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Board or card games for 3 yo?

(29 Posts)
Brookville Sat 30-Nov-13 21:35:07

I'd like to spend more one-to-one time with DS but it's difficult. He's fidgety, never wants to read stories or play with toys or Lego and it's hard to think of quiet things to do whereby we spend time together whilst his sister naps at lunchtime. (I bake and do gardening with him but we also need to sit down!)
I have Shopping List game but he's not terribly interested; snap, Connect 4 (too hard). Is there anything else out there that works for this age?

SteamWisher Sat 30-Nov-13 21:41:38

Just let him do what he likes and join inthe activities you suggest sound too "old" for his age.

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Sat 30-Nov-13 21:45:05

Orchard's Dotty Dinosaurs or Tummy Ache would probably be quite good - they are more fun & much shorter than Shopping List & Connect 4.

What does he want to do?

Brookville Sat 30-Nov-13 21:49:11

Thanks, ChippingIn, he sort of lolls about the floor and sofa with a couple of favourite teddies, hanging out of me and not generally motivated to do much. It's a hard time of day. He used to nap but doesn't really need to. He's at preschool in the morning so is tired but there's the whole afternoon still to fill! Haven't tried those Orchard Toys you mentioned. The ones I have are all memory game format and he simply hasn't got the mental capacity to work out where they are!

HighVoltage Sat 30-Nov-13 21:50:10

Have you tried snakes and ladders yet? Our DS (3.5) enjoys it as likes counting dots on the die as well as on the board.

I always recommend Richard Scarry's Busytown board game - really fun and great lessons on cooperation.

I spotted this Bear Hunt game the other day which looked quite good and I can see there is one by the same make for Room on the Broom - maybe they would work for him if he knows and likes the books.

I find magazines like Cbeebies are quite good for sitting together and working on stuff eg simple spot the differences.

Ooh and 1001 things to spot books are good too.

Brookville Sat 30-Nov-13 21:51:42

Oh brilliant, HighVoltage I'll get onto Amazon tonight smile

LoganMummy Sat 30-Nov-13 21:54:59

I agree with the Tummy Ache game, our three year old loves it! The Incy Wincy Spider game is also good.

We do simple jigsaws together, colour in together and also play hide and seek.

mawbroon Sat 30-Nov-13 22:01:45

My sister sent us Candy Land from the US years ago, but I saw it in Toys R Us here a while back.

SteamWisher Sat 30-Nov-13 22:04:45

He might be tired and just want to lol about so let him. My ds who's 4 still gets tired after morning at preschool especially as he'll be expected to behave all the time etc etc. as he got more articulate he could tell me that he just wanted to stay at home and do nothing.

So I wouldn't push any games etc on him. Maybe have some basic Lego, some paints/paper/pens, playdough or set out some stuff in the garden but let him chill.

MotheringShites Sat 30-Nov-13 22:05:33

Do you have any "small world" type toys? Happy Land or Little People. I find these are much more engaging than games with rules when you're playing with a very little one.

AnythingNotEverything Sat 30-Nov-13 22:06:16

Lido and Snakes and Ladders are good from this age, although the latter needs some good resilience skills as falling down a huge snake can cause tears! Dice games also help maths skills such as counting and pattern recognition.

bigbrick Sat 30-Nov-13 22:07:21

Pens & paper and he can draw and tell you what his pictures are

bountyicecream Sat 30-Nov-13 22:08:34

Orchard Toys - Spotty Dogs and Monster Catcher are favourites here

SteamWisher Sat 30-Nov-13 22:08:52

Oh yes small world stuff. Playmobil is great.

Brookville Sat 30-Nov-13 22:10:16

SteamWisher I think you're right about letting him relax (he does get a bit of TV time too) but he's not a peacefull 'loller'. He gets hyper and starts haring about the house crashing into things. He's better with a bit of focus. We do some painting too but I need to find things to do 6 days a week and the painting novelty has started to wear off, especially as he does it at nursery.
Mothering I'd love to do 'small world' but he simply doesn't like it. His sister is far more into it. We have an old Happyland house from a charity shop which DS won't go near even when I try and get him into the spirit and give the people silly voices. I have heard that some kids just like 'big world' play.

Scarlettsstars Sat 30-Nov-13 22:15:58

How about sticking projects? My dd is obsessed with sticking st the moment. I've got a huge box of pictures I cut from magazines, off its of card, foil, etc and wool bits, pipe cleaners and stuff. I give her card, scissors, glue stick and let her go wild. smile

Brookville Sat 30-Nov-13 22:18:22

That's a good idea Scarlettsstars what glue do you use? [spot the complete art-phobic here...] hmm

SteamWisher Sat 30-Nov-13 22:18:49

My ds doesn't like happyland. He loves playmobil though.

Can you chuck him in the garden? And not have tv? That can make the hyper worse.

What about water play? My ds will happily stand at the sink "washing up" even now at 4!

mamij Sat 30-Nov-13 22:22:09

You can use Pritt Stick type glue. PVA glue which I find sticks a bit better but messier!

Feathers, bubble wrap, ribbons, tissue paper, glitter glues, stickers are great for arts and craft activities.

Have you got Playdoh? He might like that too.

cornflakegirl Sat 30-Nov-13 22:30:36

The Bear Hunt game is okay, but much less fun than Orchard Toys games. Three little pigs is a favourite at the moment.

Playdoh is grest, and also good for developing muscles for fine motor skills.

TheOneWithTheNicestSmile Sat 30-Nov-13 22:33:46

Simple memory game would be good - we had a ravensburger (?) one when DC1 was about 3 & it was used with subsequent kids so much it nearly wore out!

It's great for pre-readers because they are so visual

one like this would do

TheOneWithTheNicestSmile Sat 30-Nov-13 22:35:39

Oh sorry, just seen that you mentioned memory games early on

You could halve the number of cards though which would make it easier for him?

TheOneWithTheNicestSmile Sat 30-Nov-13 22:38:15

Or just chill in front of a DVD with him...

One of mine used to watch Mary Poppins every afternoon (literally) for months aged 3-4

Brookville Sat 30-Nov-13 22:43:10

For the benefit of any others out there looking for inspiration for their energetic toddler on this thread, we have also done:
washing up plastic fruit & Happyland people in a small basin on a blanket on the floor [thanks to MN for that one]
raking leaves, planting, digging soil
baking flapjack and muffins
cutting paper with scissors
using a hole puncher
playdoh with cutting tools
filling a basin with beans / pasta / porridge oats for texture variety
painting egg boxes and kitchen roll tubes
using paint dabbers and sponges for painting
putting shape-sorting puzzle pieces in a small bag to add a surprise element / which one is coming out next kinda-thing

Needless to say I have a large glass of wine by my side after that lot. I should really be in bed recharging batteries for tomorrow...

Takver Sat 30-Nov-13 22:49:13

Snail's Pace Race is a good first board game, very simple (throw dice and move a snail) but nice in that you aren't competing against each other, just seeing which snail wins, if that makes sense. Rivers Roads and Rails is also good, not necessarily to play as a board game, but taking turns to lay out the cards matching up rivers / roads etc (also good as a solo activity for a small child if you need some peace!)

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