We’ve scoured and searched for the best learning toys for 3 year olds. Whether you are looking for active play ideas or hands on ideas, this list is perfect for finding the “just right” learning toy for the three year old in your life.
As a teacher, giving educational gifts is super important to me. I am always on the lookout for toys and games that last beyond a season and have real value. It’s also important for me to choose gifts that will stand the test of time and more than one child can use.
Learning Toys for 3 Year Olds
This list of parent and teacher approved educational toys will help your three year old learn, develop, and grow as they play and interact. We’ve included our favorites:
- Top Rated Learning Gifts
- Active Learning Toys
- Hands On Learning Toys
- Artistic Learning Toys
- Board Games
- Imaginative Toys
Top Rated Learning Toys for Three Year Olds
Magnetic tiles are a perfect learning toy for toddlers and preschoolers. Young children from three and up absolutely adore playing, building, creating, and crashing with these magnetic pieces that come in all shapes and sizes. Great for imaginative play and practice with hand-eye coordination, these magnetic tiles will become a prized possession for years to come.
This airport Lego Duplo set is perfect for preschoolers who love to build and pretend. With 29 pieces, it’s great for a beginning builder and helps build fine motor skills along with persistence and trial and error. Plus, it’s so fun to pretend to be at the airport with the included Lego characters, luggage slide, and suitcases.
Zingo! is a super fun learning game for preschoolers and beyond. Children don’t even need to read to play, but it absolutely helps with important reading skills like visual discrimination. The concept is much like Bingo, where players have to fill their card with the matching item the “Zinger” spits out, but it’s pictures and words instead of numbers.
This solar-powered cash register and calculator is a great math learning toy for 3 year olds and beyond. With oversized numbered buttons and pretend money (both in bills and coins), this register is perfect for learning numbers, counting, interacting with money, and pretend play. Plus, the drawer cha-chings each time it opens making learning and playing extra exciting!
This 48 piece puzzle with the solar system is a perfect floor puzzle for three year olds who love space and solving puzzles! With extra thick cardboard, these pieces are sturdy and made for young kids. Help children learn about all the planets, develop hand-eye coordination, and visual discrimination. You can also grab one in a different theme like dinosaurs, underwater, and rainforest!
What Should Danny Do? By Adir Levy
The book, What Should Danny Do? is an interactive book that helps toddlers understand how to make good choices throughout the day. We follow the character Danny along as we help him decide to make positive or sad choices. Preschoolers will love the ‘you choose’ component and learning what happens when Danny makes sad choices and how it affects his day and his attitude. This book is such a great read and the author has also written one with girls in mind, What Should Darla Do?
If you have a book lover in your life, check out our post about the best preschool books! We’ve also created a free printable preschool book reference list, so you can always have a great book on hand! Just fill out your information below.
A sturdy set of unit blocks is a must have! These classic wooden blocks are a great gift for any three year old. It’s an educational toy that inspires creativity, building, and even early math concepts. Colorful and bright, these wooden building blocks come in different shapes and sizes to promote building structures of different sizes, shapes, and color variations.
This fine motor hedgehog teaches colors, counting, and develops fine motor skills – making it a great gift option! Kids learn to put all the quills back in the hedgehog, count how many as they go, and even learn to sort by color!
Active Learning Toys for Preschoolers
A mini trampoline is a great preschool gift designed to burn loads of energy! Trampolines provide a great way to invite gross motor play and build balance and coordination, while channeling all that childhood energy into fun and exciting play. The balance bar allows for toddlers to hold on as they jump and gives young jumpers extra stability.
This climbing tower is a great outdoor toy for preschoolers! This fun climbing dome helps build gross motor skills and coordination and three year olds absolutely love the challenge. Great for kids three to eight so this learning toy will be put to use for many years to come!
A tricycle is the perfect learning toy for 3 year olds and a great way to get outside! Riding a bike is so much fun for preschoolers, plus it’s great for developing balance, coordination and improving fine motor and gross motor skills. This tricycle also comes with a push handle for adults to help steer beginning riders.
A balance bike is a helpful learning toy for any three year old. Kids learn balance and riding skills without pedals so it builds their confidence as they begin riding a big kid bike.
The Plasma Car is easy to use and a great outside toy for preschoolers to enjoy! With no batteries or charging, this little car is perfect for active fun as it builds coordination and riding skills and develops gross motor muscles as you ride. Fun for kids of all ages, even adults!
These rocket launchers are a fun learning toy for inside or outside that build imagination and gets kids interested in STEM learning. Kids stomp on the air pocket and watch the rocket soar through the sky. Easy for a three year old to set up and use independently, this learning toy is the perfect gift!
