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Finding Creative Fun

When you have preschool children at home, sometimes the downtime can be a challenge. Bored children can act out, making parents feel frazzled and overwhelmed. And, as any parent can tell you, finding activities for 3 year olds that keep them engaged and interested is not always easy. Fortunately, there are some great creative activities you can do with children, to engage their minds, spark their imaginations, and build fun memories together.

Imaginative Play

Learning activities for 3 year olds and other preschoolers don’t have to be limited to worksheets, flash cards, and other “educational” activities. Kids learn best through play, and by engaging with your child in imaginative play, you will be teaching them life skills while having fun together.

  • Build a city of cardboard boxes.
  • Bury plastic dinosaurs in the sandbox and play archaeologist.
  • Make paper cup string telephones and see if you can talk to each other from different rooms.
  • Listen to an audiobook together.
  • Have a tea party or indoor picnic.
  • Build together with Legos or blocks.
  • Play with play dough.
  • Dance and sing together.
  • Build a fort out of sofa cushions, blankets, or a tension rod and a sheet.
  • Make a stuffed animal zoo, with habitats for your animals in different rooms.
  • Pretend you’re shopping and let your child serve as cashier.
  • Play salon, letting your little stylist work on you or a doll.
  • Create a treasure hunt by hiding something small and giving step by step instructions on how to find it.

Creative Crafts

Now, crafts for 3 year olds are going to be different from crafts for 4 year olds, simply because of the child’s developmental stage. You know your child best, and you should not feel like you need to push any particular creative activity just because it’s on a list. However, here are some fun crafts you might want to try with your little ones.

  • Make sock puppets and put on a puppet show.
  • Use food coloring to tie dye coffee filters, then hang them in the window like suncatchers.
  • Finger paint! One fun way to do this is to hang a large piece of paper above the bathtub and let your child have some messy fun.
  • Sketch an outline of an object or animal and have your child add the details.
  • Cut up photos or postcards to make puzzles.
  • Press flowers or leaves between sheets of wax paper and put them in a heavy book or iron them.
  • Draw with sidewalk chalk- trace your shadows!
  • Trace your child on a big piece of paper, have him or her fill in the details like facial features, hair, and clothes.
  • Make jewelry together using yarn and pasta, beads, or cut-up straws.
  • Decorate a bike or tricycle with streamers, stickers, and ribbons.
  • Make potions out of food coloring and water.
  • Color together.
  • Paint something useful, like mugs or magnets.
  • Use hands, feet, or even potatoes to make prints on paper with paint.
  • Tell a story and have your child illustrate it as you go.
  • Make a collage of items you have around the house.
  • Practice cutting skills with child safe scissors, letting your child glue cut out pieces onto a piece of paper to create a picture.
  • Let your little one make a picture by gluing Cheerios on paper.
  • Make a bird feeder by tying a piece of yarn to a pine cone, coating the cone in peanut butter, rolling it in birdseed, and hanging it up for your feathered friends to visit.
  • Sort stickers, pom poms, or buttons by color, and stick or glue them onto a piece of cardboard or posterboard to create a work of art.
  • Make paper masks together, using paper plates, crayons, markers, or any scraps of fabric and feathers you can glue on the mask.
  • Have your child draw with glue, then sprinkle glitter over it to make the picture come alive.
  • Paint pots using hand prints or drip painting, and when they dry, plant flowers together.

Just Children Helps Boost Creativity

When your children are ready to have some creative, educational fun away from home, trust Just Children to care for your little ones. Founded in 1983, our family-owned, fully-licensed centers provide a unique learning environment where we help children build the skills they need to succeed in life. Our year-round programs in Bucks County, Philadelphia, and New Jersey are convenient for working parents, and we design every program with age-appropriate activities that allow kids to learn, grow, and explore. We’re dedicated to creating a worry-free experience for parents while enriching the lives of children and providing a safe, nurturing environment with the highest standards of care, creativity, and learning. Visit our website to find a location convenient to you, or contact us to ask questions or schedule a tour.

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