Age: 3-4 years

Inside Activity Ideas for Kids

…Suitable for rainy days, lockdown, isolation with baby, toddlers, preschoolers, infant school age! Oh and for parents to get a bit of peace and quiet while the kids are engaged in their play

As I write this, we are in lockdown. We stay inside, we stay safe, we protect the NHS. We are in the middle of the Coronavirus, Covid-19 pandemic, London, UK.

With a 1, 4 & 6 year old, what can we do with all this inside time? Here’s some activity ideas and things we got up to.

Cardboard box drawing

Cardboard box drawing - Inside activities for kids! Rainy day, lockdown, isolation - great play ideas for kids, babies, toddlers, preschool

We’ve all probably had a few deliveries while staying inside! Be it amazon, food, ebay, well whatever we need when we can’t go to the shops and everywhere is closed. We had a lot of cardboard lying around – so we had some fun with it before recycling!

Cardboard box drawing - Inside activities for kids! Rainy day, lockdown, isolation - great play ideas for kids, babies, toddlers, preschool

I love these pictures – it shows them all working together as a team. A great group activity for siblings or friends to get absorbed in. The 6 year old drew a racing track and did some writing. The 4 year old wrote a few number, letters and drew flowers. The 17 month old had fun experimenting with the colours and line making, great for exploration, cause and effect learning, and fine motor skills.

Tunnel Time

When we’d finished drawing on the cardboard, we made it into a tunnel! They had a lot of fun crawling through and were even able to take turns.

Cardboard box tunnel fun crawling - Inside activities for kids! Rainy day, lockdown, isolation - great play ideas for kids, babies, toddlers, preschool

Cardboard box tunnel fun crawling - Inside activities for kids! Rainy day, lockdown, isolation - great play ideas for kids, babies, toddlers, preschool

SO many things to do with a cardboard box, and it kept them busy for a while. The 4 & 6 year old were able to set it up as a tunnel; they experimented with the shape (square and triangle, as you can see above), and with using a chair to keep the cardboard tunnel in shape. Good experimenting skills, team work and learning guys!

Now we are 4 years old! Development & what to expect

Development & Psychology aged 4 - what can we expect?

Well, time keeps galloping along. Happy birthday to my little lovely! Not so little now…

What has happened in the last year? Well, we’re still at preschool, we’ve made little preschool friends, he’s mastered the potty for day and night and use of the “big toilet” while we’re out and for most of the time at home too. He’s engaging in a lot of small world play, Lego, creative thinking, can write most of his name, recognises all the letters of the alphabet, put on his shoes oh and probably more things I can’t think of right now to list…
But anyway, what does the literature indicate about typical 4 year old development? Here’s some info from Talking Point:

By age 4 children will usually

Development & Psychology aged 4 - what can we expect?:

  • Be able to listen to longer stories and answer questions about the story
  • Like simple jokes (in our household, he is developing lots of humour around farts and the word “bum” – great)
  • Ask questions using the words what, why and where
  • Describe things that have happened in the past, e.g. we went to the shop
    • 3 and 4 year olds can probably form episodic memories (the ability to reflect on our past, and consider things that haven’t taken place yet – the future). Some research shows that 4 year olds can hold onto these memories for longer than 3 year olds who, in this research study could only hold onto the memories for a short amount of time (15 minutes) (Scarf et al, 2013)

In the next year, by age 5 we can expect a child to usually:

  • Be able to take turns in longer conversations
  • Understand words that describe a sequence such as “first we will go to the playground, then we need to go to the shops”
  • Socially, choose friends and those they play with
And so what did we get up to on our birthday?
Well it was the middle of the week so no big party on the actual day. We went to see a theatre show (fancy) called Stick Man (based on the book) – fun times at the LEGO STORE Leicester square, then for chips and milkshake at Shake Shack, and then home for birthday cake. I think he had fun…
  1. Scarf D., Gross J., Colombo M., Hayne H. (2013). To have and to hold: episodic memory in 3- and 4-year-old childrenDev. Psychobiol. 55, 125–132

The Preschooler is 3! – child development and milestones at age 3


We are no longer a baby. We are no longer a toddler. I suppose we are now a… preschooler! Yes happy birthday Little Lovely!


What to expect age 3: developments, milestones, psychology, preschooler

Happy Birthday!

What can we expect aged 3? Here’s some areas of development:

(remember, every child develops at their own rate and there will be differences between children)
  • I’ve noticed his talking really take off; everything is more fluent and we can have near-proper conversations. According to Talking Point, some areas of language development usually present by age 4 are being able to use longer sentences, starting to like simple jokes (we like burps and farts especially), describing events that have happened e.g. “we went beach”, but still making mistakes with tenses e.g. saying “runned for ran”.
  • We’re enjoying small world play and developing simple story lines and narratives with toys – this sounds fancy but really it just means he’s using one toy (e.g. a Lego car) and pretending that it’s talking to or giving instructions to another toy, following a basic story, e.g. the car is going to the shops. He sometimes uses a different voice to indicate that he’s talking as the car and not as himself. It’s always the same voice he uses and has not experimented with different pitches, genders, ages, volume etc
  • Other areas of cognitive development according to CDC (centers for disease control and prevention) include this “make-believe” play with dolls, animals and people, doing a 3 or 4 piece puzzle, building towers of more than 6 blocks (read more here)
  • Social cognition and Theory of Mind – understanding that other people possess a mind and beginning to understand the minds of others – that they think, feel and perceive and these might be different thoughts, feelings, perceptions to our own. This is constantly developing in the early years; 3 year olds ,might talk about what other people think (Bartsch & Wellman, 1995*) but at age 3 the development of ToM has further to go…
Motor skills:
  • According to this great timeline of development from the NHS, at aged 3-4 years children start to draw people! Can’t wait… I’ve noticed him starting to colour in specific areas of a picture (e.g. the eyes) rather than general scribbles and colouring
  • Starts using a knife and fork (age 3-5; NHS timeline, link above)



*Bartsch, K & Wellman, H. M (1995). Children talk about the mind. New York, NY: Oxford University Press

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