Terrific Toddler Activities and Exciting Educational Games
Fun toddler activities can include anything from blowing bubbles, kicking a ball
to singing a song. All these
toddler games are not only fun and enjoyable but also an important
part of learning how your toddler's body and brain works in relation to the
However, getting a list of lots of activities is great and helpful
(we all need inspiration) but in essence, what matters is not so
much exactly what you DO with your child!
What matters is how
you ARE with your child!
When you're present, tuned in and
engaged, the activity itself actually becomes irrelevant. If you're
present, whatever kind of toddler games you play will be fun! This
What matters is the experiential quality - the
feeling of deep connectedness that is the RESULT of the activity.
However, in order to get there it is a good idea to have a
fun activities for toddlers
up your sleeve to
pull out when needed.
And stuffing your sleeve to bursting
point with fun, educational toddler learning games and creative
toddler games is precisely my aim here.
So lean back,
open up to be inspired and prepare yourself to connect and bond with
your kid :-)
What Are Toddler Lesson Plans and Learning Games?
Yes, Stimulating their Body and Brain Is Important but Don't Forget
Stimulate Their Heart, Too
Well, basically toddler lesson plans are interesting, fun toddler
activities that stimulate your toddler's lust for learning which
thereby teach them new skills and develop existing ones.
likely, you don't have to think where what you're doing is a lesson
plan or not.
As long as your toddler is enjoying himself /
herself by exploring his or her body, brain and not to forget,
heart, in relation to the world, it is a lesson plan.
Children are curious by nature and this drive for learning and
testing will naturally throw them into the world through their
playing. It's very simple. Learning is what they do!
can do to pave the way for this stimulation is to provide your
toddler with interesting opportunities with which to engage with.
You can help by creating a world of interesting stimuli!
Toddler lesson plans can include a
wide range of subjects such as literature, speech, nursery rhymes,
songs, crafts, nature and physical exercise.
as important lesson plans are remembering to talk while looking your
toddler in the eyes, spontaneous hugging and kissing. These actions
are toddler lesson plans, too! Extremely important ones!
Actually they are probably even more important than the traditional
toddler learning games that you will get on this page. (If you want
to teach your child the power of unconditional love and acceptance,
I recommend you read about
attachment parenting or
now, let's proceed with some of the more traditional fun toddler
games that are also toddler learning activities.
Fun Pre-School Educational Games:
The Power of Nursery Rhymes
Interestingly enough, many of the
old nursery rhymes and songs that have been passed down from
generation to generation are actually really rich with various
educational themes for your toddler.
Yes, you will be
surprised at how many of these toddler games are actually beneficial
for teaching basic hand and eye coordination and rhyming. Also
nursery rhymes help to develop listening skills as well as
increasing your little one's vocabulary.
Nursery rhymes also
have a more basic existential function.
The repetition and
routine of singing nursery rhymes often will come to be associated
with security and predictability.
When engaging in a nursery
rhyme or song, your child will come to know what will come next -
the prediction of which installs a sense of control which equals
'Itsy-Bitsy Spider' as a Powerful Toddler Learning Activity
Everyone has probably played 'itsy-bitsy' spider and there will be
no toddler who does not love that song.
What your toddler
will get out 'itsy-bitsy spider' is:
- Fine-tuning of finger dexterity. (Even us adults have to
concentrate a bit when hand imitating the spider crawling up the
- Learning to create symbolic representations of objects (the
sun, the rain) with the means of hand gestures.
- Fuelling the imagination to actively create inner images and
Stimulating and developing the inbuilt sense of
rhythm via the playing with sound.
- A space of joy, safety and security if song regularly -
children find great comfort in repetitions, routines and
'Hokey Pokey' Is Great Fun
The 'Hokey Pokey' is another one of the many
fun games for kids that have been popular for
The best thing about the games involving rhyming and
movement is that they teach as well as entertain. Your toddler will
learn and have fun all at the same time! Learning can be fun and
when it is, children want to learn.
This will teach or introduce your kid to:
- Right and left coordination.
