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At this age, tots are receptive and ready to learn all about the world around them! Apart from real-life experiences, educational toys for 3-year-olds can help them achieve this.
Be it numbers, letters, writing, colors, or more, there are plenty of educational options out there, too! But, you may be wondering which are the best to help kids learn and develop these skills?
Not to worry, I’ve put together this list of the top options. In this post, I’ll review these picks, including STEM sets, building kits, educational games, and much more in detail!
These top-rated educational toys cover a wide variety of subjects and are most importantly fun to play with! In fact, you may want to join in and play with them alongside your kids!
At A Glance: Our Top 10 Educational Toys for 3-Year-Olds for 2021 :
What are the Best Educational Toys for a 3-Year-Old?
The best educational toys for 3-year-olds need to be safe, age-appropriate, and, of course, educational! Most importantly, I think the toy should be engaging, though.
After all, even the most educational toy in the world is useless if kids don’t actually want to play with it! So, do take a browse through the product’s customer reviews to see if it hits the mark!
Of course, if a toy has a ton of high ratings, you can bet it’s also likely a winner! Just be sure to double-check the recommended age to ensure the toy is safe for your tot to play with.
These guidelines are put in place to guide parents on safe toys for their children. If the rating is for older kids, the toy may be hazardous or have parts that are choking hazards for yours.
- Park-themed LEGO-DUPLO set
- 8 animal friend figurines
- 3 family figurines
- Includes food, tree, and picnic pieces
- 105-piece set
- For kids aged 3-5 years old
Things We Love!
At this age, kids are exploring, playing, and learning. That’s why a LEGO DUPLO building kit like this park-themed option makes such an excellent educational toy for 3-year-olds!
These sets encourage kids to use their imaginations while also introducing specific real-world (or fantasy-themed) scenarios to them. As such, they also learn how things work as they play!
If you were given a DUPLO set as a kid, you will understand the attraction. Apart from likely being passed down to the next generation of grandkids, they really are appealing to young kids!
If you’re looking for a fun, educational toy for kids, I highly recommend a LEGO DUPLO set, be it small or big. I love that there are so many LEGO DUPLO set options, too!
- This set is ideal for expanding with other LEGO DUPLO Town sets.
- It comes with many unique pieces for plenty of imaginative play.
- A pricey option, though smaller, affordable LEGO DUPLO sets are available.
If you’re looking to invest in a toy to last the years, this LEGO DUPLO park kit is perfect! It comes with plenty of pieces with which kids can go wild – and can be built upon with other sets.
This cute, park, family, and wild animal themed set is a fun unisex option that both boys and girls can play with, too. If you’re looking for other themed sets, there are other options, though.
- A clear, colored magnetic tile building set
- Square, triangle, wheel, and window pieces – and more
- 110-piece set
- For kids aged 3-99!
Things We Love!
Sure, there are plenty of classic building kits for kids, including LEGO, DUPLO, and Brio kits. However, there are also some worthy new kids on the block – for example, Magna Tiles!
These exciting, gravity-defying tiles are quite something! With these, kids don’t need to work within the bounds of gravity – instead, they get to play around with magnetic force!
That’s why all of the Magna Tiles sets, including this Metropolis set, make for excellent educational toys for 3-year-olds! STEM sets like these teach science, maths, and creativity.
- This set is compatible with all other Magna Tiles sets.
- The set includes various shapes, including squares, triangles, wheeled chassis, windows, and more, for complex builds.
- The set doesn’t come with building instructions, though some may think this a positive point.
I think a STEM set is the ultimate educational toy for kids of all ages. The Magna Tile sets happen to rank as one of the top options according to parents all over the country, too.
In fact, many parents reported happily joining in the fun – so, these make for an excellent family activity, too. After all, the recommended age range on the box is 3 years old up to 99 years!
- 1 x 68-piece Sorting Pie toy
- 1 x 26-piece Alpha Pops toy
- 2 sorting tweezers
- Various colored fruit to sort
- 3 double-sided sorting activity cards
- Made from PVC and low-density polyethylene
- BPA, lead, and phthalate-free
- For kids aged 2+
Things We Love!
This lovely little color-sorting game is very cute as it’s a little pie, complete with a detailed pastry lid! Its adorable look alone is definitely enough to encourage kids to play with it!
However, it’s not just a cute toy – much thought has gone into its design and function. The pie itself is divided into five sections and comes with a few sorting activity cards.
