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Expert Tips

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Gifts for 3-Year-Olds: What They Really Want

Turning 3 means a kiddo is no longer a little toddler, as 3-year-olds distinctly feel like a big boy or big girl. While every kid is different, here's how to navigate finding gifts for 3-year-olds that are age-appropriate - and sure to be received with a sweet grin.

1

Play to the imagination

Look for gifts for 3-year-olds that play on make-believe, as this is the age when kids love to dress up and tell stories. Don't forget to play along and ask your little superhero who they are - you're sure to get some hilarious responses.

2

Celebrate that "do-it-myself" attitude

Practical gifts channel a 3-year-old's love of independence with everyday tasks, like cooking in the kitchen with a kid-sized apron or kitchen set. And you'll be gifted a proud smile watching your 3-year-old do big things all by himself.

3

Choose gifts that build confidence

This age group can string beads on necklaces, use rubber stamps, and peel stickers with great focus. Three-year-olds have also hit the sweet spot for puzzles and games with small pieces (look for ages 3 and up) - and they get a big kick out of finding the right puzzle piece! 

4

Keep them in motion

Maybe those Five Little Monkeys were 3 years-old, as this is the age when kids love to constantly jump (everywhere - not just on beds!). They also want to kick, throw, scoot, run in circles, and play hide and seek. Any gifts for 3-year-olds that keeps them moving - from a bright ball to a scooter - are gifts that will get good use.

5

Inspire the budding artist

Art supplies of most any kind make a great gift, as 3-year-olds love to color, draw, craft - and of course - want to show off their masterpieces.

6

Consider accessories over clothes

Even parents can struggle with choosing clothes that their 3-year-old will wear. They certainly have opinions! So stick to fun accessories rather than full outfits.

7

Anything new is a welcome surprise

Here's the good news. You don't need to spend much to wow a 3-year-old. Even a new toothbrush in a favorite color is sure to be met with glee. Or you can simply add on to what your 3-year-old loves to collect - like cars and trucks, tiny animals, or anything princess-related.

8

Books please everyone

When in doubt, choose books for the win. Kids love to be read to and parents may be feeling inundated with toys after that birthday party. Look for picture books with a full story that 3-year-olds can follow along.