10 simple games to play with young children
It’s easy to get bogged down with the ground hog day that is feeding, bathing, cleaning and do on. We need to remember to take time out to ‘play’ with our children. When was the last time you sat down for a tea party, gave a ‘horsey’ ride, put on a silly voice, sat in a blanket fort or set up a train set together? Here are some quick and easy games to try.
1. What’s the time Mr Wolf?
2. Hide and Seek
3. I spy – use age appropriate clues. Eg. I spy something that is red. I spy something with four legs.
4. Simon says – using actions eg. Simon says can you balance on one foot, can you hop on one leg, hop fast/slow, can you jump like a kangaroo, can you close your eyes and touch your mouth/ears/nose/eyes.
5. Matching activities – get two of a wide range of items eg forks, pens, blocks, shoes etc. Remember the smaller and more similar the items the harder the game, the older the child. Place half the objects in a pile on the floor. Keep the other half in a bag or pillow case. Pull out the objects one by one and ask your child to find it’s match. The more adjectives you use the better eg “can you find the blue brush/shiny bowl/rough rock etc”
6. Do you know what’s missing? – around the age of 8 months, children develop object permanence. Basically. If you cover something up they know it’s not gone for good. Once they achieve that you can play this game. For this game choose three items from the matching game, or ask your child to do this. Have your child close their eyes or turn away. Cover one object up with a tea towel. Ask your child if they know what’s missing? The more objects the harder the game.
7. Sing an action song – 5 little Ducks went out one day, heads shoulders knees and toes, dingle dangle scarecrow. There are plenty on Google/you tube. Don’t be shy! Remember your child doesn’t care if you are out of tune.
8. Do a dance eg hokey pokey. Once again search on you tube if you are not sure of the actions.
9. Roll down a hill together.
10. Guess the food – chop up small bits of different fruits/food. Ask your child to close their eyes and see if they can guess the fruit by taste.
If you are really stuck for ideas. Check with a child care teacher!