Our 3 year old LOVES to build things, and I love any toy set that will keep him engaged for a significant period of time. I also feel like these toys are great for learning – he’s learning colors, shapes, and physics when they tumble to the ground. He also invites me to play with him (so sweet!) and plays with me – while I teach him to share and take turns.
According to ParentingScience.com, building toys have significant development benefits including hand-eye coordination, motor skills, language skills, spatial skills, and social skills.
Not listed, but equally important to me, are the focus and concentration required that get him to sit in one spot!
Here’s a round up of our favorite building toys for 3 year olds:
Of course, Legos are the ultimate building toy, and we have fun building a “zoo” and building tall towers together. This is a great starter set available on Amazon.
These little turtles are brightly colored and snap together to make different geometric shapes. Pictured above, this is our son’s new favorite toy. Even I enjoy playing with this toy! Available on Amazon.
Mr. Potato Head
I brought Mr. Potato Head home from CVS when our son had a fever and was couch-bound, and it was the perfect toy for the day – he could play but he could sit on the couch and take it apart and put it back together again, putting the pieces back where they belong. Available on Amazon.
Plain old wooden blocks are one of the child development toys that experts say teach children many skills including organization and problem solving – plus it’s fun to stack and build structures (read some tips on Parents.com). We have hand-crafted wooden blocks from West Virginia purchased at Snowshoe in the WV Living store – I love the natural wood, and that they were hand-made. However, there are many options like these available on Amazon.
Magformers are another building toy I enjoy — the sides are all magnetic, and there a million different patterns you can build. The instructions give lots of different shapes you can build flat and then turn into 3D shapes. Very cool. Our son loves to play with them (almost as much as I do!) Available on Amazon.
File this under a “duh” moment – we received play dough as a gift for our son’s 3rd birthday, and I can’t believe I never thought to give it to him before! He LOVES it. He mostly likes to smoosh it all together and call it a hackey sack – but lately we’ve been building a “little dog” together. My play dough sculpture skills aren’t exceptional, but we have fun playing with play dough together! Available on Amazon.