Best Toys and Gifts for 3 Year Old Boys in 2020
It can be overwhelming picking out the best toys for 3-year-old boys. There are plenty of options—from action figures and puzzles to R/C cars and building sets, there are many toys that will keep your little one busy. The trick is finding ones that will hold their interest.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of the best toys for toddler boys. They’ll encourage fine motor development, inspire creative play, and entertain your child. You’ll also find a handy guide for choosing toddler toys at the end of the article. Let’s get started.
Best Toys for 3-Year-Old Boys
1. Brickyard Building Blocks 163-Piece STEM Building Set
The Brickyard Building Blocks 163-Piece STEM Building Set comes with blocks, movable wheels, plates, nuts, and bolts to help kids build anything they can think of. One of the nice things about this toy is that it grows with your child since they can build more advanced designs as they grow. It is recommended for kids ages 3 up to 7+ years.
This fun toddler toy is perfect for helping your child learn through play. It teaches fine motor skills, boosts problem-solving, and encourages creativity. With 163 pieces, its easy to play with others. This encourages social skills, teamwork, and collaboration.
There are also several tools included which make it easy for siblings, classmates, or friends to play together. Some of the tools (like the screwdriver) can be a little hard for a younger kit to maneuver but they’ll learn with practice. Having your child screw the bolts in with their fingers first can also help.
Some of the things your little one can build with this kit include wheeled vehicles like a crane and different types of cars, a helicopter, dinosaurs, animals, and more. The guide is in full-color and has 42 different designs. Finally, when you’re ready for cleanup, the toys can all be stored in the included storage container.
2. The Original PlasmaCar by PlaSmart
The Original PlasmaCar by PlaSmart travels at speeds up to six miles an hour. It‘s approved for use from ages 3 up to 220 pounds, so its fun for adults too.
The PlasmaCar features a unique wheel design with three swiveling wheels in the front and two in the back. Your child props their feet up on the top of the PlasmaCar and moves the steering wheel from side-to-side. The side-to-side movements propel the car forward.
PlasmaCar is available in several colors including lime, blue, pink/purple, purple, red, and aqua blue/lime. It should be used on flat, smooth surfaces and can be used indoors or outdoors (if you have a safe, roomy area where your child can pick up speed without getting hurt inside).
Even with the PlasmaCar being easy to operate, it helps your child develop motor skills, balance, and coordination. Though it works best on linoleum and other flat surfaces, it also rolls easily over concrete. Many users swapped out the plastic wheels with inline skate wheels, which really lets the car pick up speed. This might be a good idea once your little one is a little older, especially since they’ll be able to use this as an adult.
3. WolVol Set of 3 Friction-Powered Push and Go Car Toys
The WolVol Set of 3 Friction-Powered Push and Go Car Toys are perfect for toddler boys. It comes with a street sweeper truck, harvester toy truck, and cement mixer truck made with brightly-colored, high-quality plastic.
The friction-power behind these vehicles means that your child can push them along without any batteries—they roll forward by gripping to the ground. They are also durable which is important for toddler boys that may be rough on their toys.
In addition to moving forward when pushed, each truck has its own automatic function. The cement mixer has a spinning barrel, the street sweeper has spinning brushes, and the harvester has wheat that spins inside the ‘blades’.
4. OMWay Kids Digital Video Camera
The OMWay Kids Digital Video Camera is perfect for kids ages 3-8, especially those interested in photography. Many kids delight in taking silly pictures or photographing the things that they love from their family and friends to their pets, toys, and anything else they find interesting.
This is a real working video camera that is designed especially durable for use by kids. It has chunky, easy-to-use buttons and basic features that let children take photos and videos. It supports 8MP photography and 1080 video. The camera also has features like flash, 10x timed shooting, and auto smile shooting.
A 32G SD card is included for storing photos and images. The camera also comes with a USB cable which makes it easy to upload to a computer or laptop. A shockproof silicone shell keeps the hardware of the camera protected, even if your toddler drops it. It is a little on the small size, but it is easy enough to figure out.
5. Aoeksi Walking Realistic LED Dinosaur with Dinosaur Eggs
The Aoeksi Walking Realistic LED Dinosaur with Dinosaur Eggs is perfect for the dinosaur enthusiast in your life. The Dimetrodon dinosaur has sharp teeth, an LED spine, and a ferocious roar that will keep your toddler fascinated.
