Once the meeting starts, welcome everyone and ask the participants: • Who can help us remember what we talked about in our last meeting? • Who was able to do the activity at home that we asked you to do at the end of the meeting? How did it go? • Does anyone have questions or concerns after doing the activity?
What are we going to learn?
We will reinforce the importance of play for threeyear-old children. LET’S TALK ABOUT IT! We are going to look at some pictures, so we can talk about what we all know about this topic.
What games can three-year olds play alone, with their parents, or with others?
What games do you know are good for threeyear-olds? How do you play them? Why do you think it’s important that three-year-old children play? section 8 / 3 years • meeting 51
“Hot or cold” We are going to practice several games that you can play with three-year-old children.
What we’ll need: • Index cards
WHAT WE’LL DO: Before the meeting prepare some index cards that explain various games for three-year olds (see below). • At the start of the meeting, ask five volunteers to leave the room and stay in a place where they can’t hear the instructions that you give the rest of the group. • Those that stay in the room should choose where to hide the index cards one-by-one around the room • Invite the first participant back into the room and tell him or her to find the index card. Have the whole group yell “cold, cold” when they are far from the card, and “hot, hot” when they are close to the card. Continue yelling until they find the card. • After all five volunteers have found a card, have each of them read their card and then lead the game on their card with the children present. • End with a discussion about the value of playing for children. Ask parents to remember some of the games from their childhood. What were their favorites and why?
games for three-year olds: • Drawing Lines: Draw straight and curved lines in the dirt with a stick. If you have chalk you can do this on the floor outside. Invite children to walk over these different lines at different speeds, slow, fast, very slow and very fast. Ask them to jump over the line, run over it, crawl over it and dance on it to the rhythm of music. • Hiding Treasure: For this game you need three different colored cups (if possible use red, yellow and blue) and a candy. Place the cups upside down on a table and hide the candy under one of the cups. Ask the child to guess which color cup has the candy. When the child finds the candy give it to them as a prize. • I Spy: Tell the child, “I spy something…(for example) red and you use it when you are cold” (a sweater). The child should try to guess what it is, and then it is their turn to tell you something they see. • Water Basketball: Fill a bucket or pail with water and give the child a ball to throw into the pail. Try to do it further away each time. • Copycat: Say…”I can, I can…jump on one foot… • …walk backwards • … rub my head • …touch my feet • …etc. (the child should do the same thing that you did)
103 Other Suggestions: If there is time, make a list of traditional games that are known in the community and practice a few that don’t require a lot of preparation for and are appropriate for this age group. Here are some other games that require more preparation, but are simple to play and children can enjoy playing them in a group: • Playing House: Allow the child some space in the house to make a little house (fort) with sheets as walls, and children can take turns being the baby, the older siblings, and the parents. • Sandbox: Place a wooden table upside down with its legs in the air, fill the table with sand and give children spoons, plates and plastic cups to play with. • Memory: Make cards with 2 of the same drawing or that are the same color, put them on the floor upside down and show the child how to find the 2 that are the same.
What did we learn today? Now, we’ll review what we discussed today. • How do you feel after this meeting? Why? • What are the two most important things you’ve learned today? • What will you do differently based on what you learned during the meeting? • What did you like the most? Are there things you didn’t like? • Do you have any remaining concerns or questions about what we talked about? To finish, what would you recommend to improve today’s meeting when we do it again with another group. (Explain that answering this question will help the meeting be even better in the future for parents with small children.)
To do at home:
Tell parents to develop and share a well-known game and a new game with their children and neighbors during the week.
section 8 / 3 years • meeting 51
Basic information for the facilitator: Learning more about play: 1-
Playing by themselves: At this age a child needs space to play alone, they will often talk to themselves while playing.
2- Play with the family: Children start to become more independent and will want to learn new things. We recommend that the mother, father, or caregiver join in on these play times, using the games to stimulate reasoning, expression and emotional growth.
Try to make sure that traditional community games are played and preserved; this is a great way to involve grandparents as collaborators in stimulating children, since often they are the most willing to play with and enjoy their grandchildren. Try to remind yourself what you liked to play as a child. Suggested games: Aside from the already mentioned stimulation activities, you can play a game where the children are the parents and the parents pretend to be the children, or an uncle, aunt, grandparents. Games that represent stories and allow the children to be in role-play characters are good because it gives them the opportunity to recreate family activities as the adults. Parents should make sure they don’t interrupt how children act by scolding them or giving orders – this places us as the adults again, and we need to allow them the fun of the game.
NEVER: abruptly stop or interrupt a child’s play time, for the child this time is very important and serious, and we need to show them respect.
3- Play in pairs: At this age, children start to relate with other children of their own age, they
might start to attend pre-school where they will practice what they learned at home and their community with their new classmates. It is recommended that parents stay in touch with the teachers to find out what games your children are playing and which ones they especially like. If there is no pre-school for your child to attend, it is your responsibility to organize activities for your child to interact with others -- invite their cousins and neighbors over to play. Games children can play together are jump rope, ball games, acting out stories for each other, making a fort out of sheets and chairs (at this age children love to feel like they have new spaces to play where no one will interrupt them) or make a tent with sheets attached to a tree.