Activities & games of kids ages 3-5

Updated February 21, 2017

Parents of children between the ages of 3 and 5 already know that a young child has a large imagination -- not to mention an everlasting supply of energy. It can be fascinating to watch your child play games and interact with others his age. If you do so consistently, you will find that there are specific types of games and activities that kids in this age group enjoy the most.

Imaginative Play

Imaginative play is a non-structured form of play that involves children using their own imaginations to create games, activities or pretend worlds. Three to 5-year-old children engage in imaginative play without much prompting. A 4-year-old child, for instance, can pick up a stick and pretend that it is a sword. The sword leads him to pretend his older brother is a knight that he must fight -- with the stick -- in order to rescue the princess, who is played by the family dog. Imaginative play is crucial for cognitive and creative development.

Surprise Games

Children in their early toddler years learn about the element of surprise, and how fun it is to be surprised and to surprise others. Hide and seek is a classic game that 3- to 5-year-old kids play so they can have that surprised feeling either upon being discovered by their opponent or when they discover the other person hiding. You may find that your child enjoys attempting to scare you at whatever chance he gets, even when you are not in the middle of a hide and seek adventure.

Arts and Crafts Activities

Many 3- to 5-year-old children enjoy arts and crafts activities because they get to create something they can keep or give away. For young kids, creation can be satisfying as it gives them a sense of personal accomplishment. It can also be stimulating for children to see the bright colours of paint, feel the stickiness of glue and make designs out of sparkly glitter or rhinestones. If you have an arts and crafts area in your home, or in the day care or preschool classroom, you may find that kids gravitate towards the arts and crafts supplies.

Physical Activities

Physical activities, such as running, jumping, leaping, hopping or skipping, can be turned into fun games by kids ages 3 to 5. Children may create their own physical activities in the backyard with minimal prompting. For instance, three cracks in the cement of your patio can inspire kids to engage in a hopping competition over the lines, or a tournament where they run and leap over the cracks. Tag and running races are other physical games that young children enjoy playing with friends or family.

Musical Games

Musical games that involve songs are exciting for young kids. Simply playing music makes them start to dance and wiggle around. Young children also enjoy instructional musical activities and games, such as "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes."

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About the Author

Kyra Sheahan has been a writer for various publications since 2008. Her work has been featured in "The Desert Leaf" and "Kentucky Doc Magazine," covering health and wellness, environmental conservatism and DIY crafts. Sheahan holds an M.B.A. with an emphasis in finance.