5 Easy Games Toddlers Can’t Get Enough Of [Guest Post]
Moments a Day blogger Chelsea Lee Smith would know a thing or two about keeping toddlers entertained. A mother of two boys and a baby girl, she’d have more than enough practice entertaining the kids on their epic year-long journey around Australia. Today she’s sharing with us some of her best toddler games to help you connect with your child…
When babies are able to get around and express their opinions, but are not quite pre-schoolers yet, it can suddenly feel very exhausting to keep them occupied.
One-year-olds are building their vocabulary and learning to follow directions, yet they do not have the attention span or physical ability to play many games that older children enjoy.
Here are some simple games you can play with your toddler. Just take note that once you start playing, they may not want to stop!
This is my go-to game when I need my daughter to stay still for a while, like when I’m changing her nappy or brushing her hair.
I simply say, “Can you…” and fill in the blank. Most of the time it is touching body parts. For example, “Can you touch your nose?” “Can you touch your chin?”
Now that she is speaking more, I also add in sounds. “Can you make the sound of a cow?” “Can you make the sound of a lion?” If we are in a place where she can move around, I like to add bigger actions such as “Can you turn around in a circle?” or “Can you jump up and down?”
Toddlers love showing that they can follow the directions and do so many different things.
Another take on the game above is to give directions through doing an action yourself. You just say “Copy me!” and start doing simple actions your toddler can repeat like shaking your hands, patting your legs, or nodding your head.
This can be a fun challenge to toddlers, especially if you add a few tricky skills they are still learning like standing on one leg or raising your eyebrows. It’s great for other kids to get involved in this game too.
I confess, when I need help entertaining my toddler so I can get something done, I ask my older kids to play this game – super easy and they all love it!
Hide and Seek
Children will learn to play Hide and Seek at different ages. I found between my three children, one in particular (who I now realise has the most playful personality) couldn’t get enough of it.
You can teach your child about Hide and Seek by hiding yourself and giving them encouragement to find you by calling out. Depending on the thrill-seeking nature of your child, you might like to pop out really quickly and say “Boo!” when they are about to find you, but for more sensitive children it is best not to frighten them.
Try out a few different ways to play and see what your child enjoys. Eventually your toddler will start to hide as well.
Balls, balls, balls!
Balls are seriously the best toy ever. If I had to choose only one toy for my child, it would have to be a ball! Here are some easy ball games toddlers will have a blast with – best played with a smaller, lightweight ball that little ones will be able to handle easily:
- Throw the ball to each other
- Throw the ball into a basket (or pot, or bucket, or box)
- Sit down and roll the ball to each other
- Roll the ball to knock down empty cereal boxes or plastic bottles which have been set up like you are bowling
- Throw the ball up as high as you can
- Bounce the ball on the ground and see how far it will go
Yes I know, technically singing a song is not playing a game, but toddlers don’t make the distinction. Songs like “Hokey Pokey” and “Head Shoulders Knees and Toes” are so much fun for littlies, especially if mum or dad joins in the fun.
A few other family favourites we use a lot are: “ Wheels on the Bus,” “Open Shut Them,” “Row Row Row Your Boat,” and “Itsy Bitsy Spider.” If you need to brush up on children’s action songs, a quick search in YouTube will turn up plenty of videos for you to watch and learn from.
I hope you will enjoy playing these games with your toddler! Do you have any more to add to the list? Comment below or get your toddler the perfect pair of shoes for their next gaming adventures.