While there are plenty of computer games and board games for toddlers, often there is nothing better for your child than spending time interacting with mom or dad. One of the easiest ways to do this is to just play with your child!
There are some classic games that are low cost (or free!) that require nothing more than your time and attention. Laughter should come naturally.
Here are a few of our favorites:
Ring Around the Rosy
Take your child’s hand and walk around together in a circle. (This game is even better if you have more than one child to play.) Recite the poem, “Ring around the rosie/pocket full of posies/ashes, ashes/we all fall down!” and then drop to the ground with your child. Chances are, your child will ask to play this game over, and over, and over again. After all, watching mom or dad fall to the ground and doing it yourself is fun!
Take a wide-mouth quart canning jar or other such container and give your child 5 clothes pins. Have him hold the clothespin at chin level and try to drop it into the container. For a young toddler, you may have him do this just standing next to the jar. For an older toddler or preschooler, you can have him stand on a chair to make it more challenging.
This game is inspired by the old television show, Bozo the Clown. Take 3 to 6 containers or buckets with wide openings, and line them up in a row. Have your child stand back and try to toss a bean bag or a ball into one of the buckets. The buckets that are further back earn more points than the ones that are closer. Again, adjust the distance your child is standing from the buckets based on age and skill level.
This is a great way to get little ones to listen carefully.
Give your children commands such as, “Touch your knee” or “Rub your belly.” Before some commands, say, “Simon says.” The only commands your children should do are the ones where you say “Simon says.” They should ignore the other commands.
If you say, “Simon says sit down” they should do it. If you say, “Sit down,” they shouldn’t do it because you didn’t say Simon says. For more fun, switch with your toddler and let him give the commands if he is verbal enough.
Red Light/Green Light
Have your back facing your toddler. Stand about 15 feet away from her. Then, say “green light.” She may walk toward you, but when you say “red light,” she has to stop. Spin around when you say “red light.” If she’s still moving after that, she is out (or she has to go back to the beginning where she started). She wins if she’s able to touch your back without getting out.
You can alternate and let your toddler be the stop light if she’s verbal enough.
For more fun games to play with toddlers, follow our Pinterest page.
What other classic games do you like playing with your children?