The Top Educational Toys for a 3 Year Old Reviewed
Three-year-olds are ready for more complicated skill toys that challenge their young minds. While toys should be challenging, the best educational toys for 3-year-olds are also fun to play especially when playing with other children. Find the best toys to further improve motor skills, cognitive reasoning, and spatial awareness.
Best Educational Toys for 3 Year Olds
The Rocktopus by Fisher-Price brings the future of learning to your living room. Not only can your child learn about music but also how music interacts with math. A few games help to round out the toy as both engaging and educational.
The octopus comes with 8 tentacles, all of which light up and help to direct what pod should go in which arm. The front two arms are buttons next to the main base button for gameplay. Tentacles in the back offer storage.
First, your child can practice 15 musical instruments, at least hearing the sounds of each for future recognition. The octopus talks and tells your child to find certain colors or instruments and place them in his tentacles. Children can learn about five musical styles.
The second mode your child can play with the octopus is as a math game. Rocktopus asks your child to put on a certain amount of musical instrument pieces into his tentacles and then asks your child to take a certain amount away.
Third, your child can forgo the learning modes and just play games. They can create their own sounds by placing the instruments in any order they choose and then check out their new sound creation. Kids can even listen to the tempo alone or add sound effects.
Finally, the toy includes a free app so kids can create music videos. A great toy to teach basic math concepts, instrument recognition, following simple commands, and more. Music helps to engage the brain and improve memory while strengthening brain function.
The Roctopus only stores some of the musical pods. If you want better storage, you may need to purchase a special container for the toy. Also, the toy does not come in a proper package when shipped, so the pieces are loose inside the box.
- 15 musical Instruments, 5 musical styles, 3 ways to Play : 1 rocking toy
- 3 Play modes: math, music, and game
- Rock top us responds to every musical instrument as kids insert or tap them, helping guide them through game play
- Kids are in control of their musical creations add or subtract instruments, control the tempo & add sound effects
- Download the Free rock top us app to create Cool music videos with this rock in’ Dude
At three-years-old, most children aren’t ready for creating science experiences but some of them still want to try! Toddlers love to mimic adults including working and with the Little Tikes STEM Jr. Wonder Lab Toy, your child can pretend to be a scientist. Help them whip up a healthy dose of love for science.
STEM toys help children to learn about science, technology, engineering, and math. This one brings science to your kitchen with a little laboratory in a box. Let your toddler enjoy hands-on fun with twenty experiments. All you need to add is a few common household ingredients and a child.
The laboratory station makes over forty exciting sounds and phrases to bring the lab to life. Your child’s lab includes storage and a washable sink tray for any messes. The set also includes maze pieces and maze balls, test tubes, stirring spoons and sticks, an eyedropper, along with a lab tray.
Let your child try out each section of the lab. A circuit center brings technology to life with the turn of a knob or lever. Second, the wizards’ brew section lets kids stir up a little magic potion. Third, they can engineer a maze run.
Last of all, hands-on learning engages kids with strong tactile and visual appeal. This toy can build the foundation for a love of science. A great way for kids to learn STEM concepts, motor skills, following commands and role-play.
Make sure the legs snap together properly to ensure the power switch assembles correctly for properly working lights and sounds. This toy can get messy and never let a three-year-old try the experiments alone. Also, the toy is rather pricey but unique in its category.
- Ultimate interactive STEM Jr. Wonder lab designed for preschoolers. Featuring: science, technology, engineering and math learning
- 20 fun, hands-on STEM experiments included (using common household ingredients), that provide endless hours of discovery
- 40+ playful sounds and phrases bring the lab to life as little Scientists experiment. Helpful Tips- Make sure the leg that contains the power switch is fully snapped into place during assembly. This action makes sure that the lights and sounds work
- 20 lab accessories included: 8 unique maze pieces, 3 maze balls, 3 test tubes, 3 Stirring spoons, Stirring stick, eyedropper and lab goggles
- Removable lab tray for easy clean-up
Remember going to grandma’s house and building a log cabin? Now your child can build their own creations with the 100 anniversary set of Lincoln Logs. The set comes with its own nostalgic tin storage container to store over 100 pieces.
