It can be challenging to find age-appropriate learning games for a younger toddler since they don’t really understand as much as a preschooler would, but there are lots of simple activities that I’ve found to be very educational and beneficial for my girls during the younger tot ages. Most of them involve nothing more than some basic classic wooden toys and some household materials that you most likely already have on hand.
If you already own a set of nesting bowls, great. If not, we really like the Grimm’s 5-piece nesting bowl set made in Germany because they are wooden, made with water-based stains and food plant oils (in case baby decides to taste them) and they are easy for little hand to grasp.
Nesting and Stacking
These two are the more obvious activities that you can do with nesting bowls. They help develop baby’s fine motor skills which are important for writing, using a fork, turn pages in a book, etc. Flip the bowls over to create a tower and let baby throw a ball at them to knock them down. We have a lot of fun doing this.
Aside from separating the bowls by color, try using them to allow baby to sort crafting pom poms by color. Lead by example and see how she follows.
Pretend Play: Kitchenware
Both my preschooler and my toddler have fun using their nesting bowls to serve pretend food when they play kitchen. We save empty containers that we use everyday like coffee creamer jugs, spice shakers and baby rice cereal containers. I ask my girls for food or coffee and they whip me up some delicious treats.
This activity is similar to the sorting activity except there’s not color matching involved. You can use pom poms or something a little messier like rice to let baby fill a container and pour it into the next. This one is definitely messier and more dangerous for the little ones so I advise that you be really hands-on with this activity.
As you can see, most of the activities I’ve shown require very little prep or clean up. I’m all about easy and last minute and these are some of the learning games that have been very successful for my girls. I hope you and your kiddos enjoy them, too.