Games to play at home

Games to play with young children

There are lots of games you can play with your toddler to help them learn and develop, and keep them entertained. The following three games are designed for pre-school children and develop co-operation, confidence and coordination, whilst stimulating the imagination. Each can be played with a single child, or with a group of children. You do not need any special equipment and they can all be played at home.

Where is my hair? (age – from 18 months)

You will need a piece of cloth (a tea towel for example) for each person playing the game, which should be placed on the players’ heads. 

The Game Parent models the game and begins: I woke up with this lovely hair (touch cloth) I don’t know where it came from (shrug) I closed my eyes and when I looked (close eyes tightly and then open them) My lovely hair was gone! (parent takes the cloth off the child’s head)

Autumn Leaves – an action rhyme (age 2 – 5 years)

Child and parent are in role as autumn leaves although the parent or child may wish to take on the role of the wind who hides in a corner and swoops round the fallen leaf. Sound effects can be made with voices, instruments or even pots and pans! 

The Game See me turning round and round (child turns) Floating gently to the ground (child falls to the floor with controlled movements) The autumn wind blows in the sky (child lies still) Then swoops down low and lifts me high! (child stands up and jumps – small children may be lifted into the air by their parents)

Hide and seek pig (age 3 – 5 years)

Children are in role as one of the three little pigs. Parent in role as the big bad wolf! (Children can also take it in turns to be the wolf). Learn this simple script: Wolf: Little pig, little pig, let me come in Pig: Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin Wolf: Then I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house in! 

The Game The little pig hides in their ‘house’ (behind the sofa/under the bed etc.) and the wolf knocks on the ‘door’ and begins the simple script. Parents should encourage children to remember the script and to use the voice of the wolf or the pig. At the end of the script the wolf tries to blow the house down and the pig runs away to another hiding place. The wolf then has to look for the pig’s house and when they find it the game begins again. Repeat until the pig finds himself a very strong house that the wolf can’t blow down.

How we can help you

If you would like support and advice, you can talk to one of our Family Support Workers by calling our confidential helpline on 0808 800 2222. You can also share experiences and advice with other parents on our Forums. Family Lives is here for you and you can contact us about any family issue, big or small.

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