Top 25 Must-Have Items for a 3-Year-Old Child

Top 25 Must Have Gift Items for 3-Year-Old Toddler

Top 25 Best of My Favorite Products for My 3-Year-Old Pre-Schooler Image

My passion in life is finding children's products that make parenting easier, the child happier and make the entire parenting process more fun for everyone involved.  In Top 25 Must-Have Newborn and Baby Items, we put together a list of the must-haves for newborns.  Now, at this next stage, I have found that there have been products that are once again significant enough to write about.  Below you will find the Top 23 Products that made Age 3 easier for me as a parent and made the life of my 3-year-old more enjoyable.  

Top 25 Best of My Favorite Products for My 3-Year-Old Pre-Schooler

1.    Contigo Auto-Seal Thermos

Contigo AutoSeal Thermos for Kids Image

Contigo Auto-Seal Thermos

The Contigo Trekker Kids Water Bottle water bottles are fantastic - I carry them around in my purse all day and I've never once had them leak. The stainless steal version is great for the summer and keeps drinks cool for up to 7-hours.  Otherwise I use the plastic version and put ice in it and bring it along to my daughter's gymnastics lessons.  I use these myself too, and they make an "adult version."  If you are looking for an item that is more similar to a Sippy Cups, we talk about sippy cups in Top 9 Sippy Cups for Your Baby and Toddler.  If you want to hear us complain about sippy cups then check out My Battle With Sippy Cups.  

2.  Play Visions Crayola Bath Dropz Tablets

Bath Dropz Tablets

The Play Visions Crayola Bath Dropz are THE highlight of every single bath that my 3-year-old daughter takes.  You put these in the bath tub water right when you turn on the water, and they dissolve and turn the bath tub water into which color tablet that your child chooses.  My 3-year-old daughter gets so excited to pick out her color every night before bath time.  Whenever it is time to head upstairs for to our bedtime and bath routine started, all that I have to say is, "Let's head upstairs! What color are you going to pick for your bath tonight?"  (What follows is my 3-year-old running ahead of me upstairs all excited.)  The Play Visions Crayola Bath Dropz tablets come in Blue, Red (pink), and Yellow.  We usually only use one tablet per bath, but on very special nights, I will let her combine to colors in order to create a brand new color (for example, Blue and Yellow to make green, or Red and Blue to make purple).

3.  Crayola Finger Paints 

Link(s):   Crayola Fingerpaints Bold and Secondary Colors and Melissa and Doug Finger Paint Paper Pad
Crayola Finger-Paints

Crayola Finger-paints 

We think that Crayola Fingerpaints Bold and Secondary Colors are great for a Saturday afternoon or for when other kids come over to play (assuming you are able to keep a close eye on the kids).  That said, Crayola has lived up to its "washable" promise of its paint thus far.  And our 3-year-old daughter loves this stuff.  It could keep her entertained all afternoon.  We squirt the paint into a mini cupcake tin that we have to separate the colors and we bought a decent set of kids paint brushes as well.  The Melissa and Doug Finger Paint Paper Pad was the best deal that we could find on finger paint paper, so we've included that as well.

Melissa and Doug Finger Paint Paper Pad
Melissa and Doug Finger Paint Pad

4.  Bumkins Waterproof Sleeved Bib
Link:   Bumkins Waterproof Sleeved Bib

Bumkins Waterproof Sleeved Bib

If you're going to let your child paint, then it is probably a good idea to have an all-encompassing smock to protect their clothing.  The Bumkins Waterproof Sleeved Bib is the top-rated on  These bibs are also amazing during the phase when your child is too young to use a fork and insists on using their hands (somewhere around Age 2).  

For more on Bibs, check out our post Top 5 Baby Bibs that Actually Work.

5.  Curious George's 5-Minute Stories

Link:   Curious George's 5-Minute Stories
Curious George's 5-Minute Stories

Curious George's 5-Minute Stories

I LOVE 5-Minute Story Books for kids, and there are quite a few different editions.  These stories are perfect because they don't "commit" a parent to a long bedtime story, but they are the PERFECT length to get your child sleep enough while not over-committing the parent on a night that the parent is tired and in a hurry --- everyone should have five minutes to spare for their child for a bedtime story.  We have several of the 5-minute story books, but out of all of them, Curious George's 5-Minute Stories are definitely our favorite (our 3-year-old daughter agrees).  

