The Ultimate Third Birthday Gift Guide

At three years old, your littles are full of well-articulated opinions and preferences. Sometimes, they’re slightly long-winded. They love a lot of things! They have a lot to say! They are becoming such impressive little people.

They may be really into something specific, like the solar system, bugs, or Amelia Earheart. But, their attention can still be grabbed by something new and fun, so our three-year-old gift guide is full of things they may love already, along with new obsessions they didn’t even know existed…until now.

From floor puzzles to machine-washable dolls (and so much in between), at price points across the board, this third birthday gift guide will make your three-year-olds AND their gift-givers smile for months to come.

For more gift ideas for kids of all ages, check out our Birthday Gift Guides.

a roundup of the best toys for third birthdays with the text "The Ultimate Third Birthday Gift Guide"

 Third Birthday Gifts Less Than $25

Hape Harmonica

We just love Hape because we know we’re always going to be happy (see what we did there?) with whatever we get from them.

This wooden harmonica creates pitch-perfect sound for young musical enthusiasts. It’s the perfect way to encourage your little one’s love of music while they experiment and play, and, as far as noise-makers go, it’s on our shortlist of “most tolerable.”

Buy it: Amazon

Hape Blues Harmonica | 10 Hole Wooden Musical Instrument Toy for Kids, Red

Do a Dot Art! Markers and Activity Books

Do a Dot Art! markers and activity books offer endless combinations of fun! Whether your kiddo is into homesteading, princesses, rainbows, pirates, or pets, there is an activity book for them. Plus, the dot markers set them up for success by (mostly) making a perfect dot every time they are stamped.

Kiddos will love how easy the markers are to grip, their fun scents (remember Mr. Sketch? – just like that!), and vibrant colors. You’ll love that they’re non-toxic, made in the USA, and mess-free.

Buy it: Amazon

Do A Dot Art! Markers 6-Pack Rainbow Washable Paint Markers, The Original Dot Marker

Hedstrom Hop Ball

Hop, hop, hop! This 15″ hop ball is a whole lot of fun, plus kids will be working on balance and coordination as they play. It’s made of durable vinyl that makes this a good indoor or outdoor toy, and is available in stripes or polka dots.

Buy it: Amazon

Hedstrom Pink Polka Dot Hopper Ball, Kid's Ride-on Toy, Bouncy Hopping Ball with Handle - 15 Inch

Petit Collage Floor Puzzle

Three-year-olds love it when you get on their level and work on something together. This puzzle is the perfect way to do just that! Choose from multiple designs (remember your little buddy who loves the solar system? – there’s a design for them!) and work together to put it all together—or offer moral support while they do it themselves.

The pieces are bright, sturdy, and easy for small hands to grip, plus the handy carrying box makes for easy storage and transport.

Buy it: Amazon

Petit Collage Floor Puzzle, Wild Rainforest, 24-Pieces – Large Puzzle for Kids, Completed Rainforest Puzzle Measures 18” x 24” – Makes a Great Gift Idea for Ages 3+

Feed the Woozle Board Game

We included this one in our roundup of Best Board Games for Toddlers and it’s so good, we had to add it to this list, too. It includes a friendly monster (à la Sesame Street) whose preferred diet includes hairy pickles and fuzzy donuts. Can your kiddo balance his crazy treats on a spoon and get them into Woozle’s mouth in time?

Buy it: Amazon or Walmart

Peaceable Kingdom Feed The Woozle Preschool Skills Builder Game

Fat Brain Toys Bugzzle

For this insect-inspired brain bender, they’ll choose one of the kit’s forty challenge cards and then arrange, flip, and position the semi-circular puzzle pieces into the bug-shaped tray to match the picture. Unbeknownst to your favorite littles, they’ll be learning about colors, fractions, early math, and more.

Buy it: Amazon or Fat Brain Toys

Fat Brain Toys F209 Fat Bugzzle, Preschool, Folding, Gear, Brain Teasers Puzzles, 40 Challenge Cards, Educational Toys for Kids 3 Years and Older, Multicoloured

Manhattan Toys Playdate Friends

We LOVE a machine-washable doll, especially one that looks as heirloom-quality as this one from Manhattan Toys. Choose from six different dolls, which measure 14 inches from head to toe, and include a mini friend. They all have fully embroidered facial features, and their clothing and shoes are interchangeable, making collecting multiple friends extra fun.

