11 Best Educational Toys For 3-Year-Olds In 2024

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If your three-year-old is starting school, a good educational toy can help them learn new skills. Here’s our list of the best educational toys for 3-year-olds with various benefits. These toys allow your child to play and have fun while learning exciting things and reaching various developmental milestones on time. Your child can learn about numbers, colors, alphabets, shapes, improving their cognitive and motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Some toys also promote interaction, role-playing, and skill learning. They help you bond with your child and allow them to be confident.

These stimulating toys will motivate your child to keep learning. You can check out our expert-approved list to know more.

In This Article

11 Best Educational Toys For Three-Year-Olds

1. Best Reusable: Toyk Aqua Magic Mat

Aqua magic mat is a wonderful ensemble to keep your curious little one busy all day. This is a reusable drawing mat that requires only a water pen to splash the colors. The set also includes six pens, eight shapes, four templates with alphabets, numbers, shapes, a drawing booklet, a jigsaw puzzle, and a storage bag.

All you need to do is fill the pen with water, tighten the cap and let your child start painting. The sensory toy stimulates learning and imagination while satisfying your child’s desire to scribble. In addition, these fine motor skill toy stencils and shapes help children improve their writing skills. According to the reviewers, the drawings will disappear in three to ten minutes and can be reused.

Material: Nylon | Color: Multicolor | Color: ‎Multicolor | Product Dimensions: ‎40 x 28 x 1.18 inches | Item Weight: ‎7 ounces

Pros

  • Water-resistant mat
  • Made of nylon material
  • Has tough piping
  • Non-toxic
  • Can be folded to be compact
  • Enhances hand-eye coordination

Cons

  • May not be safe for machine washing or drying
  • May slightly stain

Our Reviewer's Experience

"I got this water-based drawing mat for my kids, and they love the hidden animal designs and stencils. It's fantastic for fostering their creativity without the threat of permanent messes as it is reusable."


2. Best For Improving Vocabulary: Melissa And Doug See And Spell Wooden Educational Toy

4.7
Melissa And Doug See And Spell Wooden Educational Toy Image: Melissa & Doug

Melissa & Doug classic toy helps your child with picture and letter recognition. This skill-building toy also aids your child in memorizing spelling and improving their vocabulary. Each board is painted with a picture, and the words are grooved into the board. Place the letters on the board and ask your child to identify and spell them one by one. The language development toy comes in a compact and sturdy wooden box, making it easy to store and carry. To make an informed decision before buying, you can check out this review video.

Item Weight: 2.6 pounds | Product Dimensions: 3 x 6.5 x 14 inches

Pros

  • Easy-to-hold letters
  • Double-sided spelling boards
  • Colored wooden letters
  • Improves fine motor and language skills
  • Smooth finish

Cons

  • May contain tiny parts that can be choking hazards
  • May have duplicate words

protip_icon Did you know?
Most children are visual learners. They quickly grasp the alphabet and other basics when they are presented through visual elements.

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The 13,776 positive customer reviews on Amazon attest to the product’s quality.

3. Best For Creativity: Likee Wooden Pattern Blocks Set

4.6

The one-of-a-kind set of building blocks will keep your child entertained for hours while expanding their imagination, creativity, and other developmental skills. Likee’s set includes 36 wooden pieces in various shapes and colors and 60 pattern cards with pictures. Your child can learn to recognize the pictures on the cards and create the same with wooden pieces.

It helps your child develop spatial reasoning, color and shape recognition, hand-eye coordination, and problem-solving skills. In addition, this colorful early childhood educational toy is non-toxic and made of real wood. Click here to check out this YouTuber’s unbiased review.

