Merbaby Activities, Mermama

Gift Guide For A Creative Three Year Old

When creating a gift guide for my creative three year old, there are a few essentials I know she would love and play with all year!

Aaliyah surprised us and was born 2 weeks early on New Year’s Eve! While she definitely lives up to her birth date and is always the life of the party, having a birthday so close to Christmas makes gift giving a little difficult. Toddler brains develop and change so much in a year! When I start to make a gift list, I have to think about something she will want now and 10 months from now. This year I really wanted to focus on open ended, quality toys she would be excited to use. I wanted to skip the plastic themed toys because all of them from last year have been sitting on her shelf since January, and instead focus on open ended toys that offer endless play opportunities.

Disclosure: I have included some affiliate links throughout this post. At no additional cost to you, I will earn a commisison if you click through and  make a purchase.

Toys

When choosing toys I want to pick things that are very open ended and give her opportunity to tinker and play.

PicassoTiles 60 Piece Set 60pcs Magnet Building Tiles Clear Magnetic 3D Building Blocks Construction Playboards – Creativity beyond Imagination, Inspirational, Recreational, Educational, Conventional

Are we the last family ever to have these? They’ve been SO popular across social media, I think I will play with them just as much as her!

Educational Insights Design & Drill Flower Power Studio: Over 70 Pieces, Preschool Drill Toy, STEM for Girls

She is obsessed with using tools, how fun would this little drill be?

Take Apart Toys Set – Airplane Toy – Train Toy – Racing Car Toy, For Kids – Stem Learning Educational Construction Tool Engineering set Toys For Boys & Girls Ages 3,4,5,6 Years Old And Up, Great GIFT

She is always tinkering and is very sensory driven. I know she would love taking these apart and learning how to put them together again, and gives her a constructive way to disassemble things.

Puzzles

Melissa & Doug Fairy Fantasy Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle With Storage Tray (48 pcs)

Her 24 piece puzzles get done in seconds, so this 48 piece puzzle will be a fun new challenge!

Melissa & Doug Pattern Blocks and Boards – Classic Toy With 120 Solid Wood Shapes and 5 Double-Sided Panels

Tanagrams, or pattern blocks, were on of my favorite toys growing up. I love that these come with pattern cards!

Melissa & Doug Self-Correcting Letter and Number Wooden Puzzles Set With Storage Box

We will be starting a more structured learning schedule after the new year, these will be a fun way to work on letters and numbers!

Sensory Tools

Li’l Gen Water Beads with Fine Motor Skills Toy Set, Non-Toxic Water Sensory Toy for Kids – 20,000 Beads with 2 Scoops and Tweezers for Early Skill Development

Our followers know we LOVE sensory bins. These tools will be used every day!

Light Pad and Counting chips
AGPTEK A4 Ultra-Thin Portable LED Artcraft Tracing Light Box Power Cable Dimmable Brightness Tatoo Pad Aniamtion, Sketching, Designing, X-ray Viewing W/USB Adapter (PSE Approval)

Learning Resources LER0131 Transparent Color Counting Chips, Set of 250

We don’t have a lot of space so we don’t have room for a separate light table. This is portable and can be put away but still be tons of fun.

Toddler Musical Instruments- Ehome 15 Types 22pcs Wooden Percussion Instruments Toy for Kids Preschool Educational, Musical Toys Set for Boys and Girls with Storage Backpack

My aunt has an amazing collection of instruments that she loves to play with, she will love to have some of her own!

Outdoor Toys

With a small backyard we need amazing toys that take up little space!

Step2 Splash N Scoop Bay Sand and Water Table

A sand and water table in one! Perfect way to save space!

Step2 Game Time Sports Climber And Slide

This slide and basketball hoop combo is twice the fun and half the size!

19 PCs Kids Beach Sand Toys Set Sand Water Wheel, Beach Molds, Beach Bucket Beach Shovel Tool Kit, Sandbox Toys Toddlers

As constant beach goers she’s finally starting to want to create sand castles and play in the sand. I love that these have a carrying case AND can be used with her sand and water table!

Art Supplies

Can we ever have too many art supplies? We use them every day, and I know she will love all of these!

The Pencil Grip TPG604 Kwik Stix Solid Tempera Paint Stick, Set of 24

Alex Art Wooden Dough Tools Set

Crayola Oil Pastels, 28 Brilliant Opaque Colors Large Hexagonal Shape Pastels, Ideal for Kids 3 & Up, Non-Toxic, Blendable, Strong, Long Lasting Sticks

POOF 60pc. Sidewalk Chalk

U.S. Art Supply 18 Color Children’s Washable Tempera Paint Set – 2 Ounce Wide Mouth Bottles for Arts, Crafts and Posters

Books

We picked some books up at the thrift store for her already, but want to add in a few I know she will want on her shelf!

