LEGO sets are a great toy for 3-year olds and kids in the 3-5 age group. The toys build many important skills, such as fine motor skills, problem-solving skills, STEM skills, and more. Kids also find the sets highly entertaining, and the sets usually have longevity – meaning your child will play with it for several years.
Our favorite LEGO set for 3-years olds is the LEGO DUPLO Classic Deluxe Brick Box 10914. This 85-piece set comes with a variety of bricks so that your kids can build whatever they can imagine. The set is also a great starter set for kids who are new to LEGO. Read on to discover some of our other favorite LEGO sets for 3-5 year olds.
Related post: Best LEGO Sets for Adults [Our Top 8 Picks for 2020]
- Best LEGOs for 3 Year Olds in 2020
- Best Overall – LEGO DUPLO Classic Deluxe Brick Box 10914
- Best for Train Enthusiasts – LEGO DUPLO Cargo Train 10875
- Best Budget Option – LEGO DUPLO Classic Heart Box 10909
- Best for Early Reading Skills – LEGO DUPLO My First Alphabet Truck 10915
- Best for STEM – Early Simple Machines for Kindergarten STEM by LEGO Education DUPLO
- Best for Young Coders – LEGO Education DUPLO Coding Express 45025
- Best for Future Zoologists – LEGO DUPLO Town World Animals 10907
- Best for Social-Emotional Development – Build Me “Emotions” Set by LEGO Education DUPLO
- Best for Playing House – LEGO DUPLO Town Modular Playhouse 10929
- Best for Future Firefighters – LEGO DUPLO Town Fire Station 10903
- Best for Future Astronauts – LEGO City Space Mars Research Shuttle 60226
- Best for Marvel Super Heroes Fans – LEGO DUPLO Super Heroes Lab 10921
- Best for Disney Fans – LEGO DUPLO Disney Mickey Mouse Clubhouse – Mickey & Minnie Birthday Parade
- Best for Building Houses – LEGO Classic Bricks and Houses 11008
- Best for Advanced Builders – LEGO City Central Airport 60261
- Best for Fans of Frozen – LEGO DUPLO Disney Frozen Ice Castle 10899
- Best LEGO Friends Set – LEGO Friends Stephanie’s House 41398
- Best for Language Development – StoryTales Set for Storytelling and Language Development by LEGO Education DUPLO
- What to Consider When Buying a LEGO Set
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best LEGOs for 3 Year Olds in 2020
Best Overall – LEGO DUPLO Classic Deluxe Brick Box 10914
Our top choice for the best overall LEGO set for 3-year olds is the LEGO DUPLO Classic Deluxe Brick Box 10914. The set includes 85 pieces in several bright colors. There are many of the basic building pieces, along with pieces that allow kids to build houses, cars, flowers, and more. It also includes two minifigures for imaginative play—all of the pieces store in a durable plastic box.
We like this set because it is ideal for open-ended play. There are enough pieces for some large builds, and kids have the freedom to make whatever they want. Fun pieces like cars, windows, and number bricks create interesting possibilities. It is an ideal starter set or a great add-on to any DUPLO collection.
Best for Train Enthusiasts – LEGO DUPLO Cargo Train 10875
If you have a little builder who loves trains, we recommend the LEGO DUPLO Cargo Train 10875. The set has 105 pieces and is designed for kids ages 2-5. It includes a push-to-start engine that can also be controlled by an app, two cargo cars, and 24 pieces of track. There’s also two cranes, a harbor, a cafe, and more.
We like this set because it provides various opportunities for play. Kids can work on motor skills while building the set and can then use their imaginations as they play with the train, cranes, boat, and cafe. The set also incorporates technology through the use of the app. This set is great for kids who are more advanced but aren’t quite ready for a more complicated LEGO set.
Best Budget Option – LEGO DUPLO Classic Heart Box 10909
One of our top budget options is the LEGO DUPLO Classic Heart Box 10909. This multicolored set comes with 80 bricks, a storage box, and instructions to build 15 models. The name comes from the ability to build the letter “I” and a heart shape. Kids can then build something they love to finish the scene.
