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3-year-old gift guide

Ana Sancho-Rumeu
The list author says: "A list of age-appropriate toys for the child around three (roughly 2.5 to 3.5yrs). I tried to choose a variety of toys and books, keeping in mind that often children of the same age will be at different developmental stages.
Also, this is just a guide with some ideas, each toy is just an example, there are similar ones in other shapes, sizes and materials that are just as age-appropriate."
Mobilo Large Set (Approx. 120 pieces)
Mobilo Large Set (Approx. 120 pieces)
"Great manipulative toy, very engaging and totally open-ended, each child will create completely different structures. Builds small muscles, enhances eye-hand coordination, perfects spatial relations... This is a good starter set, but be aware that it will soon not have enough pieces for all they will want to build."
Learning Resources Gears! Gears! Gears!
Learning Resources Gears! Gears! Gears!
"Another good manipulative toy.  There are larger sets for the more advanced builder."
Magneatos 72 Piece Set
Magneatos 72 Piece Set
"Yet another building manipulative that this age-group will enjoy."
Learning Resources Wooden Pattern Blocks (Set of 250)
Learning Resources Wooden Pattern Blocks (Set of 250)
"A nice large set of pattern blocks minus the pattern cards which I feel only frustrate young children and limit the possibilities of what they can create.  On their own, pattern blocks can be used by each child at their own level to create endless patterns."
Melissa & Doug Swivel Bridge Train Set
Melissa & Doug Swivel Bridge Train Set
"These train sets are durable, and fun.  They probably would do for the 2-year-olds and it's one of those toys that they will use for quite a while."
Melissa & Doug 60-Piece Standard Unit Blocks
Melissa & Doug 60-Piece Standard Unit Blocks
"Standard unit blocks are probably the best toy for the preschool-age crowd.  At this age they may need more than 60 blocks, but the price for these sets is great and you could buy two for a very reasonable price."
Maxim 100 Piece Natural Wooden Blocks
Maxim 100 Piece Natural Wooden Blocks
"Tabletop blocks are a good alternative if you don't have space for full-sized standard unit blocks.  They are also great for travelling."
Tree Blocks Set
Tree Blocks Set
"Great to use on their own or in combination with standard unit blocks."
Farm Animal Set
Farm Animal Set
"These animals are the perfect size for block play (or on their own, of course) and of good quality.  Safari makes sets of different animals (ocean, jungle...)"
The Toybox Collection Doll House
The Toybox Collection Doll House
"I like this simple style of doll house."
Doll Family of 7 Caucasian
Doll Family of 7 Caucasian
"Great for playing with blocks or with a doll house."
School Bus "Easy Grip" Peg Puzzle
School Bus "Easy Grip" Peg Puzzle
"A step-up from a regular peg-puzzle in which each shape has its own hole, this kind still features pegs but is more challenging.  Good for the ones on the younger end of the age-group."
Wooden Fairytale Puzzle - Jack and the Beanstalk
Wooden Fairytale Puzzle - Jack and the Beanstalk
"Another non-jigsaw puzzle, this one without pegs."
KID O Noticing Differences-Giraffe Puzzle
KID O Noticing Differences-Giraffe Puzzle
"12-piece wooden jigsaw puzzles are yet another step-up."
Flower Festival Wooden Box Puzzle
Flower Festival Wooden Box Puzzle
"Very pretty, and different, 12-piece wooden puzzles."
Melissa & Doug African Plains Jigsaw 24 pcs Puzzle
Melissa & Doug African Plains Jigsaw 24 pcs Puzzle
"Probably the highest number of pieces they will be able to master at this age."
Corolle Mon Premier Calin Charming Pastel Baby Doll
Corolle Mon Premier Calin Charming Pastel Baby Doll
"A baby doll will still be a favorite, if the child has one already, accessories such as bottles, pacifiers, blankets, etc. make great gifts.  Clothes can still be hard to put on and take off for a lot of children."
Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden Doll Furniture - Crib
Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden Doll Furniture - Crib
Silk Princess Hat (Pink/Rainbow)
Silk Princess Hat (Pink/Rainbow)
"Hats make great dress-up accessories."
Reversible Silk Royal Crown with Adjustable Velcro Closure, in Royal Blue & Red
Reversible Silk Royal Crown with Adjustable Velcro Closure, in Royal Blue & Red
1 X 9-Foot Long Vibrant Silk Streamer, in Rainbow
1 X 9-Foot Long Vibrant Silk Streamer, in Rainbow
"Good on its own, also a good addition to a dress-up trunk.  It can be a magic wand, it can be the wind, the rain..."
Play Silks Set of 4 - Green Tones
Play Silks Set of 4 - Green Tones
"Simple pieces of hemmed fabric will be used for dress up (capes, aprons, dresses...), to make houses draped over tables or chairs, or simply laid on the floor as beds, gardens or whatever they are pretending at any given time."
Melissa & Doug Deluxe Standing Easel
Melissa & Doug Deluxe Standing Easel
Melissa & Doug Deluxe Easel Paper (3 pack bundle)
Melissa & Doug Deluxe Easel Paper (3 pack bundle)
Melissa & Doug Easel Accessory Set
Melissa & Doug Easel Accessory Set
Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden Kitchen Accessory Set
Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden Kitchen Accessory Set
HIC Porcelain Mortar and Pestle 2.5-inch
HIC Porcelain Mortar and Pestle 2.5-inch
"How many and how detailed you want the play kitchen utensils probably depends on how much cooking happens in the child's home, if nobody around him uses a mortar and pestle, then skip it, and go for the basics: spatula, tong, bowls..."
Prepworks from Progressive International Set of Mini Colanders, Blue, Green and Red
Prepworks from Progressive International Set of Mini Colanders, Blue, Green and Red
"These can work in the play kitchen as well as in the sand table."
Progressive International Set of 3 Mini Strainers, Blue, Red and Green
Progressive International Set of 3 Mini Strainers, Blue, Red and Green
Trudeau Mini, White Stoneware Salt Pig with Spoon
Trudeau Mini, White Stoneware Salt Pig with Spoon
1 X Frontier Natural Products 208897 Tea Tongs - Stainless Steel
1 X Frontier Natural Products 208897 Tea Tongs - Stainless Steel
Amco Mini Oval Bowl, Set of 6
Amco Mini Oval Bowl, Set of 6
Norpro 3080 Mini Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons, Set includes ( tad, dash, pinch, smidgen and a drop )
Norpro 3080 Mini Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons, Set includes ( tad, dash, pinch, smidgen and a drop )
2-piece Mini Ladle Set
2-piece Mini Ladle Set
2 list items are no longer in our catalog.