Gift Guide: The Best Pretend-Play Presents for a Girl’s Third Birthday
For a three-year-old child, the ultimate in fun is creating pretend-play scenarios: is she a princess building her castle out of blocks? A doctor taking her doll’s temperature? A mommy teaching her baby doll how to use the potty? A chef creating culinary masterpieces and serving them up for her friends? The best toys for three-year-old children provide a launching point for their imagination, giving them ample opportunities to test and refine their physical and intellectual skills along the way.
Dress-up costumes provide an extra layer of immersion in pretend-play, and frills, frocks, and princess dresses are super popular with kids this age! Just a flowing cape or a tutu can provide the basis for a character – the Melissa & Doug Goodie Tutus set packs extra birthday-present punch because the only thing better than one frilly tutu is FOUR frilly tutus! The Color Me Princess Cape Set from Creative Education of Canada also adds some oomph as a gift, since kids can personalize it. And if they get bored with the look of the colored side, they can reverse it and enjoy being dressed in pink satin instead!
For even more immersion in the role, full-fledged costume sets provide more details and more accessories – Melissa & Doug makes tons of costume sets sized just right for a three-year-old, from fairies and princesses to doctors and firefighters. Or, a doctor kit will let her “diagnose” and “treat” all manner of illnesses in her friends, dolls, and/or stuffed animals!
Since your three-year-old child is learning to dress and undress herself, she’ll love picking out ensembles for dolls, too. Sets like the Tops & Tights Magnetic Dress Up Dolls and the Janod Magnetibook Girls Outfits set let her choose outfits without having to fumble with buttons and zippers, and encourage her to create pretend scenarios suggesting where her doll friends might be going and what they might be doing – are they dressing for school, a ballet recital, a birthday party?
Or, you can add another dimension to dress-up play with sets like the Alex My Tape-Tastic Fashion craft kit – with this set, kids make accessories like wigs, masks, and handbags, and then they get to wear them! This is an excellent choice to break out for a playdate as well, since there are multiple projects to go around and kids will love giggling at each other’s creations.
Not only is a dolly the perfect friend for a little girl, but arranging and running the show in a dollhouse gives a small child a wonderful sense of control over her environment (not something you often feel when you’re three feet tall). Since at this age, your child has graduated from babyhood, where pretty much any toy is cool, the best dollhouse for her will depend on her individual tastes.
If she’s likely to want to rearrange the floor plan of her dollhouse constantly, then the ultra-flexible PlanToys PlanWood Chalet is great – it’s also excellent for playdates with her pals, since it’s open on all sides for easy access.
If she’s all about pretty-in-pink playtime, and if you’ve got plenty of room for a deluxe dollhouse, the KidKraft Annabelle Dollhouse is a mega-gift that’s sure to thrill her, and it comes with gorgeous furniture, too. Just add dolls!
Or, if she’s all about fuzzy friends, this is a great age for her to start with the adorable, retro-wholesome Calico Critters, and their Cozy Cottage Starter Set is the perfect beginning for a collection! It comes with one bunny and a little bit of furniture, so include another Calico Critters set or two so that little Bell Hopscotch has some company.
Playhouses also provide kids with a mini-realm of influence where they’re in control, and princess-obsessed kids will love reigning over the Kidoozie Royal Princess Playhouse.
Little girls love to nurture a baby doll, acting out grown-up scenarios and imitating Mommy. The adorable, realistic, lightly vanilla-scented baby dolls from Corolle make great gifts, and accessory sets add another realistic dimension to playtime. The Kidoozie Bathtime Baby set lets your child give her dolly a bath while you give HER a bath – it’s a wonderful treat for any kid, especially the bathtime-averse!
Acting out potty-training with a doll is a great way to help your child through any anxiety she might have about leaving diapers behind. Getting her the Corolle Baby Doll Potty Time Set allows her to act out the whole process of doing her business, and play the role of a big girl teaching a baby how to use the potty, which she’ll love!
If your child enjoys pretending to be an older girl, the Lottie Spring Celebration Ballet Doll is a great choice. Lottie is designed for young girls, with clothes that’s easy to put on and take off and hair that doesn’t tangle, and she brings all the fun of a fashion doll to the stage in an age-appropriate and thoroughly wholesome way.
Of course, this is only the beginning of our terrific selection of toys for three year old girls and boys – I haven’t even touched on play food, building toys, puzzles and games, or outdoor toys. Our huge toy selection has something for every kid, and a three-year-old girl is just starting to express her individuality. Whether she loves baby dolls, stuffed animals, model animals, drawing and painting, dressing up, building tall towers, baking fake cakes, poring through stacks of picture books, or roughhousing with her brother, we’ve got toys that will make her smile and help her learn.
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