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Engaging your Three-nager with Toys and Games

We`ve all heard of the "terrible twos" but for many parents the third year can be even more challenging. As children age into their preschool years, they may begin to test your boundaries and explore new emotions. If you thought you had a decade and a half to prepare for your moody teen, you're in for a big surprise: you just might had a threenager.

Signs You're Living with a Threenager

1. Your child has mastered the art of going completely limp as soon as you warn them that a transition is coming. Science still has no explanation for how a human child can become completely boneless.

2. "NO!"

3. Your child cannot count past double digits, but has mastered Euclidean geometry enough to refuse any sandwich triangles that are not perfectly equilateral.

4. It was their favourite shirt last week, but today it's called "NOT THAT ONE!"

5. You just engaged in a debate about why shoes are important, and lost.

Toys and Activities to Engage Your Threenager

Do not give up hope! All of this button-pushing and boundary-testing is actually a good sign that your child is becoming more confident, independent and self assured. It might not feel like it, but those moments of friction and frustration are also an opportunity to lead your child through new challenges and discoveries.

Encourage exploration and self-directed play with open-ended materials like our Exclusive Colour Cards. Each box of coloured tablets can be sorted, stacked or arranged in an endless combination of patterns. Encourage your three year old to identify and distinguish between the shades and make their own connections between colours and the world around them.

Embrace play without limits. Your threenager is discovering all of the boundaries in their life, so help make playtime an environment of boundless imagination with toys that do not have prescribed modes of play. Building toys, such as blocks, are perhaps the best examples of simple elements that can become virtually anything in the hands of a creative toddler.

Our Extra Large Rainbow Stacker and Semicircles can be combined to create huge towers, long tunnels, small caves and alcoves, or virtually anything else your threenager can dream up. It can become the backdrop for imagination play, offering up an evolving landscape for their characters, real or imaginary, to explore.

Make art! All of that threenaged energy needs to go somewhere, and what better play to direct it than a blank canvas. We are big fans of making our own fun, so pull out of roll of blank paper and make your own washable finger paint!

Washable Finger Paint Recipe

You'll need:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • pinch of salt (optional)
  • Food Colouring

Directions:

  1. Pour flour and water into the pot
  2. Stir the ingredients over medium heat until it begins to blend into a paste, if any lumps or clumps develop keep stirring!
  3. When paste starts to pull away from the sides of the pot, remove from the heat.
  4. If you don't plan on using the paint right away, add a pinch of salt to help it last
  5. Start with a 1/4 cup of water, and slowly add to the paste until you reach your desired consistency
  6. Separate the paint into bowls
  7. Squeeze food coloring into the flour mixture to create your colour palette 
  8. Use right away, or refrigerate in a covered container and save it for another rainy day!

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