We like this set because it’s perfect for 3-year olds who are new to LEGO building. The instructions give kids some ideas for building and then give them the freedom to create their own builds. We also like that it includes accessories like an eye and a propeller, which can open up some fun possibilities for creativity.
Best for Early Reading Skills – LEGO DUPLO My First Alphabet Truck 10915
If you’d like your child to learn the alphabet while playing with LEGO, we recommend the LEGO DUPLO My First Alphabet Truck. This 36-piece set includes a truck, two minifigures, and bricks featuring each letter of the alphabet. There’s also a mat for matching the letters.
We like this set because it teaches kids uppercase letter recognition. Kids can also practice matching the letter bricks to the mat, a great exercise for 3-years olds who are just learning the alphabet. This set is also good for older kids who are learning alphabetic order and simple words. They can practice putting the bricks in order and can spell out sight words.
While all LEGO sets are good for STEM, if you want to teach simple machines, we recommend the Early Simple Machines for Kindergarten STEM by LEGO Education DUPLO. The set comes with 102 pieces, including special pieces like gears, levers, and pulleys that you won’t find in many LEGO sets. Kids use these pieces to build simple machines like a seesaw, a spinning top, a rolling vehicle, and more. You’ll also get activity cards and a downloadable curriculum kit with 12 lessons for beginner, intermediate, and advanced builders.
We love this set because it is a fun way to teach kids some of the fundamental concepts of physics. Kids not only get a chance to build and explore, but there are also challenges that will require them to experiment and run tests. Since the challenges are leveled, this set can last your kids for a long time.
Best for Young Coders – LEGO Education DUPLO Coding Express 45025
Kids are never too young to start learning the basics of coding, and LEGO Education DUPLO Coding Express 45025 is a great set to introduce them to the concepts. The set comes with 234 bricks and a teacher guide with eight online lessons. The set works with a free app, and four of the lessons require the use of the app. Kids build a fun train track with LEGO city scenes like a cafe, castle, and dock. Action bricks allow kids to problem solve and code as they change the train’s directions.
We like this set because it combines two of our favorite elements of LEGO play: imagination and problem-solving. As most computer programmers know, problem-solving skills are essential to coding. We like that the set can be used both with an app or without it when kids need time away from the screen. Since the tasks are open-ended, your kids will play with this set again and again.
Best for Future Zoologists – LEGO DUPLO Town World Animals 10907
If your kids love animals, our top choice is the LEGO DUPLO Town World Animals 10907. The set comes with 121 pieces and is great for a toddler or an older kid. The set enables kids to build their own little zoo, with cute animals and habitats. There’s also zoo workers, guests, and a medical plane for sick animals. The aquatic animals can be played with in water – the whale floats, and the fish makes bubbles.
One reason we love this set is that there are so many ways to play. Kids will have fun building the set, and once it’s finished, there is a variety of opportunities for imaginative play. Kids will have fun acting out all sorts of scenarios for the animals, the workers, and the guests. The set is also a great way to introduce kids to different animal habitats from around the world.
Best for Social-Emotional Development – Build Me “Emotions” Set by LEGO Education DUPLO
Our best LEGO set for social-emotional development is the Build Me “Emotions” Set by LEGO Education DUPLO. The set includes 188 pieces and is suggested for ages 3 to 5 years. There are many facial expression pieces for kids to recognize and work with different emotions. The set also comes with eight two-sided cards with activities built around emotions. You’ll also get access to online teaching guides and videos.
If you have a toddler or preschooler, you know all too well how difficult it is for small children to identify and express their emotions. This set is helpful because it helps kids to recognize emotions and give them a name. Kids can complete the activities on the cards or even use the pieces to discuss some of their feelings.
Best for Playing House – LEGO DUPLO Town Modular Playhouse 10929
If your child loves dollhouses, we recommend the LEGO DUPLO Town Modular Playhouse 10929. This 129-piece set has three different variations, allowing for three different builds. The main house is three stories high and features rooms such as a kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms. It also comes with a minifigure family and a dog figure.
Most boys and girls this age love to play with dollhouses and mimic what they see going on in the adult world. This set allows for this sort of imaginative play with the added benefit of letting your kids actually construct the house. We also like that it has three different options, allowing for longer play. The pieces are also versatile enough that kids are able to build and design their own houses.
