Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

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market timer
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Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by market timer » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:24 am

What are some indoor activities people recommend for young children? I spend most of the weekend hanging out with my son at our house. He spends a lot of time watching videos on his iPad and playing with toy cars, and together we'll draw and read books, but I'd like to add a bit more variety to his routine. We recently downloaded a free app called Crash Drive 2 that he enjoyed--not sure how we found it. He also likes to create music with GarageBand on my iPhone. Anyone have good ideas? Seems like he's at a great age to learn things quickly, but I'm a terrible teacher for 3-year-olds.

mak1277
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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by mak1277 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:42 am

Read books to him

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C4NT
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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by C4NT » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:47 am

I have a 2 yo about to be three and a 5 yo about to be six. When we are stuck inside, some things to besides watching TV that you haven't mentioned are:

1. Playing with play dough.
2. Painting
3. Playing Hide and go seek (they are terrible)
4. Putting on music and having a dance off (I am terrible)
5. Making up stories. (Theirs are always funny)
6. Building Forts with blankets or the occasional large cardboard box
7. Playing with blocks
8. Somersaults, cartwheels, etc on the carpet
9. Hiding and object and playing HOT/COLD

If I think of any more I'll post them.
Last edited by C4NT on Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

Rupert
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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by Rupert » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:49 am

If there's a local children's museum or science museum, join it. Our local science museum, that had a great play area for small children, was a godsend on rainy days in particular when my kids were that age.

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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by ND Fan 1 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:50 am

Reading is a great idea. When my son was 3 (4 now) we started playing simple card games. Uno and Memory or the Matching game. You know where you try and find matches of face down cards. He really enjoys that game. We do a lot of hot wheels cars as well. Also, do "search and find" books to be more interactive for him.

We don't do much screen time or iPads, so can't comment on the apps. Do you have the ability to take him outside? Boys his age, should love the park, my little guys would stay all day just running and swinging. Get a good dose of Vitamin D.

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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by mhc » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:53 am

My son really liked Thomas when he was 3. We would build large, elaborate train tracks with the wooden tracks. It was also engaging for me.

He also liked jigsaw puzzles, legos, tinker toys, and such.

My son also enjoyed following me around and helping with normal household work. Include him in the normal activities you do like cooking, cleaning, painting, ....

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KlingKlang
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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by KlingKlang » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:54 am

We live in an area where the weather is bad about six months out of the year, so when my daughter was two we got her a Step 2 climber/slide for the family room to encourage some physical activity. She and her friends made good use of it up until she was nine or so.

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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by azurekep » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:17 am

Popping bubble wrap. :)

Afty
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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by Afty » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:22 am

Could go to the library. A lot of them will have storytime or other programs for young kids.

Another thing we've done is indoor playgrounds. Sometimes you can find one in you local rec center, or you could go to a fast food place with one.

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marti038
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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by marti038 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:22 am

mak1277 wrote:Read books to him
x100. Read, read, read, then read some more.

If there's any time left, we do crafts, build forts, play hide & seek. No wonder I'm so tired at 8:00.

I know this wasn't your original question, but we try to hit the outdoors as much as the weather permits. Big focus on swimming this summer. We also go hiking (wears them out). Sidewalk chalk, riding bikes, playing any game with a ball, etc.

BTW, ours are 5 (boy) and 2 (girl).

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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by new2bogle » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:23 am

mhc wrote:My son really liked Thomas when he was 3. We would build large, elaborate train tracks with the wooden tracks. It was also engaging for me.
I did this with my son when he was between 2-4. Built huge railways with multiple motorized engines, then I'd put my iphone on one of the engines and take videos of it going around the tracks. He loved it and re-watching the videos was always a hoot.

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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by new2bogle » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:25 am

marti038 wrote: I know this wasn't your original question, but we try to hit the outdoors as much as the weather permits. Big focus on swimming this summer. We also go hiking (wears them out). Sidewalk chalk, riding bikes, playing any game with a ball, etc..
Around here it's 100F+ most summer days so unfortunately it is indoor activities. But rest of the year is a lot of fun going to parks.

