Don’t blink! Age three is a huge transitional stage for young children. They quickly learn new skills and develop right before your eyes. It’s the time when little ones are no longer babies—they are starting to become autonomous individuals! During this stage, 3-year-olds experience rapid changes in their abilities to do tasks using fine and gross motor skills. This is a great time to play fun games with 3-year-olds that will support their growth and development!
New Activities for a New Phase
Age three is an important year in a child’s life because they begin interacting with the world around them and start craving more independence.
During this transformative year, most little ones begin to fully interact with what is happening around them, from playing with family members to engaging with more complex games.
Playing games with 3-year-olds is an excellent way for kids to have fun and strengthen a wide range of skills like logic, critical thinking, and creativity!
Top Games for Boys and Girls Age 3
There are many different games and activities that are suitable for three-year-olds. Most 3-year-olds are easily entertained so caregivers don’t need to go out and find intricate games to spark kids’ interests.
Little ones love when their grown-ups put a lot of enthusiasm into an activity… so just playing a classic game with positive energy can help motivate your child to get involved!
1. Puzzles 🧩
Solving puzzles provides many benefits for children of all ages but are especially valuable for 3-year-olds! Puzzles help develop youngsters’ hand-eye coordination, problem-solving abilities, strategic thinking, and tolerance to frustration.
It’s ideal for children to start with simple puzzles, like “peg in the hole” puzzles. Then, caregivers can slowly begin introducing more advanced puzzles. This practice helps children build confidence in themselves and foster their logical thinking skills.
2. Hide And Seek 🙈
This game is entertaining for 3-year-olds. Not only is it an opportunity for exercise, but it also helps them feel independent and begin to think strategically. While playing, kids can even practice numeracy skills (counting to 10 while everyone hides) and new vocabulary for parts of the house.
You can have loads of fun together trying to find new places to hide. Plus, this is a great game that the whole family can play together!
3. Role-Playing Games 🎭
Role-play is very helpful when it comes to teaching 3-year-olds new skills. In this instance, role-playing can raise awareness of children’s surroundings and help kids practice important social skills.
Role-playing can also stimulate creativity and imagination. Let your imaginations run wild and act like police officers, firefighters, nurses, vets, etc. Pretend to be mermaids, grocery store clerks, or shooting stars! The possibilities are endless, and you will see how much your little one enjoys playing with you.
4. Arts And Crafts 🎨
Artistic activities are also recommended for 3-year-olds. Arts and crafts help kids stimulate creativity and explore their individuality.
Here are a few ideas for easy (and slightly messy) ways to incorporate arts and crafts into your 3-year-old’s life:
- Finger painting
- Trace and color shapes
With 3-year-olds, you don’t have to worry about facilitating a painting project with instructions for a specific image or color. Simply encouraging little ones to explore with watercolor and fingerpaints is a fun way to foster creativity.
5. Obstacle Courses 🚦
Great for rainy days stuck inside, or sunny days playing outside! A simple obstacle course is a great way to spend an afternoon with friends and family.
Use household objects like frisbees, shoes, chairs, pillows, etc., to set up an obstacle course. To create an obstacle course, you’ll need a starting point and a finish line. Set up your household items in between these two points and give instructions like:
- Hop on each frisbee
- Go around the shoe
- Crawl under the chair
- Spin 3 times in the hula hoop
- Bounce like a kangaroo through the hall
Help guide your child as they make their way through the course, and don’t forget to celebrate them when they make it to the finish line!
6. Treasure Hunts 📜
This is a classic game for the whole family. The idea is to use hints and clues to find a particular hidden object.
You can add a dash of creativity to the game by turning the treasure hunt into a fun story (a pirate’s treasure, a wizard’s spell book, etc.).
- Give kids helpful clues like: “it’s blue,” “it’s cold,” and “it’s in the room where we eat dinner.”
- Make a map of your house with special places marked with clues!
- Help lead your child to the treasure by giving feedback such as: “you’re getting warmer” as they get close to the treasure or “you’re getting colder” as they go further away from the treasure.
7. Emotion Identification Games 😃
Games are a great way to help children begin to develop a sense of self. Through playful activities, you can teach kids important lessons about their emotions!
For example, you could create faces from cardboard using different expressions like sad, happy, scared, and angry. Then, play “guessing games” to identify different emotions.
- Say, “I make this face when I feel sad,” and have the child point to the correct emotion.
- Repeat for each of the emotions.
You could even try to guess the emotions of their favorite cartoon character during an episode. The goal is to be creative and have fun!
8. Sensory Activities 🧊
3-year-olds explore using their 5 senses: taste, touch, smell, sound, and sight. Sensory play stimulates these 5 senses and encourages kids to make sense of their surroundings with their natural instincts. Many children also find sensory activities to be calming.
- Fill a small container with water, food coloring, and plastic toys (empty plastic cream cheese or butter containers work great!)
- Freeze the container
- Remove the ice block from the container and place it in a bin
- Set out a bowl of warm water, a water dropper, and a bowl of salt
- Your child can experiment with dropping warm water and salt onto the ice block to melt the ice and find the prizes trapped inside!
Remember that kids also like to explore using their mouths, so be sure to supervise!
Games for 3-Year-Olds and Lingokids
Interested in learning more about how Lingokids supports toddlers and preschoolers to gain academic and life skills? Download the app and check out the content on our YouTube channels.
What is your child’s favorite activity to play? Let us know by tagging us on social media!