- Developing their physical sense of balance and medium-large
- Following step-by-step instructions.
- Positively challenge their memory capacity
More Purely Mentally Stimulating Nursery Rhymes and Songs for
Even nursery rhymes that are not necessarily part of a game can help
toddlers to learn.
Some nursery rhymes and songs are ideal
for stimulating your toddler's perceptions of sound, expanding their
vocabulary and introducing new objects and elements in their life
- 'Mary had a Little Lamb' introduces a cute
little animal, a lamb. Even though your toddler will not
understand everything in the song, 'Mary had a Little Lamb' has
great rhythm and rhyme and the overall message is positive and
loving: The lamb loves Mary and Mary loves the lamb. Simple and
- 'Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star'. Once again,
your toddler will only fully understand the very concrete words
such as a star etc. however, the rhyming and the tones will,
with repetition, provide great comfort and inspire your toddler
to repeat difficult words and challenging linguistic
- 'Hey, Diddle, Diddle'. Of the three nursery
rhymes mentioned here, this is probably the one your toddler
will understand the best. The rhyme mentions very concrete
objects that do very concrete actions. Also it is very short, so
your toddler will quickly learn it by heart.
Repeating the nursery rhymes, especially with a book that contains
pictures, helps them to learn about a variety of animals and their
world, from the moon to the stars.
Important research has
shown that imagination, confidence, humor and fun are all part of
beneficial early development.
Games and activities provide
all of this and more.
Fun Pretend Games
As the parent of a toddler, you know there is never a dull moment.
Experiencing the world through your children's eyes is a learning
experience for you as well.
As you listen and learn from
your child, you will be reminded of the things that you believed in
when you were a child. For instance, toddler activities often
include games of pretend
Many toddlers - at one time or
another - have a make-believe friend that shares in their
It is not unusual for them to make up their own
games and hold conversations with someone you cannot see or hear.
Imagination is the beginning of creativity and resourcefulness and
is an important part of problem-solving later in life.
a couple of examples of pretend games:
Mom Has Gone Shopping
Find a bag or even better a, basket, and take your toddler
through the house on a shopping trip.
- Discuss what you need and put things into the bag: e.g. 'oh,
we can use a pencil, can't we?', 'Look, there's a small cushion.
Wouldn't that be perfect for your doll to sleep on tonight?'
- When you're done with the shopping, go to the counter. This
can easily be the dining table.
- Let your toddler fish up the groceries from the bag and put
them on the table.
You will be the cashier and you will put all
your toddler's groceries in another bag for you toddler to carry
home (into his / her room).
- Don't forget to make your toddler pay (with quickly cut out
paper money) :-)
The Sandy Bakery
toddler activity can be played on the beach or in the
sandbox at home in the garden.
Before you get going with the
baking, go out to find some 'cake decoration'.
Gather leaves, small
stones, twigs - whatever small things that nature offers wherever
- Now start making sand cakes and mud pies. You can get many
funny shaped containers when you buy sand toys, but you can also
use something as simple as a bowl from the kitchen.
- Decorate the cakes and pies with the small stones and twigs
to make them even more delicious.
- Pretend to eat them. Watch your toddler as he or she might
get carried away and end up really having a taste!
Alone Time Activities for Toddlers
Toddlers can learn to enjoy playing alone for short periods of time.
Although most toddlers will not entertain themselves for longer than
15 minutes or so until they are a little older, many enjoy drawing,
playing with pots and pans or stacking blocks.
activities can give parents a few moments to relax, fix lunch or
perform one of a million other tasks.
Making a Tent for the Toddler Camper
One of the favorite indoor toddler games is to make a tent.
This can consist of nothing more than a bed sheet draped over a
table or a couple of chairs. With a couple of pillows to sit on, the
tent provides an area for toddlers to take their stuffed animals,
books or other toys to play.
And remember not to forget the
flashlight! The flashlight is definitely the cherry of the cake!
Making a tent allows them a space that is all their own and of
which they have full control and authority, which is just as
important for toddlers as it is for older children and adults.
