Games for Three-Year Old Toddlers

Written by lucia mata
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Games for Three-Year Old Toddlers
Many 3-year-olds enjoy pretend play. (Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Once a toddler turns 3 his learning abilities take off. Children at this age are able to communicate more clearly and take a special interest in creative and learning activities. Three-year-olds enjoy exploring and using their senses. At this age they are also able to ignore distractions, which allows them to keep their attention to finish an activity. Toddlers at this age learn by playing. There are many games your 3-year-old can play to help him develop creatively, mentally and physically.

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Puzzles can help 3-year-olds develop their logical reasoning skills. At this age your child might be ready to start using more intricate puzzles, instead of the pieces with knobs. Familiarise your child with letters and numbers by helping him play with alphabet or number puzzles. Choose puzzles with familiar characters or animals to help your child feel more comfortable with this game. You might need to help your child in the beginning, but the more she practices, the easier it will become for her to finish the puzzles without help.


Balls are the ultimate game for children of all ages. There are many games your 3-year-old can enjoy with a ball. One game is to have your child decorate the ball with markers, then have him give the ball a bath to clean up all the drawings. If there are a few children to play, divide the children in pairs and have them hold a ball in between them, then let them toss the ball and try to catch it with a towel. Alternately, you can also use empty bottles or toilet paper rolls as bowling pins and use a ball to try to knock them down.

Pretend Play

Three-year-olds enjoy using their imagination to play pretend games. Pretend games help children be more creative and social. Encourage pretend games by giving your child props to use, such as kitchen utensils, boxes and clothes. You can also create stories with your toddler, and then let her imagine she is the main character and finish the story by acting it. Pretend games encourage abstract thinking and language development as well as empathy and problem solving.


Three-year-old toddlers broaden their vocabulary at this age; they enjoy learning new words and pronunciation. A good way for them to learn more words is by learning the colours. Colours are fun for toddlers, as they enjoy colouring and their toys are usually colourful. Make a game of learning colours by having your toddler sort blocks or other toys by colour. Play with coloured dough and mix it to create other colours. Have your child name the colours of different things he sees and give him points and rewards when he guesses the correct one.

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