what does your 3.5 year old play with these days? - Mothering Forums
Life with a Toddler > what does your 3.5 year old play with these days?
nycmom18's Avatar nycmom18 02:59 PM 10-19-2011

my son seems either so bored with his toys or just doesnt want to play by himself ever.  The only thing he likes doing is playing is drum set or i'll find him quietly looking through his books at times.  


we have building blocks, cars and trucks galore, tons of musical instruments, little figure toys where he can pretend etc, dinosaurs, balls, a kid kitchen with food, puzzles, and coloring.


i cant imagine none of these appeal to him?? 


any suggestions? or is he just bored?

ellemenope's Avatar ellemenope 03:49 PM 10-19-2011

I thin a lot can be sad about how you display the toys and make them available.  Our almost 3.5 has an area of her room completely dedicated to imaginative play-- A small dollhouse, wooden animals, playmobil.  That is a constant, and she can spend over an hour playing there.  It never really gets cleaned up so she can just pick up where she left off.  Then we cycle out table top activities on her play table-- Legos, crayons, playdo, puzzles, a tea set with water.  Then, in the family room we have a small shelf full of her puzzles and boardgames.  (The play kitchen is only ever played with by DD when we put it back together after cousin comes over and destroys it.)  All her books are available to her on a bookshelf next to an oversized chair and she will try to organize them and read them.


She has spent the majority of her time lately playing boardgames by herself.  They have been a lifesaver.


I think this age is also just hard (I know, for me at least,) because we spend a lot of time in organized activities every week.  We have to go from free play at home to organized activity back to free play at home almost every day.  It is a lot of changing modes, and it is hard to compete with all the cool and condensed fun stuff we do in our activities.  I think preschoolers crave that kind of stimulation, but it does make home life kind of boring.

nycmom18's Avatar nycmom18 12:02 PM 10-22-2011

thanks for the suggestions.  i do try to display things in an accessible way for him, we have the same thing in our family room/kitchen area of puzzles and coloring activity for him to grab while im cooking etc.  i think that the imaginary play would be great for him though, i never thought of it before.  he just doesnt seem to want to play by himself.  and he isnt in preschool yet so i think he may be craving more socializing aside from the people we see at the playground everyday.  

tropicmama's Avatar tropicmama 06:51 PM 10-22-2011

My son is a little bit older (just turned 4) but I realized that he had TOO many toys out... he couldn't find anything to play with, and had 100s of toys laying around... So I boxed up everything that he hasn't been playing with and only left few favorite things. The rest can be rotated  later. Between 3.5 and 4, my son loved, LOVED and still loves playdoh, got lots of little plastic tools to cut and mold. Also, he is very obsessed with fire trucks, police cars, taxis, always playing with little matchbox cars. He is not interested in his bigger cars or trucks anymore, only little ones. Whenever we go to the zoo, he gets all his little plastic animals out and plays with them, and from time to time dinasours. What about outside play like a bike or scooter? My son loves any kind of outside play, even if it's just playing with rocks, or sticks, just free play. And he did not go to school until he turned 4, he was at home full time with me, and now at 4, all he wants to do is write letters, and numbers and read:) Also, I think at that age, kids need some ideas sometimes, of what to do. If I see my son is bored I take out puzzles or blocks or paints and organize activities for him.

nycmom18's Avatar nycmom18 10:33 PM 10-22-2011

Tropicmama, your ds sounds much like mine, maybe its a boy thing:) he also LOVES to be outside and ride his bike, we dont have a yard, so its pretty much just walking and riding here.  but he loves to be on the go.