Fun Interactive Games for 10 Year Old and 3 Year Old to Play Together?

Updated on August 30, 2019
W.W. asks from Los Angeles, CA
7 answers

I have a 10 year old and a 3 year old and finding games that engage both are so hard to find! I'm thinking of possibly getting Just Dance on the Wii U as someone recommended that to me. Any other suggestions? Thank you!!

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answers from Santa Fe on

My kids are 5.5 years apart and when my youngest was this young there just was not really much the oldest wanted to play with her...she just was not mentally able to do the things he wanted to do! She would completely frustrate him. Ideas of things my kids enjoyed doing together when my daughter was that young - Play in the sandbox. Play in a sprinkler or slip n slide outside. Ride bikes/tricycle/scooters together in front of the house (we live in a culdesac) with other kids. Play with slime/playdoh/ublek together on the kitchen table...this had to side by side play. Mostly I realized that she was just too young for him and if he wanted someone to play with we invited one of his friends over.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

That's a pretty big age difference for games of any kind, and your little one may end up getting frustrated with Just Dance.
I would focus on other "bonding" activities, arts and crafts, cooking, hiking/nature, family movie night, etc. Have the older one read bedtime stories to the little one, but ONLY if you think they would both enjoy it.
It's pretty natural to want our kids to be close and spend time together but you need to respect where they are developmentally and of course their own particular personalities and desires.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

That age spread is tough.
3 yr old won't have the attention to play anything for any length of time.
In a few years Candyland and Chutes N Ladders will be fun but the older child will get bored with it quickly.
Some 3 yr olds are still putting things into their mouths - so sidewalk chalk will have to wait and toys for older kids aren't safe for younger kids - anything small is a choking hazard.
You might have better luck with each child having play dates with kids their own age.
Perhaps the older child can build things for younger with some Duplo.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Certain things are “ageless” - music, art, sports, dance.....

Pictionary can be played by all ages. Miniature golf. Velcro darts. Painting and drawing. Musical instruments.

The “classics”!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

i wouldn't work too hard on trying to get kids with that big of an age gap to play anything together. by 40 those 7 years won't matter much, but right now it's the grand canyon.

i'd get the 10 year old to read to the 3 year old and let it develop organically from there. but i'd also keep any hopes of extended happy play sessions together firmly based in reality.


3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Our oldest and youngest are 7 years apart, grown now, but as children they enjoyed alot of activities together. At that age there was also a 7 year old in the mix here, but our strategies would still apply whether or not he was present. Art and construction projects were probably the easiest, as they could both draw or paint or sculpt, or the oldest could do legos while the youngest played with duplo. If the oldest played video games, the youngest could hold another controller and pretend to play, even if he wasn’t actually connected, or he could play with help from an adult.

We would do the teaming with an adult thing alot, with games like Apples to Apples or Scattergories, where the adult would team with the 3 year old and help him participate to the best of his ability at that age. The youngest usually wanted to do whatever the older kids were doing, and this made it possible.

Some simple card games like Uno can be fun for all ages. Some sports like soccer can also be easily adapted. When our oldest was into filmmaking, he would assign the youngest roles to act out. That was great fun for a while and we still enjoy watching those movies.

It was sometimes challenging to balance together time with supporting their independent pursuits, but it went pretty well and they are great friends now.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Does it have to be an actual game?

I have a large age gap between my oldest and youngest (similar to when I was growing up). We have kids in between, but sometimes the middle ones aren't home, or even so, they all still hang out at times.

We just had afternoon outdoor fun that kids would join in - like this week we had water balloon fights (buy those massive easy to fill balloon kits, super cheap) and even tiny kids can participate. We did those balloons with some younger cousins - you dip those gloves and the older kids ran around and the younger ones chased them. Frisbees, etc. I find so long as they are outside, and having fun, it's ok to have friends over for the older ones - the little ones can play nearby (sandbox, etc.) everyone has popsicles at same time, etc.

We used to just do a younger version for the younger ones. So when my older kids had Nerf out, they had a very simple Nerf version (most basic) that we did for our youngest, or a little water one (or if you don't do guns, do something else but modify it so little one can join in).

We didn't have success with the Just Dance or those Wii interactive games where preschoolers had to get 'picked up' by our controllers. For some reason, it was more frustrating. If our older ones were playing racing games though, the little ones would just play with their cars behind them, or sometimes take a turn driving on the split screen - so what if they kept crashing. They were just thrilled to be allowed to play with the bigger kids. (think mario cart or whatever).

Lego, arts and crafts, and those kinds of things they would happily play next to their younger siblings - hot wheels, etc. So long as the little ones didn't destroy what they were doing.

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