Engaging Activities for 3 Year Olds at HomeJune 19, 2019
Having your 3 years old surrounded by productive activities that help them grow, is the biggest question in front of parents today. It is rightly said that ‘Childhood lays a foundation for life.’ But, what engaging activities for 3 year olds at home will help him/her achieve that strong base? Figuring things out while parenting is never easy and all of us have come to agree with this! That’s the reason why you found this article and you’ve come to the right place.
Nurturing kids right from their prenatal stage through their childhood, adolescence and early adulthood is quite a journey that unfolds different experiences for them as well as for you as parents. There are situations when you find it hard to deal with your infants. There is a time when you question your role.
Thus to help you out, I make an attempt to help you with your doubts and queries in this article. Before diving deeper into this topic, we first need to analyze different developmental domains that your child has gone through, up to the age of three.
The period, from birth to the age of three, is known as Infancy or Toddlerhood. Like other phases in life, there are three main domains in which the child advances.
- Physical Development: There are rapid height and weight gains. Neurons grow and form interconnections in the brain, giving rise to compound thinking. Infants start to wiggle, push upward, sit up, crawl, and eventually walk. They also try to reach, grasp, and pick up small objects. Vision develops by 6 months of age, along with depth perception and recognition of patterns, faces, shapes, and colors. This age group is specifically known to hear a wide range of frequencies, localize sound, and make sound distinctions that underlie language development.
- Cognitive Development: Infants begin to understand object permanence. They always strive to “experiment” with the physical world. They begin using representations and symbols to express themselves and their information-processing speed increases. Language develops rapidly through prelinguistic communication (babbling). They start using a single word to mean a whole different range of ideas (holo-phrases).
- Psychosocial Development: Infants exhibit different temperaments and activity levels. Their facial expressions appear to reflect emotions, and they also learn to understand the facial expressions of others. Toddlers begin to feel empathy. There is also a style of attachment with others that emerges during this period.
What to teach a 3-year-old at home: fun-learning activities for 3 year olds at home
Having learned about their developmental status, let’s examine the ways in which you, as a parent, can teach your child at home. First and the foremost, you need to bear in mind that this is the time when you can mold your child into a good human being. This is the right time to tell your child which is good behavior and which isn’t. A simple trick is to make use of rewards to reinforce good habits. Give your child his/her favorite sweet every time they act well!
Besides observing your child’s behavioral patterns and helping them develop emotionally, you also need to focus on the fun aspect.
- Bake with your 3-year-old: Yes! Let them play with the dough and taste your delicious cookies (which you can use as a reinforcer later). Also, teach them to make different shapes out of the dough and eventually unique shaped cookies! This will promote divergent thinking in your child.
- Bring a picture-story book: Let their imagination flow to create their own stories. Talk to them and ask what they see. Name the characters that are visible in the pictures. Don’t tell the story until your child is bored with the books. Once you realize the book is no longer interesting them, tell the real story behind the pictures and you’ll see your child surrounded by the book again. This activity will inculcate a reading habit in them in the future.
- Encourage to color: This might be a very obvious task because it increases your child’s color identification and perceptive abilities. Bring the coloring books and ask them to color up the picture in their own way. Don’t worry if he/she spoils it all. It is just a part of learning.
- Solve puzzles: Bring your child the simplest jigsaw puzzle and ask them to join up the pieces. You could ask them to make a house out of playing cards, identify the alphabet and many other similar games and puzzles.
What should a 3-year-old child know academically:
Every individual has a unique pace of working. Similarly, children in their toddlerhood have a differentiating rate. Some children start babbling when they’re merely 9 months while others take as long as two years! Moreover, there have been situations wherein a child has spoken absolutely nothing for two years of his life, and suddenly started speaking relatively fluently! So, we are in no place to question the capability of any child in this stage. However, there are some general things that a child needs to be able to do at this stage. If not, it could be a symptom of some other major issue.
The cognitive development of the children lays a foundation for their academic growth as well. Since many parents think it is too young of age at three to enroll their child for schooling, considering to teach your child at home is a good option. However, admitting your child into pre-school enhances their overall development and exposes them to social situations. Here are a few things that your child should know academically:
- Recognition: You child can recognize people in his/her life. For example, say there is another baby of his/her age in the neighborhood. Then your child should be able to call them out in some way or react at their mention.
- Identifying and distinguishing objects: Your child can identify objects and call them by its name. We also observe them calling out elders with their names because it is fascinatingly new to them. This is also applicable to identifying written alphabets and numbers. For instance, they can distinguish between food and toys.
- Singing along nursery rhymes and recognizing the tunes: Since there is the maturation of the vocal cords, your child is able to speak and sing along the rhymes that you make him/her hear over and over. They also sing along with their favorite sons when they hear them on the TV or when someone is singing for them.