For a list of our favorite books for babies, check out Top 10 Baby Books.

6.  The Nest Cam Security Camera
Link:   Nest Cam
The Nest Cam Security Camera

Nest Cam 

If you're looking for a hybrid between a nanny came and a baby monitory, then the Nest Cam might be right for you.  This camera operates through WiFi, and has night vision, and connects with your smart phone.  We have the "DropCam" (the version prior to the  Nest Cam which is now owned by Nest) and we LOVE it.  We get an alert on our iPhone each time that there is motion or sound in our daughter's room - which is perfect for a 3-year-old who needs to be in bed sleeping and for parents who want to make sure that their child isn't getting out of bed.   Additionally, the camera has a "recording" option for an additional fee each month - I've found this feature useful for not only security reasons also to be able to check on our daughter if we are away from home and have a babysitter.  Another fun feature of the Nest Cam is that it integrates with the Nest Learning Thermostat (which is a thermostat that you can wirelessly control with your iPhone or Smart Phone) - and it also integrates with the Nest Protect Smoke + Carbon Monoxide Alarm (which alerts you on your iPhone if there is ever an alert in your home).  All three of these are control through one single app on your phone.  NOTE:  The Nest Cam is better for older children (in our opinion) because with babies, you probably want to have a separate device to be able to constantly look at your baby. 

If you are looking for a baby monitor, then I would highly recommend looking at our post  Top 25 Must-Have Newborn and Baby Products where we constantly update the latest baby products and a baby monitor is always included.   

7.  Play-Doh: Toolin' Around Playset

This is an old-school toy, but Play-Doh is highly effective when it comes to entertaining my 3-year-old daughter.  I am actually going get a new set of Play-Doh for my daughter for her 4th birthday.  I am not a fan of the Play-Doh kits that imitate food (that just seems confusing...and I don't want my child to want to eat Play-Doh!).  The reason we like the Play-Doh: Toolin' Around Playset is because it allows for our 3-year-old daughter to practice her skills with scissors safely.   If you're looking for toys recommendations for baby's first years, check out Top 25 Baby and Toddler Toys.

8.  "Good Deeds" Stickers

Link:  PAW Patrol Stickers and Tattoos Party Favor Pack

Good Deed Sticker Set for Chores - Toddlers

Stickers for Good Deeds

We left our daughter with Grandma Mia while we went on a much-needed vacation, and when we returned, we realized that Grandma had uncovered something genius - a motivational method for 3-year-old children that required only a sticker book with a variety of stickers and construction paper.   Grandma Mia calls it the "Good Deeds" board --- it is pure genuineness.  When our 3-year-old does something that is worthy of a good deed, we get all excited and tell her to go pick out a sticker, and this is truly one of the highlights of her day.  If she helps us dust, or helps us find the remote if it's missing, then this is worthy of a good deed sticker.  These PAW Patrol Sticker Pack is the perfect sticker set for my daughter - she loves Paw Patrol.  Stay tuned for another post on more about the Good Deeds poster stickers.

9.  Get Ready for PreK - Activities and Illustrations Book

Get Ready for PreK - Activities and Illustrations Book

Get Ready for Pre-K Activity Book

Mr. Mia bought the book, Get Ready for Pre-K (Get Ready for School), for Little Mia when she turned 3-years-old, and we love the book because the pages are fun and educational - it's a great mix of games, letters, and visual teaching pages that actually keep our daughters attention span (which is fairly short) - it's age appropriate (age 3 and age 4) and still challenging at the same time.  We had several different Pre-K workbooks, and this is by far the best one.  

10.   Fineline Ultraclean Markers by Crayola

Link:    Crayola Ultraclean Fineline Classic Markers

Fine Line Ultra Clean Washable Markers by Crayola

Fineline Ultraclean Markers by Crayola

The fine-line ultra-clean markers by Crayola were recommended by my daughter's pre-school teacher because these thin-sized markers are perfect size for the first steps of helping your pre-schooler learn how to hold a pencil (i.e., these markers are the same size as circumference as a standard pencil).  I also love these markers because my pre-schooler can see her progress while she traces the letter of the alphabet in her activity books - the bright colors make her tracings on the paper so much more visible than it does with a standard pencil or even colored pencils.  The bright colors are so much more fun for her at this age too, so I think it helps her stay motivated during the learning-to-write process of preschool.

