Quiet Activities Time For Three Year Olds

Encouraging low-key activities during quiet time helps children develop independent play skills.

Are you looking fun activities to do with your three-year-old at home? Our team of early childhood curriculum experts thoughtfully curated these activities from our proprietary Life Essentials® curriculum to help your family Learn On® at home. Whether it’s during mealtime, playtime, clean up time, bath time or bedtime – our at-home curriculum is built so you can easily integrate learning opportunities in seamless, easy and fun ways.

Tickle Me Pink

Level of instruction: Moderate

When: Playtime, Quiet time

Time recommendation: 10 minutes

Participants: One-on-one, Siblings

Learning Domain: STEM

Learning Standards: Uses senses to aid in learning, Identifies the five senses and describes their functions

Materials: Variety of textured items: fur, silk, sandpaper, wet sponge, brick, tray of floral, marbles, Styrofoam, zippered baggies filled with water or other liquid, feather pillow, burlap, etc.

Instructions:

Invite your child to feel the textures using his or her feet. Have your child remove his or her shoes and socks and touch the items with the bottoms of his or her feet. Encourage your child to use descriptive language to discuss how the items feel. Talk about whether any of the items tickle his or her feet. Discuss the sense of touch, and how we can learn about items based on how they feel.

Invite your child to use other senses to learn about the objects. What do the items look like? Do they have a smell? Can your child hear them? Can he or she taste the items?


Seed Estimation Jar

Level of instruction: Moderate

When: Quiet time, Playtime

Time recommendation: 10 minutes

Participants: One-on-one, Siblings

Learning Domain: Cognitive Development

Learning Standards: Identifies numbers and quantities in the environment

Materials: Jar or container, seeds (corn kernels, feathers or other items), small pieces of paper, writing utensil

Instructions:

Show your child the jar with the seeds in it. Discuss the difference between counting and guessing. Describe the meaning of “a lot,” and “a little,” as used to make an educated guess of how many seeds are in the jar. For example, if you have 10-15 seeds in the jar, you could share with your child that 100 might be too much. Ask your child to guess how many seeds are in the jar. Help your child write the number they guess. Then, count the number of seeds from the jar. Write the numeral for the actual number on a piece of paper and tape it on the estimation jar. Place the seeds back in the jar.

Is your child able to give an estimate for the number of seeds in the jar? Does your child accurately count the number of seeds?


I Am a…

Level of instruction: Easy

When: Quiet time

Time recommendation: 10 minutes

Participants: One-on-one

Learning Domain: Language and Literacy

Learning Standards: Explore relationships between words, Recognizes that individual people belong to families

Materials: Paper, crayons, sentence strips, marker, scissors

Instructions:

Talk to your child about what his or her role is in the family. Explain that each person has many roles. Use yourself as an example. Explain that you are a daughter, mother, sister, granddaughter, wife, niece, or aunt (whichever apply). Or, you may be a son, father, brother, grandson, husband, nephew or uncle (whichever apply). Show your child word cards with the names of people in families on them and help him or her sort out which of the words apply to him or her.

Does your child understand that he or she has different roles within the family?


Paper Earth Collage

Level of instruction: Easy

When: Playtime, Quiet time

Time recommendation: 15 minutes

Participants: One-on-one, Siblings

Learning Domain: Creative Arts

Learning Standards: Eye-hand coordination to perform fine motor tasks

Materials: Paper plates, green, blue and brown construction paper scraps, glue

Instructions:

Invite your child to make a paper plate Earth collage. Give your child a plate and encourage him or her to spread white glue on it. Encourage your child to tear the construction paper in to small pieces. Invite him or her to cover the plate with the pieces of torn paper to look like land and water.

Is your child able to tear the construction paper in to smaller pieces? Observe his or her eye-hand coordination in placing the pieces on the glue.


Wet and Dry

Level of instruction: Easy

When: Quiet time, Playtime, Outdoor

Time recommendation: 10 minutes

Participants: One-on-one, Siblings

Learning Domain: STEM

Learning Standards: Identifies, describes, compares and explores the physical properties of objects

Materials: Various wet objects, such as a wet sponge, wet paintbrush, wet washcloth, mud, ice cube, or finger paint; various dry objects, such as a dry sponge, dry paintbrush, dry cloth, sand, or block

Instructions:

Invite your child to feel a variety of objects and decide which are wet and which are dry. As your child feels each object, ask him or her to describe how it feels. Ask him or her to compare and describe the difference between the wet and dry objects. Talk about what makes something wet. Ask your child to share ideas of other things that are wet.

Is your child able to distinguish between the wet and dry items? What words does your child use to describe how the items feel?

Looking for more activities for you and your infant?

  • Getting Ready for the Day: Turn routine activities at the beginning of your child’s day into learning moments.
  • Playtime : Make sure your child’s time spent playing is filled with opportunities to learn.
  • Outside Time: The great outdoors can be the best classroom of all.

Or return to the Life Essentials® At Home page to find activities to explore with other age groups.