Looking for the best gift for a 3 year old boy? You’ve probably realized by now that, if you want to do this right, it is going to take some research.
At this age, boys grow out of their toys at such a rate, that it becomes difficult to keep up, and as they grow, the purpose of their toys changes as well, from being just plain fun to helping develop the child’s cognitive and motor skills, as well as nurturing their imagination and social intelligence.
This is a lot to ask from “just a toy”, so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to compile a list of our favorites in order to help you out in your quest.
- 1 Best Gifts for 3 Year Old Boys
- 1.1 Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden Railway Train Set
- 1.2 VTech Write and Learn Creative Center
- 1.3 The Original PlasmaCar by PlaSmart
- 1.4 Fisher-Price Little People Sit ‘n Stand Skyway
- 1.5 Betheaces Kids Toys, Soccer Goal Set Hover Football
- 1.6 DIMY Walkie Talkies for Kids
- 1.7 Liberty Imports World Racing Car Take-A-Part Toy for Kids
- 1.8 Hot Wheels 9-Car Gift Pack
- 1.9 Nerf Super Soaker Scatterblast Blaster
- 1.10 Magformers Standard Set Magnetic Building Blocks
- 1.11 LEGO DUPLO Town Truck & Tracked Excavator
- 1.12 Battat Take-A-Part Toy Vehicles Airplane Green
- 1.13 Friction Powered Cars Push and Go Car Construction Vehicles Toys Set
- 1.14 Mizzuco Cartoon Dress up Costumes Satin Capes With Felt Masks For Kids
- 1.15 ETI Toys Educational Construction Engineering Building Blocks Set
- 2 How to Choose the Best Toy for a Three Year Old Boy?
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions
- 4 Conclusion
Best Gifts for 3 Year Old Boys
Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden Railway Train Set
If you’re looking for a gift to spark your 3 year old’s creativity, you’re on the right track with this train set. It comes with over 130 pieces, including wooden track sections and four different types of trains. Some easy-to-follow instructions with track configuration ideas are also included. The classic wooden design is sure to bring back memories, as you help your little one learn how to connect the tracks and put up stations and bridges.
The Deluxe Railway Train Set provides an opportunity for your little engineer to develop his problem solving skills as well as dexterity and imagination. It is also a great way to learn about sharing, through cooperation with siblings and friends. All aboard!
- Sturdy and robust
- Easy to set up
- Compatible with other train sets
- Small parts – choking hazard
VTech Write and Learn Creative Center
You can’t go wrong with this one. VTech’s Write and Learn Creative Center allows your kid to follow on-screen instructions on how to properly write letters of the alphabet, or draw 26 different shapes. It will give your child a head-start with the alphabet as well as engage his artistic side.
You can help him every step of the way, or foster a more hands-off approach since this ingenious toy can teach your little guy to write/draw and make him ready for preschool all on its own. The best part is that you can easily program the child’s name into it and it teaches him how to write his name letter by letter. The light and sturdy board can be taken anywhere, so get ready to show off your child’s progress to friends and relatives!
- Step by step instructions
- Animated demonstrations
- No backlight
- No volume control
The Original PlasmaCar by PlaSmart
Want to get your kid out of the house for a bit of outdoor fun? There’s no better way than the easy-to-use PlasmaCar.
There are no pedals, no batteries and no pushing is required. Your little boy will surely enjoy wiggling his way through the neighborhood at speeds of up to 6 mph. The ingenious propelling system on the PlasmaCar is sure to give your child’s arms a bit of a work-out, so there should be no trouble getting him to sleep afterward.
This product obviously requires adult supervision if it’s meant to be used outside of the house. Other than that, it is a great way to improve your kid’s balance and coordination, as well as navigation skills and spatial intelligence.
- Supports up to 220 lbs
- No batteries required
- Meets and exceeds all safety standards
- Multiple award winner
- Smooth, flat surfaces only
- May damage wooden floors
Fisher-Price Little People Sit ‘n Stand Skyway
This exciting 2-in-1 play set has lots of details for your 3 year old to discover. It will require some setting-up, but the instructions are simple and easy to follow. Once you’ve got everything ready, just lift the gate and watch them go!
This play set can be set up two ways for extended play. You can set it up vertically for a tall play set so that your kid can stand and play, or make it into a town that’s lower to the ground for him to sit and play. He will definitely love discovering all the little details throughout the set.
This toy will certainly inspire role-play, creative thinking and story-telling, and will help reinforce motor skills. The Fisher-Price Little People Sit ‘n Stand Skyway is intended for ages 1,5 – 5, so your little one is guaranteed to not grow out of it for some time.
