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Babysitting Games, Toys and Activities for Toddlers (1-2-3 year olds)

Updated on January 17, 2018

My youngest daughter is a toddler. So, far, she has made a lot of developments and growing up. It is in this stage (1-3 years old) when she learned to walk, talk, sing, dance and do a lot of other things. She's even toilet trained already at an early age of 2 years old (most get toilet trained at 2-1/2 - 3 years).

Babysitting a toddler can be a challenge. Toddlers are not called "the terrible twos" for nothing. So, it would really be helpful if you can get some hints on what to do with them while you are responsible for watching over them. This hub shares about some babysitting games, toys and activities for toddlers. I hope it will make your babysitting toddlers a joyous victory and not a losing battle.


Developing Hand-eye Movements

Stacking toys and Simple puzzles

Interlocking toys like building blocks develop the hand-eye coordination of toddlers as they grasp, press and fit the pieces together. Simple puzzles like bright shapes cut out of wood with 2-3 pieces also helps develop elementary logic. These skills that develop the grasp of the child will help later in holding the pencil. Sometimes, just a simple box or container can be used by the child to put things in and then dump them out. They love that. My daughter likes to use all sorts of little girl's bags.

Cutting and tearing

I don't know why but these toddlers just love to use scissors (be sure that it's safe to use) and cut papers as well as using their hands to tear pieces of tissue paper. For me it's a mess but to them, it's a way of further developing small movements of their hand. To make it more productive, after they cut or tear pieces of old wrapping paper, why not help them to glue it onto another paper to make a collage.

First ball games

Use big soft balls at first. Sit him down with legs apart and roll the ball to him and ask him to roll it back to you. Later at about 2 years old, you can play catch the ball with the child. Stand about 2 feet away, position the child's hands closer together, then throw the ball gently onto the child's hands. Be sure to encourage her with every attempt to catch the ball.


Developing Locomotion

Toddlers are very acitve on their feet as they are perfecting their walking and balancing skills. These toys and activities can help them develop their locomotion.

Toys on wheels

They love to walk, right? Let them enjoy and push these toys on wheels. Or why not ride them such as mini-bikes.

Jumping mat

Provide a soft mattress where they can jump and jump or maybe roll over.

Swing and slide

Be sure to supervise the little ones as they start to use the swing and slide. As they grow older, they can be given more independence in playing.

Kids develop their creativity when playing with clay or playdough
Kids develop their creativity when playing with clay or playdough

Developing the Creative Mind

Drawing materials i.e. crayons, paints

Toddlers can now scribble and can enjoy drawing at this stage. Let them scribble using fat crayons on drawing paper. They would also love to do finger painting. You can even use shaving cream with food coloring or to be much safer, use yogurt.

Identifying colors activity

It is best to let her know about one color at a time. You can do this by finding objects of one color and say, for example, "This is a red ball and this is a red apple. Both are red."

Imitation Toys

I don't mean toys that are fake or copycat of branded toys. By this, I mean toys which encourage kids to play pretend and imitate the adult world. These include dolls, play houses, telephones, cars. It doesn't have to be store bought. It can be big boxes i.e. refrigerator or washing machine boxes and used by the kids to imagine that it is their house, boat, bus, whatever. You can help them make it into a playhouse by cutting doors and windows and the child can help paint it.

Play dough

You can make your own play dough or buy some. Let the toddlers play with them cutting and shaping them.

Bath time play time

While taking a bath, give the toddler something to play with in the tub or in a bucket like measuring cups and spoons, plastic bottles, etc. Be sure to supervise and keep the bathroom safe for the child. It can get slippery.

Curious Nature walk

Give the child some time to explore things outdoors like in the park. Let her look at, smell and feel the flowers, leaves and whatever she sees around.

Developing Music, Listening Skills and Speech

Action songs

By 2 years old, they can memorize short rhymes and join in simple songs. Choose any of the popular actions songs and sing it with the actions a few times. Exaggerating your actions is encouraged. Then, let her sing along. Action songs develop a child's sense of rhythm, listening skills and vocabulary. Some of the good actions songs are Row your boat, Pat a cake, Humpty Dumpty, If You're Happy and You Know It and The Wheels on the Bus.

The If You're Happy and You Know It Action Song

© 2011 Chin chin


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    • Chin chin profile imageAUTHOR

      Chin chin 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      Well, as per my experience, some days there will be quarrels. Maybe because I have 2 boys. But it is indeed good that their age gap is closer.

    • StephanieBCrosby profile image

      Stephanie Bradberry 

      8 years ago from New Jersey

      The good thing about the age gap is my son and daughter are really close and nice to each other. I hope it stays that way. They will enjoy these activities.

    • Chin chin profile imageAUTHOR

      Chin chin 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      StephanieBCrosby, I'm so glad that you read this hub. My 2 sons also have the same age gap as your children. So, I understand what you mean. Hope your 2 children will enjoy playing and learning.

    • StephanieBCrosby profile image

      Stephanie Bradberry 

      8 years ago from New Jersey

      One can never find enough activities to keep a toddler active. My children are only 15 months apart (son, just turned 3, and daughter, will be 2 in a week). So this hub is very useful. Thanks.

    • Chin chin profile imageAUTHOR

      Chin chin 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      @homesteadbound, thanks. Some of the ideas are fresh to me because my youngest daughter is in this stage. I indeed hope it would be helpful to others as well.

    • Chin chin profile imageAUTHOR

      Chin chin 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks jerrysaliu.

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 

      8 years ago from Texas

      You have provided lots of great ideas in this hub. It is obvious that you put a lot of effort into this hub. It should be helpful for lots of people who have to work with children in this age group.

    • jerrysaliu profile image


      8 years ago from Warri, Nigeria

      Great hub, i'll have to share this with my aunt.


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