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Best Holiday Toys & Gifts for 3-Year-Olds

2021-11-01 by Melissa & Doug
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Preschoolers love pretend play and we are here for it! When you check out our favorite top toys for 3-year-olds, prepare to step back in disbelief as your child gets lost in the excitement of the rewarding experiences attached to many of these innovative items. Aside from these top gifts for 3-year-olds, you can find more gifts from our list of 10 Best Toys for Babies and 1-Year-Olds, 10 Best Toys for 2-Year-Olds, and 10 Best Toys for 4-Year-Olds.

The 10 Best Toys and Gifts for 3-Year-Olds

Examine & Treat Pet Vet Play Set

Melissa & Doug Examine & Treat Pet Vet Play Set

Age: 3+
Why it’s a great gift for 3-year-olds: Young pet lovers will play all day with this 24-piece play set that includes a plush dog and cat, and vet accessories including a stethoscope, thermometer, syringe, ear scope, tweezers, clamp, and much more. The handy tote bag makes travel—and house calls—easy for everyone!
Fun feature: This toy was recognized by toy experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute for helping kids develop empathy while they play.
Skills: Empathy and confidence building, fine motor skills
How to wow: Add to your child’s pet-care skill-building and experience with the Feeding & Grooming Pet Care Play Set.

Fill & Roll Grocery Basket Play Set

Melissa & Doug Fill & Roll Grocery Basket

Age: 3+
Why it’s a great gift for 3-year-olds: Budding shoppers, chefs, and hosts love pretend grocery-shopping trips, and this rolling basket will only add to their enjoyment! They can practice list-making with the double-sided reusable shopping list, and load the cart with five play grocery boxes and three pretend food cans—with pop-off lids!
Fun feature: The rolling cart can be lifted to carry or extended to roll over a longer distance!
Skills: Fine motor skills, confidence, counting, creative thinking
How to wow: Add the Cutting Fruit Set—Wooden Play Food to any pretend grocery shopping or play kitchen experience!   

Wooden Fold & Go Barn

Melissa & Doug Wooden Fold & Go Barn

Age: 3+
Why it’s a great gift for 3-year-olds: Kids will love everything about this farm-themed set, from playing with the realistic farm animals to taking the portable barn with them—anywhere! The sturdy, wooden barn opens wide and closes up for quick cleanup or transport.
Fun feature: The wooden ladder and corral make this pretend-play barn extra realistic!
Skills: Imaginative play, fine motor skills, creative thinking
How to wow: Try the six-in-one Farm Cube Puzzle to arrange fun, colorful images of farm animals including a pig, sheep, cow, chicken ducks, and horse!

Take-Along Tool Kit

Melissa & Doug Take-Along Tool Kit

Age: 3+
Why it’s a great gift for 3-year-olds: Young builders will love getting creative with this colorful 24-piece set of wooden tools, nails, screws, nuts, and bolts that’s built to last. They can pack everything up into the sturdy toolbox and use the handle to bring it with them when they’re on the go.
Fun feature: The child-sized hammer, wrench, and screwdriver work with the play nails, screws, and other parts!
Skills: Fine and gross motor skills, color recognition, counting
How to wow: Expand your preschooler’s enthusiasm for construction work with the Hammer & Saw Tool Bench!

Chef’s Kitchen — Cloud

Melissa & Doug Chef's Kitchen-Cloud

Age: 3+
Why it’s a great gift for 3-year-olds: With stovetop dials that turn, a revolving plate in the pretend microwave, and a moving faucet and handle on the sink, this modern play kitchen is ideal for a multi-kid playdate. The sturdy wooden construction can handle all of the pretend meal-making that will go on in this model kitchen, and assembly is easy and straightforward!
Fun feature: The kitchen’s innovative ice maker dispenses two pretend ice cubes, which are included with the set.
Skills: Fine motor skills, organization, creative play, collaborative play
How to wow: Take pretend meal prep to the next level with the Slice & Toss Salad Set

Fresh Mart Grocery Store

Melissa & Doug Fresh Mart Grocery Store

Age: 3+
Why it’s a great gift for 3-year-olds: Kids who love a good grocery-shopping trip will never want to leave this pretend-play grocery store! Ideal for a few kids to play with at once, this free-standing play space has a browsing area as well as a checkout setup, complete with a hand-cranked conveyor belt in the bagging area!
Fun feature: The checkout area includes a “beeping” scanner and pretend card swipe machine!
Skills: Sorting, fine and gross motor skills, color recognition, math skills, collaborative play
How to wow: Add to the available options in the Fresh Mart Grocery Store with the Let’s Play House! Grocery Basket with Play Food!

Catch & Count Fishing Game

Melissa & Doug Catch & Count Fishing Game

Age: 3+
Why it’s a great gift for 3-year-olds: The 10 colorful, wooden magnetic fish in this set feature numbers and patterns to maximize the fun on matching, sorting, and counting activities, while two wooden fishing rods add endless possibilities for solo or collaborative play.
Fun feature: The two rods include working windup reels!
Skills: Hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, core strength, problem-solving, interpersonal skills, color recognition, organization, counting, matching, sorting, collaborative play
How to wow: Add to your child’s catch-and-release skills with the 10 colorful fish in the Fishing Magnetic Puzzle Game!

Wooden Doorbell House

Melissa & Doug Wooden Doorbell House

Age: 3+
Why it’s a great gift for 3-year-olds: With four electronic doorbell sounds and four unique locks—each with its own matching key—this wooden doorbell house is a sensory delight! The four poseable play people bring personality and warmth to this great gift idea, and a sturdy handle makes it easy for preschoolers to carry around. AAA batteries not included.
Fun feature: The four included keys are attached to the house to prevent them from getting lost.
Skills: Fine motor skills, empathy building, counting, color recognition
How to wow: Keep practicing with the ever-satisfying Lock & Latch Board!

Deluxe Tabletop Easel 

Melissa & Doug Deluxe Tabletop Easel

Age: 3+
Why it’s a great gift for 3-year-olds: From the magnetic dry-erase board, to the chalkboard, to the paper-roll holder, this easy-to-fold-flat tabletop easel leaves everything to the imagination! Preschoolers will love using the dry-erase marker and felt eraser, colored chalk, and seemingly endless (50-foot-long) paper roll!
Fun feature: This double-sided easel includes 36 letter and number magnets!
Skills: Counting, creative play, collaborative play, fine motor skills, color recognition, letter and number recognition
How to wow: Get creative on the paper roll with the 24-pack of triangular crayons

Fire Chief Role Play Set

Melissa & Doug Fire Chief Role Play Set

Age: 3+
Why it’s a great gift for 3-year-olds: Here is everything an aspiring firefighter needs in an emergency: a bright red, machine-washable jacket trimmed with reflective material, a fire chief helmet, a “fire extinguisher,” a bullhorn, a shiny badge, and a name tag to personalize.
Fun feature: The bullhorn includes sound effects!
Skills: Social-emotional, creative storytelling
How to wow: Pair the costume with the indoor Fire Truck Play Tent — a fabric playhouse with all the realistic details.

Plus, you can find even more great gift options in our full Melissa & Doug 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.

Need more gifting ideas? Be sure to also check out these posts:

10 Best Toys & Gifts for Babies and 1-Year-Olds

10 Best Toys & Gifts for 2-Year-Olds

10 Best Toys and Gifts for 4-Year-Olds

5 Holiday Gifts That Wow



Melissa & Doug

Our team of play experts occasionally enjoys sharing news about our company, new product launches, and some of the #CountlessWaysToPlay with our toys, crafts, and games. At Melissa & Doug, we’re on a mission to inspire the innovators of tomorrow through kid-powered play!

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