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The perfect toy or gift for a toddler girl encourages social play and helps her learn (while still being fun!). Look for a toy that can grow with her to keep her attention; overly complicated toys might frustrate a 3-year-old, but toys that are too simple are likely to lose her attention after a short time.
To help you with your search, here are the best toys for 3-year-old girls.
Best Overall: AMOSTING Button Art Color Matching Mosaic Pegboard
Create pictures with bright colors
Includes ten different pattern cards
Storage included for buttons
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 the 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 ten 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. Parents say that it’s a great activity for developing motor skills and it's perfect for rainy or snowy days when you need a quiet indoor activity.
"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
Best Active: Little Tikes 3' Trampoline
Good for indoor fun
Easy to assemble
Foam on handlebar can tear with use
She can bounce, bounce, bounce that energy out on this cute trampoline from Little Tikes that’s just her size. There’s a large surface for jumping and a handlebar on top so she can keep her balance while she springs up and down and all around. Designed for indoor use, it can hold kids up to 55 pounds.
Parents love that it’s easy to assemble and that it gives kiddos a fun form of exercise when playing outside isn’t possible. Online reviewers note that it’s well-made and a great energy burner for little ones who can't sit still. A few people noted that the foam handlebar can rip or tear with repeated use, but it can be easily repaired with some duck tape or tennis racket grip tape. Recommended for ages 3 to 6.
Best Pretend Play: VTech LeapFrog Scoop & Learn Ice Cream Cart
Helps toddlers learn colors and numbers
Includes education phrases and fun music
Batteries are included
Cart on the smaller side
This ice cream cart from LeapFrog can take your child's creativity to new and amazing 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 as well as 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. Three AA batteries are required, but they’re included, so she can open up for businesses immediately.
Best STEM: Magna Tiles Clear Colors 100 Piece Set
Easy-to-play STEM toy
Good for solo and collaborative play
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 play and plenty of creativity as they can be used to build all sorts of creations. The vibrant tiles snap together magnetically to create shapes, scenes, and anything else she can imagine.
This set has 100 pieces, which will allow your child to create plenty of 3D objects, but all Magna-Tiles work together, so you can combine it with other sets for double the fun (and even more pieces).
"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
Best Tech: GBD Game Smart Watch for Kids
Easy starter watch
Includes lots of games
Camera to take photos
Not the most high-tech
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 her fingertips on a handy little 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 five to seven days after being charged. It’s a great travel toy—plus, it’s just adorable to see a 3 year old checking her watch. Oh, and if pink isn’t her thing, it comes in other colors, too.
"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
Best Doll: Baby Alive Real As Can Be Baby
Lifelike sounds and noises
Many little girls are fascinated with dolls. If you're looking for the perfect doll to give as a gift, the Baby Alive collection has an infant doll that looks like the real thing and boasts over 80 life-like expressions, movements, and even real-life sounds.
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.
"Despite the product name, it’s visually not the most lifelike doll, which is my only gripe. The doll definitely looks like a toy, with exaggerated eyes and eyelashes and smoothed-down everything else. However, my 3-year-old tester did not mind or notice this at all." —Sarah Vanbuskirk, Product Tester
Best Wooden: Melissa & Doug Deluxe Nina Ballerina Magnetic Dress-Up Wooden Doll
Encourages sorting, matching, and make-believe
Can be played alone
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 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 she can easily show off all of her fashionable creations and spin Nina around the floor in dances she choreograph all by herself.
"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
Best Game: Melissa & Doug Catch & Count Wooden Fishing Game
Helps kids learn about fishing
Great for learning numbers and motor skills
Magnetic pieces for easy clean-up
Short pole strings
This adorable wooden game from Melissa & Doug is a great catch-all around, as it’s 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 then try to “catch” the fish with the number on which they land. (Instructions for other ways to play are included, too.) When the fun is done, all the pieces fit into a mesh bag, making clean-up time a snap.
Best for Travel: Melissa & Doug Water Wow! Reusable Color with Water Activity Pad
Good for traveling and road trips
Includes three coloring books
Mess-free disappearing ink
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. Three coloring books are included, each with a different theme (farm, ocean, 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!
Best Fine Motor: Kinetic Sand Beach Sand
Helps build sensory and motor skills
Encourages creative thinking
Good for both indoors and outdoors
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.
Kinetic Sand can be used both indoors and outdoors.
Best Book Set: The Little Blue Box of Bright and Early Board Books
Encourages reading and imagination
Convenient carrying case
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; Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!; Ten Apples Up On Top!; and The Shape of Me and Other Stuff.
Best Art: Hape All-in-One Wooden Kid's Art Easel
Encourages art and creativity
Two sides with whiteboard and blackboard
Folds away for storage
Must unscrew bottom to fold away
The budding artist will get a kick out of this easel where she can display her creative talents. The set includes three paint pots and paper to help get her started. What we love best is this folds up so you can stow it away when not in use.
Best Board Game: Hasbro Gaming Candyland
Classic board game
Great for minimizing screen time
Good for 2-4 players
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. This is a great gift for any family who wants to start a family board game night tradition.
Our top pick is the AMOSTING Color Matching Mosaic Pegboard an educational playset that lets kiddos create fun pictures with the included "mushroom nails." Those interested in STEM might check out the Magna-Tiles Clear Colors 100-Piece Set, which earns high marks from our tester for its versatility and fostering of creative play.
What to Look for in a Toy for a 3-Year-Old Girl
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.
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.
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.
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.