Do you have a toddler that never seems to stop moving? Is your 3 year old the type of child that has a hard time sitting still for an activity? Here are some great 3 year old toys for your active toddler.
My son is 3-years-old. I always thought I would have a child I could share fun crafts (painting, gluing, etc) and projects with…nope. Not in the cards. That’s ok! But, it can be hard to try to plan activities during the day that last 3 minutes before my little ping pong ball wants to do something else.
So, I’ve gathered some of my favorite items to use with my active toddler in the hopes of helping out my fellow moms with a similar child.
As a side note, the best thing I have done to save money for my family is to sign up for Amazon Prime. Since I order so much from Amazon, I can only imagine how much money I have saved on shipping! Not to mention I live in an area that has Prime Now, free two hour delivery of select items (including from Whole Foods!). Especially around the holidays, definitely consider the trial which is a free month of membership!
But, back to gifts for active toddlers. All of these toys are items I actually own and enjoy unless otherwise noted (only the Forts section because the brand we use is no longer available):
3 Year Old Toys: Movement
Our toddlers like to MOVE! Sometimes this is great when the weather is good and you can go to the playground. But on those days when indoor play is all that is possible, here are products my son loves:
This is by far the most popular toy we have whenever we have a playdate. While it does take up space (so may not work in some households), we used it as a choice when my son wanted to jump on the couch (we don’t jump on the couch but you CAN jump on your trampoline). If you don’t like this one, make sure to read reviews on weight limits and durability before purchasing!
There are lots of ways to use these scarves, though my son’s favorite is to have me throw them in the air while he runs through them. I also use them to dance with and teach colors and numbers.
While we don’t own this in our home, our preschool has one that my son plays with at every class without fail. It’s a great start to an obstacle course with items like cones, tunnels and repurposing poles from a fort building kit to jump over.
Jump between the colored stones that are rubberized on the bottom so they don’t slip. Their sizes vary so you can easily set it up from easy to hard or as far apart as you want to increase difficulty. We play the floor is lava! Or it is another item to add to an obstacle course or to learn colors and coordination at the same time. The company also offers “hilltops” (taller stones).
This looks super silly, but that’s half the fun! My son dances in his, and it’s designed to apply pressure at certain points to encourage calming (kind of like how a weighted blanket works). It also helps with balance and spacial awareness.
While this may seem like a baby toy, my toddler loves it! The balls roll out of the dino’s mouth and the kids have to chase them and run back to put them back in the dino. So this is perfect for my toddler AND my crawling baby, lol. For more movement, it works best on hardwood so the balls can roll farther (though we play on carpet and hardwood with this one).
3 Year Old Toys: Other Toys
I got my set from Buy Nothing and I’m unsure of the brand. But, I think these are the ones we have. While it doesn’t seem like something an active toddler will pay attention to, it is by far one of my son’s favorite toys. Maybe it’s the continual movement of the marbles and the changeability of the structure. Either way, this is always a hit at playdates with almost all the kids! Just be careful, marbles are, of course, choking hazards for younger kids.
If you can handle the noise, using musical instruments with music in the background allows for dancing and playing. My son has this set though there are lots of options out there. He really loves the triangle and maracas. We do a game where we play music and he dances around with his instruments – when the music pauses he freezes! Then, dances again when the music starts again. I cannot tell you how great this is to get energy out before bedtime!
Most board games have you sit at a table and do an activity. This game has a huge dice that you roll on the floor (or table). Whatever color comes up you match to a colored card to do an action (like spin around 2 times, roar like a lion or find something red). You store the cards in a pocket on the dice. I love that it encourages movement but also has lots of learning opportunities.
3 Year Old Toys: Forts
Giving our toddlers something to move and create is a perfect way to use creativity, problem solving and, hopefully, increase focus. Unfortunately, the fort building toy we use is no longer in production. But after doing research and reading lots of reviews, here are some great other options:
This is made of linkable cardboard that is made to look like wood. While this one would not be great for destructive toddlers or outdoors, it gives a really cool look to any fort you build!
For toddlers that like to build, this fort provides much more flexibility and is great for building any shape your toddler wants. It comes with 69 pieces (including the connectors). This one is closer to the fort builder we have – we just use blankets and sheets to cover the poles.
Have any other suggestions for active 3 year olds? Add it in the comments to help your fellow mamas!
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