6 Educational Games for Toddlers (All Free!)

Photo by corrie0227

Toddlers learn a lot between the ages of one and three, and playing with other kids helps them learn even more. Here are some fun group toddler games to try if you're hosting a playgroup or having a party.


1. Walking, Walking (any number of kids can play)

Sing the followingto the tune of "Frere Jacques" and have everyone move accordingly (walk, hop, run) with the words. 

Walking, walking,
Walking, walking,
Hop, hop, hop!
Hop, hop, hop!
Running, running, running,
Running, running, running,
Now we stop.
Now we stop.

Tips for adults: Keep the circle of motion the right size for your group: large enough not to create traffic jams but small enough to keep the kids in the circle.

What your kid will learn: Gross motor movement; how to be still.


2. Over the Water (any number of kids can play)

Each child gets a turn to be the "star" of the song. Before each verse, the adult asks, "Anna, what would you like to catch?" and Anna might say, "A tiger." The verse is repeated with each child's name and chosen animal until everyone has had a turn.

Anna over the water
(Move one hand across the body like a rippling wave.)
Anna over the sea
(Move the other hand across the body in same way.)
Anna catch a tiger
(Grab in front of you to "catch" the animal.)
You can't catch me!
(Point at self or let the child chase you.)

Tips for adults: Sometimes kids need help choosing an animal—try giving the child a choice between two animals he knows.

What your kid will learn: Listening, waiting, and taking turns.


Check out Games for Kids to learn how to play Two Little Blackbirds, The Hokey-Pokey, Parachute, and Umbrella.


What games does your toddler like to play?

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