Gift Guide For 3-Year-Olds – Eco Friendly And Captivating Toys And Materials Your Kid Will Love

Three-year-olds are some of the most life-loving and sincere little humans. Investing in educational-quality toys that are made out of natural materials will make a big difference in the quality of a child’s play. Before I share my finds and recommendations, I would like to touch on what we know about those gorgeous three-year-olds and their developmental stages.

Generally speaking, at the age of three a child:

  • becomes more aware of his or her surroundings
  • is transitioning from the stage when information was absorbed on a subconscious level to the next stage of development when the child starts to gain information about the outside world more intentionally. In Maria Montessori’s words ‘the unconscious absorbent mind to the conscious absorbent mind’.
  • is ready to accept direct instruction
  • starts accepting challenges that help develop more advanced problem-solving skills
  • asks questions and uses new information to connect various consepts
  • learns about social structure and his or her postition within it
  • plays alongside but often not with others
  • finds new freedom to be more mobile
  • likes to establish his or her independence having things done without help from adults and older children.

Parents and educators still need to be aware of the mouthing stage. Toys, clothes, tools, and materials that allow the child to gain more freedom and independence will serve them well. E.g. shoes that the child can put on and take off without help.

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Here are my gift recommendations for children between the ages of 3 and 4

Guidecraft Magnification Blocks: STEM Building Educational Toy Set

What a beautiful set of blocks that can be used in construction play and as a part of a nature table display for hands-on explorations.

Quokka Wooden Puzzles

These are great for improving fine motor skills, eye-to-hand coordination, associative thinking. The puzzles will help to learn vocabulary through touch and experience.

None Kaplan Early Learning Company Agate Light Table Slices

These will certainly captivate a child’s attention. These are wonderful for sensory play and learning about textures and colors.

Edxeducation 6 Piece Obstacle Course for Kids

Use the different heights of the stepping stones and logs to teach better balance and movement while increasing the child’s sense of coordination in a safe environment.

Constructive Playthings Expression Babies Plush Dolls

Emotion baby dolls encourage children of all ages to identify and label common feelings. Each doll features a unique facial expression that represents an identifiable emotion.

Toypix Birdhouse Wooden Color Sorting Toy

This activity combines great fun with developing fine motor, sensory and cognitive skills.

Constructive Playthings Wooden Community Helpers

This wooden block set contains citizens of various races and professions. It can help promote inclusiveness at a young age.

Cre8tive Minds 12 Pretend Career Figures

Children will enjoy role play with toys that represent various professions their families interact with on daily basis.

Uandme Woodland Creatures Figurines

This set will suit perfectly for creating small worlds and habitats for children to explore.

Magiclub Water Beads with Fine Motor Skills Toy Set

If you are comfortable with your child playing with water beads, then this set will certainly allow for many hours of open-ended play.

Woody Waldy Sensory Bin Tools

When I think of my 3-year-old child, I can’t imagine a more suitable gift. Children enjoy playing with sensory bins at this age so much.

Smart Builder Rainbow Building Blocks

This is a fun way for kids to explore shapes, textures, stacking, sounds, and colors.

Obud Wooden Doctor Kit for Kids

Help children learn about the doctor’s equipment and calm fears of going to see a doctor as they engage in the roleplay games. The syringe can interact and teeth model decayed teeth can be extracted, so fun!

Hape Fire Station Playset

Create your own fun play scenarios with this playset. There are endless opportunities for individual and group roleplay.

Cameron Frank Washable Dot Markers 13 Pack With 121 Activity Sheets For Kids

Children tend to be calm and focused when they start to dab dots on the page. It’s a different way to color, stamp and decorate your scrapbooks.

All Kinds of People by Shelley Rotner

Skin color is one of our most noticeable physical traits, and this beautiful board book provides a perfect starting point to talk about race and diversity with very young readers.

Lots of Feelings by Shelley Rotner

A face can tell you what someone is feeling. In this expressive photo essay, simple text and photographs introduce basic emotions – happy, grumpy, thoughtful, and more – and how people show them.

A is for Apple Board book – Lift the flap by Tiger Tales

This innovative, interactive trace-and-flip book introduces children to the alphabet. It features letter tracks to trace with a finger to learn letter formation.

You will find many great book recommendations here.

Amazing Handmade Toys for 3 – Year – Olds

  1. Family Dot Sensory Tube – Little ones like to shake, turn and flip, objects inside the bottle hides and appears again ever changing in appearance. Sensory bottles are also known as calm down bottles since a soft sound and a pleasant view lulls and smoothes the feels.
  2. Arbor Inspirations Loose Parts Insect/Bug Exploration – Children can explore how to build a bug/insect with a variety of materials.
  3. Wooden Caterpillar Wooden woodland animals toys – These toys will help your child to develop his imagination, to learn names of the animals, and colors.
  4. Mama May I Colored Cups and Balls – A Rainbow colored fun and educational way to play and learn colors and sorting.

gift guides for other ages

learning resources you might find helpful in your classroom

About Anastasia - Anastasia is an early childhood teacher and the founder of Montessori Nature - a blog about Montessori living and learning and nature-based explorations. With many years of experience working in a Montessori environment and homeschooling her children, she directed her passion for all things Montessori and nature into creating educational resources. You can learn more here and browse her printables on Teachers Pay Teachers.

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