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do your 3 year olds play with toys?

(8 Posts)
waitingforsomething Mon 04-Jan-16 09:28:40

My DD was 3 in November. At home she will do jigsaws, maths games, play orchard games with me, want me to read her stories. If these things aren't happening she just follows me around while I do things asking what she can do next. She doesn't like crafts- hates mess. She has lots of toys- a kitchen, duplo, toy cakes and food, happyland, a bit of Playmobil but she just isn't bothered. She occasionally plays tea parties with the toy cakes and teapot but that's it.
Apart from the jigsaws all the other things require my Input and I feel she should be a bit more independent in her play. She has a brother but he is still a baby so they don't play together yet.
Any ideas on how I could get her to play a bit or activities that she could do alone or with less input? I wish she could read as I bet she would do it all the time ! Is she very unusual? She does love swimming and playing outside but the weather has been bad for park trips and swimming hard with the baby too when I'm alone. I do send her outside for a play as soon as the rain stops!
She does go to pre-school 15 hours.

Headmelt Mon 04-Jan-16 09:38:31

Would she;
Draw with crayons
Play with a basin of water for washing her dolls/action figures
Imaginative play
Parent/Toddler group to interact with other children around her age

unlimiteddilutingjuice Mon 04-Jan-16 09:42:17

My 3 year old plays alone with toy dinosaurs and Brio trains.
He is quite self contained though and I believe its also normal to want company.
Have you tried starting an activity with her and then backing off?
Maybe try short periods at first and then work up?

waitingforsomething Mon 04-Jan-16 20:14:04

I tried backing off once starting but as soon as she cottons on she starts following me. She's really super sweet and I love being with her but my only break comes in the form of Frozen or Tangled...
She's not that good at imaginitive play yet although she is getting better. She has a doctors kit and a till for shopping but of course I have to play! We don't go to toddler groups that often any more but she goes to pre school to be with others her age

Lovelydiscusfish Mon 04-Jan-16 22:14:24

My dd is over 3 and a half now, and to be honest us similar in that she doesn't like paying alone if she has the option to play with me! She is quite capable of playing on her own, I have realised, just prefers not to. She does love 'small world toys" (if that is the right phrase - things like My Little Pony, her dolls' house, little animal figures, etc etc etc - we have loads of stuff like this), but prefers me, or a friend if she has one to hand, to play with it with her! Sometimes I can sneak off, and trick her into playing on her own. Or she will play on her own with a new toy, or one that's been put away so she hasn't seen it fir a while, And apparently she sometimes plays on her own at pre-school!

She will sometimes stay occupied for quite a while with something like a sticker book, or one of those handwriting workbooks for preschoolers. She also gets very absorbed in any water-based play.

You might want to consider inviting a friend from preschool or similar for a play date with her as well, if you don't already do this, as this would give you a bit if a break from 3 year old stuff! (Although you would probably need to have coffee with the parent or carer, as they'd want to stay, at least the first few times).

Good luck!

OvO Mon 04-Jan-16 22:21:12

Sorry no advice but just wanted to add my DS1 has never been into playing with toys. He has always been into craft stuff so that was fine and gave me some peace.

He's 11 now and it took me years to accept he just isn't into toys ( except board games) and to stop wasting my money!

I'm glad I had him before I found MN or I'd have been worried about his lack of imaginative play. He's a fantastic boy, but toys have never been his thing - more a real life, doing or making stuff kind of person, it's all sports or building stuff.

Just to reassure you that not wanting to play with figures or teasets needn't be a worry.

breezeharbour Mon 04-Jan-16 22:33:45

Could you try just sitting next to her and prompting her to show you things rather than actively joining in (e.g. "show me what your doll is going to were today DD")
Then say something like "DD I'm going to go and do the washing up. I'll be five minutes. While I'm gone can you get the dolls dressed and make them some breakfast with your kitchen?"

If she follows you prompt her to go back to the game. Sound excited that you really want to see when you get back.
You could gradually lengthen the time you're gone until she manages a whole game on her own.

breezeharbour Mon 04-Jan-16 22:34:11

sorry *where not were

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