Creative games and activities are really good for helping your toddler with their development, as well as being fun and helping to amuse them. Here are 20 educational and fun toddler activities to get you started.
#1. Cushion Path
To help teach your toddler about balance, make a path from cushions or pillows and show them how to walk along it. Do this activity on a carpet or rug if possible to avoid the cushions slipping everywhere!
The soft, squishy path makes it difficult for little ones to balance but once they have mastered it you can leave a small gap between each one and encourage them to jump.
#2. I Spy
Playing I Spy with your toddler will help them to learn about their environment. For younger children, colour I Spy is best e.g. “I Spy with my little eye something coloured red”. Encourage your toddler to find all the things around them that are the colour picked.
#3. Nature Walk
You might also enjoy 15 fun nature activities for kids
#4. Pasta Shape Sorting
Buy some different dried pasta shapes and add some from each packet to a large bowl. Ask your toddler to sort them into bags or containers according the their shape. So grouping all the same shaped pieces together. As a twist you could buy coloured pasta shapes and get them to sort according to the colours.
Keep old magazines, wrapping paper and foil sweet wrappers. Get your toddler to help rip the pages into small pieces. Draw a shape or picture onto a sheet of paper and add craft glue. Get your toddler to stick the small pieces of paper onto the image to create a colourful collage.
You might also enjoy Making a Collage
#6. Water Fun
Any game involving water is fun for your toddler. Create a simple pouring game using old plastic drinking bottles, a funnel and a soup ladle. Mark a different level on each bottle using tape or a permanent maker. See if your toddler can fill the bottle to each mark and no further using ladles of water and and the funnel to help it get to the right place!
This activity is perfect outdoors on a sunny day. If you want to avoid too much mess, replace the water with rice or dried peas.
#7. Set up Shop
Create a simple shop for your toddler to buy goods in. Use old cereal packets, margarine tubs, plastic bottles or buy some toy fruit and vegetables. Pick up some play notes and coins from a discount store and give your toddler a shopping bag. You could draw a picture of what you need and ask them to go shopping for it. They will have hours of fun choosing and paying for their items.
You might also enjoy Why I Love Toddlers
#8. Colour Book
Using a spiral note book with heavier paper get your child to help you colour each page. Use red, green, blue and yellow paint first, on single pages and then have fun mixing 2 colours to create new ones. On these pages put a small block of the single colours used to create the new colour so that your child will be able to refer to it afterwards.
For example yellow and red make orange. Orange should be the main colour on the page but include a small block of yellow and red too. Write the name of each colour below it on the page and you can use the book over many times to teach them about colours and reading.
You might also enjoy Best Sites for Free Colouring pages for Preschoolers
#9. Make a Fort
Create a fort from cushions, blankets, chairs or a sofa. Snuggle in and read their favourite book or play make believe.
#10. Have a Teddy Bears Picnic
Help your toddler to create invitations and get them to invite their teddies to a fun picnic. Get them to help pick the food and lay it out with you. Leave out different fruits and see if they can pick the right ones out.
You may also like 10 of the Best Learning Games for Toddlers and Preschoolers.
Get some matching cards and play simple pairing games with your child. If you don’t have cards create some using card and stickers. Make them all the same size and turn them face down. Get your toddler to turn over 2 cards at a time and remove the pairs as they find them.
#12. Orchard Games
As my girls grew up I always found Orchard Games to have a great range of fun games that they enjoyed playing over and over again. Amongst our favourites were Slug in a Jug and Shopping Cart.
You may also like 21 Fun Toddler Games Every Preschooler Parent Should Know
Use old drinks bottles filled with some sand or water or for indoor bowls use cardboard inner tubes. See if your child can know down the bowls using a soft ball or a tennis ball. This game will improve their hand eye co-ordination and help them learn simple counting skills.
#14. Have a Disco
#15. Simple Sun Catcher
To create a simple sun catcher use clear, sticky backed book wrapping. Shred old wrapping paper, magazines, foil and plastic sweet wrappers and get your toddler to stick them to the sticky side of the book wrapping. When they have created their masterpiece, add another layer of book wrapping to the top and cut into a fun shape. Punch a small hole in the top and add string so it can hang from the window.
You may also like 16 Super Easy Craft Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Bake some cupcakes and get your toddler to help decorate them. Older children can help with the weighing and measuring needed to bake. Or keep it simple and create cold treats like rice krispie buns.
#17. Does it Float?
Fill a basin with water and collect different objects to see if they float. Or add ice to the water and see if your toddler can scoop it out. Where does it disappear to if you leave it in the water? Place heavy objects into the basin and see the water rise. This teaches your child simple science.
You may also like 20 of the Best Outdoor Activities for Toddlers.
#18. Number Steps
Use pavement chalk to draw numbered squares on the ground or for an indoor game use sheets of paper with the numbers 1 to 10 on them. Lay them out in such a way that your toddler can easily move from one to the other. Help them to count out the numbers and move from square to square in the correct order.
#19. Create a Teddy Bear Hospital
My daughters still love to play this make believe game and they are 8 and 11 now. Create beds for their dolls and teddies and use toilet roll to bandage any broken bones. You can use an old box as an x-ray machine and draw a broken bone on black paper with white chalk to show the results.
Buy a medical set and doctors outfit to complete the look. They can take listen to heartbeats, take their teddies temperature, give them medicine and nurse them back to health.
#20. Search and Rescue
Cook some spaghetti or pasta and let it go cold. Hide objects in the pasta and let your child search and rescue each object. They will enjoy the sensation of the cold pasta and the mess too! This is a great activity to play at Halloween,with older children add red food colouring to the cooking liquid and the pasta will become guts!
Over to you now! Do you and your toddler have a favourite educational activity? Let us know in the comments box below.