Hey there. We’re The Early Years Count team sending you fresh info and fun ideas to your inbox.
Want to play? Sign up now to receive tips, ideas and fun ways to make your child’s early years count.
Toddlers love to play and they are constantly learning through new opportunities.
Toddlers will begin to want to start playing with other children, side by side at first (around 14 months of age), then with playmates around the age of three. However, you will remain one of your child’s favourite playmates throughout most of their childhood, so it’s important that you join in with play sometimes too.
As your child develops walking and running skills, they will want more room to play. There are many everyday household items you can use to encourage your toddler to play, from jumping over pillows, to carrying containers and building with stones and twigs, finger painting, puppets, sorting puzzles, cooking and playing dress up.
You can encourage toddlers to develop running by using big, light objects such as cardboard boxes and blow up balls. Chalk outlines, rope and playing to music can encourage stamping, kicking and hopping.
Outdoors, hills, tunnels and nooks encourage crawling and exploring while sand, garden and water play encourages curiosity. You might want to start teaching your toddler to ride a tricycle, scooter or a bike too.