3Rd Birthday Ideas - Downers Grove,IL

Updated on February 02, 2011
E.B. asks from Downers Grove, IL
12 answers

Help! Our little girl will be turning 3 in about 6 weeks and we have no idea what to get her for her birthday - and Grandma is asking for ideas! What are some things your kids loved just as they were turning 3 that they could also grow into a little bit?

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Chicago on

My daughter loved her doctor kit that she got from grandparents for 3rd birthday.
Also loved her little leap frog computer that cost about 20-30.
The Rody horse on Amazon.com
Dress up costumes are fun too.

More Answers



answers from Chicago on

Your daughter is now at an age where she's in a whole new category of toys - she can have the small pieces now. Barbie, Polly Pocket, Strawberry Shortcake. All things my daughter loved at 3 and still plays with now (plus the small doll and pieces are great to throw in your purse and bring to entertain at restaurants!).

She also loves the kitchen and play food, the pop-up tent is a huge hit in our home too (they love to play camping or spaceship or anything), and it folds and stores away nice. I give my kids at least one book for each birthday and Christmas. Dress up and arts and crafts are always good too.

When my daughter was 3 I gave her a Strawberry Shortcake back pack, and inside it was a SS book, SS doll and playset and SS blanket (another thing she loved). My mom got her the Bitty Baby from American Girl and she loved that too, but wouldn't recommend it unless she's really into dolls, as it's on the pricey side.



answers from Kansas City on

My 3 year old daughter loves her dress up clothes, especially high heels and crowns, she loves to paint, she loves to ride her bike (although it's a bit cold now but a good gift idea!). She also likes those mega blocks, likes to bake and is still in love with her play kitchen. She is just starting to like Barbies too. Those are the biggies around our house.



answers from Oklahoma City on

We always looked in resale shops for Halloween costumes and dress up clothes. I bought lots of fancy little dresses at the Salvation Army for $.40...really, they had a clearance rack and anything on it was just 40 cents. I bought all kinds of clothes off it, some just for the fabric and I made some really cute little dresses by cutting up dresses that were on clearance. Old high heels that are not too high, hats, tiaras, crowns, capes, and even costumes that correspond to story book characters. At Walmart they have a whole section of dress up clothes by the books so the little ones can dress up like Pinkaliciaous, Barbie, Dora, Cinderella, Snow White, etc....

They also love activity items. We bought all the little books, they have a computerized piece that inserts into the slot on back of the lap pad.They touch the book page and there are 3 different levels to the story. I think it is some pre-school level of a Leap Pad. One has pink and white fabric the other has dark blue and white fabric. There are about 20 different books. Now they have even more Leap Pad stuff.

Musical instruments like drums, horns, tambourines, jingle bells, anything that makes noise. Books on cd, movies, blocks, puzzles that are 4-6 pieces, no more or they can be too complicated and I recommend wooden ones. Finger paint is an option but requires adult supervision to teach them how to see the shapes they leave on the paper and too keep the area cleaner. An easel that they can paint on and color on the other side. Art supplies that are wipe-able.

Our girl was never into dolls, she went straight to Barbies, her best friend is all about baby dolls and still often has one in her purse or bag.

We also got K the beginner skates at this age. she loved them and used them outside plus at the skating rink. She does well on inline skates now at 7 because she got the feel for skating at a young age. A new helmet and pad set with a new bike with training wheels, the 12" bike may be just a touch too big if she's not used to riding a tricycle. Or get her a new tricycle if she doesn't have one yet.

What about sports equipment like a T-Ball set (our first one had the hollow balls with holes in them and a foam or rubber bat), she can learn to hit the ball and family can learn to chase the ball for her....LOL. She might be able to play T-Ball this Fall if your league allows 31/2 year olds to play, ours does. Soccer is still 4 1/2 though but learning to kick a soccer ball is always fun.

Just go to Walmart and go up and down the pre-school isle and make a list. Email or write a letter and put all the wonderful ideas you'll come up with in it and get it to grandma.

