21 Inspiring, Educational and Fun Toddler Games Tailor-Suited Your
Playing toddler games and engaging in toddler activities is not only fun,
stimulating and a great way to spend time with your child, it also effectively
fertilizes the ground for cultivating many important life skills (the benefits
of which we will get to in a bit).
The inspiring toddler activities you'll see on this page will be
tailor-made your child's age - although older kids may have
lots of fun with them too.
Thus you'll find lots of fun
toddler activities suited your:
These Toddler Games Are not only Fun, They Actually Help Instil
Basic Life Skills in Your Toddler
Besides the obvious purpose of helping out a desperate mom or dad on
a rainy day or being a good pastime activity, really good
toddler activities can help develop, instil and
fine-tune basic existential, bodily and mental life skills such as:
Cultivating a Healthy Approach to Bonding, Intimacy and Love
Being 100% present here and now with your toddler is one of
the most important gifts you can give your child. Really, I'm
When your child experiments, expresses himself / herself,
tries new things and succeeds, this process of 'mastering' the
world on your own terms will pave the way for the vital
existential belief of 'I can'.
This 'I can' may sound
trivial but it is not, I can assure you.
'I can' is
one of the most essential and basic building stones of self
esteem and consequently self realization: living out your
Developing Cognitive Skills, Memory, Language and Logical
Many games have an inbuilt logic that automatically teaches
your child many aspects about communication and time, for
instance in terms of taking turns, doing things in a certain
Expanding Bodily Awareness, Developing Sensory Understanding
and Improving Physical Coordination
Recent research has made a strong link between great motor
skills and strong learning abilities. In short the conclusion
is, using the body, boosts the brain!
By the way, did
you know that from birth to the age of four, children pass
developmental milestones than at any
other stage of their lives.
dig in, get inspired and prepare to have hours of fun with
these fun toddler games (and yes, some of them your toddler
can do alone) which at the same time function as inspiring
learning activities for toddlers.
1) Games for 1-Year-Olds and up: The Cereal String
most basic of toddler game will help build your child's fine
motor skills, improving their ability to pick items up using
their forefinger and thumb.
This is known as the
"Pincer Grasp" and it will eventually lead to your child being
able to do anything from manipulate the use of a pencil to
buttoning up their own clothes.
All you need is a handful of "O" shaped cereal and a piece
of strong string. (When you buy the cereal try to go for the
whole grain versions without sugar as some of cereal are sure to
be eaten in the process;-)
Sit your toddler in a highchair or safely at a table, and
show him / her how to thread the cereal onto the string.
It will take a few attempts for your toddler to grasp what
they are meant to be doing, but once your toddler does, he / she
will have no problems getting the "Os" onto the string.
As your toddler's confidence builds, introduce basic numbers
into the game. For example, thread five pieces of cereal onto
the string, counting each piece as it goes on.
According to the
Academy of Pediatrics, children develop basic number
skills as young as 12-months-old, so this fun toddler activity
is a great and fun way to introduce your toddler to numbers
2) Indoor Toddler Activities for 1-Year-Olds and up: No Mess
words paint and toddler in the same sentence are enough to
strike fear in the hearts of even the most devoted of parents.
However, there is a way for your toddler to enjoy an
exciting painting activity without getting the clothes, the
furniture and the carpet covered in paint ;-)
Simply place a piece of A4 paper in to an empty cereal box,
no need to fold the paper.
Using crayons, dip the ends into a variety of colored kid's
paint - you won't need a lot.
Throw the crayons into the box and tape the opening closed
Give the box to your toddler and tell him to shake it,
encourage him to be enthusiastic.
Once the box has been shaken for as long as your toddler has
the patience for it, open it up carefully and remove the paper.
The result should be a truly creative masterpiece your toddler
will be proud of.
Proof itself that not all toddler
games mean mess and chaos!
3) Activities for Toddlers - 1-Year-Olds and up: Treasure Box Surprise
Here is a great game that will fuel your toddler's sense of
curiosity and exploration as well as fine-tuning her finger
Also this is a game that your toddler can
play independently next to you while you're cooking or doing
other household chores that you need to get done.
you need to do is to devote 5 minutes of preparation.
Consider donating a kitchen drawer to your toddler or find a
good sized cardboard box. What you need an empty, confined
Find as many empty small boxes, jars, containers, canisters
etc. as you can. Fill each one of them with small interesting
objects from around the house or go into your toddler's room and
find whatever small toys that that fit in the containers.
Put the lids back on them and put them all in the drawer or
box or cupboard and close it.
Invite your toddler to open the 'big treasure box' to find
many 'small treasure boxes inside'. Show your toddler how to
open one container at a time to take out what's inside.