Best for Future Firefighters – LEGO DUPLO Town Fire Station 10903
The LEGO DUPLO Town Fire Station 10903 is our top pick for future firefighters. The set includes 79 pieces to build a fire station and fire truck. You’ll also get two firefighter figures and a dog figure. The fire truck has a siren that makes lights and sound effects. A small fire brick, firefighting tools, and a fire hydrant give kids the ability to create their own fire fighting situations to enact. Once the fire’s out, the firefighters can return to the station for a pizza.
Kids love to pretend they are town helpers and firefighters are one of the most popular helpers kids like to emulate. This set gives kids everything they need to create a rescue scene. We also like that this set would work well as a companion to other rescue sets or with sets like the modular playhouse.
Best for Future Astronauts – LEGO City Space Mars Research Shuttle 60226
If you have an astronomy enthusiast on your hands, they’ll love the LEGO City Space Mars Research Shuttle 60226. This set is for slightly more advanced builders and has 273 bricks. The set includes a shuttle, two astronaut figures, a rover, and more. The rover has an articulated grappling arm to help explore the surface of Mars.
We love this set for boys and girls who have an interest in space. Kids can have a lot of fun pretending to be a research astronaut on Mars. They can imagine situations they may face on the red planet, and then problem solve to get out of them. You can also use this set while teaching your kids about the potential for humans inhabiting Mars.
Best for Marvel Super Heroes Fans – LEGO DUPLO Super Heroes Lab 10921
Our top pick for Marvel Super Heroes fans is the LEGO DUPLO Super Heroes Lab 10921. The set has 30 pieces and includes three superheroes: Spiderman, Iron Man, and Captain America. It also comes with the pieces to make a research lab, a crane tool, and Captain America’s motorcycle. It’s a simple build, so even younger toddlers can have fun with it.
We like this toy because it has several opportunities for play. Kids will enjoy pretending to be Spiderman or Iron Man working in the lab and using the crane to fix Iron Man’s suit. They can then take Captain America for a ride on his motorcycle. This set will also work well with the many other Super Heroes sets from DUPLO.
Best for Disney Fans – LEGO DUPLO Disney Mickey Mouse Clubhouse – Mickey & Minnie Birthday Parade
If your little ones are fans of Disney, they’re going to love the LEGO DUPLO Disney Mickey Mouse Clubhouse – Mickey & Minnie Birthday Parade. This 24-piece set features Mickey and Minnie Mouse aboard a fun birthday train. A giant cupcake and number bricks round out the parade, making this a great gift for your child’s birthday.
We like this set because even kids who don’t have a high interest in LEGO may get excited when they see Mickey and Minnie. Building the cupcake encourages hand-eye coordination, and the number blocks will help with counting and number recognition. This set will also connect with other train sets to keep the birthday parade going.
Best for Building Houses – LEGO Classic Bricks and Houses 11008
Our top choice for kids who love to build houses is the LEGO Classic Bricks and Houses 11008 set. The set contains 270 pieces and instructions to build six different houses, including a lighthouse, castle, windmill, and igloo. Kids can build all six models simultaneously and still have plenty of pieces left for their own creations.
We like this set for many reasons. First, it teaches kids about the many different sorts of houses. You can use it as a springboard to teach about different cultures. We also like that it has instructions for building that will inspire kids to free build their own houses. This set presents a lot of great opportunities and is a great option for kids ready to make the leap from DUPLO to LEGO.
Best for Advanced Builders – LEGO City Central Airport 60261
For little ones who love airplanes, we suggest the LEGO City Central Airport 60261. This set contains 268 pieces and is great for slightly more advanced builders. The main feature is a charter plane with space for three passengers and a pilot. There are also two additional vehicles: a gas truck and a luggage cart, and an airport terminal.
This set is great for older preschoolers who are wanting slightly more complicated builds. This set is challenging but shouldn’t frustrate them. This set has plenty of fun features for imaginative play. The terminal and vehicles allow kids to create the entire flight process, from check-in to takeoff to landing.