With textured purple and black skin, the ability to walk, and a big dinosaur roar, this toy is perfect for encouraging pretend play. The spine, eyes, and tongue of the dinosaur also light up as it walks around on all surfaces, including carpet. It also comes with two eggs that can be put into water. Once the eggs break, your child will also have two mini dinosaurs to play with.
While the sound function is fun, the loud roaring can become annoying. There is no high/low volume switch. To power the dinosaur, you’ll need 3 AAA batteries. The first set is included.
6. Liberty Imports My First Cartoon R/C Race Car
The Liberty Imports My First Cartoon R/C Race Car is the perfect first RC car for children. It features a durable, smooth design and a simple controller that has just two buttons, which is perfect for kids who are learning how to control a car for the first time.
The Liberty Imports R/C car has bright colors that attract a young child’s eye. It also comes with three figurines that can be put in the driver’s seat or played with separately. Each part of this is smooth and safe for little fingers from the wheels to the antennae. It’s recommended for use by ages 18 months and up.
The controller has two buttons; one going forward and the other a reverse left. This lets the car easily navigate over many surfaces. It does not work well on grass or especially plush carpet.
There is also a button on top of the car that can be pressed to make it play music. The music plays continuously, however, you can turn it off and still use the kids RC vehicle if you’d like.
7. Li’l Gen Dinosaur Toys 12 Dinosaur Figures with Dinosaur Sound Book
The Li’l Gen Dinosuar Toys 12 Dinosaur Figures with Dinosaur Sound Book is perfect for encouraging kids to use their imagination while learning more about dinosaurs. Additionally, the book makes dino sounds that your child will want to listen to over and over again.
Your child is going to be reading for the rest of their school career, from the earlier days of learning to read to doing book reports and researching different topics in high school and college. When you get your child interested in reading early, it helps with phonics, reading comprehension, and learning to read.
Each of the brightly-colored, detailed dinosaurs stands around 7” tall. Your child can learn more about the sound that each dinosaur makes in the book, which comes with batteries installed. Something to note, however, is that a few of the dinosaurs do not have realistic colors so it might be difficult for your child to match them up with the dinos in the book.
The main character of the book is a dragonfly, which narrates the book. It covers the Jurassic and Cretaceous period, explaining the habitats, traits, and landscapes of the included dinosaurs. When your child is done reading, they can use the dinosaurs for realistic playing experience.
8. VTech Little Apps Tablet
The VTech Little Apps Tablet is recommended for kids ages 2-5 years. It is a learning tablet that has a piano keyboard, a color–changing screen, and letter buttons.
On the tablet, there are 12 different learning activities. These progress from easier to more difficult as your child learns new things. Cody the Smart Cub comes along for activities. Some features of this tablet are a piano, pretend camera, calendar, and more.
Some of the skills your child will learn are those related to music, basic math, letters, and words. The tablet also encourages creativity and language development. Something to note is that some of the activities are a little advanced for a three-year-old, however, they’ll grow into them.
Parents will also appreciate some of the extra features of this app. It takes 2 AA batteries (which are included) and has an automatic shutoff when it is not being used to conserve battery life. It also has volume control which lets the tablet entertain toddlers without the sounds annoying their parents.
9. Lego Duplo Town Truck & Tracked Excavator
The Lego Duplo Town Truck & Tracked Excavator is a fun building block set that is perfect for children ages 2-5. It comes with parts to build two vehicles, as well as two construction workers and a few extra blocks for scooping.
Once assembled, the dump truck has a tipping function. The excavator also works, having a rotating cabin and a posable arm. Both trucks have seats for the workers to sit down inside which encourages role play.
These are Duplo legos, which is the mid-sized version of legos. They are perfect for developing fine motor skills and encouraging creativity. Additionally, your little one will need to follow directions to build the trucks, which encourages listening and problem–solving.
10. Toyk Aqua Magic Mat
The Toyk Aqua Magic Mat lets your little one draw with water. Within 3-10 minutes, their drawing disappears and they can start the fun all over again.
This aqua mat features a sea theme with pictures of the sea including water, sand, and colorful sea animals around the outside. It comes with two water brushes, two thin-line water markers, and two thick-line water markers. You fill them by unscrewing the ends and adding water as needed.