Frida Kahlo and the Bravest Girl in the World: Famous Artists and the Children Who Knew Them (Anholt’s Artists)


The Gruffalo

I Like Myself! (board book)

I’m NOT just a Scribble…

DIY Gifts

Every year I also love to make some of her gifts. There are some items I really like, but have a big price tag.

Sensory bins

I will be dying her some new rice and making more kinetic sand! These are simple sensory bins that last a long time!

Polymer clay and felt play food

My little chef needs her kitchen stocked! The polymer clay and felt will provide interesting textures

Wood Alphabet

Using these rectangles I will make her sets of upper and lower case letters to use in our activities

Merbaby Doll

I made my first ever doll for her first birthday, and can’t wait to update it with a new doll for her third special day!

Peg dolls

She loves using these in her sensory bins! These are the family set I made last year

I can’t wait to see her open her gifts! I haven’t decided on a final list, but I know she will be happy with any of these ideas. These toys will give her plenty of opportunities to learn and use her imagination, and appeal to her natural curiosity.

Mermama

Hi! I'm Lexi.
I'm the mermama to my merbaby. I live and create on Callifornia's central coast. I love to travel, binge watch, and take pictures. I'm passionate about art education and encouraging creativity in children.

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29 Comments

  1. So many great ideas! Your peg dolls are the cutest!

  2. So many cute options but I am loving the peg dolls! She can play with them now and have them as keepsakes when she grows up.

  3. 101foodtravel says:

    So many great ideas gift. I love buying these kind of gifts for my daughter. Thank you for sharing.

  4. caitcance says:

    We have many of these! Magnet tiles are probably the most played with item in our house!

  5. I think my daughter would really love the water beads. I am going to have to look for them.

  6. i love buying melissa and doug for friends’ kids but that sand and water table sure looks fun!

    Joy at http://www.thejoyousliving.com

  7. Amazing gift guide for kids for sure! Thank you so much. I love to buy DIY gifts like the sensory bins, they are fun and help with the kid’s development. Thanks for the guide.

    Chad
    http://www.mosaicslab.com

  8. Such good ideas! I was so worried I wouldn’t find a fun one for my little cousin but all of these are perfect!

  9. This so helpful for my little nephews! I don’t always know what to get them so I need a little push in the right direction. Thanks!

  10. Flossie says:

    OK, first off, those peg dolls are adorable!!! So – love this gift guide! We had pretty much all of these when my girls were this age – some of them, they still love now!!!

  11. Wonderful ideas there. Kid would definitely enjoy some great gifts.

  12. I love the peg dolls …. I would love to gift them and keep them myself too. Love love love.

  13. Thank you so much for this! So many great ideas for my niece!

  14. What a great list of ideas, I’ve never seen those peg dolls before

  15. This is perfect! Thank you for the ideas!

  16. Aw these are so creative and cute!

  17. This is like a grandparent’s dream. Sometimes they don’t have ideas of what to give. So these are perfect. I love sensory bins, because kids have so much fun for very little money.

  18. Diana Tidswell says:

    The water beads are cute, but if i was the kidi would appreciate the colored chalks and books if my mom or dad, will read it for me.

  19. This is perfect gifts for Christmas and I’m so excited to buy all of these great idea!

  20. These are some wonderful gift ideas for three years old! That Peg dolls look super cute!

  21. these are very nice toy for 3 years old! My sister daughter is turn to 3 next month. thanks for your idea.

  22. I have an almost-3-year-old. You just gave me so many great gift ideas!

  23. so many great ideas! it brings me back to my childhood days where I remember receiving toys like these. I was absolutely ecstatic

  24. Nicole Escat says:

    I have a nephew, he already have a lot of toys but these toys are better. He deserves one for Christmas.

  25. Natasha says:

    So many cute options! Love the dolls!

  26. I’ll have to save this list for next year! My daughter is currently about to turn 2!

  27. panzaavenue says:

    So many great ideas for the creative little person! My son is 10 months old and I can tell he is going to be creative and he will enjoy hands on gifts when he is older. Thank you for the post!

  28. So many great options for children’s gifts. I love the wide range of selections on price.

  29. I love all the sensory things!! I am going to check out the water beads!

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