We completely understand that as a parent, sometimes when your little one asks you to play it might not be exactly what you want to do right at that very moment. But nevertheless, engaging in fun activities and knowing how to play with a toddler is an important part of their development.
But when you’re at a loss and you’re struggling to think of fun – and constructive – things to do, what are some good games to play with toddlers? Especially if you want to fire their imaginations and encourage a toddler who is not playing with toys to get involved?
At Little Angels, we love nothing more than seeing your kiddies thrive and create friendships through play. Which is why we’re going to explore some engaging ways to play with toddlers at home if you’re not entirely sure where to start.
How To Play With A Toddler
The wonderful thing about playing with babies and toddlers is that it doesn’t have to cost you a penny. At this age imagination and role play are everything.
Playing and learning are synonymous in the early years and it’s amazing to see your little one take enjoyment from simple delights. Here are a few ideas:
Singing And Playing Simple Instruments
At Little Angels, our music lessons for children are always really popular because….children generally like making noise!
But learning fun songs and nursery rhymes and joining in with maracas, the tambourine or other kid-friendly instruments is always a great way to spend some fun one-on-one time with your child.
Hide And Seek
It’s a classic, we know. But hide and seek has been a reliable playtime go-to for so many years for a very good reason: children love the thrill of it.
Whether you join in or you let your child do the hiding (behind the curtains again!) thanks to its interactive nature, this is a wonderfully engaging game to play with toddlers.
Playing With Puppets
When it comes to playing games with your toddler, there’s nothing quite like getting your child to express themself and encouraging them to talk to (or via) a puppet.
Knowing how to play with a toddler doesn’t have to be difficult and many little ones will be surprisingly happy to chat to a hand puppet – even if it’s just a sock or a mitten – and even if they’re a toddler who’s not playing with toys at this point.
Splashing Around With Water
As a parent or guardian, you already know that the number one rule for most kids is: “The messier the better!” And that definitely includes water play.
You can run the gamut from a washing up bowl to a paddling pool, but one thing is for sure, when it comes to games to play with toddlers, adding funnels, colanders and straws into the mix will go down a treat.
Hot And Cold
Playing with a toddler doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, there are games you can play with your young child from the comfort of your sofa!
Try hiding an object somewhere in the room and directing them with “hot” (you’re nearby) and “cold” (getting further away). It’s an oldie but a goodie!
Another game to play with your toddler that is fun, but requires more effort from them than you is the treasure hunt. This is also a good one for child development as it helps them learn vocabulary.
Send your toddler on a mission: “Find me something blue”, “Find me something soft”, or “Find me something you love”, for example.
Help! My Toddler’s Not Playing With Toys
If your toddler isn’t playing with toys, or other children for that matter, this is not necessarily something to worry about, although toys are important for child development.
But solitary play is also important for toddler development and it’s normal for children of this age to play alone before they start playing with others. We’re conditioned to think of the word ‘solitary’ as negative, but it’s not at all.
In fact, solitary, or independent, play is important for young children because it helps them develop self-reliance and independence.
This means that young children, even at toddler age, can develop healthy social interaction and understand that they can rely on themselves to have fun whether or not there are, or aren’t, any other potential playmates around.
If you’re concerned about your toddler not playing with toys – don’t be. Try showing your child how the toy works and interacting positively with it and you may spark a lot more engagement.
Also, don’t forget that what’s right for one child isn’t necessarily right for his or her peers.
If you think your child could use a gentle nudge in the direction of being more sociable, at Little Angels, we know what makes children tick. That’s why we’ve come up with some toddler playdate ideas to help your little one make friends, if you’re worried they’re not connecting with other children just yet.
And of course, the number one way to encourage young children to socialise and play is to enrol them in a nursery, where they’ll be surrounded by toys and playmates, and kept busy with engaging activities.
Engaging Playtimes At Little Angels
We love playtime at Little Angels nursery. And thanks to our years of childcare experience, we are confident that we know how to play with toddlers in an engaging and productive way. Which is why we strive to make every day fun, as well as educational, for your child.
Our facilities are carefully and creatively designed to make playing a joy for your child. And we even encourage messy play!
If you’d like to find out more about how our Perkins Square nursery can help your child thrive whilst having fun, download our brochure today.