Item Weight: 1.07 pounds | Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 10.7 x 1.4 inches

Pros

  • Has burr-free edges
  • Easy to grasp
  • Introduces sorting, stacking, and sequencing
  • Comes with an iron storage box

Cons

  • May not stay stable
  • Paint may chip off over time

4. Best For Safety: Skyfield Wooden Animal Puzzles

Skyfield’s wooden puzzle is a four-piece set designed for young minds. Each puzzle features vibrant colors and adorable pictures such as a bear, honey bee, butterfly, and ladybug. The color recognition puzzle and brain teaser set is made from durable, well-polished wood pieces that have smooth edges and are safe for children aged one to three. The tried-and-tested product is free of lead, phthalates, and BPA and coated with non-toxic water-based paint. It helps your child develop hand-eye coordination and communication skills.

Color: Animal 1 | Number of Pieces : 17 | Item Dimensions LxWxH : 7.3 x 6.6 x 2.3 inches | Item Weight :1.34 pounds

Pros

  • Enhances focus
  • Encourages sensory stimulation
  • Thick for easy grasping
  • Includes a carrying pouch bag
  • Ideal for parent-child interaction

Cons

  • May be smaller than expected
  • Puzzle frame may be flimsy

Our Reviewer's Experience

"Playing with these puzzles has enhanced my little one’s motor skills. While their base could have been more stable, the thick pieces are just the right size for his hands. Plus, the cloth storage bag has kept the pieces from getting misplaced."


5. Best Easy-To-Use: Soyee Magnetic Blocks

4.7
Soyee Magnetic Blocks Image: Soyee

The Soyee magnetic blocks are ideal for tiny hands and curious minds. Loved by many reviewers, the classic building block set includes 52 magnetic blocks, a booklet with building ideas, and a bag for easy storage. The construction blocks are designed with geometric shapes and are colorful to make appealing figures and buildings. Each tile is attached to a permanent magnet, allowing them to stick together without effort.

Item Weight: 3.36 pounds | Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 3.3 x 10 inches

Pros

  • Develop STEM skills
  • Burr-free ABS plastic with smooth edges
  • Encourages creativity
  • Develops logical and spatial thinking
  • Improves hand-eye coordination

Cons

  • Magnets may not be as strong

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The 2,705 reviews on Amazon indicate that this product has a loyal following.

6. Best For Sorting Skills: Learning Resources Sort-‘Em-Up Pups!

4.6
Learning Resources Sort-'Em-Up Pups! Image: Learning Resources

The Learning Resources dog house set includes a realistic dog house, color-coded fences, and 12 toy dogs with unique colors, ear shapes, and spots. The dog house features an adorable door and roof that open up to provide perfect storage for the toys.

This brain-boosting toy playset helps children identify patterns and sort items accordingly, fostering critical thinking skills. Additionally, it helps improve their color recognition and concentration skills.

Pros

  • Easy to clean and store
  • Easy to grasp
  • Does not require assembly
  • Does not require any battery

Cons

  • Fences may not lay flat
  • Some features of the dogs may be difficult to distinguish

7. Best For Hand-Eye Coordination: FlyingSeeds Wooden Stacking Toys

Stacking toys help your child to develop hand-eye coordination and spatial concepts. This FlyingSeeds set includes four stacking toys in different colors and shapes. Apart from learning to stack the toys, your child can learn different shapes, colors, sizes, and color shade differences. The problem-solving toy is made of high-quality wood with smooth edges and is the right size for a toddler’s hands.

Item Weight: 11.3 ounces | Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 6.1 x 2.4 inches

Pros

  • Improves logical thinking
  • Boosts visual-spatial skills
  • Features sturdy pegs
  • Non-toxic and water-based paints
  • Multiple assembly mode

Cons

  • May not be safe to wash

Our Reviewer's Experience

"This sturdy wooden toy has become a favorite in our home thanks to its vibrant colors and well-crafted shapes that nestle together perfectly. Some poles required a touch of glue, but the puzzle, on the whole, is durable and simple enough for my toddler to put together independently."


8. Best For Improving Logical Thinking: Free To Fly Take Apart DIY Dinosaur Toys

Take-apart dinosaur toys from Free To Fly could be a perfect birthday gift for three-year-olds as it has many learning and fun possibilities. This engineering toy includes three dinosaur toys that are easy to take apart and reconstruct with the electric drill and three screwdrivers. The low-speed, two-way electric drill makes it easy for your child to fix and take apart the parts. This critical thinking toy is a great way to stimulate imagination, logical thinking, and hand-eye coordination, among other skills.

