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Taking 3 year olds out

What is important to three year olds?

By the time children get to be three years of age, they are, generally, better at walking and so can walk for longer periods of time. The distance children walk can be built up over time: the more they do it, the better at it they become.  

Like two year olds, three year olds are also fascinated by 'treasure'. The 'journey' provides interest as well as the destination. They often enjoy talking about the experiences they have had. This helps them to consolidate their learning. Resources can be developed by you that will help the children to talk about their trips, such as photo books, games, etc as well as using commercially produced resources. They also love to balance and spin on street furniture such as the cycle railings seen in the picture above.

In the same way that two year olds will need clear expectations as to their behaviour, so will three year olds. They can be given be given reminders before and during the outing: consistency from the adults with them will be important.

Children will need to be given time to walk or have things to occupy them if public transport is being used. Being on public transport can be very exciting for young children, especially if they spend most of their time in cars or walking. These outings can help expand the world of a young child. It will be important to consider the children's interests or possible interests, the distance that has be travelled, and the cost when deciding on where to go. The children can be included in deciding where to go and in completing the risk assessment. 

It is important to have a balance between new places and places children feel familiar with. It may be worth thinking about and talking with families about the type of experience you could offer which would extend their learning and experience. For example, if you take the children to the shop, using real money rather than a card would enable the child to understand there are different ways to pay. They can also start to learn what the different coins are in a meaningful way. 

It will be worth thinking about completing the mapping activity to see where you could take your 3 year olds.