Little ones ages 3+ are truly remarkable - they have boundless energy (Have you had days where you are ready to pass out but your little one resembles the energizer bunny?) and astound you with their learning prowess (perhaps learn things you don’t want them to - “But Mommy, you said SH#T the other day when the driver cut you off! “). This is a magical time and I wanted to share easy activities and games you can play with your little one that are sure to result in giggles and a merry time. These don’t require a lot of supplies, just some imagination and time. Enjoy!
1.Hide and Seek
This one is a classic. You need 2 people for this, though it is even more fun if more than 2 people play - so grab the older sibling, your spouse /partner or grandparent - the more the merrier. Take turns being the “seeker” who counts for a certain time and then finds the people hiding. For really small children, it will be good to pair up with the child and be their partner till they get the hang of it. Make sure to have some places off limits e.g. restrict the play to a single floor.
2. Act it out
This is the little kids version of dumb charades.This game is best played with 3 people though you can improvise and play with 2 if you choose. Whisper a word into your kid’s ears and they have to act it out which the other person guesses the word. Take turns. I recommend easy words like “head , fan , hop, skip, frog, dog etc” to begin with. Kids can express themselves through sounds or actions.
Bonus Tip: This game can also be played online with friends and family. My son enjoys enacting to his grandparents and cousins online.
3. Dance and Freeze
Have a dance party with your kids and let loose. Play some music and when the music stops , freeze! What type of music to use ? Glad you asked - there are tons of youtube videos that have dance and freeze versions you and your kids can use. If you have an alexa there is a skill for this as well (check out Freeze Dance). If all else fails there is always old fashioned singing and stopping - hum a tune eg. when you are happy and you know it clap your hands or wheels on the bus. Let the dance party begin!
4. Grab the toy
You need a minimum of 2 people for this. This is a variation of musical chairs. Place an object in the center like a toy. If playing with more people, use many toys. Play some music and when the music stops everyone needs to grab a toy from the center. If they don’t they are “out” and need to stop playing the game. For maximum fun stand as further away from the toy as possible and you and your little one can “race” to the center to grab the toy. Youtube has some great songs for this (search ‘musical chair song’ on YouTube) where songs run in the background and stop at random times.
Kids this age love to playact. Role-playing is a great way to get your little one's imagination fired up. As the child grows in age you will see them do even more elaborate make believe stories - this is a game that grows with the child.When playacting, as a parent, get into it. Your excitement and enthusiasm will be infectious. Below are some role playing me and my son do a lot - use your imagination and come up with others that your kid will enjoy.
Restaurant, restaurant - This is a classic. My son pretends to own a restaurant. I call him , he takes my order and then delivers food to my house. Supplies needed: You don’t really need any elaborate toys for this Give him a few bowls and spoons lying around the house and a box to pack food in. Also, change up the script to keep the game fresh e.g. my son pretends he doesn't have something and suggests substitutions (“Sorry, I don’t have that. I can give you some ice cream instead - would you like that? ) , we read off of a menu , we use felt coins where I pay him (“How much for the soup? 5 dollars”)
Doctor, Patient - Grab a stuffed toy, a car and pretend they are patients. You can be the patient as well or be the nurse and assist . Your kid is the doctor and suggests remedies for ailments (you can use a needless syringe if you have one, stickers become bandages).
Emergency - If you have a firetruck toy , you can pretend you have various emergencies (cat stuck on a tree, a car on fire etc) and your kid is the emergency vehicle responder
Toy Store - Your kid owns a toy store and call up and request toys (can I purchase a dump truck, a spiderman toy etc) and your kid sells them to you
What are some indoor games #nosupplies you've done with your little ones?