The first six years of a child’s life are crucial for all areas of development including brain development. As parents and carers of children, we want to help young toddlers and set them up on a path for success by developing their learning and stimulating their memories and concentration skills.
Brain-boosting toddler activities are the best way of doing just that and we’re about to share some of our favourite with you so keep reading!
- Building Blocks
Toddlers find it so hilarious when they build up a tower of play blocks and then knock them all down. If you have played with building blocks like Lego or something similar with a toddler, you will understand exactly what we mean.
Again and again, they will want to re-build their “tower”, “castle” or “house” of blocks and, each time, the structure eventually come crashing down. If this is something your toddler enjoys, it’s an activity that you should encourage.
Building with play blocks helps children to build their knowledge of directional language i.e. “up”, “down”, “left” right”, “here”, there” and requires the brain to develop strategic thinking. A child will be forced to engage in problem solving by having to answer questions such as “which block will fit on top of another block?” and “will the blocks tip over if I add this shaped block?”
- Play dress-up
Few activities help to stimulate imagination and encourage creativity among toddlers like fancy dress. Playing dress-up isn’t just about allowing your toddler to wear their favourite Princess or Superman costume again and again.
Put together a chest of different items and encourage them to come up with different “characters” based on the items and props inside. Dressing up is fun, it gets them thinking and it gives a child an opportunity to express himself/herself in so many different ways.
- Organise a scavenger hunt
Most children only get to experience a scavenger hunt once a year whether that’s at Easter or Christmas time. That’s no where near often enough for a really fun group activity that encourages and supports healthy brain development.
Scavenger hunts don’t have to be extravagant. You can simply send your toddler on a fun mission around the home, perhaps with a little treat at the end as a reward.
Send them off in search of 5 red items, or a specific list of common items like a pair of socks, a book or a towel. It helps to familiarise a toddler with different types of colours, objects etc. and it encourages their analytical and problem-solving skills in a really fun and effective way.
- Duck, Duck, Goose
It’s an age-old game but it remains a classic for many reasons. Games like “Duck, Duck, Goose” aren’t based on winning so toddlers are unlikely to shy away fearing losing as a result.
A game with such a simple concept is a good introduction to gameplay for toddlers as it teaches them to understand and play by rules, while improving motor skills, making them aware of their surroundings and strengthening their attention span.
- Hide and Seek
Another classic game that is a huge hit with toddlers is Hide and Seek. It’s an excellent brain boosting game as each player is always engaged and learning.
The hiding toddlers will need to think strategically and think fast of a suitable place to hide where the seeker will have difficulty finding them. The ‘seeking’ toddler will need to think about where the hiders could be, visualise places in the house where they could potential hide and demonstrate spatial awareness. There’s a lot more to a game of hide and seek than you think!
And that completes our list of our 5 favourite brain-boosting activities for toddlers. How do you combine learning and fun for your little one? We’d love to hear from you!