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We’ve added two fun playhouse items to this guide, the Little Tikes Gas ‘N Go Lawnmower and the Melissa & Doug Pots and Pans Set.
Update Top Gifts 2020 Uk Review
At age 3, the gift-giving game changes. Most children know best what they want. Many of them will have more opinions, interests, and language to express their passions than in the past. But that doesn’t negate the thrill of a nice surprise. “Often, the idea of getting a gift is what motivates them, not necessarily what the gift is,” says Heather Singh, who previously directed educational programs at the Thinkery, a children’s museum in Austin. Texas.
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Three-year-olds are ready for toys that stimulate a lot of imagination, says Singh. So open-ended toys that inspire storytelling and creative interaction are better than one-trick ponies. Toys and costumes that allow role play and board games that encourage group interaction develop social skills in three-year-olds. And many children this age are ready for faster, more agile toys like scooters and tricycles that reward their growing physical confidence.
We’ve included suggestions for toys from Singh and other educators below; our staff has added keepsake gifts that the 3-year-old in their life loved the most. If you’re looking for more gift ideas for kids, check out our guides to the best gifts for 1 year olds, 2 year olds, 4 year olds, 5 year olds, 6 year olds. , for 7 year olds, 8 year olds, 9 year olds and 10 year olds as well as amazing socks for kids. (We also have gift guides for teenagers and tweens.) Because children vary greatly in personality, interests, and development, we recommend taking these age recommendations with a grain of salt . And share your best ideas in the comments below.
Cooperative board games, where players work toward a common goal instead of competing against each other, are great for 3-year-olds learning to follow directions, take turns, and work in a group . Count Your Chickens is popular with preschoolers and parents at Toybrary Austin, our local Texas toy lending library. Players work together to bring the mother hen’s chicks back to the coop. It’s easy and, just as importantly, quick – perfect for the attention span of a 3-year-old. (Once you’ve mastered the art of chicken dating, check out The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game, another great co-op board game for beginners, or Go Away Monster, a fun tactile game recommended in our guide to the best board games for kids. .)
It’s hard to go wrong when gifting new art supplies. My son got a set of these dot markers when he was 3 years old (and he was just beginning his multi-year rainbow obsession). The sticks are easy for little hands to hold and the colors are bright enough to see through cardboard boxes and plain paper. I love that they have the special feel of paint, but with less mess and effort. You might want to pair them with a wad of paper or some extra art supplies like scissors and a glue stick.
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Welcome to Jazz: A Swing-Along Celebration of America’s Music featuring When the Saints Go Marching In by Carolyn Sloan, illustrated by Jessica Gibson ($18 at press time)
By Carolyn Sloan. My 2-year-old (who I initially thought might be too young for a jazz novice) immediately picked up this book, from the bright illustrations of a trio of cats studying genesis of jazz up to 12 keys playing different musical notes “When the Saints March in” part. (A three year old might enjoy it even more.) My son loves to hear the deep double bass, the groovy rhythm section, the free spirit—he learns from the names of jazz legends like Billie Holiday and King Oliver. It’s a musical introduction we can get behind.
As a preschooler, my son loves the challenge and reward of a good puzzle, and Melissa and Doug’s 100 Piece Safari Floor Puzzle is one of his favorites. The large, sturdy pieces are easy for him to manipulate on his own (and hard to lose), and the result is a majestic masterpiece stretched across the floor. My son loves wild animals, so this particular theme of giraffes, elephants and rhinos in the savannah really appealed to him. Melissa & Doug also offers a 100-piece Under the Sea puzzle with a similarly large collection of underwater creatures. If 100 pieces seems too daunting, start with one of Melissa and Doug’s 48-piece puzzle floors (two choices are dinosaurs and the solar system).
Double duty toys are my favorite for my two kids, and these eight colorful cupcakes help with learning and fun. Each sweet pops out to reveal a different shape, with the top matching the bottom and the bottom matching the corresponding indentations in the pan. My younger son likes to sort shapes and recognize colors together; My preschooler turns these cakes into pretend baking games, picnic scenarios, imaginative shopping trips, and more. The set is pretty indestructible and I can see myself taking it out every night while cleaning the room, a sure sign that it will be around forever.
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Someone gave us a package of Mad Mattr modeling mix, which has some advantages over Play-Doh for both kids and caregivers. It is shaped like dough and pressed into hard shapes, but it stretches into a kind of soft sand. It’s not sticky, doesn’t stain or get everywhere, and doesn’t dry out, although it’s also less flexible than Play-Doh.
A bugzzle is basically a tangram – a puzzle made up of geometric pieces that can be arranged into different shapes – for young children. An early STEM toy that provides a soft, visual introduction to fractions, Bugzzle includes a sturdy bug frame, 18 semicircular plastic puzzle pieces, and 40 cards with increasingly challenging patterns recreate. My 2½ year old is small to match the cards; she just prefers to make her own designs or combine pieces in one solid color. But a friend’s three-year-old is adept at recreating patterns using problem-solving skills and spatial reasoning. In a more traditional format, Melissa and Doug’s pattern blocks and boards encourage the same critical thinking skills as Bugzzle, using colorful wooden shapes.
When my 2-year-old son got his Little Tikes Gas ‘N Go Mower — before we had our own yard — I don’t think he knew about actual lawn mowers, but it’s just around the corner. He loves to run through the hallways of our house, pushing them and enjoying the sound of pop-pop-pop. His younger sister, then 3, inherited a lawnmower last year, and the toy’s mysterious appeal proved enduring. I still don’t quite understand why children are forced to imitate mowing the lawn, a task that many adults actively avoid. But I love this piece of plastic because it’s battery-free, requires no tools to assemble, and has given my kids years of imagination. We now live in a house with a real lawn and my daughter spends a lot of time “managing” it.
My 3-year-old loves every part of this Jenga-style stacking game for kids: the rolling and knocking of dice, the careful removal of each block, and the dramatic fall that signals the victory or defeat. He even wants to completely rebuild the tower setup, which is actually the worst part of real Jenga. True, playing according to the exact instructions can be difficult – moving each block with errors in one hand is no easy feat. However, creating loose and forgiving house rules will keep the game fun, fast and engaging for all ages.
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By age 3, some children become interested in picking up a pencil and trying to form letters or numbers. This magnetic writing board is an early handwriting tool that’s fun, tactile, and quite addictive. Children use thick magnetic pens to trace letters by pulling small metal beads into place. The grains are wrapped so they don’t fall or get lost. Directional arrows help beginning writers see where to start and end each letter. Kid O also makes Magnatab for number exercises; Freeform offers this simple slate for magnetic drawing and writing. (You can also buy a replacement pen if you lose yours.)
Melissa and Doug Let’s Play House! Stainless Steel Pots and Pans Playset (About $20 at launch)
My kids use this eight-piece cooking playset to make chocolate chicken soup, grape spaghetti, and many other pretend items. Melissa and Doug’s Let’s Play House! The stainless steel pots and pans play set is perfect as a separate gift. But it’s also a useful addition to a toy kitchen, like the IKEA Duktig Play Kitchen or the KidKraft Ultimate Corner Play Kitchen Set (both featured in our best gifts for 2 year olds guide). The set includes a slotted spoon, two wooden containers and a separate vertical storage shelf;
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