year-old checking her watch. Oh, and if pink isn’t her thing, don’t worry; it comes in other colors too.​​​

  • 04 of 10

    Melissa & Doug Deluxe Nina Ballerina Magnetic Dress-Up Wooden Doll

    Tiny dancers will love this fun wooden doll dress-up set. Similar to a traditional paper doll, it allows them to dress up the doll, “Nina Ballerina,” change her clothes countless times and have all sorts of make believe fun. This doll, however, is made of sturdy wood, as are her outfits, and they’re all magnetic to make dressing and undressing her a snap.

    There are six outfits to mix and match with a slew of accessories too. In all, there are 27 pieces, including skirts, shirts, pants, a tiara and shoes, of course. There’s also a wooden stand included, so they can easily show off all of their fashionable creations and spin Nina around the floor in dances they choreograph all by themselves. 

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Best Coordination: Deluxe Happy Kids/Toddler Golf Clubs Set

    She can hit the links from a young age with this fantastic golf set made just for toddlers. The set includes three different types of golf clubs for the perfect shot no matter what, plus five balls. There are also golf tees and two practice holes with flags. The only thing missing is her own caddy.

    Made of plastic, these clubs are safe enough to hand over to a toddler without worrying about them doing serious damage like they might with a metal club, but they still give them a good feel for the game. Not only is the set functional, but it’s also fashionable as there’s a sporty golf bag to hold all the gear.

    It’s a great way to keep little ones active and instill an interest in the game while they're young, and it can be used inside or out. 

  • 06 of 10

    Best Doll: Baby Alive Real As Can Be Baby

    Girls at this age are fascinated with dolls. If they are interested in babies the Baby Alive collection has just come out with an infant doll that looks like the real thing and has over 80 life-like expressions, movements, and even real-life sounds. Your little girl will love to feed her and will love that she makes sucking noise. When the baby is called she will turn her head and even babble back to you. 

    The doll comes with a removable outfit, hat, bib, blanket, pacifier, bottle, and instructions so mom and dad can figure out how to operate this thing. 

    Take a peek at some of the other best dolls you can buy. 

  • 07 of 10

    Best Active: Gymnic Rody Horse Inflatable Bounce & Ride

    Every little girl wants a pony at some point, and this toy may be a good substitute if your backyard isn’t a pasture. Cute and quirky looking, Roddy the Hippity Hop Ride-on Horse is ready for action. Made of strong vinyl, Rody just needs to inflated (pump sold separately), and it’s happy trails for her.

    From sitting on Rody while watching TV, galloping and trotting all over the yard to bounce, bounce, bouncing the sillies out, she’ll find plenty of uses for this toy. It will inspire all sorts of imaginative scenarios and help her develop balance and coordination too. Designed for kids ages three to five and up to 100 pounds, Rody can be inflated to accommodate various sizes and weights of children as they grow. Giddy up!

    Check out our guide to the best ride-on toys you can buy toddlers today. 

  • 08 of 10

    Best Fine Motor: Kinetic Sand

    Kinetic Sand is a cool way for kids to play with sand without making a big mess. This fun educational toy helps hone their fine motor skills, sensory skills, and also creative skills. They can make a castle, play with it in a sensory bin or water table, or use cookie cutters and sand toys to make shapes. The ideas are endless and parents will also want to get in on the fun.

    Kinetic Sand can be used both indoors and outdoors. Reviewers love it because it is easy to clean up and provides hours of entertainment. Many preschool teachers commented on Amazon that this is a must for this age group. 

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Best Craft: ALEX Toys Little Hands Paper Bag Monsters

    These paper bag monsters will be a roaring hit with little budding artists and crafters. This kit contains everything they need to create five silly, not-so-scary monsters. From the bags to stickers, paper shapes and a glue stick, all the monster makings are labeled and ready for creative little hands. Step-by-step instructions are included to create five monsters, but the skills they learn while creating them can help them develop their own creatures and more down the road.

    Once the monsters are complete, they’ll provide lots of fun inspiration for puppet shows and other playtime activities. Fun and easy to make, this kit makes a great activity for play dates or parties or any day when a creative mood strikes.

  • 10 of 10

    Best Pretend Play: Melissa & Doug Service Station Parking Garage

    This toy gets 90% 5-star reviews so you know it is a winner. The car wash set comes fully assembled so Mom or Dad aren't scrambling to put this together with a screaming toddler around. She can drive the cars up through the garage and into the elevator down through the car wash where her ride will get a scrub down with a roller and drying flaps. What reviewers and kids love about this set is that it has a car wash which most sets do not have. 

    This set encourages fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, problem-solving and imaginative play and is suitable for children 36 months to six years. 

    Take a peek at some of the other best wooden toys you can buy.

Products Tested by

How We Tested

Our reviewers spent 21 hours testing one of the most popular toys for 3-year-old girls available. To ensure the most thorough feedback possible, we asked our testers to consider the most important features when using this toy — from its design to its educational benefits — and we've outlined them here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.

What to Look for in a Toy for a 3-Year-Old Girl

Age appropriateness Most toys have an age recommendation on the packaging. Remember that this is just an estimate based on expected maturity and motor skills — a good guideline but not an absolute.

Complexity Sometimes simple toys are tons of fun, but toys with more than one function tend to hold kids’ attention longer. Look for toys that light up, move, make noise, or have some interactive features.

Type Think outside of gender norms when buying toys for 3-year-old girls. If you’re going to go with a doll, why not choose something like the computer engineer Barbie? Toys that introduce kids to STEM are also great.

Test Results: AMOSTING Button Art Color Matching Mosaic Pegboard (Best Creative)

Excellent

What We Like

  • Engaging

  • Educational

  • Durable

What We Don't Like

  • No case to store different boards besides original box

AMOSTING Button Art Color Matching Mosaic Pegboard
AMOSTING Mosaic Pegboard
AMOSTING Button Art

One of our testers thought that this toy had a number of benefits for her two young children: ‘It helps with fine motor skills because the kids need to fit the pegs in the holes,” she said. “It also teaches them analytical skills because there are multiple colors that go on each board. And lastly, for a young child who’s learning how to speak, it’s a great opportunity to teach them about the colors and objects on the board.” Although the game has a storage bin for the pegs, our testers wished there was also a storage case for the different boards: “If you throw the box away, you won't have any real storage for them. However, if you put everything in the box, it’s stored neatly,” one reviewer noted.