Batteries: 2 AAA batteries required | Item Weight: 1.32 pounds | Product Dimensions: 2 x 2.7 x 3 inches

Pros

  • Made of non-toxic ABS plastic
  • Features functional mouth, movable joints, and wagging tail
  • Improves child’s attention
  • Dinosaur parts can be mixed and assembled
  • Easy to assemble

Cons

  • Contain tiny parts not suitable for children below three years
  • Some parts may be flimsy

9. Best Pressure-Sensitive Technology: Bravokids LCD Writing Tablet

4.5
Bravokids LCD Writing Tablet Image: Bravokids

Bravokids LCD writing tablet is suitable for children above three years and works with pressure-sensitive technology. It comes with a pen-like pointed stick that is easy to hold and write on the tablet. Children can write or draw colorful patterns effortlessly and can reuse this tablet multiple times. It has a lock button, and an erase button and is safe for your child’s eyes.

The creative educational toy is made of high-quality plastic with anti-fall and waterproof properties for durability. This reusable battery-operated tablet could be the best way to prevent the mess created with endless scribbling on papers and floors. It comes in various colors to suit boys and girls.

Item Weight: 5.3 ounces | Product Dimensions: 9.84 x 7.09 x 0.28 inches

Pros

  • Made of BPA-free material
  • Shock-resistant
  • Stimulates creativity
  • Encourages to hold the pencil
  • Easily accessible battery compartment

Cons

  • Batteries may exhaust sooner
  • Colors may not be as bright

Our Reviewer's Experience

"I have found a tidy solution for my daughter's creative urges with this tablet. It is intuitive enough for her to use independently, and the dual stylus is handy. Besides, it even keeps her fuss-free during long car rides."


protip_icon Quick tip
Cell and button batteries are toxic and a choking hazard for younger children (1). To make it secure for your child, screw and shut the battery opening with tape or glue.

10. Best For Self-Expression: Brainspark Digit blocks Magnetic Building Blocks

4.6
Brainspark Digit blocks Magnetic Building Blocks Image: Brainspark

The digit blocks, which come in bright solid colors in perfect cubes, can stimulate children’s imagination and creativity while also helping them develop hand-eye coordination, self-expression, spatial awareness, and other skills. The math learning toy set includes 48 multicolored magnetic construction blocks and a drawstring bag to carry and store the blocks.

These durable digit blocks are compatible with similar or translucent blocks set from the same brand. That means you can create large sculptures with multiple block sets. In addition, the built-in magnets, smooth edges, and washable BPA-free, non-toxic ABS plastic are safe for children.

Item Weight: 1.1 pounds | Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 3.85 x 2.48 inches

Pros

  • Helps develop parent-child bonding
  • Ideal for autistic children
  • Relieves stress
  • Builds problem-solving skills

Cons

  • Some blocks may not have powerful magnets
  • Blocks may be smaller than expected

My Personal Experience

"The best part about these magnetic blocks is that they facilitate hours of open-ended play sessions. They are so fun that I also fidget with them when stressed. Overall, they have been excellent for enhancing my kid's color recognition and motor skills."


protip_icon Quick tip
Ask your child to segregate the blocks based on the colors to teach them about the different colors.

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

About 433 reviewers on Amazon have given their seal of approval to the product.

11. Best For Self-Learning: Play-Doh Cash Register Toy

4.6
Play-Doh Cash Register Toy Image: Play-doh

This Play-Doh set is a fun and engaging way for children to learn about the concept of money and how cash transactions work. The artistic toy features supermarket-themed accessories and functions so children can mimic regular market interactions in grocery stores. The four non-toxic colored Play-Dohs and stencils allow children to create fun and imaginative grocery items of any shape. A wallet book mold makes Play-Doh money, helping children to learn about the value of money and how to count it.

