Play Ideas For Children 2 to 3 Years Old

Children's play is a complex and fascinating phenomenon. A child's play is not only a physical activity, it also contributes to their cognitive, social, emotional and linguistic development. Here you'll find play ideas for children aged between 24 and 36 months, designed to encourage them to explore and learn from their environment. You and your child will have hours of fun with these simple games that will stimulate your child's development.

Games for children aged 24 to 30 months

child with paint on hand

  • One for you, one for me

    You can use anything you like for this game: buttons, pencils, grapes. Give your child a number of these objects and ask him to share them with you by placing them on plates or in small boxes: "One for you, one for me". Invite your partner, friend or stuffed animal to teach your child to share things in threes. Your child will enjoy the task, and this little game will help him or her learn more about numbers.

  • Indoor basketball

    Use newspaper to make small basketballs. Be sure to secure any fragile objects before you start playing. Organize a little competition between you and your child to see who can throw the balls farther. Next, play basketball with a garbage can about a metre away. The two of you try to hit the basket with the newspaper balls. This game is not only fun, it also improves your child's hand-eye coordination.

  • Look for the intruder!

    Take a bowl or plate and put, for example, two apples and a banana, or two cookies and a square of chocolate. Place it in front of your child and ask who the strange person is. Gradually, you can make the situation more complicated by using cards or pictures of different colors: for example, two squares and a triangle, or two flowers and a tree. This game is ideal for helping your child understand the concept of same-different.

  • Picnic

    Why not pack a picnic lunch? You don't even have to go outside. Just put a leaf on the ground and eat from paper plates. Prepare things to eat together with your child: mini-sandwiches, chopped vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, etc. Imagine you're in a pleasant environment, like a mountain or by a stream. Your child will enjoy using his or her imagination, and you'll have something to talk about.

  • In which room?

    Cut out pictures of things you might find in a house: furniture, chairs, TVs, pots and pans, beds, but also coffee makers, towels, books, and so on. Then cut out images of rooms: living room, kitchen, bedroom, garage, garden, etc. Place these pictures on the floor and ask your child to help you place the furniture and object pictures in the right rooms. Don't worry if they don't always know or get it wrong. This game is a great way to talk to your child and stimulate their ability to express themselves with others.

  • Careful, don't fall!

    Imagine that the living room carpet is the sea, and tell your child that he must cross the room without getting his feet wet. Place pillows, magazines or paper plates on the floor. Your child must use them to cross the room. This exercise is excellent for balance and spatial awareness.

Games for children aged 30 to 36 months

children coloring

  • Red day

    Once a week, declare a red day. Wear red clothes, spread strawberry jam on your bread, paint something red, pick red flowers, eat pizza, count the red cars on the street, drink a strawberry smoothie on the way home, etc. This little game will help your child recognize colors!

  • Lotto

    A classic children's game that your child will love. The idea is to fill in the empty spaces on the board by placing the corresponding cards on the pictures. Choose a version with large, easily recognizable images. This type of game familiarizes children with numbers, helps them to make associations, recognize shapes and colors, and so on.

  • Scribble

    Invest in a box of giant crayons and place large sheets of paper on the floor. Invite your child to draw. Don't expect them to be able to draw yet. The important thing is that they discover different colors and shapes and develop their dexterity.

  • Jacques said

    This game is usually played in a group, but you can also have fun in pairs. You give the instructions. Start by giving simple commands, such as: "James said to put your hands on your head! When you say this magic formula, your child must obey you. Continue with other commands: "James said, 'Put your hands on your knees', 'Cross your arms', etc.". Give more amusing commands, for example: "James said, 'Stick out your tongue! For children over two, you can encourage your child to touch his or her toes without saying the magic "James said" formula. Without this formula, your child is not obliged to follow the command!

  • Hot and cold

    Hide a treat in a room and ask your child to find it. When they get close, it's hot, and when they move away, it's cold. If your child gets upset because they can't find the object, take their hand and help them. Keep commenting on their progress until you find the object together. This fun game helps your child realize the permanence of the object: in other words, it helps them understand that just because you can't see the object doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

  • Everything must fall!

    Make a bowling alley from plastic bottles or old paper towel rolls. You can also decorate them with paint or stickers. Place three or four pins about a metre from the firing line. Use a large softball or rolled socks to knock them down. Ask your child to roll the ball, or throw it away if they can't roll it. The more they practice, the longer they'll be able to stand. When they manage to drop a stick, tell your child how many are left to gradually teach them to count.

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