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market timer
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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by market timer » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:31 am

mak1277 wrote:Read books to him
I do this now, but could do more. Usually I'll buy a book or two every week for $10/book. While it's not a major expense, I wonder if there is a more efficient investment, like a subscription to an online library, that we could use instead. Unfortunately, where I live, there are no libraries.

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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by Andyrunner » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:31 am

Personally, We try to limit the Ipad for our daughter as much as possible.

Now for ideas, just do whatever sounds crazy, set up a tent in your living room, let the imagination go! Bring in a kiddie slide! Ride a bike. Let them play in the sink.
kid projects, google or pintrest ideas, make sure you have tons of glue, construction paper, etc.

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market timer
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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by market timer » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:32 am

C4NT wrote:2. Painting
This is a good one. Maybe I'll get a painting set this weekend.

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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by fiverus » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:33 am

connect with Nature

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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by bloom2708 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:37 am

Make slime.

Google or Bing for the recipe.

Glue, contact solution, borax solution. Hours of fun for our youngest and the next door neighbor.
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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by JoinToday » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:37 am

have him use his imagination: design & build something. The fort out of a cardboard box (previously mentioned) is a good idea. add windows, 2nd box with a "secret" passageway.

To the extent you can do so, social interaction is much better than video games/solitary time watching TV, ipad, etc, in my opinion.

I would also encourage outdoor activities, regardless of the weather. Raincoat & hat makes it all bearable. Anything from digging holes & making construction sites for the trucks, splashing water, etc. Better than TV.
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market timer
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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by market timer » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:38 am

Andyrunner wrote:Now for ideas, just do whatever sounds crazy, set up a tent in your living room, let the imagination go!
This is part of the problem. I feel like my imagination has withered with age, and is confined to a few narrow topics that aren't of interest to 3-year-olds. Need some kind of an age-appropriate external prompt, like a game card saying, "Pretend you are a flatulent hippo."

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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by staythecourse » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:41 am

C4NT wrote: Playing Hide and go seek (they are terrible)
Funny how abstract hide and seek is for a young child. We have 2 (almost 2 and 5) and they are TERRIBLE with hide and seek. It is almost comical how bad they are. Funniest is when you are hiding and they just lose focus and forget to even look. Sat for 10 minutes the first time until I realized they stopped looking awhile ago.

To the OP, if you boy is anything like mine just running around and jumping off sofas onto pillows is fun. How about more play dates?

Either way doesn't really matter what you do DOING stuff with your kids seems to be more important then WHAT you do with them.

Good luck.

p.s. I don't remember my or any parent doing as much as we do with our kids and we turned out just fine. I've been debating it may be more beneficial leaving the kids alone more and just letting them imagine may be better then ANY structure activity. Too much structure I don't think allows for imaginary play which seems to be great for spurring abstract thinking.
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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by mouses » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:46 am

Why indoors? Kids spend too much time indoors, imho. Connect with nature. Visit a farm that allows this.

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market timer
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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by market timer » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:48 am

mouses wrote:Why indoors? Kids spend too much time indoors, imho. Connect with nature. Visit a farm that allows this.
Heat, humidity, and mosquitos, mainly.

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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by Afty » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:50 am

staythecourse wrote:p.s. I don't remember my or any parent doing as much as we do with our kids and we turned out just fine. I've been debating it may be more beneficial leaving the kids alone more and just letting them imagine may be better then ANY structure activity. Too much structure I don't think allows for imaginary play which seems to be great for spurring abstract thinking.
This is a great observation. I think there's benefit in letting kids get bored sometimes so they learn how to entertain themselves.

