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 have to be fun too. Just like a 3 year old. Well, most of the time.
Be sure to see our full list of the coolest birthday gifts for kids by age
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.
($157 on sale at Amazon)
If you’re looking for a first STEM toy for a 3-year-old, we adore Cubetto, which not only gets them coding, but offers plenty of extension packs and accessories so it can stay fun and age-appropriate for years.
Protect that brilliant little brain with a playful but hard working kids’ helmet from one of parents’ favorite helmet companies. So many cool designs but we love this space theme — and it goes perfectly with a new scooter or bike.
Children’s museum membership
An annual family membership to your local children’s museum makes a fabulous gift that will help tire out a busy three year old over and over again. While every major city has a wonderful children’s museum — like San Diego’s The New Children’s Museum seen here — don’t overlook smaller spots that may be even more convenient to pop into on a rainy day.
($34.99 at Amazon)
While handmade play food like fruit and veggies will always ben in style, we’re in love with Hape’s hilariously realistic coffee maker. It makes an excellent addition to any play kitchen area, and lets a child imitate Mom or Dad’s morning routine.
($12 and up, Petit Collage)
These colorful, magnetic play sets are favorites with our own kids, and the prices are fantastic. From astronauts to robots to superheroes, there’s bound to be a set that makes the coolest gift for a three-year-old in your life.
($16.99-19.99 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.
($48, Bonjour Petit)
It may be a hassle getting most kids into their raincoats, but knowing that this one from Holly & Beau changes color when it gets wet? Win! They have dinos, unicorns and more — and lots of sizes, should you be shopping for older siblings who’d want one too.
The makers of the wonderful Lost My Name personalized books have created a new title themed about (you guessed it) birthdays. Customize it galore with a name, birthdate, and even likeness, so it seems written just for the birthday boy or girl.
($349 at Pottery Barn Kids)
Cue the trumpets! We are royally impressed with this outrageous wooden castle doll house that comes fitted with a canopy bed and his-and-her thrones. (Or hers-and-hers. Or his-and-his, of course.) Just add a wooden dollhouse royal family for one outrageous birthday gift for a 3-year-old.
($16.95/mo.+ at Cratejoy)
You can never go wrong with books for birthday gifts at 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.
($14.99 at Amazon)
From the wonderful craft kit makers at Creativity for Kids, this play board is educational, versatile, affordable…and quiet! In other words, the parents will thank you too.
($78 at Moon Picnic)
If you want a tool set that’s more heirloom quality than the ones from the big stores, we love this absolutely gorgeous wooden set from Fanny & Alexander can double as room decor. At least when kids are not busy building their own imaginary space ships, zoos, and school houses.
($24 at Amazon)
3-year-olds are finally old enough for the Calico Critters they may have coveted from older siblings and cousins. We adore this otter family, that reminds kids that baby-wearing and nurturing is a job for both moms and dads.
($19.95 at Amazon)
Family game time is such a great way to bond through play and this skill-building game lets everyone in the family join in. Besides, no one can live on Candyland alone. Especially not parents. Trust us.
($209.99, 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.