If there’s one thing three-year-olds go crazy for, it’s ice cream, and the geniuses at Leapfrog have created the ultimate sweet treat with its toy ice cream cart. What this toy lacks in cool wooden Scandi aesthetics, it makes up for in colourful likeability, with more than 200 funny sounds, melodies and phrases, which had our tester hooked.
While you may have heard the term “threenager” being thrown around, three is an undeniably lovely age. This pre-school era is a precious time where little personalities start to shine, their interest in hobbies is piqued, and their independence soars.
It’s understandable that before the confinements of “big school” kicks in, parents want to honour and protect these toddler years, and with that brings a new level of pressure when it comes to celebrating their offspring’s third birthday with a gift they’ll cherish.
When it comes to choosing a gift for a three-year-old, it’s important to consider their newfound independence; from next-level energy and improved attention to the ability to play on their own and their enhanced imagination. The key to the perfect present is honing in on these new developments, from active outdoor toys, to games that require concentration and role play.
There’s no shortage of gifts out there to please any three-year-old recipient, but how did we whittle down to our selective round-up? A present that sees them beyond the evening of their third birthday, offering longevity and capturing their attention, got the thumbs up from us.
Now may or may not be the time you consider a tablet, and while screen time can be a child’s and parent’s best friend, we prioritised gifts that’ll allow kids’ creativity to take centre stage. We cast our net far and wide to find gifts that provide plenty of fun to see little ones through these treasurable pre-school years.
How we tested
Over a prolonged two-week ‘birthday’ period, our three-year-old tester tried a variety of gifts, covering a wide range of prices. Together, we scrutinised the quality, how durable each gift was and whether it could withstand the pressures of ‘passionate’ preschool play. We’ve considered sustainability, developmental benefits, longevity of use, and, most importantly, whether it left our tester coming back for more.
The best gifts for three-year-olds for 2023 are:
- Best gift for three-year-olds overall – Leapfrog scoop and learn ice cream cart, £46.99, Amazon.co.uk
- Best screen-free giftfor three-year-olds – Tonies starter set: £71.95, Amazon.co.uk
- Best wooden toy for three-year-olds – Tender Leaf Toys home kitchen: £130, Kidly.co.uk
- Best STEM toy for three-year-olds – Smart Games roboflex: £24.99, Amazon.co.uk
- Best battery-powered toy for three-year-olds – Bluey dance and play plush toy: £40, Argos.co.uk