A list of 10 toys for a 3 year old that will get played with and used for years to come. Best of all, they are all under $25.
Toys. Toys. Toys. They are everywhere and they can take over your home quickly if you don’t choose wisely. I love when I find a gift that really gets played with. Even better if it gets played with for years to come.
Over the last few weeks I have been trying to get a big donation pile of unused toys and other things to give to others in anticipation of the new toys that will come at Christmas time. While I was doing that, I noticed several toys that have been around a while that are still being used.
I wanted to share with you the top 10 toys that we bought for our daughter when she was 3 that she is still playing with as a 5 year old.
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Reasons We Love These Toys
There are several criteria that put toys on my must have list for my kids.
- Inexpensive – When buying for a 3 year old, you don’t want to break the bank with a toy purchase in case it doesn’t get used or
- Mostly Independent Play – Obviously supervision is required. However, these are good because they provide some level of independent play or quiet time. As an example, my daughter might color or paint at the kitchen table while I am cooking dinner.
- Encourage Creativity/Imagination or Motor Skills – A toy that teaches or allows my kids to create something is one that I like buying.
10 Best Toys for 3 year Old
Here is the list of the 10 best toys for 3 year old kids. We purchased these for our then 3 year old daughter that she still consistently plays as a 5 year old now. These toys have held the test of time. They are durable, fun and entertaining. Best of all, you can buy these on Amazon for less than $25 each (and a bunch are under $10)
Mega Bloks Building Set
These big building blocks are perfect for little fingers (our 1 year old even has fun trying to build things). I love the wagon that it comes with for storing the blocks. It is also an easy way to teach your little one the art of cleaning up their mess.
Alex Discover Button Art
This is my favorite item on the list! Starting at 18 months, the kids can work on pushing the buttons into the art. When the child is younger you can work on color identification and matching the correct color to the button. My five year old still gets this out to work on. She can of course do it independently now so it is now a nice quiet time activity.
What is it with kids and tents or forts? They love them! My daughter has loved her tent for years. She likes to hide in it, read in it, play with toys in it and play pretend. They also fold up to make storage super easy.
Learning Resources Rise & Shine Breakfast Play Food
Good quality play food is really hard to find! This set is realistic looking and has a couple of really cute features. An egg that you can crack, a muffin that you can fill with blueberries and a small toaster for the bread. My daughter still plays restaurant and loves to serve us food.
Hot Potato Game
The laughter that this game brings is the reason it has made this top 10 best toys for a 3 year old list. Now that my daughter is five and the baby is 14 months, we all get in on the fun. The baby of course doesn’t understand the concept but he loves chasing around any dropped potato! It is always a good time.
Coloring Book with Water Colors
Coloring is fun but painting is a blast! These coloring books come with a watercolor palette and a coloring book featuring your favorite characters.
Melissa & Doug Water Wow
These are so amazing. The kids “paint” with a refillable water paint brush. The pages come to life with pretty colors when they get wet but the magic happens when the water dries. As it dries, the pages turn back to white so you can paint them over and over again. We play with these at home and on road trips or plane rides.
Melissa & Doug Ice Cream Scoop Pretend Set
My daughter wanted this on a random Target run and I didn’t really want to spend $24 on it. I almost passed it up but during the summer, I usually choose to let her get a toy or two. It has been played with so much. I am not sure that I will ever forget her little voice yelling “ice cream for sale” 600 times a week!
The set is very cute with 4 different flavors and cone and cup options. There are magnets in the scoops and the cone so you can serve up a double scoop and it will stay together.
Disney Princess Necklace Activity Set
This is awesome for the ability to create again and again. The necklaces are a silicone type stretchy material with a fastener. String the beads, add a princess and wear. When she wants to change up the necklace, just pop the fastener and create again. This does have small pony beads but at 3 my daughter could do this craft mostly on her own.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Wooden Recorder
Music is always a great thing to expose children to. We love singing silly songs and we have a big bucket of noise makers and instruments. This recorder is a fun way to make some fun sounds. We also have a xylophone and a small keyboard.
Hopefully this list of the 10 best toys for 3 year old children will help you in your gift search. Whether it is for a birthday or Christmas, I hope your kids love these things as much as mine do. I am just happy that we can find some other toys to play with on occasion because my 5 year old is currently LOL obsessed.