Activities for 3-5 Year Olds
Young children love to play especially actively. Physical play is good for them in a number of ways; it benefits their growing bodies gives them a healthy outlet for their abundant energy, and when they play with others, encourages positive social development. Parents should encourage their children to be active right from the start and by the time that they are three years old, kids will begin to develop a confidence in their bodies and growing physical capabilities.
Recommended ActivitiesKids aged three to five are not yet ready for competitive games, but there are plenty of activities that are well suited for their age group. Young children should be encouraged to utilize all of their muscle groups – running, climbing, jumping, kicking, throwing, and reaching are all good for developing strength and coordination. Turn-taking and other social skills can be honed by arranging time for small play groups, allowing kids to learn the value of friendship as they play and develop healthy bodies.
Out and AboutVisits to nature centres, parks, and other outdoor arenas are favorites of young children. Having sufficient space to run and explore is terrific for kids, and since most families don’t have endless gardens in which their children can play, scheduling active family outings is a good idea.
Climbing frames and other play equipment provide children with ample exercise opportunities and most kids find swinging, climbing and sliding to be great fun. If space permits, purchasing a well-built home system will pay dividends in the health benefits to the children, but for those without large gardens or yards, regular visits to public playgrounds will work just as well.
Physical GamesWhile they are not yet able to grasp the concept of games with complex rules, three to five year old children are capable of playing simple games. Parents and older siblings make perfect playmates for young children and kids thrive not only on the activity, but the feelings of connection to family members as well. Hide and Seek, Follow the Leader, Simon Says, and good old fashioned tag are all activities that young kids enjoy, are easily learned and played, and provide outlets for youthful energy. Even daily activities can be turned into games, making young children much more cooperative when it comes time to clean up their belongings.
Parents can issue challenges to their children such as, “Let’s see who can pick up the most blocks in two minutes” or “I’m going to set the timer for ten minutes and if all of the toys are put in place before it buzzes, we can go to the zoo.” Kids will quickly turn chores into fun and physical activities!