Child DevelopmentOccupational TherapyParentingPreschool

My Top Developmental Toys for Preschoolers ages 3-5

By November 22, 2018 No Comments


As an occupational therapist, and mom, every holiday or birthday my friends and family ask me what developmental toys I recommend for young children. Specifically, they want to know what toys will foster their kiddos development of skills such as: fine motor, visual motor, visual perception, sensory, and overall development of play. With the holiday season upon us, I thought I would put together a list of some of my favorite toys that I recommend for infants through age 5. Following is a list of toys I would recommend to friends and family for the preschool aged kids in their lives. Enjoy and happy holidays!

Preschool age, 3-5
This stage is all about pretend play, trying out their skills within the context of play, and getting their bodies ready for school. Toys that incorporate fine motor and visual motor skills (puzzles, coloring, lacing), sensory input (play doh, water toys), and sensory development (pouring, appropriate use of pressure to squeeze) are quite popular amongst this age. It’s also a fun age range to buy for because they typically have expressed interest in commercial characters (such as Mickey Mouse, Paw Patrol), and they are open to playing with toys that are novel and challenging. I have included outdoor toys that encourage kiddos (and their parents) to play more outside. We have spent hours upon hours using our water tables (yes, plural) and sandbox!
Many of these listed recommendations are toys or items my children have played with, I have purchased as gifts, or I have used in my therapy practice. Links are posted below for shopping convenience, but they are in no way meant to be an exhaustive list of recommended preschooler toys–if you prefer another brand or store, that’s great! This list is meant to assist you in making choices for toys or items for the preschooler in your life.
–OT Mamacita
*Please note that the following recommendations include affiliate links, which means that at no cost to you, I will earn a commission (which will help with costs of running the site) if you click through and make a purchase*


Step 2 Play and Store Sandbox with Cover (yes, you want the covered one!)

Sand Toys


Water Table 


Play Doh Fun Tub


Lacing Boards 


Melissa and Doug Building Blocks


Learning Journey Jumbo Floor Puzzles


Activity Books

Crayola Mess Free Coloring Kits (these are SOOOO worth it!)

Crayola Mess Free Fingerpaints and Paper


Lego Duplo Blocks




Wooden Play Food Pizza 


Pretend Cleaning Set 

Pretend Cookware

Pretend Vet Set 

Doctor Kit


Doctor Costume 

Dress Up Princess Clothes 


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