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6 games to play with a child aged 2 – 3 years

Fun, cheap and easy games and activities that are suitable for toddlers and children aged 2 to 3 years old

Play is very important work for a two to three-year-old! And they’re so enthusiastic at this age.

It is important to provide plenty of time for unstructured play – particularly outdoors – and to give them the space to learn how to play independently. But it is also good to provide them with some guided play – especially when it helps them learn and develop important skills.

We’ve asked Playgroup Australia to assist us with a list of low-cost activities for this stage of a child’s development.

6 games to play with a child age 2 – 3 years

Walk and Stop

A great game for practicing listening skills! This can be played inside or outside and encourages children to try different ways of moving their bodies. Sing (you might have heard this song on Play School):

You walk and you walk and you walk and you stop.
You walk and you walk and you walk and you stop.
You walk and you walk and you walk and you stop.
You walk and you walk and you walk and you stop.

When the children hear ‘Stop!’ they should freeze until the song starts again. Other movements can be sung in the song too, like skip, hop, run, dance, jump, or wriggle.

Potato Prints

Cut some potatoes in half, and then carve some simple shapes into the flat sides (such as a square, triangle, or a star for the more adventurous). Put out a wide, flat container with some different coloured paints and some paper, for some wacky potato masterpieces.

Making instruments

  • Hooters – cover end of a cardboard cylinder with paper with a hole poked through – children can blow or sing through other end
  • Rhythm sticks – cut two 20cm lengths of dowel for hitting together
  • Sandpaper blocks – cover two small timber off-cuts with sandpaper and rub together

Play your instruments along with your child’s favourite music.

Simple Puzzle

Glue a picture from a magazine onto a sheet of cardboard, and cut the picture into a few pieces. Help your child to learn how to put the pieces back together again to make the picture.


Children at this age will appreciate the chance to draw with different materials, such as crayons, pencils, and felt-tip pens. They could also trace around objects such as round plastic cups, or leaves etc.

A Bear Hunt in the Park!

Children love to pretend, and this song will give them an opportunity to move around and explore the park or backyard. This can also be played sitting down with the actions in brackets.

Bear Hunt
Let’s go on a bear hunt. (slap hands together)
I see a wheat field.
Can’t go over it. Let’s go through it. (brush hands together)
I see a bridge.
Can’t go around it. Let’s go over it. (slap hands together)
I see a lake.
Can’t go over it, can’t go under it, let’s swim. (arms swimming)
I see a tree.
Can’t go over it, can’t go under it, let’s go up it. (climb with arms)
I don’t see any bears, (look around)
Let’s go down.
I see a swamp.
Can’t go over it, can’t go under it, let’s go through it. (pull hands up and down slowly)
I see a cave.
Can’t go over it, can’t go under it, let’s go in. (slowly slap knees)
I see two eyes. I see two ears.
I see a nose. I see a mouth.
Yikes! It’s a bear!!!
Let’s get out of here. (reverse movements very fast)


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