The Best Engaging Toys for 3-Year-Old Girls

Our favorite picks from Play-Doh, Learning Resources, Little Tikes, and more

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Best Toys for 3-Year-Old Girls

The Spruce / Chloe Jeong

Finding the perfect toy for a 3-year-old girl isn't always easy, but one that encourages learning and social play while relating to your child's interests is a great place to start, according to Dr. Jody Sherman LeVos, chief learning officer for HOMER.

We tested and researched the best options considering the recommended ages, complexity, and educational value. Based on our findings, our favorites include stacking cupcake toys from Learning Resources, a Little Tikes trampoline, and the AMOSTING Button Art Color Matching Mosaic Pegboard, a creative toy that teaches sorting, colors, and pattern recognition.

Here are the best toys for 3-year-old girls.

Our Top Picks

AMOSTING Button Art Color Matching Mosaic Pegboard

4
AMOSTING Button Art Color Matching Mosaic Pegboard

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Create pictures with bright colors

  • Includes 10 different pattern cards

  • Storage tray included for buttons

What We Don't Like
  • Lacks instructions

This activity set is as cute as a button. Kids create fun pictures by snapping small, button-like "mushroom nails" into various pattern cards. Simply match a button's color to the color on the pattern card and watch as the images come to life. Once your toddler gets the hang of it, they can freestyle and create anything of their imagination. The set comes with 10 different pattern cards, a pegboard, and 46 colorful buttons.

Our tester loved that the pieces felt sturdy and fit perfectly in little hands. Matching the colors and popping the buttons into place fosters toddlers' sorting and fine motor skills and keeps them engaged. And it teaches independence; our tester's daughter loved that she could complete it all by herself.

If you're wondering where you're going to keep all of those colorful little buttons, don't worry—there's a storage tray included, which makes clean-up a breeze. Our tester noted that there are no instructions included, but the toy was intuitive enough for her toddler to figure out on her own.

Dimensions: 30.7 x 30.2 x 5.3 inches | Weight: 1.35 pounds | Intended Use: Indoor | Recommended Age: 2 years and up

AMOSTING Color Matching Mosaic Pegboard

The Spruce / Sarah Vanbuskirk

What Testers Say

"This game doesn’t come with instructions, but perhaps they just aren’t needed, as 3-year-old Nova [my daughter] intuitively figured out exactly what to do. She enjoyed picking out the images, and after finishing her favorites, she opted to redo the tree and frog designs with the button colors of her choosing." —Sarah Vanbuskirk, Product Tester

Green Toys Tea Set

Green Toys Tea Set

Courtesy of Pottery Barn Kids

What We Like
  • Made from recycled plastic

  • Easy to clean

  • Durable

  • Fosters imaginative play

What We Don't Like
  • Teapot lid falls off easily

Bring the whole family together for a tea party full of imaginative play perfect for any 3-year-old girl. This set comes with 17 pieces perfect for bonding with siblings, friends, or other family members. It comes with four cups, four saucers, four spoons, a tea pot, sugar bowl, and cream container. Like all Green Toy products, everything is made out of recycled plastic for a purchase that helps the earth. Each piece is extremely durable, making for a toy they can keep and enjoy for years on end.

Dimensions: 12 x 4.5 x 10.5 inches | Weight: 1.68 pounds | Intended Use: Indoor | Recommended Age: 2 years and up

Learning Resources Smart Snacks Shape Sorting Cupcakes

Learning Resources Smart Snacks Shape Sorting Cupcakes

Learning Resources

What We Like
  • Durable

  • Help teach colors and sorting

  • Suitable for various ages

What We Don't Like
  • Some can be more difficult to get apart than others

Little ones will love the delicious design of this toy, designed to promote fine motor skills. The Shape Sorting Cupcakes from the Smart Snacks line of Learning Resources teaches colors, sorting, shapes, and dexterity in a fun way that 3-year-olds will love playing with day after day. Each cupcake has a differently shaped base that fits into the corresponding base, leading to hours of matching fun.

Dimensions: 10 x 10 x 3 inches | Weight: 0.05 pounds | Intended Use: Indoor | Recommended Age: 18 months and up

GobiDex 7-in-1 Multi Kids Activity Table Set With 2 Chairs

GobiDex 7 in 1 Multi Kids Activity Table Set

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Storage space included

  • Seats are adjustable

  • Indoor or outdoor use

  • Lightweight and easy to assemble

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

One side of the reversible table is perfect for building with the included 100 blocks and is also compatible with LEGO Duplos for even more added fun. The other side can be used as a space for doing homework or art, or as a sensory water bin with an included drain plug. Little ones can grow with this toy by adjusting the two included chairs to perfectly fit their height. Use indoors or outdoors for hours of diverse fun all in one place.