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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by barelybarefoot » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:57 am

For cold days, I let my 6yo make videos on the iPad/iPhone and they love it. They love using the Slo-mo feature and dancing, doing flips, running around. They can literally do this for hours and encourages indoor activity. Later I delete all the videos though have some really hilarious ones. My older one will actually set up toys dolls and make a movie. Very creative. Sometimes we just need a break and Ipad is not the worse thing. If all they're doing is watching mindless stuff on it (which we will let them do from time to time) then I can see the aversion. We also have Disney story books app on it and my son reads on his iPad. We get all the free ones but I might start buying now....

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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by kelvan80 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:48 pm

Building anything with legos, basketball hoop little tikes, magnetix, baking (he loves to add ingredients to my bowl), water table for outside, bubbles, chalk

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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by ems2013 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:55 pm

We are foster parents to a 3 year old girl and 2 year old boy (siblings). We are committed to getting the kids outside as much as possible in all sorts of weather. They are like puppies in many ways; the more exercise they get, the happier they are (and they nap like champs!). We were outside in the winter when it meant snowsuits, boots, mittens, etc. even for short periods of time. And during the summer, it's sunscreen, bugspray and plenty of hydration (with the occasional icy pop :happy ). We added a swingset with sandbox in our backyard, and on the weekend we visit local playgrounds and our city's new splash pad (helps that it's free for residents).

Our local library has excellent children's programming--family art days, story time with parachutes/bean bags/etc, yoga, outside speakers with wildlife, etc. We utilized it extensively in the depths of the NH winter.

We spend a lot of time reading. The kids didn't know how to interact with books when they first came to our home and now they love to read. The 2 year still does that cute little butt-scoot when he sits on a lap with a book. And the 3 year old has an incredible memory and will often "read" books she's memorized to her little brother. It's precious.

Playdoh, drawing, legos, trucks/cars, playing house, and building forts with blankets & pillows are also favorite activities. They also love the little ride-on car that they drive around inside as well as a small kids shopping cart. Figuring out their own interests/activities is good, too. It's funny when they role-play regular family routines (packing diaper bag, getting out the door in the morning). Definitely eye-opening about how much they take in/notice about the things adults do and say.

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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by irish17 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:40 pm

I hope my post made it but wanted to add a few more:
make jello together and then use cookie cutter for designs
balloon badmitton..hands an balloon needed
flashlight tag for when its dark can be a lot of fun &
Singing songs together...

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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by Jamieson22 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:13 pm

market timer wrote:
mak1277 wrote:Read books to him
I do this now, but could do more. Usually I'll buy a book or two every week for $10/book. While it's not a major expense, I wonder if there is a more efficient investment, like a subscription to an online library, that we could use instead. Unfortunately, where I live, there are no libraries.
Check out the Amazon Fire Kids Edition. It comes with a year of "FreeTime Unlimited" which gets you access to a lot of free book/apps.

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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by Christine_NM » Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:32 pm

Swimming lessons? At a pool or a pond.
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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:07 pm

mak1277 wrote:Read books to him
By the time I was 3-year old I was reading books to them.

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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by mortfree » Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:20 pm

- Chuck E Cheese
- Local public museum - ours usually have displays for kids (thomas, curious George, ninja turtles,etc)
- Bowling

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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by F150HD » Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:22 pm

market timer wrote:
C4NT wrote:2. Painting
This is a good one. Maybe I'll get a painting set this weekend.
To go with the painting, make paper mache. Simple- flour and water.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ba2ePeEiF2E

Then cut newspaper in 1" strips or squares and apply to an inflated balloon. Example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gm1Jp9ZXAPo&t=104s

Once dry, pop the balloon and paint.

Many more 'advanced' projects on Youtube that's for sure. Masks, animal heads etc. Very cheap activity.

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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by irish17 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:26 pm

the paper mache activity is a great one I have used it for Halloween/Christmas..for pumpkin and ornament designs.

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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by travelnut11 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:07 pm

Kinetic sand is all the rage with my fellow moms. I haven't tried it yet with my 2 year-old but have heard good things.
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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by LeviMama » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:50 pm

Our little one just turned 3 and we have lots and lots to entertain him!

