The Best Toys and Gifts for 3-Year-Old Boys

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By | Updated July 17, 2018
The Best Toys and Gifts for 3-Year-Old Boys

Finding a great gift for a 3-year-old boy can be satisfying because preschoolers are interested in more and more interactive playthings. Three-year-olds can build with DUPLO bricks, ride a scooter, or use their imaginations to make play sets come to life, among other new skills. But it can also be overwhelming to pick something for preschoolers because of all the great new toy options available.

Guide is here for you! We've put the coolest, newest, and most awesome toys on our gift guide for 3-year-old boys. From a play kitchen to a kinetic sand set to the latest kids' movie tie-in toys, give our gift list a gander and order something special for the 3-year-old in your life. Whatever your price range, we've got something.

Affordable birthday gift for a neighbor? How about water balloons? Big ticket item for your beloved nephew? How about a balance bike? Or better yet, an impressive Power Wheels Mustang. And not only is our list budget-friendly, everything is available online. Read on and get ready to put a smile on your little guy's face!

01

Best For Exploring Space

Best For Exploring Space

Little guys gravitate to the Play & Explore Rocket. Probably because this sturdy plastic shuttle set houses tons of intergalactic fun! There are three levels for (two) astronauts to explore, including a control room, living space (with shower), kitchen, computer, There's also a garage with a flip-down bed, and a rover vehicle. 

The hatches all snap closed, so everything can be packed up and carted around. The rocket is 16.5 inches tall. This toy has great reviews for good reason — it's a proven hit with preschoolers.

02

Best Band-in-a-Box

Best Band-in-a-Box

This Melissa & Doug set of musical instruments includes everything they need to hum, jangle, and shake! The wooden box holds a colorful xylophone, kazoo, harmonica, castanets, and a jingle stick. The durable seven-piece set is perfect for preschoolers who love music (or just making noise).

03

Best for 'Jurassic World' Adventures

Best for 'Jurassic World' Adventures

Preschoolers who are into dinosaurs will love this colorful building set from DUPLO. Tied to the "Jurassic World" movie franchise, the set includes two baby dinos, a Triceratops and a Diplodocus. Also included in the 24 piece set: a little boy figure (he's movie character Gray Mitchell), fencing, a swinging bridge, a palm tree, a camera, flowers, and more. If your kiddo likes a little more danger in their DUPLO there's also a T. Rex Tower set available.

DUPLO sets are a great option for kids ages 2–5 who may not be dextrous enough for the smaller LEGO bricks. Building (and rebuilding) the dinosaur enclosure is so much fun for little ones. The large pieces make building easy for little hands.

04

Best On-The-Go Sandcastles

Best On-The-Go Sandcastles

There are 3 lbs. of Kinetic sand in this sand castle set! If you haven't used Kinetic sand, check it out; it's so much fun for sensory play. Kinetic sand feels damp and sticks together, making it easier for kiddos to create. And it doesn't dry out!

Included in the fold-out sand box: six castle-themed molds, plus multi-use tools perfect for crafting super sand castles. When you're done it can all go back inside the plastic carrying case. The Kinetic Sand Beach Sand Kingdom promotes play that advances language; it's a 2018 PAL Award Winner. This sand set is great for ages 3 and up.

05

Best For The Alphabet Newbie

Best For The Alphabet Newbie

Budding readers will love the Play-Doh Letters and Language Set, an activity kit that includes 26 letter stampers, stylus, roller, two double-sided mats, Together Time Guide, and six cans of Play-Doh. 

It's perfect for encouraging preschoolers to play around with letters and explore early reading. Plus, they can manipulate the dough into faces on the included mat, a silly bonus that no three year-old can pass up!    

06

Best For Lil’ Villains

Best For Lil’ Villains

Does your preschooler love the Disney Jr. animated series "PJ Masks"? If so you might have a related toy or two around the house. But you probably don't have this one!

Add mad scientist Romeo's new lab to their collection and complete the superhero action. The child villain's mobile lair unfolds to reveal two levels of devious contraptions and devices.

There's a kid-powered crane, a control panel, laser launcher, rolling lab charger, tools, and more. The set includes a 3 inch Romeo character, naturally, plus Romeo's Robot. If Catboy, Owlette, and Gecko arrive on the scene, Romeo can pack it all up and drive away. Best for ages 3 and up. Batteries are included.

07

Best For The Kid With A Green Thumb

Best For The Kid With A Green Thumb

Start training him young! Encourage your little guy to "help" out in the yard with this fun toy lawn mower. Push the mower and popping beads sound create realistic "mechanical" sounds. 

The Gas 'n Go mower also features a removable gas can, clicking key, movable throttle, and noisy pull cord for a realistic play experience. No batteries needed!

08

Best To Get Cookin'

Best To Get Cookin'

KidKraft creates solidly built and aesthetically pleasing versions of the ever-popular play kitchen.

Little dudes will love the cool Uptown kitchen, featuring modern touches like a chalkboard surface on the freezer and a cordless phone. He'll be cooking up a storm on the daily!

(Parents: factor in some significant assembly time, but trust us, it's worth it.)

09

Best For The Train-Obsessed

Best For The Train-Obsessed

If you've got a little guy, chances are you've got a Thomas fan. There's just something about that cheeky British locomotive!

This wood track starter set features a battery-operated Thomas traveling around a loop, which includes such Sodor highlights as the Elsbridge Mill (which really spins), the Maithwaite Station, a signal gantry, and two signs.

