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Fun Games for Toddlers: Creating Educational Play

Updated on April 23, 2012

Planning Fun Games for Toddlers

A toddler is a bundle of energy, constantly in motion. Whether you are babysitting or taking care of your own two or three-year old, it is important to keep them occupied and help them use up some of that energy. You can do this by planning fun games for toddlers.

The toddler games do not have to be complicated or require money to be spent. With a little creativity and a few items from around the house, you can have a lot of fun. The best part is that it can be a learning opportunity for them. Educational and fun? That's a win-win situation!

Learn Colors with Twister

Use the idea behind the old Twister game to teach your toddler about colors. You don't have to buy the game though. Here is a way to make your own:

Use pieces of colored construction paper or get paper plates and color them.

Lay them out on the ground close to each other.

Call out a color and have your toddler step on it.

Pick another color and have them move to that color.

Let them take a turn calling out a color and having you step on it. They will enjoy being the caller.

This is a game for older two year olds or three year olds.

Using Music in Toddler Games

Toddlers love music and they can do a lot of activities with it. One simple activity for toddlers is to have them do actions to the music. Select one action such as "hopping" or "jumping" and tell them to continue doing it until the music stops. Stop the song at different intervals and call out another action. This is a simple game that teaches them to listen to commands and expends a lot of energy in a short time.

Another fun game is "The Hokey Pokey". This game can teach them different body parts and how to follow commands. Here is a video of the song if you are not familiar with it:

More Outdoor Games for Toddlers

Create an obstacle course for your toddler. Keep it simple for the younger ones with things like jumping over a stick or crawling under a table. Older ones can get more complex obstacles. You could have them jump over a small plastic container of water or carry something along the course that they can't drop.

Go bowling in the back yard. Save your soda bottles or other large containers and place them close together. Give your toddler a ball and let them roll or throw it to the bottles.

Have a themed nature walk. Take your toddler to a park or on a trail and ask them to find items that are round, green, or begin with the letter B. What you choose will depend on their age, but it will be fun for them to hunt for specific items. You can even tell them some ideas of what to look for. When you get home, help them glue the items into a scrapbook to show others.

Indoor Games for Toddlers

What about rainy or hot days? They still have an abundance of energy to get rid of. Here are some fun ideas that won't damage your house.

Play follow the leader. This can be a fun game for toddlers since they love to mimic others at this age. Keep the movements simple, but have them do different things like hopping on one foot or touching their knees. This is great to help them learn to follow visual cues.

Have a puppet show. Get out an old pair of socks and let your toddler help decorate them. Use markers to draw faces. You can go more elaborate by gluing fabric on for clothing if you want. Then act out a story or have them talk with your toddler. This is a great activity to get them to quiet down for a nap.

Enjoy Special Time Together

You can create your own fun games for toddlers with items you have on hand. Kids this age aren't concerned with having expensive toys; they would rather have your time. You can play simple games and help them learn at the same time.

What activities do you do with your toddler?

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    • Pinkchic18 profile image

      Sarah Carlsley 5 years ago from Minnesota

      Fun ideas here!

    • Media Magnate Mom profile image

      Media Magnate Mom 6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Great ideas. Thanks for the inspiration! Useful and voted up!

    • Esmeowl12 profile image

      Cindy A. Johnson 6 years ago from Sevierville, TN

      These are great ideas. Thanks for sharing them.