My oldest just started school and I have been finding it a bit strange with just me and my almost-three-year-old in the house. I haven’t been used to so much one-on-one time with him and I will admit I’ve been a bit stuck for ideas of what to do!
After considering the reason for this, I have realized that usually we worked off my older son’s ideas for play… if he wanted to draw dinosaurs or look for bugs, for example, my youngest was more than glad to follow big brother’s lead. But due to this pattern there are have been quite a few activities that were a bit too “babyish” for my older son that my youngest son has yet to fully experiment with.
Therefore I looked up a list of play ideas I created when my oldest was a toddler, and re-vamped it to use now with my youngest who turns three in a few months. My idea is just to choose one or two play ideas each day we have together, and go through the list to find out what he enjoys. It is going to be so fun to have this special time together and I am excited to see his interests develop independent of his brother’s influence.
You can download this list to print out yourself using the link at the end of this post.
50 Everyday Play Ideas for Toddlers and Preschoolers
- Coloring (marker, crayon, pencil, pens)
- Collage making (gluing magazine pictures or shapes cut from colored paper)
- Splash pool or sink play
- Play with hose outside
- Sidewalk chalk
- Stack plasticware in kitchen to make a big tower
- Drumming (do a beat and have your child copy)
- Make a fun snack
- Dance to music
- Learn a new song
- Create a birthday card for someone
- Set up a pretend restaurant
- Make a fort (great when you are removing sheets from bed, before washing them)
- Relay race
- Wash toys
- Guess what’s in the bag
- Play charades (pretend you are animals and guess)
- Ball play (throw, kick, roll, bounce)
- Finger puppets
- Bean bag toss into a basket
- Play school with dolls/stuffed animals
- Hide and Seek
- Dress up
- Let your child take photos
- Balloon play
- Doctor play (create a kit with cotton balls, lotion, bandages)
- Create a zoo with farm animals or dinosaurs
- Go fishing/do boat play
- Wash the cabinets and windows
- Legos or blocks
- Play store
- Make up a story with props around us
- Simon Says
- String dry pasta onto pipe cleaners
- Play pictionary (draw pictures and have your child guess)
- Call or Skype friends or family living in another town
If you would like to find activities to learn about specific character traits, such as kindness or responsibility, go here.
What ideas would you add to this list? What is your toddler or preschooler’s favorite type of play?