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wes_sparks's avatar

Some fun and cheap things to do with my 3 year old son?

Asked by wes_sparks (14points) July 29th, 2009

I love spending time with my boy, I have taken him all over the place for fun and educational things and at home we draw and read together, but I am looking for some other stuff/projects to do with him that are of little expense.

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18 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Welcome to the collective. A lot of the possibilities depend on where you live. Most places have, either at the library or at local bookstores, story time for kids. Children that age love that.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

any local playgrounds? Even a walk through a local park, pointing out birds and bugs and trees and flowers is pretty much free. Of course, I don’t have kids, so my suggestions might not be relevant.

By the way, welcome to Fluther.

sandystrachan's avatar

Play park , garden or go for walks .You know what he likes and doesn’t like work on them
go fruit picking my daughter loves that .

MrGV's avatar

Mcdonald’s playpen

Likeradar's avatar

check out They have a bunch of free and not-free activities for many cities across the US.

Dog's avatar


Try camping in the living room, making smoores over the stove.

Searching for pollywogs and waterbugs in a local pond or stream.

We made a small far corner of the yard a mud area- with toys, old kitchen stuff We put sunblock on the kids, let them wear bathing suits and put the hose on a trickle. They love it.

Jude's avatar

You can get him to help you to cook/bake. (ex. get him to help decorate a homemade pizza, and, pour already measured ingredients into a bowl when baking), maybe, get him to help you with some gardening (get him to plant a bean seed in a styrofoam cup and he can water along the way, as well). Really, anything where they can be creative. Kids love that. :)

casheroo's avatar

Things I do with my two year old:

Maybe Jiffy Pop popcorn
Bake (muffins, cupcakes, brownies…anything he can help with) beware, it can be quite messy!
Walks around the neighborhood
Going to all the parks in the neighborhood
We have memberships to the local zoo and children’s museum. It saves so much money, and we can go for an hour or two every other week. You definitely get your moneys worth from memberships.
Indoor playgrounds, usually free for adults. Indoor bounce houses, or gyms is what you should google. Some malls have them as well.
Not sure where you live, but we have a couple orchards near us and I go to the main one in the area, lots of yummy foods, and it’s free to feed all the ducks and chickens and goats. They also have a large playground, hay rides and mazes.

cak's avatar

Parks are great for free things to do with a little one! Also, consider water play, at home, on a sunny day. Unless he hates water, he’ll have a blast! See if your city has any kind of free outside water play area – not a full-blown water park. Our city has a fun area in a park where you can run around in a water area.

For that age, you can probably get into a science discovery museum, fairly cheap. Look for the ones with hands-on play areas. They usually have things for all ages.

Finger paints. Need I say more? :)

sakura's avatar

This was asked not too long ago check out the link and it will give you a few more ideas (including mine!)

Have fun and welcome to fluther :)

Kodiakk's avatar

My son is five, but he’s always had an interest in fishing… toy rod with magnetic fish, that sort of thing. Lego’s are always a big hit (make sure to get the BIG ones, though). I’m a big video-gamer, and my son loves watching me play, and I’ve bought some pre-school software for us to do together, and I’m re-using it for my 3-year-old daughter, now. If you have a Wii, Mario Cart is a possibility, but he was 4 when he started that, and my 3 year old is still having trouble with it.

basp's avatar

One thing my boys always enjoyed was a trip to the fire station.
I went the first time because my son had breathing problems and I wanted to get to know our local responders if I should ever haveti call in an emergency. I found out that if they are not busy they welcome the company.
We visited many times during the years.

Judi's avatar

Lowe’s and Home Depot sometimes have “project days” for parents and children. It’s a class where you make something together and learn about tools. I think it’s even free.
Also look for festivals in your area. Scottish days, Country fairs, music in the park, puppet shows….... Even Community Theater is fairly inexpensive.

cyndyh's avatar

My kids used to love to look at anything being built when they were that age. What are they doing? What’s it gonna be? You can read the signs surrounding the site. Can we come back in a while and see what they do next? Then we would take frequent walks in the area so they could see what was happening.

answerjill's avatar

Some libraries have free passes that you can borrow to go on trips to local museums.

YARNLADY's avatar

My grandson 2½ years old loves to go to the plant nursery and we look at the many different plants and flowers, and he does a lot of running.

Cupcake's avatar

Bring him to the dollar store, give him $5 and let him get whatever he wants. Then bring him to the park to play with his new toys. My son would spend an hour in the dollar store picking out toys when he was little. Have fun!

janbb's avatar

My toddler younger son used to love going to look at the exotic birds in the bird store and the tropical fish in the fish store. When he was older, he became a scuba diver!

Libraries are great places to sit and read picture books. Check out story hours, toddler crafts, etc.

Is there a park with a petting zoo or a historic farm nearby? Animals are endless fascinating to most toddlers.

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