Each tin includes a set of instructions to inspire children to build towers, houses, bonfires, and a cabin all with easy to follow instructions. At three-years-old, your child may simply follow their wild imagination to create unique designs. Take this opportunity to show them what the instructions are for and the reward of following instructions.
The wood pieces are made of high-quality maple wood. Each piece has indentions to connect with the other pieces cohesively. Includes typical wood pieces, green roofs, red roof facades, and chimney. Also, find several sizes to allow for windows or seats around the bonfire.
Finally, all the wood pieces clean easily if your child eats or drinks near the set. A great STEM toy ready to teach a foundation in engineering, problem-solving, spatial reasoning, hand-eye coordination along with many more skills. A great toy for multiple kids to use at once with no added noise!
The tin is much larger than the space needed for the contents of this set. You can always buy additional sets to fill up the space and give your child more options. Besides, as the container is tin, it can arrive damaged if not shipped properly.
- A LINCOLN LOGS CLASSIC, JUST THE WAY YOU REMEMBER IT – Inspired by one of the original LINCOLN LOGS builds, the "Meeting House," this 100th Anniversary Tin will evoke nostalgia in older generations and bring happiness to children. The manual offers three building ideas: a tall tower, two small houses with a bonfire, and a large cabin. Children can follow these guides or mix and match to build their own structures.
- 111 ALL-WOOD PIECES – The package includes 111 pieces made of real, high-quality maple wood. Each has indentations that can be used to connect it with others. Pieces are included for the roof, roof facade, walls, chimney, porch, fences, bonfire, and bonfire seats.
- COLORFUL DESIGN – These exquisitely crafted LINCOLN LOGS are beautifully stained, like a true cabin’s finish. Each piece is colored with precision and careful attention to detail to evoke the nostalgia of childhood. Most of the log blocks are stained bright brown. The face of the roof is a muted red, and the rooftops are forest-green.Care- Spot or wipe clean
- EASY AND QUICK CLEAN-UP – All the pieces can be stored in the set’s collectible tin. The features make clean-up easier, as parents can store it in one container, keeping living spaces and children’s playing areas tidy and organized. The covered tin can be stored after play time for safe keeping.
- AMERICA’S NATIONAL TOY– Invented in 1916 by John Lloyd Wright, the son of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, LINCOLN LOGS have become America’s National Toy. Beloved by four generations of builders, they provide hours of fun while building a solid foundation in STEAM/STEM subjects.
Improve your son or daughter’s brain with a baby upright piano like the Best Choice Products Mini Piano. Music increase brain activity and helps to sooth little ears. Pianos open children to a whole new language, the universal language of music.
Pick between four colors for the base of the piano including black, red, pink, or blue. Each set includes reusable and removable stickers to help toddlers learn the keys and their coordinating names. The size works just right for a tot to sit on the floor or stand to begin their love with playing music.
In addition, the mini piano includes a music book to teach kids to learn to read music by coordinating with the 25 keys. The sturdy enamel-covered wood will last through several children even when your child outgrows the toy. While small, the dimensions of 16.5 x 9.5 x 11.5 introduces kids to music without taking up a massive amount of space. You can even store the piano in a closet if necessary. Also, at just over 15 pounds, the piano will stay upright comfortably.
In conclusion, this is a great toy for learning music, beginning math concepts, reading music and following commands all while opening new brain synapses. A great toy for children to play while watching other family members practice on the full-size piano or keyboard. Find out if you have a musical genius in the family!
Veteran music lovers may find the toy out of tune with no way to fix the problem. The keys can stick a little especially if liquid gets inside the keys. Make sure kids keep food and drinks far away from this toy.
- SPARK AN EAR FOR MUSIC: Inspire creativity and musicality in your toddler or child and introduce them to the fun of a piano
- GREAT FIRST PIANO: Full-size keys promote proper finger placement, helping children transition to a full-size piano
- KEY GUIDE STICKERS: Stickers attach to the keys to visibly show notes and aid in learning, so your child can quickly learn the keys
- MUSIC BOOK INCLUDED: Toddlers can turn through pages of tunes included with the piano to start playing right away and building their music reading skills
- DURABLE COMPOSITION: Made of wood with a vibrant, enameled finish for long-lasting use; OVERALL DIMENSIONS: 16.5"(L) x 9.5"(W) x 11.5"(H); Recommended for ages: 12+ months
Role-playing helps children to learn about all the different people in the world. With the Innocheer Doctor’s Kit, kids can practice being a doctor and find out early on if this is a preferred route for their future. Even if they don’t want to grow up to be a doctor, they can learn a ton of skills with this kit like empathy and patient care.
Understanding how each of the doctors and dentist tools function helps kids to gain enough knowledge to avoid fear during their own doctor’s visits. The set includes a doctor’s coat, mouth mirror, mask, stethoscope, forceps, syringe, tweezers, ear scope, reflex hammer, thermometer, pill case, bandaids, carrying case, and a box of stickers. Everything your child needs to fix up sick teddy bears and dolls.
The case functions as not just storage for the tools but also as a mini doctor’s office to go. Your child can even where the case as a crossbody purse for easy travel. Take the kit to grandma’s house or a friend’s house when your child needs new patients.
Help your child learn invaluable skills like patience, understanding, confidence, empathy, beginning science and biology, and the benefits of seeing a doctor. Be warned though, you will be your child’s most frequent patient despite a waiting room full of plush possibilities. This works to your advantage as you can take this time to teach your child what each tool does and bond with your child in the process.
If you purchase this set for a child under three or for a child with a sibling under the age of three, watch the child closely as some of the pieces are small and can cause a choking hazard for very young children. Keep away from kids who still like to put stuff in their mouth.
- FOR LITTLE DOCTORS, DENTISTS & NURSES - Full Play Set includes Doctor Coat, Mask, Mouth Mirror, Syringe, Stethoscope, Eyeglasses, Forceps, Scissors, Tweezer, Otoscope, Reflex Hammmer, Thermometer, Pill Case *3, Band Aids *3, carry bag，Box Sticker. Pretend as a doctor instead of a patient by this medical set.
- CHILD SAFE - Meet US ASTM Toy Standard. Safety Test Approved. This doctor play set for toddlers is BPA free and 100% safe. （chocking hazard, not for kids below 3 year-old.）
- Doctor Costume Kit - Doctor Coat Fits most children ages 3–8. Your little healer will love pretending to be a Doctor as they develop their imagination and role playing and social skills.
- Super Crossbody Carry Case - UNLIKE ANY OTHERS ON MARKET. The snap-on latch securely closes the cabinet for easy child care. It can also be used as a crossbody bag. Sturdy Case Measures 9.8”L X 7.5”W X 4”H for Storage. Just what busy little MDs need when they take house calls.
- Great Toy Gifts - A handy medical kit is a great gift for any occasion like Party Favors, Pretend Play, Role Play, Classroom Rewards, Get Well Soon Gifts, Holiday Toy Gifts, Christmas Gifts and More! Create Hours of Fun Playtime.
Tying shoelaces is a difficult feat for tiny hand to learn. With the Melissa & Doug Alphabet, Lacing Card’s children start practicing early on for an advantage. Not only do the cards teach lacing, but they also teach animals and the alphabet. A wonderful multipurpose learning toy.
The set includes 26 sturdy wooden lace-up cards. Each comes shaped like an item or an animal with the letters written out on the back. For example, B comes in the shape of a butterfly. The wooden storage container includes four slots for storing the cards and a center slot in between for storing the laces.
All the laces and cards come in fun drawings and bright colors. Use the different color laces to teach matching skills and help children to find colors that match the card they are using. Also teach your child the alphabet, beginning reading, and of course lacing which reinforces fine motor skills. Finally, this simple no-noise toy also teaches letter and animal recognition, and hand-eye coordination.
As this toy is less busy than other toys and not quite as interesting, kids may not want to play with the toy very often. Use this as a time for bonding and learning as you may need to encourage your child to continue mastering a skill they find boring. Maybe use this one night a week instead of a bedtime story.
- Includes 26 wooden cards and 26 laces
- Lacing set with a card and lace for every letter of the alphabet
- Each card features a full-color picture on one side; label and upper-/lowercase letters on the other.
- Lace colors coordination with cards for matching and sorting fun.
- Great for letter recognition, vocabulary, fine motor skills, and hand-eye coordination
Drawing allows kids to practice writing letters, numbers, and drawing but paper takes up a lot of space and uses a lot of trees. Instead, try the NextX Magnetic Write and Learn Drawing Board which uses magnets to draw and erase. Save the space and the paper by using a reusable board. If you want to save any of your child’s drawings you can take a picture as there is no way to store work.
The board comes in blue and red or in pale blue and yellow. It also includes an easy-grip handle at the top, a pencil slot on one side, and an eraser slider bar at the bottom. Kids will also enjoy the five magnetic stampers along with stickers to decorate the border of the board. The main surface offers 10.6 x 7 inches of space for drawing.
Finally, rounded edges make the board easy to use and carry. A great travel toy with no mess or cleanup. The board teaches valuable hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. As kids spend a significant amount of their school years drawing and writing, this toy offers a leg up on those important skills.
The board does not include storage for the magnetic stampers. After a while, most magnetic boards become difficult to erase. However, at the low cost, replacing isn’t a huge deal. Try to make sure your children are gentle with the board and do not push hard on the pencil when drawing. A light hand will help the board last longer.
- NextX Big Size Megasketcher measures roughly 39.5 x 31.5 cm (15.5 x 12.4in), the doodle screen is 27 x 18 cm (10.6 x 7in). The package also comes with 5 different stamps and a sheet of stickers in various patterns that are fun and help your child identify patterns and colors.
- The Magnetic Drawing Board allows your kid to practice drawing and writing or play games; it develops your kid with creativity and practice coordination.
- Easy slide eraser: Gently slide the magnetic brush at the bottom and all drawings will be removed. It’s so easy that your kid can do it on its own and use imagination & creativity to create endless drawings and paint freely!
- Health and Safety: The frame is made from high quality nontoxic ABS plastic materials, it is smell-free and more friendly to kids. It is durable and highly break resistant. The round edge design protects your kid's little hands.
- 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed and 30-Day Money Back Guarantee (caused by non-artificial breakdown)
Top Bright makes a Magnetic Wooden Fishing Game perfect for reeling your child into fun learning. The set includes an ocean mat, 26 ocean animals with letters on one side and the fish name and a score number on the other side. Kids can’t fish without fishing poles so the set includes two.
First, place the ocean mat on the floor. Then cover with the painted wood fishes with magnets. Now two kids are ready to race to catch the most fish. When they cast the fishing line, the magnets on the line connect with the magnets on the fish to help children reel in their catch. Make sure the colorful side of the fish faces up for easy catching.
This set creates a fun and unique way to learn a whole host of skills. Children can learn ocean animal recognition, letter and number recognition, healthy competition, hand-eye coordination, and several other skills. Store the pieces in the included storage container for easy cleanup.
The fish and magnets are tiny. Do not let children under three use this toy alone. Besides, you may want to only let your three-year-old play with this toy under adult supervision until you are sure they are done putting small objects in their mouth.
- COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT TOYS: Let your child enjoy hours of fun with the fishing toys for 2 3 year old girls and boys. The toddler fishing game includes 26 wooden fish puzzles which are patterned with alphabet, numbers and cute ocean creatures, making it a great teaching tool to develop their hand and eye coordination as well as their motor skills. It’s never too early to begin STEM educational techniques
- HOW TO PLAY: The aim of the magnetic fishing game is to catch 26 wooden fish with the aide of magnetic rods. Your kids can play with an adult or a friend as they follow their natural instinct and explore the fun of a pretend play game whilst learning to play fairly and share. Playing with someone else also develops their social skills which makes it a must have preschool gift for 2 3 year old boys and girls
- BRIGHT, COLORFUL AND FUN: The kids fishing game are made from high quality, natural solid wood and are coated with environmentally friendly water-based paint. It is completely non-toxic and safe as gifts for 2 3 year old girls and boys to play without the risk of harm as all edges have been made smooth with no rough surfaces
- CATCH AND COUNT: The fishing toys for 2 3 year old boy and girl are all about fun and learning which is why we have developed this magnetic fishing game to enhance their number skills. Each fish displays a different number, when all fish pieces have been caught the numbers can be added together, whoever has the highest score wins
- GIFTS FOR 2 3 YEAR OLD: The perfect toys for 2 3 year old boy and girl who just loves to learn whilst playing. Our kids fishing game has been built to last and will provide years of fun. Its robust design means it can be played indoors and outdoors and is great for children’s parties and play dates
Most three-year-olds know a few numbers but still have a long way to go in understanding numbers and visualizing what numbers represent. Introducing the Skoolzy Apple Counting Game for Toddlers. The set includes 12 counting apples which offer a wonderful illustration of numbers and turn counting into a game.
Not only does the game teach number with the number but also with the apple seeds showing a representation of each number. Each apple comes with different internal and external colors to teach colors too. The seed side coordinates with the other side of the apple for better recognition.
The apple game is a great way to play a matching game with little kids. They can learn other skills as well such as hand-eye coordination, beginning counting, teamwork, patience, concentration, and problem-solving. Use the coordinating activity card to challenge your child when they get older.
No issues what so ever with this toy. Keep away from younger siblings, although the seeds while small do not come out so these toys do not pose a choking hazard.
- MONTESSORI TODDLER TOYS: The 12 counting apples stem toy has MANY WAYS TO PLAY. First as color matching game and fine motor skills toys for toddler activities for 18 month old girl or boy. As occupational therapy toys for toddlers, the number puzzle counting toys improve hand-eye coordination with fine motor skill games. Kids build color recognition skills, identification, & counting skills with the color matching toys for toddlers, an educational toy in 3 outer colors and 12 Seed colors
- PRESCHOOL LEARNING TOYS for 4, 5 or 6 year olds: Kids at this age love role play, use the apples for creative dramatic play with toy play food or grocery store pretend play with shopping cart or cash register. Match each apple half with the matching number or contrasting seed count into a single apple on this fine motor toy for toddlers. Learn numbers, complex colors and teach one-to-one correspondence with the apple math manipulatives counters with number games for preschoolers.
- KINDERGARTEN LEARNING GAMES: Each apple contains a different color and number, with corresponding seeds and holes. Seeds & numbers are contrasting colors and easy to see which works well as sensory toys or math games for kindergarten. Our Apple Factory number recognition games toddler toy have many developmental benefits besides teaching how to count. Make kids games such as counting games, work on sequences & patterning, number games for kindergarten and memory games for kids.
- STEM DESIGN PROCESS CHALLENGE: The FUN and learning doesn't end there with the stem toys for 4 year olds ; we have included an engineering design challenge with 7 Design cards to inspire and encourage students’ creativity through hands-on learning and problem-solving. The prompts are tailored to your child's development. GIFT A TOY THAT IS EDUCATIONAL AND FUN. These educational toys for 2 year olds and up develop early engineering skills in a fun way as they BUILD AN APPLE PACKING FACTORY.
- BEST GIFTS FOR GIRLS & BOYS The toddler learning toys for 3 year olds and stem learning toys are great learning resources for daycare and kindergarten math games. The plastic MATH TOYS for kids ages 1 to 7 years old are easy to store and clean up — can be easily wiped clean. This apple matching games for kids toy is SAFE FOR YOUR CHILD. The educational kids toys are independently Third-Party Lab Tested. Certified Non-Toxic, BPA-Free, Lead-Free and Phthalates-Free.
If you think children do not need to learn how to do chores, then you have never seen a 14-year-old sweep the kitchen floor and still miss dirt the third time around. Melissa & Doug’s Pretend Cleaning Set allows kids to start learning valuable skills they will use for the rest of their life. Even if they get a maid later in life, learning to hold a broom and use a dustpan improves motor skills and gives them a sense of the space they use.
The set includes a round stand to hold the mop, broom, dust-pan and mini broom, with a duster. They may not be the most effective cleaning tools but they are so cute and help your child learn to maneuver the tools. Each tool hangs on a wooden peg and the whole set fits nicely in a closet.
Unlike the real broom and mop, these are kids sized to help them figure out the motion needed. Even better, the set helps kids to role-play and mimic parents while they still think cleanings is fun. Definitely monopolize this desire to help while they are young. Make sure to reward for a good job so they know cleaning comes with some advantages.
Do not allow the kids to wet the mop. The head is not replaceable and while you could wash it, it would lose its softness. Nor do you want your child playing with a dirty wet mop head. Think of these as practice tools, not the real deal.
- INSPIRES HOURS OF PRETEND PLAY: We developed the Dust; Sweep; Mop; Pretend Play Set to motivate your child to model independence and use their imagination to have fun; Each cleaning tool gives them an imagined role and pretend task to try
- REALISTIC WOODEN CLEANING TOYS: This colorful, kid sized set looks just like the real thing and includes a wooden pretend play broom, mop, duster, brush, and organizing stand; The red dustpan conveniently clips into all handles
- BUILDS SKILLS AND CONFIDENCE: This skill building and confidence boosting set is designed to strengthen and embolden your child’s sense of purpose; Each pretend play tool helps them develop coordination and fine motor skills
- GREAT FOR AGES 3 to 6: Our kid tested and timeless toys make great gifts for encouraging screen free, hands on, and open ended play; These toys are designed for kids to come back to again and again as they discover new possibilities
- "THE GOLD STANDARD IN CHILDHOOD PLAY": For more than 30 years, Melissa & Doug has created beautifully designed imagination and creativity sparking products that NBC News called “the gold standard in early childhood play”
Questions About The Best Educational Toys for 3-Year-Olds
My child still plays next to children instead of interacting with them, is this normal?
Learning to play with other children is another skill children need to learn. Some children are born social and ready to play with everyone in the world while others are happy to play by themselves. Your child may need a little help in the right direction by showing them how to play another person.
The best way to show a child how to play with someone else is by playing with your child so they can learn about give and take. Make the experience fun and you get a bonding experience too. Do not expect results overnight, some kids are naturally better at play alongside others while others may struggle. If you are concerned and see no signs of improvement, you can call your doctor for more information.
What are STEM and STEAM toys and are they important?
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. STEAM stands for the same but adds in Art for a more rounded curriculum. These acronyms show the focus of an educational system. If a school claims its STEM-focused, that means they have tailored the education toward science, technology, engineering, and math show the school hopes to teach these important skills leading up to graduation. STEM toys focus on teaching skill affirming a STEM education.
I think my daughter might be reading, is she too young?
Every child is different. In the same family even, one child could learn to read at three while another child may not read until six. A lot of factors go into helping a child to read but overall, most children begin reading in kindergarten and read a little better by first grade.
You do not need to worry about a late reader until they show no signs of interest or ability. Early reading while wonderful does not need to be encouraged. Self-starter children may naturally learn to read though.
Some children decide to learn a skill and put all their focus into that one effort until they are satisfied which is one reason for a young reader. This same child may also have perfect eyesight while a late reader may need glasses and the family is unaware.
There is no such thing as a reader too young unless the reader is being forced to read. As this skill is so important to your child’s education, do not force them to read before they are ready which differs by each child. Instead, focus on letter recognition, reading to your child, and simple word recognition. Do praise any efforts your child makes.
Wrapping Up With The Best Educational Toys for 3-Year-Olds
The best educational toys for three-year-olds help to improve on the skills children have learned over the first few years of their life. Toys dedicated to a specific skill set, like empathy. If you pick only one toy from this list, pick the INNOCHEER Kids Doctor Kit 20 Pieces Pretend-n-Play Medical Toys Set which helps kids to understand doctors, their tools, and improve empathy and interpersonal skills. Go forth and help your children learn!
If you aren’t convinced that you need to get your child some educational toys, this video should help: