10 Best 3 Year Old Boy Gifts | December 2016

10 Best 3 Year Old Boy Gifts
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We spent 34 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Your young man will be amused for hours at a time when you select the perfect gift for your little tyke from our comprehensive assortment of innovative and imaginative 3-year-old boy gifts. We've included everything from the purely fun to the educational, and have just saved you about a week of trolling the Internet or schlepping around the mall. You're welcome. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best 3 year old boy gift on Amazon.
10
Bath time can be a challenge with any tot, but the Yookidoo Submarine Spray Station can take it from a pain to a party. It features a battery operated pump that attaches to a fun submarine shaped hand shower and two funnels for pouring water through to create fountains.
  • encourages independent play
  • produces a steady stream of water
  • spray tube is a tad too short
Brand Yookidoo
Model 40139
Weight 2.1 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
9
The Learning Resources Pretend & Play Fishing Set is a great way to introduce children to the great outdoors or to let them share in a hobby dad or grandpa already loves. It comes with a tackle box, a fishing rod, three worms and three sizes of fish.
  • fish are caught magnetically
  • includes a cute fishing vest
  • fishing rod handle isn't durable
Brand Learning Resources
Model LER9055
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
8
It's hard to find a toy that kids won't outgrow quickly, but the Little Tikes EasyScore Basketball Set fits the bill. It is height adjustable, allowing it to stand anywhere from 2' to 4' tall, and the base can be weighted with sand to keep it in place.
  • develops social and motor skills
  • includes a junior sized ball
  • net is hard to secure
Brand Little Tikes
Model 612329
Weight 9.5 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
7
The Paw Patrol Look-out Playset features a real working elevator, lights and sounds, and wraparound slide to give your little one hours of enjoyment. It comes with a chase action figure and police-themed SUV for him to ride around on.
  • improves problem-solving skills
  • has a working rotating periscope
  • may not stand up to rough play
Brand Paw Patrol
Model 6022481
Weight 3.6 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
6
The Melissa & Doug Monster Plush Bowling Game can be both fun and a great way to improve coordination. The pins look like bright and charming creatures that are fun for little ones, even when not bowling. It's also a gift that will last, being appropriate for many ages.
  • soft and safe components
  • packaging serves as storage case
  • ball doesn't roll perfectly straight
Brand Melissa & Doug
Model 2191
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0
5
With the Kidoozie G02404 even the youngest kids can get in on the action safely. It has a soft, cushioned base that lessens impacts and gives a gentle landing, while still providing enough bounce for lots of fun and a good amount of exercise.
  • has a squeaker in the base
  • won't scuff interior floors
  • may be hard for some kids to balance
Brand Kidoozie
Model G02404
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0
4
The Melissa & Doug Learn-To-Play Piano can get your youngster started appreciating music at a young age and just might lead to a lifelong love for it. It's bright and charming, but it is also a real instrument, featuring two full octaves and 25 keys.
  • comes with an easy-to-play songbook
  • solid wooden construction
  • has a color-coded key chart
Brand Melissa & Doug
Model 1314
Weight 13.3 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0
3
The Schwinn Easy Steer Tricycle helps young kids use up their pent up energy in a safe and healthy way. It has a removable push/steer handle allowing you to control the speed, and as your kids grow, they can begin to pedal it on their own.
  • secure 3-point seatbelt
  • heavy duty frame will last for years
  • stable wide eva tires
Brand Schwinn
Model S6743
Weight 17.8 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0
2
There are few things toddlers like more than emulating their parents, so let junior enjoy mowing the grass just like dad with the Little Tikes Gas 'n Go Mower Toy. It makes cool mechanical sounds, yet doesn't require any batteries, to make your life easier.
  • comes with pretend gas can
  • beads pop as the mower moves
  • has a moveable throttle
Brand Little Tikes
Model 633614MX2
Weight 4.2 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0
1
The Fisher-Price Thomas the Train TrackMaster is a motorized play set that includes a full track layout with a ramp and bridge jump that sends Thomas flying over two feet through the air, making it very exciting for young minds. It also comes with cargo and a cargo hopper.
  • works with all trackmaster trains
  • setup is simple but time consuming
  • all components feel very durable
Brand Fisher-Price
Model DFM54
Weight 15.8 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

The Quest For Great Gifts For Three Year Old Boys

The mind of a three year old boy is more complex and nuanced than most people without intimate knowledge of children could imagine. Youngsters at this age are curious, playful, and energetic, at times ready to explore new places and things yet also lent comfort by the known and familiar. A three year old boy can often spend long stretches of time on his own, absorbed in solitary play activities without the need for external input. But of course young children also look for attention and support.