- Vocabulary: The child has a better vocabulary as compared to the mere babbling. They can ask a thing that they want. Due to linguistic development, they also learn to combine two or three words and express their thoughts.
- Self-Expression: Your child is able to express content or disgust about a certain thing. For instance, they laugh and smile when they are given their favorite toy or cry when their friend takes away the same toy. They also develop preferences and start demanding one thing over another in terms of food, clothes, toys, shoes, etc.
Behavior problems of 3-year-old:
There are certain steps that we need to follow in order to be able to understand the child’s behavior. This includes dealing with behaviors that are concerning. The first step is to understand the behavior and its root cause. Secondly, consider the various factors that are influencing the behavior.
For example, if we find a two-year-old child biting repetitively, we need to see if that’s his/her way of expressing frustration or is it because he/she is hungry, or could it be an imitation of someone. After this, we need to pay close attention to this specific behavior and observe if there’s any pattern.
One also needs to analyze who owns the problem. Is the child’s behavior a result of his/her own need or goal that’s not being met? Or is the child’s behavior inappropriate because it is interfering with the needs or goals of the adult or other children in the situation? Finally, formulate a strategy and implement it with the help of a counselor or caretaker. Remember that there’s no ideal way to deal with a problem. However, these steps have been proven effective for many.
In order to keep up with the child’s experimental behavior, one should change your attitude towards things. Most of the time, children are curious about each and everything that they see others do. For instance, there’s a child who has gone to a supermarket along with his mother. Just like his mother pulls out one item from each shelf, the child tries to imitate her and puts one or many items in the shopping basket.
Despite his mother’s repeated attempts to stop the child, he still continued to do the same thing again and again. This made the mother furious and she smacked her child. Of course, what happens next is obvious. The child throws a tantrum and embarrasses his mother in the public.
Analyzing the example stated above, the mother could have used the experimental behavior of the child to her own benefit. She could have asked the child to pull out one item at a time as per her need, instead of getting frustrated over it. Therefore, parents need to be patient and have a general understanding of this natural behavior of their child. Make sure you use minimal violence because then you’re, in a way, letting it imbibe into your child. This can result in upsurged aggressive behavior into the child.
Emotional development in a 3-year-old child:
The environment, in which a person breathes, plays a major role in the emotional and social development of an individual. Children are often surrounded by parents, teachers and care-takers. These individuals play a major role in the formation of healthy social and emotional development of children.
The reason why we focus on the social and emotional development of the child extends far beyond managing his/her immediate behavior. Proper regulation of the child’s emotions enhances his/her social skills and emotional intelligence. We ultimately want children to grow up into people who reflect an emotionally healthy life, realistic view of themselves and as individuals who possess social skills to effectively comprehend the sentiments of themselves and those of the others.
Undoubtedly, social interaction lays a foundation for emotions. Infants learn to express their preferences. They develop likes and dislikes. In fact, throwing a tantrum is their way of expressing how they feel about a particular thing. They also express happiness, sadness, fear, etc. They develop a sense of humor and laugh when they see some funny cartoon. On the other hand, they cry seeing the emotional scenes or when they see their friends crying.
We also see them tearing up looking at any fearful image or so. They have different conflicts through which they express their aggression. They try to solve conflicts by pushing, biting or just crying. They are so new to “feeling” that they do not know the difference between right and wrong interactions. That’s when parenting plays the role.
Moreover, they make friends and learn to understand their emotions too. They can understand facial expressions and empathize with their friends.
Also, read about How the best free educational apps will change your life.
Educational games for 3 years old at home:
- ABC Kids – Tracing and Phonics: This app enables tracing and identifying alphabets and providing their pronunciation to your child. The app also makes it an enjoyable experience by associating the alphabets with the words having the same initials. Matching activities prove to be an excellent educational exercise to your child’s academic life. You can also use 123 Numbers Count and tracing app which is available in play store.
- Kids Brain Trainer: This is an app that provides the best cognitive exercises to your child. Not only does it serve the entertainment purpose but also enlarges the logic, memory, identification, recognition and recalling the power of your child. It also has games that enhance the math skill of your baby. This will aid to develop your child’s motor skills, visual-motor coordination, tactile skills and speed up cognitive abilities.
- First Words for Baby: This is the perfect app for the vocabulary expansion of your child. It provides a range of distinct words along with their pictures. This lets the child connect and reflect. Furthermore, it also provides a more realistic view of the picture flashed on the screen by sounds of vehicles or animals in the picture. It works like a vocabulary builder and contributes to the language development of the child.
Here’s all you need to know about the activities for 3-year-olds at home. If you like this article, do share with other parents that have an infant in their homes. Thank you for reading!