10 Best holiday gifts for 3 year olds

As a mom of a 3-year-old, I thought I’d share some fun holiday gifts for this age group. As a speech language pathologist, I will discuss how you can use each item to work on language skills as well! Most 3 year olds are able to do imaginative play. Open-ended toys are great for this age-group. Take a look at my favorite holiday gifts for 3 year olds below!

1. Zingo

Zingo is an excellent game for 3 year olds! It teaches matching skills and also works on vocabulary skills. To amp up the game, have your child describe the picture each time he gets a match (Ex. Apple- “Something you eat” or “It’s red”). 

2. PRETEND AND PLAY COSTUMES

These costumes are great for girls or boys for dress-up! Talk with your child about what each occupation does. Ask your child questions about where each person works and things they may need to do their job. Your child will love pretending to be different types of people!

3. MELISSA & DOUG REUSABLE STICKER PADS

These Melissa & Doug sticker pads are so fun for kids! Each pad comes with five scenes and hundreds of reusable stickers. I’ve had some of these pads for over two years now and they are still going strong! You can practice following directions, prepositions, and increasing vocabulary with these pads as well. Check out: 5 Language Skills to Target with Sticker Pads

4. WOODEN DOLLHOUSE

You can’t go wrong with this simple wooden doll house (with dolls and furniture included). A dollhouse can lead to hours of imaginative play. If you want to practice language skills with the doll house, give your child directions to follow (Ex. Put the bed next to the boy) or ask your child questions (Ex. Where is the table? What is the boy doing?). 

5. BUSY BOX

This busy box is great for the child who loves to do crafts. The box contains materials for 16 different craft projects. After finishing the craft with your child, see if he can recall the steps to make the item (Ex. First I glued on the eyes. Then I glued on the legs….). 

6. MAGNETIC MAKING FACES

By 3-years-old, most children should be able to correctly label and identify emotions. These magnetic boards are perfect for having a discussion with your child about emotions and feelings. Your child can replicate facial expressions from the box or make their own. 

7. STEPPING STONES

Stepping stones are so fun for any active child! Your child can create obstacle courses using the stones or play games like the “floor is lava”. To practice language skills, have your child give you directions as to which stone to step on (Ex. “Step on the red stone”). You can also work on action words by providing your child with a direction (Ex. Hop to the blue stone. Crawl to the yellow stone). 

8. ABC MAGNETS

These letter magnets are great for beginning to learn about letters, sounds, and spelling. Start practicing to spell important words to your child, such as their name, siblings’ names, or favorite characters. 

9. VET PLAY SET

This veterinarian set is great for imaginative play! Your child can help take care of either the dog or the cat. There are a variety of tools and equipment to help your child feel like a real vet!

10. DIGITAL CAMERA

A digital camera for a 3 year old child is such a fun gift! This camera is kid-friendly and allows your child to take real pictures that can be uploaded to your computer. As far as language skills, ask your child questions about the pictures he took. You can also give your child directions as to what to photograph (Ex. Take pictures of yellow things. Take pictures of things you can eat)