7 games your tod­dler will love

Try these ac­tiv­i­ties that are fun for par­ents, too

Mother & Baby (Australia) - - Contents -

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.

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