Once your toddler gets the drift of the game, containers will
probably be opened faster and faster - so the more surprises
you have prepared, the longer the game will last.
4) Fun Activities for Toddlers for 1-Year-Olds and up: Lovely
This one of learning activities for toddlers will stimulate
your toddler's senses as well as teach him some of the most
basic principles of physics.
And who can teach us
better than Mother Nature.
Go out into your garden or the nearby park.
Find, pick up and gather leaves in many different forms,
colors and conditions (green and withered). You can also gather
funny stones or nuts if you feel like it.
Once you're home empty your bag on the table and have a good
look and feel on everything there. Make knock-knock sounds on
the table with the hard stones, crunch the withered leaves and
let the green leaves float to the floor. (to avoid a grand mess,
you can choose to do all this experimentation while you're
Then find a few pieces of paper and some glue
Decorate the paper together gluing on the leaves, nuts and
The result can be really spectacular if you choose a colored
piece of paper in e.g. yellow, orange or red.
5) Toddler Outdoor Games for 1-Year-Olds and up: The Lake of
If the weather is nice and warm, this toddler game
will provide lots of great fun for your little one.
it involves water, you need to be nearby and never leave your
Find a large piece of plastic sheet and fold it out on the
grass in your garden
Take your hose or a big bowl with water and splash water all
over it. This will create small, shallow pools here and there.
Pick out some of your toddler's toys that are water
resistant and place them on the plastic and in the small pools.
Fill up a few plastic cups and bowls with water too and
place them onto the sheet as well.
Show your toddler this amazing flat lake of adventures and
watch the joy it will make.
6) Fun Toddler Learning Activities for 1-Year-Olds and up: The
Master of Bags
game is great for stimulating
thinking in terms of gently introducing the abstract skill of
categorization along with fun memory training.
Find 2 empty bags of different size - for instance a sports
bag and a handbag
Put them on the floor in your toddler's room
Tell your toddler to go and find a toy.
Tell your toddler whether the toy is big or small and thus
which bag to put it in.
Big toys go in the big bag and small toys go in the small
After having put in 4-5 toys (not too many), ask your
toddler where each of the toy is, one toy at a time. And your
toddler will have to go to the right bag and rummage through it
to find the right toy.
7) Stimulating Toddler Activity for 1-Year-Olds and up: The Oats and Rice Lab
Create a wonderful and exciting physics lab for your toddler.
These types of toddler games will have the potential for hours
of fun for your toddler.
Find a box of oats or bag of rice that are overdue and that
you are going to throw out anyway.
Find a big plastic bowl or even better, a tray and pour the
oats or the rice onto it
Add some cups, spoons and toys (cars, dolls, toy animals
etc.) and let your toddler have fun with feeding the dolls,
digging, ploughing, piling etc.
When this becomes boring you can add some water, which
radically changes the material (particularly the oats) and new
possibilities of play will emerge (do be aware of the potential
mess, so perhaps this watery variety of the game is best played
outdoors with toys that can be quickly rinsed.)
1) Toddler Indoor Activities for 2-Year-Olds and up: Twist and Shout
Using A4 paper, draw or print
five large squares, circles, rectangles and
Mix them all up and then tape them to the floor in a square.
Ask your toddler to start the game by touching a body part
on a shape of their choice.
The idea is you shout out a body
part, such as the arm, foot or nose, and then shout out a
Your toddler then has to put the correct body
part on the right shape. Your toddler will find this game
highly amusing, as they tie themselves in knots trying to get
to the right shapes.
However, as well as fun, your
toddler is becoming more familiar with different shapes and
parts of the body.
You can turn this activity into a
game for the whole family by simply drawing or
printing off more shapes.
2) Indoor Toddler Activities for 2-Year-Olds and up:
Many parents feel guilty about the
lack of time they have available to spend one-on-one with
With busy work and home lives, it is
often difficult to set aside time to play exciting
games. However, you can turn many of the boring chores you
have to do around the home, into exciting games for toddlers.
For instance, learning to throw and catch is harder than
it looks, so when teaching your child to do these tasks, it is
always a good idea to start with something soft - such as
When you are doing the laundry,
have your toddler sort the socks into piles according to
Once this is done, help your toddler ball them into pairs
and ask your youngster to throw each pair into a laundry basket
or box. Getting the socks into the basket will help improve
their hand-eye coordination, as well as help them learn to judge
You can then begin to pass the socks back to your child by
Your toddler is likely to drop many
more than he can catch at first, but if you play this toddler
game on a regular basis, you will be surprised how fast your
toddler will pick it up.
Another bonus: You will also
get to enjoy time playing with your toddler, while still
completing a chore.
