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37 Best Toys and Gifts for 3-Year-Old Boys

Fuel their curiosity with building sets, art kits and educational toys.

toys gifts for 3 year old boys
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When they reach 3 years old, kids are not toddlers anymore. While they still might love their toddler toys, they're ready for bigger and better things, namely toys that help them get into more expansive imaginary worlds, make the most of their enhanced fine and gross motor coordination, have more advanced rules or put them on the path toward the reading and math skills they'll be learning in preschool and kindergarten.

According to Rebecca Parlakian, M.A., E.D., a parenting expert from Zero to Three, three-year-olds are interested in how the world works and enjoy all kinds of blocks, animal figures and vehicles, so they can build structures and universes of their own, test exactly how high something can can go or solve problems. "Dress-up accessories can add some zing to their pretend play – think of a construction worker helmet and set of toy tools, exploring how objects work," she says, adding that their growing memory and emerging self-regulation means they are ready for simple board games, too. They'll also love puzzles, lift-the-flap books, stuffed dolls with practice buttons and zippers and art materials that help them build the dexterity skills they’ll need later on. Above all, while kids may gravitate toward electronics, hands-on toys will help develop the skills they need to grow, says Gayle Kligman, M.Ed., the executive chairman of Family of Kidz.

To help you find the best toys and gifts for 3-year-old boys, the Good Housekeeping Institute's toy experts have rounded up their top picks of the year tested and reviewed by real kids and parents. Some went on to be Good Housekeeping Best Toy Award winners. We make our recommendations after evaluating factors like safety, quality and functionality to see which toys truly perform best and deserve a spot on our list of the best toys and gifts for 3-year-old boys in 2022.

High on the list are building toys that help them with their STEM skills, vehicles and play sets that get them into imaginative play, toys that support at-home learning and more of the hottest toys in 2022.

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1
Best Overall Toy for 3-Year-Old Boys
Hot Wheels
Monster Trucks Downhill Race & Go Play Set
Hot Wheels
2
2022 Good Housekeeping Kids' Book Award Winner
Tiger Tales
A Bedtime Hug for You!
Tiger Tales
3
Coolest Vehicle for 3-Year-Old Boys
Fisher-Price
Rescue Heroes Transforming Firetruck Vehicle
Fisher-Price
Now 13% off
4
Unique Art Toy
Crayola
Light-Up Activity Board
Crayola
5
Best 'Paw Patrol' Toy
Melissa & Doug
PAW Patrol Rescue Mission Wooden Dashboard
Melissa & Doug
6
Innovative Train Set
Fisher-Price
Thomas & Friends™ Trains & Cranes Super Tower
Fisher-Price
7
Great Family Board Game
Adventerra Games
Hungry Bins Board Game
Adventerra Game
8
Best Sensory Toy
Creativity for Kids
Ocean and Sand Sensory Bin
Creativity for Kids
9
Coolest RC for 3-Year-Old Boys
Imaginext
Super Friends Transforming Batmobile
Imaginext
10
Amazing Math Toy
hand2mind
Numberblocks 1-10 Activity Set
hand2mind
11
Best Toy for Fine Motor Skills
Skoolzy
Stacking Peg Board Set
12
Best Bath Toy
B. Toys by Battat
Fishing Play Set for Kids
B. Toys by Battat
Now 27% off
13
Easy-to-Use Tech Toy
Tonies
Toniebox Audio Player Starter Set
Toniebox
14
For Grover Fans
CreateOn
The Monster at the End of This Story Magna-Tiles
CreateOn
Now 15% off
15
Best Outdoor Toy
Micro Kickboard
Mini Deluxe Eco Scooter
Micro Kickboard
16
Unique Toy for Pretend Play
Casdon
Replica Dyson Ball Vacuum Toy
Casdon
17
Best Matching Game
Funko
CoComelon Picture Pairing Game
Funko
18
Best Toy About Feelings
Fisher-Price
Meditation Mouse
Fisher-Price
19
Cool Interactive Toy for 3-Year-Old Boys
LeapFrog
Smart Sizzlin' BBQ Grill
LeapFrog
20
Good Housekeeping Best Toy Award
Moose Toys
Bluey Dance and Play Plush
Bluey
21
Best Digital and IRL Educational Toy
Osmo
Little Genius Starter Kit
osmo
22
Paint With Less Mess
Crayola
Spill-Proof Washable Paint
Crayola
23
Good Housekeeping Best Toy Award Winner
Magformers
Tileblox Rainbow Multicolor Magnetic Tiles
Tileblox
24
Best Solo Board Game for 3-Year-Olds
Think Fun
My First Rush Hour
Think Fun
25
SEL Building Toy
LEGO
Build Me Emotions DUPLO Set
LEGO
26
For the Aspiring Doctor
Melissa & Doug
Get Well Doctor Activity Center
Melissa & Doug
27
Best Surprise Toy
Kellytoy
Squishmallows 8" Plush Mystery Three Pack
Kellytoy
28
Sensory Play Set
WowWee
Baby Shark’s Big Show Ultimate Shipwreck Play Set
WowWee
29
Best 2D Puzzle fo 3-Year-Olds
Upbounders
Two-Sided Beginner Puzzle
Upbounders
30
Best Disney Toy
Mattel Lightyear Toys
Mission Pal Sox Feature Plush
Mattel
31
Practical Gift for 3-Year-Old Boys
Brave + Kind Books
Story Book Bundles
Brave + Kind Books
32
Cute Stocking Stuffer for 3-Year-Old Boys
Candylab Toys
Taco Truck
33
For Dino Fans
Studio Roof
Triceratops 3-D Puzzle
Studio Roof
34
Unique Building Set
Miniland
Family Diversity Blocks
Miniland
35
Best Non-Toy Gift
Hanna Andersson
'The Mandalorian' Long John Pajamas
Hanna Andersson
36
Coolest Shirt for 3-Year-Old Boys
Darlyng and Co.
Baby Shark T-Shirt
37
New Twist on an Old Book
Viking Books for Young Readers
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Viking Books for Young Readers
How we choose the best toys
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Before including our favorite picks in an article, the Good Housekeeping Institute does rigorous toy testing to ensure we're recommending only the best. Many of our choices come from our yearly Toy Awards, where we test each item based on the following criteria:

✔️Safety: Our engineers and analysts make sure that each toy reaches all safety standards. They also assess things like pinch points and make sure toys won’t shatter into small pieces to pose a potential choking hazard.

✔️Ease of Use: We look at each toy to evaluate how simple it is to assemble, how well it’s constructed and how durable it is during play.

✔️Kid Approval: Aside from testing each toy for skill-building attributes, like how well it develops social-emotional skills, all our final decisions come from more than 100 children, ages 1 to 15, who assess the fun factor!

Why trust Good Housekeeping?
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For decades, the Good Housekeeping Institute has provided expert reviews and advice on everything parents and children love, including STEM toys, educational toys, sensory toys and more.

Much of the toy testing for this article was overseen by Rachel Rothman, the Good Housekeeping Institute's chief technologist and director of engineering, with the help of Marisa LaScala, Good Housekeeping's senior parenting and relationships editor. For more than 15 years, Rachel has put her training in mechanical engineering and applied mathematics to work by researching, testing and writing about parenting products. Plus, as a mom to three kids under 5, she has plenty of first-hand experience.

Marisa has covered all aspects of the world of parenting since 2015, and she's been covering toys for Good Housekeeping since 2018. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter, who are both avid toy collectors.

Shop more toys and gifts for kids
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Looking for more great gifts for kids? Let the experts do all the hard work for you!

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