Creative Crafts for Toddlers Outdoors and Indoors
There are many crafts for toddlers that can be enjoyed outdoors or indoors.
Some of the outdoor activities can even be modified for
indoor play when the weather is bad.
Creating Shadow Art on the Pavement or on Paper
Go outside in the late hours just as the sun is low over the horizon
and casts those pretty long shadows.
- Tell your toddler to stand
in a funny position, e.g. with his or her arms right up in the air.
- Use chalk to trace your toddler's shadow.
- Have your toddler
help you with the decoration afterwards. You can use different
colors to add facial features and accessories such as a hat, a bag
A variation of the shadow art is to draw your
toddler's feet or hands on paper and let them color them.
your toddler shows an interest in drawing, coloring or painting,
there are a variety of crafts that they will enjoy.
Getting Creative with Sponge Painting
Go out and buy some sponges. You can buy common kitchen
sponges if you want. They don't cost very much.
- Cut them into different shapes so your toddler can create
animal shapes such as fish or hearts, circles, squares and
- Reserve one sponge shape for each paint color (e.g. on a
cardboard plate) so that the colors don't get mixed and all
you're left with is a brownish mud color.
- Use this opportunity to teach your toddler about the basic
geometric shapes and the color spectrum.
- Dip away, and have fun
Below you'll find a video giving you a few east tips on toddlers
and crafts :-)
The Colorful T-Shirt Project
Easy crafts for kids can include making something they can wear.
This project can be fun for both toddlers and older kids.
T-Shirt Project for Toddlers
A plain white t-shirt can be decorated with their handprints or foot
- Using different colors and letting your toddler place his /
her hands or feet randomly on the t-shirt will be a fun project
that will remembered every the shirt is worn.
(Remember to buy
paint with no toxins or harmful substances).
T-Shirt Project for Older Kids
Let your older kid experiment a bit more by using various tools
- Provide your kid with an old toothbrush. Show your kid how
to make a great sprinkle effect by running your thumb over the
hairs of the toothbrush.
- Wet certain areas of the t-shirt with water. When you kid
puts paint onto a wet area the paint will blur somewhat which
can give a great effect.
- Let your kid cut out some sponges for that fabulous sponge
- Of course there's the obvious effect of precision only
provided by a paint brush
Wonderful and Healthy Outdoor Activities Your Toddler Will Enjoy
Toddlers love to get outdoors and explore the great unknown
world in which they live. There are many adventures waiting for that
eager and curious toddler of yours.
Let's see, your backyard
can be a terrific place to start.
The Indiana Jones Toddler
Well, perhaps not Indiana Jones exactly but
close enough anyway! :-)
Take your toddler on an exciting
discovery tour in your garden or a nearby park if you have one.
You'll be surprised at the things you may discover:
- Find some ants and observe them for a while - they are
Explain how the ants are
incredible workers who really know how to help each other bring food
and build amazing homes.
If you're lucky you'll be able to
see the ants carry (to them) really heavy objects many time their
size and weight.
Bring a camera and see
if you can catch a butterfly on a flower on a photo - with a little
patience you might just get lucky
Your toddler will love to see the pictures you've taken once you
Of course, he or she will almost certainly find the
pictures of himself / herself far more interesting and fun than the still
life pictures of a pretty butterfly:-)
rescue 911. If it has just been raining, here a fabulous,
good Samaritan activity that both you, your toddler and the worms
When it's been raining a lot, worms seek to the
surface in order not to drown and somehow these poor animals end up
trying to crawl over the pavement. Bad idea! They end up drying out.
Teach your toddler how to help them by finding a small twig
and pick up the worms very gently with this and carry them to
safety. A place with good soil, preferably a good distance from the
pavement so that the worm won't venture out there again.
activity you teach your child how
enjoyable it is to help other living beings.
Bird watching. Most birds are easily scared so
watching and observing birds is going to also be a toddler exercise
in patience, standing complete still and being quiet.
