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15 Best Educational Toys for 3-Year-Olds

Updated 9 September 2020

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We all know the fun 3-year-olds have with toys, but what if toys could be teaching them as they play? If you think educational toys have to be boring then you are very mistaken. By teaching toddlers through toys, they won’t even realize that they’re learning. 

Delve into our list of the 15 best educational toys for 3-year-olds and find the perfect learning tools for toddlers. By only using recommendations from people who have used them, we take out the products with fake reviews that can trip you up online. With all the major subjects covered, there are counting bears, computers, jigsaws and maps perfect for the next Einstein to enjoy.

1BOHS Literacy Wiz Fun Game (Best Budget Toy for 3-Year-Old)

The BOHS Literacy Wiz Fun Game is one of the best educational toys for 3-year-olds that can help with early vocabulary and word-building skills. Kids can play alone or with a partner and create words by placing cards on the holder that can support up to 5-letter words. There are 52 total letters with 60 double-sided cards. That’s a total of 120 sight words!

What we love

  • Tiles and cards stand well in the holder
  • Good for teaching motor skills along with letter recognition

We dont like this as much

  • Not all of the words are intended for young toddlers

2ETI Toys Educational Engineering Construction Blocks (Best Quality Toy for 3-Year-Olds)

The Educational Engineering Construction Blocks introduce toddlers to STEM learning through the excitement of construction toys. With over 100 pieces, tots have an endless amount of possibilities to stretch their creativity and critical thinking skills. These blocks also grow with a child’s development so they can use them for years to come.

What we love

  • Allows kids to construct a variety of buildings, vehicles, etc
  • Long-lasting design that easily grows with kids

We dont like this as much

  • The big and small pieces may not always fit right with each other

3Melissa & Doug Learn-To-Play Piano (Best Eco-Friendly Toy for 3-Year-Old)

The Learn-To-Play Piano from Melissa & Doug is an adorable miniature piano made from solid wood that’s durable and functional when it comes to introducing tots to music. There are 25 keys and two full octaves, and this even comes with a color-coded, illustrated songbook so toddlers can learn to play nine popular kid-friendly songs.

What we love

  • Surprisingly good sound
  • Good small size for young toddlers to enjoy playing with ease

We dont like this as much

  • Piano seems a bit top-heavy

4Educational Posters for Toddlers and Kids

Designed by teachers, these Educational Posters for Toddlers and Kids give tots a head-start using fun, enlightening posters. The artwork is vibrant and colorful, and there are several categories from the ABCs, to numbers, to telling time or the days of the week. There are 11 total posters to hang on the walls.

What we love

  • Double-sided so it can be hung horizontally or vertically
  • Bright colors and child-friendly artwork helps with visual learning

We dont like this as much

  • Might take some time to flatten out the posters

5Boon Building Bath Pipes Toy

The Boon Building Bath Pipes Toy is featured among the 15 best educational toys for 3-year-olds that teaches them about various shapes, functions, and helps them develop problem-solving skills. With suction cups to stick to the wall, these pipes can be used individually or as a chain.

What we love

  • Suctions work well at staying on the bathtub wall
  • Pipes are varied in color and shape design

We dont like this as much

  • The suction cup areas can take a while to dry

6Kinetic Sand, Bake Shoppe

The Kinetic Sand, Bake Shoppe features one pound of the original moldable kinetic sand along with 16 tools and molds so toddlers can create amazingly fun bakery treats. They can even add toppings and serve them all up using the included serving tray. It’s a great way to encourage creative play and hone their fine motor skills.

What we love

  • Accessories fit inside the rolling pin easily for clean-up
  • Comes with quality sand that molds well

We dont like this as much

  • Serving tray might only hold just a couple of treats

7LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate Ready for School Tablet

The LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate Ready for School Tablet includes several school readiness activities alongside music apps, reading apps, and more. There is even a kid-friendly web browser that has pre-selected websites for tots to visit. Kids can also play with the microphone, video camera, and use the stylus.

What we love

  • Great variety of activities
  • Designed in a good size for toddlers to comfortably handle

We dont like this as much

  • Many of the apps require a separate purchase

8VTech Write and Learn Creative Center

The VTech Write and Learn Creative Center teaches kids proper stroke order to create upper and lowercase letters. They can draw on the magnetic board, use the two magnetic stamps, or draw with the eight stencils. It’s customizable too so kids can learn to write their names.

What we love

  • Provides good directions for toddlers to understand
  • Easy for toddlers to erase and start over

We dont like this as much

  • The pen isn't designed for ambidextrous use

9Step2 Easel for Two

The Step2 Easel for Two is one of the few 15 best educational toys for 3-year-olds that can be used by more than one kid at the same time. One side has a chalkboard and the other features a magnetic dry erase board. It comes with 77 pieces of foam magnetic letters, signs, and numbers.

What we love

  • Removable bins can hold plenty of items
  • Easily folds for storage

We dont like this as much

  • Takes a bit of effort to clean the chalkboard side

10Skoolzy Rainbow Counting Bears

The Skoolzy Rainbow Counting Bears is a cute way for toddlers to discover color recognition, counting, and sorting skills. There are 71 total pieces and six different colors for the bears with matching cups. Kids can create various games from adding to developing patterns between colors and placing the bears in the appropriate cups.

What we love

  • Endless possibilities for different educational games
  • Scoop is a useful size for toddlers

We dont like this as much

  • Bears feel a bit slick

11Learning Resources Puzzle Globe

The Learning Resources Puzzle Globe is a simple introduction to geography for toddlers. There are six pieces to represent Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, and North and South America. Meanwhile, a single stationary bottom piece is used for Antarctica. This also comes with six labels and a sheet of blank label stickers.

What we love

  • Easy for toddlers to use on their own
  • Pieces are big and feature bold, bright coloring

We dont like this as much

  • Some of the pieces may fit loosely in their slots

12LiKee See and Spell

The LiKee See and Spell promotes a toddler’s development through various means from helping them build problem-solving skills to improving their hand-eye coordination. This game requires tots to sort the wooden letters and place them on the proper card to spell the word. There are 56 cute illustrations to help them along the way.

What we love

  • Double-sided cards are made thick and durable
  • Good illustrations to help tots figure out the words

We dont like this as much

  • Includes only lowercase letters

13Melissa & Doug 100-Piece Wood Block Set

This 100-piece Wood Block Set from Melissa & Doug stimulates critical thinking and creativity in toddlers as they experiment with building and knocking things down to start all over again. The pieces are lightweight and feature four bright colors as well as nine different shapes.

What we love

  • Blocks feel smooth and are easy for tots to handle
  • Good shape variety

We dont like this as much

  • Some of the shapes may be too small for younger toddlers

14iPlay, iLearn Kids Wooden World Map Jigsaw Puzzles

The iPlay, iLearn Kids Wooden World Map is a fun puzzle that includes 36 pieces. Made from safe wooden materials, the pieces are designed for smaller hands to grasp, and the diagram is easy to follow so kids can learn how to understand directions. It features cute character artwork of animals in their proper continent.

What we love

  • Instructions are clear and easy to follow
  • Pieces are sturdy

We dont like this as much

  • No separation for Europe and Asia

15Born Toys Kids Gardening Set

The Born Toys Kids Gardening Set comes with everything toddlers need to get out there and help parents with the garden. This includes an apron and hat, a shovel, gloves, a water bottle sprayer, three tools, and a carrying bag.

What we love

  • Tools are made from real metal and wood materials
  • Both the hat and apron are adjustable

We dont like this as much

  • Stitching on clothes might need some reinforcing