Good gifts for 3-year olds?

Riley’s third birthday is coming up in about a month and we’re at a loss as to an awesome birthday gift this year. Having a birthday in early March, still definitely winter here in Wisconsin, it can make it difficult to think of something really really cool to give. Ideally, I’d love to get him a giant swingset jungle gym thingy for the backyard, but those are expensive, so I think we’re going to have to wait on that.

Here’s what’s in the running so far:

Leapfrog Leapster Explorer. Obviously, this is a really popular toy. It’s fun and possibly educational. But really, does he need to stare at an electronic device at age 3? Doesn’t he have his whole life to do that? He already knows the entire alphabet, all of his colors and numbers through 20. Who knows.

Another option I am contemplating is this:

The Vtech V-Reader. This is pretty cool. Like a Kindle for toddlers. Riley and I played with a demo version of this in Target the other day and he seemed to really like it. It basically reads the book to the kid while the words light up on screen so you can follow along, karaoke-style. Our little boy loves books, so I’m not sure this would help “instill the love of reading” like it claims, since I think we already have that covered. And I just can’t help but think, can’t we just read him a book? Do we need an electronic device to do that for us? This would be kick ass on long car trips, though.

He still loves Thomas the Tank Engine, but we’ve pretty much got Thomas coming out of our ears these days, so I’d rather not have any more of him around the house.

He loves the Play-Doh Santa left in his stocking at Christmas and selfishly, I’d kind of like to get him this because I loved it as a kid:

How cool was the Play Doh Fun Factory when you were a kid? You could make spaghetti and that long string star. Awesome! I think he’d love this, too.

So the question remains – what do we buy for our sweet little boy? He deserves something good. Suggestions welcome!

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One response to “Good gifts for 3-year olds?

  1. Tracy

    We have a third birthday coming up for my son in a few weeks too. It’s tough since they just had Christmas. We went sort of low key with it. We just got him a few things. Our son loves music so we got him a tambourine to go with the guitar he got for Christmas and also a few CD’s to listen to in the car and a few other things. I think that at 3 years old we have it pretty easy. They get excited over little stuff still.

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