Indoors - we have a great little play room set up with easily accessible baskets filled with toys organized by category -

Trains and all the wooden train tracks and accessories
Balls of all shapes, sizes and squooshiness (?!)
Cars, trucks, construction vehicles
Wooden Puzzles a la Melissa and Doug
STEM toys like Lego Duplo and Tegu blocks and Magformers and Magna Tiles - definitely investment toys but they are lovely even for adults.
Coloring books, crayons etc - hit the back to school sales and score lots of washable!! crayons and markers, coloring and drawing pads, glue, safety scissors, stickers, activity sets, macaroni and beans for macaroni and bean art etc. Dollar stores have great craft stuff too in addition to the usual big box type stores.
Books and more books
Dance time - music appreciation. Get some play instruments or improvise! Train some Pandora or Spotify stations with kid friendly tunes.
Play kitchen - IKEA $99 one is great, neatly sized to fit in a corner and the wood isn't awful to look at vs plastic ones. Get lots of play food and small utensils even real ones from your own kitchen that are safe to play with. I've even given my little one real lemons and potatoes only to find them in his kitchen weeks later... oye.
Helping around the house - child size broom and pretend vacuum, bubble leaf blower, a small stiffer duster and a spray bottle with water, small watering cans and gardening tools, etc.
Cooking - pizza dough rolling, cookie rolling and cutting, pancake making, sandwich making, etc.
Small indoor trampoline (not a fan of the big outdoor ones for safety reasons but there are lots of small enclosed ones that are a savior on a really rainy or cold day)
iPad apps like those by Endless Numbers and Endless ABC and Sago have beautiful graphics and offer a little bit of quasi-educational value. Good downtime for the adults too. Get a quality iPad cover - we like our iGuy cover, the passed down iPad has handled being thrown almost daily like a champ.
Host a playdate so someone else's child will entertain your own for a while - there's nothing like another child touching your child's toys to renew your child's interest in his loot. Hopefully you like the parent or caregiver too, since at that age they will probably stay at your house to chit chat too.

Outdoors - with lots of hydration, sun and bug protection for everyone! We live in Texas so I know all about this. I concur that little kids really, really need that outdoor time to burn off the wiggles and to learn to enjoy keeping their bodies moving! Pack a small cooler with snacks and icy drinks or a frozen fruit smoothie and go! Take a change of clothes too. Plus your house won't look like it was attacked by a pack of bears - that's what happens if you try to keep a 3-year old inside and entertained for hours on end!

Playset or park time
Local swimming pools or splash pads, go in the late evening before bedtime. Less sun, fewer crowds and makes them really tired for bedtime.
Sprinkler attachments that attach to your hose and spin and spray water all over
Tricycle, scooter, wagon and those ride and go type vehicles.
Child size sporting gear - tennis (real child size racket but foam balls), and Fisher Price and Little Tykes stuff for golf, basketball, baseball, soccer
Library and children's museum programming in your town or adjacent towns
Finding things to do, I've had great success in just doing a basic web search for "free fun in --- insert city name here ---". Often someone has a blog cataloging what's free and low cost going on around town that doesn't require too much fore planning.

When all else fails, go old school -- extended bubble bath time with all the floating toys and cups and containers you can find, empty Amazon boxes to push around, a pack of new balloons, play with the yard hose, wash the car or the pets, go for a walk and greet neighbors, go for a ride to get ice cream, everyone take a nap!

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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by neveragain » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:55 pm

My kids watch educational stuff on youtube.

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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by Totrep » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:57 pm

You've received some great suggestions. Here are a few more (apologies for some overlap):

- Indoor sports: mini-stick hockey, soccer, wiffle ball with a tee, roller skating, football, etc.

- Climbing and jumping: as suggested above, you can use either furniture or a dedicated structure. Then put a spring mattress under whatever they are climbing. For their weight, it's like jumping onto a giant trampoline.

