Each year it seems there are more and more options for Christmas gift ideas, but knowing where to start for a three-year-old can get a little tricky. After all, this is the first holiday season that they’re really starting to understand how it works! To help make this year one for the record books, our carefully curated Christmas gift guide has the lowdown on what can make your three-year-old’s holiday very merry and super bright. Scroll down to see what made the cut.

photo: Habbi Habbi

Habbi Habbi Reading Wand & Bilingual Books

To be able to bring the gift of a second language to our kids, and doing it without using a device with screens? Sold. The Habbi Habbi Reading Wand and Bilingual Books are wonderful for kids to learn a new language. Every inch of the books are tappable and interactive: the images, the text, even the white space! This instant feedback helps to hold any child's attention longer. The starter set comes with a Reading Wand and four board books, and you can choose from English-Spanish or English-Chinese.

Available on habbihabbi.com, books start at $17.99, wand at $49.99, $99 for a complete set.

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photo: Lovevery

Block Set from Lovevery

This beautiful wooden block set from Lovevery features 70 heirloom pieces in a rainbow of 18 different colors and comes delivered in a wooden box that doubles as a pull car. This eco-friendly set is made to last, with solid wood blocks made of sustainably harvested FSC-certified wood and finished with non-toxic water-based finishes. This set is just as educational as it is lovely, encouraging little hands to stack, roll, count, sort, categorize and connect, keeping them happily occupied during the cold winter months and beyond.

Available on lovevery.com, $90.

photo: Amazon

Body Puzzle

When puzzle pieces are lost in the black hole of "under the couch,’" it might seem easier just to let them go. The Body Puzzle Pack from Banana Panda is deserving of a thorough search. Each pack contains six floor puzzles with large pieces perfect for tiny fingers, each one representative of an educational portrayal of a different system of the human body, including the muscular and skeletal systems, all of which can pique kids' interest for years to come. With thick quality, it resists the destructive skills that toddlers are known to possess.

Available on Amazon.com, $21.99.

photo: Target

Antsy Pants Clubhouse

Described as “the place to create secret handshakes and plans to take over the world,” this easily assembled (no tools required!) playhouse just might inspire the formation of a neighborhood club or a temporary truce among siblings. It’s just too fun not to share! The good news for parents—it sets up easily and can be packed for travel to most anywhere. Plus, with every playhouse purchased, Antsy Pants helps national nonprofit KaBOOM! build a playground in an impoverished neighborhood in America.

Available on target.com, $49.99.

photo: Educational Insights

Zoomigos

A fun toy that acts as an electronic, but requires no batteries? Yes, please. Not only that, but the Zoomigos Monkey with Banana Zoomer is kid powered and helps with some pretty important skills amidst all the fun, including fine motor skills and the concept of kinetic energy. Kids can even collect more Zoomigos friends (including Alligator, Fox, Dog and Elephant) and create fun racing games together.

Available on educationalinsights.com, $14.99.

photo: MooseToys

Kindi Kids

A hot gift this holiday season, the Kindi Kids are big-eyed, bobble-headed dolls designed to spark creative play and possibly your toddler’s appetite. Each doll comes with food-themed accessories, and your little one can collect all four of the dolls (Donatina, Peppa-Mint, Jessicake and Marsha Mello) as well as their accessory kits, such as Fun Supermarket and Fun Shopping Cart.

Available on moosetoys.com, $14.99-29.99.

photo: Educational Insights

Geosafari Junior Ladybug Garden

Getting kids to engage with the world is important, and teaching small lessons about nature and our environment is a great way to divert attention towards something meaningful. The GeoSafari Jr. Ladybug Garden is the perfect way to bring nature to your young explorers, letting them be up close and personal with the life cycle of a ladybug. The garden comes with a mail-in certificate for ladybugs, and it lets kids watch the creatures grow from larvae to adults, all the while inspiring an appreciation for nature.

Available on educationalinsights.com, $21.99.

photo: etsy

StepStitch Dolls

Among the sound-effect-producing, digitally-connected toys, sometimes it’s nice to find something under the tree that evokes the appreciation and love for simpler things; toys that encourage imagination and stand as a reminder that many of our most favorite toys were hand-stitched or created by someone we loved. Cinnamon Annie Dolls, created by StepStiches on Etsy, offers lovable hand-sewn dolls reminiscent of the original Raggedy Ann dolls. With beautiful hand-created clothing and important updates to those dolls of long ago (like a choice in skin tones and the availability of a male doll), these dolls are unique and memorable. Bonus? There's free shipping.

Available on etsy.com, $49.

photo: Powell's

Powell's Book Club Membership

On Christmas Vacation, Cousin Eddie may have told Clark that the Jelly of the Month club was “the gift that keeps on giving all year long,” but the gift that really gives for a lifetime is the gift of literacy. What better way to promote healthy reading skills and excitement about reading than with a book club membership? Powell’s City of Books offers Boox: Books in a Box, a picture book subscription service that “delivers a thoughtfully curated box to your doorstep every eight weeks,” and each box has two hardcover books and a collection of other fun goodies.

Available on powells.com, $39.95.

photo: Amazon

Magnetic Blocks

Blocks are a necessary toy in any toddler’s arsenal, but most blocks come with the frustrating ability to be scattered to all corners of the house. Enter Playmags 3D Magnetic Blocks, a set of 100 blocks in a variety of colors and shapes that stick to each other and offer boundless new opportunities for block engineering. When play is over, there they are: still stuck together and easily stored for next time.

Available on amazon.com, $49.

photo: Amazon

Play-Doh Compound Variety Pack

Play-Doh has been on the market since 1956 and has always been available in a variety of colors. This year, the company has unleashed the Play-Doh Compound Corner Variety 6-Pack, which includes Slime, Cloud, Krackle, Stretch and Foam. The different types give your little one every opportunity to squeeze, stretch and squish their way through play time.