However, once your toddler grasps the connection between stillness
and getting close to the birds - he or she will have a blast.
Animals are fascinating creatures and even though they will not be
doing anything overly exciting as such, they are still 'foreign'
enough for your child to be curious in them.
Getting your child interested in nature is a truly wonderful and
If you sense that your child is interested in
animals and nature, grasp this window of opportunity and feed your
kid's curiosity in this area. You won't regret it.
age of three, my son has been utterly fascinated by the animal
kingdom. So much so, that he knew the names of up to 20 dinosaurs
(and no they are not easy to pronounce or remember, try saying Parasaurolophus and you'll get my point), how they ate, what their
'weapons' and defenses were etc.
Nature and animals
The Exquisite Toddler Pool Party
All children enjoy playing in water
especially when summer days become warm.
A pool can provide hours of
fun and filling it with water toys will make it even more
entertaining for toddler activities.
Squirt guns, floating
toys such as fish, frogs, ducks, boats and submarines and more are
available and add to the fun.
A variation on outdoor
activities in the pool is the 'toddler pool party':
- Pick out animals and dolls that can handle being wet.
- Bring also small cups (plastic, not glass), sponges, bowls
- Tell your toddler that he / she can invite his
friends (the animals and dolls) to a pool party, where they can have
drinks (from the cups), be washed (with the sponges) and have a good
bath (in a bowl), enjoy a waterfall (pouring water over them) and so
on and so forth.
Remember never to leave your
toddler unobserved when being near or playing with water!
The Simple Toddler Version of Shooting Hoops
- Find a big bucket and if you have lots
of balls, perfect, but if you don't, go and rummage through your
toddler's room to find soft toys, that won't break when thrown.
- Place the bucket a few feet away and take
turns in throwing things into the bucket.
- Choose two
different sounds e.g. 'bing' and 'bong'. Then each time one of you
manages to hit inside the bucket, you both shout 'bing'. And when
one of you hits next to the buck, you shout bong
Also, this is a great activity for developing coordination.
Hide and Seek
A game of hide and seek adapted for the little ones could
include hiding an object so they will not get upset if they cannot
- Prepare the game by choose a medium
large object such as a small red bucket for playing with sand.
- Instruct your toddler that your are going to
play hide and seek and that you have to find his / her red bucket.
- Let your toddler try finding it first without your
If your toddler doesn't succeed, start giving clues,
e.g. 'I think it might be near a tree' or 'I wonder if it's near
A Quick List
of Other Fun Toddler Activities and Toddler Games for the
Spending time outdoors will allow them to
expend energy and there are a variety of activities that provide
learning experiences as well as just plain fun.
will benefit all children by providing plenty of physical activity
as well as fresh air and sunshine.
Here is a quick
list of other outdoor activities:
Toddler activities can include planting a small
garden. Toddlers can help plant the seeds, water the plants
as they grow and pull the weeds.
They will be thrilled when the
plants actually produce something they can pick and eat.
- Riding tricycles or other ride-on toys.. Go for
a ride where you pick up interesting stuff on the way, pretty
leaves, funny stones, pine cones that you save for later. Perhaps
for an art project.
bubbles. All kids are fascinated by blowing bubbles.
you can get all sorts of fancy bubble equipment to make huge bubbles
or to have a machine blowing out tons of bubbles.
bubbles old style with the traditional ring can be just as much
- Having a picnic! Prepare a few
sandwiches along with some separate pieces of cucumber, tomatoes,
carrot sticks with cream cheese for dipping and set yourselves down
in the garden, in a park or near a playground.
Eating in nature
gives the eating experience a whole new dimension.
- Taking a walk around the neighborhood. Look at
the gardens, pets in gardens, teach about traffic all while getting
some good exercise.
- Coloring on the sidewalk
with chalk. Make some geometrical shapes, circles, squares,
triangles etc. and tell your toddler to jump on the shapes.
toddler is old enough to be able to grasp the concept of shapes,
refine the game by naming a shape, that he / she should jump
- Playing in the sprinkler. If it's hot, a sprinkler can be great fun for toddlers and even older
Even though they will probably take care of themselves in this
kind of toddler game, don't leave them unobserved as it is still a
game that involves water.
