Hi everyone! My son, Philip, is turning three July 13th. Each year, we get one "big" birthday gift for him. Big does not necessarily mean expensive. Instead, "big" means a the gift that he really enjoys and does not grow tired of too quickly. For instance, his first birthday gift was the Little Tykes Outdoor Adventure playset (grandparents went halfsies with us). Second birthday was a two seater red wagon and tricycle. Both of these gifts are still enjoyed each and everyday and we feel they are developmentally and educationally appropriate. We are coming up empty on ideas for this third birthday. Thomas the Tank is out. He's not interested and we aren't pushing it since we have a tiny cottage style home athat can't fit a train table or anything relatively immobile. Philip is obsessed with books, and wants to read them 24/7. He also loves puzzles. Any ideas for our little boy this year would be appreciated!
Thanks everyone! Such wonderful ideas! We have opened ROTH IRA in his name, as the strong urging of our parents. We also already have a little chair with his name on it and each year's birthday gift from the grandparents is the zoo membership. We have Leapster from Xmas this past year although he's not really into it as much as books and puzzles. So, I think we are considering an outdoor swingset/fort, but it's a bit pricey and will take up much of our little backyard. But, it will be used by both Philip and her little sister when she gets bigger. Also, the dinosaur idea is a good one, as he is really into dinosaurs and bugs (yuck!). Thank you everyone for these great ideas!
I have a 3 1/2 year old boy and his favorite toys right now are small cars. We have a wonderful fold up mat with roads and city scenes on it that lays on the floor and he has a small kid's fishing tackle box that he carries his cars around in. This has been great since we can take them with us when we go somewhere. We just fold up the mat and put all of his little cars in his box and take them with us when we go visiting family or on vacation. I bought the mat from One Step Ahead/Leaps and Bounds. They have some great educational type toys also.
Hope this helps
My son will be three in November and we are planning on getting him an art table/easel. He can use it to color, paint, read, do puzzles, or just play with his cars on it. It has its own light and seat attached to it and can be folded to fit in the corner. We found the one we like at Wal*Mart for $20.
Have you taken Thomas to the Library? I don't know how old a child has to be to have his own library card, but if he qualifies and you have a good children's library, they have all kinds of programs for kiddos, year round. Also, the card would be a good way to start teaching good responsibilities.
I know it isn't 'big,' but it is huge in rewards for him.
May be a basketball and a basketball court. This would give him time with his father.
Also may I suggest to you, and all other young moms here, that you should open up a Roth IRA Account. If you invest $1000 and re invest the dividends at age 65 it should be no less than $500,000. If you cannot invest $1000 you can invest $250 in General Electric symbol GE. Actually if you invest $250 or $1000 GE is a good one to invest in at this time.
This will also teach him how to invest whereby he would probably add additional monies to it as he grows.
The reason I memtion Roth IRA as the taxes are paid on the money before you invest and when he takes it out he pays no taxes.
Comments appreciated on the investment part.
p.s. - I think all mothers should start a THIS IS YOUR LIFE BOOK for each child. It is a good place to put all his certificates, etc. together and you can give it to them when they marry.
With him still being little, now is the perfect time to start him a college fund that will still pay for his college when he is ready to go. I used to live in Illinois and wanted to start a fund for my daughter there with a program called "College Illinois" ( http://www.collegeillinois.com/en/ ). I think this option is available in any state thru 529 Plan & Prepaid Tuition Program. Check it out- might be right for you!
Also, you have already said how much he loves books- how about a library card or a monthly subscription to one of the book clubs? Dr Seuss has a monthly club that will send him books each month... I'm sure many others do, too.
Just remember, if you get him "bigger and better" every year (sounds like you are not doing this, but trying to keep it on an even keel- good for you!), what will he come to expect on his 16th birthday short of a brand new top of the line (insert whatever the newest and latest model is here) car.
And you have a small daughter to follow this act with... what will SHE want???
Has anyone showed you Discovery Toys? You can go online at toycubby.com and view items by age for your son. I know the Extreme Loop Track (race cars) is on sale for $10.99 and is compact enough to suit your home. Also, if he likes to read, there are several books on our current sale flyer that are around his age. My daughter (also 3) loves the It's A Match and the Busy Bugs. If you have any questions about the toys, feel free to call me. All my contact info. is on the website.
