Games to play with 3 year old without anything

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Today  I am sharing few games that I played with my 8 year old when she was young. The best part of these games are they don’t absolutely need anything to play with. We have started playing few of these games with my toddler.   Most of these simple games can be played while waiting or in the car.

1. Copy me : This is a very simple game. We stand facing each other. I do some actions like reach up high, fold my hands, make funny faces, touch my toes, dance movement etc. My daughter copies the action. My toddler loves this game.

2. Come and go : We stand facing each other 6 feet apart. When I say come, she takes a step forward. She goes a step backward when I say go.  As she is very comfortable playing this game now,I am adding count of steps in the command like come 2 steps. She gets confused if I use more than 3 steps. It is a nice way  to introduce counting in the listening game.

3. Count and clap :  I clap for certain number of times. She has to repeat the claps the same number of times. I count the number of claps when I do clapping. Then I ask her to clap the same number. She is learning this game. When she gets comfortable, I would do what I did with my elder one – Stop counting, the daughter would count on her own and clap.

4. Count and kiss : It is similar to count and clap. But we exchange kisses instead of claps.

5.  Find the missing member : We are four people in our family. I say 3 of them like mom, pop and toddler’s name. She finds out whom I did not mention and calls out their name. I change my sequence every time to make the game interesting.  As a part of the extension of the game, I would include my extended family too.

6. Name my action :  I act like sleep, eat, drink, walk, run,dance etc. and she has to name my action. It is a very funny game and sometimes she adds certain details like you are eating lunch or drinking juice.

7. Follow me : This game can be played with ABCs or 123s. I start with A, she says B, I say C and she says D and we continue the sequence till Z. My toddler is yet to understand this game but it was a hit with my elder once.

8. Write in the back : I write a letter at the back of daughter. She has to identify what I wrote. A bigger child can get involved in the writing part too.

9. Song in a tune : A simple song will be sung by us in a tune alone and my daughter has to identify and sing the song. I am pleasantly surprised that my toddler finds out certain songs. She repeats the tune and gets the words of the song.

10. The oldie but goodie “I Spy”  : Not to mention, this classic game is a sure hit in our family.My toddler enjoys playing this game a lot that she asks for it every day. As of now, we are in the part where I say , “I spy something xxx in color”. She can find out any object in the color xxx.  Later I may move to more specific clues that relates to single object only.

Thanks for reading the post! You may be interested in other toddler activities like

1.  Eight matching activities for toddlers

2.  A simple game to develop sense of balance

3.  Math and fine motor skill game for toddlers

4.  Learn courtesy, counting and color with bands

5. Stringing Cereal box beads

What games do you play with your child without using anything? Please share your ideas.

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Games to play with 3 year old


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12 thoughts on “Games to play with 3 year old without anything

  1. The best games for the car are those without props. Thanks for sharing with Mom’s Library, I’ll be featuring you this week at Crystal’s Tiny Treasures.

  2. Wow nice collection of games. .I try to teach my little one the hand movement game.awa piwa..where we clap and give high 5 with both hands in a pattern

  3. Love these ideas- I have to try guess the action and ispy with my toddler. She played a nice game with me this morning: she would say “make a happy face” and then I would make my happy face. She went on to say sad, mad, excited, monkey :) all sorts of things.

  4. We play “I’m thinking of an animal that starts with the letter ___.” or “the sound ___”

  5. We play the guessing game: I give three clues to start and more if necessary, “She is a princess, she wears a purple dress…” and she’ll yell out Sophia! and I’ll add “she has looooonnnnggg golden hair” and she’ll know THEN to wait for all three clues and say Rapunzel! We also do educational guesses like “It is a vowel, it starts the words ‘Egg’ and ‘Elizabeth.’

  6. Thank you for this list! Some are games I used to play as a kid that I completely forgot about -like drawing letters on each other’s back – that’s a great one I’m doing now with my 3yo to help her learn her letters.
    These will also be great for occupying the girls while standing in line at Disney next week!
    Thank you!!!

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