Games 3 Year Olds Will Love
Your toddler is now 3! Hooray! To celebrate, we’ve got eight games 3 year olds will love to play. While you mastered entertaining your 2 year old, you might wonder if you should be trying new ways to play with your 3 year old. The answer is, ‘Yes!’
We’re sharing a list of play ideas that will help develop their cognitive and physical development skills.
The CDC has created a developmental guide of what MOST children (remember: not ALL children) can do by a certain age. Many of the items listed are the questions your pediatrician asks at your child’s well-visit appointments.
If you have concerns about your child’s development, always reach out to your child’s doctor.
Here are some fun ways you can play with your 3 year old toddler. Remember, you are your toddler’s best (and favorite) teacher💕
1. Take the stairs
Next time you come across some stairs at the playground, at grandma’s house, or at the pediatrician’s office…take them!
See if your 3 year old can they go up and down stairs without arm support. If they’ve never done this before, you might be a bit scared. Your feelings are valid, so start small; find a group of 3-4 steps.
Once your 3 year old is comfortable, go into ‘I-Spy’ mode and see if you and your toddler can find stairs made of cement, carpet, hardwood, tile, rock, or other materials. (That in itself is another one of the games 3 year olds will love to play).
Does your 3 year old find certain materials easier to navigate than others? Make a mental note of what you observed.
2. Stand on one leg
Now that you’ve got a couple of games 3 year olds will love on your radar, let’s add another. This is one you should join in on, if you can.
Have a competition and see if your toddler can can stand on one leg for 3 seconds! If they can, increase the time to 5 seconds; then 10 seconds. Be sure to set a timer on your phone with a really silly alarm to enhance the experience.
If your toddler REALLY wants a challenge, ask them to stand on one leg for 5 seconds with their eyes closed. Try it yourself! They’ll get a kick out of seeing you wobble a bit.
I’m sure it’s clear to see why this balance challenge made the list for games 3 year olds will love.
3. Take 3 steps forward on a line
Since the last game was a success, let’s stick with the balance trend. Add this next one to the list of balance games 3 year olds will enjoy playing.
Imagine that you are on a balance beam or on a tight rope. Hold your arms out like the wings of an airplane. Take 3 steps forward and see if they can do it, too!
Gradually start increasing the amount of steps as they gain more confidence.
If this is too easy for them to do on a flat surface, you can always see how they do on a very low balance beam, the curb of a sidewalk, or a parking block.
4. Make 2-step requests
Modifying the game, Simon Says, is one of the games 3 year olds will love to play with you.
See if they can follow your request. For example, ‘Simon says, get the book and give it to me.’
Note: it might be easier to have a few go-to requests in your head because you could be like me and accidentally make 3 and 4-step requests!
5. Use 3+ word phrases to talk and ask for things
This game will come easy to talkative parents. Remember when your 3 year old was a baby and you used to narrate everything you were doing? Channel that mindset for this game.
This time, make sure it is a two way conversation. See if your 3 year old will reciprocate with questions like, ‘Where’s the ball, Mommy?’
6. Get some paper and chunky crayons
Drawing is a great way to play with your toddler, which is why it made the list for games 3 year olds will love!
First, draw a circle. See if your 3 year old can draw a circle after following your example.
Next, try experimenting with vertical and horizontal lines. How did they do?
If you’re looking for toddler-friendly art ideas featuring play dough, painting with trucks, sensory bowls and more, check out our toddler reels on Instagram. We love to have a good time!
7. Build a tower together
Up next in games 3 year olds will love, is a game you might have played as a child: building the tallest tower EVER!
See how many blocks your 3 year old can stack! They might surprise you and stack 8!
Next, it’s your turn to build a tower with the same number of blocks, but let them knock it down! Crash! Boom! Ker-plop!
8. Let them get dressed or undressed without help
Though this is one of the games 3 year olds will love, at first it might be a game that can be a challenge for both toddlers and adults alike. As parents, we MUST resist the urge to rush in.
You thinking, ‘but I can do it faster’ might make them think, ‘Mommy can do it better.’ Let them shine🌟
Concluding Thoughts on Games 3 Year Olds Will Love
We hand-picked 8 epic games 3 year olds will love, giving you more ways to play with your toddler!
What’s special about these 8 games is that each one of them works on a specific developmental skill.
Whether your toddler excels in physical strength or cognitive strength (or a bit of both), there are many options for them to try.
Only 2 of the games requires materials, and chances are you probably already have them, so no need to go out and buy additional toys! Hooray for FREE fun!
Try not to stand on the sidelines for these games, especially when it is the first time you’re introducing them. You want to be involved. Plus, your toddler will love watching you, too!
The ideas for this content was provided by the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children