20 Best Toys and Gift Ideas for 3 Year Old Boys

Last updated on April 23, 2019
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Energetic, fun, and maybe a little mischievous; 3-year-old boys are in a class all of their own. They’re developing a growing curiosity about the world around them, and it’s our responsibility as parents and relatives to help shape those creative minds.

At this stage, when they are not yet old enough for traditional learning, they are highly influenced by play. That’s right. The toys and gifts they come in contact with help to set them on the path for success as they get older. However, finding the right gift for the 3-year old boy in your life can sometimes feel like a daunting task. Do you choose only educational games? Or do you focus more on fun?

Good news! With the variety of today’s market, you don’t have to choose! There are many fun and exciting options that also help develop pertinent skills such as motor function, problem solving, and socialization. Nevertheless, given the availability and variety of such toys, it can be difficult and time consuming to research all of the products narrow down your options.

Luckily, we’ve taken the time to compiled a list of the top 20 gift and toy ideas for 3-year-old boys. Check it out!

Top 3 Picks

1. Design and Drill Set

Design and Drill Set

Best Overall

Builds Imaginations and Coordination Skills

Easy-To-Use Design Activity Cards

2. Train Set and Table

Train Set and Table

Runner-Up, Best Overall

Provides a Colorful, Real-world Environment

Sturdy Construction

3. VTech Race and Learn

VTech Race and Learn

Best Fun Toy

Teaches Letters, Spelling, Numbers, Shapes and More

9 Educational Race Courses

Our Top Picks for Best Toys & Gift Ideas for 3 Year Old Boys (2019 Updated)

1. Take-A-Part Airplane

Take-A-Part Airplane
Why Experts Recommend It?
  • Requires 2-AA Batteries (Not Included)
  • 9.75" x 9.75" x 6.25" set
  • Encourages fine motor skills, imagination, logic, and interest in mechanics

This is an excellent gift for a 3-year-old boy! Little boys love to put things together and take them back apart. With this set, they can do just that. Over-sized parts and tools make it easy for little hands to grip and maneuver. In addition to having fun, your child will learn fine motor skills and problem solving. And the cool thing? They can do it again and again! Plus, when they’re all done, they can fly their airplane wherever their imagination takes them!

Why We Like It?
  • 21 Vehicle Parts and Power Drill with 3 Interchangeable Bits
  • Over-sized parts and fasteners for little hands
  • Easy Build

2. PlasmaCar

PlasmaCar
Why Experts Recommend It?
  • ​Assembly requires rubber mallet, screw driver, or 17mm socket wrench
  • Instruction booklet included
  • Supports up to 220lbs

What little boy doesn’t love to drive? This toy helps develop dexterity, motor skills, and promotes exercise. With the PlasmaCar, your child can enjoy all-day play. There are no batteries that run down and need recharging. PlasmaCar runs on kid power. Simply place your feet on the footrests and turn the steering wheel back and forth to get it going.

By using the forces of inertia, centrifugal force, gravity, and friction PlasmaCar can reach up to 6mph on flat surfaces. It is completely kid friendly, no gears or pedals to catch on clothing and cause injury. It can be used indoors or out. It features a patented safety seat and meets all US, Canadian, and European safety standards. And the best part? PlasmaCar is Adult friendly and can support up to 220lbs.

Why We Like It?
  • ​Sleek Design
  • Patented Safety Seat
  • Simple Assembly 
  • No Batteries
  • Moves via Mechanical Operation 
  • Quiet for indoor and outdoor use

3. Little Tikes Basketball Set

Little Tikes Basketball Set
Why Experts Recommend It?
  • ​Adult Assembly Required
  • Hoop Height 2-4 Feet (Adjustable)
  • Weighted Base for Stability (Sand Not Included)
  • User Manual 

Perfect for your future sports star, this basketball set makes a great gift for the 3-year-old boy in your life! With six height adjustments, varying from 2-4 feet, this set will grow with your child. Make it a play date and invite other kids over to introduce your child to the world of competitive play. Through the game of basketball, they will develop social skills, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skills. This set features an oversized rim for easy scoring as well as a kid-sized basketball.

