3 Years: Gift Ideas

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Approaching 3 years old, kids are getting ready for independent small world play, building their own structures and lots of pretend play.  Almost any of the toys from the 0-2 suggestions are still fun at 3, but here are some new things that would be fun to add to the mix or to play with independently.   Grimms and Grapat are geofenced, so  these items are not directly linked on this page, but instead have buttons below.

grimm's tree slices

The Grimms Basic Building set is consistently my first suggestion.  the large pieces are stable, the variety of shapes allows for many options and it integrates well with other sets.

Holztiger animals are a delight-lovely to hold and playwith, beautiful on the shelf.  For a 3-year-old, I like to give one animal they know and a second companion from the same eco-system

grimm's basic building blocks

The Grimms Basic Building set is consistently my first suggestion.  the large pieces are stable, the variety of shapes allows for many options and it integrates well with other sets.

grimm's rainbow forrest

Perfect for decorating buildings or alone as a forest, the Grimms Rainbow Forest is a fun way to make a game a little more elaborate.


grapat 7 moons set ( seven moons)

The Grapat Seven Moons set can be used for counting days of the week–we’ve used them for small world play, color matching, and fine-motor skills.  The shape of the cups is perfect to hold.

grapat coins in stacks

Grapat Coins are similar to the rings, but solid.  They’re wonderful to handle, good manipulatives for small world play, sensory play, counting.  They come like this in solid color or in natural with numbers printed on one side.

The Gluckskafer All-in-one house is a great balance of directed and open-ended play.  you can see the house and table and chairs easily, but you can also turn them on their side, upside down or stack them to make fantastic worlds

Sensory play is SO important for developing brains–and while I’m sure you could collect all the bits individually–especially if you’re presenting these as a gift, sometimes its nice to have it all bundled in one spot!

Connetix are some of the best magnetic tiles we’ve played with.  There’s no such thing as too many, but any number is fun.  The car pack is fantastic–the bases are sturdy, and rubber wheels are gentle on the floor

Hand puppets and finger puppets are great for telling stories with children–kids love watching all the articulated parts, and then getting to snuggle their friend after the story.

The Wakka Wakka water game from a huge hit with everyone here who finds ours.  Lots of options to shop:  Happy Monkey, Amazon w/ pink case; Amazon with yellow case; Natural Baby Co

Nothing like fancy playdough to make a kid feel special!  And this one has Biodegradeable Glitter (yay!). 

One of the smartest things our preschool teacher taught me was giving kids different shapes of paper to paint on–you can get it at Amazon or here at Natrual Baby Co. Don’t forget some paints to go with it! 

Its tempting to get a set with *ALL* the colors–but at 3–a smaller set with bit paints is a good idea.  Click Here for bright colors, and here for Paints with Glitter!

In Hiss, the players can work together or independently building rainbow-colored snakes by matching colors.  The pieces are sturdy and eye-catching.

3 is a wonderful age to introduce Fagus vehicles.  Each is beautifully made, many with steering mechanisms, and always sturdy and functional

Worm Weather puts a happy spin on a rainy day–splash along and explore the best parts of a gray day
I have a list of more wonderful picture books here

Wobbel boards are magic.  A ramp, a slide, a tunnel, for climbing for Rocking  (and they support adults too).  Click here for links:  USA  Canada

Duns Sweden is some of our favorite kid clothes.  Responsibly made, beautiful colorful patterns, and soft fabrics.  It’s hard to go wrong with Scandi style!

The Tea Collection clothing company is known for drawing inspiration from different regions of the world.  Each season they visit a new local.  A fun way to incorporate art and culture into your kid’s wardrobe

building with rainbows line
building with rainbows line

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building with rainbows line
shelf of toy reccomendations

Are you ready for the holidays, or looking for some ideas? And here are some of the some of the pieces that were new to our family, or that the kids were particularly drawn to this year

Bauspiel Giant Ranbow, cropped, photo by building with rainbows

At first glance, the Bauspiel Giant Rainbow looks familiar and perhaps similar to other sets, but on closer inspection, the size and proportions reveal that really it plays more like a remarkable set of blocks than the typical rainbow stacker.

loose parts display of grimms and grapat and myers natrual toys

Each year as earth day rolls around the kids and I talk about changes we can make to live more responsibly. Sometimes it means using less of things, sometimes using different things, sometimes it means looking for ways to use things longer, and other times it means making new choices next time you shop. Here are a few of our favorites.

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