- Two cars included
- Multiple track styles
- Requires adult assembly
Betheaces Kids Toys, Soccer Goal Set Hover Football
This set is a combination of 2 great things – soccer and air hockey. It will allow your kid to enjoy all the benefits of a work-out while at the same time providing a thrilling light show with its built in LED lights.The disk provides its own air cushion, so it easily hovers over hard surfaces. Since it glides over all smooth and flat surfaces, including low-pile carpet, the hover disk is great for kicking around the house.
The foam bumper protects walls and other objects, so you don’t need to worry about your 3 year old getting too eager and damaging anything. The included goals, combined with the fact that the soccer disk floats over cement with ease, making it possible to turn any outdoor area into a hover-soccer field. It’s safe, easy to set up, and will definitely boost your child’s motor skills and coordination.
- Colorful LED lights
- Goals included
- Not as much fun alone
DIMY Walkie Talkies for Kids
Kids have always loved talking on walkie-talkies, and if you’re looking for good value for money, look no further. The DIMY Walkie Talkies for Kids feature a 2 mile range in the right terrain, which is more than enough for your 3 year old boy.
These talkies use 3 AAA batteries which are unfortunately not included in the package. Once you’ve installed the batteries, all you and your kid have to do is press the power button, choose one of 3 channels provided, and push the side-button to talk. Use the robust buttons on the front to adjust the volume to your liking, and get the best sound in all situations.
Made with children in mind, the DIMY Walkie Talkies contain durable and safe materials and a child friendly design. They are small, portable and lightweight, with an ergonomic grip and belt clip for easy carrying. Great for outdoor play!
- Easy to use
- Child friendly design
- Great sound
- Batteries not included
Liberty Imports World Racing Car Take-A-Part Toy for Kids
This cool kit is perfectly suitable for your 3 year old mechanic. The Liberty Imports World Racing Car Take-A-Part set contains 30 different pieces, including a drill, car parts, modification parts, tires, drill bits, and screws.
The car lights up and makes engine noises if shaken, which is a very popular feature with boys of this age. Also included in the set are two AG13 batteries for the car. The two AA batteries for the drill need to be purchased separately but are very easy to install, as you might expect. The drill changes directions at the push of a button.
This creativity-boosting toy is sure to spark your child’s imagination with a wide array of choices and possibilities for the look of the car. Your boy will have lots of fun picking the right combination of parts, modifications, and wheels.
- 30 piece set
- Sounds and lights
- The drill works in both directions
- Imperfect English on the instructions
- AA batteries not included
Hot Wheels 9-Car Gift Pack
What better way to kick-start your kid’s collection than a surprise set of 9 genuine Hot Wheels cars? You never know what you’ll find in one of these packs, and that’s the beauty of it.
Hot Wheels has been the brand name in miniature cars since 1968, and from the moment you open this pack, you will be able to see why. The incredible value on display here makes a must-buy, as your kid will get, not 1, but 9 different toys in one gift. The cars in the pack are guaranteed to be brightly colored, diverse and famously durable.
This might be a simpler gift than most others on this list since it doesn’t require any batteries or electronics, but anyone who grew up playing with Hot Wheels cars will know that it is a special experience, and imagination really comes into play. Old-school cool at its best!
- Robust and durable
- Wacky, versatile design
- Great value
- Choking hazard
Nerf Super Soaker Scatterblast Blaster
Who doesn’t love water blasters? The scorching summer months are ahead of us, and we’re sure that your kid will have a blast (pun intended) with the powerful pump-action ScatterBlast. Just open up the back, fill it with up to 22 oz of water, and it’s time to pump away.
Why do they call it the ScatterBlast? Well if you look closely at the front, there are 5 little holes, for just as many streams of water, which means more range, and more water power. This toy is actually rated 6 years and up, but with its simple and intuitive design, younger kids will love it just as much as the older ones. If you turn it sideways or upside-down, there will be some leakage out of the top, but if used properly the ScatterBlast did not leak. When your kid has his next water battle, he will definitely drench the competition!
- Made with safe materials
- Flip-up sight
- Great range
- Leaks a bit when turned to the side
Magformers Standard Set Magnetic Building Blocks
This magnetic building set will become your new secret playtime obsession. Buy it for your boy, but be prepared to get addicted to it yourself. The basic set includes 14 pieces of square and triangle shaped blocks, in bright rainbow colors, which provide enough possibilities for your child when it comes to creating shapes and objects of his own.