Dimensions: 20.08 x 20.08 x 19.3 inches | Weight: 9.98 pounds | Intended Use: Indoor or outdoor | Recommended Age: 2 years and up

Step2 All Around Easel for Two

step2-art-easel

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Suitable for two children

  • Easy to assemble

  • Includes stickers and magnets

What We Don't Like
  • Can be difficult to erase chalk completely

The little artist in your life will love exploring her creativity with her very own easel. This one from Step2 two-sided so siblings can join in on the fun (also a great gift option for twins). One side is a dry erase board with colorful letter and number magnets to promote learning and the other is chalk for drawing and writing. Keep all of your supplies tidy with two storage trays under each side to store markers, chalk, erasers, and more (which are not included) in this easy-to-assemble easel that she can enjoy for years.

Dimensions: 20 x 22.2 x 41.5 inches | Weight: 8.57 pounds | Intended Use: Indoor | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

Play-Doh Kitchen Creations Rising Cake Oven Bakery Playset

Play Doh Easy Bake Oven

Play Doh

What We Like
  • Set comes complete with baking and decorating tools

  • Little to no assembly required

What We Don't Like
  • Can be a little messy

For little ones begging to help out in the kitchen, this playset by Play-Doh offers a fun and more kid-friendly approach. Your little girl can mold cake into the included cake pan and pop it into the blue oven all on her own. When she hears the timer go off, she can pull down the oven door handle to watch the cake she made rise right before her eyes. The kitchen set includes pretend frosting and three sprinkle shapes so she can decorate her cake whichever way she'd like.

Dimensions:
3.19 x 13 x 12 inches | Weight: 1.21 pounds | Intended Use: Indoor | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

Disney Princess Disney's Raya and The Last Dragon Color Splash

Disney's Raya and The Last Dragon Color Splash Raya and Sisu Dragon, Water Toy

Disney

What We Like
  • Can be played at bath time or in the pool

  • Cool color transformation

What We Don't Like
  • It takes a while to drain out Sisu's dragon body

If your toddler can't stop raving about how Raya bravely sought the last dragon, thus saving the kingdom of Kumandra and, subsequently, the world, she needs this Color Splash Water Toy to continue the epic adventure right at home. The 2-foot-long Sisu Dragon makes a great companion for the Raya doll, and both can be dipped into warm water to reveal a magical color transformation. Sisu can even sway her tail, so it looks like she's swimming in the water.

Dimensions: 3.11 x 17.87 x 12.76 inches | Weight: 2.31 pounds | Intended Use: Indoor and outdoor | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

Melissa & Doug Let's Play House! Dust, Sweep & Mop Set

4.6
Melissa and Doug's cleaning set includes a dustpan that attatches to the handles of the other tools.
Photo Courtesy of Amazon.
What We Like
  • Actually cleans

  • Great for imitation play

What We Don't Like
  • Dustpan is a little flimsy

Years from now, she might detest being told to help sweep the floor, but right now, she's likely taking the broom from you! This six-piece set includes brightly colored cleaning tools, like a mop, broom, and dustpan built for pretend play. The tools are totally functional, too—so she'll actually help clean while having a blast. It's a fun way to get little ones away from the screen and on their feet while also building confidence and motor skills.

Dimensions: 4.5 x 11 x 28 inches | Weight: 4.5 pounds | Intended Use: Indoor | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

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

4.3
Melissa & Doug Deluxe Nina Ballerina Magnetic Dress-Up Wooden Doll

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Encourages sorting, matching, and make-believe

  • Can be played alone

What We Don't Like
  • No lid on tray for the pieces

Tiny dancers will love this fun wooden doll dress-up set. Similar to a traditional paper doll, it allows young kids to dress up the ballerina (named Nina), change her clothes, 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. There’s also a wooden stand included, so your tot can easily show off all of her fashionable creations and spin Nina around the floor in dances she choreographs all by herself.

Dimensions: 1 x 8.25 x 11.5 inches | Weight: 1.7 pounds | Intended Use: Indoor | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

Melissa & Doug Nina Ballerina Magnetic Dress-Up Set

The Spruce / Sarah Vanbuskirk

What Testers Say

"While the concept of playing with this set is simple, it actually involves more layers of thinking than you’d expect. It combines dress-up with dance as well as sorting, matching, and the implicit challenge of creating the best outfit, which gives the toy more of a game-like feel."—Sarah Vanbuskirk, Product Tester

Little Tikes 3-Foot Trampoline

Little Tikes Trampoline

Courtesy of Target

What We Like
  • Good for indoor fun

  • Easy to assemble

What We Don't Like
  • Foam on handlebar can tear with use

She can bounce all that energy out on this cute trampoline from Little Tikes that’s perfect for her size. There’s a large surface area for jumping, and the handlebar on top will help her keep her balance while she springs up, down, and all around. Designed for indoor use, it can hold one kid up to 55 pounds and is a fun form of exercise when playing outside isn't possible. Parents love its easy assembly, with online reviewers noting that it’s well-made and a great energy burner for little ones who can't sit still.

