Top Toys and Gifts for 3-Year-Old Toddlers

Need an age-appropriate gift for a 3-year-old? The good news is that 3-year-old toddlers are fairly easy to please when it comes to toys, whether you have only a few dollars to spend or want to go all out with a pricey gift. These toys offer plenty of fun for this busy age group and would make perfect gifts for holidays or third birthdays.
  • 01 of 10

    These adorable mask and tail sets from Oeuf are a great addition to your toddler's dress up box. They're simple but fun - just clip on the tail to a shirt or pants, then slip the mask over your face, and you are instantly transformed into a wild animal. Lots of animal themes are available, from zebras and tigers to crocodiles and foxes. These sets are made of sustainable alpaca wool and the Bolivian workers who produce them are paid a fair trade wage.

  • 02 of 10

    Plasma Car is a ride-on toy that won't be outgrown quickly. This cool car is powered by the motion of the steering wheel. As the child turns the wheel back and forth, the car moves forward. Because the Plasma Car can even hold an average size adult, you won't have to worry about it being outgrown in a few months. It's easy to learn how to make Plasma Car move, even for a toddler, and the cars come in plenty of colors to match almost any little one's tastes.

  • 03 of 10

    Melissa & Doug Deluxe Easel

    Melissa & Doug Deluxe Easel
    Photo courtesy of

    Your little one can indulge an artistic streak with this cool easel from Melissa & Doug. There's a blackboard on one side and a dry erase board on the other side, plus you can clip paper to it for more drawing or painting fun. Trays at the bottom hold art supplies at the perfect height for a toddler. The whole thing folds for easy storage, too.

  • 04 of 10

    Toddlers can trace the lights on this cool electronic toy to learn how to draw shapes and pictures, and how to write lowercase and uppercase letters. It's ideal for a travel toy since it's lightweight and reusable, and the pen is attached with a string, so it won't get lost in transit.

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  • 05 of 10

    This big, dragon-themed toy has lots of bells and whistles to keep a toddler engaged, but also encourages lots of imaginative play thanks to the knight toys that are included. When the knights enter the Dragon World Fortress, they will find all sorts of adventures, including firing cannons, rolling boulders, and a wild attack dragon. This is a great toy for sharing with friends or siblings, too.

  • 06 of 10

    If your family is into playing games together, get the toddlers in on the action with UNO Moo. Using the same color-matching principles of the regular UNO card games, you match 3D animal figures. Instead of matching numbers, you can also match the same type of animal. Farmers are wild! This game is easy enough for little ones to understand and is actually fun for the whole family.

  • 07 of 10

    HABA Ball Track Construction Set

    HABA Marble Track Set
    Photo courtesy of Used with permission.

    Toddlers love to build things, and this construction set allows a toddler to do just that. This set also teaches critical thinking and problem solving, though, because toddlers must consider how the marbles will roll on the track as they're building. There are plenty of pieces so your little one can get creative. When building time is through, the marbles roll down the track, and it's time to start all over again. The Ball Track Construction Set from HABA will be used for many years,...MORE because as your child grows, he or she can learn to make more complicated tracks.

  • 08 of 10

    Plan Toys Circus Set

    Plan Toys Circus
    Photo courtesy of Used with permission.

    Lots of fun imagination play awaits with this cool circus set from Plan Toys. I love the magic box where one of the characters can disappear. The set also includes clowns and circus animals, as well as extra people so there can be a ringmaster performers and audience. The colorful circus tent even has a tightrope! The wooden pieces are made of chemical-free rubberwood and the finishes are all non-toxic.

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  • 09 of 10

    Prince Lionheart Large Wheely Bug

    Wheely Cow, Wheely Bug, Wheely Bee
    Prince Lionheart. Used with permission.

    The Wheely Bug gets my vote for the best ride-on toy ever! The large size is perfect for older toddlers, and is available in ladybug, bumblebee and cow themes. The Wheely Bug has a padded seat covered with wipe-clean material, and a padded handlebar on the front. The caster wheels are mounted on a wood platform, and swivel in every direction, so toddlers can spin, glide and roll wild all over the house or driveway. This is sturdy toy that offers plenty of fun for toddlers and pre-schoolers.

  • 10 of 10

    Melissa & Doug wood toys are made well, so they stay looking nice for a long time. My choice for this year is the pizza party set, which includes a yummy looking pie with a pizza cutter, a whole bunch of toppings and a tray for serving. Everyone can pick their favorite toppings and practice making the perfect pizza.