Having a three year old around the house, or taking care of a three year old in general, can be quite the adventure. There are times where you will definitely wonder where they get all their energy. However, at the end of the day, regardless of the havoc and cuteness that they have caused, they’re still more fun to hang out with than some adults that we know.
Are you a parent looking for quick activities to keep your toddler entertained? Are you sitting for someone this weekend and want to be labeled as the fun aunt or uncle or super sitter? Or maybe you’re a kindergarten teacher looking for something new. Then, we have got the surefire list for you to keep your little rascal(s) – and yourself – duly entertained for hours on end.
We prepared a list of mentally stimulating as well as creative activities that you can either use with groups or with individual children. It’s important for them to have fun, but it is also equally important for them to be able to have positive stimulation as well.
This bolsters the imagination and is an excellent activity to calm kids down. However, storytelling should not just be limited to the adult telling the story. Encourage the kids to come up with a story of their own or engage group dynamics and let other kids join in and add to the current setting. This will help boost their creative prowess and allows them to express their imaginative abilities. You can even pick the theme to make it interesting, cross dragons with the Wild West, or even get them to act out the characters in your or their stories.
2. Fun With Letters
The alphabet should be accessible at this age and there are a lot of fun activities you can have whilst encouraging learning. Let them recite the alphabet – maybe even backwards! Allow them to let you know of words that start with a particular letter or even words that have that specific letter in them. This should allow for them to improve their language skills have fun with words.
3. The Rhyme Game
Useful in the car when you want to entertain and equally useful with their language skills, you never know you could be rhyming with the next great poet!
4. Build With Your Three Year Old!
There are so many variations to building activities that you can have with a three year old. You can play with plastic building blocks and create something together, make a pillow fort and reenact one of the stories earlier, create an obstacle course or a treasure hunt with everyday soft furniture, and there’s sculpting with clay. You might never know that this could be stimulation that could later lead to the next architect or engineer. Allow them to express their imagination with the projects that they are building.
5. “I Spy” Still Works
“I spy with my little eye” a game that will never grow old, although this is enough to stimulate a child for more than a few minutes, there are plenty of ways to spice this game up. Try imposing a few rules like no furniture, only people in the room, vary the way you give out clues. You will surely be surprised at how inquisitive a three year old can be.
6. Put on Some Music
Dance with your toddler, it’s a lot of fun and good exercise for them!
7. Paint With Them
Not just with watercolors on a blank piece of paper, but with other methods as well. There’s finger painting (with non toxic paint of course) and you can even use tea bags. Get creative with the medium as well! Planning on making some macaroni jewelry? Have your three-year-old paint the macaroni before threading it. Is it snowing outside? They can even paint on snow. The medium and the method used can be as unique as you want them to be.
8. Turn The Lights Off
This is a hard activity to perform safely but it can be a fun one indeed. Make sure that there are no choking hazards, oddly shaped pointy objects, or anything that can hurt your three-year-old in the dark and flip the lights off. Play with flashlights and make shadows that resemble different animals on the wall, you can even tell ghost stories – not too scary though – this way, or pretend that everyone is camping out in the woods.
9. Let Them Help Your Prepare Their Meals
Even for adults in this day and age, there is always that small tinge of satisfaction and independence in being able to prepare your own meals, let the kids join in. There’s the usual warning to keep sharp utensils like knives away, but let them help prepare sandwiches or add sprinkles to their ice cream. Get them to exercise their imagination.
10. Get The Crayons Out
Let them express their true artistic potential by letting them draw what they feel. Ask them to draw a picture for you, and remember not to let anyone eat crayons!
11. Play Tag Together
We all know you have a competitive advantage, but play fair!
12. Look at Pictures Together
This is a fun activity regardless of what kind of pictures you’re looking at, it can be old family photos where they have to guess who’s who, pictures of animals and try to guess where they come from, or even different places around the world that you can tell them about.
13. Hide and Seek
Trust us, with enough willpower, they will beat you in this game. They fit anywhere and everywhere!
14. Play Dress Up
Nothing is more fun than playing make believe, even adults enjoy it too. Let them dress up in different costumes or even just different kinds of clothes where they can imagine themselves as different people of different professions. Remember an old sheet can be the ideal cape for your little superheroes.
So there you have it, a plentiful list with a lot of things to do with you and your little rascals this coming weekend or if you’re looking to just plain bond with them. Remember to put safety first and make sure that they don’t hurt themselves accidentally during playtime. Be wary of small objects that can pose choking hazards and edges that they can run into during a simple game of hide and seek.
Most importantly, have as much fun as they’re having and learn to enjoy life as they are. Remember, back in the day you were once a kid yourself!