How to get a nearly 3 year old to entertain himself

(9 Posts)
Sleepymumma Sat 03-May-14 11:20:52

My nearly 3 year old is useless at entertaining himself. How can I encourage him to play by himself a bit more. I literally don't get a chance to get anything done because he constantly needs entertaining. My house is constantly a complete mess because if I try to tidy or clean he starts crying for attention. I'm not expecting him to spend all day entertaining himself but a few minutes at a time world at least let me do a bit of cleaning etc without listening to him whine whilst I do it!

LastingLight Sat 03-May-14 11:23:36

If you start him on an activity and then leave to e.g. go to the bathroom, what happens? Does he follow you? Maybe you can get a timer and start the activity, then tell him you are going to do something else but will be back to play when the timer goes off. At first only make it a few minutes, that's a long time when you're 3. If he follows you completely ignore him until the timer goes off and then return to the game. Hopefully he will soon realise that there is no point in whining as you won't respond until the time is up.

Sleepymumma Sat 03-May-14 11:30:37

If he notices I'm going he'll follow me to the loo or wherever. If he notices when I'm gone he'll whinge until
I come back.
Some days my ears feel like they are ringing from listening to the whinging all day long!
I'll definitely try the timer idea though and see how we get on with that.
He goes to preschool once a week and entertains himself there, just not at home. I wonder if I made a rock for my own back when he was smaller as I would wait until
He was asleep to get any jobs done and spent the rest of the time entertaining him.

SavoyCabbage Sat 03-May-14 11:47:07

Try getting out toys he hasn't seen for a while. I used to get something out every couple of days and then put it away and get something else out.

When he's playing with you say stuff like "I like the way you are making a nest for your dinosaur" or whatever so he knows that's how to play.

Use 'open ended' (for want of a better phrase) toys like a farm rather than a Buzz Lightyear figure.

Let him help with stuff. I got dd an octopus thingy from ikea to hang knickers, socks etc on then I put the small stuff in a bucket and she hung it up.

SavoyCabbage Sat 03-May-14 11:48:43
LastingLight Sat 03-May-14 11:58:44

Maybe challenge him a bit... "DS, see if you can park all the cars in the garage before I get back."

BikeRunSki Sat 03-May-14 12:03:56

3 is a but young, especially if you are about. Mummies are much more fun than toys. We got ds a you fire station with fire people and fire engine for his third birthday. Dd was due a month later, and ds played with his fire station a lot by himself if I was in the room seeing to/feeding dd.

RunnerHasbeen Sat 03-May-14 12:22:18

My 2yr old DD loves hide and seek games. I hide the teddies in the room and she has to find them. Now she likes to hide them and take the remaining teddy round the room to find his friends, I'm not even involved! If he likes Duplo you can quickly build something silly, the doors can't open and a figure can't get out, for example, then they will want to fix it. The first few times sit with him and talk but don't join in, just say how good it is. Then you can leave them to do it without you?

odyssey2001 Sat 03-May-14 12:29:34

We started by watching a 20 minute TV show for ourselves after lunch and saying this was our time.

Be strong and leave him. If he gets bored, he will learn to play eventually. It will not happen overnight. This is as much about your strength to ignore him as it is about his independent play skills. They will develop through practise.

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