Wednesday, April 25, 2012

No Materials Required: 15 Things To Do with Twos and Threes that Only Require Your Mind

The great thing about helping your child learn or practice new skills is that sometimes it doesn't even require materials.

No materials means no money either, which is an added bonus.

I've compiled 15 fun things to do with twos and threes that only require your mind!

  1. Play I Spy. We like to practice our colors while playing I Spy.
  2. Pretend to play musical instruments. We like to do this to the tune of All Around the Mulberry Bush and sing "This is the way we play our trumpet [insert other musical instruments here], play our trumpet, play our trumpet; this is the way we play our trumpet, all through the town."
  3. Play Simon Says. 
  4. Have a pretend tea party.
  5. Sing a song. Baby bookworm loves Wheels on the Bus, the alphabet song, and Jingle Bells.
  6. Identify parts of the body. I ask baby bookworm, "Can you show me your ankle?" "Can you show me your elbow?" Of course, this would be a great game to play with a baby too if you keep it simple. Sometimes we even play this game in another language.
  7. Clap the number of syllables in words (or your names). For example, Ap-ple - two syllables (and two claps). This one might be difficult for some twos and threes, but with some practice they might become quite skilled at it.
  8. Get moving! Dance, skip, jump, run, climb stairs, tip-toe, leap, gallop. We are currently working on gallop and skip.
  9. Play follow the leader. Do something and see if your child can mimic you. I try to start out my doing one movement. Then two movements together, then three, and I see how many movements she can follow in a row.
  10. Make and bake a pretend cake. Ask your child to name the ingredients you'll need, and then go through the steps to make a cake. This is great for sequencing. 
  11. Play a color game. What we do is sing the following song to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell..."Spaghetti sauce is red, spaghetti sauce is red, I can think of lots of things that are the color red." Then the child names something else that is red such as a strawberry. You follow along with other objects and colors.
  12. Play a naming game. I pick a category and ask baby bookworm to name as many things as she can that fit the category. For example, "Things You Find at the Beach"....  (think Family Feud for kids).
  13. Count. As high as you can. Backwards, or by 2's, in another language, by 10s. You can make this one as easy or as challenging as you'd like.
  14. Make up a story. Baby bookworm likes stories that begin, "Once upon a time there was a little girl..." I often ask her, "What comes next?" and she'll add something to our story.
  15. Play hide & seek. Now, chances are if your child is hiding, he'll jump out to reveal himself, but it's still super fun.  
So put away your fancy toys, your iphones and ipads, and turn off the TV. Use the best learning tool you've got - your mind!

Here are some of my favorite books with kids who are quite imaginative. Maybe read one of these and tell your child you're going to "be" like Harold and Max!

Click on the images to find more info on Amazon about these books.


  1. Love Harold and the Purple Crayon. Have you read Not a Stick by Antoinette Portis?

    1. No, but I look it up at the library! Thanks for stopping by.

  2. These are such great ideas and so simple, too!! Visiting from Weekly Kid's Co-op and pinning this to come back to! :)

  3. Love this list! Simple ideas really are the best!

  4. Great list. My favorite is making up stories. I love to her my daughters stories. They are very creative and usually blend many different stories she has heard into one. She will start with a Cinderella type story and end with a Swiss Family Robinson type story. Thanks for the ideas!


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