Why We Like It?
  • ​Easy to Inflate, Soft, Junior Basketball
  • Oversized Rim for Easy Scoring
  • Adjustable Basketball Hoop

4. Prextex 2 Pack R/C Cars

Prextex 2 Pack R/C Cars
Why Experts Recommend It?
  • ​Perfect Introduction to RC Toys for Young Children
  • ​Vehicles Require 3 AA Batteries (Batteries Not Included)
  • Remotes Require 2 AA Batteries (Batteries Not Included)

On your mark, get set, go! This remote-control car set is great for your little man! It comes with two vehicles—a race car and a police car. Each car comes with two removable figurines. That way, if one is lost, there is another driver to take his place! The remote controls for these cars are made with little hands in mind. They are easy to grip and simple to use. The cars are on two different frequencies so that they can be used simultaneously. Additionally, these cars have realistic police siren, honking, and racing sounds to stimulate your child’s imagination. Just place the figurine inside the vehicle to activate its sound.

Why We Like It?
  • ​2 R/C Cars—One Police Car, One Race Car
  • 4 Figurines—Two Police Men, Two Race Car Drivers
  • 2 Easy-To-Use Remote Controls
  • Realistic Sounds

5. Stomp Rocket

​​Stomp Rocket The Original Jr. Glow
Why Experts Recommend It?
  • ​Launches up to 100 feet
  • ​No batteries required
  • Easy and fast assembly

Up, up, and away! If there’s one thing 3-year-old boys are crazy about, it’s rockets. With this toy your little one will get plenty of exercise and work off some of that energy. The kit comes with one stomp launcher and four rockets. To operate, kids just run, jump, and STOMP as hard as they can. Air from the soft launch pad will send the rocket shooting high into the air—up to 100 feet! This kit is simple to put together and doesn’t require any batteries. It is fully kid powered. The harder they stomp on the launch pad, the high the rocket will fly. Better yet, these rockets glow in the dark! So, they are perfect for daytime or nighttime play.

Why We Like It?
  • ​1 Soft Launch Pad
  • 4 Glow-in-the-Dark Rockets
  • Great for Daytime or Nighttime Play
  • Easy Assembly

6. Design and Drill Set

Design and Drill Set
Why Experts Recommend It?
  • Powers up their imaginations
  • Builds coordination skills
  • 3-AA Batteries (Not Included)

Your little man will love this Design and Drill Set! A great gift for any 3-year-old boy! The sturdy activity board allows your little one to insert colorful, chunky bolts into pre-drilled holes using one of the many tools included in the kit. They use these bolts to create patterns and pictures of their own design. Or they can use one of the 10 Double-sided activity cards to kick-start their imagination. While playing with this toy, your child will learn basic engineering and construction skills, patterns, and early math skills. If your little boy loves using tools just like daddy, then this is the best gift for him!

Why We Like It?
  • ​Sturdy Activity Board
  • Durable Design
  • 120 Colorful, Chunky Plastic Bolts
  • Reversible Power Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Combination Wrench
  • 3 Drill Bits (Phillips, Socket, Flathead)
  • 10 Double-Sided, Easy-To-Use Design Activity Cards

7. ​VTech Drum Set

VTech KidiBeats Drum Set
Why Experts Recommend It?
  • ​Frustration Free Packaging
  • ​Easy Assembly
  • Requires 3-AA Batteries (Demo Set Included—Use New Batteries for Regular Use)

Drumroll, please! Introducing the Vtech Drum Set. This is a fantastic gift for 3-year-old boys! They can rock out to their own tunes or follow along as the display lights up. This set comes with 3 drums and a cymbal for a variety of sounds! But wait, this drum set has a few tricks up its sleeves. Not only can your little one beat out a rockin’ tune, but he can actually learn from this toy too. There are four different modes to choose from: free play, follow along, letters, and numbers. Light up panels allow your child to follow along while learning his numbers, the alphabet, patterns, and much more. 

