Playing toddler games can be fun and a valuable learning experience for both you and your child. If you're tired of the same old toddler games, however, or aren't sure what types of games are appropriate for toddlers, then you may need some help. Here are some tips on how to find and play toddler games.
- Where to find toddler games. Most toy stores carry all of the traditional toddler games--games that require no reading and are easy to understand. One of the best toddler games is Milton Bradley's Memory Game. The memory game is a simple matching game that most toddlers love to play. The concept is easy--find two matching picture cards--and the game comes in all types of versions such as Blue's Clues and Disney Princesses.
There are also many online websites that carry unique or hard-to-find toddler games. The children's toy website Toys to Grow On, for instance, carries an "Around The House Treasure Hunt Game," which is a ready made treasure hunt--complete with a treasure chest and coins. Specialty sites like Discovery Toys carry their own line of unique toddler games. The retail chain Learning Express carries a large selection of educational toddler games as well. If you are looking to save a little money, check yard sales or eBay.com for gently used toddler games.
Wherever you decide to look for toddler games, make sure that you get games that suit your child's personality and don't get games that are too difficult for the child's age--games that are too hard will just cause the child to become frustrated.
- Outdoor game suggestions. Toddlers love to play outside, so look for games that can be played outdoors. A kids-style croquet set is a fun, easy-to-learn game that you can play with your child. You can teach your toddler how to play hopscotch with a hopscotch play mat (you can find either foam or vinyl hopscotch mats at most toy stores or online). Teach your child the basics of baseball or soccer with a plastic bat and ball or an inflatable soccer net.
- Indoor game suggestions. There are many indoor games available for toddlers. Besides popular board games like the Memory Game, there are flash card games and other types of games that are great for toddlers.
Baby Einstein's Discovery Language Flash Cards are a great way to develop your toddler's speech and they double as a game. Have your toddler identify the picture on the card and then go on to quiz the child about other aspects of the picture (the cards include questions you can use). "Ready, Aim, Bowl" is a bowling game made out of barnyard animals and it come with a soft bowling ball. Kaplan's Early Learning Company has several unique offerings, including "The Picnic Game" (a cute toddler game involving food for a picnic) and "Ducklings Game," a game that will help you toddler learn about colors and shapes.
There are even video games made just for toddlers--Vtech's V-Smile TV Learning System plugs right into your television set and your toddler learns to work the joystick to play such toddler-friendly games as "Elmo's World: Elmo's Big Discoveries" and "The Wiggles: It's Wiggle Time".
- Free games. Toddlers are easily entertained, so it is easy to make a game out of practically anything. In fact, sometimes the best games that you can play with your child require no equipment at all. Simple songs and finger plays like "Where is Thumbkin" will delight most toddlers. And don't forget the classic game Hide and Seek, which will have your child hiding, seeking and counting--all over the house!
Play a "color game" by asking your child to find something in the room that is a certain color. You can also play make believe games, using items that you already have around the house. Toddlers love to play dress up and "restaurant." You can even make a game out of going to the grocery store, by letting your toddler "shop" for certain items.
No matter what types of games you play with your toddler, make sure that they are games that you both love to play--and then play them over and over again.