The holiday season seems like it is on everyone’s mind, myself included. Here is my holiday 2020 3 year old gift guide. This guide is geared to the 3 going on 4 crew and even more specifically to full time at home preschooler so it also has plenty of fun learn at home items!
My 3 year old gift guide takes longer than you would think to compile
I always keep a running list of ideas that I add to as I think of things over the year, but I inevitably end up searching to see if there are any gems I may be missing or things that I want to pick up for us to grow into. This is especially the case now that we are embarking on homeschooling and I have to try and think of the materials or resources we may want to have on hand!
I created my 3 year old gift guide to cover all the basics I could think of for a young preschooler who spends the majority of their time at home. I am in no way suggesting you NEED all of the items I list below I am nearly listing our favorites or our wish list items. Hopefully this sparks some ideas for your own 3 year old’s wish list!
I list what I know and I have only ever known shopping for a little girl…
My list may be a little geared towards traditionally girl items, but lots of the things on my 3-year-old gift guide are just open-ended, loved by all toys, or at the very least come in other colors if llamas and glitter aren’t your kid’s thing!
FREE PLAY TOYS
You could make the argument that nearly my whole list is “free play toys” as I am a huge fan of letting the play lead the learning and letting my kid lead the way as I best I am I able. BUT the following toys are here as they don’t really fit into any of my other categories but I felt they were still very mush worth the mention.
- Green Toys Build a Bouquet
- Toddler Camera
- Wooden Train Set
- Rainbow Music Bells
- Dress Up magnets – there are tons of different characters available we already have a princess, a athlete and a career person, but I love the inclusion and the ability to mix and match families with this set
- Yoto speaker – we personal have the Jooki radio but they are in the process of switching to version 2 and are unavailable. I have heard really good things about the Yoto
- Magnatab free play drawing board
- Grapat Mandala Loose Parts – not super readily available and you could use really any loose part but if you can get your hands on some Grapat they are beautiful and extremally open ended!
Pretend play or Dramatic play take a HUGE leap around the 3 year old mark. I find that Bitty always as a story and is coming up with more and more creative play and its such a delight to watch the items in this section of my 3 year old gift guide are all about fostering that role play and story telling!
- Dress up outfits – These nightgowns make the BEST dress up dresses
- Doctors kit
- Tool Set – don’t be afraid to give them real tools, but do so under supervision. if you want more of a free play set try this wooden one
- Tea Set – we have a coffee set already but this is the only thing that my 3 year old come up with organically and has stuck to her guns about wanting
- 18 inch doll – we upgraded Bitty from a baby doll to a 18 fashion doll for her birthday and she loves that thing. If your not up for the hair care just yet consider upgrading to a nicer baby doll.
- Animal figures – we are slowing growing each of our biomes and use every holiday to add a few new ones
- Character figures – Calico Critters, Frozen figures, superheroes, Club Chelsea – follow your kiddos lead. Who and what are they into?
What 3 year old gift guide would be complete with with out some magnetic tiles and some Lego Duplo’s!? These are without a doubt the most used toy in our house. Even better is that as your kid ages the way the use the blocks with change so they grow with your little !
- Picasso tile right angles – I don’t know about you but it always seems like we need more of the right angles…
- Picasso tile marble run – hands down the BEST toy we have in my opinion. Sturdy enough for younger kids easy to build and create their own runs. Just the BEST
- Lego Duplo creative box – because you could always use more normal bricks.
- Themed Duplo set – Farm, Carnival, Animals whatever your little is into
- Grimms Rainbow
- Semi-circle and plank building boards. You can also easily DIY these on your own!
- Pyramid Stacking Blocks – I personally loved playing with these back when I worked at a daycare and then I forgot all about them SO glad to be turned back on to them!
- Squigs – great for the bath!
Everyday I look at my preschool and I think to myself…”where does all that energy come from?!” Its amazing and so good for their development but with winter looming I am always on the look out for something to help burn so of that energy in a way that doesn’t leave me drained as well!
- Stepping stones
- Foam pogo
- Tumbling mat – there is a good chance your would rather have a Nugget. There is also a good chance you wont be able to get your hands on a nugget by Christmas. This could be a decent alternative. Not the same but still could be fun!
