Babysitters Games Play
10 Really Simple Games Sitters Can Play With Toddlers
Toddlers play as a way to learn more about the world around them; even the simplest games are learning experiences at this age. The next time you find yourself babysitting a restless little one, here are some very simple games that are sure to be hits.
- Peek-A-Boo – Toddlers are fascinated by this game, and can play for hours. The simple actions allow wee ones to play along, ensuring plenty of giggles.
- The Hokey Pokey – Even if they can’t quite sing along, toddlers love to mimic the motions of the Hokey Pokey. When playing this game, be sure to stick with body parts they know and shower them with plenty of praise each time they get it right.
- Bubbles – Soap bubbles are simple, inexpensive fun. Toddlers love to pop bubbles that you’ve blown, so aim the bubbles low enough for little hands to reach.
- This Little Piggy – Very young toddlers crave one-on-one attention; this game is a great way to fulfill that need. The funny noise at the end always inspires fits of laughter, as well.
- Itsy Bitsy Spider – This song, with its accompanying hand motions, has been a favorite for generations. Little hands may have a difficult time getting the hang of it, but are developing crucial hand-eye coordination with each attempt they make.
- Pat-A-Cake – Like Itsy Bitsy Spider, this classic combines a rhyming game with hand motions, both of which assist in cognitive development. In addition to the educational aspect, it’s sure to incite plenty of laughter.
- Dance Party – Find some family-friendly music, and have a living room dance party! The music is stimulating, while dancing improves coordination. Almost every toddler loves to dance, especially if you join in!
- Indoor Hopscotch – With a simple roll of masking tape, mark out a hopscotch grid on carpet. Demonstrate the pattern a couple of times, then set the little ones loose. Don’t be a stickler for the rules, just let them have fun while improving their balance.
- Duck Duck Goose – If there’s an open bit of floor space, teach this easy-to-grasp and entertaining game to your charges. They’ll be occupied until they wear themselves out, making for fun during playtime and a good night’s sleep.
- Scavenger Hunt – Give each of your charges a basket, and tell them what objects they should look for. Very young toddlers will need objects to be easily spotted, but older toddlers will be able to find things that are up to half-way hidden.
Toddlers’ short attention spans demand games with clear and simple guidelines; if the rules are too complicated for them to grasp, they won’t be interested. Playing along with them provides your charges with the attention they need, in addition to keeping them interested in the game. If you play a game that requires furniture to be moved or tape stuck to the carpet, be sure to clean everything up when you’re done.