23 Ways to Keep Kids Busy
Activities for 3 to 4 Years Old
Give your kid a slew of similar objects and have him categorize them. Sort a box of vehicles into race cars, emergency trucks,
and construction types. Or let him organize loose change. You can even offer to let him keep a few of the copper-colored ones.
(Hey, peace and quiet aren’t free.)
Use sharp scissors to cut dry kitchen sponges into thin rectangles (aim for 1⁄4-inch slices), then let her stack them up (Jenga-style!)
to make towers or buildings. They can also serve as floating boats for the bath.
Create an empty canvas for pretend grocery lists. Fold three or four sheets of paper in half horizontally and staple the spine.
Make it fancy with a piece of card stock as an outer cover.
Pull out the dress-up box and let her put on a show. (Hmm, four minutes per costume change plus six outfits equals…) Hint:
You’ll get an even more enthusiastic participant if you let her try on your shoes, scarves, bags, and T-shirts.
Give him a roll of masking tape or painter’s tape (whatever won’t destroy your walls). Let him make a web in an open doorway
or zigzag strips down a narrow hallway.
Slightly painful, but worth it: Let her do your hair. Get clips, ribbons, curlers, and hair elastics and let her style while
you sit very, very still.
Send your child on a colorful scavenger hunt. Have him find objects in every color of the rainbow and arrange them on the
floor in the shape of an arch. If your tiny treasure seeker isn’t yet familiar with ROY G. BIV (and insists on finding “only
stuff that’s green”), put down pieces of construction paper and tell him to grab objects that match each square. You can start
him off with a red mitten; let him track down the orange sippy cup, the yellow rubber ducky…
Warning: You have to muster up a bit of creativity for this one. While you kick back on the couch, request different imaginary dishes—the more outrageous, the better. Doesn’t spaghetti with pickles and a blueberry sauce sound divine? Your server can take your order, “cook,” and deliver your play food. Get hungry again immediately.
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When it comes to the do’s and don’ts, you’ve got lots of questions. Here, solutions for making the season merry and bright.