Games for Toddlers

As toddlers, kids are discovering the world through their five senses.  And they learn best in an environment of fun. Here are a Beddy Bye Gamefew fun and educational games for toddlers that don't involve computers or TV.

Music is a good tool for learning and toddlers love to sing and dance. The rhythm and the lyrics teach hand-to-eye coordination, tone and memorization.  Once kids are two years old they can usually walk without wobbling too much.  Their balance is even between both feet and they are learning to jump and run.

These skills are helpful in songs like “Hokey Pokey”.  They learn the right from the left foot and the right from the left arm.  Perform the song once for them and then have them try it with you.  Both kids and parents will get a laugh out of the song and the game.  Don’t worry about how well they perform the movements.  Over time, they will improve.  “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “Row, Row, Row your Boat” are also good songs for movement and rhythm.

We can still remember nursery rhymes from when we were infants.  Why?  Nursery rhymes are told over and over to kids.  Even though your child can’t read yet, use picture books to tell the story of the nursery rhymes.  When you recite them, use a sing-song rhythm.  Start off with simple ones like “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” and “Mary had a Little Lamb”.

Picture books are excellent for familiarizing toddlers with animals and their sense of touch.  The book “Pat the Bunny” has soft surfaces that imitate the furry coat of a bunny.  Children can feel the softness and associate it with a bunny rabbit.  Other picture books have foods and other items in it that kids see in their homes.  After reading the book, you could take your toddler around the house and see if he/she can find any of the book items in the house.

You can take a nature walk outdoors with your child.  This is a chance to teach your child about the world beyond their home.  You can examine trees, leaves and the grass.  Let toddlers feel each thing and see if they can repeat the words that you say.  Taking them outdoors in all types of weather introduces them to the idea of rain, snow, cold, heat and wind.  Tell them that their outerwear will change depending on the weather for the day. 

Kids like to pull things out and spread them on the floor.  Use that behavior as a chance to teach them about fruits and vegetables.  Purchase the fake fruit that usually comes with play kitchens.  As the child picks up each piece, call out the name. 

When your child learns to say the names themselves you can play a game with the food called “Fruit Basket Upset”.  Throw the fruit up in the air.  As you call out the name of the fruit the child has to pick it up and put it in his or her own basket.  The child with the most fruit in their basket gets a prize.

A board game that combines fun with exercise is The Yoga Garden Game. This is a hit with my own kids.

Learning doesn’t have to be boring.  When you start off making learning fun, toddlers will continue to enjoy the process.

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