Toys for 3.5 Year Old

Updated on June 05, 2012
B.N. asks from Philadelphia, PA
13 answers

What toys are good for a 3.5 year old other than cars/trucks? We are just giving away a lot of the baby toys, and I don't feel like I know what to replace them with.

We have a lot of play doh and art supplies, but I am wondering about things they can do more independently.

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 Miami on

Hi B..
train sets
imaginary play -- animals, dress up stuff
board games -- candy land. chutes and ladders

HTH Jilly

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Dallas on

Melissa and Doug ANYTHING! We have their 100pc wooden block set, stampers, wooden lacing beads, wooden patterning blocks, etc.
We also have the Target brand wooden train set on the train table. The girls love it and play with it every day, so I can imagine that a boy would love it even more.
Kids that age also love any kind of container that they can use. Our containers get dumped out and used as boats, skis, etc.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I know you said no cars/trucks, but as a mother of 3 kids, I would have to say hands down, the Cozy Coupe is a blast for many ages.

I am sure you already have one, buts its my favorite toy of them all!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Thomas Trains
Kid Camera
Little People

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Syracuse on

My boys love cars/trucks- ages 2.5 and just turned 4. They also love their wooden train set. Of all their toys, they mostly just play with different varieties of cars and trucks, monster trucks, tonka dump truck, crane and tow truck.

I bought them a kitchen set which doesn't get used as much as I'd hoped.

The play-doe icecream maker and pop maker is a big hit.

We inherited an old set of wooden blocks, all different shapes and sizes, they LOVE those...they spend hours building trucks and trains out of the blocks.

Crayola paint - they love to just paint and it washes off easily

Outdoor toys like the cozy coupe, tricycle, even a regular bike w/ training wheels at 3.5 could be introduced.

Sand box

Recently - Lego Duplo sets (we just got the firestation)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Blocks like Legos, Melissa and Doug toys, wooden puzzles, trains, coloring books and washable crayons/markers, sidewalk chalk, a scooter (with helmet and pads,) Little People vehicles and people, dolls that teach dressing with snaps, zippers, laces, etc. (found one on Amazon called Kidoozie Dress Me Josh,) small basketball set, child sized rakes, brooms, mops, etc., age-appropriate electronic handheld games, and books are all things my guy who turned 3 in April plays with.


answers from Milwaukee on

Make sure you get a stomp rocket - super fun



answers from Dallas on

Lego's are wonderful for many years. They can use their imaginations building. Animals (horses, cow, pigs) Maybe a little basketball goal if he likes stuff like that.



answers from Erie on

The two categories that we do with a bang in our house are building toys and make-believe toys...

The best set of building toys for the 3s is Trio, I think. The blocks snap together tightly, so it develops strength and fine motor skills. There is a nice variety, though, so my kids used them for several years. You can then ease into Legos, which are more difficult due to the size and dexterity. Of course, Lincoln Logs, big cardboard blocks, and old fashioned wooden blocks are always a hit...

As for make believe, we have a kitchen set (wooden one by Melissa and Doug) which we continue to stock with all the essential foods and tools, and a work bench with many tools and parts to assemble. I also go crazy every year on November 1 buying all the clearance Halloween costume items to stock our dress-up bin. I prefer pieces that inspire creativity (capes, swords, crowns, etc.) rather than specific characters, but kids can turn anything into something else :-)

Oh, I almost forgot that we also have loads of musical toys... whistles, kazoos, electric piano (from Target is really cute), tambourines, xylophones, anything to drive me crazy and make them smile...



answers from Los Angeles on

Blocks are great. Lincoln Logs or other building toys are good independent games too. If you have the space, get a play kitchen. Boys and girls love them and it provides a lot of opportunity for creative play. A tool set can be very fun as well. Black and Decker makes really cute, realistic looking sets.

Balls are excellent toys, too.

I know this isn't independent, but they can start playing board games around age 3, so simple ones like Candy Land, Chutes & Ladders, or Sequence for Kids can be a lot of fun. There are even children's versions of Yahtzee that use pictures instead of numbers (we don't have it, but my son's friends like it).

I am an independent Discovery Toys rep and would love it if you checked out my website. Our toys grow with your children, so they tend to last longer than a regular toy, as there are new activities to try as the child gets older. Some of the most popular toys for this age group:

1. Block It (nice set of wooden blocks)
2. Playful Patterns - I LOVE this one and so does my son. It comes with foam shapes and 34 progressively difficult designs and patterns for them to build. It helps with motor, math, reading, language and thinking skills. We nickname it "preschool in a box" because they learn so much while playing with it, but it's very fun and something they can do totally independently.
3. Motor Works - a car, airplane and motorcycle that come with a battery-powered screwdriver so you can take them apart and put them back together
4. Geomino - domino-style game based on shapes and photos of familiar objects
5. MarbleWorks - design a giant raceway with endless possibilities for setting up the track

Please view these toys and more on my website at I can even help you earn some for free if you host an online party with your friends!




answers from Philadelphia on

My boys loved all the Thomas trains (there are many non-thomas ones that also fit the same tracks) and tracks. Those have kept them busy for hours on end since my oldest was 2 and he still plays with them at 6 sometimes. My 4.5 year old spends hours building elaborate setups with underpasses and bridges and it helps encourage creativity. You can get a big bag or box of train and tracks oftentimes on Craigslist when kids outgrow them and their parents sell them because they usually hold up quite well.

We also have a tons of Legos, although at 3.5 the little Legos are going to be difficult for him to pry apart probably. My oldest had to go the hospital after swallowing a lego a year ago because he was having trouble prying it apart and swallowed it - but he may like the bigger ones.

My kids also loved what we called the take-apart toys. There is a set of them on Discovery Toys. My boys have spent hours screwing and unscrewing each piece. They have a kids drill and kids screws and I can't find it at the moment, but I think it is for 4 and up.

Good luck!


answers from San Francisco on

Blocks, legos, pretend play (dress up, kitchen/food, babies, cash register/shopping cart, tools, etc.) dollhouse, castle, zoo, trains, sandbox/water table, big wheels/tricycle, balls, sidewalk chalk and of course lots of books!



answers from New York on

Legos!! As long as your little one has stopped putting toys in their mouth.
Balls too... differnt sizes and types. Basketball and hoop, T-ball set... Football...

My 4 year daughter has had most of these things for awhile and loves the all! She also loves her dolls, and games - lots of games... The "I Can Do That Game", Candy Land, CHutes & Ladders, Hungy Hungry Hippos, Ladybug Game, and others.

Good Luck!

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions