Swappin it Up – Easy Toddler Games

Today I’m guest posting at Or So She Says.  A great blog dedicated to offering easy solutions to women.  You can find everything from parenting tips to makeover ideas, it’s a great resource.  If you haven’t seen it yet, hop on over and check it out.

Luckily, today I’ve got a guest poster for you to fill in in my absence – and she’s a doll.  Her name is Meagan and she contacted me last week asking to do a guest post on easy baby entertainment.  Since I spend the vast majority of the daylight hours entertaining a couple of little guys myself, I was all for it!  Here goes…I hope you enjoy it.

7 Games You Can Play with Your Toddler to Help Him Learn

I am a SAHM of two little boys ages 1 and 3, and I’m trying to grow a small business. Sometimes it can be
difficult trying to balance the two…work and family. They are both important to me, but at the heart of
everything I know that my family comes first.
Image: Little Alouette on Etsy
My infant is just starting to be more interactive although he does well entertaining himself. My 3 year
old on the other hand is becoming more and more energetic, and he wants me to entertain him all the
time. Sad to say his ideal form of entertainment is to sit in front of the television and watch Blue’s Clues
all day. Some days when I’m really busy trying to work on my business I’m tempted to allow that, but
then I remember that my first priority is the wellbeing of my kids. So for me, that doesn’t mean letting
them watch cartoons all day or for them to play by themselves for long periods of time. Yes, they need
to learn to entertain themselves, but they need to spend quality time with me too. In our house there’s
a time for work and a time for play. Work for me usually happens when the boys are napping or when
they’re playing with Daddy, but when they’re both awake and Daddy’s at work I don’t want them to sit
around with nothing to do, being board, and getting into mischief. So I play games with them.
Now how do I go about spending time with my toddler and keeping him entertained? First I want him
to spend some quality time with me, second I want him to be active, and third I’d like for him to learn
something as we play. Sometimes we play with his toys, go visit Daddy at work, play outside, go on play-
dates, or play learning games. So today I want to share some fun games with you that will help your
toddler develop some skills they need to learn, and will allow you to spend some quality time with your
little one.
1. Play Catch – {hand-eye coordination, gross motor skills}
Since most toddlers can throw a ball before they can catch one, this is a great game to
play to help them learn to catch! Use a big ball, like a beach ball, and start by sitting 3-4
feet apart. Roll the ball back and forth until he has the hang of it. Next deflate the ball a bit
so that it’s easier to catch. Start by asking him to throw the ball to you showing him how
to catch then let him have a try. Once he has the hang of it you can increase the distance
between you and he little by little.
2. Balancing Act – {balance, eye-foot coordination, spatial awareness}
Trying to balance on narrow walkways is a natural activity for little ones so you probably
won’t have to work too hard to play this game. Find something for your toddler to walk
on that’s low to the ground, straight and narrow. Railroad ties and balance beams at the
local park work great. Hold his hand and walk him across. Make sure to praise him once he
reaches the other side, and if he falls off encourage him to try again. Eventually you won’t
need to hold his hand any longer!
3. Playtime with Puppets – {imagination, language development}
If you’re really in a creative mood you can start with an art project and make your own sock
puppets, but if not than using stuffed animals works great. Rig up some sort of stage where
you aren’t seen but the puppets are. Behind the sofa works well. Ask your kiddo questions
with the puppets, and encourage him to talk back. Sing songs that he knows. Use different
voices for each puppet.
4. Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes – {body awareness, listening skills, visual memory}
You know the fun children’s song, “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”. Sing that song while
you demonstrate where your hands go each time. If your toddler is having trouble getting
the hang of it, use his hands and put them where they go as you sing. After your little guy
has got the hang of it, have a bit of fun and speed up the song each time you sing it. By the
end you’ll both be jumbled up and laughing together.
5. Fluttering Scarves – {eye-foot & eye-hand coordination, gross motor skills}
In this game you’ll need to find some brightly colored, lightweight or sheer scarves. You can
also use tissues if you can’t find any scarves. Scrunch up a few and toss them high in the air.
Have your toddler try to catch them as they float down. Next ask her to throw them up for
you to catch. After a while increase the difficulty level by having her spin around once or
clap her hands before trying to catch them.
6. Phone Calls – {creative expression, language development, social skills}
Toddlers are drawn to telephones like bees to flowers! Find an old phone or use a play
phone if you have one. You can even use your own phone if you don’t mind. Have your
toddler hold the phone up to her ear, and ask questions to the imaginary person on the
other end. You can even slip around the corner and pretend she’s talking to you!
7. Bottle Bowling – {balance, cause & effect, hand-eye coordination}
Little ones LOVE to throw things so this game will be perfect for them. Start by gathering up
plastic cups, bottles, or empty cans and placing them together on the floor. Find a soft ball
or plush animal, have a seat about 4 feet away, and demonstrate how throwing the item at
the bottles knocks them down. Take turns setting the bottles up and knocking them down.
Make sure to let your little one help set the bottles back up! You can move your toddler
closer or further from the bottles to change the game a bit, and when he has that down
have him stand up and play the game.
So what are you waiting for? Go grab your little guy or gal and spend 30 minutes here and there playing
some of these quick and easy games!
Meagan Visser is the owner of Baby Swank, an online shop for trendy and eco-friendly
items for babies and toddlers. She is a SAHM to two perfect little boys, and a wife to
the love of her life. She lives in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains of East Tennessee,
and is working toward growing her business and helping other moms pursue their
dreams of running a business while having a family.

2 Comments

  1. this is awesome! I will share it now! xo

  2. Lynn Dallas

    As the MeMo of 6 active grands I am always looking for ways to keep them entertained. Just this week I have spent time taking care of my daughter’s 4 young ones while she was giving birth to their fifth! It is a blessing to find your website and blog.
    Keep the faith!

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