Finding the best toys for 3 year olds can be an absolute game changer!

After all, they are not just toys, they are tools. You heard me right. Toys can be tools to help your toddler learn and discover the world around them.

The best part is that you get to control what kind of toys your child plays with and don’t we all want the best for our kids?! Of course!

That’s why I wanted to take the guess work out of it for you and clearly layout a variety of different types of toys that will benefit your little bundle of joy!

Benefits of Best Toys for 3 Year Olds

There are a slew of benefits to the best toys for 3 year olds. After all they are the best. Would you expect anything less?

In this list you can find toys that are educational, imaginary and active.

How to Choose the Best Toys for 3 Year Olds

Like I mentioned above the best toys can be used as tools. Tools to aide your child in learning, exploring and using their imagination.

I’m a big fan of mostly battery less toys. That way your child can do most of the thinking. Although, I will include some batter toys because there are exceptions to ever rule.

But, for the most part I’ll be telling you how to choose toys depending on education, imagination and activity.

How to Use the Best Toys for 3 Year Olds

Educational toys have a broad range of use. I’ll include toys that help fine and gross motor skills. Which are two major skills by the way.

There are also educational toys that can aide your child in their love of learning. Including alphabet, numbers, spatial awareness and knowledge of the world they live in.

The toys that assist in imaginary play are pretty much endless as well. Or more appropriately, only as endless as your child’s imagination. The toys I’ll introduce in this category offer open ended play. Meaning your child guides the play and that opens up their minds to all sorts of adventures.

Lastly, but definitely not least. I’ll go over some active toys because aren’t toddlers pretty much full of endless energy?! Yes and yes!

I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been at the store and a random passer by comments on how they wish they could bottle my son’s energy. Me too!

With active toys you can at least give their energy a positive direction.

So, let’s get on with it!

I’m going to tell you how you can easily entertain your 3 year old with any of these helpful toys. 

The Best Educational Toys for 3 Year Olds

Toddler Busy Board

This toy is an awesome tool for developing fine motor skills. It’s also a great way for your toddler to learn to dress independently. There are various sizes of buttons and buckles for varying difficulty levels.

Plus, it’s a super great tool for road trips or restaurants!

Buy it here on Amazon

Leapfrog, My Own Leaptop

If your child is super into your laptop, like mine, this could be the greatest invention ever for them.

They feel like they have their own computer. But, will also get to learn their alphabet, their name, animal names, songs and even receive their own emails!

Giving you some time to work on your own laptop. If that’s you’re thing. 🙂

Buy it here on Amazon

My First Microscope

This is an award winning toy great for boys and girls!

An introductory Science toy like this is a great way to spark their interest.

And, they can see things magnified up to 8x!

Buy it here on Amazon

Water Beads with Fine Motors Skills Toy Set

I know I’m an adult but I still love this toy!

Water Beads are a great way to work on fine motor and sensory skills.

I love that this kit includes little tongs to work your toddler’s hand muscles.

But it here on Amazon

Related: No Mess Sensory Play

Puzzle Globe

I’m less than awesome at Geography. So, I’m determined that my 3 year old will get a head start.

I love how colorful this is and how kids can be hands on with continents, oceans and landmarks.

Buy it here on Amazon

Alphabet Pop Up

Your child should have a relationship with the alphabet. It’s not just about memorizing letters and sounds.

You want them to have an interest in the letters. Kind of like when they learned about animals and their sounds. At the same time they were deciding which was their favorite and how they want to interact with each animal.

The goal is to do the same thing with letters. This pop up board is a great way to start or continue their alphabet knowledge.

Buy it here on Amazon


Magna-Tiles are a great way for your child to work on Math, Science and spatial relations all while playing.

They can create flat or 3-D dimensions shapes with this magnetic set.

It’s also an awesome tool for imaginary play!

Buy it here on Amazon

Colorful Counting Bears

I’ve been a huge fan of these cute little bears for years!

I used to use them a ton in my elementary classroom.

But, now as a mom I use them with my toddler just as much.

They are a great way to introduce sorting, counting and colors.

Buy it here on Amazon

LeapFrog Go-with-ME ABC Backpack

This toy is awesome an easy way to engage your child with the alphabet.

It covers letter sounds, names and animals that begin with each letter.

My favorite part is that Mr. Pencil introduces letter writing.

So much goodness packed in this on the go toy!

Buy it here on Amazon

Kinetic Sand

Kinetic Sand is a perfect filler for sensory bins. And it’s not nearly as messy as normal sand.

It’s the magic sand that sticks to itself and not to you. Making clean up pretty easy.

Buy it here on Amazon

The Best Imaginary Play Toys for 3 Year Olds

Kitchen Sink (working)

This is our most recent and favorite toy. The biggest wow factor is that it actually works!

Water comes out of the faucet and your child’s mind will be blown.

This simple sink has been a restaurant, a dog groomer and a bathtub.

You’ll be surprised at how creative your kids can be.

Buy it here on Amazon

Play Clothes

Subliminal messaging anyone?! Just kidding…kind of.

Remember how I said you can direct their play. This is the perfect example.

Give them positive role models to emulate and imagine they are helping people like these good citizens.

Buy it here on Amazon

Outdoor Explorer Kit

Getting outdoors is the perfect way to explore and imagine.

With this little kit they can become a park ranger, a spy, an explorer and pretty much anything they can think up.

Buy it here on Amazon

Related: Cheap & Easy Summer Activities


Again with the intentional play. We want our children to grow up to be independent adults who eventually do their own laundry!

Why not plant that seed now?!

But don’t be fooled. This can easily turn into a rocket ship or secret treasure during imaginary play.

But it here on Amazon

Pots & Pans Play Set

These are a great tool when you are in the kitchen. I’m sure you’re little man or woman wants to be your big helper.

This is a great way to enable them to help and imagine in a safe way.

Buy it here on Amazon

Best Active Toys for 3 Year Olds

Indoor/Outdoor Play Set

I love that this can be used indoors our outdoors!

And gives your little one something to climb on and explore that won’t topple over on them.

But it here on Amazon

Related: Toddler Restaurant Kit-Enjoy Dining Again!

Stepping Balance Buckets

There is so much you can incorporate into these balancing buckets.

You could focus on colors, counting or just making up a fun game and seeing how long your child can stay on one bucket at a time.

The options are really endless.

But it here on Amazon

Mini Trampoline

This is our favorite active toy. The jumping can be used as a sensory tool too.

It’s also a great way to get some toddler energy out!

But it here on Amazon

Crawl-Through Tunnel

Giving your kids tools like a tunnel is a great way to exert themselves.

Plus, it lends itself to a lot of imaginary play.

But it here on Amazon

Soft Blocks

Are you couch cushions used for stacking and climbing? I know mine are.

This is a great stacking and building tool. All while leaving your couch in tact.

Buy it here on Amazon

All of these tool/toys can be super helpful in your child’s development and entertainment.

And, if you’re still looking for some Easy Indoor Toddler Activities. Click here!

I would love it if you left your favorite toy ideas in the comments below!

Until next time,

Go get ’em Mama!