Why We Like It?
  • ​9 Play Along Melodies Including Rock, Dance, and Pop
  • 3 Drum Pads and a Cymbal—Each with a Unique Sound
  • 2 Drum Sticks
  • Teaches Letters, Numbers, Music, and More
  • Automatic Shut Off 
  • Volume Control

8. ​Fishin' Bath Toy

Fishin' Bath Toy
Why Experts Recommend It?
  • ​No Assembly Required
  • ​Characters float with magnets on top
  • Helps develop hand-eye coordination

Everybody knows that raising a 3-year-old boy can be a dirty job. With all the messes they get into, bath time is a must! However, getting your little boy to take a bath can be a challenge on its own. Fear not! With this bathtub fishing set, he’ll be having so much fun, he will beg for a bath! This set includes a magnetic fishing rod and three floating characters. The plastic fishing rod is designed with little hands in mind. Sealed plastic parts help prevent mold and mildew.

Additionally, the reel makes fun clicking sounds to make it more realistic. This toy is the perfect trick to keep your little angler occupied during bath time, all while learning important hand-eye coordination. No bait or hooks needed, just drop the magnetic bobber over the floating toys and you’ve caught your prize!

Why We Like It?
  • ​1 Magnetic Fishing Rod
  • 3 Plastic Bobbing Characters
  • Toy is air-tight to help prevent mold and mildew
  • Easy to Clean

9. ​Train Set and Table

Train Set and Table
Why Experts Recommend It?
  • ​Detailed, Step-by-Step Instructions
  • ​49”x 34” Table
  • Compatible with Thomas and Friends Wooden Train Sets

All aboard! Looking for a big gift for a 3-year-old boy? Well, you’ve come to the right place! This train set and table allows for hours of imaginative play. With 100 colorful pieces, your little engineer can create a world to play in. With things like trees, people, signs, trains and tracks included, the possibilities are endless. The table boasts a 49” by 34” durable play area. So, there is plenty of room for their imaginations to run wild. Two bins are conveniently located beneath the table to keep unused pieces organized and off of the floor. Your child will learn valuable construction and problem-solving skills while building and playing with this set.

Why We Like It?
  • ​100 Colorful Wooden Pieces
  • Drive-Thru Construction Area with Moving Crane
  • Airport with Control Tower and Runway
  • Multi-Level Bridge
  • Additional Accessories: People, Trees, Signs, Animals, Cars
  • Illustrated, Durable Play Surface
  • Sturdy Construction
  • Two Storage Bins
  • Large Enough for Multi-Kid Play

10. ​Kinetic Beach Sand

Kinetic Beach Sand
Why Experts Recommend It?
  • ​Beach sand fun without mess
  • Stimulate children's imagination
  • ​3lb bag of Kinetic Sand

I know what you’re thinking… Sand? For my 3-year-old boy? Sounds like a mess, right? Wrong! This sand is like magic. The sand feels like wet beach sand, but leaves your hands dry. It sticks to itself and nothing else, making for an easy clean up. Your little beach goer will have hours of fun playing with this one-of-a-kind sand. They can build and design castles, cars, and whatever else they can imagine. Your child will learn manipulative motor skills and creativity while molding and sculpting this amazing product. The sand holds its shape while maintaining incredible detail, and never dries out or hardens. So, you can build again and again!

Why We Like It?
  • ​Hypoallergenic
  • Non-Toxic
  • Indoor/Outdoor

11. ​Gas N' Go Mower

Gas N' Go Mower
Why Experts Recommend It?
  • ​Easy Assembly (2 Parts)
  • No Batteries Required
  • Frustration Free Packaging

Have a little one that loves being outside? Then this is a great gift! The Little Tikes Gas N’ Go Mower allows your little man to mow the yard just like mommy and daddy do. It has realistic mower sounds activated by a pull cord, beads that pop when the mower is pushed, a clicking key, moveable throttle, and removable gas can to help stimulate the imagination. Its easy-to-maneuver structure was designed to help improve motor skills. This toy teaches children to mimic the activity around them and encourages creative play.

