Toddler Games to increase skills
Toddlers love to play games and at this age they are like sponges who absorb knowledge. They will remember for a long time whatever you allow them to play. Allowing them to play toddler games that boost cognitive, physical and emotional skills will help them immensely during the growing years.
Toddler games to play in the house
Letting toddlers find objects that you have hidden is a great pastime for toddlers. They go around the house trying to figure out where you could have hidden the objects. You could also help them by describing or giving them a clue about the object and the place where it is hidden. For example “Find me something round and blue”. Regarding the place where it is hidden, the clue could be “Where do we keep our toys?” and “It has XYZ written on it.” You can also help them by calling out “HOT” and “COLD” depending on how far and near they are to the hidden object.
Puzzles are great to enhance physical, cognitive and emotional skills. There are many levels to puzzles and you can choose from a simple puzzle to a complicated one. Get puzzles according to your child’s age and then increase the complexity as she becomes better and older. Children start understanding the pieces of the puzzles and where they fit. Puzzle solving makes them patient also since they may not solve it at the first go.
Take a sheet of cloth, the size will depend on the number of people playing. Players hold the edges and a caller will call out prepositions as commands. ‘UP’, ‘DOWN’ ‘SIDE’ ‘ABOVE’ and ‘BELOW’. Players will hold the sheet according to the command. ‘UP’ will mean the sheet should be held up and ‘ABOVE’ will mean they should be under the sheet. Similarly, ‘DOWN’ means the sheet should be held down and ‘UNDER’ means players should be standing on the sheet. If there are more players it is fun to see the children misunderstanding the commands and struggling to get under or above the sheet.
Toddler games that can be played in and out of the house
One of the very popular toddler games, Simon Says, helps children learn the names of body parts. You can play this game with a group of children or just one child. The rules of the game are simple. Commands have to be called out after saying “Simon Says” and children have to follow the commands you call out. To increase attention you can call out commands without saying “Simon Says” and those who still follow it are eliminated. So children have to pay attention to the “Simon Says” before any command. Commands can include ‘touch your toes’ or ‘turn around’. And they could be fun too like ‘jump like a frog’ and ‘do the macarena’.
The Boogie Woogie is similar to ‘Simon says’ except it’s a song and goes in a sequence. We all have played this song in school. Start with: Put your right hand in. Put your right hand out. Put your right hand in. And shake it all about. Do the Boogie Woogie (Do the wriggling dance here). Do the Boogie Woogie. Let’s all turn around.
Hide and Seek
An all time favourite with toddlers this game can be played anywhere as long as there are places to hide. Toddlers love to hide and they can do so in the smallest of the places so make sure you have them supervised when they look for hiding places. They should not choose such a place that you will not be able to find or they may not be able to come out of. The person who will be doing the ‘seeking’ will close her eyes and count to 10 while the person ‘hiding’ will find a suitable place to hide.
This old and popular toddler game is an all time favourite among little ones. Most of us know how to play the game and it can be played both indoors and outdoors. Draw 8 boxes on the floor and number them. The most popular arrangement is 1, 2, and 3 one after the other in sequence. Then 4 and 5 next to each other. After that one single box numbered 6 and to complete the diagram 7 and 8 together at the end. Take a flat stone or any other object that doesn’t roll off, as a marker. Throw the marker in the first box and hop over it to the next box. Hop on one leg in the single boxes and use both legs in boxes 4 & 5 and 7 & 8 - one in each box. Come back and pick up the marker on the return journey. Continue by throwing the marker in sequence. The marker should not fall out of the box or even touch the lines or you lose your turn. You also lose a turn when you miss a box while hopping, fall down or miss picking up the marker.
ConclusionToddler games are a great way to keep your toddler busy and at the same time to teach her some cognitive skills and increase her motor sensory skills.