Batteries: 2 AA batteries required | Item Weight: 1.65 pounds | Product Dimensions: 11 x 2.63 x 8.5 inches

Pros

  • Includes 11 fun and realistic accessories
  • Ideal for pretend play
  • Encourages self-learning
  • Features supermarket-like sounds
  • Enhances critical thinking skills

Cons

  • Does not include batteries
  • May not be easy to clean

Our Reviewer's Experience

"My kids spend hours pretending to buy groceries since they got their hands on this cash register. They are especially thrilled that the scanner makes realistic noises. I wish it came with volume controls, but it was effortless to assemble and keeps them thoroughly entertained."


*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

How To Choose The Right Educational Toys For Three-Year-Olds?

Here are a few factors to consider when buying educational toys or learning toys for 3-year-olds.

  1. Learning ability: Each child’s development is unique, and they do not need to be equally capable of learning and grasping concepts. Choose an educational or Montessori toy that you believe your child will enjoy learning. Don’t get them a toy that is too challenging to learn at this age.
  2. Skill developing: Your child may have already learned some skills over the last three years. Choose a toy that will help your child’s skills advance to the next level or something that your child will enjoy mastering.
  3. Interactive toys: Choose an interactive learning toy that aids in creating a bond between you and your child or among children. This also encourages your child to socialize and gives them a better understanding of their surroundings.
  4. Safe to play: Even at the age of three, children tend to swallow things or injure themselves. Choose a time-tested educational toy that does not have small parts or sharp edges not safe for your child.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What toys should I get a three-year-old?

This is a very interesting and important stage in every toddler’s life. They are super curious to learn new things. It’s the right time to initiate their first step towards early learning by introducing them to fundamentals like numbers, colors, shapes, and the alphabet. The parent-recommended toys mentioned above not only keep your toddler entertained but also improve their cognitive skills.

2. What does a three-year-old like to play with?

Most three-year-olds like to play with toys that are colorful, stimulate their creativity, challenge their hand-eye coordination at a basic level, and allow them to indulge in elementary problem solving scenarios. They may also like role-playing toys or science exploration toys.

3. Are Lego sets suitable for three-year-olds?

Most Lego sets contain small pieces that could pose a threat of choking. It’s better to opt for building games that have bigger pieces.

5. How should I keep my three-year-old busy while working from home?

Variety is the spice of even a three-year-old’s life. Instead of letting them play with only non-interactive toys like teddy bears and dolls, it’s necessary to introduce them to educational games and toys that are more engaging and activity-based. These include ones that invigorate their logical thinking and imagination.

5. How do I keep my three-year-old busy while working from home?

One of the most effective and entertaining ways of keeping your three-year-old busy while working from home is to get them involved in fun games that keep them engrossed for a long time without frustrating them. Save your time by going through our list above for such age-appropriate toy ideas.

Three-year-olds have a brief attention span that needs a lot of stimulation to keep them engaged. You need the right expert-approved educational games and toys in your toolkit, which will help your little one learn about the world of numbers, colors, shapes, and alphabets while still having a ton of fun. The options listed here also help strengthen the bond between parents and children. You can stack blocks together, play with dinosaurs, or improve your digital skills with an LCD writing tablet. Incorporate learning into playtime with these best-selling toys and watch your child become more and more curious about the world.

Infographic: Tips For Getting Toys For Three-Year-Olds

A three-year-old can independently run, walk, jump and act out adult-like activities. Although they might not be ready for competitive play, some toys can assist in their development. Follow the infographic to learn about the toys that will benefit a three-year-old.

What Toys To Get For A Three-Year-Old (Infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

Download Infographic in PDF version


References

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. How small batteries can become dangerous to children
    https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-home/Pages/Button-Battery-Injuries-in-Children-A-Growing-Risk.aspx\”

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Why Trust MomJunction?

Priti Bose is a product writer and reviewer who specializes in toys and gifts. In this post on the best educational toys for three-year-olds, she has compiled a curated list of toys after conducting extensive research on product reviews and listings. She has also created a buying guide to help you make an informed choice. These educational toys will intrigue your toddler and encourage them to be curious.

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