- Board and card games: Lately we've been playing Uno, Spot it Jr., Zingo

- Puzzles: look around and get many different types (jig-saw, interlocking wood blocks, etc.)

- Treasure hunts: If you've had enough coffee, present your clues in the form of a poem with a cute rhyming scheme.

- Photography/videography: it is insane what a 3-year-old can do with an iPhone. If you can print from your phone, teach them how to do it. Then give them pieces of blue tape and have them decorate a room of the house with their pictures.

- Assist a parent: They can help you cook, clean, and complete other chores with varying degrees of actual helpfulness.

- Education by decoration: Do you have too much money sitting around? Set them loose on Kumon workbooks. Or here are some cheaper activities. As a bonus, they will tastefully decorate your home.
--- Put numbers on index cards going up the stairs. Have them count every time they go up. Put negative numbers going down into the basement.
--- Make labels for objects in your house. Have them tape the labels to the objects.
--- Make a giant grid of the numbers 1-100 and put it on a wall. Talk to them about the numbers. Start with ages of family members, speed limits on nearby roads, amounts of money required to buy various toys, etc.
--- Make a temperature scale from 20 to 100 F. Put it on a wall by a door. Next to each multiple of 10, have them put an illustration of what you should wear to be comfortable in that temperature.
--- Make a timeline of the year by months. Put it on your wall. Make name cards for all your extended family members. Have them put the name cards on that person's birthday.
--- Put the days of the week in a circle on your wall. Next to each day, illustrate something they do that day.

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alec
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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by alec » Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:02 am

We got our kids a crash pad from ikea, so they could jump off the couch onto it.
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pfrank
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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by pfrank » Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:26 am

Duct tape, Scotch tape, marker/crayons and cardboard boxes. We order many items online and we always save the cardboard boxes. My kids will build stuff and decorate it for hours.....castles, race cars, tanks, etc. I always find it amazing what they can do with a couple of simple items.

We also buy the huge packages of cheap illregular balloons from Amazon. We blow them up and draw faces on them and play volleyball type games over the couch. My kids will use them as people for their cardboard creations.

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djpeteski
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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by djpeteski » Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:49 am

For the record, AAP (American association of Pediatricians) recommends no more than 1 hour of screen time per day for children 2-5. This should be high quality educational programming (like Sesame Street).

Take your child to the free zoo (Pet Store), take your child to the park, hanging out by some running water or a lake is also a good idea. Get a bike and put a seat or pull behind on the back so he can go with you.

Gather a bunch of random items, put on some classical music, and let him make up the game.

Go to the Goodwill, give him a small budget, and let him go crazy. Here you can buy children's books on the cheap.

Library.

mouses
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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by mouses » Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:58 am

djpeteski wrote: Take your child to the free zoo (Pet Store)
Or not. Give the pet store employees and animals, who are probably already stressed out, a break and don't do this.

Mr.BB
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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by Mr.BB » Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:16 am

Tinkertoys and Lincoln logs! I've seen research in the past that shows kids that use actual hands on building and creating, their brains evolved much better as they get older cognitive and analytical.
It is one of the biggest downfalls this and past generations. The use of electronics, not to mention the lack of the ability to communicate one-on-one. Millennials dont even look you in the eyes anymore as they talk, not to mention they have the attention span of a nat.
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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by BanquetBeer » Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:40 am

2.75 yrs old

Pool (covered or early/late for shade) and books are our favorite. We do go for a daily walk around the block at 6pm when it is cool enough (mosquito repellant). Sometimes it's been 30 min and we haven't made it past next door. They don't mind the heat and fun to look for bugs or mushrooms or neighbors walking dogs. Get yourself a cool drink.

Lots of the time we just talk. It's not a real conversation but just fragments of thoughts. Ask them questions and talk about fun stuff (every time I shave now she asks "where did your beard go? Did you treem it off?") at this age you can start asking them how was their day, what did they do at daycare, etc.

There are some board games that are kid friendly - anything that has a good 'find items that are not easily seen'.