Dimensions: 36 x 36 x 33.5 inches | Weight: 13 pounds | Intended Use: Indoor | Recommended Age: 3 to 6 years

VTech LeapFrog Scoop & Learn Ice Cream Cart

LeapFrog Scoop & Learn Ice Cream Cart

Courtesy of Walmart

What We Like
  • Helps toddlers learn colors and numbers

  • Includes education phrases and fun music

  • Batteries are included

What We Don't Like
  • Cart on the smaller side

This ice cream cart from LeapFrog can take your child's creativity to new heights. It lets them scoop up their own delicious pretend treats, all while they’re learning important things like colors and numbers. Fun and educational phrases and upbeat music set the stage. It comes with six order cards, a magic scooper, ice cream scoops, cones, and toppings. Kids will love pushing it around, taking orders, and preparing treats for anyone they can find. It comes with the three required AA batteries, which means she can open up for business immediately.

Dimensions: 8.27 x 20.58 x 23.77 inches | Weight: 4 pounds | Intended Use: Indoor | Recommended Age: 2 to 5 years

Magna Tiles Clear Colors 100 Piece Set

Magna Tiles

CLEAR Colors 

What We Like
  • Easy-to-play STEM toy

  • Good for solo and collaborative play

  • Encourages patience

What We Don't Like
  • Many pieces to clean up

This simple set of colorful 3D tiles lets little ones do some pretty cool things. There are no rules, but they offer the opportunity for open-ended STEM-based play and plenty of creativity to build all sorts of creations. The vibrant tiles snap together magnetically to create shapes, scenes, and anything else she can imagine. It boasts 100 pieces, allowing your child to create plenty of 3D objects, but all Magna-Tiles work together, and you can combine it with other sets for double the fun (and even more pieces).

Dimensions: 12 x 3 x 9 inches | Weight: 7 pounds | Intended Use: Indoor | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

What Testers Say

"The pieces have thin magnets along the edges that snap together easily and make an ever-so-satisfying “clicking” noise. This makes it effortless for younger kids who are still developing their motor skills." —Danielle Directo-Meston, Product Tester

GBD Game Smart Watch for Kids

4.3
GBD Game Smart Watch for Kids

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Easy starter watch

  • Includes lots of games

  • Features a camera to take photos

What We Don't Like
  • Not the most high-tech

This smartwatch for kids has a pretty impressive set of capabilities that are not only fun and functional but also educational. From games and a calculator to a step counter and calendar, it’s all there right at her fingertips on a handy touch screen. It also has a built-in camera so she can take photos of whatever catches her 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 seven to 15 days after being charged. It’s a great travel toy—plus, it’s just adorable to see a 3-year-old checking her watch.

Dimensions: 8.76 x 1.95 x 0.78 inches | Weight: 2.12 ounces | Intended Use: Indoor | Recommended Age: 3 to 12 years

GBD Game Smart Watch for Kids

The Spruce / Sarah Vanbuskirk

What Testers Say

"I loved being able to set time-per-day limits, so I didn’t have to worry about the distraction of 24-hour access. Parents will also appreciate that unlike many tech toys, this watch isn’t noisy. All the games have various noises, and the watch makes a satisfying “whoop” when toggling between functions, but none of the sounds are super annoying." —Sarah Vanbuskirk, Product Tester

Melissa & Doug Catch & Count Wooden Fishing Game

Melissa & Doug Catch & Count Wooden Fishing Game

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Helps kids learn about fishing

  • Great for learning numbers and motor skills

  • Magnetic pieces for easy clean-up

What We Don't Like
  • Short pole strings

This adorable wooden game from Melissa & Doug is an all-around great catch, as well as fun and educational. It comes with two fishing rods and ten numbered fish, all of which are magnetic. Kids can play alone or with someone else as they spin the worm and try to “catch” the fish with the number on which they land. Included are instructions on other ways to play. When the fun is over, you can store all the pieces in the mesh bag, making clean-up time a snap.