Best for Fans of Frozen – LEGO DUPLO Disney Frozen Ice Castle 10899
Our top choice for young fans of Frozen is the LEGO DUPLO Disney Frozen Ice Castle 10899. The set comes with 59 pieces, enough to build Elsa’s ice castle and some accessories. You’ll also get three of the film’s most beloved characters: Anna, Elsa, and Olaf figures. Kids will enjoy playing with the slide and tea set, while the light-up brick at the top of the castle makes the whole scene magical.
We like this set because it takes a passive activity, like watching a film and turns it into active play. With the castle and characters, kids can re-enact some of their favorite scenes from the films and then create their own. This set allows for hours of play.
Best LEGO Friends Set – LEGO Friends Stephanie’s House 41398
If your little one is begging for a LEGO Friends set, we recommend LEGO Friends Stephanie’s House 41398. The set is slightly advanced but not as complicated as some of the other Friends sets. There are only 170 pieces, so it should be manageable for a 3-year old or 4-year old. Kids will have fun building Stephanie’s house and backyard swing. The house features a kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom. There are also three figures from the Friends series and a dog. Several fun accessories round out this fun playset.
A lot of older preschoolers love to make-believe that they’re older kids, making this one of the best LEGO sets for them. Kids will have fun acting out fun scenes with Stephanie and her friends. The many rooms and accessories in this house should give your kids plenty of scenarios to act out.
Best for Language Development – StoryTales Set for Storytelling and Language Development by LEGO Education DUPLO
One of the best LEGO sets for language development is the StoryTales Set for Storytelling and Language Development by LEGO Education DUPLO. This set contains 109 pieces, including blocks, animal figures, accessories, and more. There’s also baseplates and backdrops to create scenes for stories. You’ll get a card with teaching ideas and plenty of free resources to download online.
We love this building kit because it helps build so many skills at once. Kids will work on the skills they usually develop with LEGO, such as motor skills and building skills, but they will also get a chance to develop storytelling skills and learn the parts of a story. The cards give kids the opportunity to create guided stories, and kids also have the freedom to create their own stories.
What to Consider When Buying a LEGO Set
There are many LEGO and DUPLO sets to cover a wide variety of interests. No matter what your child enjoys, there should be a set that he or she will like. LEGO makes sets for kids who enjoy vehicles, city scenes, animals, and popular characters like Mickey Mouse, superheroes, and Disney Princesses.
While DUPLO products are designed for preschoolers, some sets have fewer pieces and are much less complicated to build. If your child is new to LEGO, you may want to start with one of the smaller sets or a set of mixed bricks. If your child is advanced, you can consider some of the bigger sets or even look into LEGO sets.
You will also want to consider the creative potential. Many sets are made so that they can be taken apart and played with in many ways, while other sets aren’t as flexible. If your child likes to do a lot of free building, you will want a set that is flexible. Likewise, while some sets may not be as flexible, they do offer a lot of opportunities for imaginative play.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between LEGO and DUPLO?
LEGO is the parent company that makes building sets. DUPLO is the company’s line for younger builders. DUPLO is similar to LEGO bricks but much larger so that little hands can use them. DUPLO sets are much simpler than LEGO sets, but still help develop motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and STEM skills.
Most kids start out playing with DUPLO as toddlers and preschoolers before moving up to LEGO sets as they grow more advanced. It’s important to note that while the two types of bricks are similar, LEGO and DUPLO bricks don’t work with one another.
What age is appropriate for LEGOs?
There are many DUPLO sets that are recommended for kids as young as 18 months. Once a toddler shows an interest in building, he or she is ready for DUPLO. Most preschool-age children are capable of building some pretty incredible structures with DUPLO.
As kids get closer to five or six, they are ready to move to traditional LEGO bricks and sets. There are several LEGO sets designed for the five-year olds that may also work for advanced preschoolers who are ready for more sophisticated builds.
Is LEGO good for a 3-year old?
LEGO is a great toy for kids of any age. While it is a highly engaging toy that many kids love to play with, it is also perfect for educational use. Kids learn many skills while using LEGO-like problem solving and STEM skills. LEGO also allows kids to be creative. At three, many kids are ready to express their creativity and enjoy building. LEGO is a must-have for kids this age.
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