Also a lot of play mobile dolls.

robebibb
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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by robebibb » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:07 am

We play soccer inside due to heat/humidity and my 4 y/o loves it. Our house is pretty spartan and contains few breakables so it works for us. If you could get outside for a little while before the heat sets in that would be ideal. I'm curious where you live that has 100 degree heat with high humidity and no library.

jr90
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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by jr90 » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:14 am

Fill up the sink and let him play with cups, straws, and anything else you don't mind getting wet. This is a favorite activity for my 3 and 4 year olds.

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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by clip651 » Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:02 pm

mouses wrote:
djpeteski wrote: Take your child to the free zoo (Pet Store)
Or not. Give the pet store employees and animals, who are probably already stressed out, a break and don't do this.
Harmless enough if just walking the aisles and looking into the display tanks, gerbil cages, and bird cages, and the child is appropriately supervised. Many people are in and out of the pet store every day, and animals on display won't notice one extra toddler this weekend. Different story if you are asking staff to take animals out of cages with no interest in getting a new pet.

Texanbybirth
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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by Texanbybirth » Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:20 pm

There is some really great stuff for you here. We don't let our kids watch TV/iPad/iPhone, etc. Our 2.5 yo knows what they are, but they're very special, non-daily treats. (See note above about AAP recommendations. Our doctor still asks about screen time at each appt.) My wife stays at home with the kids, and they've/we've just about everything in this thread. The heat index is currently 106 here (and climbing), so outdoors is off limits for us, except during the early morning and late evening.

On the painting, just be prepared for a mess. It's worth it for them to have that fun. We use water colors, washable markers, and crayons. We also have old tile, a kitchen table off Craigslist, and plenty of my old t-shirts as smocks.

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celia
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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by celia » Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:10 pm

market timer wrote:
mak1277 wrote:Read books to him
I do this now, but could do more. Usually I'll buy a book or two every week for $10/book. While it's not a major expense, I wonder if there is a more efficient investment, like a subscription to an online library, that we could use instead. Unfortunately, where I live, there are no libraries.
Change HOW you read. Don't read the words that are printed. Make up a story as you look at the pictures with you making up the story for your half (left/right page) of the book and let him make up the other half. When you get a new book, read the book without looking at the words. Eventually get him to tell you the whole story.

Then move into writing your own book. Let him tell a story and you write it down. Let him draw pictures for it. Then read it back to him so he also understands that the words stay the same every time you read it.

Ask him what things the other parent does with him, just to get ideas, not to copy them. Maybe one of you is more literary/imaginative and the other more musical. Maybe one parent is more artistic while the other is an organizer. Do the opposite (in activities) than the other parent does.

How about making cookies? You can start off easily with dough that drops onto the cookie sheet. After a year or so, roll out the dough and cut out shapes. After another year of so, use cookie mold cut-outs that cut the rolled dough into (Christmas) trees and (Valentine) hearts and (Easter) eggs. Of course, you two need to decorate them before baking with colored sugar sprinkles (baking aisle).

Introduce him to new foods, preferably that you make yourself. There are kid cookbooks where they can make things that don't require baking or cooking.

azurekep
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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by azurekep » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:53 pm

Paddle balls are fun for kids -- adults too.
Paddle ball is a one-person game played with a paddle and an attached ball. Using the flat paddle with the small rubber ball attached at the center via an elastic string, the player tries to hit the ball with the paddle in succession as many times as possible.
They're available at party and crafts stores among other places.

Here's one example: https://www.michaels.com/paddle-ball-ga ... 5704S.html

Note they're not recommended for under 3 years of age due to the choking hazard.

I have one on hand for breaks when I'm doing something tedious like taxes and it's too cold to go outside.

greenfire
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Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Post by greenfire » Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:05 pm

water play. fill a rubbermaid type tub, add things like turkey basters and squirt bottles. indoor gross motor activities: jumping, playing with a ball, dancing. scavenger hunt. stickers. blocks.

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