- Swing – hang this up inside for year round fun!
- Wobble board
- Indoor Trampoline – use at your own discretion. There is some debate on the safety of regular use of a trampoline before the age of 6. Do your research and make your own decision.
- Bilibo Seat
It has been so interesting growing up and learning how differently Santa visits in each house. For me Santa filled my stocking and maybe a couple other gifts, This is something I plan on doing for my girls long after than catch me in the act. I just love filling a stocking! That said I am always on the lookout for some new ideas! Share your favorite thing to stuff in a stocking down below!
- Fingernail polish
- Hair accessories
- Fun Bandaids
- Mini Erasers – great for loose parts play and as manipulatives in homeschool
- Character figures – magnetic and compatible with magnetic tiles
The day we have been anxiously awaiting has finally arrived. We can play board games with our preschooler. We LOVE board games in this house. Ask me to prove it. Our board game closet is epic! I couldn’t create a 3 year old gift guide without including our favorite board games for young kids as well as a few that we are itching to add to the collection!
- Sneaky Snacky Squirrel
- Smart Farmer
- Count your Chickens
- Never Forget a Face
- Shopping List Game
- Sequence for kids
- Heads and Tails Dominos
- ABC Bingo
Its no secret that I am a crafty person. I love all things rainbow and colorful. Art supplies make the perfect addition to a 3 year old gift guide because they are the one thing that your preschooler is likely burning through at home and you would likely be picking up anyway!
- Ooly Art Supplies – neon watercolors, & sparkle gel crayons, really anything from Ooly makes me drool…
- Tempra paint sticks – if your aren’t using these your missing out man!
- Stabilo woody pencils – work on glass!
- Table Top Easel
- Perler Biggie Beads – I used to play with Perler beads for HOURS, did you know they make a larger version for littles to use!?
- Boogie board
- Buddha Board
- Snap Beads
Sensory play is super important for the preschool age crowd as they are still learning about the world around them and I love introducing various sensory bases. Of course you can still uses the classics of rice, beans and playdough (by the way make your own its SO much better!) but the Holidays are a great time to add a new filler to the rotation!
Kids are always learning. Don’t ever forget that. Why not provide them with a few materials that will help them learn with a little more purpose and intention! This year is we are doing a little bit of preschool at home and I have found that a few things are super handy to use for manipulatives or to help get a point across. Your preschooler may not to through the roof with excitement over these but YOU will find them super useful!
- ABC Stamps
- Geography puzzles
- Search and Find Puzzles
- Layer Puzzle – seasons
- Pattern Blocks
- MathLink Cubes
- Hundreds board
- Magnetic letters/moveable alphabet
I wanted to make sure and include some non toy items in my 3 year old gift guide. So many kids already have more toys than they could every play with and I totally get that and parents and loved ones are looking for other ideas of ways to still have presents under the tree. These items are where you are really going to want to customize your picks to you kids preferred colors, characters and needs.
We will never have too many books. Its just a fact. We may need to install a proper library in the basement but You wont hear me complaining. This is another section of the 3 year old gift guide that you are going to want to customize to your kids interests and needs. (enter again that homeschool life, we read a lot)
- The Isle of You – topical books that relate to things your kid might be dealing with in real life
- Mr. Tiger Goes Wild – Books with a moral or a lesson to be absorbed but aren’t hitting you over the head with it
- Bitty Bot – Pure fun to read picture books
- Frozen 5 Minute Stories – a favorite character and the perfect length to read before bed
- A Little Prairie House – Nonfictional picture books that can be used as a jumping point in homeschool lessons but are more fun to read than non fiction books
- Seek and Find Books – Hidden in the Jungle – these are great for the car or quiet time as there isn’t reading so much as just looking
- Big Book of Stars and Planets – Nonfiction resources specific to an interest of theirs-
- Big Picture Atlas – Nonfiction resource for general learning
- Lift the flap books – Look Inside Seas and Oceans – that interactiveness is still so much fun for preschoolers. You can go fiction or nonfiction