This obstacle course is great fun for preschoolers and a fun toy for outside play! Invite your toddlers to play games like the floor is lava, or try to set up a path to get to a certain area. It also helps develop balance and coordination, while helping toddlers focus and pay attention to their body.
Hands On Learning Toys
With wooden pieces, this pattern block and board game is inviting and a great learning toy. This well-made toy is great for toddlers because it promotes spatial awareness, color recognition, and problem solving. The pattern blocks can also be used as math manipulatives separately to support counting and addition/subtraction skills.
This lacing and bead set for toddlers develops strong fine-motor skills and promotes hand-eye coordination, along with math and patterning skills. The set also includes beads with the numerals and matching dots to help little ones build one to one correspondence and even simple subitizing skills! Invite your three year old to design some fancy jewelry with this engaging learning gift.
This STEM-based learning toy for toddlers encourages kids to create pictures (both 2D and 3D) with the electric toy drill and colorful nuts, pegs, and screws. This drill set builds spatial awareness and creativity, plus you’ll get to watch your three year olds turn into creative engineers!
Watches make a perfect preschool or kindergarten learning gift, and these particular ones are simply fantastic! The hours are separated by colors and make learning to tell time so much easier! With bright colors and adorable animals, this watch helps little ones begin to understand the concept of time in a concrete way. See all the different designs over at Preschool Collection and read what we love about these perfect preschool watches!
Artistic Learning Toys
These water wow coloring books use only water, making them a mess free way to color just about anywhere! The refillable water pen is easy to use with a large brush so that your three year old can paint and discover the magical images hiding on each page. Plus, there are challenges throughout the book such as finding various animals and an interesting fact about each coloring page.
This is a great first playdough set for toddlers! Including tools that are perfect for cutting, rolling, molding, and mashing. Not only does using clay and play dough develop fine motor skills, but children learn to use new tools, design artistic models, and develop their imagination!
These dab and dot painters are easy for little kids to grip and they are practically mess- free! The tips don’t dry out and the painting mess is contained to a minimum. With lots of ways to use them, kids learn that they can dot the page, drag the painter to fill in and color, or even use them to support math counting practice and number sense. A must have learning gift for any three year old!
An art easel is a perfect gift for three year olds! It allows kids to explore their creativity, learn how to use paint, markers, and crayons, and develop fine motor skills. Whether your child is using chalk, paint, or dry erase markers, this easel is sure to bring out their creative side!
The classic card game Uno gets a revamp for young players! Play is similar to the original game but instead of using cards, preschoolers use farm animals instead. Each child gets a turn to match the farm animals by their colors or types. Kids will love playing with the farm animals and pushing their match into the barn. When a player is down to just one farm animal, they must shout “UNO Mooooo!” Get rid of all your farm animals to win the game. This game is a fantastic learning gift for three year olds as they learn to visually discriminate and match colors as they play. Plus, it’s a blast!
In Feed the Woozle, kids work together to feed the Woozle all sorts of silly foods. Fine motor skills are strengthened as they balance the hilarious foods on a spoon, and it helps gross motor skills too with directed movements like “bunny hop,” “hula dance,” “spin,” and “walk backward.” This is truly a perfect family game for preschool children; they will ask to play again and again and laugh the whole time they play!
In Guess in 10, kids ask questions to gather clues to guess the animal on the game card. Perfect for building communication, vocabulary, and creative thinking skills. Plus, it’s fun to play and is designed for young children who are non-readers.
For an entire list of fun and engaging board games, check out our post about board games for three year olds!
Imaginative Play Learning Toys for Three Year Olds
Kids love ice cream and they are bound to love this fun musical ice cream cart! Your toddler will be amazed as the magic scooper scoops up the ice cream and toppings and plops it onto the cone. With six order recipe cards, this ice cream cart teaches young ones to follow the sequence to build the correct order and teaches colors and numbers. It plays songs, counts, and uses play money so it’s a perfect working ice cream shop!
This set of role play costumes for toddlers is perfect for building imagination and creativity as your child pretends to be one of five career choices including surgeon, fire chief, police officer, and more. Role play encourages communication, helps build empathy, and provides real-world fun for preschoolers.
Melissa & Doug Pretend Food & Kitchen Accessories
Pretend food and kitchen accessories are the perfect gift for three year olds! Children love to imagine and play in the kitchen baking cakes, cooking pizza, celebrating birthdays, and cutting with a play knife. All these play toys develop communication, vocabulary, fine motor and hand-eye coordination, as well as learning about how kitchen tools work and promote self-confidence and independence.
We hope these learning toys for 3 year olds give you loads of fun and educational ideas that will have them playing and learning all year long!