I'm a researcher when it comes to buying toys (when it comes to buying anything actually). I usually spend quite some time on the net reading reviews and comparing prices. When it comes to buying toys, games, or art supplies for Henry, I'm pretty picky about it. I don't like a lot of toys cluttering the house up, so if it's going to be sitting around I want it to be something that is well made and that he will love to play with for more than a day.
Here's my list of gifts for the 3-4 year old boy or girl that I really think you can't go wrong with. I worked in the 4k classroom for 2 years, and many of these items were big favorites in there.
1. Board Games. This is the age that they LOVE when mom and dad sit down with them and play something they have to think about a bit. These 3 games are age-appropriate, and challenging enough without being difficult to the point they will check out. The part they will love best is playing it with YOU!
Richard Scarry's Busy Town
This game has a 6 ft long board and involves using a magnifying glass to look for things in the pictures.
How cute is this? I love the visuals for the kids. They learn to count, take turns, and hopefully how to be a good sport when they lose some acorns!
Kids just love "zinging" the pictures out of the machine and then checking to see if they have a match. Bingo for beginners. They have other versions as well, including one with sight words-awesome way to learn!
These ride-ons (available in other animals as well) are not made of junky plastic, but instead are super durable and will provide years of fun. They wheel in all directions and are perfect for in the house during those long winter months. They make a smaller version for young toddlers, but this larger version is for ages 3-5. They are a bit pricey, but well worth the price imo!
Pre-k kids can't get enough of gears. They lock together, can be built up or across, and rotate to their delight.
4. Books. These are some of my favorites right now:
Such a simple idea, but so engaging for those eager little fingers.
Your finger is the star of the book!
When this book is read at school, every eye is on it. Kids are fascinated by David's naughty adventures, but in the end there's always forgiveness.
Of course there are a million more selections that we can't get enough of. Children's books have always been a passion of mine!
These straws are another huge hit, especially with boys, and really encourage creativity. Definitely not for the younger toddler, though, as the connectors are very small and would be big choking hazards.
This is one of the best gifts Henry ever received. He uses it every single day. It's sturdy, holds up, and the cover removes for washing. He can bring it room to room also. Top pick for sure!
Pretty simple concept here: stomp on the stomp pad and the rocket goes flying into the air! Inexpensive and loads of fun!
If you have the room for these, get them! I found a wooden shelf where we stack ours up so they are out of the way when he's done playing. Serious favorite of 3-6 year olds.
They build, sort, pull in wagons and don't break the bank. You can't go wrong with these as a gift!
Yes, still a favorite for my almost 3 year old!