Why We Like It?
  • ​Realistic Mower Sounds
  • Pull Cord
  • Popping Beads when Mower is Pushed
  • Clicking Key
  • Moveable Throttle
  • Removable Gas Can

12. ​TinkerToy Building Set

TinkerToy Building Set
Why Experts Recommend It?
  • ​No Adult Assembly Required
  • Made in the USA
  • The set snaps together and stays together

Bright, engaging, easy-to-use; this building set would be the perfect gift for a 3-year-old boy! If your little one loves to build and work with his hands, then look no further. The TinkerToy Building Set is a fun and colorful way for your child to sharpen their analytical thinking and fine motor skills. With 200 pieces and a 30-page building idea booklet, you can get hands-on with your child’s learning. Build alongside them or simply instruct them as they put the pieces together themselves. There is no limit to what you can create. Additionally, TinkerToys are designed to stay together until you want to take them apart. So, you don’t have to worry about your child’s masterpiece falling to pieces unexpectedly.

Why We Like It?
  • ​200 Colorful Plastic Pieces (Spools, Flags, Washers, Rods, And End Caps)
  • 30-Page Building Idea Guide
  • Sturdy Carrying Case
  • Flexible Pieces for More Creative Building
  • Easy to Assemble or Disassemble
  • Interlocking Pieces to Prevent Accidental Disassembly 

13. ​Squigz Deluxe Set

Squigz Deluxe Set
Why Experts Recommend It?
  • ​100% BPA-free, latex-free silicone
  • No Adult Assembly Required
  • Inspires Creativity, Fine Motor Skills

A new twist on classic building sets! This set uses suction cup technology to keep its pieces together. Your 3-year-old boy is bound to fall in love with this toy’s versatility and style! You can play anywhere the Squigz will stick; bathtubs, hardwood floors, refrigerators, mirrors, car windows. All while learning vital motor skills and creativity. Now the fun goes where you go!

Why We Like It?
  • ​50 Bright-Colored Pieces
  • Dishwasher Safe
  • Leaves No Residue

14. ​Real Workin' Buddies

Why Experts Recommend It?
  • ​4-AA Batteries Included
  • Motorized Garbage Truck Functions
  • Designed for kids ages 3+

Do you wish you could teach your little one how to pick up after himself? Well now you can! With Real Workin’ Buddies: Mr. Dusty your child can learn to pick up in a fun and constructive way! With a working mouth, Dusty the dump truck gobbles up your toys and trash and dumps them in the proper place. A great gift for 3-year-old boys, Dusty will have them picking up in no time! With 50 phrases and sounds, cleaning has never been this exciting!

Why We Like It?
  • 50 Fun Phrases and Sounds
  • Button on Handle Opens Mouth
  • Lift Back Bin to “Dump” Toys

15. ​National Geographic Kids First Book of Why

National Geographic Kids First Book of Why
Why Experts Recommend It?
  • Interactive question-and-answer format
  • Photographic and playful

Why do dogs bark? Why do squirrels live in trees? Why? Why? Why? Inquisitive young minds want to know! With this book, some of their questions can finally be answered. Curl up with your little one and dive into this exciting world. It’s colorful design and bright pictures present the answers to their questions in a fun and exciting way. 

Why We Like It?
  • 128 Brightly Colored Pages Geared Toward young Minds
  • Hardcover
  • Dimension: 10.2” x 0.6” x 10.2”

16. ​Boogie Board Scribble and Play

Boogie Board Scribble and Play
Why Experts Recommend It?
  • ​Coin-Cell Battery (Included)
  • Enhances childs creativity
  • Lasts up to seven years

While this toy is considered a smart, electronic notepad, you’ll never have to plug it in or recharge it. It runs off of a simple coin-cell battery that can last up to five years! Writing shows up in rainbow colors for a fun take on learning. It’s a great toy for a 3-year-old boy! Now your child can practice drawing and writing on the go! It’s lightweight build makes it easy for small hands hold. The notepad also comes with not one, but four styluses of varying size and texture.

Why We Like It?
  • 1 Notepad
  • 4 Styluses
  • Easy-To-Use and Erase
  • Paperless

17. ​Live Butterfly Kit

Live Butterfly Kit
Why Experts Recommend It?
  • ​Instruction Booklet
  • Adult Supervision Needed
  • A Fun Winter Project

You’re never too young to experience nature. With this kit, you can bring nature home. Your little one will be mesmerized as they watch their caterpillars make the transition into beautiful butterflies. A great gift idea for 3-year-old boys, this kit come with 5 live caterpillars, a mesh butterfly cage with easy access zipper, and all the items you need to keep your caterpillars and butterflies alive and happy.

