For families with busy parents, a nanny can provide critical support when it comes to helping toddlers experience healthy mental development. Educational play in their early years helps children develop problem-solving skills and the mental acuity they’ll later need to excel in formal education and can have a range of additional emotional and psychological benefits. Here are a few ideas for fun games you can play with toddlers which will contribute to strong growth and development.
Drawing & Painting
One of the most important ways in which toddlers learn is by interpreting and imitating the sights and experiences they see around them. For many children, drawing, finger painting, playing with modeling clay, and other fun forms of artmaking offer an ideal opportunity to express themselves, identify colors and shapes, and develop visual ideas and cognitive skills.
This can come in the form of freestyle drawing, coloring, or by giving examples to follow or challenging them to draw toys and other objects. These activities can help them learn to express ideas, feelings, and thoughts, and to develop their motor and visual skills.
Toddlers often imitate the world around them through their actions. For example, kids may enjoy playing house, acting out everyday activities, or mimicking their role models or characters in their favorite movies, books, or TV shows.
A nanny can support these types of play by encouraging creative dress-up and establishing rules for imagined scenarios. You can also help them act out stories of their own or challenge them to imitate animals, friends, and family.
Puzzles support a wide range of developmental areas, including motor and cognitive skills, patience, and memory. These can range from simple puzzles, which help little ones identify geometric patterns and shapes, to more advanced options requiring them to match letters and small numbers. Children with strong tactile abilities may benefit from peg puzzles or tangram puzzles, which require them to use critical thinking skills to recreate patterns or come up with their own designs.