7 Gifts For Energetic Pre-Schoolers

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I have to admit, even though pre-schoolers have a bad rep, it is a fun age.

The things that make these years tricky, such as the fact they are little energizer bunnies, can actually inspire some gift ideas as well. That’s often what I think about when I’m buying gifts for my favorite troublemakers.

Take my nephew, Oliver, for instance. He just turned 4 actually, but up until recently, my strategy when he was 1 to 3 years old has been to buy gifts that are durable and help him expel his energy; much to my brother’s delight and appreciation.

This kid is like the opening sequence of a Bond movie; if there is a surface he will jump off it, and if there is a gadget, he will make it part of his armory and use it skillfully, as if it were part of his body.

His sister is a year older, but when she was that age, there were aspects of that in her too. Perhaps a touch less parkour when she was a toddler, but there were equal parts experimentation and exploration in her own way.

With all that in mind, here are my top pick gifts for pre-schoolers aged 3 to 5 years.

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Under $150 – there’s this photo of my brother when he was about 3 standing next to a line of bikes and trikes, and they were all his. No joke, there were at least half a dozen. There’s a lot to be jealous of (that’s a whole other sibling rivalry story for another article), but when I think of that photo all I dream about is the tricycle in the middle. It’s cool, comfortable and perfect for toddlers of all shapes and sizes. When I see the Schwinn Roadster Tricycle for toddlers it brings it all back. The tassels and chrome finish give it that nostalgic feel. I’d get it in fire engine red – why – because it goes faster of course.

Miniature vacuum

Under $50 – the first time I saw the Miniature Dyson Ball Replica For Children Aged 3+ being used by my friend’s daughter, Evie, during a birthday party I thought I must have been in a sugar-induced coma and hallucinating children cleaning. But when my friend Belina, said that her daughter loves her cleaning toy so much, she asked to use it mid-party, the cleaning toy instantly went up to the top of my list. It looks just like the real thing and even has working suction, so kids can move from room to room and pick up small bits of paper! There’s even a removable debris drawer for when clean up time, slash play-time, is over.


Under $200 – there’s one story my dad tells all the time, and that’s the story of how I learned to ride my first bike. Apparently I saw that the bike had training wheels and was adamant that I didn’t need them. Dad made me right around a couple laps with them on before he finally gave into my pleas and took them off. He says he watched me ride around the back yard all afternoon on my first bike, with no training wheels. I think everyone has a bike story. That’s why I love giving kids a bike for their birthday, it’s a real milestone. The RoyalBaby Freestyle Kids Bike is sporty, comes in 7 different colors, and is safe and reliable. The bike comes 95% pre-assembled, with an elaborated instruction manual and all tools needed in the box. It is easy enough to put together in 15 minutes. Don’t forget to add a bow to it!


Under $25 – I know, you’re thinking, is this lady crazy? A drumset? But if it makes you feel any better, out of all the musical toys (and their respective noises) you can give to a family, this one isn’t actually bad at all. I do like Vtech because they make lots of educational toys, so I can’t go past the VTech KidiBeats Drum Set. It has 3 drum pages and a cymbal, each with its own unique sound for sensory development. There’s 4 different modes of play, free play – so your kid can let out their inner Dave Grohl – letters, numbers and follow-along, which means there’s plenty of variety for the player and listeners alike.


Under $50 – one of my favorite mothers, my friend Mel, has a daughter named Zoe. I love Zoe! She is one cool chick. She’s the kind of kid who pulls off sunglasses while drinking from a purple drink bottle with unicorns on it. And Zoe loves to scoot! I think the only other thing that comes close is splashing street puddles. Toddlers can ride this 3 Wheeled Scooter standing or sitting, it’s got light-up wheels, and comes in 12 different colors. It doesn’t just look cool, it’s sturdy, with easy-grip handles, which make for a comfy and smooth ride.

Mini basketball hoop

Under $50 – I like to think of the preschooler age as the literal pre-game; giving them a taste of different games and sports that they might actually want to take up when they’re at school. Basketball is fun for the whole family; and if Steve Martin in Father of the Bride taught us anything, it’s that basketball is a great way for parents and kids to bond. The Little Tikes Easy Score Basketball Set is an indoor and outdoor basketball hoop that adjusts to six heights from 2.5 to 4 feet, includes an oversized rim and 3 Junior size basketballs, and the base can be weighted with sand (not included) for stability.

HERO GIFT: Motorized car

Under $400 – so we all know a car-obsessed kid right? I know at least 3 little boys and girls who are so car-crazed, so much so, that they know the make and model of my car and recall it at the drop of a hat, and they can do that with pretty much every adult in their lives. So when my friend’s son, Ethan, got a motorized car that plays music, I don’t think I’ve seen anything cuter or cooler, especially when it did a perfect 3 point turn. There are lots of different versions you can get but I think the 2-Seater Licensed Land Rover Ride On Car Toy w/ Parent Remote Control and MP3 Player is the best. Officially-licensed Land Rover ride-on has double seating that allows your child to comfortably cruise in the vehicle and bring a friend or sibling along for the ride. If you’re not comfortable with your kid’s ability to do a 3 point turn, you can actually control it via remote as well.