Games for 2-Year-Olds and up: Follow the Tricky
This one of the fun activities for toddlers
is like a simple variety of a treasure hunt. In this way older
children are bound find this toddler game fun, too.
Find some long string or thread - the longer
the better. The more colorful, the more exciting!
Tie the thread in a loose knot to something in your
toddler's room and go for a walk around your home with the
thread thus leaving a long thread trail: go around corners,
under tables, below duvets, around the chairs, open the fridge
and close it so the string is held firmly by the closed fridge
door etc. Just use your imagination as you walk!
End the trail somewhere with a hidden treasure e.g. in the
tub, in a cupboard or a big box where your toddler will find a
bowl of delightful fruit snacks.
Done? Good, let the game begin!
Follow your child's route through the house picking up the
thread as you go. Tell your toddler that he needs to hold on to
the thread as he goes (this will make it easier for him to stay
on the right path).
Warning: Your toddler will probably love this one of
indoor toddler activities so much that he will require you do
it again :-)
4) Fun Activities for Toddlers for 2-Year-Olds and up:
Painting with Water
outdoor game is ideal for a hot day.
I actually remember having lots of fun doing this myself when
I was a child.
As this is a game that involves water,
make sure to supervise closely.
Fill up a
bucket of water and find a nice big paint brush.
Take a walk around the house and find elements that could be
fun to paint. I remember that the things that were most fun to
water paint were things that changed color and went
significantly darker when wet - like dry woodwork. If your
toddler has a wooden play house that would be ideal.
game can go in many directions all depending on your toddler's
personality. Some toddlers might be very systematic and take a
long time painting the whole thing until the project is done.
Other toddlers might paint a little bit and then start
'painting' themselves and start splashing games with the water.
Whatever the case - your toddler will do what is most
fun for him or her and that's the whole purpose of it, right!
5) Toddler Learning Games for 2-Year-Olds and
up: Chalk Challenges
This is another
playful activity for the outdoors. This one is great for
improving bodily coordination and strengthening flexibility.
The only thing you need is some pavement chalk. Although
some white chalky stones can also be used.
your chalk and go outside
Draw a few simple images on the pavement e.g. a sun, a face,
a star, a car, a flower, a tree etc. Then ask your toddler what
else you should draw. You're toddler will surely have some
favorite toys that she would like to see drawn on the pavement.
you have drawn 10 or so images, make up bodily activities that
involve the drawings. E.g. jump from one drawing to another,
throw a ball and see if you can hit a specific drawing, see if
you can touch two drawing at the same time etc.
6) Fun Toddler Learning Activities
for 2-Year-Olds and up: Cognitive Color Days
though the actions in this toddler game are
physical, the game itself is rooted in a form of cognitive
Through this extended game (yes, it will last a
whole day), you will introduce systematic thinking to your
child in terms of applying simple thought principles to
Introduce the concept of color
days, which are days when everything (or as most as possible)
circles around a specific color.
If the color is green, let your toddler start his
morning by picking out his green clothes.
Inspire your toddler to
gather together all his green(ish) toys. Doing so will
probably make some new interesting play combinations that
your toddler has not yet tried.
Serve lots of green foods.
Draw with green pencils.
Go outside and talk about all the green things you see.
There are no limits to the 'green' possibilities in this
game. So put on your green glasses to see the world in a new,
7) Lights off Game for
2-Year-Olds and up: The Cave Dweller
love playing with a flashlight in darkness where they get to
see and experience the world in an entire new, fascinating way.
Build a 'cave' with your toddler by
covering a small table with one or two big blankets.
Make it nice and comfy inside with pillows, favorite toys
and the most important thing of all, a flashlight.
When you're done playing, end the toddler games session
with a good story read out loud in the light of the flashligt.
Three-years-old marks the transition from toddler to
preschooler and the fact your baby is becoming more of an
As you have probably noticed,
children of three are able to engage in more complicated play.
For instance, you may also notice your
is developing a much more vivid imagination which
can also be used in your toddler games.
1) Hide n Seek for 3-Year-Olds and up
The saying "the old ones are the best" is
most definitely true when it comes to this exciting toddler
Not only does this game promise lots of fun, it
also helps your toddler learn to follow directions.
Hide and Seek is a game that obviously requires a least
two people and you should encourage your toddler to count as
far as they can, introducing higher numbers each time you
A twist on the game is blindfolding your toddler, obviously
ensuring they are in a contained and safe environment. Covering
the eyes will help your child learn to rely on their other
senses, something other toddler games do not always do.
Once they are blindfolded, offer them directions to find the
missing person (who could be you), such as turn right or left.
Give them a hint, like you're very hot or cold, when they
may be near the area the person is hiding.