In addition to the drawing tools and mat, this also comes with several templates that let your little write shapes, letters, and numbers. A ‘stamp’ pad is also included to add water and use with included sponges.
The fabric of the mat is durable. It‘s perfect for sharing with friends, siblings, or parents and encourages creativity. As an added benefit, this can easily be folded to take with you anywhere.
One downside is that many of the mats were manufactured with an incorrect alphabet template underneath (which may not be a big deal). Instead of the letter ‘x’, the letter ‘s’ is repeated.
11. Flybar My First Foam Pogo Jumper Pogo Stick
The Flybar My First Foam Pogo Jumper Pogo Stick is designed for kids ages 3 and up, all the way to 250 pounds. The Pogo Jumper can be used indoors or outdoors because it uses a large foam block as the base instead of following the style of a traditional pogo stick.
The foam block used as the base offers a much sturdier surface that is easier to balance on than a traditional pogo stick. Additionally, the durable foam won’t scratch or damage the floors if your child uses it in the house. When they bounce on the pogo stick, it makes a fun squeaky sound. An adjustable cord lets you set this to the perfect height for your child and grow with them.
There is a wide range of designs offered so you can customize your little one’s pogo stick, from solid colors to fun animals. There’s even blue and red LED pogos.
In addition to encouraging healthy physical activity, this improves balance and hand-eye coordination. It will take a little while for your child to get the hang of it, especially at the age of three. Once they do however, they’ll play with it for hours.
12. Think Gizmos Take Apart Toy Racing Car
The Think Gizmos Take Apart Toy Racing Car is a fun STEM toy that your little one can take apart, put together, and then play with. It has realistic car sounds and lights, as well as moving wheels that make it fun to play with.
Even though this toy is recommended for ages 3-7, it does have smaller parts that you’ll want to keep a close eye on with a toddler (especially one that likes to put things in their mouth). You’ll find everything your little one needs to build the racecar in the box, including the batteries for the drill and car engine.
Inside the box, a detailed manual with pictures also makes it easier for your little one to build their racecar. In addition to improving their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, this helps them with following directions and problem–solving.
One thing to note is that it is a little difficult to take the car apart sometimes because the drill does not easily switch to reverse mode. It switches between clockwise and counterclockwise movements using a button on the front of the drill that might be difficult for kids to use.
13. ETI Toys Lil’ Engineers Building Blocks Set
The ETI Toys Lil’ Engineers Building Blocks Set is ideal for exercising those STEM skills that can be os beneficial to your toddler later in life. One of the major benefits of this toy is that it grows with your child, making it easy for them to try out more advanced designs as they learn more.
This set comes with 101 pieces in a large, plastic storage bin. The pieces are a little larger than others on the market. In addition to various plates, screws and bolts, movable wheels, and tools. They are brightly colored and made of a high-quality, durable plastic that has smooth edges.
This also comes with an e-book that you can download with 12 different designs. Some of these designs are simpler and some are more complicated. Since your child can make more complex designs as they age, this is a great toy to grow with them. It also encourages logical thinking, problem–solving, and creativity. Working with small pieces improves hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
Even though this has over 100 pieces, it only has four core pieces that other parts can be screwed into. This limits the number of kids that can play together.
14. Lincoln Logs 111-Piece Set
The Lincoln Logs 111-Piece Set is a classic toy that even kids today can enjoy playing with. The interlocking wooden pieces are perfect for building cabins, buildings, fences, and other structures.
This set is designed especially for building ‘The Meeting House’, however, your child can easily build other things as well. The log blocks are made of high-quality wood that has been stained. The logs are brown, the face of the roof is red, and the rest of the rooftop is green.
The included carrying tin is perfect for keeping all the Lincoln Logs together once your little one is done playing. Additionally, the box comes with several building ideas pictures to give your little one an idea of how to play. This builds several STEM skills and boosts hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and problem-solving.
15. John Deere Monster Treads Lightning Wheels Tractor
The John Deere Monster Trends Lightning Wheels Tractor features motion-activated lights and large, durable tires. It‘s perfect for rolling over terrains of any kind and can easily be used for indoor or outdoor play.
The lights on the wheel flash any time the tractor is moved forward or backward. While the tractor itself is the classic John Deere design, the large wheels are perfect for tackling all types of terrain. The tractor also stands an impressive 9” tall.
The outside and middle of the wheels flash bright green when the tractor moves. This is battery powered, however, batteries are included. The truck itself is not battery powered at all, however, it does still roll forward and backward easily while your child is pushing it.
16. Toy Choi’s Kids Size Construction Yard Toy Pack
Toy Choi’s Kids Size Construction Yard Toy Pack comes with a toy chainsaw designed after a real model, complete with a starting engine sound and pull cord sound effects. The set also comes with a handsaw, safety goggles and a dust mask, and a tape measure.
This does take 3 AA batteries that are not included with purchase. The chainsaw itself moves around at a fast speed. A built-in mechanical spring keeps the chain moving smoothly and prevents it from getting stuck. It does automatically stop if it hits something.
The realistic features of this kit make it fun for children to role-play. They can wear the goggles and dust mask and the tape measure has real increments on it. This type of play is perfect for social and emotional development, creative problem solving, and more.
One thing to note is that this chainsaw is a little on the small size. It is the perfect size for the hands of the average three-year-old, however, it would be small for a child that is around ages 5-6.
17. Kidtastic STEM Learning Take Apart Dinosaur Toys
The Kidtastic STEM Learning Take Apart Dinosaur Toys comes with three dinosaur figurines and three screwdrivers so kids can play alone or together. It comes with 106 pieces that come fully assembled, so your little one can start playing right out of the box.
Taking toys apart and putting them back together teaches problem–solving. As your child plays with these dinosaurs, they’ll also be practicing critical STEM skills that will benefit them later in life. It also improves fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
Once your little one is tired of building, they can easily play pretend with these dinosaurs. They are made of thick, durable plastic and stand between 4-7-inches tall. As an added benefit, a free downloadable coloring book is included with this set.
Something to note is that you may want to be nearby the first few times your child plays with this. The dinosaurs do come fully assembled but they do not come with instructions on how to put them back together.
18. Toy Story Disney Woody & Bullseye Adventure Pack
Toy Story fans will love this Toy Story Disney Woody & Bullseye Adventure Pack. The movie-size dolls are posable and have authentic designs that your young Toy Story fan will appreciate.
Each of these tolls has a durable design that will withstand years of play. Woody can ride along on Bullseye and your child will appreciate the posable parts that make interactive play and storytelling easy.
Toys like these encourage your child to tell a story. When they do that, they are practicing their language skills, learning about cause-and-effect, and processing sequences of events. These toys also make it easy for kids to play with other toys they may have lying around the house, just like in the movie.
19. TEMI Dinosaur Toy Figures with Activity Play Mat
The TEMI Dinosaur Toy Figures with Activity Play Mat comes with nine realistic–looking dinosaurs and a playmat made of woven fabric. It also comes with a storage box that makes it easy for your child to bring their dinosaurs along anywhere.
The nine dinosaurs in this set include therizinosaurs, gigantosaurus, tyrannosaurus rex, stegosaurus, triceratops, dimetrodon, tyrannosaurus, velociraptor, and brachiosaurus. The dinosaurs are made with realistic colors including reds, greens, browns, and grays, They are also hand-painted and there is great attention to detail. Each dinosaur stands between 4- and 7-inches high.
The playmat included in this set is made of a soft, durable fabric. It depicts a fun dinosaur park complete with rides, slides, and more. Five trees are also included in the playset, however, they do not stand up as easily on their own and they’re not realistic compared to the size of the dinosaurs.
20. Outdoor Explorer Kit & Bug Catcher Kit
The Outdoor Explorer Kit & Bug Catcher Kit is perfect for summer fun and encouraging your little one to explore the world around them. It comes with plenty of pieces including to catch and study bugs, as well as fun outdoor things like a hat, whistle, binoculars, hand-charged flashlight, and compass.
The bug cage included with this has a mesh net that lets bugs breathe while your child watches them. Then, they can easily be released. This also has bug catching tools, tweezers, a net, magnifying glass, specimen jars, and more.
The kit has everything your toddler needs to start off outdoor exploration the right way. It can help them reduce their fear of bugs. They can also study plants and rocks using the magnifying glass as they navigate the outdoors. This kit also comes with several pretend insects that can help your little one figure out what to do with the different parts before they capture their first bug.
The magnifying glass has 4x magnification. Something to note is that it is made of plastic, so it will scratch easily if your child is rough with it.
