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How to buy the perfect gift for a three year old

22 February, 2017

How to buy the perfect gift for a three year old

This week I'm sharing my handy guide to three year olds.  

Sorcha and I spend a lot of our time researching products that we might include in future boxes.  It is always handy when one of Sorcha's boys or my nieces or nephew are on-hand and at exactly the right age for a gift we are considering, but sometimes it can really help to have a 'cheat sheet' to refer back to when we are thinking about the best age for a game or toy too.   

If you don't have little kids of your own, the chances are you don't really know where to start with finding a gift that you know will go down well.

Our cheat sheets are so useful for us, that I thought it would be good to share them with you here too.

Check out the other guides in this series:

Guide to one year olds

Guide to two year olds

Guide to four year olds

Guide to five year olds

Three Year Olds Are Able To...

perfect third birthday gift - development stage


By three years old, everyday balances should be pretty straightforward.  From running and scootering, to climbing on a frame at a playground - or on the furniture at home, to standing on one leg (though I'm pretty sure some people never master that one!).  By now, that toddler who was unsteady on his / her feet just a few months ago should be full of confidence in their abilities and skill.


perfect third birthday gift  - fun balloon ball


Games of throw and catch, so long as you keep it simple and short, can be enjoyed as hand-eye coordination continues to improve.


perfect third birthday gift - concentration


By three years old, it should be possible for a child to play structured games, and understand that they must wait for their turn.  I say should - personalities vary and patience takes time to develop... sometimes just because they know how to do something doesn't mean they will necessarily do it every time! 


Most three year olds are confident and chatty, although they will occasionally still mix up words and phrases (usually when excited and trying to get their words out quickly).

Three Year Olds Want To...

perfect third birthday gift - imagination

Great Gifts for a Three Year Old

As their imagination develops, a whole new world of possibilities opens up for a child.  Around three years old, they can appreciate the difference between reality and make-believe and will enjoy creating their own stories and characters.

Gift Ideas:

perfect third birthday gift - personalised

"I can see The Girl Who Lost Her Name snap cards lasting for years"

Linh (mum of 3)

Snap Cards: A personalised set of cards, which includes the child's name in the deck.  This sort of game helps children to learn how to take turns and also develops concentration and focus as they wait for the 'match' to appear.


perfect third birthday gift - board game

"She loves to play snakes & ladders for one on one time"

Tamsin (mum of 2)

Board Games: Another great idea for encouraging kids to take turns, you can go down the classic route of snakes and ladders, or add an element of memory with a game such as Old MacDonald Lotto (pictured) - a great game included in our Play Box and suitable for 2 year olds and over.


perfect third birthday gift - creative gift

Be So Baby Create Gift Box: This box contains lots of bits and pieces to encourage creativity and imagination.  All of our Create Gifts include a portable chalk mat, so kids can practise their drawing skills wherever they are.


perfect third birthday gift - frozen

"Play dough keeps her entertained the longest. And also small Elsa and Anna dolls which she can play make believe with.. and stick play dough on too!"

Ava (mum of 2)

Action Figures / Dolls:  At Be So Baby, we try to steer clear of big Disney or Pixar brands.. but sometimes I guess you just have to 'Let It Go' and accept that kids will always want to be part of whatever the latest trend is.  And of course, the characters in a film are only the start of the imagination adventure a three year old can go on with their own dolls...


perfect third birthday gift - overwhelm

 A tiny word of warning about three year olds... whilst they often seem to have got it sorted, and figured out how this thing called life works (far better than most of the adults I know), do bear in mind that they are still, essentially, toddlers, and as such can be very easy to overwhelm with too much excitement and stimulation - those terrible two's aren't really so far in the distant past yet, after all.


simple guide to three year olds


All the useful information about key toddler development at age three is contained in our Beginner's Guide to Three Year Olds pdf.  Sign up to our newsletter here to receive your own copy

Hopefully this has helped give you more of an idea about three year olds.  Please leave any of your own tips and ideas in the comments! 

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