So, all kids have to do is mix up the fruit in the separated lid, pick a card, and sort the fruit into the pie accordingly. The cards include sorting activities by color, fruit type, numbers, and more.
Furthermore, the sorting activity cards fit into the bottom of the pie. So, kids can easily see which fruit they should place in each compartment or pie division as they play.
- The sorting fruits are grippy, so kids can easily grasp them with the tweezers.
- The Sorting Pie teaches color-sorting and encourages fine motor skills development.
- The Sorting Pie is available for purchase alone or with other toys in a combo pack.
- The Alpha Pops toy engages kids’ fine motor skills and introduces them to the alphabet, letter/color matching, and colors.
- The whole set is visually engaging, colorful, and fun to play with.
- The tweezers may be a little big, awkward, or stiff for kids to use to pick up fruit easily.
As far as educational toys for 3-year-olds, I love thoughtful and visually appealing games like this one. It comes with all the tools and extras for hours of educational playtime!
This particular combo set also includes the fun Alpha Pops letter-sorting toy. These popsicles clip together with their matching uppercase or lowercase lettered and colored popsicle.
Of course, the Sorting Pie is available for purchase alone, too. Or, you can opt for another combo set with alternate educational counting or motor skills toys, too!
If you’re interested in adding a few extra sorting toys to your cart, do take a look at these options, as well!
These sorting and matching toys and games are all top ones to consider for 3-year-olds:
- A premium wooden kitchen playset
- 1 main unit with built-in fridge, oven, cooktop, microwave, cabinets, splashback, and utensil hooks
- 1 kitchen island with a sink, dishwasher, and washing machine
- 7-piece kitchen accessory set with a dishcloth, pot, lid, frying pan, and utensils
Things We Love!
There are few educational toys for 3-year-olds as exciting as “life-size” role-playing toys! And, this premium wooden kitchen set really takes the cake – maybe even the whole kitchen sink!
I love how each element and appliance features modern, well-thought-out finishes. From the control panels to the hooks, the “tile” decal splashback, and the decal herb pot, it’s super cute!
Furthermore, I like that all kitchen appliances are present, not just the standard oven, cooktop, and fridge. So, kids have the opportunity to play out more unique stories with this set!
The two modular pieces are another plus, offering various configurations to suit any storyline or nursery. Furthermore, the set comes with an accessory pack featuring a pot, pan, and utensils.
- The two-modular pieces can be set up as an L-shaped kitchen, kitchenette, kitchen with island, or a corner kitchen.
- The set features realistic sounds and lights, including a light-up cooktop with cooking sounds.
- Each appliance also includes realistic clicking knobs, control panels, and more.
- The finishes on this unit are modern and stylish.
- A pricey kitchen playset, though there are more affordable one-piece choices on the market, too.
I think a role-playing set is an excellent educational toy for any 3-year-old. This particular set has all the finishes, appliances, and modern touches to complement a stylish nursery, too!
The added pot, pan, and utensil set is a plus and adds value for money. However, you’re free to add other role-playing sets later on as time goes on, as well!
- A 291-piece spelling game
- 1 double-sided aluminum magnetic marker board
- An instruction booklet
- Bilingual English and Spanish picture cards
- 2 x whiteboard markers and an eraser
- 52 uppercase magnetic foam letters
- 156 lowercase magnetic foam letters
- 20 magnetic foam numbers
- 10 magnetic foam symbols
- 53 magnetic foam shapes
- For kids aged 3+ years old
Things We Love!
If you’re looking for a good educational spelling game for 3-year-olds, this one may just do the trick! It includes tons of magnetic non-toxic foam letters, numbers, symbols, and even shapes!
So, kids get to explore the alphabet, maths, counting, creative play, and more with it. The pieces stick on to the double-sided aluminum board included, which also doubles as a marker board.
In fact, this kit comes with additional markers and an eraser for this purpose, too! It’s also bilingual as it includes an instruction booklet with both English and Spanish picture cards.
So, kids get an early start on learning their first or second languages, as well. I love that the whole set comes in a big sorting case with a compartment for each alphabet letter, though!
- It teaches bilingual language skills with both Spanish and English picture cards.
- The set comes in a sturdy storage tin with 27 sorting compartments.
- Includes tons of letters, symbols, shapes, and numbers for kids to play around with.
- It includes an instruction booklet with picture cards.
- The set comes with whiteboard markers and an eraser for drawing and writing exercises.
- The foam letter shapes may differ from standard variations and the pictures in the instruction booklet, too.
As far as educational toys for 3-year-olds, this set is pretty neat. It includes all the extras, so there’s no need to buy a storage box or additional symbol, shape, or number sets for it.
Overall, it’s engaging for kids to play with and perfect for teaching them vital spelling skills, too. The extra symbols and shapes also let kids get creative and introduce mathematics skills.
If you’re looking for more spelling games, take a look at the Conzy Spelling Game
and XUNPAS 2-in-1 Matching Game, too! These are both similar inexpensive spelling games.
- 6 double-sided activity mats
- 2 Skilly Billy pens with built-in erasers
- 1 duster cloth
- 1 achievement certificate
- Instructions on each activity mat
- 30 engaging activities altogether
- For kids 3-6 years old
Things We Love!
This wipe-clean activity mat set is an excellent educational toy for 3-year-olds! The engaging activities cover school essentials like maths, reading, writing, colors, and so much more.
In fact, it’s the perfect “get-ready-for-school” toy for kids in this age group. You can also join in the fun and bond by guiding kids through the various activities.
Once done, simply wipe the activity board clean – then you can go over the lesson again with them the next day!
I love that the mats are so easy to wipe clean with the built-in eraser on the pen tip, though. So, kids can quickly correct mistakes or try exercises over and over again!
- It introduces kids to the alphabet, writing, reading, numbers, maths, counting, addition, colors, shapes, animals, and much more.
- The mats are wipe-clean for easy re-use.
- The set covers all the key skills toddlers, and young kids need to know to get ready for school.
- SkillMatics offers more exciting activity sets, too.
- The product box doubles as a carry-case.
- You may need to run through some of the unfamiliar activities with young kids if they aren’t reading or counting yet.
I think activity-based toys like these wipe-clean mats are an important tool to add to your educational stash! They’re great value for money and are re-usable time and again.
So, they can even get shared amongst siblings now or later on, too. SkillMatics also offers a range of sets, like the Places Around Us pack, and even others for older, 6-9-year-old kids.
- A unique dino building kit
- 100-piece set
- Personality pieces – eyes, wings, beaks, and more
- Instruction booklet with builds
- For kids aged 3-5 years old
Things We Love!
Sure, kids figurines are a fun toy for them to play with. However, a build-it-yourself kit like this Dino Dudes set is so much better!
With it, they don’t get to just play with the finished figurine. Instead, they learn how to put it together first and get to be creative during this process!
With 100 personality pieces, including eyes, wings, and beaks, to choose from, kids really can let their imaginations run wild! The set does come with instructions for some unique dino builds.
So, kids won’t run out of ideas of what to build. However, they can also make their own up, too! The company claims up to around 30 Dino builds can be achieved with this kit alone.
- The Dino Dudes kit is compatible with other Kid K’NEX sets and expansions such as the Wings & Wheels Set.
- Kids get to create their own unique dinos with this set instead of just getting one static figurine!
- The set comes with various personality pieces to make the dinos both cute and unique!
- Building with this kit engages kids’ fine motor skills, dexterity, and hand-eye coordination in a fun way.
- Any younger siblings should be kept away from the small parts as these pose a choking hazard.
Overall, this building kit is an excellent fun educational toy for 3-year-olds! It’s both engaging and educational, encouraging kids to use their imaginations as they build.
Further down the line, you can buy compatible Kid K’NEX expansions or sets for the kids to play with, too! In fact, K’NEX makes various ranges, including vehicles and architectural builds.
Apart from these other K’NEX sets, the dinos can also get played with alongside kids’ other toys or building kits. For example, kids can have their dino storm their LEGO DUPLO castle!
Or, they can let their dino graze in a meadow of flowers made from their Limmy’s Build My Dream Garden Set! Either way, it’s not only an educational toy – but a versatile one, too.
- A fun frog-whacking game
- 2 soft hammers
- Built-in LED score display
- 2 game modes – educational and super
- 38 built-in game speed
- For 1-2 players or more
- For kids aged 2-10 years old
Things We Love!
This early-development game is definitely a fun educational toy suitable for 3-year-olds! Though more physical than mental, it does also help kids to practice their hand-eye coordination!
Playing also improves concentration, as kids need to really focus on the jumping frogs to bang them! This game is one that 3-year-olds can play alongside older and younger siblings, too.
You see, the game is suited to kids 2 years and up and features two game modes – educational and super mode. You can also adjust the volume in case it’s too loud or soft.
- Younger and older siblings can play alongside 3-year-olds.
- A fun and engaging game to play.
- The game engages kids’ fine motor skills and concentration skills.
- The game has an adjustable volume control.
- The game might be a little hard for younger siblings or friends to follow.
Overall, I think this is a lovely educational game to engage kids. Apart from being fun, it also offers educational value by developing kids’ fine motor skills and concentration.
If you’re looking for more fun coordination games, check out the VATOS Fishing Game Toy, too! It includes a fishing rod, cute painted wooden fish, as well as plenty of maths games.
- A Magic Touch mini kids wooden piano
- Volume control
- Three modes – freestyle, demo, and auto
- Battery-operated (3AA)
- For kids aged 12 months and up
Things We Love!
Music is undoubtedly one of the best ways to engage and excite tots. However, why just settle for playing it to them when you can teach them to play their own?
With so many wonderful musical instruments designed specifically for tots and young kids, there’s no excuse! Options include drums, guitars, and this cute Magic Touch piano, of course!
This piano doesn’t function like your regular piano, though. Instead, it has a wooden keyboard with painted keys. When touched, these keys make real piano key tones and sounds!
So, it’s quite exciting to play with, as well as safe and well suited for little fingers. I love that the piano comes with color-coded sheet music that teaches kids how to play effortlessly, though.
- The set includes three double-sided music sheets with color codes to teach kids to play easily.
- The wooden keyboard is easy to wipe down and clean.
- This mini keyboard is the perfect size for little kids to play on.
- The piano can be shared with younger siblings in the house as it’s also suitable for 1-year-olds.
- The button will demo the song featured on the inserted sheet.
- Auto mode plays the correct key next no matter what piano key your child presses.
- Demo mode demos the song on the inserted sheet music.
- Freestyle mode allows kids to play whatever they please, including the sheet music.
- The sheet music dots seem more orange than red like the corresponding piano keys.
If you’re looking to introduce your kids to music, this is the perfect educational toy to give 3-year-olds! It’s unique, engaging, easy to use, and comes with sheet music to help them learn.
Apart from this piano, there are a ton more musical instruments to consider for kids this age, too. These include the fun, portable Hape Blues Harmonica, which kids can carry with them!
- 1 iPad base
- 1 red reflector attachment
- 1 silicone game mat
- 19 cardboard pretend play costume pieces
- 38 silicone BPA-free rings and stick pieces
- Stackable storage for game pieces
- Requires minimum iOS9
- Compatible with select iPad’s only
- For kids aged 3-5 years old
Things We Love!
If you’re someone who’s into high-tech learning tools, be sure to check out this Osmo iPad Starter Kit! It turns your iPad into an interactive educational toy in mere minutes!
So, it’s no surprise that it’s one of the top-rated educational toys for 3-year-olds. Sadly, the kit doesn’t include a free iPad, but it does come with an iPad base island special reflector.
You’ll also be glad to know that the games aren’t solely digital like your average app, either. The various games play on your iPad screen while your child plays on their mat.
However, the set integrates their actions into the game by scanning whatever activity they do on the mat with the red reflector! There are four games covering letters, pre-drawing, and more!
- The games encourage pre-reading, pre-drawing, phonics, letters, fine motor skills, storytelling, and more.
- Unlike many apps or digital games, this set integrates your child’s real-world actions into their game with the red reflector.
- There’s a new, improved Genius Starter kit version for 3-5-year-olds with six games available, too.
- There are also Osmo iPad and Fire tablet sets for older kids, including the Creative Starter, Coding, and Genius Starter kits.
- There’s also a new Genius Starter kit available for Fire tablets!
- You need a compatible iPad tablet to play this particular game.
- Ideally, you should trust your kids with your iPad, too!
I think this a lovely, unique, tech-savvy game that really engages kids! The way their actions affect the game is quite enthralling and will definitely lead to some quality learning moments!
As we know, a playful approach to education can have plenty of benefits, not least improved learning. So, this highly-rated set really does deliver in this respect!
The Osmo game range also includes games for older kids. If you’re looking for some more high-tech learning gadgets for older kids, the Root rt1 coding robot kit is pretty cool, too!
Buyer’s Guide to Buying Educational Toys for 3-Year-Olds
Choosing educational toys for 3-year-olds need not be a schlep – be it online or offline! Nor should your purchase result in disappointment, lengthy returns, or an abandoned toy!