The magnets in these blocks are strong, but they also come apart quite easily (if you intend them to). Also, it is so much easier to teach 3D shapes using an actual hands-on material, than it is with just a crayon and paper. They are made with BPA free plastic, and each piece is sonic-welded into place. The set comes with a step-by-step idea booklet if you need some ideas to get started. Magformers are great for your 3 year old’s healthy brain development, fostering creative problem-solving and spatial skills.
- Compatible with other Magformers products
- BPA free plastic
- Step-by-step booklet included
- Relatively small set, with only 14 pieces
LEGO DUPLO Town Truck & Tracked Excavator
There has always been a special connection between boys and heavy construction equipment. We just love big machines, and as far as we’re concerned, the more toys like this, the better.
The excavator in this set has a nice cabin, to fit one of the 2 construction workers that come with the set, or any other LEGO DUPLO figure you might already have. For improved durability, it has hidden wheels underneath, rather than moving tracks, since those can sometimes come off on other toys of this kind and may be difficult to reattach.
The truck is simple, as it should be, with an elevated cabin, giving the DUPLO figure inside a nice view of their surroundings. It is a proper dump-truck, with a large cargo bay and it is easily connected to the excavator, or another LEGO DUPLO product, using the standard tow hitch.
Obviously, this set will encourage creative thinking and imagination, as well as fine-tuning your child’s motor skills.
- Many extra pieces, including a roadwork sign and a shovel
- Two construction workers included
- Encourages role-play
- The excavator may be a bit unstable unless you take off the hidden wheels
Battat Take-A-Part Toy Vehicles Airplane Green
This is a durable plastic airplane that can be taken apart into 21 pieces. The included drill can be switched from forward to reverse and requires 2 AA batteries, which need to be purchased separately, just like the World Racing Car mentioned previously. The drill has 3 different bits, and the pieces and fasteners are chunky, making them easy for children to use.
The toy functions just fine as a plane all on its own, but the real fun is in figuring out which drill bits to use and how to put the parts together. Matching the correct drill bit to the screw requires children to practice their pattern recognition and problem solving skills. Sometimes, screws that are put in very tightly may prove a bit too much for the drill to remove. In this case, an adult may need to use the drill bit to manually loosen or remove a screw.
Children who still put small objects into their mouths should be supervised when using this toy, as it does involve small parts.
- Great for problem solving and sequential thinking
- Durable, chunky parts
- Two-directional drill
- No spare screws included
- Sometimes the screws get stuck
Friction Powered Cars Push and Go Car Construction Vehicles Toys Set
This is the perfect set for teaching little ones about construction vehicles in a fun and simple way. It is complete with a tractor, bulldozer, cement mixer and a dump truck. Push and go friction toys are easy to operate, taking the hassle out of buying batteries. Simply wind them up by pushing forward slightly a few times, and watch them go as your child tries to chase them. The safe and durable design makes it possible for your kid to bring them wherever he wants, and play with them with no supervision.
It goes without saying that the set is made of non-toxic plastic and paint, up to all safety standards. Also, you don’t have to worry about your child being overly eager and even a bit reckless with the toys, since they are virtually indestructible. This fun toy set is guaranteed to keep your little boy entertained and fascinated, while at the same time improving their coordination.
- High quality plastic
- No batteries needed
- Smaller than you might expect
Mizzuco Cartoon Dress up Costumes Satin Capes With Felt Masks For Kids
This pack includes capes and masks for 5 well known superheroes, namely Superman, Spiderman, Flash, Batman and Captain America. They are made with durable double sided satin and include an easy to use and adjustable Velcro neck for younger children, manufactured to last and comfortable for children to wear. The colors on these capes and masks are bright and vibrant, just like in the comic-books and movies. Perfect for a hero-themed birthday party, as well as Halloween.
Your little boy will love being a superhero, running around the house with his friends, using his imagination to think of missions and assignments for them to do. Of course, these are more fun with friends and encourage playful cooperation and sharing. They might turn out to be a little too big for a 3 year old, but that just means he will be able to play with them for years to come.
- Comfortable double sided satin
- Adjustable Velcro neck
- Great value
- A little too big for a 3 year old
ETI Toys Educational Construction Engineering Building Blocks Set
Our list concludes with something that never goes out of style when it comes to children’s entertainment – building blocks. It has been shown through research as well as anecdotal evidence that these kinds of toys are great for improving motor skills, as well as cognitive and problem solving abilities. It can be really difficult to choose the right set from a wide range of possibilities, but we feel that this Construction Engineering Set is a great place to start.