Why We Like It?
  • 5 Live Caterpillars
  • 12” Pop-up Mesh Butterfly Cage
  • ​Caterpillar Food
  • Mister
  • Butterfly Feeder
  • Sugar
  • Coloring Pages

18. ​VTech Race and Learn

VTech Race and Learn
Why Experts Recommend It?
  • ​Teaches letters, spelling, numbers, shapes and more
  • Features nine courses to explore
  • Requires 3-AA Batteries (Demo Set Included—Use New Batteries for Regular Use)

Video games, racing, and learning? Sounds like a win-win, right? Vtech’s 3-1 Race and Learn is a great toy for 3-year-old boys. It transforms into three different steering wheels so your child can play as a car, a jet, or a motorcycle. They can race through 9 different courses while simultaneously learning letters, numbers, patterns, and so much more! With realistic racing sounds and a vibrating controller, your child is sure to have fun during this learning experience.

Why We Like It?
  • 3-1 Transforming Steering Wheel
  • 9 Educational Race Courses
  • Interactive Gear Shifter
  • Real Racing Sounds 
  • Vibrating Controller
  • Volume Control
  • Automatic Shut Off

19. ​Fisher-Price Smart Cycle

Fisher-Price Smart Cycle
Why Experts Recommend It?
  • Adjustable Tablet Holder
  • Max Weight 75lbs
  • No Batteries Required

Learning and being active are two very important aspects of childhood. With this product your child can do both. The cycle connects to most tablets and TV’s so your child can play interactive learning games while getting plenty of exercise. With 3 ways to play—driving, gaming, and racing—learning has never been more fun! Built with a sturdy steel frame and adjustable seat, this toy will grow with your child. It’s the perfect gift for the 3-year-old boy in your life!

Why We Like It?
  • 3 Ways to Play
  • Bluetooth Enabled
  • Free App for Racing and Learning Games
  • Made of Steel
  • Moveable Handlebars with Input Control
  • Joystick
  • Adjustable Seat

20. ​Fisher-Price Teach and Tag Movi

Fisher-Price Teach and Tag Movi
Why Experts Recommend It?
  • ​360 Degrees of Mobility
  • Encourages preschoolers to get their minds and bodies moving
  • 4 CR123A Batteries Required (Included)

This cute, interactive robot could be your 3-year-old boy’s new best friend! Movi is equipped with 3 different play modes and 6 different games that are designed to keep your child mobile while he learns. Movi will teach your little one about shapes, numbers, animals and more. With over 60 different facial expressions, Movi is guaranteed to keep your child engaged while they chase him around the house!

Why We Like It?
  • 3 Game Modes
  • 6 Games
  • 2 Light-Up Buttons on His Head for Game Play
  • Over 60 Facial Expressions

Buying Guide

Toy Importance and Benefits

At this point in your child’s life, toys and games play a crucial part in his development. The skills he learns now will help him when it comes time to go to preschool or kindergarten. The toys you choose can impact his future success. Why not give him a head start by carefully selecting toys that will further his knowledge and ability?

Look for toys that will teach them vital social skills, as well as, numbers, letters, and patterns. Learning these skills early allows for confidence when they do reach school age. Knowing the basics will make a more comfortable transition for them. After all, isn’t that what every parent wants for their kids?

Factors to Consider

There are several important things to think about when selecting that perfect toy or gift for your 3-year-old boy. First, it has to be engaging. If it won’t hold your little one’s attention, then what’s the point? Look for items with bright colors, noise, or interaction. You need something that will spark the creativity and curiosity in that young mind.

Second, look for toys that allow for social interaction. Is it something they can do with other kids or siblings? Social skills are vitally important as your child grows. So, whether it’s something sports related, or simply a multiplayer game, make sure that your child learns to interact with the people around him.

Third, while learning is great, it still needs to be fun. Look for products that are a healthy balance of both. Your child will only be this little once. Let them enjoy it.

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