You’ve done peekaboo to death and if you have to Row the blooming boat one more time you’re likely to go insane.
We all know play is a great way to help develop your toddlers growing sense of imagination, but it’s tricky coming up with new and interesting games to keep them (and you!) engaged. So before you do lose the plot we’ve come up with some other games that might help mix it up a bit.
Scatter cushions over the living room floor and pretend your living room is the sea and your toddler has to get to the other side of the room without getting his feet wet. Show your toddler how to use the cushions as stepping stones and jump across the living room.
For added interest you could make some paper fish, mermaids and boats and point them out to him. Oh and watch out for those sharks!
2 Supermarket sweep
Set up a mini supermarket at home by placing packets of food, tins and fruit and veg around the room. Give your toddler something that will serve as a ‘shoppping trolley’ – a cardboard box or washing basket will do. Give him a shopping list ie draw pictures of the foods you’d like him to collect for you and ask him to go round the room collecting the foods on the list. When she’s finished she can head to you at the ‘checkout’ and ask her to load the shopping into a bag (not plastic).
You can also incorporate some fake money (use notes cut out of newspaper and coins made from cardboard). Tell her how much the shopping cost and ask her to give you the money. If she wants to play again you can either draw her another list or do the same one but put the shopping in a different place this time. You can also encourage him to help you put the shopping away afterwards. Great practice for helping you for real.
3 Bus trip
Lay out some chairs or cushions for the seats on the bus and one at the front for the driver. Use a paper plate or a cardboard circle for the steering wheel and cut up some paper for bus tickets. Your toddler can be the driver, a passenger or the conductor.
Role play with your tot about where the bus is going today – the zoo, the beach, the park and give a running commentary about what you can see from the bus. If he’s driving get him to make the right bus noises, if he’s a passenger get him to pay for a ticket and the conductor to ring the bell and collect your tickets.
4 Teddy bear’s picnic
Make your toddler a den by draping some sheets or blankets over the sides of a table or two chairs. Once the den is built, tell your toddler he can invite his friends (aka his toys) in to play. Then encourage your toddler to have a picnic lunch with his friends which they can eat in the den.
5 Indoor basketball
This is a great game for toddlers and will help boost their eye/hand coordination. All you have to do is get a bin or bucket and some rolled up balls of newspaper and encourage him to try and get the 'balls' in the bin.
6 Treasure hunt
Hide some 'treasure' around the room for your child to find and draw a simple map for him to follow. X marks the spot! Your toddler will love finding the treasure. Alternatively, you could take a roll of toilet paper and create a trail for your tot to follow around the house. Tie a little treat at the end for them to discover.