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8 Fun Toddler Games for 2-5 Year Olds

Discover endless smiles with our collection of 8 fun toddler games designed for 2-5 year olds. Engage, educate, and entertain your little ones with activities that foster creativity, learning, and laughter.

Providing Quality Childcare Since 2012   Infants, Toddlers & Preschool  •  Daycare Centre

Children are like sponges, and this applies especially to toddlers – their minds absorb all information around them and integrate it naturally into their core activity: playing.  Games have an essential role in children’s development, and in this article, we provide 8 toddler games to keep your toddlers happy and engaged.

How Do Games Help Toddlers?

Games provide numerous advantages for the harmonious growth and development of children. They help toddlers:

  • learn about shapes, colours, letters and numbers;
  • develop language, social, planning and emotional skills;
  • gain and retain hand-eye coordination;
  • improve their fine and gross motor skills;
  • develop creativity, imagination, team spirit, critical thinking and problem-solving.

Toddler Games

What Games Should a 2 Year Old Play?

This toddler game is played with one or more children and has simple rules: the players must follow the instructions provided by the adult (parent, teacher, family members, older sibling) accordingly.  

The key is for children to listen without getting distracted by what the instructor says – if you call out a command without “Simon says,” and the children perform it, they are out of the game. 

To make this play engaging, state funny commands like “jump on one leg, squeak like a mouse or do the silliest dance”. This enables children to both stay focused and have plenty of fun!

The vast potential in children for learning is nurtured by their interactions within a social context and its main contributors – parents, teachers and other children. All the above prompt the Reggio Emilia Approach to view children as active collaborators in their education process and not just observers.

Source: todayparent

toddler playing games

The dance party is one of the most popular games to play with 2 year olds: what could be more fun than dancing freely on rhythms the kids love?

You can set up this game quickly and without expense: lay a piece of bubble wrap on the floor, play your child’s favourite song and invite them to dance and hop any way they want! The sounds made by the bubble wrap will surely make him smile!

Painting and colouring are among the favourite activities of toddlers, and sometimes it seems they are ready to do them anywhere: on walls, bed sheets, furniture. Why not take advantage of this natural inclination and make painting more exciting? 

All you need is:

  • dress your little one in some clothes you set aside for heavy-duty staining;
  • put the kid inside a bigger-than-him cardboard box;
  • hand him children-safe paints and crayons;
  • watch him have fun painting and drawing the inside of the box.

This game will keep the children busy and maintain all the mess inside the box.

Have the kids play “hot and cold” to develop patience and perseverance. This toddler game will gain the little ones’ interest if you hide some of their favourite toys (stuffed toys, dolls, trucks) around the house and ask them to look for them. 

When the kids come close to the toys, say “warm”‘ or “warmer” and “hot” when they are right next to them. If they move away from the object they seek, say “cold” so that they can change the direction of their search. The little ones will learn that things can be there even if they cannot see them and sharpen their sense of observation while playing.

Source: todayparent

More Toddler Games

What Games Are Suitable for 3 Year Olds?

This easy-to-play game helps children follow instructions and learn the body parts in a fun way. They need to do what the lyrics of the song “Hokey-Pokey” say. 

The best part is that you can change the lyrics so the little ones can learn about other body parts than the ones mentioned in the song. For example, you can replace the lyrics:” You put your left foot out” with “You put your right hand out” and add any other gesture your child finds fun: clapping, wiggling fingers, or touching their ears. There is no limit to how this game is played!

Source: todayparent

Parachute is another favourite toddler game; its best description is “the more, the merrier”, as it is more fun when it involves more children. 

How to play

  • spread a large, colourful bed sheet and ask the children to hold an edge with both hands;
  • have everyone raise the sheet by moving their little hands while saying “Up”;
  • when you say “under”, all kids must let go of the edges and hurry under the sheet.

You can make this game more fun by placing a few little soft toys on top of the bed sheet (or parachute if you have one) that will “fly” when everybody waves the edges they are holding. 

