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Toddlerhood can be loads of fun, chock full of belly laughs, impromptu dance parties and tickle wars, but it can also be challenging to keep your child engaged and entertained.
Games are a wonderful distraction for toddler‑aged children, and the best part is that your kids are learning without even realising it. So while it might be tempting to default to the TV, next time you're stumped for ideas why not give one of these tried and true toddler learning games a try?
According to Gee, a researcher at Stanford, skills such as patience and discipline are better learned through the context of games rather than traditional classrooms and textbooks. That means when kids engage in games, not only are they learning valuable cognitive skills, they're also learning key behavioural skills, like how to stay focused on a single task.
As many parents of toddlers can attest, focus is a key struggle in their day‑to‑day parenting. So if you're looking for ways to help keep your child focused and learning, try one of our five toddler learning games below.
ABC Reading Eggs Junior is jam‑packed with award‑winning toddler learning games that are not only educational and age‑appropriate, but incredibly fun! With hundreds of read‑aloud books, alphabet games, songs, videos and phonemic awareness activities for ages 2–4 there's so much for your child to enjoy. Try ABC Reading Eggs Junior for FREE today!
Memory card games are beneficial on multiple levels and are great at encouraging children to pay attention to the finer details. In addition to activating problem solving and critical thinking skills, memory games are a wonderful way to help kids distinguish the difference between objects.
In addition to memory card decks, a great at‑home hack is to use your child's blocks and hide them under plastic cups. You can start with three pairs of blocks (same colour and shape) and then ask your child to lift up two separate cups to see if there's a match, continuing until they've found all the pairs.
Online memory games encourage toddlers to use their problem solving and critical thinking skills. Visit ABC Reading Eggs Junior for hundreds of toddler learning games for children aged 2–4. Free trial
Counting games can be a lovely distraction for children. In addition to developing numeracy skills, they help focus children on the task at hand. For example, if you're trying unsuccessfully to get your toddler to climb the stairs, ask them to help you count each stair and you might be pleasantly surprised by their willingness to suddenly do what you ask.
Other fun counting games to try are counting fingers and toes, number of trucks on the road, dogs at the park, people wearing hats – the possibilities are endless!
Online counting games are simple, easy and effective games to try with even the youngest of toddlers. Check out ABC Reading Eggs Junior for hundreds of toddler learning games for children aged 2–4. Free trial
In addition to teaching children about shapes and improving memory skills, puzzles are the perfect toddler learning game as they hit all key learning areas:
Cognitive: Children must use problem solving skills to decide how they will solve the puzzle, such as will they start gathering the corner pieces first? Look for similar colours? They must develop a strategy and set simple goals in order to finish the puzzle.
Emotional: Puzzles require trial and error which help to develop children's patience and resilience.
Physical: Putting together puzzle pieces requires fine motor skills. Jumbo puzzles with knobs are ideal for younger toddlers as they are easier to grasp whereas chunky puzzles and traditional jigsaw puzzles are great for older toddlers who have slightly more developed fine motor skills. Checkout out these free printable puzzles to get started.
Online puzzles are both fun and educational. Visit ABC Reading Eggs Junior for hundreds of toddler learning games for children aged 2–4. Free trial
Toddler matching games reinforce flexible thinking and memory skills, both key to developing school readiness. Try gathering everyday items around the house like kitchen utensils, socks, shoes etc. and then ask your children to match each item with their partner.
Online matching games are a great educational tool for young children. Try ABC Reading Eggs Junior for hundreds of toddler learning games for children aged 2–4. Free trial
Fantastic for encouraging critical thinking skills, blocks, puzzles pieces and chunky shape toys are ideal for playing sorting games. Ask your child to organise them in multiple ways, such as by colour, shape or size.
Toddlers love to get involved and feel that they are being helpful, so try making a game out of sorting the laundry. To keep it simple stick to one item to begin with such as socks for example and ask them to put all the socks in one pile. You can then turn it into a matching game by asking them to match each set of socks – your child will delight in helping you complete this simple task!
Online sorting games keep toddlers entertained and learning. Check out ABC Reading Eggs Junior for hundreds of toddler learning games for children aged 2–4. Free trial
Filled with hundreds of toddler learning games, ABC Reading Eggs Junior, for ages 2–4, is part of the multi‑award winning ABC Reading Eggs program. Designed by experienced primary school teachers, the quality education program features colourful characters, exciting activities, games and rewards to keep children motivated to learn and continue building essential reading skills.
See how your child's focus skills and excitement for learning improve with a free trial of ABC Reading Eggs Junior here. Once you sign up you'll receive access to hundreds of read‑aloud books, alphabet games, songs and phonemic awareness activities your child will be sure to love. Available to play on desktop, iOS and Android devices.