You could maybe get a personlized comfy chair that he can sit in to read his books. Pottery Barn has some that are very cute and come in I think 3 sizes. I'm planning to get my lil man one although he is much younger than your son. Good luck shopping :)
My grandsons are enamored with balls, and toy vehicles. They will play happily with toy cars all day, especially "Rescue Heroes" stuff, which has all sorts of indestructable action figures who fit in the vehicles, and last through one little boy to be handed down to another.
I know this may not sound "exciting" but what about a kid sized table and chairs where he can read and do puzzles. I know that my almost 3 yr old loves the little table and chairs they have at the drs office. It's also something your daughter can enjoy when she gets bigger.
My three old loves books too! My mom bought our son a book case for his second birthday. He just loves to go over to it and see all the books he gets to choose from. Some of my books from childhood are on the shelves too. He loves asking where each of the "older" books came from. Birthday gifts don't always have to be toys and the bookcase can go on with him forever. My mom purchased an unfinished one and we stained it in our choice of color. As far as puzzles, have you tried Melissa & Doug, they have great wooden puzzles and activities for children. I purchased a book called "A Train With No Name" for my son's third birthday. This book puts your son's name along with the names of three friends, your home town, etc right in the story. I found it on EBAY and then went straight to the website for the seller. They have other titles available.
Since his birthday is on July, maybe one of those Little Tikes (inflatible) slide and pool sets. I've seen them for as low as $20 at Walmart. But if he likes to read, they have some great monthly books clubs for kids (Disney gives you 7 for free, + s/h--then only need to buy 4 others)--so after he opens the initial set of books, he can expect others in the mail throughout the year.
Whn my son was 3 yr old went nuts over the imaginext dinosaurs we got him most of them for xmas that was his big present =) and he still plays with them everyday! hope this helps. i just read the other esponses and the second hand 4 wheeler is a great idea or a new one if you an afford it. my 1 year old has the simle one and my 4 and 5 year old are always trying to hop on that thing, so he woudl probably love the bigger one.
Wedgits are one of the coolest toys I've seen. I think they are the cheapest on www.kidsurplus.com. I really like the idea of a special trip too. There are some great children's museums, depending on where you live. The Atlanta aquarium is one of the most amazing trips we've ever taken. Outside toys are also terrific in the summer. We just got our son a huge inflatable waterslide from littletikes.com. He LOVES it. It comes with a basketball hoop and ball in the pool part too. I think it's called the slide and slam, and it has been on sale for around $200. Melissa and Doug also make some great floor puzzles for age 3 and up. Or, how about his name in a puzzle form. I think One Step Ahead has those or you can find them on ebay too. An easel is also one of our favorite toys...especially one that folds up for storage. If you don't have room, One Step Ahead sells adhesive wall mount magnetic panels that can be used like an easel and don't ruin your wall.
One thing that I got my son at that age that he still enjoys and he is 4 1/2 now is the bear that reads stories...I have drawn a blank on the name. Okay, TJ BEARYTALES is what we got him. This bear reads story through little cartridges that you put in his back. It usually comes with one or two stories then you can purchase additional books. I love it because on nights that I am pressed for time I can let TJ read him books while I finish getting dishes..etc done. This bear moves his head and arms...its really neat. My nephew had one years ago and loved it too. I know that when my son out grows it I can put it up and save it for my daughter who will soon be using it too. A leap frog lap book is also another suggestion. Good luck!!
You mentioned your son loves books and puzzles. Maybe you could have someone in the family build him a special bookcase (if not possible buy one) and have all the family fill it with books and puzzles for his birthday. Might be fun to have family put in coupons or tickets saying call me to come read this to you. For some special books you could encourage family to write a note in the front for him. Be blessed and have a great celebration! R.
I found a great gift for a 3 yr old..we purchased it for my daughter for her 3rd birthday. We've also purchase it for our niece, nephew and 3 yr old playmate of our daughter.
It's a personalized name book called, My Very Own Name Book.
Check out this website: http://www.iseeme.com .
All the children enjoy these books and the book becomes a keepsake, as well as teaches the child how to spell their name.
How about a membership to the science center or the zoo? or do you already have one? My son just turned 3 we had the same dilemma plus money was tight. We bought him a 2nd hand but excellent condition 4 wheeler. He loves it. A friend of my inlaws bought him a $250 race car to ride in. Tho I appreciate the thought, I have 5 other kids- that would get costly to mimick, and cause hard feelings if she doesn't!
Could you have a sandbox in the backyard, if it didn't come with the set you already have? Possibly a kids digital camera, small and at 3 my daughter would love to have a camera to call her own. I know I used to buy my nephews single use cameras for birthdays when they were younger. Have you gotten him some challenging jigsaw floor puzzles, maybe hard with a baby who will be crawling before you know it-but you could bring it out at her naptime. A big art set with lots of supplies for crafts and time for you and him to do some creative stuff (for the really hot days of summer when its too hot to go out.)
Well get him some books then! You can keep the best and pass on the rest as he outgrows them. In addition to "age appropriate" material, I suggest, in case you haven't done this already, getting some "older kid" books to read to him. My kids loved WINNIE THE POOH (the real, A. A. Milne version) and MRS. PIGGLEWIGGLE (just the first book) at that age, but it helps to read very dramatically and act some parts out.
wow I have the exact same situation except my son birthday is June 8 I am looking all over the computer trying to find ideas any help would be appreciated I like the gift to count since it is only one that I think he will enjoy
How about a Leapster? They have educational things for his age, and you can buy others as he learns and grows. I think it goes up to 7 or 8 years old, but I'm not sure. My parents got them for my nephews and they also make great "diversions" on long car trips. You've gotten lots of good ideas to work from the other moms-I know you'll find him the perfect gift! ;-)
How about an art easle? They can fold flat against the wall and some can be stored behind a dresser. They can have the chalk on one side and paper on the other, I take my daughters outside when she uses the chalk. Much better on that than scrawled all over the porch. I'm not sure if your son is a budding artist, but surely it will keep him enthralled and give you some much needed QUIET time!
We live in a one room cabin and this thing is priceless! I store ours under the couch!
Good Luck and God Bless!
My daughter loved books at three, too. My suggestion would be to get him a computer for kids. My daughter has four of them, each one different. Our favorite two are by Vtech. They are not that expensive, actually one came from a consignment shop for five dollars and another from a thrift store for a dollar. My daughter plays with at least one several times a week. They have helped her learn her numbers and letters by the different games and she likes having a mouse shaped mouse on one of them. Hope the birthday goes well!
Hey, so what's the problem with buying this child Books? You mention he is obsessed with books. There are lots of truly educational books out there in his age bracket. And puzzles also...If he likes building puzzles, then look for puzzles that are about the human body or something scientific but for a 3 yr old mentality! The child will be learning while experiencing something he truly enjoys. I see no problem in that. When my oldest was only 2 he also loved reading. BAck in that time the Snoopy and Charlie Brown educational encyclopedias were selling at Winn Dixie food stores for min. price with every food purchase. I bought several. My son started out enjoying the pictures, eventually learned to memorize the stories and facts told because I would read to him from those books. And later on, he read them to himself! He was learning while enjoying his favorite pasttime.
give it some thought. Gifts don't have to be BIG nor Expensive especially for children this young. They should come from the heart of the giver and touch the heart of the receiver. That's it!
R., I am responding because I noticed you said your son loves books! My 3 year old also loves books and for his last birthday I started a wish list on amazon.com. It was perfect! I started the list because we already have enough toys and he doesn't seem to play with many of his toys anyway. He got to help pick out the books and was very excited when he opened them at his party! A few trips to the library first would be helpful. There might not be enough time to do this for his birthday this year, but it would be a fun idea for Christmas or his 4th birthday!
Good luck! Hope he has a great birthday!
Hi - congratulations on a lovely family. Are you anywhere near a zoo or child's museum? If so, how about a visit there with lots of photos and books related to where you go? With the photos, you can compile an album he will enjoy looking at. Just a thought. I send best wishes for your son's birthday to be filled with sunshine and laughter.