Top Presents for 3-Year-Olds: High-Value and Durable Toy Recommendations

As a busy parent, I don’t easily buy toys for my boy, Arlo, without careful consideration. During his oral stage, I avoided plastic toys since they can release harmful substances, and he was inclined to chew on everything. Apart from large plastic toys, I kept small plastic toys out of our home.

After Arlo grew out of the oral stage and celebrated his 3rd birthday, I began to purchase more toys. Upon closer inspection, almost all of them turned out to be wooden toys. For over two years, Arlo has been inseparable from these toys.

I found that wooden toys have many advantages:

  • Non-toxic: Especially if you choose solid wood toys without glue.
  • Pleasant to touch: They have a nice finish and feel good in the hands.
  • Attractive colors: I generally choose rainbow-colored ones.
  • Durable: Hardwood toys are not easy to break and can be passed on, teaching children the value and rarity of each item.

Here are a few open-ended toys that Arlo often plays with, based on real experiences:

Grimms & LaLaLull Rainbow Stackers

These are my top recommended toys. They can stimulate children's imagination with many ways to play. The beautiful, eye-catching colors of the rainbow blocks improve mood and are very playful. Hand-dyed processing helps children recognize colors, promoting early brain sensory and emotional development. Though Grimms and LaLaLull are more expensive due to their use of quality materials, they are worth the investment compared to cheaper brands that often use pinewood and oil paints, which can have potential safety and health hazards.

wooden rainbow balls

Magnetic Blocks

Magnetic blocks are a must-have. They can be used in various creative ways, building different shapes and structures, promoting imagination and fine motor skills. Arlo really enjoys playing with them, and they keep him engaged for hours.

Mini Building Blocks


Puzzles help improve cognitive skills and hand-eye coordination. They are also great for family bonding and can be used as props for photoshoots at home.

kids puzzle

Mideer Dinosaur Models

Although there are many brands of dino models, I only trust Mideer. The items are vivid, lifelike, very exquisite, and the details are well done.


Snowflake Building Blocks

Snowflake building blocks are smooth, light, and have neat pieces. I build various castles and shapes for Arlo, and they are very convenient to store.

Written by Trish Kratochvil, mum of Arlo