gifts for preschoolers' imaginations

21 Imagination-Inspiring Gift Ideas for Preschoolers!

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Three and four is such a fun age for gifts- they understand so much more about what is going on, and it makes it so fun! Here are a few of my favorites that I have found as I’ve been looking- I hope you enjoy these gift ideas for 3 year olds and 4 year olds!

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Book Ideas for Preschoolers

I love books as gifts. They provide hours of entertainment, they’re an easily transportable activity, and they lead to increased literacy and vocabulary, which is always a good thing!

1. Mercy Watson

You seriously need these books. We have checked all of them out from our library multiple times and they are HILARIOUS! Mercy Watson is a pig (“porcine wonder”) owned by the Watsons, and together they get into and out of many fanciful messes. One of my favorite things about these books is that they are funny for both kids and adults- and as any parent knows, it’s much easier to read books 10,000 times when they’re enjoyable for the adults, too. They’re a little longer- perfect for the 3 and 4 year olds’ growing attention span- but also divided into short “chapters” so if you need to do a bit at a time, that works, too.

2. I Spy- Animals!

Butterfly is just getting into I Spy books, and this one looks right up her alley! I don’t know about your house, but animals are a big topic at ours, and there is a lot of imaginary play centered around animals at our house also. So this book would be perfect for her! The I Spy books encourage focus and visual acuity, and they’re perfect for long car rides or quiet times. This one is definitely going on our gift idea list!

3. Giraffes Can’t Dance

Three year olds love rhyming books, and this one fits the bill! Gerald the Giraffe wants to dance like all his friends, but through this rhythmic lesson, he learns that it’s a good thing to dance to your own beat! This is a great gift idea for preschoolers because it’s simple and memorable, so they will request it again and again to giggle with Gerald’s silly antics.

4. The Princess in Black Series

We recently discovered this series and it’s a new favorite! One of the few books that have been requested over and over. The Princess in Black has very non-scary and silly adventures with hilarious illustrations- and they’re fun to read for parents, too.

5. All the Llama Llama books

Anna Dewdney, who wrote these books, has to be one of my favorite authors for books for this age. Each book addresses pieces of a child’s normal day in simple, encouraging language and lyrical, pleasing rhymes. We have 7 of the Llama Llama books so far, and would happily accumulate more- they’re always so fun!

6. The Little Excavator

Coming from the same author who wrote the Llama Llama series, this cute little book encourages little ones that they, too, have important roles to play in the big world around them. This book is completely adorable and will be staying in our collection for a long time!

7. Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site

Y’all, this one is so cute. This is one of Turtle’s all-time favorite books (as well as other books in this series- did you know there’s 10 of them???). Fun rhymes flow through the book as each of the construction vehicles heads to bed for the night. The lyrical sound of the book make it easy to read and one that is requested over and over!

The Gift of Music for Preschoolers

I have yet to meet a preschooler who didn’t like music in some form. I’m sure they exist, but it seems as a general rule this age likes to get their groove on! Here are some of our favorites and gifts that are on our wish list this year!

8. Amazon Music

We use Amazon Music on our Fire TV to stream kids’ songs for Butterfly. Trust me, it’s much better than playing Baby Shark on repeat. 😉 And a lot of the music comes free with Amazon Prime, so if you’re a Prime Member and not already using Prime Music, you should check it out!

9. Seeds Family Worship CDs

I love Seeds Family Worship CDs. They are Scripture songs set to catchy music (that is enjoyable to adults, too!)- great for easy memorization! And of course you can always download them onto your phone or computer instead of getting the CDs, but Butterfly has a CD player in her room for her quiet times, and enjoys having “her own” music.

10. Headphones

We’ve had one pair of these headphones so far (and lost them), but I’ll be buying them again because we really liked them. They’re limited volume headphones, so kids can’t turn it up too loud.

My sister uses this for her oldest son to listen to audio books while she is doing her own Bible reading or even just needing some quiet, and we hope to get into that more as well. I’ve also used it to put on a show on our iPad when I’ve got a meeting or appointment that I needed her to sit through- and they would be great for a car ride or airplane ride as well!

Educational Toys for Preschoolers

We have a funny story in our family that my younger sister got to college and within a few weeks called my mom, and said: “MOM. I just realized that all those games you let us play that we thought were just games were actually EDUCATIONAL!” (Same sister went to college on a full ride scholarship, so evidently the games worked!).

Naturally, I plan on continuing this education games/toys tradition with my kids, so here are a few of the ones I’m eyeing!

