Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How to entertain a 3 year old

Here at the House of B we keep our tv watching to a minimum. Little B is only allowed to watch 30 minutes a day after dinner and I tape the programs he is allowed to watch. He is mainly enamoured with Play School (though Lunar Jim, Fifi & the Flower Tots and Curious George make an appearance as well).

Playing on swings

But the question I get asked the most, is how do I entertain a 3 year-old for 12 hours a day without tv?

Well the things we do (in no particular order):
* go for a walk at the local nature reserve
* play in the sandpit
* painting
* make and / or play with play dough
* work in the garden (Little B loves to dig and look at bugs, he also loves to pick and plant vegies)
* bake (muffins, biscuits, icy poles, bread rolls)
* go to the local swimming pool in summer, to the indoor pool in winter
* investigate a variety of playgrounds
* go to story time at the library
* go to the library to borrow books
* play with puppets and put on a puppet show
* listen to stories on our ipod (e-books)
* read books
* play dress ups
* water play / washing “dishes”/ paddling pool
* listen to / make music with drums, tambourines, guitars
* play soccer outside on the grass

Most of these things cost very little to no dollars. Little B goes to preschool twice a week (2.5 hours a time) so this fills some time.

I try to have a day for craft, a day for baking, a day that we go out to the playground, a day for the library. Things like reading books and listening to stories are every day options. Also throw in play dates and really our time is pretty full.

Dress Ups

I also encourage Little B to play by himself each day, even if its only looking at pictures in his books, so that he can get used to entertaining himself. This means that I have a very creative imaginative little boy….his imaginative play is out of this world.

I’m also lucky that I have close friends who follow a similar lifestyle and also choose the tv-free option when raising their kids. We share ideas about different things to do or try depending on the ages of our kidlets.

1 comment:

  1. Our family is in the same boat. I try to limit the kids' TV as much as possible. Playschool is great but Diego and Dora get in there as well!
    It's a great list and we pretty much do all those things. But you have given me a great idea with the e-books. I didn't think of that - and I have an I.T. background!! Great post. Thanks.