Toddlers are generally thought of as children who are at least one year old and can be up to three or four years old, depending on the definition used. Children in this age range generally can’t read, but they may be able to follow some basic instructions.
The games below are great for very young children. It is best that an adult or older child helps with these games and activities. This way, a toddler can stay focused on the game. However, since toddlers have a short attention span, these games can be played quickly.
One of the best parts about these activities is that they only take cheap or free toys to play these games. You will likely have all of the stuff needed to play these games at your house. These activities can also be done in your yard, at a park, or in just about any other outdoor venue.
- These games are easy to teach toddlers.
- All of these games can be played in five minutes or less.
- These games can teach children while they have fun!
Table of Contents
- Sandbox Dino Dig
- Bug Catching
- What Time is it Mr. Fox?
- Red Light Green Light
- Tricycle Race
- Jump Rope
- Coloring with Chalk
- Pop the Bubble
- Balance Rocks
Sandbox Dino Dig
This activity is exactly what it sounds like. A parent older sibling will need to set up this game, but it should only take a moment. Parents can hide dinosaur toys in a sandbox. The younger the children, the bigger the toys should be. Toys that are very small may be choking hazards for children under the age of three, so use your best judgement when it comes to the size of the toys that you use in this activity.
Once the toys are hidden, the kids get the chance to try to dig them up. They can do this with little shovels or just with their hands. They will win the game once they find all the dinosaurs. To play again, simply hide the dinosaurs to restart.
Catching bugs is a fun and free activity that can be done anywhere outside, so long as the weather it right for it. To play this game, you either need a very adventurous toddler who isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty… or a simple butterfly net. To play this game, simply have your toddler run around and try to catch some bugs. Aim for butterflies, ladybugs, and other “friendly” bugs. Make sure to teach your child not to catch bees or any other stinging bugs and the whole game will go well.
Red Light Green Light
Everyone has played Red Light Green Light at some point in their life. The rules are easy enough to learn, which can make it easy for kids to play. In case you don’t know, here are the rules. One player is in charge of saying “red” or “green” light. The rest of the players stand far back and wait for instructions.
When the person in charge says “green light”, the players run towards them. However, when the person says “red light” the other players need to stop in their tracks. Anyone who moves needs to go back to the starting line. Whoever reaches the person giving directions first wins!
What Time is it Mr. Fox?
“What time is it Mr. Fox?” is a variation of the classic Red Light/Green Light game. The bonus of this game comes with a number element that can help little kids practice their counting skills. One person plays a fox. Just like with Red Light Green Light, the rest of the players stand at the starting line. The players ask the fox, “What time is it?” The fox replies with a time. The players then take a certain amount of steps to match the time. For example, if the fox says, “Three o’clock” the players take three steps forward.
However, there’s a trick! The fox has the option of saying “Dinner time!” as a reply. If they say this, then they can chase the rest of the players. Once they catch a player, the game is over, and the person who got caught gets to be the next fox.
Hopscotch is an easy game to play that can be done so long as there is an empty sidewalk and some chalk to be found. As well as being fun, this activity also can help kids with counting and hand-eye coordination skills. Either a parent or kid can draw a hopscotch board. To play, kids throw a rock on a board. They then need to hop to that spot. It’s as simple as that! You can play as long as you like.
While most toddlers probably don’t know how to ride a bike yet, many of them should know how to ride a tricycle or a bike with training wheels. These little vehicles can make for great racing machines! One great way to make up a race is to draw a beginning line and a finish line. Like any other race, the first person who gets to the finish line first wins!
Playing with jump rope is another great and fun way to have toddlers work on their hand-eye coordination skills. Admittedly, this activity works best with kids who are in the three-to-four-year-old range who are already comfortable with jumping.
Kids can use a single jump rope so they can go at their own pace. If the child is already pretty experienced with playing with a jump rope, you can teach them some other great jump rope games like Double Dutch, Snake, or a number of classic jump rope rhyming games.
Coloring with Chalk
Coloring with chalk is an easy activity that any toddler can do. However, it’s best that parents supervise this activity to make sure that very young toddlers don’t try to put the chalk in their mouths. It’s also best to use large piece of chalk so the child can easily grip it. This will make it much easier for the child to color. If you want to mix things up, encourage your children to try to draw specific pictures, such as flowers, smiley faces, or trying to write their name.
Lastly, the balancing rocks activity teaches kids about patience and, well, balance. This game works best at a beach or park where there are already a lot of flat rocks. To play, encourage your child to stack rocks on top of each other, trying to balance them as well as they can. The higher the rock tower, the better. If you want, you can also turn this game into a contest between children. Whoever can stack their rock tower the highest (without it falling) wins!
Well, there you have it, ten great activities that toddlers can play just about anywhere outdoors. Which of these activities will you be trying first?
Pop the Bubble
Trying to pop bubbles can be both entertaining for the adult or older sibling blowing the bubbles and for the toddler who is trying to pop them. The best part is that even the youngest toddlers can get a kick out of this activity. As a bonus, it’s another activity that can help kids to work on their hand-eye coordination skills. To play, simply have someone blow bubbles and encourage the toddlers to try to pop them. If your toddlers are old enough to count, have them try to count how many bubbles they can pop!