Toddlers love to play, and with each game, however silly, they are learning. As they play, they make connections about the world around them and gain valuable skills that will help them when they make the move into more formal education. Games that you can enjoy with your child and that can help them learn benefit the whole family ? so here are some ideas for your enjoy learning games.
Some simple cards that you make yourself can be just as good as all the bought versions that can cost a lot. All you need are a few cards, cut into different shapes and colours. Show your child how to match the cards together ? pile all the triangle shapes together, stack the squares etc. You can also let your child make pictures using the shapes. While this might seem very simple, it is helping your child form early maths skills. Matching the shapes and learning about how they fit together is very basic geometry, as well as lots of fun.
Children love to sort, and you might find your toddler goes through a phase of gathering similar things together Encourage this instinct by asking your child to sort their toys (this can also be a great way of getting to help tidy up). So for example, give your child a box and ask them to fill it with all the toys that have wheels. Another box for animal toys etc. You don?t have to get to sort by type ? it can be just as fun to sort by colour, or even by texture. Asking your child to bring you all the ‘soft?, ?bouncy? or ‘strong? toys can challenge them even further and make the activity all the more fun.
A treasure hunt can be a great indoor activity on a rainy day or an epic adventure when done out of doors. The hunt can be as simple or as complicated as you choose to make it ? for a very simple yet enjoyable game, hide stars around the room and give your child verbal clues as to where they might be, make the clues challenging but not so much so that your child loses interest, so for example, ?The star is very low down?, or ?the star is in a very warm place?. For a more complicated adventure, hide clues that lead to a prize hidden in the garden. Use your imagination, and you can be sure that your toddler will be using theirs.
Dress up or use those craft skills to make accessories such as hats, swords, binoculars? just get creative and start a make-believe adventure You will be surprised how easily your child accepts that the floor is an ocean and that the scatter cushions are sharks, or that the garden is actually a jungle and the tabby cat is a tiger. Let them come up with their own variations of the game, and above all, get involved. Exercising the imagination is one of the best things your child can do for their learning, and you could well have the adventure of your lifetime too!