When searching for a gift for a child turning three -- or already in his fourth year of life -- consider both the general attributes and abilities of kids of this age (more on that below) and also think carefully about the individual child for whom you are shopping. While some gifts may be almost universally appropriate for three year old boys, others might be absolutely perfect for the specific child on your shopping list.

Many three year old children have an impressively developed sense of imagination and will take to role play and make believe activities with zeal. You can facilitate this imaginative play with gifts that encourage a child to assume the role of a doctor, a fisherman, a veterinarian or an explorer. Look for kits complete with costumes and accessories and that allow a child to engage with their pretend play both physically and mentally. These gifts are also great for fostering interaction both between a youngster and his peers or with his parents, siblings, or caregiver.

Other boys this age are highly active and physical and are never happier than when in motion. Most young children still lack the fine motor skills for most sports activities though, so choosing a gift that's both enjoyable and relatively easy to play with is imperative. Consider classic options like diminutive basketball hoops that can be lowered for easy access or oversized bowling sets that make it easy for a child to feel a sense of accomplishment.

If your intended gift recipient is a musically inclined, by their third birthday they should begin to play more with genuine instruments rather than with toys approximating instruments. There's no need to buy a young child a Stradivarius violin, but a three year old should at least be given a compact piano with real notes or a guitar that can actually be tuned and played.

And keep in mind that young children love to imitate the people they see most often. Consider giving your child (or the child for whom you are shopping) items like a play kitchen or a little lawn mower so they can emulate their parents safely.

Gifts To Avoid For The Three Year Old Boy

Just as there are a plethora of great gift ideas for three year old boys, there are also plenty of items that should be avoided for kids of this age. Spending a few minutes thinking about those inferior gift ideas can help the good ideas stand out even more clearly.

A three year old boy is generally out of the oral stage of life and can be trusted not to place random objects in his mouth. However a momentary lapse in thought can see a three year old boy inadvertently putting something in his mouth nonetheless, so toys with smaller pieces are still best avoided. This is also true of toys with long strings or cords which could be a strangulation hazard.

Powered riding toys are popular with many families, but are actually not a good idea for children still under the age of four or five; these devices require more spatial reasoning, faster reaction times, and better overall judgment than many kids of three yet possess. (And in fact some of these units have even been known to present fire safety issues.)

Also resist the urge to buy stereotypically male toys, such as a football or a toy weapon; a youngster has an entire lifetime to be pressed into expected roles and deserves freedom from such limitations while still so young.

Mental And Emotional Milestones Of The Three Year Old

Between the ages of three and four, a child is often said to be in the so-called Magic Years. This post-toddler, preschool age is a unique time in life; the individual is yet free of any meaningful responsibility but is also possessed of a mind that can be effectively tuned to specific tasks and activities. And of course this age is also filled with an imaginative -- "magical," even -- approach to play and interaction.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists a number of concrete milestones that most boys will meet during the time between a third and fourth birthday; knowing these can help you process behavior as it happens and can help you look out for anything your child does that seems abhorrent and that warrants extra attention or intervention.

A three year old boy should display a degree of self sufficiency including dressing and undressing with minimal help, the ability to wait for his turn during a meal, play activity, or a sport or game, and he should be able to communicate his wants or needs using clear language. (Keep in mind some children can do this before the age of three, while others won't master some skills until they are nearly four.)

A three year old boy should also have a rapidly developing sense of empathy and compassion; his emotional maturity may be far from complete, but a child of this age should be able to show affection when appropriate without any external prompting and should respond properly to the emotions of others. This means an attempt to comfort and console the person who is clearly upset and the ability to laugh along with the person in high spirits.

On the physical side, a three year old boy should have a good enough sense of balance to run and jump without falling over (or without falling often, at any rate) and should be able to go up and down stairs with ease. He should also be able to kick and throw a ball, though likely without much accuracy for some time yet. Many three year olds can reliably pedal and steer a tricycle, which makes for yet another fine gift idea.



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Last updated on December 15, 2016 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.


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