The Best Birthday Gifts for 3 Year Olds

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best gifts for 3 year olds
Graphics by: Kirra Bento

Welcome to the threenage years. If you haven’t already noticed, 3 year olds have opinions—and lots of them. They aren’t afraid to tell you what they want, and in many instances, what they don’t want.

The development between age 2 and 3 is substantial, and for many of our little ones, it includes milestones like moving to a big kid bed and potty training. Over this past year, I felt like I blinked and suddenly my son was going from a toddler to something more like a little boy. And while he still has some time left in toddlerhood, every now and then, I get an unmistakable glimpse of what our future holds.

When he’s not running and climbing and jumping off anything and everything, he’s spending longer and longer amounts of time playing with his toys, including more creative and imaginary play.

Whether you’re little one has a third birthday coming up, or you’re just in the market for some new activities, we’ve rounded up some of the best gifts for 3 year olds below.

 

Gifts for 3 Year Olds Under $50

play kitchen accessories
Melissa & Doug

Cutting Fruit Set

Help kids hone their fine motor skills by practicing cutting pretend fruit like melon, kiwi, and more! All fruit comes in a wooden crate to help with organization and cleanup, too.

Use code EVERYMOM20 to get 20% off any Melissa & Doug product!

best gifts for 3 year olds
Etsy | Simply Sublime Baby

Personalized Bounce House Birthday Shirt

A personalized shirt to celebrate their big day is sure to be a favorite well beyond their birthday.

best-gifts-for-3-year-olds
Target

Kinetic Sand Folding Sandbox

Perfect for plenty of sensory and creative play, kinetic sand acts like wet sand, but only sticks to itself and never dries out or hardens.

best gifts for 3 year olds
Amazon

T-Ball Set

Batter up! This plastic T-Ball and bat set comes with six oversized balls for little players to practice their hand-eye coordination inside or outside!

pattern blocks and boards toy
Melissa & Doug

Pattern Blocks and Boards Classic Toy

This play set includes 120 shapes and five double-sided boards to help kids learn spatial awareness, color recognition, hand-eye coordination, and problem solving skills.

Use code EVERYMOM20 to get 20% off any Melissa & Doug product!

ada twist scientist book
Andrea Beaty & David Roberts

Ada Twist, Scientist Book

Beaty and Roberts' rhythmic storytelling and unique illustrations make these some of our favorite books to read aloud. Parents and kids will find lessons within the pages of STEM-themed Ada Twist, Scientist.

best gifts for 3 year olds
Melissa & Doug

Take-Along Railroad Set

Who doesn't love a portable play set? Little ones can tote along this railroad set from their bedroom to the playroom and maybe all the way to their grandparents house. Comes with accessories like three magnetic train cars and a park ranger vehicle.

Use code EVERYMOM20 to get 20% off any Melissa & Doug product!

best gifts for 3 year olds
Amazon

Storybook Projector for Smartphones

Turn your phone into a screen projector for story time! This set comes with five Frozen-themed stories. Other stories available for your collection, too.

best gifts for 3 year olds
Melissa & Doug

Let's Explore Hiking Play Set

Get little ones exploring the outdoors with this play set, including a play first aid kit, play binoculars, sunscreen tube with flip-top, multi-tool, durable canteen, wooden snack bar, six double-sided animal track cards, trail guide activity book, and more.

Use code EVERYMOM20 to get 20% off any Melissa & Doug product!

best gifts for 3 year olds
Target

Disney's Encanto Mirabel Madrigal Doll

The hero of Disney's runaway hit Encanto, this Mirabel doll comes with her signature green glasses, blue earrings, and beautiful dress!

best gifts for 3 year olds
Etsy | Decor Fab

Personalized Star Night Light

Bedtime can get a little easier with the help of a night light, like this sweet, personalized version from Etsy.

taco food play set
Melissa & Doug

Fill & Fold Taco and Tortilla Set

This 43-piece play set includes everything kids need to make a Mexican/Tex-Mex meal with tacos, burritos, fajitas, and more!

Use code EVERYMOM20 to get 20% off any Melissa & Doug product!

3 year old gifts
Amazon

Dabble & Dollop Bath Bombs for Kids

This set of 12 droplets bath bombs will add fizzy, moisturizing fun to bath time.

100% natural, vegan, gluten-free, cruelty-free, and made in the USA.

Gifts for 3 Year Olds Over $50

paw patrol
Melissa & Doug

PAW Patrol Match & Build Mission Cruiser

Together with your kid’s favorite PAW Patrol pup, they can match, build, and play with the wooden character tools and hardware to create projects, match assembly cards, and fill scenes. The versatility of this toy allows little ones to be the leaders of their creative missions along with their PAW Patrol partners.

Use code EVERYMOM20 to get 20% off any Melissa & Doug product!

magnatiles 100 piece set
Amazon

Magna-Tiles 100-Piece Set

Magna-Tiles keep kids entertained for hours with open-ended building and creating. Plus, they're a gift they will use for years to come.

coffee barista play set
Melissa & Doug

Wooden Cafe Barista Coffee Shop

A reader and editor favorite, this adorable coffee shop play set encourages fine motor development, counting and sorting skills, color recognition, and storytelling.

Use code EVERYMOM20 to get 20% off any Melissa & Doug product!

loog guitar
KIDO

Loog Guitar

Sold by one of our favorite Black-owned businesses, this educator-approved and award-winning toy comes with access to the Loog app plus flashcards to help little ones learn to play.

best gifts for 3 year olds
Melissa & Doug

Beauty Salon Play Set

Having their very own salon station will *hopefully* keep them out of mom's. This wooden set comes with hair dryer, hair straightener, comb, brush, flip-top lotion bottle, nail polish bottles, a makeup brush, and more.

Use code EVERYMOM20 to get 20% off any Melissa & Doug product!

double-sided tabletop easel
Melissa & Doug

Deluxe Double-Sided Tabletop Easel

This sturdy tabletop art easel also includes a magnetic dry erase board on one side and a chalkboard on the other. Plus, it can fold flat for easy storage!

Use code EVERYMOM20 to get 20% off any Melissa & Doug product!

get well doctor activity center
Melissa & Doug

Get Well Doctor Activity Center

Plus up your kid's play space with this wooden doctor's office activity center. Not only is it great for imaginative play, but it can also help ease a little one's fear of doctor's visits.

Use code EVERYMOM20 to get 20% off any Melissa & Doug product!

best gifts for 3 year olds
Woom Bikes

Woom 1 Plus Balance Bike

Editor-favorite Woom bikes are not your average kids' bikes; they're designed specifically to fit just right and grow with your little one—and a bonus for parents: very little assembly is required!

best gifts for 3 year olds
Melissa & Doug

Hi-Rise Wooden Dollhouse

Wooden dollhouses are a favorite big-ticket gift item for 3 year olds. This multi-story version comes with furniture, figures, and more items that you often have to buy separately.

Use code EVERYMOM20 to get 20% off any Melissa & Doug product!

play kitchen accessories
Melissa & Doug

Play Kitchen

Another big-ticket favorite for toddlers: a play kitchen! We love how this version fits well with any home decor. Don't forget to add some play fruits and veggies or pots and pans, too!

Use code EVERYMOM20 to get 20% off any Melissa & Doug product!

best gifts for 2 year olds
Melissa & Doug

Fire Truck Play Tent

Playhouses are always fun, but there's something extra special about a firetruck playhouse!

Use code EVERYMOM20 to get 20% off any Melissa & Doug product!

shark sprinkler
Pottery Barn Kids

Inflatable Shark Arch Sprinkler

For tons of summertime fun, this oversized inflatable shark sprinkler is sure to be a hit for your kids (and probably the neighbors too!).

birthday gifting series

 

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This post was in partnership with Melissa & Doug® but all of the opinions within are those of The Everymom editorial board. We only recommend products we genuinely love.