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Gift Ideas for 3-Year Old Boy

My son's third birthday is fast approaching and relatives are starting to ask what they should get him I am at a loss since Christmas was a challenge and not that long ago!! He loves the movie "Cars" and already has a ton of related stuff, loves dinosaurs, being outdoors, his train set... Any ideas that would be new or "different" are greatly appreciated!! Thank you to all the wonderful moms out there!

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What amazing moms there are out there!! I have plenty of ideas to pass on to relatives now. I think we are definitely going to go for the savings account idea. Thank you all for your wonderful ideas!

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i think the movie letter factory is a good gift. It is by leap frog and teaches the letters and there sounds it is super entertaining and cute. Go!!od luck

I like the puzzle suggestion -- as my 3 1/2 year old is all about puzzles -- and has a great collection -- you can get ones with BIG pieces -- they make BIG puzzles, but it is fun to watch them work it out after doing with someone the first few times. Puzzles can be educational (Alphabet puzzles) and fun -- they even have a Car's puzzle at Target that is shaped like Lightening McQueen (One of my son's favorites).

S.,

I have a 4 year old third child and every holiday we get the "what does he want?" requests from family. The truth is, he NEEDS nothing and has so many toys already that he doesn't really appreciate anything and I would appreciate a break from all the stuff. We give tons of things away every year. I ask people to put money in his savings account and buy him a pack of gum (he really loves that). Or I asked my parents to buy a membership to someplace that he loves i.e. the zoo, the waterpark, the museum, lagoon, whatever you love as a family. This gives us more opportunities to do things as a family without breaking the bank.

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The best gift I got my son at that age was duplo building sets they are larger then legos (no choking hazard) and I watch boys from 3 to 9 and they all play with these like crazy! Building towers, super hero forts you name it! I have two tubs of them and they are played with at some point every day! He is now almost five and interested in big boy legos now but he still plays with the duplo ones too. I can throw them in the tub and wash them easily.
Also he loves action figures and Fisher price has a series of Planet Heroes that each figure represents a planet in the solar system so they learn about planets too. They come with a DVD movie with the characters in them too and it is cute. Also Leapster is a huge hit and they have games appropriate with age and they can grow with it. Great for car rides or waiting at a Dr office. My son has learned a lot from them and they move up in the games. The games are great and easy for a relative to send him or get him a gift certificate to pick out ones he doesn't have.

Another idea is clothes for the upcoming seasons. My son was content at that age to get a few toys but loves clothes too thankfully. That way it saves you and doesn't give you a ton of toys in excess. Hope that helps, I am surrounded by little boys daily! :)

I have a son who is turning 3 in April. The following are some of the things he would enjoy...

* small tent shaped like animal (ex: shark tent)
* flashlights
* sleeping bag
* art supplies
* musical instruments
* a special day trip somewhere
* a special cake
* pirate-themed toys
* dress-ups
* favorite videos or books
*scooter/bike and safety gear

my guys loved (and still love) a marble works game they got from Discovery Toys and some large card board 'bricks' that came from Lillian Vernon.

We have given the card board blocks as gifts and hear great things from the recipients months later, and they are affordable. Our personal set is over 10 years old...

The Marble Works game is great because you can build it any way you want (like Lego's), and they are fascinated to watch the motion of the marbles. Plus there are some pretty cool marbles out there to collect. It would be a parent supervised game until he was older, though...

Good Luck!!

Board games! They are finally old enough for Candy Land, Hi-Ho Cherry-O! and some other great ones.

The big hits in our home at three were Candyland, Leappad and Leapsters. We're coming back into that stage a second time, and those and baseball, etc. are still the hits. We still get buy with the cheap, time tested things, too, like bubbles and playdough.

How about a gift certificate for his favorite class. My in-laws and extended family have paid for swim and ski lessons, ballet, soccer, summer camp, zoo and museum memberships. Last Christmas they even gave each grandchild a "coupon" book with a trip to the ice cream store, a visit to the museum, over night with grammy and grampy, ect...

Hope this helps! Jenny

Your son may already have one, but I found a car mat at the fabric store and he loves it. He has "Cars" character cars and regular cars. It folds up small and stays in his container with all of his cars. All my kids love to play with it. Legos are a hit too and they come in all sizes. Building blocks, he loves! They are just plain or colored in a big container. They can become buildings, fences, bridges, roads, or towers. Their imagination comes up with all sorts of ideas. He is also really into drawing, playdough, cutting. I wish I would have bought him an art easle for Christmas. He has some money that he got from Grandma and Grandpa and we might get him one. I have seen some at Toys R Us and they have trays and containers on the bottom to hold all of his stuff.

A cheap $3 book and a check for his savings account. At this age toys don't matter. He will start learning preschool skills (counting, shapes, ABC's) soon (if he hasn't already). Books will allow you quite time with him. The check for his savings account will help him in the long run. As he get older you can teach him about money management.

I wish my family had done this for my kids instead of buring me under piles of toys.

He's old enough for the board puzzles - the kind with around 20 pieces that have that cardboard frame and back. They come in all sorts of pictures and it's a great activity for you to do together and discuss the pictures and fun stuff.
Also, the really big lego blocks are good at this age (the kind that are bigger than duplo, sorry, don't remember what they're called).

