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Mum and baby

Games to play with your toddler at home

10th October 2018

Us parents want what’s best for our children and so, to help their development along, there are a few simple games you can play at home to boost their cognitive functions. This month, we’re here to explain a range of activities that will be fun and beneficial for your toddler.

When following our advice, try to remember that toddlers have short attention spans, so it’s important to keep these games brief – especially if they look disinterested to begin with – just move on to something else. It’s not unusual for toddlers to enjoy something one minute and not the next, so don’t be disheartened, return to some of the more challenging activities when they are a little bit older.

Games that will help advance your child’s cognitive, physical and emotional skills:

“Simon Says”

It’s an old classic that’s great for a number of reasons, it teaches your child to follow instructions, it helps them to learn parts of the body and grasp hand-eye coordination. If you don’t know it, the rules are as follows: whoever calls out the instructions is Simon. So when this person says “Simon says” they will call out a part of the body, i.e “Simon says, touch your ears!” and the child has to touch their ears. However, if Simon says ‘Touch your toes’ without saying ‘Simon says’ before the command, a player who follows this is eliminated.  
Hide and Seek

With younger children Hide and Seek is better done with an object in the room, so you can keep an eye on them throughout the game. Decide on who wants to hide the object and who wants to find it, then choose an object to hide. For the person ‘seeking’, they should look away whilst the other ‘hides’ the object.

Memory games

Using cards with colourful pictures on the back, place 12 cards down on the floor making sure there’s 6 pairs of the same design. Have your child point to a card and flip it over, so they can see the picture and ask them to point to another to see if they can find a match. If the second one isn’t the same design, flip them back over and start again. Hopefully after a couple of turns they will remember where the matching picture is positioned.  

Shape recognition

Using a shape sorter, take the differently shaped blocks out of the activity set and help your child put it back together. This will be a fun challenge for your child and the repetitive nature will help them to recognise different shapes and colours.

Toddler’s puzzle books and interactive games

Puzzles are great for toddlers, they’re interactive and generally, depending on the sort of puzzle you choose, you can target all three skills:

  1. Cognitive skill – problem solving
  2. Physical skill – putting pieces together
  3. Emotional skill – patience


At Tiny World Day Nursery we love introducing new and fun activities because we understand how important it is for toddlers and children to enjoy themselves whilst learning. We have over 30 years of experience and a team of Nursery Nurses with recognised childcare qualifications to our minimum NVQ 3 standard. We are Ofsted registered and offer free child places for 2,3 and 4 year olds. If you’re looking for exemplary day care, turn to us today.