When the child reaches the age of two, little by little, he stops being a baby to become an increasingly autonomous and independent child. Two- to three-year-olds experience significant advances not so much physically as intellectually. It is the age at which they realize that they are independent beings from their father and mother, and that they begin to make decisions for themselves. We can promote this development through games and activities for children from two to three years old. Do not educate your children to obey you, educate them for good decisions.
Motor and cognitive development from 2 to 3 years
At two years old, the child has a limited vocabulary of 15 or 20 words, and can even put them together in sentences of up to 3 words. As the months go by, the child develops clearer, easier-to-understand speech.
As in the previous stage, children love to play and imitate , and since they learn through play, we must facilitate their development by accompanying and encouraging them. They love to listen to stories, songs and see illustrated books.
At home, at school or on the street, children have fun with more and more varied activities, watching stories, drawing, running, in the bathtub, playing cooking, climbing on the swings, playing musical instruments… Any activity it can be a game that stimulates them. Letter to my daughter, on International Women’s Day.
Games and activities to stimulate the development of children from 2 to 3 years old
As you will see, in this brief guide we have included games and activities to work on the different areas ; sensory, emotional, motor and cognitive.
For this age we find imaginary games. It is about, for example, asking the children questions about what they do, so that they can narrate what they see.
Another activity within this type of game is to play with them to pretend that we are performing a play , giving them the option of choosing what role to play and also, to say themselves what role we play (regulating the behavior of others is a way for children to develop their own self-regulation skills).
From the age of two, the quintessential children’s game is symbolic play in which children imitate real-life situations. It helps them understand and assimilate the world around them, they practice different roles, it favors empathy and relationships, while it enhances creativity, curiosity and imagination.
You can play doctors together, the vet, make meals, pretend you’re in a restaurant, take care of babies… any situation that mimics everyday situations.
chase soap bubbles
Another activity that children of this age love and that has many more benefits than we might initially believe is playing with bubbles or soap bubbles.
It is a very simple game. You just need a bubbler, blow and the child runs after the bubbles to catch them.
Material Sorting Games
At two years old, children can already begin to play with ordering materials logically, as well as classifying objects.
Building and nesting blocks are a great game for kids this age. We can turn to specific sets for young children that have simpler shapes and large pieces that are not at risk of being swallowed.
empowering the senses
At this stage, children have great sensitivity, so any activity or game that contributes to enhancing their five senses will be very beneficial for their development.
You can make sensory games at home by creating sensory tables or sensory paths with different materials (sand, stones, water, etc.), experimental painting to paint with your fingers, hands, feet… They are all very stimulating activities, but yes, they will stain a little so we recommend doing them outdoors.
“I see I see”
This observation game, which you are sure to know, consists of saying to the child: “I see-I see”, and if he already has language, he must answer “what do you see?”, “a little thing”, “and what little thing is ?”. “It’s green… yellow… (whatever color it is).” The challenge is for him to guess what you are thinking (it has to be a visible object for him). And then you switch roles.
Children’s dominoes are another idea to work on different skills (motor, cognitive…); yes, if they are big and colorful better. In addition, they are games that allow them to identify the drawings and shapes and match them.
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You can play together looking for objects around the house, asking about their characteristics. It is similar to Veo-veo, but not only with the colors. For example:
- Look for a large/small object in the room.
- Look for a hard/soft object in the room.
- Find something soft in the room.
- Look for something edible, with a smell, etc.
It is a game that helps to exercise attention, concentration and recognize the world around them.
From the age of two, children begin to try to make small jumps taking off both feet from the dream, which helps them develop spatial skills such as distance, depth, etc.
We can start by placing some objects on the ground making a path and the child has to jump over them. Use books, stuffed animals, cushions… nothing that can hurt you.
make musical maracas
You can make homemade musical instruments, starting with the most basic, musical maracas.
For this we will not need more than some empty plastic bottles that we will fill with different ingredients such as rice, dry pasta (which your little one can also color with markers to make the interior more colorful), noodles, sand, colored clips or any other object/ ingredient that you can think of and that sounds when you shake it.
Playing with modeling clay is one of the favorite activities of children, and one of the most beneficial. It stimulates the imagination, develops creativity, works fine motor skills, promotes concentration, is relaxing… while creating a thousand and one shapes with it.
You can create endless shapes with them, use rollers, toy cutters, molds…
choose your own story
Reading stories or inventing stories for our children is one of the most beautiful things you can do with them. You can follow these keys to invent stories that hook children , but it doesn’t end there.
You can create the beginning of a story and have the child continue, or give him options so that he himself chooses how to continue the story. For example: the elephant set out on its way to a new life. Did he choose to go to the city or to the jungle? And let the child decide before continuing the story.
games with cardboard boxes
Children have a special attraction to cardboard boxes. With a simple box they can entertain themselves for hours putting their imagination into action and turning it into different objects. From rockets to cars, boats, robots… You just have to decorate them and the possibilities are endless.
the surprise box
Also with a cardboard box, but with another purpose, you can play to discover objects that you put inside. You have to make two holes for the child to put his hands and discover the hidden object.