Walk into any toy store and you know instantly that there’s no shortage of games for toddlers.
But sometimes the most fun activities don’t require batteries, adult assembly or something with a screen and wi-fi access.
BabyCenter.com has their finger on the pulse of a good time for toddlers. Here are six games that are free, fun and easy for toddlers (and — shhhhhh, don’t tell them — educational):
Game Time 1 of 7When you're a toddler, it's literally all fun and games.
Coming to Life 2 of 7For ages 12-16 months
Stuffed animals and other assorted lovies serve to comfort little ones in the face of everyday life. But — bonus! — they can also be used as teaching tools.
Take a favorite bear or doll and have it come to life. Seat it at the table for meals, put socks on it, comfort it when it gets a boo boo and talk to it when it gets mad or sad.
It'll help your toddler develop and hone their language skills, work on talking through their emotions, and explore the depths of their imagination.
Clap Happy 3 of 7For ages 12-16 months
Hand clapping might be advanced for some younger toddlers, but that doesn't mean they still can't be happy clappers.
Sit down with them and clap their hands with and for them — through pat-a-cake and while singing other songs.
It'll help their eye-hand coordination as well as their language skills.
Young Collector 4 of 7For ages 16-20 months
Grab a bucket and walk outside the front door. Whether you collect shells on the beach, pebbles on your driveway or dandelions and pine cones in the park, toddlers love to fill and dump the contents of a container.
The practice will help their dexterity and hand movements. It's also a good, early introduction to numbers and counting.
Tea Party 5 of 7For ages 16-24 months
Most toddlers love splashing around in pools and bath tubs, but beyond that they're usually limited to how much they can play with water.
Fill up a plastic tea pot, grab some plastic tea cups and head outside for a little party.
The game will double as a coordination exercise and give them license to have some messy, watery fun while spending some time in the sunshine.
Let’s Dance 6 of 7For ages 20-24 months
Music isn't just for sitting and listening or even dancing.
Find some music from other countries and continents and have your toddler act like a lion in the bush or a gorilla in the rain forest.
Marching to the music will help them feel out their natural rhythm and shake out a little excess energy.
What Can You Hear? 7 of 7For ages 20-24 months
Winding kids up to expend their energy is great, but winding them down is good, too.
Go outside with a blanket or just stretch out on grass and take a few moments to be silent.
Ask them what they hear — a car, the wind, a bird, for example. It's a good way to polish their ability to articulate their surroundings as well as work on their listening skills.
For 7 more great toddler games, hop on over to BabyCenter.com
More from Meredith on Babble:
- ‘My Baby, Not My Child': Brave Woman Documents Giving Up Her Infant for Adoption (PHOTOS)
- ‘Up’ Fan Art Further Illustrates the Sweetness of a Poignant Story (PHOTOS)
- It Was Only a Matter of Time: Meet Hipster Mickey Mouse (PHOTOS)
- Bunny Babes! 15 Toddlers Who are All Ready for Easter
- ‘Flying Henry’ Magically Lands in Bookstores (PHOTOS)
- No Bunny Does Easter Like These 10 Awkward Easter Bunnies
- 10 Ways to Tell Your Second Child Apart from Your First
- Your Bad-Hair Day Just Got Better: 10 Hilariously Awkward Hairdos That, Thankfully, Aren’t Yours
- 10 Things Never to do With or Near a Toddler
- 10 ‘Real Life’ Disney Princesses Deliver a Lovely Reality Without Spoiling the Fantasy