What are your favorite activities for 3 year olds? These simple activities aren’t just for 3 year olds, they are great activities and preschool learning games for older kids too! Don’t miss my new book Everyday Preschool, it’s the best book for parents who want to make sure their child is learning every day.
Finding the right activities for 3 year olds should be easy… but it isn’t. This summer my daughter and I have had a lot of time to play. Extra time in fact because she decided when she turned 3 to give up naps. With her brother home from school for the summer, my attempts at forcing the issue have been met with refusal. I am going to try again in a month when her brother returns to school but in the meantime, she has quiet time, earlier bedtimes and lots of simple activities like these peppered throughout the day. For more specific games for 3 year olds check out our post here with our favorites!
If you have a younger child check out our similar list of 75 TV Free Activities For Toddlers. These 3 year old activities have been the bulk of what we’ve done this summer. Big projects are fun but day in and day out this is what we do.
If you are a 3 year old teacher or a parent homeschooling preschool you must check out my fun and flexible preschool curriculum units here.
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75 Everyday Activities for 3 Year Olds
- Playdough with dry spaghetti.
- Fill a table with books and read, read, read.
- Doodle with smelly markers on cardboard from your recycle bin.
- Play doctor with dolls.
- Take a walk and hunt for colors.
- Play with puzzles.
- Look at family photos together.
- Create with peel and stick jewels.
- Read through catalogs.
- Build a fort.
Need more preschool learning games and fun? Keep Reading!
- Play eye spy with favorite book.
- Eat lunch outside.
- Play in a box.
- Paint with watercolors.
- Play with stickers.
- Play sports in the yard.
- Play-Doh and sequins.
- Play The Cupcake Game.
- Play Simon Says.
- Make a balance beam out of painter’s tape and walk it!
- Play in a kiddie pool.
- Color with Color Wonder markers and coloring sheets.
- Water some plants
- Play with Magic Nuudles.
- Play with Play-Doh and Duplo together.
These are great activities for toddlers too!
- Play with a light table ( easy DIY here ).
- Play with cold cooked spaghetti.
- Cook together.
- Play with water, rice, beans, gravel etc… in your water table .
- Play with the hose.
- Dress up some dolls.
- Take silly pictures together.
- Play hide and seek.
- Play with stamps.
- Make some window clings .
- Paint your toenails with kid-safe nail polish .
- Run Through the sprinkler.
- Write in a journal with markers, stamps, and crayons.
- Go to the beach.
- Learn about emotions with Mr. Potato Head.
- Go to the library.
- Read with a sibling.
- Call Grandma ( or Aunty, Uncle… you get the picture.)
- Help clean.
- Play dentist with dolls.
- Finger paint.
- Draw with chalk on black construction paper.
- Go to a local elementary school and play at the playground.
Educational games don’t have to be complicated
- Play dress up.
- Take markers and paint onto the porch for art outside.
- Play School
- Mix sidewalk chalk and other toys for pretend play outside.
- Scrap paper collages.
- Hunt for magnets with a magnetic wand in a bowl of uncooked oatmeal or rice.
- Jump in puddles. I don’t know of a better activity for a 3 year old than this one!
- Build a tower out of recycling.
- Wash the car.
- Backyard nature hunt. Tape painters tape sticky side out on a window or wall and have your child stick what they find on it.
- Take some pictures.
- Have a tea party.
- Practice cutting with playdough!
- Make a ramp with cardboard and drive matchbox cars down it.
- Read books outside.
- Play-Doh with pipe cleaners.
- Wash play cars, scooters, and bikes.
- Go for a hike.
- Play with Play-doh and egg molds.
- Play airplane or train with your kitchen chairs.
- Wash windows with water and vinegar.
- Turn snack bars into shapes and practice using a knife at the same time.
- Play alone. Yes, it’s more than OK, it’s awesome to let kids play alone. Let your 3 year old think up their own activities. We don’t need to entertain them 24/7 !
What is your family’s favorite everyday activity? Not listed? Add it in the comments and tell us why your kids love it!
Need more Activities for 3 year olds?
Check out my updated and now-in paperback book Everyday Preschool!