I am currently on the hunt for the best toys for 3 year olds and I am having so much fun! Several friends have children around that age and with Christmas just around the corner, I am on the lookout for the best presents. This is such a great age for toys as children have a developing understanding of function and watching them follow the rules (i.e. use the toy as it is meant) and then head off on a tangent and create a completely different function for it, is great viewing!
Toys for 3 year olds have to accomplish a number of things as this is the time when children’s imaginations really start to fire up and they begin to emulate the world around them, trying to make sense through play of what they see. They are also starting to get to grips with language and like to let you know it! Toys which allow them to explore these new found skills are always going to be a hit!
I absolutely adore this kitchen – so many things to open, turn, lift and fill! We do a lot of cooking at home and, from around 3 years old, both my son and daughter would recreate our kitchen in whichever form they could.
We made a ‘walk-in’ kitchen from an enormous cardboard box, complete with four ring hob, fridge and washing up bowl. Hours spent in there creating salt dough meals for teddies, chattering to invisible neighbours about the state of the world, moaning that no-one else did the washing up – a complete recreation of the main hub of their life!
3 year olds love to show what they can do! At this age they are more dextrous and enjoy piecing together simple puzzles and toys whilst telling you what they are doing. This lovely touch and feel game is perfect for encouraging descriptive language as your child puts their hand into the bag and feels the pieces before matching them to the animal puzzles.
Asking simple open-ended questions allows your little one to really go to town with their vocab. Closed questions (is it smooth? Can you feel fur?) help those children who are still tentative about longer sentences.
As children develop physically, toys for 3 year olds which allow them to run, jump, hop and so on are brilliant. Hopscotch is such a traditional game but one which is still loved today and it is perfect for building on your young one’s burgeoning skills. How many of us see a chalked out hopscotch squares on the pavement and still hop through it? Really – am I the only one?
This foam set is just fantastic! It reinforces numbers, counting and colours whilst getting your children to be physical, learn turn taking and rule following and also gives them the opportunity to find a different function for the game (building with the pieces, changing the order to make patterns etc). All great fun and educational with it!
When all else fails, give your 3 year old some paper, colouring pencils or crayons and leave them to create (just don’t expect to be able to tell what it is!) I learned early on to say “tell me about your picture” rather than “that’s a lovely elephant” to be told it was a helicopter! Children love to mark make with any sort of implement, to get messy and sticky and to have an end product of which they will be immensely proud.
I quite like this magnetic portable whiteboard as an artdesk – it lies flat for floor work or can be propped on a table or chair for vertical drawing. As parents we like to keep the things that our children make (I still can’t throw anything away) – here we can simply take a photo of the finished piece and then wipe it off! I’m not saying this should replace the good old handprint elephants (helicopters?) but it is another great option!
by Allie White, educational consultant to BrightMinds
As a parent and former-teacher, Allie has a hands-on approach to home learning, believing that the best learning is done together in a relaxed environment.
Our mission at BrightMinds is to foster “a brighter way to play” to inspire your child to be curious about the world around them & encourage creativity in a fun & relaxed way.
We curate a world-class range of educational toys, games, gifts & books which are good quality, safe and backed by our extraordinary customer service. Toys for 3 year olds are our speciality and a Toy for a 3 year old from BrightMinds is a wonderful gift for your special girl or boy. Backed by our 90 day guarantee we are the number one site for thoughtful toys for kids!