Buy it: Amazon

Manhattan Toy Playdate Friends Harper Machine Washable and Dryer Safe 14 Inch Doll with Companion Stuffed Animal

Plus-Plus BIG Picture Puzzles

If LEGOs were flattened and you made them into a puzzle, you’d have this Plus-Plus BIG Picture Puzzle. Every brick is the same shape and easily connects to the next. Create colorful, flat mosaics or work in 3-D to make more intricate builds.

Mix and match any Plus-Plus BIG set to bring more ideas to life! Make everything from bacon and eggs to a rainbow butterfly.

Buy it: Amazon or Walmart

Plus-Plus BIG - BIG Picture Puzzles, Basic Color Mix - Construction Building Stem Toy, Interlocking Large Puzzle Blocks for Toddlers and Preschool

Green Toys Ferry Boat

Green Toys is another one of our no-fail kids’ toy brands and, since Thrifty Littles is based in Seattle, we have a special affection for ferry boats.

The two-colored ferry boat comes with two colorful cars that will delight littles. It also features a spacious cargo area and a slide-out ramp. The open design allows kids to place action figures or other toys inside. And just like an actual ferry, the toy is designed to float in water!

Buy it: Amazon or Walmart

Green Toys Ferry Boat Bathtub Toy, Green/White, 10"X 6.6"x 6.3"

Third Birthday Gifts Less Than $75

Battat Kids Cleaning Set

Toddlers love to help around the house, and we love them for it! This cleaning set for kids has tons of realistic details for hours of imaginative play. It includes five pieces: a broom, mop, brush, duster, and dustpan. Just make sure you teach them not to step in your pile as they’re sweeping up their own. (Another option here.)

Buy it: Amazon

Battat – Kids Cleaning Set – Cleaning Toys for Toddlers, Children – Pretend Play Kit – Broom, Mop, Brush, Dustpan, Duster – Sweep n' Clean – 2 Years +

Pottery Barn Kids Mini Backpack

Pottery Barn does an excellent job with their backpacks, especially these minis. They’re sturdy, come in a large variety of colors and designs, and can be monogrammed. They’re perfect for toting around all of your kiddos’ favorite things and made to last. Your three-year-old will be ready for any adventure with their perfectly sized backpack.

Buy it: Pottery Barn Kids

kids purple unicorn backpack

Cute Stone Play Sink

When it comes to play kitchens et al, kids want theirs as realistic as they can get. This Pretend Kitchen Playset combines a multi-function kitchen sink that can spray with a stove that has light and sound. Give them more ways to experience the fun of cooking with this fun set! 

Buy it: Amazon

CUTE STONE Pretend Play Kitchen Sink Toys with Play Cooking Stove, Pot and Pan with Spray Realistic Light and Sound, Dish Rack & Play Cutting Food, Utensils Tableware Accessories for Toddlers Kids

Little Tikes Rescue Tales Bathtub Playset

Calling all animal lovers! The Little Tikes Rescue Tales Scrub’ n Groom Bathtub Playset is about as cute as it gets. With a working bathtub, this set allows littles to fill the tub with water and then use the hand-powered showerhead for bathing their adorable new pup.

The grooming supplies, including a shampoo bottle, shower hose, brush, hairdryer, and of course, a rubber ducky, are included.

Buy it: Amazon or Target

Little Tikes Rescue Tales Scrub 'n Groom Bathtub Playset w/ Golden Retriever Toy Stuffed Animal Plush, Wet and Dry, with 9 Accessories- Gifts for Kids, Toys for Girls & Boys Ages 3 4 5+ Years Old

Melissa & Doug Role Play Costumes

Three is a big year for pretend play, which means it’s time to start the costume collection. If you want to ensure you’re getting excellent quality at a great price, look no further than Melissa & Doug. They can be whatever their heart desires: a magician, a pilot, an astronaut, a chef. The possibilities are endless!

Buy it: Amazon

Melissa & Doug Doctor Role Play Costume Dress-Up Set (7 pcs) Frustration-Free Packaging

Litti Pritti My First Purse

or the kiddos who want to be just like mom (and who wouldn’t – she’s the best!), get this Litti Pritti My First Purse. The stylish purse comes with everything your three-year-old needs to head out on the town: a wallet, cellphone, lipstick, face powder, keychain, car key, ID card, play money, and three credit cards. Let the shopping commence!

