We have a third birthday fast approaching at our house, and it feels like such a big deal! The toddler years are slowly fading and a preschooler with big opinions, creative pretend play, and a longer attention span is emerging. While my daughter has a list of things she'd like for her birthday, we'll also pick a couple items from the categories below.
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Gross Motor Toys: We love saving bigger purchases for birthdays, and turning three is the perfect occasion to get a fun outdoor gross motor toy. The Micro Kickboard Scooter and Radio Flyer Balance Bike have been total three year old hits at our house. Don't forget a cute helmet!
Interactive Books: My almost 3 year old is on the cusp of dropping her nap, so her birthday is the perfect time to gift engaging books that she can explore on her own. We're gifting her a copy of "I Take Care of My Kitten" but we also love "The Little Book of Backyard Bird Songs" and these Explore and Find Books.
Art Supplies: . Three is when attention span and fine motor skills align and an interest in creating art really emerges! Give the gift of process art with an easel, washable tempera paints, and easel paper. Check out more of our favorite preschool art supplies here.
Doll House and Accessories: As your child turns 3, you may notice their interest in pretend play growing quickly. One great toy to support pretend play is a simple dollhouse and some accessories for small world play. This simple doll house comes with 2 figurines and furniture. The Hape Wooden Pets have been a beloved toy in our home for years, and we love wooden dolls like these.
Simple Board Games: You may also notice your child beginning to understand the turn taking that is required to play board games. Three year olds will find success with games that incorporate matching, turn taking, and simple concepts like counting and colors. We love the Shopping List Game, Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel, and I Never Forget a Face.
Toys to Sort and Categorize: Three year olds love to categorize things and explore small parts. This Birds in a Nest set is perfect for encouraging color matching, fine motor, and small world play. Inexpensive loose parts (small items that can be used to enhance play) are another great addition around three years old, when children stop using their mouths to explore objects. Find a list of my favorite inexpensive loose parts in this post.
Floor Puzzles: Puzzles also make great third birthday gifts, as preschool age is a great time to move away from puzzles with just a few pieces and towards more challenging puzzles! We love the 24 piece floor puzzles from Petit Collage, especially the forest and map versions.
REMEMBER: This list has lots of fun gift ideas, but picking just two or three gifts that match your child's interests and developmental level is more meaningful than a big pile of presents that gets ignored! What type of toy is your almost three year old loving right now? What category of toys will help expand that interest?