Available on Amazon.com, $14.99.

photo: etsy

Crochet Fruit

Who would have thought that crochet fruit could be so adorable and also educational? This unique gift idea offers a new angle on play food and provides a chance to learn colors and shapes as well as counting skills and object recognition. The fruit sets come with an apple, pear, orange, peach, plum and watermelon, as well as three slices of watermelon and two cherries. It might be the only toy that looks great enough to put into a bowl and set out on the table.

Available on etsy.com, $45.

photo: etsy

Felt Wall

Felt sticks to felt, and that principle gives kids the chance to create their own forest scenes in endless ways through this Forest Felt Wall. Each package contains a 3X5’ felt blue background, 12+ leafy shapes, 8+ animals, four clouds and four forest part labels (emergent, canopy, understory and forest floor), and two command strips to hang on the wall.

Available on etsy.com, $62.

photo: Amazon

Stylish Balance Board

Balance is something that takes practice, but there’s no reason that practice shouldn’t be fun (and surprisingly stylish). The Milliard Wooden Waldorf Balance Board is sturdy and solid enough for every toddler (it can hold up to 220 pounds!), and it’s small enough to be enjoyed indoors or outdoors, easily transportable.

Available on Amazon.com, $59.99.

photo: etsy

Moon Phases Puzzle

A toy rarely resembles a piece of art, but you won't mind leaving this Moon Phases puzzle from the Wooden Toys Store out once your child is done playing with it. Important to the development of hand-eye coordination, sorting skills and fine motor skills, puzzles are a critical component of a three-year-old’s toy box. As an added bonus, this puzzle also teaches the phases of the moon.

Available on etsy.com, $30.

photo: Treehouse Kid and Craft

Animal Friends Board Game

Reminiscent of the game Guess Who, this youthful version encourages players to guess who their animal is before their opponent guesses theirs. Made from recycled materials, and printed with vegetable inks, this non-plastic game inspires eco-friendliness as well as imaginative play. Plus, it’s just so darn cute.

Available at treehousekidandcraft.com, $24.

photo: etsy

Wooden Sensory/Busy Board

Three-year-olds want to get into everything, especially anything that is locked, tied, snapped or buckled. Happily, this wooden sensory/busy Board offers all that and more, with the convenience of easy travel as well. This is the kind of toy you want with you at a restaurant, or in the car or while waiting in a waiting room; it inspires concentration and quiet time. Which might just be exactly what you need on the long car ride back from Grandma’s house.

Available on etsy.com, $66.

photo: Simplay3

Carry and Go Track Table

A train track and race track all in once, and it’s completely portable? The Carry and Go Track Table won a National Parenting Product Award for a reason. It’s made of durable double-wall plastic and comes fully assembled, but best of all, it has an easy carry side handle for simple transport from place to place.

Available on simplay3.com, $39.99.

photo: Amazon

Ukulele

Of all instruments, the ukulele can be the easiest to learn, and it’s an especially thoughtful instrument choice for younger musicians. The ++++ is fully playable and also easily tuned, offering kids a nice introduction to rhythm, tone, and strumming, among other music techniques. It’s a quality product, a nice toned-down version of pricier ukes made for adults, and the whimsical colors (blue/green and red/yellow) encourage and inspire your rock star toddler.

Available on amazon.com, $25.44.

photo: Radio Flyer

Radio Flyer's New Fleet

Radio Flyer’s wares always look sleek and perform well—two new members of their fleet are no different. The Little Red Roadster and Tinker Truck both offer the classic and lovable red Radio Flyer look. The Tinker Truck is an interactive toy that works fine and gross motor skills, acting as both a push walker and a ride-on toy to grow with your child, with a slew of fun activities right on the truck itself, including sliding and clicking numbers and pop-up buttons. The Little Red Roadster has a steel body with classic finishes, as well as rubber tires for a quiet ride, and the design works motor skills while teaching kids how to steer.

Available on radioflyer.com, $44.99-59.99.

photo: Treehouse Kid and Craft

Fox Tea Party Set

You’ll want to join the tea party yourself with this adorable Fox Tea Party set from Djeco. It’s just right for pretend play, with two spoons, two cups, two small plates, one larger plate, one cake sliced into four pieces (with four removable candles), one sugar bowl, one teapot, two tea bags and one tray. Plus, we love the vibrant teal and pink design that's a modern update on the tea sets of the past.

Available at treehousekidandcraft.com, $41.

 

photo: Hearthsong

Beautiful Bird Wings

It’s a brand new way to learn about birds while inspiring imaginative play and creative dramatics. These translucent-fabric bird wings encourage young minds to soar. The set features elastic shoulder and finger looks, making this simple costume a snap to take on and off. Choose from Macaw, Magpie or Blue Jay; each features beautifully printed plumage details and is almost four feet in wingspan.

Available on hearthsong.com, $18.

photo: Target

Sven Rocker

The classic rocking horse is getting an upgrade this year, and it’s sure to be one of the favorite gifts under the tree. A rocking reindeer! Plus, it's not just any reindeer, but the beloved Sven the upcoming Frozen 2, which hits theaters November 22. At 18 inches high and holding up to 100 pounds, it’s the perfect size for the toddlers in your life who just need to ‘let it go’ and rock to their heart’s content. Soft and plush like a stuffed animal but durable enough to last, the Disney Frozen 2 Plush Sven Rocking Horse is sure to be a winner this holiday season.

Available at target.com, $69.99.

— Laura Holloway

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All images courtesy retailers.

At the time of publication, all items were available for purchase.