We loved picking out these cool gifts for the 3-year-olds in our lives! Oh, the places they’ll go in their imagination when kids are 3 years old; we love to channel that boundless enthusiasm and curiosity with imaginative and creative toys, age-appropriate crafting supplies, and other well-made playthings that make wonderful birthday gifts for preschoolers.
And as you can probably tell, we’re all for taking a little more time to find special, fun toys that will hold up a little longer than the mass plastic stuff out there. Of course, the gifts we recommend have to be fun too. Just like a 3-year-old. Well, most of the time.
Please note that we’ve included links to both big and small shops for convenience and price. But we always encourage you to shop your own local independent toy stores, book stores, and boutiques!
Be sure to see our full list of the coolest birthday gifts for kids by age
The best gifts for kids by age 2023
The coolest first birthday gifts
The coolest birthday gifts for 2-year-olds
The coolest birthday gifts for 3-year-olds
The coolest birthday gifts for 4-year-olds
The coolest birthday gifts for 5-year-olds
The coolest birthday gifts for 6-year-olds
The coolest birthday gifts for 7-year-olds
The coolest birthday gifts for 8-year-olds
The coolest birthday gifts for tweens and big kids 9-12
The coolest birthday gifts for teens
The coolest gifts for 3 year olds
All gifts have been editorially determined by our staff, there is no compensation in exchange for picks.
CMP is an rstyle and Amazon affiliate which means we may receive a small commission from certain purchases to help us remain independent and support our staff.
This post is new for 2023.
Personalized car play mat
($29.99 and up at Vivibambina)
This long and winding road from a talented maker on Etsy can travel indoors or out to keep little drivers busy. Love the personalization in the center roundabout — or rotary, for us northeasterners. Other small bits of personalization available as well.
Yoto Mini Audio Player
($69.99 at Amazon)
While we continue to be fans of audio player TonieBox, this pint-sized Yoto Mini Player is the perfect size for little hands to carry everywhere. We also love the variety of available audio cards, which include music from some of our favorite kindie artists including Caspar Babypants and Jazzy Ash. Also, be sure to take a look at the Cool Mom Tech list of the very best headphones for kids by age.
Rainbow crayon tote set
($38 at Art2theExtreme with SO Handmade)
Encourage creativity on the go with this bright and portable art set which includes chunky crayons stamped with a little inspiration to get them started.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Magna-Tiles
($49.95 at Amazon)
The fun of building with Magna Tiles paired with the fun-to-read classic Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. They’ll knock this down with glee. Add on a copy of the book if they don’t already have it.
Hiboy Electric Balance Bike
($126.99 at Amazon)
A balance bike with a bit of oomph, the electric-assist wheels from the trusted brand Hiboy actually help little ones get the hang of balancing on a bike faster than foot-power alone. Plus it’s adjustable, so they won’t outgrow it for a few years.
Wooden tea play set
($60 at Anthropologie)
Pinkies up! This 22-piece set from Manhattan Toy for Anthropologie is perfect for a midday tea party.
Adorable cotton cardigan
($44.99 at Tea Collection)
Hopefully, they’ll sit and stay long enough for photos in this soft Shiba Inu cardigan.
Micro Kickboard toddler helmet
($52 at Micro Kickboard)
If you’re gifting a scooter or bike — or know a kid who already has one — protect that brilliant little brain with a playful but hard-working new kids’ helmet from one of our favorite kids’ scooter companies. If it’s cute, they’re more likely to wear it without fuss — and that’s the goal!
Diverse baby dolls from Miniland + clothing/accessories
($24.99 and up at Amazon, also try Nordstrom and Maisonette to compare prices and selection)
We adore the handmade doll clothing made just for Minilanddolls at Darling Clementine, like the little fuzzy vest shown above. Be sure to include a baby doll from Miniland of course! Find one that looks just like them, or introduce more diversity into their toy box — the award-winning brand is known for their wide representation, featuring babies and kids with all different skin and hair colors, kids with Down Syndrome, kids with cochlear implants, kids with glasses and more.
Bookroo book subscription box
($20.95/month for three months at Cratejoy)
You can never go wrong with books as birthday gifts for 3-year-olds…or really, any age. And what better way to instill a love of books in early readers than with a monthly delivery of new stories tailored just for their age. Plus, they get mail! Addressed to them! Double win.
Photo: The New Children’s Museum of San Diego’s Wobbleland
Children’s museum membership
An annual family membership to your local children’s museum — like San Diego’s The New Children’s Museum seen here — makes a fabulous gift that will help tire out a busy 3-year-old over and over again. While every major city has a wonderful children’s museum, don’t overlook a gift card for a local playroom or other activity space that may be even more convenient to pop into on a rainy day.
Handmade costumes for pretend play
($239.95 for the set above at Lovelane)
One of our all-time favorite Etsy shops, this detailed dragon and knight 5-piece set is an incredible gift for child’s special birthday! Great for playdates or for siblings to share. In her shop, you’ll also find individual accessories, like the colorful superhero shields and beautiful wings, which make a more affordable gift for 3-year-olds.
Foamnasium Play Couch
($399 at Pottery Barn Kids)
Way better than finding all your couch cushions across the floor, these play cushions can be put together in so many different ways to form a pint-sized lounger. In three different neutral colors, there’s one to suit any decor, making it a great gift for 3-year-olds that parents will love too.
Toddler table and chair set
($219 at Tender Leaf Toys)
Plenty of stores carry affordable table and chair sets for three year olds. But for something extra-special, we love this adorable wooden set that gives any 3-year-old — and a lucky friend or sibling or stuffed animal — an adorable a spot to craft, snack, create, talk, and conspire to change the world.
Storytime Toys puzzles for kids
($14.50 and up at Amazon)
Encourage open-ended play with these thoughtful pop-out puzzles whose pieces come together to form little playscapes. Choose between this castle theme as well as a firetruck, spaceship, and unicorn rainbow, as well as more complex puzzles for older kids too.
Rocket Ship Playhouse
($199 at Crate and Barrel)
At almost five feet tall in the middle, there’s plenty of room to blast off in this imaginative little playhouse. Love the pop-out windows and mesh inserts on top in case a child wants to bring this outside to gaze at the stars.
Aquarium bath sticker and poster
($42 at Moon Picnic)
How clever is this gift for a three-year-old! We think they’ll be singing Under the Sea at bath time as they play with these chunky sea creatures by Nahthing Project.We appreciate that they all get stuck back on the wall after bath time, instead of stuck all over the bathroom or (ew) gathering mold in a bucket.
GeoSafari Jr. kid-sized binoculars
($11.99 at Amazon)
A great price for these sturdy “kidnoculars” which are designed to fit comfortably on a child’s face.
Flyboy First Pogo Jumper
($16.99 at Amazon)
Don’t panic, parents — these durable, extremely fun pogo sticks have a foam base for soft landings. Fun way to get the kids up and moving, indoors or out.
Glow-in-the-dark toddler pajamas
(47.00 at Mini Boden)
Like a wearable nightlight, these soft pajamas from Mini Boden come in other styles, though we love this “man on the moon” who will hopefully help lull them to sleep at then end of all those busy toddler days.