The best toys for 3 year-old boys and girls
What are the best toys for 3-year-old boys and girls?
These children are entering the time of peak pretend play, and like to use replica objects as the actors in themes they sequence. A doll, for example, might be prepared to attend a birthday party with her doll friends, and they will drive in a car, eat food, and play chase or dance at the party.
Realistic props, like a realistic toy telephone, enhance pretend play at this age, but these children also start to use objects that are unlike the real item, so they might use a shoe to represent a pillow.
They show greater interest in structured games. Television characters, especially gentle, cartoonish characters are important at this age because children use these characters as safe playmates. Gender preferences also become more evident.
Girls typically choose dolls, household props, dress-up activities, and art materials, while boys tend to play more with blocks and small vehicle toys, and will engage in more aggressive or rough-and-tumble play.
These children progress considerably in their gross-motor skills. They can tiptoe and balance on one foot, hop, climb and slide on play structures with ease, kick or catch a large ball thrown from a short distance, and throw and aim at short distances. For example, they can now put a ball in a basket or target from 4 to 5 feet away.
They now have the fine-motor skills to take on the challenge of more complex construction play, piecing together smaller puzzle pieces, cutting, pasting, and other art activities. Children at this age are still interested in different ways of manipulating a given art medium and learning about its properties, rather than creating a finished product. They start using lines to represent boundaries; this fosters the ability to draw people.