Parent-friendly birthday presents for three-year-olds

28th August 2018

Arlo turns three in a week’s time and we’ve already entered party territory. As the youngest of our NCT group, it means our summer weekends have been full of cake, party bags, fun and games as we celebrate this truly magic number. But when it comes to gifts, it can be a tricky one. They’ve reached an age where they can safely play with most toys but they’ve also formed plenty of opinions about the kind of things they actually like.

So instead to caving into their plastic-ridden Paw Patrol demands, I’m rounding up my pick of our favourite toys for three-year-olds that won’t end up in landfill a week later.


Candylab Toys GT10 Racer; All Mama’s Children; £27.95

One for the car enthusiasts out there, this range of design-led, awesome wooden cars by Candylab Toys are a winner with kids and adults alike.

Candylab car in hand

Plan Toys Balancing Cactus; Babi Pur; £26.95

This one’s perfect if they have any kind of attention span and is great for fine tuning fine motor skills like the pincer grip and spatial awareness.

Plan Toys Balancing Cactus

PARK Social Soccer Ball; A Circle Back; £25

Another shout out for the ball that gives back. Buy one of these babies and you’re actually buying two; one for your favourite three-year-old and another for a child in need.

Park Social Soccer ball, ultra blue

Wobbel Board Original with felt; Conscious Craft; £130

Here’s the big ticket item; the most versatile of all toys to hit the market in recent years. It’s a slide, a rowing boat, a table, a swing, a seesaw, a cosy nook…the list goes on.

Wobbel Board original with felt

Areaware Cubebot Small; Soren’s House; £19.95

Unravel this bendy little guy, then mould, shape and twist him into any position you like. He looks great on shelves, in doll’s houses or leading a herd of zoo animals out of the toy box.

Areaware Cubebot Small

Fredun Shapur Puzzle; PiqPoq; €20

Like many things, the ability to do puzzles varies dramatically by age. Arlo still throws the pieces across the room, whereas I’ve seen two-year-olds smash through some pretty complex ones, no trouble. If that’s your three-year-old, this mid-century design is a must.

Piqpoq Multiview Puzzle London

Bajo Angler Game; Babi Pur; £36.95

Another one for those who can sit still for a few minutes, this game is brilliant at perfecting fine motor skills and precision in the early years.

Bajo Angler game

Plan Toys Banjolele; Bobby Rabbit; £32

The Plan Toys Banjolele is the perfect introduction to music with it’s child-friendly size and strings you can tune. And who doesn’t love to make a racket when they’re three?!

Plan Toys Bajolele

Just Dutch Miffy & Melanie dolls; Tate; from £25

If they’re learning to dress themself, our range of Miffy and Melanie dolls are great for helping them along. With loads of different outfits to choose from, they’re a super sweet gift crocheted by hand.

Miffy and Melanie Just Dutch

Words by Anna Whitaker

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