11. Plan Toys Hand Sign Alphabet A-Z

I’m very excited about these sign language toys! I took several years of sign language courses growing up, and my sister and I used to use sign language to talk with each other about boring parties or convincing our parents to buy us pizza for dinner…which may not have been my parents’ intentions when they paid for our classes…but I digress. I’d love for Butterfly to learn the basics of sign language, and while she may or may not be interested in learning more as she grows up, for now the hand signs will help to reinforce our alphabet learning!

12. Melissa & Doug Self-Correcting Puzzles

Butterfly is just starting to really enjoy puzzles (beyond the very basic ones), and I’m hoping she’s going to like these self-correcting puzzles! I love that each piece can only go with the correct letter, and that there is an animal or object on the other side that starts with that letter to reinforce it.

13. Balance Bike

I’m a big fan of the theory of Multiple Intelligences- the idea that there are different kinds of smarts, not just math, reading, science, etc. And that means I want to give Butterfly the chance to learn in lots of different ways, including by moving her body and learning body smarts.

I got one of these for Butterfly a couple of years ago, but she’s just now getting the hang of it, so I think it’d be the perfect gift idea for a 3 year old. The unique thing about these bikes is that they don’t have pedals, so the kids use them by scooting along with their feet, which teaches balance and momentum. In case you’re new to balance bikes, here’s a video that helps it make more sense!

16. A Trampoline

We were given one of these to put on our back deck, though you could certainly have one inside if you have the space. This thing is GREAT for days where the kids just need to get some energy OUT! The handle makes it easy to jump safely even when their balance isn’t the best yet, too. We like to put on some loud music and jump all our wiggles out!

The Gift of Imaginary Play for Preschoolers

Kids at this age learn so much from play! Here are some of our favorite gifts that we’ve received for this age- ones that have stood the test of time (and kept our kids’ interest for more than 5 minutes!). I hope you find some great gifts for preschoolers in these!

17. Curious Chef Nylon Knife Set

Both of my kids love to help me in the kitchen, and these knives have gotten SO MUCH use in our house! Safe for little hands, even my 2 year old likes to get in on the action with these knives. My 5 year old still loves them, in fact, and she’s actually old enough that her chopping is effective enough to actually be a help and get our meals prepped faster!

18. Figurines of Their Favorite Characters

In our case, Daniel Tiger is a regularly played with character around here. We don’t watch many different types of shows, but Daniel Tiger and Octonauts are our current favorites. I didn’t think I would be a fan of these type of toys, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised how much imaginary play is generated by having these figures around. In addition to her dolls, Butterfly will often set up pretend scenarios to act out with her Daniel Tiger figures, and I can hear her processing and learning about social interactions through her play. So whatever your child’s favorite characters are, they would make great gift ideas for your preschooler!

19. Paint and Decorate Kits

These are perfect for letting kids make their own gifts- ready-to-go paint and decorate magnets that are the perfect size and attention span for preschoolers. They’ve got kids that have things like hearts and butterflies and ones that have monster trucks and trains, and more!

20. Kids Duffel Bag

So I think one of my favorite things about these age is that they are getting old enough to take care of more of their own things and go more places easily! So this is a perfect gift for this age- it gives them a bit of responsibility and ownership of their things while taking a bit of a load off of you at the same time! (And with our perfect packing list, you’ll know exactly what needs to go in there!)

21. Magnet Tiles

I’m possibly saving the best for last here. There are about a thousand variations and brands of Magnet Tiles, and for good reason- they’re hours and hours of fun! These are probably my favorite toy to play with with Butterfly.

I love that they’re safe for Turtle, too, so we can play with them with him around….as long as we’re okay with everything we build being knocked down, of course. The shapes snap together in endless variations to build anything their imaginations can create, and ours have become everything from houses to rocket ships to cars to the entirety of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.

battery free gift ideas for preschoolers, magnet tiles, used to create Daniel Tiger's neighborhood

Summing it up…Gift Ideas for Preschoolers

When buying gifts for my kids, I love giving toys that will result in their growth- books, music, educational toys/games, and things that encourage their imaginations. I hope you enjoyed this list!

Would you add anything else? Please comment below with what you would include- I’m always looking for more ideas!

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33 thoughts on “21 Imagination-Inspiring Gift Ideas for Preschoolers!”

  1. Love your ideas! My 3 year old loves her balance bike and magnatiles. She’s also a big fan of the Schleich animal figurines. I think we’ll be looking into getting her the Seeds Family Worship CDs.

  2. THese are great gif ideas for three-year-olds. My youngest is almost three and he LOVES the magnet tiles and the I-Spy books.

  3. Those magnetic tiles look so fun! I’ve never seen them before. I may have to look into those for my little guy. We love anything Melissa and Doug as well!

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