Three year olds are wonderful. While recognizing that children develop at their own pace, three year olds have reached many milestones. They are walking with confidence and able to go up and down stairs. They can communicate and express their emotions. They are able to undress themselves and use cutlery. They are learning about colors and have an awareness of numbers and letters. They are also very creative in their play. So how can parents and caregivers support these kids in their development? One way is to provide toys that are appropriate for this age; these toys will help reinforce skills through practice and repetition. They will provide new learning opportunities and will stimulate creative play and problem solving. Parents, educators, caregivers and kids all have their own opinion about what are the best toys for 3 year olds.
It is wonderful if the 3 year old child can have a variety of toys from which to choose. Parents know about staples such as dolls and cars and trucks that motivate pretend play. Books of course are excellent as are gross motor toys such as balls and trikes. It is also important to provide educational toys designed to practice certain skills, especially if the child has not quite reached a developmental milestone. Montessori toys for 3 year olds are often recommended for this. My understanding of Montessori toys is that they focus on one particular skill or area of skills that a child needs to accomplish. Here are some suggestions of my best toys for 3 year olds, including Montessori toys for 3 year olds. .
Many fine motor toys for toddlers continue to be excellent for 3 year olds. Large sized stringing beads are wonderful for fine motor but also for early math skills such as matching, sorting and sequencing. Jumbo sized pegs and pegboards are often recommended for fine motor toys for toddlers, and they are also great for simple math skills and color recognition for 3 year olds. Geometric shaped pegs add another dynamic to learning.
Construction sets such as nuts and bolts (with interconnecting pieces and wheels) are challenging; they are also super for fine motor skills, eye hand coordination, color recognition, planning and problem solving. I recommend them as one of the best toys for 3 year olds.
Any toy that is attractive to the child and holds his attention is worth considering as a best toy for 3 year olds. The Butterfly Garden – Sorting Matching Game is a versatile toy that combines fine motor (including the use of pincher tweezers) with colorful butterflies, flower petals and numbers. It can be presented to the child in so many ways and for multiple learning opportunities.
Ultimately the best toys for 3 year olds are only good if they match your child’s interests and attention. Every child is unique and the parent is the best judge of what is best for the child.