Buy it: Amazon

Litti Pritti Play Purse for Little Girls, Toddler Purse Set with Accessories, Fashion Girl Toys, Includes: Handbag, Toy Phone, Pretend Play Makeup, Wallet, Keys, Credit Cards, Girls Ages 3+

Kids Karaoke Machine

This simple and cute karaoke machine gives kids the opportunity to belt out endless hours of songs—all they need to do is find their favorite stage. It’s light-show capable and also doubles as a comforting night light. Available in two color options (blue and green or pink and purple).

Buy it: Amazon or Walmart

Singing Machine Kids Mood LED Glowing Bluetooth Sing-Along Speaker with Wired Youth Microphone Doubles as a Night Light, Pink/Purple, (SMK250PP)

Educational Insights Design & Drill

Let’s build something! Kids power up their imaginations and build coordination skills as they play with a toy drill and drill chunky, kid-sized bolts onto a workbench. This toy helps to hone fine motor skills and introduces them to a fun STEM activity as they sort and count the colorful bolts, map out all kinds of designs, and develop critical preschool math.

Buy it: Amazon or Target

Educational Insights Design & Drill My First Workbench (Gray) Supports STEM Learning, Ages 3 and Up, (125+ Pieces)

Simplay3 Rock Around Wobble Disk

We love a good multi-use toy – bonus points if it gets kids’ wiggles out! With the Rock Around Woggle Disk kids rock, wobble, and spin, then flip it over and climb and balance on top. Features molded-in handgrips and a safety ring to limit movement.

Buy it: Walmart

smiling child sitting inside a blue wobble disk

The Original AirFort

The only thing your kids will need from you while they go in and out of their AirFort for hours and hours is the occasional snack and water bottle left outside its entrance. With multiple designs to choose from, the AirFort inflates in less than 30 seconds, and at 77″ wide x 50″ tall, it’s big enough for a few members of your little’s crew.

Just don’t forget the box fan, so the fun can begin as soon as they open their gift.

Buy it: Amazon or Target

The Original AIR FORT Build A Fort in 30 Seconds, Inflatable Fort for Kids (Starry Night)

Magformers Basic Set

This 30-piece set is the perfect launching pad for all kinds of creative designs! The patented “rolling magnet” technology means each shape always sticks to another, allowing for frustration-free building.

There’s also an included step-by-step educational idea booklet with follow-along ideas and instructions to keep the creativity flowing.

Buy it: Amazon

Magformers Basic Set (30 pieces) magnetic building blocks, educational magnetic tiles, magnetic building STEM toy - 63076 , Rainbow

Melissa & Doug Pizza Counter

Dinner’s on your kiddo tonight! The Melissa & Doug Pizza Counter is a pizza counter and oven all in one! Toppings adhere with self-stick tabs, so kids can prepare their pizza just how they like it, pop it in the oven, then box it up for delivery.

Also see the adorable Melissa & Doug Sandwich Counter and Ice Cream Counter. Bon appetit!

Buy it: Amazon or Target

Melissa & Doug Top & Bake Wooden Pizza Counter Play Set (34 Pcs)

Wooden Wobble Balance Board

This wooden balance board is perfect for stimulating and strengthening your child’s vestibular system and body posture as they learn to balance with a higher center of gravity. They can rock, sway, climb, and build forts with it, or use it as a bridge or road during imaginative play.

Whatever they choose, they’ll never be bored!

Buy it: Amazon

Wooden Wobble Balance Board, Gentle Monster 35 Inch Rocker Board Natural Wood, Kids Toddler Open Ended Learning Toy , Yoga Curvy Board for Classroom & Office Adult

Lego Duplo Modular Dollhouse

With this awesome 3-in-1 dollhouse playset, toddlers develop fine motor, social and emotional skills as they build, play, redesign, and play again!

This modular house features a kitchen, living room, bathroom, and bedroom that can be reconfigured in three designs. It is packed with details, like an opening fridge and toilet, a rocking horse, guitar, and blanket. Includes mom, dad, child, dog, and teddy bear figures.

Buy it: Amazon or Target

LEGO DUPLO Town Modular Playhouse 10929 Dollhouse with Furniture and a Family, Great Educational Toy for Toddlers (130 Pieces)

Radio Flyer Red Rider Trike

Just like our favorite wagons, this Radio Flyer Red Rider Trike conjures a sense of nostalgia as your little rides it around and around…and around. It has a covered storage bin in the back for their favorite treasures, an adjustable seat, and an adult hand-grip on the back.

