Home > Physical activities > 3 year old


For children 2 to 5 years of age, sitting and watching television and the use of other electronic media should be limited to less than one hour per day.

Physical activities

Your child needs lots of active playtime. They are able to hop, walk on tiptoe, run, stop, start, turn corners, and go up and down stairs competently. They can jump about 12 inches off the ground. They can probably ride tricycles and climb on jungle gyms. They love to balance as they walk along low walls. They love games where make-believe is part of the action. Play many games to help his or her ever-improving coordination


Physical activities for a 3 year old

  • Outdoor toys
    Keep a large bin with outdoor toys close to the door. (easy to get, easy to pack away) include, balls, skipping ropes, bats, large deflateable beach ball, marbles, sandpit playing toys, bubble blowing equipment, Croquet set, Frisbee etc.
  • Aerobics
    Put an aerobic tape on and do the aerobics with your child.
  • Box games
    Find a large box and draw or paint the face of a person or animal on it; cut out a big mouth to feed with a thrown bean bag.
  • Tyre games
    Use old car tyres to jump in and out of or inner tubes.
  • Boy in car
  • Ride on bikes
  • Tumbling
    Use old mattress or cushions to do tumbling on.
  • Marble games
    Dig a hole in the ground, place a plastic dish in the hole and roll marbles into the hole.
  • Lock board
    Make a lock board by screwing several different locks and bolts onto a board.
  • Dressing up
    Encourage the child to dress themselves.
  • Button zip and stud games
    Hide toys in pockets that have buttons, zips, press studs, so they have to get them out.
  • Gardening
  • Things for garden play
    They could have their very own garden area. Or pot plants to look after.
  • Garden hide and seek
    Develop of very special place in the garden for the children to go and hide in.
  • Party games
    Any party games are good at any time.
  • Garden treasure hunt
    Hide lids or any other items around the house or garden and give the children a basket to collect them.
  • Garden gnomes
    Gnomes are good fun to have. You hide them the children find, then the children hide it and you find. This can be an on going game that never ends. And gets them running around outside.
  • Tent
  • Tent play
    Set a tent up in the back yard and the children will come up with their own dramatic play.
  • Tennis ball games
    Hang a tennis ball in a stocking off the clothes line and give them a cardboard cylinder or a light weight bat to hit them with.
  • Target practice
    Hang hoola hoops off the clothes line and they have to throw balls, bean bags etc. through them—target practice.
  • Dancing
    Dancing and movement to music.
  • Follow the leader
  • Simon says
    The child has to learn to follow and listen to instructions. This is a good fun way to do it.
  • Tree climbing
    Have a special tree to climb for the children of course you will need rules and supervision around that.
  • Play painting
    Buckets of water and paint brushes to paint the fences.
  • Blanket cubbies
    Old blankets or sheets to make cubbies.
  • Baskets
    To collect things in.
This project was funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing