My three year old gets really frustrated when we play together and he ends up throwing things at me

A successful way of playing with young children is to start by making sure they feel in control of the game i.e. you let your son lead the play by letting him choose what to play with and what to do with it. You don't make any suggestions, ask any questions, give any praise or correct anything i.e. you follow all his ideas without being tempted to give him all your ideas or directions.  

This idea is taking a non-directive approach to your play with your three year old and in this way your son has control of the play which decreases frustration, and you are supplying useful language learning opportunities through giving language input relevant to the focus of his attention.

In practice the approach incorporates the following:

  • While he is playing you comment on what he is doing e.g. 'You are building' or...'You've got the blue train'. 
  • Try to leave pauses in between your sentences so that he can talk too.
  • Only comment on what you are sure about.  
  • If he invites you to join in just copy his ideas and if you can't understand his spoken ideas you could prompt him to show you.
Taken from the Talking Point website.