written by: Kendra Dahlstrom
• edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom
• updated: 9/11/2012
Structured activity games for 3 year olds are fun for children and adults. There is a time and a place for free play, but if you want to direct a child's learning, this article explains some fun learning activities for indoor and outdoor preschool fun.
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Activity games for 3 year olds provide much more than recreational fun. Young children learn about science, math, language, and social skills through play. They also learn how to use their imaginations and entertain themselves without the television or video games. Both parents and preschool teachers need activity ideas to stimulate the 3 year old mind. Here you will learn some fun games that encourage movement, exploration, and fun suitable for home and school.
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Rainy Day Activities
Children, especially 3 year olds, love to run, pedal tricycles, climb, and go down slides. When the weather simply doesn't allow for this type of outside play, however, teachers and parents must come up with some activity games for 3 year olds inside. One example of a stimulating indoor game is "I Spy". One person secretly chooses an object in the room and describes that object until the others guess correctly. This helps children learn colors and recognize the differences that make up everyday objects.
"Hide and Seek" represents another fun indoor game. With 3 year olds, however, begin by choosing an object to hide instead of a person hiding. Sometimes children become scared when they have to search alone for hidden people. This game works best if you have plenty of rooms and places to hide.
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Dance and Movement Activities
Activity games for 3 year olds involving dance and movement help children develop their gross motor skills. They also introduce little ones to the art of music. A great activity involves a little teacher preparation time. The teacher or parent makes a recording of 30 second snippets of songs put all together. The songs should vary in style, tempo, and tone. For example, record a portion of a classical ballet piece, a heavy metal song, a children's song, and a recording of natural sounds of the rain forest. Then, play the recording and have the children move and dance to the music depending on what they hear. This helps kids develop their listening skills.
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Outdoor Game for 3 Year Olds
If you're not worried about getting a little dirty, wear some old clothes and instruct your students to do the same. Then, grab some small shovels and head out to the dirt. Activity games for 3 year olds that involve digging in the dirt and mud always go over well with the children. Talk to the kids about worms and what makes them so special for plants and soil. You could even read a book about worms before heading outside. Then, give each child a shovel and go outside to start digging for worms. When they find one, explain how they move and what they eat. Turn this activity into a preschool science lesson.
You don't have to be especially crafty or creative to show 3 year olds some fun games and activities. They love any type of interactive game or exploration activity. Just remember that almost all types of play teaches preschoolers something about the world.