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Friday, September 17, 2010

Games for Toddlers (without breaking the bank!)

I thought I would share with you some fun activities me and Jack do together! Each activity came be made with things you may have laying around the home; but would be cheap to buy from the supermarket (compared to shop prices!)
All of these activities will help to entertain and stimulate your child. I personally find them useful for when if it's raining outside and you need a distraction (or for when the large amount of toys just aren't interesting any more!) 

Wrapping paper!
Our favourite game has to be the Gift-Wrap Memory Game. Jack enjoys playing with the shapes and learning how to find the other pair. I found it a great way to recycle any left over wrapping paper! I also hide the shapes around the house and encourage him to find them; he love this!
All you need for the Gift-Wrap Memory Game is:

  • Wrapping paper in a variety of patterns and colours
  • Cardboard
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Sticky backed plastic (optional)
  • Clothes pegs
First you need to cut the wrapping paper into a variety of shapes (you can cover each one in sticky backed plastic if you want it to last a little longer), then stick these shapes onto the cardboard with the glue. You can make as many pairs as you like (I suggest between five and ten for a toddler; maybe more for older children). Toddlers will enjoy handling and looking at the cards. You can gradually encourage them to lay the cards face up and try to clip the matching pairs together with a clothes peg. Older toddlers and preschoolers will enjoy playing a game of memory, where all the cards are laid out face down and each player takes a turn trying to find a matching pair.

Pasta shapes!
Jack also enjoys playing Pasta Sort. As well as sorting the dried pasta he enjoys eating it! This is such a simple game and is cheaper than some of the sorting games in the shops! I like to give Jack a variety of pasta shapes and left him feel the different textures. I then pick up a piece and ask Jack if he can find the same piece Mummy has. We have hours of fun playing this game. For older toddlers or preschoolers you could colour the pasta and ask them to match the colours to a coloured container. For details on how to colour pasta see teaching tiny tots.

Our last game which we enjoy playing is Number Cards. Jack really enjoys finding the numbers and learning the numbers. I created the number cards on some of my spare study cards. I simply drew the numbers on the front and added the number of dots on the back of each one to help him visualise the correct number of dots and learn to count. You could cover these in sticky backed plastic if you wanted them to last a little longer (but in my opinion it's not worth the stress!)
Number Cards!

Jack playing with the number Cards (excuse my voice; I hate the sound of it on camera!)
I hope these games help encourage you to use your creative side! They should also keep your little ones amused for 5 minutes! I would love to see any pictures of your games you make. Please also share any ideas you may have for other games me and Jack could enjoy.

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