Perhaps grandma can pay for the little one to attend gymnastics or a mommy and me class at a local gym/dance studio. That would be something long lasting and lots of fun for everyone.


answers from Dallas on

for 3 we had a princess party. I asked all the girls to wear thier pretty pretty princess dress and as favors I gave everybody tiaras I bought at the dollar store. For an activity I put lip gloss and super pink blush on all the girls and we took pictures. It was really fun for all the girls to dress up and it made for great pictures. My 3 yr old really loves tea party, so if I could do it again it would've been a princess tea party.



answers from San Francisco on

My son is turning 3 in about 6 six too! I asked for family to get him outdoor toys (sports stuff - little tennis, soccer, baseball, football sets, balls, trucks, bubbles, hula hoops, jump rope, out door tent/crawl playhouse.) I did this because spring is coming up here in CA (not sure when it gets warm for you) but he needs outdoor activity. We have PLENTY of inside toys from Christmas (1/2 in closets waiting to be brought down).



answers from Chicago on

I just spent the day cleaning out my daughters closet, since her birthday is on the way. What did I find but boxes of unopened toys from her last birthday!!!! Plus I just filled 3 huge boxes of toys for the attic! My point.....kids are spoiled and have too much stuff!

Something we've been doing for the kids since they've been about 3 or 4 is instead of gifts, the grandparents take them somewhere or get them a class from the park district. I know they still want to get presents, so we switch. If my parents buy a gift for a birthday, my inlaws buy the class or take them somewhere. Then for christmas they switch! Plus, I have them put $$ away for college, too! Have Grandma take her to the childrens museum or an Elmo play. maybe laurie Berkner's in town? Or maybe a tumbling class? I guarentee that the pics and memories will be better than some toys that ends up in the attic, garage sale, or broken in the trash!



answers from Chicago on

you will start a GREAT easy gift idea if you start her with Playmobile items. For now she may like the 123 version, but if she isn't a mouther then the regular ones are great
This is also a great year to buy her some games to play with you, 24 piece puzzles or doll stuff.


answers from Dallas on

Here are my 3 year old's favorite toys...

Shopping cart
Dress up clothes
Dora dollhouse, little people castle and mickey mouse clubhouse set and littlest petshop sets (anything with lots of play pieces to play pretend)
Her toy kitchen with food
doll stroller
pirate treasure chest (melissa and doug for $30)
coloring books, playdough, crafting stuff
And sort of jewelry box, music box, etc.


answers from St. Louis on

Paint, paint, paints!!! We had a painting party actually. There are so many kinds of paint things too - what about Color Wonder paints? My 3.5 got those for Xmas and loves them. She also loves to fingerpaint (so paint, a tray to contain everything, fingerpainting paper), paint with regular paints (paints, paper, brushes, different 'stencil type things' to use).

Other than that - puzzles, Candyland (she LOVES this too) and Leapfrog were favs of my daughter's a few months ago.



answers from Portland on

Your little girl is almost at the age where she will start having a preference - that makes this a hard age to buy for so you'll have to choose what sorts of things you'd prefer to have in your home in the meantime. We went with Hello Kitty, Care Bears, and princesses. All stuck and the best gift she ever got was her care bear which is about the same size as her - she carries it everywhere two years later! Dressing up is going to become really important as she'll watch mommy get dolled up (you can find princess chests with all the accessories on amazon). Make believe is amazing for kids (Magic school bus books maybe?). Art supplies fuel the imagination (IKEA has an art easel center for 14.99 that is amazing if you're going paint free). Dolls are great but try to avoid too many dress up things for dollies - at this age they get lost so that's more in the 5 year mark. A special bag for her special things to go places with her is always great (maybe with some sunglasses and a hat to wear out included for the dress up element).

If in total doubt go with practical and ask for some cute outfits and supply her sizes. Little kids still love new clothes so it's usually a win. Wishing you the best!



answers from San Francisco on

Pretend play was huge for my girls at this age, so play kitchen and play food were great (they're 9YO and still use their toy dishes sometimes!). Basic art supplies, blocks, outdoor stuff like Little Tikes golf or basketball set, tricycle,

oh, and I love the pop-up play tent/play hut stuff - great for making pretend play spaces and then easy to fold up small when not in use. Our girls' preschool had a play hut "bus" and "fire engine" and the kids loved them! also there are play tunnels that are basically long fabric tubes which connect to the play hut pieces. You can often find them at discount places like Ross or Marshalls. here's an example of some of them: http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&keywords=PlayHut&...

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions