- Provide many experiences to extend language and musical abilities such as: reading books, recite simple poems, nursery rhymes, finger plays, sing songs, writing down stories that children dictate - let them illustrate their work.
- Give your child acceptable alternatives to choose from rather than just telling them to stop doing something unacceptable. Three year olds may not understand or remember the rules. Guidance reasons that are specific to a real situation and that are demonstrated repeatedly are more likely to impress young children.
- Express love, concern, and forgiveness often.
- Help exercise your child’s natural curiosity by experimenting with cause and effect relationships such as: stacking or lining up blocks and crashing them, experiment with knobs, latches, toys that open and close or that can be taken apart.
- Give your child opportunities to problem solve by asking open ended questions like "How do you think this works?". "Why do you think the water does that?"
- Notice and comment on your child’s progress in various areas - physical, emotional, cognitive, etc.
- Give your child chores to do that are developmentally appropriate - put away own toys, put learning materials away, etc.
- Teach your child a skill - catching a ball, swinging a bat, etc.
- Be aware of your child’s play and the safety associated with it.
- Monitor your child’s health and grooming.
- Think, write, or discuss with your spouse about the hopes and dreams of being the kind of father you want to be. Have you in any way lost touch with some of these hopes and dreams. Why?
- Think, write, or discuss with your spouse about a person in your life who you have noticed parents in a way you feel is admirable. What can you learn from their example?
- Think, write, or discuss with your spouse about the memories you have of your own father. What did you decide about how you would like to father your child based on those experiences.
- Think, write, or discuss with your spouse about times you enjoy most with your child. Notice the aspects of your relationship you think you are doing right.
- Think, write, or discuss about times you felt personally challenged in interactions with your child. What are some of your strengths from which you can draw on to better meet these challenges?
- Think, write, or discuss with your spouse about what you believe others (partner, children, relatives, friends, community, etc.) expect of you as a father. How do they differ? When have you met or not met these expectations?
- Create a story about the kinds of stories you would want your child to tell of you as their father.
- Drop off and pick up your child from day care if your child is enrolled.
- Make up stories as you bath, cloth, or care for your child.
- Tuck your child into bed after reading a story.
- Care for your sick child.
- Do the laundry, dishes, or cooking for your child.
- Let your child’s interests become the springboard from which you both explore the world. Learn about your child’s interests so you can teach them more.
- Be available to share time with your child or perform child-related maintenance.
- Plan field trips that would be of interest to your child. A trip to the fireman station, post office, flower shop, apple orchard, bakery, animal farm, museum, etc. Allow for a lot of exploratory time. Bring things to the child’s level of understanding.
- Plan a birthday party for your child.
- Plan vacations and holidays that are considerate of your child’s developmental capabilities, needs, and interests.
- Blow bubbles together.
- Go fly a kite, go on a picnic, play at the park, etc.
- Exercise your child’s large muscle skills - teach him how to ride a tricycle, catch and hit a ball - use large ball and bat, make an obstacle course when you need to skip, hop, gallop, run, jump, etc.
- Create a collage or scrapbook representing a shared activity - let your child dictate.
- Have your child dictate stories about some of your shared events. Let them illustrate their work.
- Include your child in some of your outdoor tasks such as washing the car, weeding the garden, taking out the garbage, fixing the car.
- Work on a project together you both share an interest in.
- Facilitate your child’s fine motor skill development by purchasing easy puzzles, construction sets, art supplies, beads to string, legos, and other manipulatives.
- Provide picture books for your child to create their own stories about.
- Hug, wrestle, kiss, tickle, give horse rides, etc. to show love and affection.
- Teach your child to stay on sidewalks and to only step off curbs if he or she is holding your hand.
- Allow outdoor play in only the safe, hazard free places of your neighborhood. Carefully supervise play. Three year olds often over-estimate their newly developed physical powers and will try things that are unsafe or beyond their capabilities especially if they are playing with four or five year olds.
- Always buckle up your children in the backseat.
- Install Electrical outlet covers that are large enough not to be a choking hazard if taken out.
- Install cabinet and drawer locks on locations that contain dangerous materials such as cleaning chemicals, sharp tools or appliances, medicine cabinets, etc.
- Many house plants can cause illness or death. Keep out of reach of children.
- Maintain appropriate expectations for your three year old. They may revert to toddler behavior or experiment with 4-5 year old activities.
- Be encouraging to your child and support their developing interests.