I’m not crying, you are! And it’s all about the age your three-year-old girl has reached. You knew she would turn 3, but you didn’t anticipate time would fly so quickly. With perhaps a second child on the way or a brother who has been in primary school for a year, you see changes every day. Changes in the communication between brother and sister, but also changes in the cognitive, social-emotional, and physical development of the girl. In this blog, you’ll read about these developments, followed by a list of the best gifts for a 3-year-old girl. Pretty cool, right?

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Developmental Stage of a 3-Year-Old Girl

The development of a three-year-old is fascinating. From this age, developments suddenly accelerate. The ‘me’ becomes ‘me + verb/noun.’ Moreover, you’ll be bombarded with a lot of ‘why’ questions. Preferences for being left- or right-handed will likely become clear. Diapers are replaced by her own control over toilet training. Her imagination becomes more extensive, and the playground is fully explored on her own. Imagine, this is just a selection of everything that keeps happening.

Don’t worry, mom and dad remain about the most important people in her life. So, when you leave her for a ‘trial day’ at primary school, you’ll likely leave behind a tearful girl, and dad is still called upon if there’s a monster under the bed. Your three-year-old girl is everything that centers around a toddler, because she definitely is one now. You’ll probably deal with the toddler tantrums. This is characterized by the child’s awareness. She knows that something like having her own opinion exists, but since so much is still unknown, she quickly becomes stressed. This is expressed in frustration and angry stamping. It has its charm, but it usually also causes a lot of stress for mom and dad.

But yes, a three-year-old toddler. She is in a strong cognitive transition. The first ‘people’ are drawn, as well as some animals being recognized. Physically, you’ll notice her body becoming more proportionate. The previously oversized head and small limbs are balancing out. The social-emotional side will be intense, unpredictable, and very impactful at this moment, as you probably understand. We would like to tell you to enjoy the moment because before you know it, you’ll be dropping her off for her first day of school.

Don’ts (Types of Gifts Not to Buy for a 3-Year-Old Girl)

Since a three-year-old toddler can become quite frustrated with things, it’s wise to leave some gifts on the shelves. We’re talking about things that are still too difficult for her. She will feel like she can’t do something, while she simply needs more practice. So, you can give an educational game as a gift, but only if it stays in the closet for a while until the time is right. At the same time, it’s also not useful if something is very easy, as it may quickly become ‘boring’ and the three-year-old will lose interest.

What Is a Suitable Budget for This Age?

We stand by the fact that happiness is priceless. A gift doesn’t need to be big or expensive to give your three-year-old an unforgettable day. In fact, she is absolutely unaware of the value of money, so you can allocate any amount you want. However, we can give you an idea of the amount of money typically spent on different ages. An aunt likely gives a gift with a smaller budget than the parents/caregivers. Read:

  • Parents: £30.00 to …
  • Close Family Members (uncle & aunt, grandparents): £10.00 to £50.00
  • Neighbors/Acquaintances: £5.00 – £20.00

Note: it’s a budget, which means you don’t have to spend it all and you can always adjust it to your own possibilities.

Further Tips

Still curious about some other tips? No problem, they are described here so you don’t have to look any further. A tip we want to give for finding a gift for a 3-year-old is to look for something that encourages role play. Think of a play kitchen, doctor set, or other dress-up clothes. Mimicking behavior is definitely central here. For example, if mom is a cashier, then align with that. Or, if a new baby has just been born, a care set with a baby doll would be fun.

Furthermore, it’s fun to find a gift that stimulates her curiosity, such as surprise boxes or toys with hidden functions. Soft stuffed animals and dolls will almost always be a hit with young children, like a three-year-old girl.

1. Clay

A little 3-year-old girl is usually full of energy and curiosity. She explores the world around her with a mix of wonder and playfulness. Her imagination blossoms as she discovers and learns new things. It’s a time when she develops her skills, such as talking, walking, and social interactions. An important part of her life is playing and development. Clay is a gift that contributes to both aspects. While she’s busy making the most beautiful heart ever, she’s working on her fine motor skills. If you’re smart, you’ll choose clay that doesn’t smear and doesn’t dry out quickly. This way, she can enjoy what you gave her over and over again. Her parents will be eternally grateful that the table didn’t become a big mess for once.

2. Educational Toys

You can ignore it, but you can’t: the three-year-old girl will sooner than you think be found at primary school five days a week. Well, until her 3rd birthday, she is not yet required to attend school, but most parents choose to send their child to primary school at four years old. This is done for practical reasons but also because it’s very good for the child’s development. At school, the girl will learn to interact with others, improve her motor skills, and much more. You can already contribute to her development by focusing on playing with educational toys. Nowadays, there is a wide range available, so you’ll have plenty to choose from. Just realize that if she’s not in school yet, she doesn’t need to learn. In other words, relaxation is also highly recommended. Do you know how exhausting life is as a three-year-old…

3. Dress-Up Clothes

Around this third year of life for this little girl, it’s (still) time for dress-up clothes. It’s characteristic that the girl is mostly engaged in role play. If dad is a nurse, she will want to be one too. If mom works in an office, then a smart suit and a briefcase are things she would also want to carry. Many other professions, as well as non-existent things (pirate, princess, dinosaur, etc.), will be popular as dress-up clothes. If you have the space, consider getting multiple outfits. Because where the three-year-old used to always play next to someone, she will now play with someone. It would be super fun to see a fairy and a construction worker fluttering through the room on a Wednesday afternoon. We think it’s a lot of fun anyway.

4. Toy Cash Register

A toy cash register for a 3-year-old girl is a fantastic gift that stimulates her creativity and learning skills. Choose a cash register with colorful buttons, play money, and a conveyor belt for hours of fun. This toy encourages role play, helps with learning to count, and stimulates social interaction. She is slowly on her way to understanding the concepts of transactions and money in a fun and educational way. Maybe in a year or two, it might be fun to let her buy a loaf of bread in the supermarket while you wait at the entrance. If something doesn’t work, you can always teach her that it’s not bad or scary to ask questions. Well, for now, you can just stick to playing with a toy cash register.

5. Duplo

For the laymen among us: Duplo is a sort of maxi version of Lego. So, you basically have blocks with small circles on top that you can stack and build with. Duplo gives the opportunity to create constructions and come up with fun stories. Because, like Lego, Duplo often has figures in their sets. Maybe she’s totally into farm animals or magic. In that case, you might choose to give a specific set instead of a box of loose blocks. Think of the Magic Castle or the Wild Animals Africa set. Well, you know her better than we do, so you’ll figure it out. Do you secretly enjoy playing with it too? Then go for a more ‘challenging’ version where she will definitely need help.

6. Children’s Books

It’s important to surround a three-year-old girl with love, care, and stimulation that promotes her development as she grows into a confident and happy individual. One way to ensure the girl knows what ‘happy’ is and how to deal with other emotions is through books. Nowadays, there are countless stories about brave characters who overcome the biggest obstacles. Books where being sad is okay, but where there is also a focus on how to feel better. On the other hand, there are also books with simple success stories or where all the characters go on unrealistic adventures. But anyway, keep reading because it has many more benefits than just developing the child’s social-emotional side.

7. Baby Phone

Yes, we know, the three-year-old girl is no longer a baby. So no, we’re not referring to a baby monitor. You know, the thing you use to keep an eye on your sleeping baby. Instead, we call this a baby phone. It’s not a real smartphone like her parents probably have, but a device in the shape of a phone with some functions. One might only make sounds, another might even take pictures. The idea is that the girl gets the feeling that she, like everyone else, has a phone, but really doing something with it is not possible. We don’t judge if the three-year-old is already allowed to use her mom’s old iPhone 4 without a SIM card, but you understand what we’re getting at, right?

8. Coloring Books

Coloring books are perfect for a 4-year-old girl. They offer her the opportunity to explore her artistic side while having fun coloring. Choose coloring books with large, simple images and thick lines that are easy to color for small hands. This way, she can let her imagination run wild and improve her fine motor skills while discovering different colors and patterns. Probably, or actually we’re sure, she won’t color within the lines. And while you might find that wasteful, it’s still very normal for a young lady of three. If you get too annoyed, you can always buy an adult coloring book for yourself. Then you can color together while you stay within the lines.

9. Finger Paint

It might be a mess, but a very fun mess. In fact, if we could join in, we would start right away. What’s characteristic of children’s paint is that it’s water-based. This basically means you can wash it off and out. It might be tricky with white clothing, but you’ll experience that eventually. Anyway, we think finger painting is an excellent idea for a three-year-old. She’s old enough to know she shouldn’t put it in her mouth and young enough to still enjoy it for a while. If you’re smart, offer her the paints color by color, so she doesn’t end up with one big brown blob. And if you want to teach her what ‘cleaning up’ means, this is the ultimate exercise.

10. Dolls

A doll experiences all kinds of adventures. All the imaginative stories the girl herself won’t experience are lived out by her dolls. It shows a kind of creativity where the girl’s empathic ability often comes into play. By caring for her dolls, she learns about responsibility and can further develop her emotional intelligence. Think of a nurturing instinct coming out, as well as the urge to mimic situations in role play. When buying this for her birthday, look carefully at what dolls she already has, what sets this doll apart from others, and whether the doll is huggable enough.