Most kids can ride this bike until they’re about five, giving it lots of life.

Buy it: Amazon

Radio Flyer Red Rider Trike, outdoor toddler tricycle, ages 2 ½ -5 (Amazon Exclusive)

Third Birthday Gifts Over $75

Step2 Rain Showers Water Table

There is something magnetic about a splash table for kids that we’re not going to question. With this Rain Showers Water Table, they will use the large bucket to scoop up water from the pond and pour it into the top tray, then watch as the rainfall effect is activated and the water splashes back into the pond! This also activates maze-like spinners, ramps, and buckets, all adding to the fun.

Rearrange the put-and-place maze pieces to create new waterfalls for fun cause-and-effect STEM play.

Buy it: Amazon or Walmart

Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table | Kids Water Play Table with 13-Pc Accessory Set

Stepping Stones Balance Blocks

This colorful 15-piece stepping stones set promotes physical activity and active play, inspiring your child to jump, stretch, climb, and balance for full-body exercise. They’re durable enough to be enjoyed almost anywhere and have full rubber, slip-resistant bottoms that make them safe for carpet, tile, and grass.

Buy it: Amazon

Special Supplies 15 Stepping Stones for Kids Indoor and Outdoor Balance Blocks Promote Coordination, Balance, Strength Child Safe Rubber, Non-Slip Edging

Osmo Little Genius Starter Kit

Grab your iPad and set up the Osmo Little Genius Starter Kit—we promise this is some screen time you can get behind.

The award-winning learning games in this kit let your child interact with their tablet, bringing their actions to life. They’ll help your child recognize letters and learn phonics (ABCs), develop pre-drawing skills (Squiggle Magic), experiment with clothes and colors (Costume Party), and develop problem-solving skills (Stories).

Buy it: Amazon

Osmo - Little Genius Starter Kit for iPad + Early Math Adventure - 6 Educational Learning Games - Ages 3-5 - Counting, Shapes, Phonics & Creativity (Osmo iPad Base Included)

Toniebox Starter Set

The Toniebox is an imagination-building, screen-free digital listening experience that plays stories, songs, and more. The Toniebox comes to life by simply placing a Tonie character on the box, making it simple for kids to change stories or tunes whenever they want.

Each Tonie is a unique listening experience, and there is a whole library of Tonie characters, so you’re sure to find lots of Tonies your little one will love.

Buy it: Amazon or Tonies

Toniebox Audio Player Starter Set with Playtime Puppy - Imagination Building, Screen-Free Digital Listening Experience for Stories, Music, and More - Red

KidKraft Wooden Farm to Table Play Kitchen

The cutest little play kitchen we ever did see! Kids will engage in garden-to-plate play as the they “grow” their veggies in planter boxes, then “slice” and prepare them with the included knife and cutting board, then cook them up in the included pots and pans. Write out the menu du jour on the included chalkboard for extra fun!

Making this play kitchen even more fun is the lights and sounds feature! The ice maker dispenses cubes, and the faucet lights up and makes sounds.

Buy it: Amazon

KidKraft Wooden Farm to Table Play Kitchen with EZ Kraft Assembly, Lights & Sounds, Ice Maker and 18 Accessories, Gift for Ages 3+ Large

Little Tikes Jump n Slide Bouncer

Sometimes on rainy no-school days, the only way our founder can get any work done is by pulling out this Little Tikes Jump n Slide Bouncer and setting it up in her living room! Don’t worry – it works equally great outside too.

This bouncer is big (12′ x 9′), giving up to three kids room to jump, slide, and bounce. Plus, it inflates in minutes and folds into a bag for storage.

Buy it: Amazon

Little Tikes Jump 'n Slide Bouncer - Inflatable Jumper Bounce House Plus Heavy Duty Blower With GFCI, Stakes, Repair Patches, And Storage Bag 106.2 Inch x 137.7 Inch x 65.7 Inch Ages 3-8 Years

There is lots of fun to be had with this list, so take your time with it. Bookmark things, add to wish lists, come back. Whatever your strategy, you’re bound to find the perfect gift for the special three-year-old in your life. If you do, we’d love to see it! Tag us: @thriftylittles on Instagram and Facebook!  

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The Ultimate Third Birthday Gift Guide

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