Gifting for the 3-7 year old set can be a bit overwhelming these days. The dizzying amount of available toys, gadgets, games, and more becomes a blur of options leading to serious decision fatigue and analysis paralysis that really gets in the way of the spirit of the season.
The most important thing to remember when shopping for little ones is to take their personality and interests into consideration. One size does not fit all, and in an era where gender roles surrounding toys are ever evolving, you have more ability to get creative and really find gifts to suit the recipient. When in doubt, consult with the child’s parents or caregivers to find out what they want, need, and (maybe most crucially) what the parents want for their children. (insert link to “what parents want you to buy”)
To help aim you in the right direction, here are 20 great toys and gifts for young boys that parents and experts both love.
BACK TO BASICS
A study by the American Academy of Pediatrics concluded that the best toys for children go back to basics. According to Aleeya Healey, MD, FAAP: “Research tells us that the best toys need not be flashy or expensive or come with an app. Simple, in this case, really is better.” Here are our favorite AAP-approved gift suggestions:
According to a study by Hasbro, 96% of families to play board games together feel closer, and it’s a great way to engage in play that doesn’t involve screens or batteries. Some popular family-friendly board games for ages 3-7 include: BusyTown (ages 3+), Outfoxed (ages 5+), Taco vs Burrito (ages 7+), Exploding Kittens (ages 7+), and more.
Books (all ages)
Books allow kids to engage their imagination unlike anything else, and research shows that “brain connectivity is increased by the time children spend reading and decreased by the length of exposure to screen-based media.” Check out your local bookstore for ideas, or gift a subscription to a book club like My First Reading Club.
Arts & Crafts Supplies
DIY Science Kits
Another hands-on experience that makes analog learning fun, DIY science projects are memorable ways to incorporate science into early learning. Favorites among this age group are Primary Science Lab Set, (ages 3+) Grow n’ Glow Terrarium (ages 6+), and Butterfly Growing Kit (ages 4+)
Every budding chef needs a reliable set of tools. Opinel’s Le Petit Chef Set (ages 3+) comes with a high-quality real knife, cutting guide/finger protector, and peeler to help them learn real-life skills that will carry them through their culinary life.
LEGO (all ages)
A classic, perennially desired gift for 3-7 year olds, you can scarcely go wrong with LEGOs. Their sets for specific interests (dinosaurs, architecture, construction machines) or characters/games (Spiderman, Disney, Star Wars) make it easy to please anyone. Or choose a gift that keeps on giving with a subscription to Brick Loot, (ages 6+) which delivers 4-8 handpicked, unique, custom and never-before-seen items that work with LEGOs on a monthly basis.
Beyblades (ages 3+)
This generation’s take on the spinning top, Beyblades are customizable with interchangeable parts, names, and even a plastic “stadium” in which two or more tops can battle it out. They’re collectible yet affordable, mechanical, and competitive – stimulating creativity, logic, analytical thinking and more.
Creatable World Dolls by Mattel (ages 3+)
Creativity abounds with the new genderless doll option from the makers of Barbie. Creative World customization kids include interchangeable hairstyle length and outfit choices, allowing children to decide who and what their doll will be, depending on their mood.
Electronic toys offer unique ways for kids to interact with the digital world and uses the best of technology to help children learn. Here are some of the best of the best in electronic toys for 3-7 year old boys.
Fire Kids Edition, 7″ 16GB Tablet (ages 3+)
Kids this age need a tablet that can take a beating, and the Kindle Fire comes with a 2-year worry-free guarantee, which means Amazon will replace it for free when your kid drops it and breaks it. And, trust me, he will break it at some point. The Fire HD 7 is a fully loaded Android tablet, includes 1 year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, and a durable, kid-friendly case.
This cool robotic building and coding kit includes 6 different pre-designed robot options, or kids can get inventive and design their own creation. The robot can be coded to perform specific actions, controlled via an application downloadable on smartphones or tablets. It also includes 30 interactive augmented reality puzzles that teach foundational coding concepts like sequencing, looping, and conditional coding in an intuitive and visual way.
Osmo (ages 3+)
Merging innovative technology with tactile exploration, Osmo makes hands-on learning games in which players use objects in the real world to interact with the digital world shown on their iPad or Fire tablets. You can purchase a starter kit to launch a child’s journey, or individual games for a kid who already has the Osmo platform.
VTech Kidizoom Camera Pix (ages 3+)
This child-friendly digital camera offers fun features like 4x digital zoom, selfie mode, collage templates, effects, and even simple videos. Parents can download their children’s photography work via USB for printing or posterity.
In a world of too many choices, hopefully these ideas help clear the fog when deciding what to buy the little 3-7 year old in your life. Now go forth and shop with confidence!