Top 5 Indoor Activities for Kids From 3 to 5
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Keeping kids entertained before they go to school can be tough. Here are the best activities we’ve found for this age group.
It can be a bit exhausting trying to keep a child occupied that hasn’t yet made it to school age, but is past the younger toddler age. They want something engaging and fun to do, but you don’t want to have to sit and play with them the entire time either. There are a lot of options out there for toys for this age, but the following are the toys and activities that we’ve found are best for kids of this age group.
Dominoes is a fun game that kids can play at all ages. I didn’t actually learn to play dominoes until I was in my 20s. Regardless, dominoes are an excellent toy for kids at this age as it teaches them how to start to count, how to match, and how to connect things together. The game of dominoes may be a bit tough for them to start, but simply working with them on building a train of dominoes is a great start.
Of course, the other way to play with dominoes is to stand them on end and push them over so they knock one another over. Before knowing how to play dominoes, most kids will know how to create a domino falling train. They can often spend hours trying to build a line of dominoes only to knock them over and start at it again. Something about the dominoes falling and hitting each other is addicting.
Playdough is one of those toys that is a blessing and a curse. Most certainly it’s a lot of fun for kids of this age as they are able to mold it into most any shape that they want, and you can make some pretty interesting shapes out of it. If you have some additional toys to go along with your playdough, then you can pretend you’re making food, build out small homes, or a multitude of other things.
Playdough isn’t great for kids to be left unsupervised with. If it doesn’t end up in your child’s mouth then it will most certainly end up all over the floor, and potentially in hair and other places. It’s not fun trying to get dried playdough out of some of these places. If you’re going to be able to closely supervise your child, then playdough is a great option. If they’ll be playing on their own, then you should look elsewhere.
Magnet blocks are really fun for kids of this age. They are quite simple to connect together, and they stand up a lot better than simple blocks (which will easily fall over when hit). Kids can connect these magnet tiles into almost any shape or design that they want (that’s not round), and they can build up some really cool towers and other buildings. These are also relatively safe for kids to use on their own.
For an older child, you can let them sit and play with marble runs on their own for as long as they’re willing to play with them. There are so many different ways to put these structures together and they’re great for teaching your child to think through a problem and how to solve it - how do you want the marble to get from the top to the bottom as slowly (or as fast) as you can make it run.
You do need to watch marbles with younger children as you don’t want them to end up in the mouth, but if you’re playing with your child then this isn’t really a big problem. Marble runs are fun for adults as well since there are so many different ways you can put them together and have them run. Help your child think about different ways to connect the pieces that are a little outside the box.
LEGO are perhaps the ultimate toy for kids of this age and up. Usually the younger kids are probably better served with the Duplo version of LEGO (which are the bigger LEGO blocks). However, if your kids are really good with putting the LEGO together then the regular size blocks have far more options in terms of parts/pieces as well as what you can actually build (due to the variety of parts).
The biggest downside to LEGO is that they can get expensive quickly if you’re trying to buy a lot of them. We recommend that you go with a simple box of random parts and pieces for your child - this lets them be creative in what they build and you don’t have to worry about them losing a specific piece. If you’re not sure where to start, then a simple box of pieces is really your best option.
Keeping kids entertained inside can take a lot of work. Find the toys and activities that your child enjoys the most, and then build out additional ideas around those activities.