Educational Games for Infants and Toddlers
Teaching your child through play is one of the most effective ways to develop their little minds. Games help children to learn and you don't need fancy toys to play them.
Infants and toddler are just beginning to learn about the world. At this age, keep things simple. Here are a few ideas for games for toddlers:
#1 Where am I?
Hide-and-seek is a fun game for children. When you are playing with your toddler, particularly if they are young, the hiding places are not going to be difficult. Play at hiding under the bedsheets first thing in the morning or behind a bath towel during splash time. Your toddler will learn that just because they can't see you it doesn't mean you're not there. When your toddler discovers you in your 'hiding' place it will be a real thrill for them.
#2 Push and Pull
A game of push and pull is great to play as your toddler learns to walk. All you need is a moveable object, such as a box. Your little one should take one side and you take the other. Then slowly pull the object towards you, encouraging junior to take some steps towards you. Your child pushes and you pull. It's a simple game, but it will help your toddler gain confidence as they become steady on their feet.
We've all played chase. Children love it. The game is simple and it's a great way to build your child's stamina. As chaser, you can take on the roles of different animals. When you catch your toddler, give them a big hug and tickle.
#4 Clap Your Hands
Teaching your child to clap is a fun game. When you toddler is young, he or she won't be clap on their own. You will have to help by holding your little one's hands and clapping them for him or her. Sit facing your toddler and sing clapping songs together. Playing clapping games will help your child with hand-eye coordination.
Choose a colour, then run around the house trying to find things which are that colour. Say the name of the colour every time. Then you can let your child do the same. Make sure they say the name of the colour out load as they find each thing. Pick another colour and do the whole thing again.
#6 Where Does it Go?
Cut out pictures of different objects and different rooms from some magazines. Help your child match up the objects with the rooms. ('Kettle goes in the kitchen, sofa goes in the living room') This helps your toddler become familiar with the things in the world around them.
#7 Building Blocks
Building things is fun. Toddlers develop dexterity and strength in their fingers. They discover how different objects feel in their hands. They can also learn to describe different shapes, sizes and colours. You can build stacks of anything: wooden blocks, pieces of foam, plastic cups, tupperware.
#8 Simon Says
An action game which will help your toddler develop their movement skills, as well as their ability to follow directions. You give directions which your little on has to follow.
'Simon says...clap your hands'
#9 I Spy
A great guessing game for practising vocabulary.
'I spy something beginning with T'
I Spy is a game which you can play anywhere: in the car, in line at a shop, while you are out for a walk in the countryside. It's a game which can be played at different ages, using more difficult words as your child's vocabulary increases.
#10 I'm Thinking of an Animal
A guessing game to develop thinking, memory and language skills. One player thinks of an animal and gives a clue.
'I'm thinking of an animal. It has four legs and goes woof'
The clues should be simple things like colour, size, number of legs, where the animal lives or what it eats.