Buying Guide: How to Choose Toys for Toddler Boys
The average toddler can be amused by anything—even a cardboard box. It‘s important as you choose toys that you pick something that will engage your 3-year-old boy while encouraging the development of skills they can use later in life. Here are a few things to consider when buying toys for toddler boys.
Choosing age–appropriate toys helps your child stay interested in what they are focused on. Toys that are too advanced can be frustrating to play with while those that are designed for younger kids can cause 3-year-olds to lose interest. As we considered age appropriateness, we also considered how easily toys could be played with. For example, some Legos and building sets are easier to play with than others because of the way they are shaped and how easily the pieces attach to each other.
Toddler boys may be rough on their toys. You want to choose something durable to get the most out of your money. It’s also important for preventing small parts from breaking off the toy and becoming choking hazards. Choosing brand names that have a good reputation (like Melissa & Doug or Fisher–Price) makes it easier to feel confident in durability when shopping online. You can also look over reviews and see what other parents have to say about the durability of an item.
How Long Toys Can Be Used
Some toys are only going to hold your child’s attention for so long. If you buy rattles for a toddler, they might be interested for a while but will eventually become bored. Think about toys that will last for years. Something like animals, dinosaurs, or action figures make a good choice because they can be used to make up stories as your child grows. Building toys are nice because your toddler can try to make new structures as they get older and their skills advance.
Level of Interest
By age three, your child is likely showing a lot of their personality and you should have an idea of what things they are interested in. Think about the types of toys that they would like and buy accordingly. Something else you can do to keep your child interested in toys is to rotate them out once or twice a month.
Social and Emotional Development
Many toys encourage social and emotional development. Doing something like pretending to be a doctor teaches your child empathy and how to care for others. Toys that encourage them to play with others also encourage social and emotional development. When children play games, it encourages taking turns and builds other critical social skills.
Toddler Toy FAQs
Is it important to follow manufacturer recommendations on age?
Even at the age of three, many kids are still exploring the world using their mouths. Often, the manufacturer recommendations for kids three and younger are set based on the durability of toys and the size of the included parts. Of course, parents can do their part by monitoring their child when playing with toys like Legos that are smaller.
Another reason for manufacturer recommendations on age is the maturity of the toys and the skills needed to play with them. The best toys for 3-year-old boys will be perfect for their small fingers. Its important that you choose something age-appropriate choosing toys because toys beyond your child’s comprehension or skill level will leave them feeling frustrated instead of having fun.
What types of toys should I buy my toddler?
When you’re shopping for your toddler, you’ll want to buy a variety of toys. Toys like STEM building kits, Legos, and puzzles encourage fine motor development and creativity. Playing with something like fingerpaint or the water mat mentioned above encourages fine motor skills.
Something else to consider is toys that give your child a chance to role–play. Things like doctor’s kits, toolboxes, and grocery store playsets are great for imaginative play. The benefits of pretend play range from encouraging thinking skills to benefiting social and emotional development.
Finally, consider toys that are going to help your child learn something. Learning through play makes education fun. Things like the electronic tablet mentioned above or anything that gets your child working on their colors, letters, shapes, or numbers reinforce some of the key ideas that your child will be addressing in their early school years.
Are STEM toys important for toddlers?
STEM toys are those that focus on critical skills in science, technology, engineering, and math. They focus on teaching logical thought, problem–solving, building, creative thinking, gross and fine motor skills, and more. STEM areas are popular in career fields today, so its important that your little one grasps them from a young age. Several of the toys on this list are STEM toys for toddlers.
How many toys do kids need?
It can be easy for your kids’ playroom to become cluttered as they grow, especially as they accumulate more toys on birthdays, holidays, and just because. Even though it might seem like having more options is better, kids actually become overwhelmed when they have too many choices. Pay attention to your toddler’s interests and their favorites. You can also make it more likely that your child will play with something by putting it on display. For example, you might group all of their plastic food with a cash register on the shelf to encourage them to pretend they are running a grocery store. You can learn more tips on choosing toys and organizing your child’s playroom here.
Three-year-old boys have plenty of interests, which makes them easy to shop for. As you consider the best toys for 3-year-old boys, these should definitely be on the list. They reinforce STEM skills, encourage creativity and problem solving, and teach your child more about the world around them.