Gift ideas for a 3 year old

Last year I wrote a post about tried and tested gifts suitable for a 2 year old. Before Baby E, I always used to find it a bit challenging shopping for children’s birthday gifts. It was difficult to know what gifts would be a hit, and which would miss the mark … until I had a little live-in tester of my own! Baby E just recently celebrated her 3rd birthday, and she was very lucky to receive some really lovely gifts. For anyone shopping for a gift for a 3 year old this summer, here are some of our favorites that you might look into. And who am I kidding, I’m writing this for myself too!  I’m fairly sure that when Emma is grown, and I’m buying gifts for little ones in the future, I’ll need to look back at this post! I already had troubles remembering what a good gift for a 1-year old might be!

Our Top 10 Toddler approved gifts for 3-Year-Olds:

  1. Floor puzzles: We have this Petit Collage Alphabet Kingdom Floor Puzzle, and we love it. A favorite before-bed activity, and a great way to learn the letters of the alphabet!
  2. Coloring book: Baby E and I love to color together, and for her birthday she received the perfect coloring book: Color with Me, Mom! Each page of the book has one side for your child to color, and one side (with a more intricate design) for Mom or Dad!
  3. Sidewalk Chalk: This one has been a huge hit with the warmer weather. After eating dinner in our backyard, we will break out the sidewalk chalk and decorate the patio! Baby E received the Crayola Sidewalk Paint Tray for her birthday, which she also loves. I also just came across this great list of sidewalk chalk games and activities which I can’t wait to try with her!
  4. Crafts: One of our favorite things to do, especially when the weather isn’t nice, is work on crafts. Therefore, craft supplies are an excellent gift for a little one like Baby E. Anything that can be added to the craft bin is great: glue sticks, construction paper, felts, stickers, shapes that can be glued onto paper, wooden ornaments/birdhouses for painting … the list is endless!
  5. Play Mobil & Calico Critters: About a year ago, Baby E started to become really interested in Play Mobil and Calico Critters. She loves the figurines, and the smaller, more intricate pieces. Baby E received the Playmobil Playground Set last year, and she plays with it all the time. At Nani and Bubba’s house, she has the Calico Critters Deluxe Bathroom Set, which she also really enjoys. Baby E’s amazing Bubba even made a mini wooden bathroom with walls, and she loves arranging all of the tiny furniture and playing make believe with the Calico Critters!
  6. Play-Doh: Play-Doh is another favorite activity around our house! For her birthday, Baby E received the Play-Doh Town Ice Cream Truck Play Set. With this set, you can make ice cream cones and Popsicles that look pretty close to the real thing! Before this gift, we mainly played with the rolling pin and cut out shapes … but now it’s all about the ice cream!
  7. Magnetic drawing board: Baby E received a magnetic drawing board similar to this Dora book for her birthday, and it’s been such a wonderful gift! We have it in the car, and she will spend an entire car ride drawing pictures!
  8. Activity/sticker books: Baby E loves sticker and activity books. We recently found an activity book called I Can Color and Sticker and she really enjoys finding the stickers that match/complete each page or scene. Some of the stickers are even blank so that she can color them herself!
  9. New fave books: I would love love love to work in a children’s bookstore. I could spend hours browsing the shelves … and probably spend all of my paycheck too! We have received some wonderful new books as gifts lately, and also picked out a few new great books for her friends’ birthdays. Here are some of our recent favorites: How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers, Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers, Princess Hyacinth (The Surprising Tale of a Girl Who Floated) by Florence Parry Heidi, Where’s Tim’s Ted? It’s Time for Bed by Ian Whybrow, Bears Don’t Read by Emma Chichester Clark, Little Beaver and the Echo by Amy MacDonald.
  10. Cars/Road map: Over the past few months, Baby E really started to enjoy playing with cars. When my best friend’s daughter was young, I made her a homemade car map. So this birthday, I decided it was time to do the same for Baby E. I used colored Sharpie pens on a piece of canvas (still need to trim it and sew the edges). I found these awesome wooden house blocks at Toys R Us, that can be stacked and arranged however you like. It’s a bigger hit than I had hoped! Baby E absolutely loves it, and spends at least an hour a day playing with it.







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