Toddler Games = Toddler Fun!

There are so many toddler games I played as a child that I completely forgot about. Luckily, by attending toddler classes, playgroups, and reading toddler activity books, I got a refresher. And, even if the parents think these games are "old", they're brand new to their toddlers (who LOVE them!)

Toddlers and preschoolers love to play games - board games, card games, team games, and games that get them moving. Games are so much fun for toddlers (and preschoolers) that they don't even realize that you are teaching them and that they are learning!

Toddler Games with Balls

Most toddlers are intrigued by balls. Provide your child with balls of every size and color to explore and learn from.

Roll the Ball
Sit on the floor and roll the ball back and forth for an easy toddler game that he'll LOVE. Make it more fun by singing a silly song..."Jack rolls the ball to Mommy. Mommy rolls the ball right back. Now lets do it fast. And then we'll do it slow."

Exercise Ball
A great use for that birthing ball or exercise ball just sitting in your closet. Place your toddler on her belly on the ball and hold onto her legs. Roll her forward and backward on top of the ball. This toddler activity is great for developing balance, but your child will just think it is FUN!

Beach Ball
Beach balls are great for toddler games. They are light enough for your child to pick up, a perfect size, "give" a little to make them easy to catch and grab, and are easy on your breakables! Throw, kick, bounce, and roll away!

Golf Balls
Put one end of a wrapping paper tube or other long tube (I got a free empty fabric tube from my fabric store) up on a couch or coffee table and the other down on the ground. Let your toddler place golf balls (or matchbox cars) in the higher end and watch them come out the other end. Every toddler (and even preschooler) that I have seen do this at my house has been entertained for a good half an hour at a time!

This is a fabulous toddler learning game! Suggest placing the tube on surfaces of different heights and noticing if the ball takes longer or shorter to come out. Or, get two same sized tubes and have races!

Water Play


Whether your toddler loves water or you want him to get more comfortable with it, playing water games for toddlers is great for learning and fun.

This is an easy toddler game for warm weather. Give your child a small bowl or bucket of water (don't forget to watch him!) and a small sponge or rag. Let him "wash" his tricycle, wagon, or play lawn mower.

Pour and Mix
My kids all loved this game and it was great for keeping them occupied while I made dinner. Fill the sink with water (and bubbles if you want to). Provide measuring cups, spoons, and bowls to mix and pour the water. To your toddler, this game is just like the water table at your favorite children's museum!

*I have a step stool that is the perfect height for them. One Step Ahead also has a stool that is designed especially for this and will prevent your toddler from falling.

Classic Toddler Games your Toddler will LOVE!

Hide & Seek
Take turns with your toddler counting and hiding. You'll love to see how he changes and grows playing this game.

First, you may count and open your eyes and he'll still be standing there... but he'll love to find you (in an easy place.) Next, he'll learn to hide in the same places that you do... only to jump out when you say "ready or not!" And eventually, he'll get it (he may even be so quiet that you REALLY can't find him!)

He'll also learn to count graduating from "un...un...un.." to "one...two...tee" and so on.

Kids love to run... let them burn off some energy and turn it into a fun game (you will get a workout too!) Chase your toddler around the room saying, "I'm gonna get you..." She'll squeal in delight as you chase, catch her, and either tickle her belly or swing her in the air.

Most of us know this one as...

"Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker's man.
Bake me a cake as fast as you can.
Pat it and roll it and mark it with "B"
And put it in the oven for Baby and me."

Much to my husband's dismay, I have a different version (with much more motion) that my kids enjoy...

"Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker's man.
Bake me a cake as fast as you can.
Pat it down (use your baby or toddler's hands to pat his thighs)
Roll it up (help your child roll his hands around one another)
Throw it in the air (raise your child's hands over his head)
And catch it if you can" (clap your child's hands together)

Ring Around the Rosie
Form a circle with your child (or children) and move in a circle...

"Ring around the rosie,
A pocket full of posies.
Ashes, ashes.
We all fall down." (fall down with your child)

In a few toddler classes I've attended, they've added a verse that goes something like this...

"Ring around you (stay on the ground and point to your toddler)
Ring around me (point to yourself)
We all jump up on the count of three!
ONE. TWO. THREE!" (Put your fingers up to show 1, 2, and then 3. Finally take your toddler's hands and jump up together)

Depending on your toddler's abilities and personality, he might also love some preschool games.

Exit Toddler Games and Return to Toddler Activities
Preschool Learning and Crafts Home

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