Fun Number Games and Math Games for Kids and Toddlers,
There are numerous math games for kids
If you are to play with
numbers, the basic starting point is learning to count. There are
many ways that you can help your child to learn to count.
Parents have found the easiest way of doing this is to count the
things that toddlers are around every day.
Their toys are
one. Food is another.
toys. Counting toys as they are taken from the toy box or
putting them back during cleanup will teach your toddler numbers and
the order of these numbers as they repeat what you are saying.
It will not take long before they are counting by themselves.
- Counting food can also easily be included in
toddler games such as math games. Count the number of peas on
their plate. How many plates, cups, etc. are on the
Geometrical Toddler Games
Toddler activities that are part of math
games include finding shapes such as triangles, squares and circles
around the house. Go around the house exploring shapes.
shapes out of play dough while you explain what the shapes are. Put
the shapes together to make things such as a train, a house or
Songs and Books as
Songs are part of the
toddler games that can help your child learn how to count.
'This Ole Man' (Knick Knack Paddy Whack) is a favorite of children.
'Five Little Monkeys' is another.
Children love to sing as
well as looking at books, which can also help them to learn numbers.
There are many books available that include pictures of the numbers
as well as the objects that are being counted and this will help
your toddler to recognize the numbers and associate them with
Categorization and Counting Games for Toddlers
- Playing with blocks
is a terrific way of learning shapes as well as
Building things together with the blocks can
also include putting all the blocks of one color together. Help them
build a tower of red or blue blocks.
This will help toddlers
distinguish between red, blue, yellow and other colors.
can be used similarly. Using a few baskets, label each
one with a color. Practice throwing the balls that match the color
into the correct basket as one of the toddler activities for color
games that promote learning numbers,
shapes and colors can include games such as 'fishing.'
- Make a fishing pole using a stick and string.
a magnet to the end of the string.
- Cut out fish
shapes from construction paper and paint them in different colors.
- Also if you're really clever and want to take this game an extra
step, make 'real' fish: A shark, a clown fish, a salmon etc.
- Punch a hole in the fish and put a paper clip through the
- Write a number on each fish.
can now say to your toddler, go fish number 3 (learning numbers), go
fish the blue fish (learning colors) or go fish the clown fish (learning
Your toddler will love going fishing
and this is a game that makes learning fun.
Easy Recipes for Kids and Toddlers
Almost all children enjoy cooking whether it is pretend or real.
There are many easy recipes for kids that even your toddler can help
Spending time in the kitchen with your child can
include toddler activities that will be just as much of an adventure
as a trip to the zoo, the circus or the playground.
are a variety of recipes that little ones can help to prepare. While
they are helping, they can learn. Assisting with a snack or a meal
will help to teach shapes, nutrition, measuring and coordination.
You don't have to use cookie cutters just for cookies.
Funny Sandwich Shapes and Creative Pizza Faces
- Have your toddler help you make a
sandwich by letting him / her arrange the layers of stuffing inside
the sandwich. You put the ingredients on the table and your toddler
piles the stuff on the bread.
- Then cut the sandwich
into funny, interesting shapes. This is an ideal meal for a garden
If you're making pizzas, you can have your
toddler help you make funny faces on them.
First make the base with tomato sauce, cheese and
small, already cooked chicken bits (you can also use ham bits).
- Have two slices of tomatoes as eyes and two slices of olive as
Cut a mushroom in half and use it as a
- Use a slice of pepper as a smiling mouth and
when the pizza is done baking you can use green rucola salad as
Your toddler might not eat all the stuff that
is on the pizza (e.g. rucola can be a bit strong and bitter) but the
vision of the pizza will surely delight your kid.
imaginative you can make this experience, the more they will enjoy
the time you spend together in the kitchen.
Here are a few
places you can go for more easy recipes for toddlers:
Your Positive Parenting Ally,
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