Maybe try books, coloring books, or puzzles in the areas he is interested in its never too early to start creativity. Other things could be clothes for the upcoming season if he is in need of clothes. One thing I wish I would have thought of when my kids were young was getting them a savings account and if they don't really need anything but family insists on giving gifts the could make a deposit into your sons future. If I would have thought of this I would not be burried in toys and have teenagers who always seem to need money for something.

I liked the suggestions of memberships. We've done those & continue to love them!

Some of the most popular toys over here have been building toys of all kinds. My son (now 4) LOVES K'nex, Lego-type blocks, wooden blocks, Bendaroos (those are great 'cause you can also take them to restaurants). Add on Play-doh (or other modeling clay), crayons, paint & paper and you've got about 90% of where my son spends his playtime. And he's learning so much while he's doing all of that stuff... creativity, problem solving, spatial relationships, etc.

Hope you find some stuff he really enjoys!

S.,

I have a 4 year old third child and every holiday we get the "what does he want?" requests from family. The truth is, he NEEDS nothing and has so many toys already that he doesn't really appreciate anything and I would appreciate a break from all the stuff. We give tons of things away every year. I ask people to put money in his savings account and buy him a pack of gum (he really loves that). Or I asked my parents to buy a membership to someplace that he loves i.e. the zoo, the waterpark, the museum, lagoon, whatever you love as a family. This gives us more opportunities to do things as a family without breaking the bank.

I don't think that "new and different" presents are nessesarily the best, what preschoolers need is basic, classic toys that will allow them to use their imaginations. Playdough, blocks, balls, sand box toys, fingerpaints, crayons, construction paper, lincoln logs, etc. are really the best toys because they do not do too much for the child. And although toys with your child's favorite movie charactors are fine in moderation, if all the cars that he owns are "Cars" movie cars then of course they can only have the personality of the charactors from the movie. Some plain old toy cars that do not come pre-personalized would be great. Most of the classic kid's toys and art supplies are not expencive and they will be tons of fun to play with. Books also make excellent presents. I hope that your son has a happy birthday!

Imaginex by fisher price. Sturdy, with little contraptions and buttons to push, bullets to blast out, both my boys love them, we have the priate set, castle and now the bat cave and mobile. good luck.

Sometimes when I am out of ideas I go to the Toys R Us website and put in an age group of toys to look at. Soemtimes they may be a little out of my DD's league but as his mom, you will be able to tell. When it gets closer to nicer weather and a b-day is around the corner I like to get outside toys to play with. Sometimes I even buy them now and let them open them up when it's nice out. That way their b-day presents aren't opened and they can't play with them. Make sense? Good luck!

A college education. If DS is already drowning in toys then have them send a check to his account.

If there really isn't anything he "needs", why not ask for donations to his college fund? Or giftcards to the local toy store or bookstore so when something comes up, you can get it then? (Going with the local, hopefully independent store also is great support for small business).

If people REALLY want to get him a thing, then ask that they get one very small thing (ie- a book) and donate the rest to the college fund (or savings account if you don't think college is in your plans).

Since he is your only child, this is a chance to teach him 1) stuff doesn't equal love, 2) we can have lots of fun without more stuff, and 3) respect for money. He doesn't have a sibling to compare with :)

I'd say still get a few things for him becaue let's face it-- opening gifts is fun, especially when you're three. But make the bulk of what would be spent go into the long term-- a wonderful gift for all of you!

I like the puzzle suggestion -- as my 3 1/2 year old is all about puzzles -- and has a great collection -- you can get ones with BIG pieces -- they make BIG puzzles, but it is fun to watch them work it out after doing with someone the first few times. Puzzles can be educational (Alphabet puzzles) and fun -- they even have a Car's puzzle at Target that is shaped like Lightening McQueen (One of my son's favorites).

Bike? Skates? My 3 yr-old loved his foam swords, Candyland game, and Hi Ho Cherry-O game. Take him to Toys R Us just to look around one day (but warn him ahead of time that you aren't buying anything).

My son really got into arts and crafts stuff right around his 3rd birthday. Finger paints, foamies, crayons, markers, glitter, coloring books, stickers, etc. He even can use the child scissors a little now with supervision. He loves making gifts for all of our family and friends. If you do the messier art projects, I would recommend getting one of those big plastic or vinyl table cloths that you can either wipe down, shake out, or throw in the laundry for easy clean up.

dress ups! or a tent. my mom made a fabric tent that fits over the top of a card table. she also made a fabric rocket that can tie to the rail of the bunk bed. both have windows cut out. so if you have a piece of furniture your son likes to play in/under, maybe someone with some sewing skills can make something that becomes something for pretend play. one year a relative got my boys things that could be consumed since they had so many toys-- pirate cereal, super hero fruit snacks, juice boxes.

How about a bongo drum, a tambourine, a CD of children's music, or a fun children's book?

Hi S.,

How about a zoo membership, or the children's museum, or the WOW museum in Lafayette, or the aquarium or someplace you guys like to go to. Maybe a few family members could go in on it together. We always use the heck out of our zoo membership!

Other thing my son loved as a gift when he was 3. Stomp Rockets!!

i think the movie letter factory is a good gift. It is by leap frog and teaches the letters and there sounds it is super entertaining and cute. Go!!od luck

Sand Shovel & Pale -- you should start seeing these in stores. I love the one that Target has every year. They have a little wagon, with 3 different shovels, and 2 different size pales for like $12.99. You can find it in the gardening section. We have a Super Target so I'm not sure if a normal Target would have it.

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