Block Party (+-14 months)
To play Block Party, join your toddler on the floor with a pile of blocks. Stack the blocks on top of each other, and talk about what you’re doing as you stack them. Once you’ve built a tower, knock it over or invite your child to knock it over. Then repeat the game.
Block play is a fun activity for toddlers. It gives them the opportunity to do constructive play like building. It gives them the opportunity to use language, “give me the big one” and the child hands it to you. Learns different colors and shapes, sizes. And also it gives children a sense of accomplishment.
Under Cover (+-13 months)
Under Cover is played with children by taking an object or yourself and either partially or fully covering yourself or this object with a small blanket or towel, and letting your child find out where that person or the object is.
As you’re playing Under Cover you’re saying things like, “Where’s the turtle?” or “Where’s mommy?”
Mother: Where’s the turtle? Where is it? There it is! Good job!
At some point you might want to cover your child if it’s not too scary for them, and pull it off very quickly. “There’s Jonathan! There’s Ryan!”
Under Cover is a great game for toddlers. Under Cover is a game that allows your child to have an idea of object permanence, which means you know something exists, you hold it in your mind, and you have to look for it. And we know children have that when Mom leaves the room. A child can’t see you, but they cry for you because they remember you exist. Well that’s the same thing with objects.
Beanbag Basketball(+-18 months)
To play Beanbag Basketball, join your child on the floor and give her a beanbag. You can also use a ball, a rolled-up sock, or anything that’s not breakable.
Place a basket or container next to you. Drop the beanbag in and then take it out a few times. Suggest that your child give it a try.
After a few rounds, move the basket and show her how to throw the bag into the basket. Clap when your child throws the bag, whether she gets it in or not.
Supervise your child closely when playing with beanbags since beans can be a choking hazard.
The skills that are developed with Beanbag Basketball for toddlers include sharing, cooperation, turn taking. It’s also about eye-hand coordination. It’s also about the idea of following Mom or Dad’s model, paying attention to instructions, following directions. And really about self-esteem, doing something and having Mommy or Daddy hooray you once you did it makes a child feel really good about themselves.
We’re on a Roll(+-23 months)
To play We’re on a Roll, set up something flat and long to be your ramp, like a tray, a firm sheet of cardboard, or a large book. Prop the high end on something like a pillow or pile of books. Start trying to roll and slide things down the ramp. Then let your toddler do it.
We’re on a Roll is a game about objects that can slide or can’t slide down an incline. So, for young children, have various objects on the top of the incline. It can be everything from balls that will obviously go down easily and quickly to things that maybe have a rubber base or are flat like a squeeze-y toy that might stick and not go down quite as easily.
Talk about the colors, talk about the textures, talk about the shapes, give a lot of hoorays when they make things go down, and give a lot of feeling of self-esteem for your child that they’re able to release it, go down and find it and bring it back to you. So those – again: rules, sharing, cooperation, language and motor skill development, all in one game.
Ring-Around-the-Rosy (+- 19 months)
A quick refresher on how to play: Clear a space so that everyone has enough room to hold hands, walk in a circle, and sit down without hitting anything. As you’re walking – or galloping – in a circle, sing:
A pocket full of posies
We all fall down!
On “fall down,” sit quickly on the floor – and expect big laughs.
Ring-Around-the-Rosy is such a hit with toddlers and has been for generations and generations and generations. And there’s a reason for that. Children love being with other children – or Mom or Dad or teacher. Doing something where you know something fun is going to happen. We see children holding hands and as soon as the song starts they start giggling in anticipation. So they’re listening, they’re anticipating, they’re cooperating, they’re doing all the things we want young toddlers to do. And having fun on top of it. So Ring-Around-the-Rosy, I think every child in the world has played. Whatever the language or culture you’re in, it’s a hit.