Holiday Gift Guide for the 3-year-old Girl in Your Life

Scaling back on birthday gifts might be my MO, but I (admittedly) have a tendency to want to go a bit overboard for the holidays. This year, I’m trying to keep things more under control, so I’m thinking a lot about the stage my daughter is in and what toys might have a little more shelf life than say, three days.

According to a never-ending stream of Babycenter emails, three-year-olds are getting way into creative play. They make up conversations and stories; they love to pretend; they want to have their own “big kid” items; and toys actually keep their attention for more than 30 seconds. Woo hoo! Here’s a holiday gift guide for the three-year-old girl (or boy!) in your life based on what toys have been recent hits in our house as well as what I plan to get Emme this year.

Holiday gifts for preschoolers

(1) Fisher-Price Slim Doodle Pro, Purple

At the top of the list for my daughter is the Doodle Pro, a slim, purple version of the classic Magna Doodle. Our preschooler has a mini, Frozen-themed Magna Doodle with an annoying board book attached to it, but she plays with it constantly — drawing hearts, people, and tornados (don’t ask), while she tells herself stories. An upgrade to the full-size version is well worth it. 

(2) LEGO DUPLO Ice Cream Set

I reside firmly in the no-need-for-pink-LEGOS camp, and I believe any LEGO Duplo set makes a great gift for preschoolers regardless of gender. Case in point: My daughter received the LEGO Duplo Creative Play Ice Cream set for her birthday. This gift has been a big hit in our house, and for what it’s worth, the toddler and preschool boys in her life also seem to love it.

(3) Melissa and Doug Sleeping Bag

Emme all about building forts ever since her Grandma played pretend “campout” with her over the summer. I feel like her own sleeping bag is a “big kid” item she’ll get a big kick of — whether she’s uses it to “camp,” cuddle up in bed, or build a fort. Plus, it would be perfect for those nights she decides she needs to sleep in our room (three year olds and their ability to get up and get out of there rooms!).

(4) Skip Hop Ladybug Suitcase

Similar to the sleeping bag, I’m pretty sure my daughter would get a ton of use — play and otherwise — out of her own suitcase. She loves packing up all her toys and pretending that she’s heading out (wait, what?), and a suitcase could be used for actual trips as well.

(5) KidKraft Dollhouse

Emme received this KidKraft Chelsea Doll Cottage as her BIG birthday gift, and I think it’s a great present for preschool-aged kids. There are a ton of dollhouses out there, but the KidKraft house was a reasonable size and a reasonable price compared to other options. Plus, it came with all of the furniture. Not only does Emme play with the house and furniture, but we also gave her a doll family. She makes up conversations that go something like this: First doll, “Hello! I’ve got to go potty!” Second doll, “OK!” That alone is worth the cost of admission.

What’s on the list for your preschooler?

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