How do you pick a toy for your child? I always like to pick toys that will grow with kids and toys which have a learning element are always on the top of the list!
Check our list of best learning toys, all the toys we picked are gender neutral and they will be the perfect birthday or Christmas gifts for little girls and boys! Plus, all of these toys are either toys we tried and tested or they are on our shopping list!
#1 – Educational Insights Design & Drill Activity Center
Power up your child’s imagination with this Design & Drill Activity Center from Educational Insights. This award-winning activity toy for your 3-year-olds come with all the equipment needed to build on your child’s co-ordination, fine motor and creative thinking skills, all in a fun and engaging manner. Snap on one of the 3 different drill bits to the reversible power drill or screwdriver, grab a handful of the brightly colored bolts and off you go. Your child can start off by following one of the 20 activity cards, which include designs of trains, boats, flowers, fish and many more. Then when they are comfortable with the equipment, they can have even more fun creating their own designs.
#2 – Lauri Tall-Stacker Pegs Building Set
The Lauri Tall-Stacker Pegs Building Set makes for an ideal first construction toy for your 3-year-old. Your child will be too busy having fun with the set to realize that they are actually learning and building on so many important skills, as they build up their tall 3-D structures. Manipulating the small pegs into the different shaped and colored peg boards, provides an excellent workout for their fine motor skills and is great for working on their hand-eye coordination. They will need to put their logical thinking skills and creative problem-solving skills to good use, as they work out how to make their tower stay up. This set will grow up with your child and the will enjoy creating more elaborate structures as they get older.
#3 – 3D Feel & Find By Guide Craft 40 piece set
This wooden shape and tile matching game is an excellent sensory shape game, which works on reinforcing your child’s cognitive development skills. Wooden puzzles are such a good investment, as they can be enjoyed by lots of children over many years. Load up the wooden shapes into the canvas drawstring (this is very handy for storage after you have finished playing as well) and place one of the 20 tiles in front of your child. Ask them to put their hand into the bag and feel around the different shapes until they find the one which matches their tile. Once they have completed this, then move on to the next tile until they are all completed.
#4 – LEGO DUPLO 10572 Creative Play All-in-One-Box-of-Fun
An all-time classic, playing and learning with LEGO DUPLO will never go out of fashion and is a must-have building toy for every 3-year-old. This sets comes in a handy LEGO brick-shaped storage box making it easy to store. It includes a wagon base, 2 window elements and a dog as well as a wide selection of other DUPLO bricks for your child to build and create with. There is also an added educational element to some of the bricks inside this set. The set includes numbered bricks, which can be connected up with their matching corresponding pictured bricks.
#5 – Wikki Stix Numbers and Counting Fun Cards for Learning
Mess-free teaching tool is a fun manipulative to work on letter and number formation with your child. Wikki Stix are colorful, non-toxic wax and yarn strings can easily be stuck onto the individual letter and number cards using just the pressure of your child’s fingertips. They can also be removed and replaced many times over, as your child develops in confidence forming the different letters and numbers. As your child gets bigger, the cards then be used together to spell out small words, as they begin to develop early reading skills.
#6 – T.S. Shure Teeny Tiny Quadruplets Wooden Magnetic Dress-Up Dolls
How adorable are these Teeny Tiny Quadruplets Wooden Magnetic Dress-Up Dolls Itsy, Bitsy, Teeny and Tiny! There are hours of imaginative pretend play fun to be had for your little one here, as they dress up the dolls with the 64 different magnetic outfit pieces, including daytime and nap time outfits. It is an ideal toy to bring out and about when you are going to a restaurant or a friends house, as it comes neatly packaged in it’s own clear carry bag with secure snap closure pockets.
#7 – Hape – Eggspressions – Game of Feeling
Help your child to explore and express their feelings on a role-play “egg-ventrue”! Kids will enjoy playing with 6 toy wooden eggs, matching egg cups and storybook in this Eggspressions – Game of Feelings. Role-play is an excellent way to encourage your child to talk about and then understand their feelings. They can find it hard to distinguish when they are afraid, angry, excited, happy, sad or shy, which can lead to anger and frustrations. This light-hearted story of Humpty Dumpty and his cousins is a gentle way to introduce and talk about these different emotions with your child.
#8 – Sorting Colors Magnetic Maze
This hands-on Sorting Colors Magnetic Maze is a great way to explore colors with your child. Using the magnetic wand to move the colorful balls around the sturdy hardwood maze into their matching “paint cans” helps to give your child’s fine motor skills a boost. Whilst they play they are also working on color recognition and basic sorting skills.
Available for purchase here: United States
#9 – Melissa & Doug Pattern Blocks and Boards
Using this Melissa & Doug Pattern Blocks and Boards set provides a fun and engaging way to work on shape recognition and spatial relations with your child. It comes with 10 simple colorful patterns for your child to follow, with the over 100 pattern blocks, which come in 6 different shapes and colors. They can they work away at designing their very own patterns as they get older and more confident.
#10 – Melissa & Doug My First Daily Magnetic Calendar
Another great toy from Melissa & Doug, My First Daily Magnetic Calendar is an excellent way to introduce the concept of days of the week and the date with your child. It comes with 80 magnets including years, months, numerals for dates, days of the week, holidays, emotions and special events. It is also a useful tool to encourage communication with your child, as it can be used in the lead up to special events such as birthdays and trips out.
Other toys we recommend for 3-year-old boys and girls can be found at:
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Nicola is a former Librarian who now spends her time looking after and coming up with arts and crafts ideas for her sons Liam (7), Freddie (5), and Bella (3) to do together.