Fun Activities for Kids Under Three Years

Written by melody vieth
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  • Introduction

    Fun Activities for Kids Under Three Years

    Kids under three years of age enjoy activities that encourage independence and creativity. Allow your child to play with materials in her own way, under your supervision. Join your child's play and follow her lead. Encourage her to invent new games and find new uses for materials.

    Children love to get messy. (close up of a young toddler girls brown eyes image by Trevor Goodwin from

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    Dress-Up Activities

    Pretend play allows your child to use her imagination. Dressing up as a firefighter, a nurse or a veterinarian offers your child a chance to try out these roles. Look for costumes at thrift stores or second-hand shops around Halloween. Use stuffed animals and household objects as props for pretend play.

    Kids enjoy pretending to be other people. (worker image by Steve Brase from

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    Cooking Activities

    Encourage your child to make simple snacks in the kitchen, under your supervision. Toddlers enjoy plucking grapes from the stem, cutting out cookies, or spreading cream cheese on celery sticks. Describe the smells, textures and tastes of the foods to give your child's vocabulary a boost.

    Kids like helping in the kitchen. (fun in the kitchen image by Renata Osinska from

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    Painting Activities

    Kids relish every opportunity to paint. Offer your child finger paints and a large sheet of paper, or let her paint on a T-shirt. Use sponges to create stamps that your child can dip in paint and use to make prints on a brown paper bag. Roll toy cars in a small tray of washable paint, then roll the cars across an inexpensive paper tablecloth. Paint on paper with cotton swabs, feathers or virtually anything else that can be dipped in paint. Paint on an easel, or create an easel by taping large sheets of paper to a fence in the backyard. Use a cup of water and a large paintbrush to paint the sidewalk and watch it disappear.

    Painting gives children a creative outlet. (kleiner künstler image by Silvia Bogdanski from

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    Sensory Activities

    Kids enjoy scooping, pouring and dumping a variety of materials during sensory play. Give your child measuring cups or spoons, a funnel and small containers. Pour different materials into a medium-sized storage container and let your child investigate it with the cups and small containers. Try using birdseed, salt, water, noodles or beans.

    Children explore sensory materials by scooping and pouring. (coffee scoop image by Jeffrey Zalesny from

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    Seasonal Activities

    Explore the outdoors and the changing seasons. Build snowmen, collect bugs, run through the sprinkler and jump in leaf piles. The park, the lake and the hiking trail provide opportunities to discover nature. Start your own garden or set up a bird feeder to relive the experience at home.

    Young children explore the outdoors at the park. (The girl sits on a swing image by wolandmaster from

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    Music Activities

    Music appeals to children of all ages. Dance to music and create your own moves. Wave scarves or ribbons in the air as you dance. Create your own musical instruments using ordinary household supplies.

    Music appeals to kids. (playing sisters image by Lisa Eastman from

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