5 Easy Games to Keep your Toddlers Entertained while we’re still at Home


It’s true, being a parent in these times is more difficult than it’s ever been. Between working from home, homeschooling and trying to keep our kids entertained, it’s fair to say that over the last couple of months, mums and dads have been going crazy!

And our children have been affected too. Keeping a child healthy during the lockdown isn’t just about convincing them through exasperated sighs to eat their greens, it’s been about keeping them entertained, motivated and active at home. Phew!

But with indoor activity centres still closed for a while now, how do you ensure your toddlers are still having fun?

Well, the good news is, you can continue to do it perfectly well in your own home!

It might be a bit tricky to get the hang of at first, but any parent can replicate their child’s favourite play centre.

Read on to find how to keep your toddlers entertained over the summer holidays and your mind free from stress!

5 Easy Games for Toddlers to Play at Home this Summer

Sure, it might seem difficult to live up to the standards of a soft play centre with bounce sessions, an enormous foam ball pit and a slide, but there are still some easy games you can set up and play at home that don’t require lots of equipment or preparation and that may even occupy the little ones for just enough time for you to put the kettle on!

1. Hoopla

You can use this game to get your toddlers used to letters and numbers – plus keep them distracted for a bit.

There are two versions – indoors and outdoors.

Outdoors, you can play with your little ones in the garden with big hula hoops, and get the added benefit of a bit of fresh air.

Indoors, you can have a go with just a little bit of crafting. Have you got any old glow sticks lying around from past Halloween parties? If yes, you can connect three of them together to play an enticing game of homemade hoopla in your own living room!

What you need:

A hoop or glow sticks

5 Cups

5 letters or numbers (that you can also simply write on pieces of paper)

How to play:

  1. Place the cups upside down on the floor or grass.
  2. Put the letters and numbers on top in a way that makes them visible.
  3. Tell your toddler to win a letter or number by throwing the hoop over the cup.

Extra tip:

You can use specific letters that form an easy word or your kid’s name, then let them rearrange them at the end to learn some spelling! This game is also great for their coordination.

2. Letter of the Day

Want to keep your toddlers busy? Let them run around the house in a special kind of treasure hunt with the Letter of the Day!

What you need:

Something with separate letters of the alphabet on. Think scrabble tiles, lightbox letters, a puzzle – anything. It just needs one of every letter of the alphabet.

A bag. Choose a fancy pouch or an Asda bag, any version will do.

How to play:

  1. Find a place to display your letter of the day every day. It should be somewhere they can see it regularly and access it even from their height.
  2. In your chosen location put a pen and paper or, alternatively, five post-its.
  3. Every day, your kids should choose a letter from the bag to play some games around it.
  4. First things first, you’re going to write the letter they’ve chosen in capitals, then let them copy it. Done? Now write it in lower case and let them try to copy that too.
  5. Finally, for the last post-it, search the house for an object that has the sound that letter makes. Once the kids have found it, they should have a go at drawing it!
  6. Really important – the treat! Give them a treat they enjoy, it could be anything. This way, they’ll find learning the alphabet exciting and rewarding, and what’s better than that?

3. Chalk Course Challenge

Considering all this good weather we’ve been getting (oh the irony!), why not draw a simple chalk game for them to play out on your patio?

Kids need exercise, it’s good for their health… and yours!

What you need:

Chalk

Set up:

Draw an easy obstacle course on the patio. The challenges can vary, but here’s an example:

Games to Keep your Toddlers at Home

Keep them active, keep them tired – you’ll both sleep better at night. And of course, come up with some kind of reward for completing the course!

4. Balls and a Bucket

Games don’t have to be hard to set up to be fun. Especially for the little ones and their impressive imaginations.

What you need:

Bouncy balls (even any old soft ball will do).

A bucket or something that resembles one (like a laundry basket).

How to play:

Place the bucket at a distance and let the kids either bounce or throw the ball into it. After a few throws, you can add some rules like “The ball has to bounce at least once” to make things more challenging.

Oh, and remember to tell your kids to be careful – balls can hurt and tears can ruin a fun game (and the rest of your kid’s day!).

5. Playing Postie.

Children love make-believe. In fact, pretend play can encourage creativity and help them develop thinking, learning and problem-solving abilities.

So, why not turn your toddler into a post-person for the day?

What you need:

5 soft toys

A box

Cards (Birthday, Christmas, Wedding, etc…)

Set up:

Place the toys in random locations around the house, then cut a letterbox hole in the box.

How to play:

Easy! Just post the letters into the letterbox, then put them in a bag to deliver them to the toys around the house.

For an extra challenge, give each of the toys a name and let your kids try to remember which letter goes to whom – that should keep them entertained for a while!

Of course, even when it’s fun and games, tending to kids 24/7 can be a hassle. Superhero parents might exist, but the reality is somewhat messier. Nonetheless, let’s show them that whatever the activity centre can do, mum and dad can do it too!