Ideas For Caregivers Of A 3-Year Old
- Explain why and how things happen with the help of a reference book. Help them do simple science activities like magnetic attraction, freezing water, planting seeds, making a terrarium, and flying kites on a windy day.
- Provide sets – toys and other objects that go together. Discuss similarities and differences. For example, point out sequences in cooking. Let children experiment with faucets, tools, light switches, knobs, latches, and toys that come apart.
- Sing simple songs. Make simple rhythm instruments: oatmeal box or coffee can drums, rattles of dry beans in a box, etc. Encourage a variety of body movements and dance to music of many kinds. Play musical games such as “London Bridge,” “Ring-around-the-Rosie,” and “Farmer in the Dell.”
- Encourage free expression in art projects. Avoid asking “what” children are drawing. Three-year-olds may not know or care, but simply enjoy the process of drawing.
- Ask parents to bring baby pictures. Talk about “When you were a baby.”
- Draw a face on an old sock and show children how to “talk” with puppets.
- Talk about colors, numbers, and shapes in your everyday conversation. “We need ONE egg. That’s a RED car. The butter is in this SQUARE box.”
- Ask for help with very simple household tasks such as putting the napkins by each plate, putting socks in the drawer, watering plants, or stirring the muffin batter.
Reprinted with permission from National Network for Child Care – NNCC. Oesterreich, L. (1995). Ages & stages – three-year-olds. In L. Oesterreich, B. Holt, & S. Karas,Iowa family child care handbook [Pm 1541] (pp. 202-204). Ames, IA: Iowa State University Extension.