7 Awesome birthday gifts for your 3 year old babycenter blog signs of fluid in ears

What’s that sound? Oh, it’s just the sound of my giant tears hitting the floor as I realize my firstborn is not a baby anymore. Nope, he’s now a brave 3 year old with distinct tastes and interests. In honor of his fabulous 3rd birthday, which was earlier this week, I’m sharing seven great birthday gifts for your 3 year old. The next time you’re in a time crunch and need to buy a gift for that little, not-so-little one, just check this list!

Board games are great for this age group, and there are plenty to choose from. I especially love the ones that have a teaching element, but all board games can teach something. My son’s current favorite is Pop the Pig, which is a great game for practicing numbers and following directions.

Our play kitchen and various play food pieces continue to be a favorite.


We added a few pieces to the collection, which means my son can now offer me my favorite course, dessert. My kids will cook in their kitchen while I cook dinner every night. I don’t know what I’d do without the play food and kitchen.

After the age of the pincer grisp, we stopped focusing on fine motor skills. Aside from doing arts and crafts, I have found that playing with Play-Doh has helped my son develop his skills. Plus, it’s really fun. There are many basic tool sets out there, but we really like the ones that are easy for my son to do by himself. We got the above two sets along with a third set at a consignment sale for $8. Looks like we got lucky because the super fun Sesame Street Fun Bucket is not currently readily available. Keep your eyes open because you need to get this when it comes back in stock!

Mr. Potato Head, in my opinion, is one of the most undervalued kids’ gifts out there. Both of my kids enjoy making silly creations and then emphatically announcing that Mr. Potato Head is a silly potato. There are many different Mr. Potato Head sets. Our favorite is the mini Mr. Potato head that comes in a suitcase because we can bring it on car trips without the pieces falling everywhere.

Some people would disagree with me, but I have found 3 to be a great age for buying a bicycle with training wheels. We bought a very lightly used one for my son from our local JBF consignment sale, and it’s been a big hit already. I imagine this would be an even bigger hit for kids with spring or summer birthdays.

What is it about the Toy Story movies that appeals so much to the 3 year old crowd specifically? My son and many of his friends are currently obsessed with Toy Story. His second favorite birthday gift was this amazing Buzz Lightyear costume that has lighted wings and a matching helmet that also lights up. His birthday was 5 days ago and he’s already put the costume on maybe 10 times. He loves dressing up, and I’m sure Halloween is going to be extra special this year.

Right away I need to share that these sets are pricy. Like, really pricy. However, I imagine that we will play with these magnetic building sets for years. Adults and kids alike who have come over have sat around building different creations. My son’s favorite set so far is the Super Magformers, from which he’s made maybe 25 rocketships. If someone wants to buy your child a big gift that won’t take a lot of space, this is it. Trust me.

I am a firm believer that you can never have enough books. The new books that have joined our library are Spider Sandwiches, Press Here, Harold and the Purple Crayon, and Dr. Suess’ There’s No Place Like Space. Bedtime has been slightly easier this week with a new book to read each night.

I was surprised at how excited my son was for new clothes. He originally threw most of the clothes across the room in favor of the toy gifts, but he literally squealed when he got to put on his new skeleton pajamas. He’s also been showing off his new shoes to anyone and everyone.

My kid isn’t even two yet, but I have to say a lot of the stuff featured here is already big hit at out house. I don’t know why but kids just like to do things like push stuff. We bought my son a miniature pram that resembles his own and he literally plays with that things for hours everyday. He also has a ride on Dusty crop hopper. He’s had it since one and it never gets old. I’m actually planning to get him a play kitchen in January when we move. And I’ve already started sewing him some felt play food (I’ve also bought some wooden food for variety). But I can still remember being hooked on play food as a kid. The fixation starts young and just doesn’t die out for years and years.

There was one thing I didn’t see listed here that I think is missing, dolls. My son has some now (he LOVES them). He dances with them, snuggles them, combs their hair, and wheels them around in his toy stroller. But I feel like by three kids start to get more into dressing them up and doing more elaborate hairdos (putting in clips, learning to make a pony tail, etc). Just because you have a boy does not mean you should have a doll free house. I buy my kid all types of toys and I’m glad for it. He gets variety in his playthings that fosters creativity and I get to play with dolls too, lol.

Regular and Lego type blocks are awesome too. I like mega blocks best. A lot of people buy Lego duplo, but I think you get more longevity out of mega blocks. A three year old might be able to do duplo blocks, but they usually still need a lot of help. Mega blocks can be used from year one to five with pretty much no issues though. So we have a bag of those, I’m planning to get him some regular wooden ones soon as well.