Close Close
Mother and Baby

On-The-Go Games To Play With Your Toddler

Section: Toys & Education

Be prepared for when you’re out and about and need to play games and activities with your toddler – especially if she’s about to throw a wobbly

Make the most of wildlife

When you’re walking somewhere with your toddler build in time to enjoy the trip. ‘Toddlers really understand that the journey is just as important as reaching your destination and notice and absorb so many things that you would walk straight past if you were alone,’ says Dr Rebecca Chicot, a child development expert and co-creator of The Essential Baby Care Guide. Take time to smell the flowers, blow dandelion clocks, spot ladybirds – you could even pack a mini magnifying glass so she can look more closely. ‘This is precious learning time and if you set off early you don't need to rush,’ says Rebecca.

The distraction game

If a tantrum is on the horizon, you need to take steps to calm her down before it blows up. ‘A tantrum means your toddler has lost emotional control, which is common and to be expected,’ says Rebecca. ‘However, rather than have a big confrontation (toddlers aren't very receptive mid-tantrum) try to distract her when she's out and about with something interesting, saying “Can you see the red house/did you see the ginger cat on the roof?!” As soon as she does, she’ll begin to relax and then you can have a calmer, warmer discussion (which doesn't mean giving in if she's demanding something).’

Take time to smell the flowers, blow dandelion clocks, spot ladybirds

Showjumping toddlers

If your toddler is tired and dragging her feet on a long walk you can play a game where every time someone walks past you both on the pavement you jump over the stranger's shadow. ‘There are lots of variations on this game such as jumping over cracks in the pavement or puddles,’ says Rebecca. ‘What you're doing is distracting her from the fact that she's walking and turning the journey into a game.’

Visit the imaginary ice-cream parlour

Role-play and make believe games are a fantastic way to keep your toddler happy and distracted without you needing to have bags of toys on you. You can play this while waiting in a restaurant for your food or in the doctor’s surgery. Ask your toddler what flavour ice-cream she wants to buy from your shop and mime serving it out and taking money from her. Then get her to do the same thing. It can work with any shop-based context and can be as elaborate as she wants – the key is that it totally focuses your toddler's attention.

Role-play and make believe games are a fantastic way to keep your toddler happy

Play spot and point

Toddlers can get very fed up on a car journey. ‘A good game to play is a simple eye spy game. If your toddler loves lorries get her to shout out "lorry" every time she can see one out of the window and you can count them,’ says Rebecca. If she can't say lorry you can just tell her when you see one, so “Can you see the big green lorry, point at the green lorry!”  ‘This means she's no longer noticing that she's sat in a car seat but instead is looking at what's going on around her,’ says Rebecca.

What games do you like to play with your toddler when out and about? Let us know in the comment box below.

Related content:


No comments have been made yet.

Chinese Gender predictor
Chinese Gender Predictor

Is it a boy or a girl? Tell our tool the month you concieved and how old you are and find out! 

Nappy rash is painful for parents as well as for your baby
Nappy rash is painful for parents as well as for your baby

Read Dr Pixie's guide to learn how to deal with nappy rash

The Magic Sleepsuit
The secret to a quiet night’s sleep – The Magic Sleepsuit

If you’re little one is struggling to settle now they’ve outgrown the swaddling stage, this could be the answer to your sleep-deprived prayers!

Celebrating parenting's small wins
Celebrating parenting's small wins

As mums, we're constantly told to enjoy every moment; in reality, parenting can sometimes be challenging. That's where small wins come in...

Subscribe to Mother&Baby

Be the best mum you can be and let Mother & Baby guide you along the way. Each issue is jam packed with REAL advice from mums just like you. Subscribe today & get a free welcome gift!

Ovulation Calculator
Ovulation calculator
Trying for a baby? Work out when you're most fertile to increase your chances of getting pregnant with our easy-to-use ovulation calculator.
Pregnant woman
Due Date Calculator

When is your baby due? If you’re having trouble remembering dates and counting up the days on your fingers and toes, don’t worry – use our due date calculator.

Get M&B in your inbox!

Sign up to Mother&Baby today and get news and advice about your body and your baby straight to your inbox every week. 

Lemonade Money
It’s time to make sure your loved ones are protected

Every parent knows the importance of planning ahead; from the new school shoes, to your little one’s education, you want to fill their future with hopes and dreams. Yet are you one of the 80% of adults here in the UK that has no life cover?