This game teaches children to wait and follow instructions and will help develop their fine motor skills when they hold the edges tight.

Puzzles help toddlers develop the problem-solving skills required to solve the puzzles and to gain patience while figuring out the solution.

They improve memory, teach them about shapes and numbers and develop their fine motor skills when fitting the pieces of the puzzles. 

All children love puzzles, and you can engage them more in these games by choosing puzzles with themes they like (such as favourite animated characters).

Source: todayparent

toddler playing puzzle

Sensory bins can feel like treasure chests to children due to the “magic” materials they find and play with inside these containers. Kids can use spoons, bowls or cups to mix, pour, dig or scoop materials like rice, painted pasta or different-colours dried beans inside the bins. Feeling the texture of materials around them is essential for the development of children, who will be delighted to experiment.

Sensory bins can be set up in numerous ways: fill them with water and have the children “fish” for various ocean toys you place inside the container, add dry sand and water and let the kids play with the mix.

No matter how you prepare them, you can’t go wrong with sensory bins.

Source: sleepingshouldbeeasy

Tips and Tricks for Toddler Games

Setting up games for toddlers should be a simple and inexpensive endeavour. You can: 

Youngsters can easily get overstimulated if the activities and toddler games they are engaged in are too complicated or take too long to conduct. To avoid this, try to set up activities and games that don’t last more than 10 minutes.

A shopping list enables you to plan without worrying about what you are going to do tomorrow. Many toddler games and activities can be prepared using supplies you find in your home, like buttons, shaving cream or cardboard rolls. 

Little ones don’t need a brand-new game or activity every day. To them, playing something they love several times is pure joy. Once you establish which games or activities your kid likes most, feel free to repeat them now and then. Whether it’s watercolour painting, dancing or playing in a sensory bin, make sure you have what you need to set up your kid’s favourite activities.

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Our Early Learning Centres

Our early childhood centre environments strongly reflects our inspiration – The Reggio Emilia philosophy, from Reggio Emilia, Italy.

We provide a creative and open ended environment that encourages infinite learning for the children and strong relationships between teachers, children and families.

The day’s routines are flexible. At the same time, care is taken to recognise and respect each child’s needs.

Playground at Bright Beginnings Early Learning Centre childcare in Howick, Auckland
Child playing in BBELC - Bright Beginnings Early Learning Centre Childcare (1)

Why Choose a Bright Beginnings Early Learning Centre?

Here's what our parents say about our childcare centres

Come and visit one of our childcare centres and see for yourself why your child will love it

Talk to the Centre Manager, meet the team, see the natural outdoor play areas and educational rooms, learn about how we develop our programs and find out more about our unique approach to partnering with our families.

