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Game Time! 6 Cheap, Charming and Cultural Activities for Toddlers

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):

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  • Game Time 1 of 7
    Game Time
    When you're a toddler, it's literally all fun and games.
  • Coming to Life 2 of 7
    Coming to Life
    For 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 7
    Clap Happy
    For 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 7
    Young Collector
    For 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 7
    Tea Party
    For 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 7
    Let's Dance
    For 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 7
    What Can You Hear?
    For 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:

Follow Meredith on Twitter and check out her weekly column every Friday on the Op-Ed page of The Denver Post at MeredithCarroll.com

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