Knowing that play helps build important skills for your tot, try out these fun games for your 12-month-old.
WORDS ANGELA LOW
Beyond having tons of fun for both parent and child, playtime can be educational as well and make for an entertaining platform on which to impart crucial cognitive skills to your little one. While it de-stresses the soul, it enriches the mind. What’s more, playing games with your toddler is also one of the best ways to bond with them. Here are five activities you can try with junior to spruce things up at playtime.
The Memory Game
This game involves a special deck of cards with multiple pairs of matching images. The idea is to jumble them up and arrange them face down in a grid on a large surface. Each player opens two random cards of their choice at each turn with the goal of finding matching cards.
While more experienced players deal with a larger number of
cards, you can limit it to just six or eight pieces for your tot,
introducing more cards the faster they finish the game.
The Sorting Game
Here's a game that you can build yourself – all you need are a couple of pegboards and pins. Colour each board in a different hue, along with the pegs that come with them. Then, mix the pegs up so that every board carries a kaleidoscope of coloured pins. The point of the game is to rearrange those pins, matching them to the appropriate board. This teaches toddlers how to identify different colours and sort items that belong together. You can even set a timer to spice things up.
Every kid can probably recall a time when they were all about playing house, creating a new make-believe world to call home. A great way to be creative and foster exploration, this game has no real rules. Anything can be used as props – for instance, rugs to differentiate the rooms in the “house”, and books to serve as eating plates. Encourage role-playing as well to help develop your child’s social skills and imagination.
Another activity that exercises the creativity of your toddler, sponge painting is as straightforward as it sounds. To prepare, gather some paint, soft sponges, mahjong paper, and a palette. Lay a piece of paper on the floor, making sure to protect the surface with newspapers first. Then, squeeze the different colours of paint onto the palette (which can also be substituted with paper plates), and dip the sponge into the paint to get started on your masterpiece.
You can also cut each sponge into different shapes,
numbers and letters to create DIY stamps for the painting.
The Guessing Game
This one requires the least materials but promises a whole lot of fun too. You start by thinking of a random number that your kid has to guess. Hide your hands behind your back as you ask them how many fingers you’re holding up. Keep it between one and 10 at first, using this as an opportunity to teach them larger numbers all the way up to 50 or even 99.