Pretend play gives a child the chance to work out feelings, make sense of the world and when playing with friends they develop communication skills and improve their social skills. Above all else, pretend play is fun and children of this age will enjoy pretend tea parties, fairy castles, den building, puppets.
Our favourite pretend play toys:
Oskar & Ellen are one of the best designers of pretend play toys. Their collection is designed in Sweden and hand sewn in a women’s co-operative in the Philippines. Made from a cotton and polyester blend, these fabric toys can be washed and the fabric case stores all the figures and can be carried as well as being the backdrop for play.
The Fairy Castle sets are always popular with girls, the figures are just the right size for little hands and the design is simple enough for young children to just pick up and play. The pirate ship and fire station are great for children that like adventure stories and if your child likes dressing up then the tool belt and animal dress up sets are ideal. We absolutely love the story telling dolls and bags - perfect for imaginative play.
The ice cream sets are such fun with their ice cream flavours, toppings and cones and their own ice cream stand.
They have such a diverse collection of themes that you are bound to find something that your child or the toddler you are buying for, loves.
Djeco is a French toy company and they have a huge collection of kitchen toys that children just love. Traditional toys that have been tried and tested over years but that have been updated with a contemporary design.
Djeco has a unique range of small shops, restaurants and kitchen toys that can be set up on a table at home and played with. The box acts as the background and the child can play Pizza Restaurants and take orders or why not run a pancake café or a salad bar? Such a simple idea that children love and again doesn’t take up too much room at home.
And finally, Melissa and Doug are renowned for their pretend play kitchen toys. Make tea or coffee or serve up a delicious ice cream! They also have a great range of puppets and dressing up all at reasonable prices.
This is only a small selection, if you need further inspiration search our whole collection by age, toys for 3 year olds, you can further refine by price and category and hopefully you will find that perfect present for a 3 year old!
Tess Bradshaw, Crafts4Kids