11.  Side-Walk Chalk

Side-Walk Chalk for Toddlers by Crayola

Crayola Washable Sidewalk Chalk

During the warm seasons, the Crayola Washable Sidewalk Chalk kept our daughter highly entertained on our driveway and in our backyard on the concrete patio.  I actually had a lot of fun playing with her.  I have several photos on my phone of our creations on our driveway (many of them feature Olaf from the Disney movie, Frozen....these photos are available upon request). 

12.  Children's Bath Robe 

Children's Bath Robe for Toddler Girls            Children's Bath Robe for Toddler Boys

Children's Bath Robe 

Our daughter LOVES her Children's Animal Hooded Bath Robe - Princess Cat, especially during the winter time when it's cold - she loves that she has a robe just like mommy and daddy have a robe.  On the weekends, she throws on her robe in the morning as soon as she wakes up.  The photos shown above are the Children's Animal Hooded Bath Robe (in pink) and the Too Cool 2 Sleep Boy's Plush Sports Bathrobe (the sports robe).

13.   Window Markers

Crayola Window Markers for Kids

Window Markers

Grandma Mia brought these markers for our 3-year-old daughter while Mr. Mia and I went on vacation.  The Crayola Window Markers are fantastic because they wash off of your windows very easily and as long as you explain to your child that these are "special markers" and that she cannot draw on the windows with ANY other markers, then these window markers are a huge hit.  

The Kalencom Potette Travel Potty

The Kalencom Potette Travel Potty

The Kalencom Potette Travel Potty

I cannot say enough amazing things about the Kalencom 2-in-1 Potette Plus.  Our 3-year-old is fully potty-trained; however, this device makes traveling with our child so incredibly easy.  The Kalencom 2-in-1 Potette Plus not only can it be a make-shift potty that our child can sit on alone (you use liners if you need to use it this way), but you can expand the sides and have it be a potty seat on a regular toilet.  I am not a big fan of our daughter touching public restrooms, so I bring this thing along with us whenever I can.  It is an amazing size to travel with too - you can easily fold it up - I carry it in the backpack that I bring for my daughter whenever we travel.  I store it inside of a shoe bag in a separate compartment of the backpack.  This is without a doubt my favorite potty item out there.  If you're looking for a good book to inspire your little one for potty training, check out The "Potty" Book (by Leslie Patricelli).

15.  Munchkin Secure Grip Bath Caddy
Munchkin Secure Grip Bath Caddy

If you didn't get a good bath toy holder when you set up you baby registry, then I HIGHLY recommend the Munchkin Secure Grip Bath Caddy.  It is expandable so it can fit various sizes of bath tubs (we have a wide bath tub and it expands perfectly to fit the width.  I like that it has holes in the bottom to help drain the water and it hangs over your bath tub - I feel like every other bath toy holder that we have had eventually produced mildew in the bottom - but not this one.  I'm a big fan.  For more of the best baby care items, check out the top 20 items to keep on hand for baby during flu season.

16.   Play Tent 

Play Tent (Indoor/Outdoor) for Kids

Play Tent

Doesn't every kid love a tent?  Children at the age of 3 especially love a tent.  You can always go the old-school way of building a tent - using a blanket and chairs, but I like these tents because you can bring them outside.  Warning: these tents are relatively small compared to other toy tents; however, they take a up a large footprint in your home.  I would only recommend these to somebody who has enough space.  The Liteaid Rocket Ship Tent seems to be very popular right now.  

17.  Mega Bloks - Building Blocks
Link:  Mega Bloks

Mega Blocks Building Blocks

Mega Bloks First Builders Build'n Go Wagon

The Mega Bloks toy blocks have consistently kept our daughter entertained - beginning at age 1.5-years and still today (she is almost 4-years-old).  They are fantastic and much better than Legos for the young toddlers because these toy blocks are significantly larger than Legos.  I highly recommend the Mega Bloks First Builders Build'n Go Wagon as a supplement for your child to have a platform to build on.  