2) Fun Toddler Learning Activities for 3-year-olds: Piece
This game, one of the
oldest activities for toddlers around, helps to develop
hand-eye coordination and encourages enhanced cognitive
development all round.
Doing the same jigsaw puzzle
over and over again can be boring for a young child, so giving
this old favorite a twist will make the fun last longer.
Take the pieces of your toddler's favorite
jigsaw and hide each individual piece in a different place all
over the house.
Each time your child finds a piece, tell him / her them to
bring it back to the table and see how it fits the other found
You could, if you wanted to, leave clues with the jigsaw
pieces, by drawing pictures on a piece of a paper. For example,
one clue may be a picture of the refrigerator, telling your
toddler that the next missing piece is either in or around it.
3) Fun Indoor
Toddler Activities for 3-year-olds: Water Instruments
This is a musical game where your toddler gets to make her
Although, it is unlikely that she will
play a 'real' tune just yet, she is sure to have a lot of fun
making all the noise :-)
Find 5-10 glasses
- it doesn't really matter if they are similar or not.
Pour water into them - but let the amount of water vary.
Thus some glasses will be almost filled to the top, some almost
Show your toddler how to gently hit the glasses with a spoon
and listen to the different sounds they make.
Show your toddler the 'magic' of adding more water or
pouring out water to change the sounds.
If you're really clever, adjust the amount of water so that
you can play your toddler a real song while you both sing.
4) Eating Games for 3-year-olds: Chinese Eating
Let you toddler have fun with the eating
experience itself while at the same time helping him develop
his fine motor skills.
Go out and buy a few
sets of Chinese chopsticks (they are very cheep).
Prepare a Chinese meal with noodles, and stir fried
chicken bits (no bones) and vegetables, e.g. mini corncobs and
sugar peas (things that are relatively easy to pick up with the
chopsticks) and fry it all in oyster sauce (most kids love
noodles and oyster sauce has a rather sweet taste). If your
child doesn't mind the taste of garlic and ginger put in a bit
of that too for flavor.
Have fun eating
This one I have used quite often with
my own son and he just loves eating with chopsticks.
Mind you, he doesn't use the chopsticks 'correctly' - has one
in each hand - but who cares, as long as he has fun eating.
5) Indoor Activities for Toddlers for 3-year-olds:
This is another one of the fun
indoor activities for toddlers, I have used quite a bit with my son.
Make some dough out of flour, water, some cooking oil and
some fruit coloring, if you have some. (You can also go to my
play doh recipe, and just follow the simple guidelines
Put the dough on a plate or a tray and introduce it to your
The possibilities of use are endless. My son has a deep
fascination with animals, so we created footprints by pressing
his toy animals down into the dough leaving some beautiful,
different prints in the dough. You can also make food for dolls
(bread and buns) or make funny animals or figures out of the
And when you're done playing you can put the dough in an
airtight plastic bag to use another day.
6) The Sensory Lab for 3-year-olds
will be very exciting for your toddler as it has the potential
of involving the forever fascinating sensory interplay of
taste and touch.
Put an oilcloth on your
table and if you're indoor cover the floor around your
toddler's seat with old newspapers as it can be quite messy
once your toddler gets going.
Put lots of
different basic food ingredients in bowls on the table: e.g.
flour, muesli, water, oats, lemon juice, yoghurt etc.
Also put a few plastic cups and spoons and empty bowls
on the table, too. Inspire your toddler to mix
different items and try how they taste and notice their new
consistency when liquid mixes with more solid
7) Tidying up Game for 3-Year-Olds
what better way to end this page with a
tidying up or cleaning up game :-)
With this type of
activities for toddlers you make cleaning up exciting with
interesting riddle-like tasks your toddler has to perform for
the pure fun of it.
This game can be used in any room
of the house. You mere need to just my example to fit your
Here we take the example of
cleaning up your toddler's room.
toddler that you are going to play a fun game that is called
the Cleaning up game.
Tell you toddler to find
toys/things that you can read in and ask her where it belongs.
When you have figured out together where it belongs, let your
toddler put the book back on the shelf (or wherever it belongs)
And go on in the same way with other toys e.g. telling
your toddler to find things that have eyes, or that can drive,
or that are pink, or that are fluffy etc.
Don't expect to be able to play the game until everything is
tidied up. Your toddler will probably be distracted along the
way and perhaps also get enough after a while.
may take you quite far ... all while having fun.
Fun Activities for
Toddlers Are a Great
games you decide to play with your child, there is no doubt
that each one will be a learning opportunity. Even the
basic of toddler activities, offer your child an educational
experience - through the senses, the mind and feelings.
And what better way to learn about the oneself, others and
the world than through joyful play.
Your Positive Parenting Ally, Birgitte
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