A three-year-old toddler is a bundle of energy. How to tackle this bundle of energy? The best thing you can do is engage them physically and intellectually. You may not be in a position to take them outdoors always. Most of the time, you will be stuck with them behind closed doors. Then it becomes a challenge how to occupy their mind and muscles. Here are some indoor activities you can use to engage your three-year-old. These require minimal supplies, little time to set up, and, most importantly, not a messy play area.
Hit me balloons
This activity is suitable for boys and girls. Hang a balloon in the doorway slightly out of the reach of your toddler. Ask them to jump and hit the balloon. Count the number of times they manage to hit it. This is an interesting activity to ease them out of their boredom.
Don’t let me touch the ground
One of the classic games with balloons, this activity is simple and aimed to make them lose their energy while having lots of fun. Fill a balloon with air. Hand it over to your toddler and tell him that he has to hit it up in the air. The rule is that the balloon must not touch the ground. Each time it comes down, he has to hit it and keep it up.
Stick some tape in a zigzag on the doorway. This is going to be your spider web. Make some small paper balls. You can use an old newspaper for it. Make them stand on a line a small distance away from the spider web. Ask them to throw the paper balls at the tape and see how many will get stuck to it.
Cutting a banana
It is a fine motor skill activity for your toddler and a fun snack time activity. Place a banana on a chopping board. Please give them a butter knife or a child-friendly knife. Show them how to cut it by slicing the first piece yourself. Ask them to repeat after you. Once the whole banana is sliced, they can make shapes like circles, flowers, etc with the rings and eat them.
Letter road is an activity that will help them recognize letters and at the same time play with them. Stick the tape on the floor in the shape of the alphabet. These are going to be your roads. Give your child his favorite toy. Call out random letters. The child has to identify the letter and ride his car on the tape and shape.
Play dough is a classic activity to engage your child. Hand them over the play dough. Make them make shapes of fruits, vegetables, animals, or any simple thing you can think of. It’s an acceptable motor skill activity and boosts their imagination.
Puzzle Hide and seek
This is a puzzle as well as hide and seek activity. All you need is a toy that can be dismantled into parts. Hide the parts in various places of your house or the playroom if you want to limit the space. Ask your child to find the toy parts and reassemble them.
It is a game kids and adults will love equally. Divide the deck of cards among the players. Even if there are only two players, you can play this game. Each person has to take turns to place the card in the middle with the suits and numbers showing. If a card with a joker is placed, you have to slap it. Whoever slaps first can have all the cards that are in the middle. Remember, in this game-winner is one with the maximum number of cards.
You can use actual toy bowling pins or use toilet paper rolls or paper glasses instead. Stack them on one end of the room. Make your child stand at a distance. Give him a car big enough to knock the pins over.
Roads of colored tape
Stick colored tapes on the floor in different patterns like a circle, zigzag, straight, etc. Make your toddler walk forward or backward on the tape without losing his balance.
Ping pong ball catch
This game needs a ping pong ball and a paper glass into which the ball will fit. Also, this requires two persons to play the game. Both persons should stand a short distance apart. One person should throw the ball, and the other person should try to catch it with the glass. You can widen the space as the game progresses to make it more challenging.
It’s a fun game for which you need a few potatoes and a basket. Potatoes should be piled up at the starting point, and the basket should be placed at the endpoint. Ask your child to pick one potato, hold it between the knees and walk fast to the end line to drop it into the basket. If he drops it or touches it with his hands, he will have to begin from the starting point. Play it till all the potatoes are inside the basket.
Place a few colored papers same as the color of the lego on a table. Now hide the Lego pieces all over the house or the play area. Ask the child to find them. Each time he finds a piece, he will have to place it on the matching colored paper placed on the table.
Give them a basket and a checklist with alphabets on it. Ask them to collect items starting with each alphabet. For example, they can pick an apple or an apron for A. Each time they collect an item corresponding to the letter, they have to tick it on the checklist. Set a time so that they will have to hurry hunting for their things.
Cutting the paper
Give your child child-friendly scissors and some old newspapers or colored paper. Ask them to cut out different shapes. You can even thread them or stick them on a thread. Make sure your child cleans up the place once he is finished playing.