I had mentioned here that for Dustin’s third birthday, we got him a set of magnet tiles. I researched a bit before we settled on that gift, and since we chose to only get him one gift I wanted to make sure it was a good choice. I looked at so many gift idea lists online before deciding, and so thought it would be fun to put together my own little gift guide for three year old boys. These are all things that we or someone else have gotten him in the past year, and all have been a huge hit with him. Also, all are under $30!
Playmags This is what we got him for his birthday. He had played with some similar ones at a friend’s house and seemed to like them, and he loves to build, so I figured they’d be a good choice. I wasn’t prepared for how much he loves them, though! He plays with them every day. I love that they’re an open ended toy, so the options are pretty endless, and as he gets older he can play with them in new ways. We’ve incorporate them into playing with other toys, too, like animals and cars. Even Chloe (one year old) loves to play with these. The only drawback for me is that with only 32 tiles, they get used up pretty quickly, and then you have to start over. I’d like to get another set soon. I’d also like to get the Playmags Car Set (because cars are everything in our house!) and the big Playmag Stabilizer Plate.
I’ve come across a couple other brands of magnet tiles online, but haven’t played with them to be able to compare quality. But we’ve been really happy with the Playmags and haven’t felt any need to look into the more expensive brands!
Train Set I know, nothing earth shattering here, but we love this little train set. We’d like to add some more tracks, soon, but this is a great starter. Comes with four little train cars. The only drawback is that a couple Thomas trains that Dustin has don’t quite fit under the tunnel, but they do fit on the track to drive so he still uses them,
The Big Book of Big Machines Dustin got this for Christmas from his grandparents and he loves it. There are big, vivid pictures and great little captions by each picture. Our favorite part are the several fold out pages for the extra big machines.
Boogie Board You could consider this the updated Etch and Sketch. You draw on it with the plastic pen and then there is a button at the top to erase it. It’s nice to be able to take this out and about with us (church, restaurants, etc.) as an easy activity. It’s great drawing practice and Dustin really likes practicing on it. There are several extra “accessories” you can buy with pictures and backgrounds to trace. A fun extra, but not necessary.
A lot of reviews I read online said that they thought the lines when you drew on it were very dim and they couldn’t even see what they were drawing. It isn’t super bright, but I haven’t found this to be a huge problem. I can see the drawings just fine.
I do wish this came with it’s own little bag or something to carry it in and protect the screen. When I put it in Dustin’s backpack, I feel like the thin screen could get scratched easily.
Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles These puzzles are such a great step up from wooden peg puzzles. The box comes with four different puzzles, and each puzzle has just 12 pieces. I helped Dustin with them the first few times, but now he does them all by himself. He will sit and play with these for up to an hour. He loves them and does them over and over again. Each puzzle has a different shape on the back of the pieces (diamonds, triangles, squares, and circles) to be able to easily differentiate them. And each pule always stays in its own little box, separate from the others (yeah right). Actually, Dustin loves dumping them all out and picking out the pieces he needs from the big pile as he goes. I figure this is making him think even more, so we go with it!
Have you tried any of these already? Do you have any other favorite ideas for toddlers? I’d love to hear them!