Introducing toddlers to games

I don’t remember starting to play games when I was young, although we always had lots of games around, whether they be cards, board games, or huge playmats with game boards on them.  I want to start building up a collection of games for N as he’s now starting to be more aware of other children playing similar things to him and start teaching him how to play and wait his turn.

At the recent nearly new sale, I thought I’d pick up some games, and found Kerplonk.  This takes me back to the days when I was 5 and in hospital having my tonsils removed, as I was introduced to this (and table football) on the ward by the other children afterwards.  Obviously it’s a bit advanced for N, but he found it yesterday and of course wanted to get it out and see what was in it.

After making sure he knew that the marbles were for playing the game with (and not eating!), and the sticks were for playing the game (not sticking in people), he proceeded to help me put the sticks into the holes.  Crikey I don’t remember them being so hard to keep in without them falling straight out of the other side.  But it’s a great activity for fine motor skills – turned out N was pretty good at doing this.

toddler playing kerplunk (1)

Marbles in and I tried to explain that he could remove a stick, then I would remove one…and that’s where it all fell to pieces.  N just wanted to remove as many sticks as possible and then grab the marbles (I suppose that made me the winner?!).  I think we’ve got some time to go before he understands taking turns.

He also has Elefun which is pretty good fun, although he does tend to be a bit lazy when it turns to playing it as he tells me he can’t turn it on or put the trunk on.  It does make me laugh that he just stands like a statue holding his net against the trunk and waiting in hope that the butterflies will fall into his net.  He’s not really figured out (like you’d expect most children to) that he could just take them off the floor and put them in the net.  But no, just stands and waits.

playing elefun game (1)

I want to get hold of a game of snakes and ladders, so I can see how he gets on with that one.  My thoughts are that it’ll teach him taking turns, and counting, so hopefully he’ll start to understand a bit more once we get that on the table and start playing.

The only other game he really has is a dominoes set with animal pictures on.  At the moment he uses them predominantly for ’tiling’ and lining them up in rows and squares.

What were the first games you played with your toddlers?

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  1. We’ve got vehicles dominoes but Monkey still prefers to line them up rather than play a game. Shopping List has been a favourite here, as we used it to help with his speech delay. We have a Fireman Sam Snakes & Ladders game – big plastic playmat and big chunky counters so ideal for younger kids. Insey Winsey Spider is another favourite. Basically – you can’t go wrong with something from Orchard Toys in my opinion

    1. He had Shopping List for Christmas, looks good, although he’s not been keen to play it yet. Might get it out at the weekend as he likes food and likes shopping as well!

      I’m wondering whether when we’re clearing my mum’s house, whether we’ll find our old huge plastic games mat. That was brilliant – ludo, snakes and ladders, plus another 2 games.

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