The best part is, the Steaming Around Sodor set fits on the Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway Play Table and connects with other wood train track sets. This will come in handy later when your child inevitably acquires many, many more Thomas items. One AA battery not included.

10

Best For The Builder

Best For The Builder

These popular 3D building tiles are well worth the investment. Preschoolers can let their imaginations run wild creating unique structures with Magna-Tiles shapes, which stick together as if by magic (spoiler alert: it's magnets).

All Magna-Tiles sets are compatible, and the 32-piece set is great for beginners. We love the translucent Clear Colors for their stained glass effect.

11

Best For The Kid Who Has It All

Best For The Kid Who Has It All

The latest Power Wheels vehicle is a big ticket item, but this Mustang is sure to wow any tiny guy! The new Mustang model features Smart Drive™ technology, which offers a more realistic driving experience, plus added safety measures. 

A touchscreen display includes a 5-speed setting, battery indicator, and alerts. Kids can control the sound system volume and even connect to an MP3 player. Includes a 12-volt battery and charger. The Power Wheels Mustang can reach 5 mph and hold up to 130 lbs.

12

Best For Creative Kiddos

Best For Creative Kiddos

When you want squishy fun without the mess — sorry, slime — choose Educational Insights' Playfoam. This non-toxic molding compound won't stick to fabric, is easy to store, and provides hours of creative, tactile sensory play.

The portable Playfoam® GO! carrying case comes with eight colors, each in its own compartment (plus an extra for the inevitable mixes). This is a creative toy that actually hones fine motor skills during playtime.

13
Best For Building Math Skills

This adorable new game gets preschoolers playing hide-and-go seek with tiny dinos while they're actually learning about numbers and colors. A "surprise egg" element adds excitement to this educational toy.

The dinosaurs' color corresponds with their egg, so kids figure out matching and correspondence as well as counting. The Learning Resources set comes with 10 two-piece plastic eggs, and 55 dinosaur counters. An educational toy that doesn't disappoint!

14

Best For Speed Racers

Best For Speed Racers

A classic little boy crowd-pleaser: the toy car tower! The Little People Sit n Stand Skyway is actually two-in-one: the spiral raceway tower flips down into a horizontal town track for multiple play options.

The tower comes with two Wheelies vehicles that can race, get gas, stop at the ice cream shop, go through a car wash, and more!

15
Best For Bath Adventures

The eco-friendly Green Toys has a winner in this recycled plastic bath toy.

Little guys will have a blast splashing around with toy cars and their bubble-braving boat. And parents love it because the whole set is BPA-free and easy to clean. Win-win!

16

Best For The Super Hero

Best For The Super Hero

A Spiderman for the preschool set, this interactive plush from Just Play has some sweet moves. The action-packed toy can swing, tumble, hang, and flip — impressive! 

As a bonus (for kids) Spidey also talks and sings while he's doing his tricks. Comes with 4 AA batteries.

17

Best For The Little Daredevil

Best For The Little Daredevil

If your child is looking forward to a big kid bike, they can learn balancing skills on this bad boy. The Chopper balance bike from Micro Kickboard features beach-style handlebars for stability and an easier reach. And of course, no pedals!

The Micro Chopper weighs in at just 4.1 lbs, making it the lightest balance bike on the market — and the easiest for little hands to maneuver. It takes a minute to get used to, but once kids master a balance bike, they'll have a blast. Don't forget the helmet!

18

Best for a Budding Buccaneer

Best for a Budding Buccaneer

This quality wood pirate play set promotes imaginative play, and it's nice to know that PlanToys is environmentally responsible as well. (The ship is made from non-toxic, natural materials.)

Among the 27 sturdy pieces are four pirate figures, the ship itself, a little boat, an alligator, and more. Best for ages 3 and up. This pirate ship will last, and it actually looks nice in the playroom.

19

Best Superhero Water Balloon Set

Best Superhero Water Balloon Set

This gift combines water balloons and Marvel's new Avengers movie — talk about a hit! If you haven't used Zuru's Bunch O Balloons, you'll be amazed when these clusters of rubbery, watery goodness expand before your eyes.

A whole group attaches to the hose, and then they self-seal when you pull them off the bunch. Instant water bombs! This set includes 100 balloons, and there are three different designs (Iron Man, Captain America and the Hulk), so it's easy for team play. Best for ages 3 and up.

20

Best Sand Vehicle

Best Sand Vehicle

This Playmobil excavator truck is great fun in the sand. Place the 1.2.3 driver figure in the truck and start shoveling! The shovel can also be removed and used on its own. The set also includes a little flag that can be removed and used as sand castle decor. The Playmobil Excavator is great fun for ages 2 to 7.

21

Best New 'Incredibles 2' Toy

Best New 'Incredibles 2' Toy

Disney/Pixar's latest, "Incredibles 2", was a huge hit at the box office. Now, kids can recreate the movie's funniest scene: baby Jack-Jack fighting the raccoon!

This talking doll glows red just like everyone's favorite superhero baby. Press on his tummy and activate laser eyes, sparks, flames, and more. Best for ages 3 and up, the 13 inch doll includes 3 AAA batteries and a 5.5 inch tall raccoon toy, so he's ready for action. 

22

Best For Roadster Racers

Best For Roadster Racers

So many realistic accessories are included in this Just Play gas station playset, based on the Disney Jr. series Mickey and the Roadster Racers. There's an air pump that puffs, buttons that make noises, a spinning dial, and more. 

Plus, you also get Mickey's Buggy Car, and accessories like a squeegee and credit card. Just add Mickey! Your little one can fuel all his or her toy cars with this fun gas pump.

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The Guide Team