Here are a few helpful tips for selecting the best educational toys for kids in this age group. Follow these to ensure that you select the best options for your little one every time!
Why Should I Invest in Educational Toys for 3-Year-Olds?
Toys, alongside fun experiences, are vital to children’s development. They allow kids to explore, create, and play and learn – as they say, when kids are playing, they’re always learning!
Be it social skills, developing their creativity, or simply keeping those energetic hands busy, each toy has its selling points, too. However, educational-toys toys offer extra learning value.
They may teach vital school skills, such as maths, spelling, or writing. Or, they could introduce kids to other worthy subjects, such as music, art, or sculpture.
Either way, educational toys are an essential in any toy stash. And, the best part is that they can be just as fun and engaging as any of the kids’ other toys!
Top Types of Educational Toys for 3-Year-Olds
Are you wondering what type of educational toys to select for your little one? Here is a list of some of the best types of educational toys for 3-year-olds!
- Social skills – Board games
- Fun learning – Thematic games
- Knowledge about the world – Trivia games
- Fine motor skills – Building kits
- Maths, engineering, physics, and science – STEM sets
- Dexterity and coordination – Coordination games
- Colors, shapes, types – Sorting games
- School and literacy skills – Spelling, reading, writing, maths, and matching games
- Musical aptitude – Musical instruments
- How things work and real-world knowledge – Pretend play sets
- Shape and pattern recognition – Puzzles
- Creativity – Clay, play-dough, and other sculpting kits
- Imagination – Art sets
- Physical exercise – Outdoor playsets
- Science, physics, and geology – Science kits
- Hand-eye coordination – Scooters, bikes, trikes, and other age-appropriate vehicles
Things to Consider When Buying Educational Toys for 3-Year-Olds
There are plenty of fantastic educational toys available these days. But, do ask yourself these questions before you select an educational toy for your child, no matter their age!
Is it Age Appropriate?
Most importantly, always check that a toy is age-appropriate. Though it may be tempting to buy a cool toy, these guides are set for a good reason, particularly when it comes to 3-year-olds.
Mant toys for around or older than this age group can be choking hazards. So, it’s always a good idea to follow guidelines, supervise, and keep certain toys away from younger siblings.
What Will This Toy Teach My Kids?
If you want kids to develop a certain skill, then do consider this point. There are a ton of educational toys for 3-year-olds, but each is unique and teaches specific skills.
Furthermore, make sure that the toy follows your values. If you feel it is too violent, lewd, doesn’t fit your value system, or is inappropriate, opt for another.
Is it Safe?
Not all toys are safe to play with, especially those that are new or may not have passed regulations. If you have your doubts about a toy or its safety, avoid it and opt for another.
Is it Highly-Rated?
Your best bet of finding a fantastic educational toy is to check its review rating online. If something is highly-rated, you can bet it’s a winner!
Of course, not all parents think alike, but this rating can guide you in selecting the best option for you. If not shopping online, you can check the online rating online before going to buy in-store.
What Do Other Parents Say About This Toy?
Beyond a rating, there are insightful customer reviews that can really assist you in your search. These reviews can help you narrow down your search and find out more about the toy.
In the review, you can browse real people’s opinions on the pros and cons of each toy. This is exactly the info the manufacturer itself is unlikely to share – so do take the time to read these!
What is The Customer Service Like?
As we all know, dealing with customer support can be either heaven or hell. Take into account that you might have to to resolve an unexpected mishap or have some questions.
Then, check up on company product reviews to see what other parents’ customer service experiences were like. It’s best to avoid companies that take long, don’t reply, or are rude.
Can I Return This Toy?
If you’re planning on buying online, you need to know what happens beyond your purchase, too! It’s important to check if you can return the item if it’s damaged or simply unsatisfactory.
Will The Company Send Me Replacement Parts?
As with any online purchase, the item will need to get shipped to you. In the event of shipping mishaps, you need to know if the company will look after you.
Ask yourself a few questions:
- Will the company send replacement parts for missing or damaged parts?
- Will they replace a completely damaged item?
- Will they carry the costs associated with the return or shipping of these parts?
- How long will this process take?
- Will they replace a toy if they send the incorrect item?
- How easy is there customer service to contact and deal with?
- Does this product come with any guarantee or warranty?
Are you on the hunt for educational toys for 3-year-olds? If so, then the good news is that there are plenty of fantastic options out there!
Hopefully, this guide has helped you narrow down your search and find some wonderful ones to entertain your little one!
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