18.  Toy Lawn Mower

Little Tikes Toy Lawn Mower

Little Tikes Gas 'n Go Mower Toy

We do not own this item, but I think we should.  Our daughter loves to help Mr. Mia mow our lawn, and it would be so adorable to watch her alongside her daddy.  This product also comes in pink.  The Little Tikes Gas 'n Go Mower Toy would be a great gift to give to a little 3-year-old boy or girl.   

19.  Tricycle

Harley Davidson Tricycle by Fisher Price for Toddlers

Fisher-Price Harley-Davidson Motorcycles Tough Trike

A tricycle is a staple item when it comes to toys (in our opinion).  Our daughter loves her ladybug tricycle.  My best friend's son (who is almost 4-years-old) loves his motorcycle tricycle (Fisher-Price Harley-Davidson Motorcycles Tough Trike) and it is adorable when he rides it.  Don't forget to buy a helmet!

20.  Toy Grocery Shopping Cart

Little Tikes Toy Grocery Shopping Cart

Little Tikes Toy Grocery Shopping Cart

Grandma has a toy grocery shopping cart at her house, and this toy is a huge hit with our 3-year-old daughter every time she goes there.  Little Mia (our daughter) runs around the house carrying her animals and toy baby-dolls in the Little Tikes Shopping Cart and pretends that she is grocery shopping and it is adorable.

21.  Playtime Fruits and Veggies, by Melissa and Doug

Playtime Fruits and Veggies, by Melissa and Doug

Playtime Fruits and Veggies, by Melissa and Doug

Our 3-year-old daughter loves to pretend make us dinner with playtime veggies and  Melissa and Doug Playtime Fruits.  She will go on and on about how we need to eat healthy, which is amazing and adorable and hilarious to hear.  If you're looking for toys recommendations for baby's first years, check out Top 25 Must-Have Newborn and Baby Items.

22.   SmartyPants Gummy Vitamins

SmartyPants Gummy Vitamins

SmartyPants Gummy Vitamins

The SmartyPants Gummy Vitamins with Omega 3 Fish Oil and Vitamin D are my favorite not only because they contain Fish Oil and Vitamin D, which I really like my little 3-year-old to have, but also because they are delicious and I sneak a couple too.  The SmartyPants Gummy Vitamins are fantastic "treats" for my daughter if she behaves well (which she will at the threat of not being able to have her "vitaminins", as she calls it), and I have somehow tricked her into thinking that these are dessert.  

Corduroy - Board Book 
Link:  Corduroy - Board Book 

Corduroy - Board Book

Corduroy - Board Book 

I'm not sure who loves Corduroy book more - my 3-year-old daughter or me.  Much like the 5-minutes story books, this is a book that I am more than happy to read to my child each night - it's probably about a 3-4 minute read.  For a list of our favorite books for babies, check out Top 10 Baby Books.

24.   Music, Music, Music

The Gift of Music!

If your 3-year-old child is similar to mine, that child will LOVE music.  From Taylor Swift, to some questionably appropriate rap music, to Disney songs, my child pretty much loves it all.  If you are looking for a gift for a 3-year-old, something with music would be fantastic.  

25.   Kid Ear Phones with Volume Control
Link:   Kidz Gear Wired Headphones For Kids

Kids Ear Phones with Volume Control

Ear Phones with Volume Control for Kids

When we went on a family vacation last year, we bought the Kidz Gear Wired Headphones For Kids for our 3-year-old daughter to use on the airplane.  We wanted headphones that would actually stay on her head, and that wouldn't put her at risk for hearing loss due to loud volume.  The Kidz Gear Wired Headphones For Kids are perfect for this because they not only fit her 3-year-old head perfectly, but they have a volume control feature that helps us not worry too much about the level of volume that she is listening to music (or watching an episode of Paw Patrol) on my iPad.


Where the Sidewalk Ends
Link:  Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings

Where the Sidewalk Ends - Children's Book

Where the Sidewalk Ends

The book Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings is Mr. Mia's book that he reads to our daughter when he does the bedtime story.  For a list of our favorite books for babies, check out Top 10 Baby Books.


What's your favorite product for a 3-year-old? 
Share it with us by commenting below!


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