Our latest parent reviews from Google

Tanya Vester
Tanya Vester
2023-05-27
Our sons attended Bright beginnings early leaning Centre and absolutely loved it. They attended Manuka and Kowhai rooms, and later also Pohutukawa room. The teachers in all three rooms were just SO lovely, caring, attentive and supported their learning journeys and communicated the children’s achievements with us. We are so thankful for the time our kids were able to spend there, and the kids made great memories for life. We highly recommend BBELC to anyone looking for a child care center. We had to leave due to moving overseas and will miss BBELC so much!!!
Sukhpreet Singh Mediratta
Sukhpreet Singh Mediratta
2022-10-09
"I don't think I can express in words the gratitude I feel towards you all. My child, Amrin have learnt so much in your care that will stay with her for life. I believe their fondest memories of childhood will include many of you - I truly hope you are all extremely proud your efforts with our children. Thank you for all the wonderful support and care you have given to my daughter. This Centre is a very special place and she has grown so much in your nurturing, inspiring and challenging environment. You are really helping her to prepare for her school foundation." Actually, this is a second home for Amrin, she started her journey from BBELC, Auckland and will leave for school from here. Thanks to all the teachers, If I start typing the names, the list will be so long. In last especially I should not forget Nikita, who is so understanding and caring towards kids as well as families. Thank you with much love."
Anaru Pui
Anaru Pui
2022-10-06
We've had our daughter Waikohu pui in the center for over 1 year now And she has Developed into such a beautiful kind person and has gained some great life skills and experiences thank you to all the teachers for there support and care with our baby girl making life alot easier knowing shes getting great education and Aroha (Love) from all the teachers at her Kura ( school ) thanks again ❤️ from the Pui whanau
Jagroop Kaur
Jagroop Kaur
2022-10-06
Teachers are very kind and patient. Also they encourage children to learn in different indoor and outdoor activities. I am so pleased in POHUTUKAWA room the teacher do the school transition program, which is really helpful to the kids enter the primary school in the future. Thanks all teacher who support VIRASAT and other kids there quite well.
anne dela cruz
anne dela cruz
2022-10-05
We have been with BBELC Hamilton since 2020 during the peak of pandemic and I never doubted to bring my children here knowing that they are on a safe place and the team are all aware of the best health and safety plan to ensure that everyone in the centre are safe. The centre is the BEST for me in terms of CLEANLINESS (the place os very tidy), SAFETY OF CHILDREN (only parents/caregivers can enter the premises on their pin coded door), FRIENDLY STAFF (you will be greeted by a very friendly receptionist, you can talk to the teachers about your concern with your child), OPEN DOOR POLICY (Manager’s door is open all times for parents for any concern or question), NUTRICIOUS FOOD for our kids, SCHOOL READINESS PROGRAM (table activities, book reading, sharing with others, simple literacy), MAT TIME IS THE BEST as the kids learn to socialize, listen to teachers, story telling, yoga, dance time, music time,etc. and they also held PARENTS TIME where we can chat with the teacher about our kids, meet other parents, share experiences and strategies, parents gets treat and gift on special occasion like mother’s day and father’s day that will definitely make your day as a parent. And lastly for few years now, my kids have enjoyed their Christmas party where they get gift and enjoy bouncy castle, it’s simple but the experience and memories will be lifetime. THANKS TO ALL THE STAFF AND TEACHERS OF BBELC Hamilton! KUDOS TO ALL YOUR HARDWORK AND DEDICATION. CHEERS TO MANY MORE YEARS OF SUCCESS! - DELA CRUZ Family ( Robb and Reuben)
Shirley
Shirley
2022-10-05
I love BBELC and my child love it too. As parents ,my husband and I deeply appreciate the staff being friendly ,kind ,patient ,role models and caring .The educators work well with parents to achieve the children’s developmental goals , the manager Leonie and Teachers Mari, Kathryn, Summer and Emma really care about the children and very welcoming. The childcare is secure and this gives us peace of mind in knowing that our little ones are in good hands and safe . The classrooms are clean and nicely decorated. I highly recommend sending your child to this center. It’s become our second home.
ANN KURIYAN
ANN KURIYAN
2022-10-05
BBELC is an awesome environment for my daughter to learn and grow through different types of activities. All the staffs are friendly, supportive and helpful. Highly recommended to all.
Neda Bolouri
Neda Bolouri
2022-10-05
A safe, happy and caring place for our children.
Norvega Bantang
Norvega Bantang
2022-09-30
Bright Beginnings Early Learning Centre - Hamilton is like a second home to my 2 little girls. They are very supportive of the children’s early learning and individual development. The rooms are spacious, warm and cozy and provide different kinds of resources for the children to explore. My girls are always excited to go to kindy every morning. Since I have also recently become part of this centre, it’s good to know and see for myself how things work in the centre and how very passionate the staff are in looking after every child like they are family. As a parent, it gives me the peace of mind that my children are in good hands and are well taken cared of. Definitely made the right decision to enroll our children here.
Diana Villa-Ignacio
Diana Villa-Ignacio
2022-09-30
BBELC is a wonderful centre which caters to quality care and learning of children. We take pride in our relationship with parents , whanau and children having positive environment, open communication, flexibility, catering to children needs and working alongside parent's aspiration for their children. Feel free to come and see our Hamilton centre. We will be happy to show you around and be part of our Bright Beginnings Family.

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