7 games your toddler will love
Try these activities that are fun for parents, too
Toddlers are full of energy and love to explore. Playing games with your toddler is a wonderful way to interact with her, and helps satisfy her curiosity about the world. “I am a huge advocate for play, especially nature play,” says parenting expert Maggie Dent. “Children learn almost everything they need to know about life through play, from physical coordination, decision making and problem solving to empathy, and social and emotional skills.”
You may have heard the phrase ‘Play is children’s work’ – it is essential for their development and wellbeing. “Children are biologically wired to play,” Maggie says. “[They] really need opportunities for creative, exploratory play in stress-free environments, especially in nature, without restrictions on time or freedom.”
Here are seven simple games you can play with your toddler.
Make a water tray
All young children love water play, and you can easily set up a play station in your backyard or on the balcony. Half-fill a large tub of water and add some plastic cups (measuring cups are great), a sieve, small plastic jug or bottle. They will love splashing around and tipping liquid from one container into another. Just ensure you supervise them at all times when they are playing in or around water.
Have a tea party
Grab a blanket, plastic cups and plates, and snacks and set up a tea party in your backyard or living room. Fill a teapot with water and let your toddler lead the game by pouring tea and distributing snacks such as fruit, sandwiches and crackers. It’s a lovely way to bond with your child and they will enjoy being in charge.
BONUS LEARNING: Playing tea parties is a great way to practise social skills and demonstrate good table manners, so be sure to mind your Ps and Qs when your toddler offers you food and drinks!
BONUS LEARNING: As well as being fun, water play helps children understand basic maths and science concepts, as well as precision in pouring, eye-hand coordination and other skills.