Dimensions: 7.25 x 18 x 2.5 inches | Weight: 1.6 pounds | Intended Use: Indoor | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

The Little Blue Box of Bright and Early Board Books

The Little Blue Box of Bright and Early Board Books

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Encourages reading and imagination

  • Convenient carrying case

What We Don't Like
  • Books may not hold up well without supervision

Books make great gifts for children of all ages, and a set of Dr. Seuss books—even better! This gift set includes four favorites for a reasonable price "Hop on Pop," "The Shape of Me and Other Stuff," "Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!" and "Ten Apples Up On Top!" And all the stories come in a convenient carrying case for reading on the go.

Dimensions: 6 x 2.45 x 4.69 inches | Weight: 1.2 pounds | Intended Use: Indoor | Recommended Age: Up to 3 years

Kinetic Sand Beach Sand

Kinetic Sand Beach Sand

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Helps build sensory and motor skills

  • Encourages creative thinking

  • Good for both indoors and outdoors

What We Don't Like
  • Can get stuck in rugs and carpet

Kinetic Sand is a cool way for kids to play with sand without making a big mess. 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.

Dimensions: 8 x 3.2 x 11 inches | Weight: 3.06 pounds | Intended Use: Indoor and outdoor | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

Melissa & Doug Water Wow! Reusable Color with Water Activity Pad

Melissa & Doug Water Wow! Reusable Color with Water Activity Pad

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Good for traveling and road trips

  • Includes six coloring books

  • Mess-free disappearing ink

What We Don't Like
  • Cardboard can warp after a while

Traveling with a toddler can be tough if you’re not prepared. Luckily, these activity pads from Melissa & Doug are just the thing to have on hand to make road trips more fun for everyone. Six coloring books are included, each with a different theme (animals, vehicles, and safari), and they're "mess-free," so you won't have to worry about cleaning the car afterward. Instead of using crayons or markers, kids use water-filled pens to bring these images to life and complete fun activities. When the “ink” dries, the colors disappear, and they can start all over again!

Dimensions: 4.8 x 6.7 x 10 inches | Weight: 2.6 pounds | Intended Use: Indoor | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

Hasbro Gaming Candyland

Candy Land Board Game

Courtesy of Walmart

What We Like
  • Classic board game

  • Great for minimizing screen time

  • Good for 2 to 4 players

What We Don't Like
  • Adult assembly required

Say goodbye to screentime with this classic board game that is a great first foray into board games. She'll fall in love with the candy-themed board, and she doesn't need to know how to read to play along. The directions are easy to follow and there are limitless opportunities for replay. This is a great gift for any family who wants to start a board game night tradition.

Dimensions: 1.46 x 15.75 x 10.51 inches | Weight: 1.12 pounds | Intended Use: Indoor | Recommended Age: 3 years and up

Micro Kickboard Mini Original 3-Wheeled Scooter

Micro Kickboard

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Helps with balancing skills

  • Quiet and non-marking wheels

  • Good for indoors and outdoors

What We Don't Like
  • Bars aren't height adjustable

If she doesn't have a scooter, now is the time to help her work on her balance and gross motor skills. She can cruise around the neighborhood in style with one of these top-rated scooters that she can ride till she is 5 years old. The design makes balancing easy, making this a great option for outdoor play in the driveway or at the park.

Dimensions: 10.63 x 1.97 x 25.98 inches | Weight: 3.97 pounds | Intended Use: Outdoor | Recommended Age: 2 years and up

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

Recommended Age

Most toys have an age recommendation on the packaging. These guidelines are there for a reason— they serve as an important gauge of safety and stimulation, says Kristin Morency Goldman, senior advisor of strategic communications for The Toy Association.

Complexity

Toys labeled 3+ may contain small parts that pose a choking hazard, Goldman notes. Although your child may technically meet this age requirement, use your best judgment based on their level of maturity. If your toddler still mouths many of their toys, they may not be ready for these types of toys. Remember manufacturer suggestions are just that—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. As your toddler grows, look for toys that light up, move, make noise, or have some interactive features. Toys with more than one function are also great.

Educational Value

Toys don’t have to be learning-based to have educational value. There are plenty of traditional toys: pretend play sets, scooters, puzzles, building set, memory games, and more—that help your toddler develop important physical, language, and cognitive skills, suggests Dr. Natasha Burgert, a pediatrician in Overland Park, Kansas.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article was written by Julie Evans, a writer who has been researching home products for The Spruce since 2017. She has extensive experience covering products for children, including toys and gifts. For this article, Julie considered budget, safety, and age appropriateness. Additional research was done by Julia Fields, a lifestyle writer for The Spruce covering all things surrounding toys, gifts, and the holidays. She's also covered similar topics in other roles, including toy reviews, product roundups, expert-focused articles, and more.

Updated by
Julia Fields
Julia Fields The Spruce
Julia is the Assistant Editor at The Spruce, covering all things toys, gifts, and holiday. 
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