This huge set is filled to the brim with possibilities. Included in the 101-piece set are blocks of all shapes, colors, and sizes as well as an idea book. However, as with other building block toys that we’ve mentioned, the best part is letting your boy figure it out himself and come up with his own creations. This will improve his concentration and creativity, while the hands-on approach will enhance his motor skills as well.
- Huge set
- Plastic storage container included
- Safe materials
- It’s going to take a while to clean up
- Some small pieces might get lost
How to Choose the Best Toy for a Three Year Old Boy?
Consider your son’s interests
At 3 years old, your kid is able to tell you what he likes, and you can clearly tell his interests from his expressions and body language around certain toys, and when he’s faced with certain concepts. There is a complex mind in that little head, and the behavior that is expressed is a result of many thoughts and ideas, but you should have the power to understand your kid’s mental process better than anybody. Use that power to your advantage.
Try to look at things from his point of view
We understand that this might be a difficult thing to do when your son is only 3, but getting down to his level might be necessary to really understand how he sees the world. Physically sitting down at his favorite play spot might be a great place to start. You will get a new perspective on how he sees things. It might sound a bit ridiculous, but remember – your view of the world very different from your son’s, both literally and metaphorically. Try to change that and we guarantee it will help with your decision.
If you want your son to work on his people skills, as well as improve his language development, you should look for gifts which inherently involve multiple people. We all know that, at 3 years old, your son is probably not that interested in other kids, and prefers individual play, so giving him something that requires social interaction might make him a bit unhappy at first. However, in the long run, this will be hugely beneficial for his development. Make sure you or other adults are around when more kids are involved, as at this stage their social interactions tend to be a little unpredictable.
Criteria we used
Some may say that there are no rules when it comes to choosing the right gift for a little boy since every kid is unique. While that is true, there are a few factors which we always consider when making our lists, as well as shopping for the kids in our lives.
As they grow, boys become more active, vocal, and better coordinated, and the toys you choose to get them should be very durable and of high quality. They will want to take them apart if possible, and they will also have their favorites, and that means that they will want to play with certain toys over and over again. Good toys for one year old boy should be durable and sturdy, and they should endure months and even years of intense play and quite a bit of rough handling.
This seems quite simple really. Look at the label and make sure the toy is appropriate for your child’s age. Well, there’s a little more to it than that. Since not every child of the same age is at the same level of development, we like to provide a wide age-range of toys in our lists, and it is ultimately up to you to decide where your kid falls on this scale.
Also, you might want to pick a gift that’s a little ahead of your child’s developmental level, since that might give him an additional boost, or simply let him play with it for longer as he grows. That is why we give you a large selection of what we think are great toys, and you make the final call. After all, who knows your kid better than you?
Frequently Asked Questions
Can educational toys give my child an advantage this early in life?
Absolutely, having educational toys at this stage can make a huge difference in preschool and early elementary. Lots of these toys teach basic math and even reading/writing, but even the ones that don’t will give your child better spatial awareness, creative thinking and problem solving abilities. They will boost your boy’s confidence because he will start preschool having already mastered some of the concepts taught there.
What is a STEM toy?
STEM is an acronym that stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. Toys that encourage STEM learning will help your child stay ahead of his peers and classmates since in the future there will be more and more jobs in the so-called STEM fields. If you think it’s too early to think about your 3 year old’s potential future employment, you’re probably right, to be honest, but even then, STEM toys are great for his divergent and innovative thinking as well as coordination.
Are these toys good for both boys and girls?
Many of the toys covered are meant for boys’ toys, but if your daughter loves construction vehicles, power drills or water guns, why would you stop her from enjoying them. We believe that children shouldn’t be forced into, or away from any toys, but rather should be allowed to choose for themselves.
Do these toys require adult supervision?
Most toys on this list will not require an adult to be present since they are perfectly safe for the child to use. However, interaction with parents and other adults, as well as other kids is of utmost importance for a small boy’s proper development. You are the best teacher your child can have, try to be with them during playtime, to encourage them and take care of their interests.
Choosing the right gift for a 3 year old boy requires understanding the developmental needs of your child and looking into what the gift can provide in relation to that. The safety of the product is essential as well. Apart from that, you can’t really go wrong as long as you use your knowledge of your son’s interests.
After all, gifts and toys are meant to be fun. It is also important for you to play with your child, with or without those toys, as your interaction with him will give you insight not only into what kind of toys he likes, but what his general interests are. And it will provide you both an opportunity to connect more deeply.