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All Aboard for Playtime!

It’s never too early to start playing games to help your child reach their sensory, communication, and motor milestones.

Week 79

Games

Games to Play

  • Treasure Chest: Give your toddler their own drawer or box of "treasures." These can be new toys from the dollar section or household objects they would find interesting. Let them pick a toy to play with. Helps baby use motor skills and different senses to touch, listen to, and pick up toys.
  • Ziploc Painting: For a super easy cleanup, put some paint in a Ziploc bag - make sure it’s sealed and taped closed, then give it to your toddler. As they squish and poke the bag, the paint will move around in different and interesting ways. Helps baby’s vision and motor skills.

Week 80

Games

Games to Play

  • Dancing: Have a dance party with your toddler. Put on some upbeat music and dance around the house or outside. Help baby's coordination, balance, and increases creativity.
  • Exploring ‘Guitar’: Put a few rubber bands of different sizes around a thin box to create a guitar. Let your toddler use their fingers to strum the rubber bands and make different sounds. It helps your toddler learn to use just one finger and strum a specific band. Helps with fine motor, listening, and visual skills.

Week 81

Games

Games to Play

  • Dining Table Tent: Create a new living space underneath a dining room table. Add some pillows and their favorite toys to make it like their own house. Helps baby build play skills.
  • Contact Paper: Tape some contact paper (sticky side out) to your wall or window. Give your toddler a few different objects like cotton balls that they can use to throw or place onto the contact paper and watch it stick. Helps baby's sensory development and fine motor skills.

Week 82

Games

Games to Play

  • Peeling Tape: Put masking tape or stickers down on a table and have your toddler try to peel it off. Try to get them to only use the index finger and thumb to pick and peel the tape off the table. Help out by peeling up a small edge to start it off! Helps your toddler build fine motor and visual skills, and sense of touch.
  • You’ve Got Mail: Make a little slit in a box to make it your toddler’s personal mailbox. Then put in junk mail that you get and let them tear it open. Helps baby build fine motor skills by using fingers to pinch and grab items.

Week 83

Games

Games to Play

  • Discovery Bottles: Get a small water bottle and fill it with different objects. Let your toddler shake it around and discover glitter, pebbles, and other objects as they turn it. Make sure the bottle is securely sealed and filled with age appropriate items. Helps baby develop visual skills and arm strength.
  • Food Prints: Food is not just for eating, you can paint with it too! Cut an apple in half and use it as a stamp. Your toddler can also use carrots to roll around in the paint. Helps baby develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

Week 84

Games

Games to Play

  • Pom Pom Push: Cut holes into a lid on a box and have your toddler push pom poms or cotton balls through the holes. Different sized holes can create new challenges. Some they can drop, others they will have to push through. *Supervise baby during this activity. Helps to develop fine motor and visual skills, and sense of touch.
  • Rampin’ Up: Create a ramp. Let your toddler roll different objects down it to learn about how gravity works. Helps baby develop ability to use eyes to track objects and taking turns (if with peers).

Week 85

Games

Games to Play

  • Search Out: Get brightly colored objects, like bouncy balls, and place them around the living room. Don’t make them too hard to find though. Let your toddler walk around and try to find them. Your toddler can count them out as they find them. Helps baby develop visual and language skills.
  • Build Up, Knock Down: Your toddler may be used to toys that click into place as you build them up. This time, use regular wooden blocks to build a tall tower and let them knock it down. Helps baby build visual and fine motor skills, and is a good way for practicing using two hands together.

Week 86

Games

Games to Play

  • Sidewalk Paint/Chalk: Sidewalk chalk is a fun reason to get outside and get a little messy without a big cleanup. Drawing scribbles on the sidewalk or driveway is a chance for your toddler to get creative and have fun. Helps baby builds fine motor, visual, and sensory (touch) skills.
  • Melting Ice: Put water with drops of food coloring in an ice tray and freeze them. Let your toddler put the ice into a bin of room temperature water. The ice will melt and the color will spread out. Helps baby's fine motor and visual skills, and sense of touch.

Week 87

Games

Games to Play

  • Read with Sound Effects: Bring new life to stories by making sound effects. Someone’s stamping their feet in the story? Pound your feet on the floor. A wolf is howling? Give it your best howl. Helps baby develop language skills and keeps their attention.
  • Eye Dropper Art: Put paint into an eye dropper and let your toddler squeeze the top to make the paint come out and create a new kind of artwork. This may take practice so don't get discouraged if your little one can't do this right away. Helps baby develop fine motor, sensory motor, and visual skills.

Week 88

Games

Games to Play

  • Chasing Your Toddler: Chase your toddler around the room saying “I’m going to get you!” Let the anticipation of catching them build until you eventually catch them. Helps baby develop gross motor skills, balance, and coordination.
  • Tossing: Let your toddler throw balls into a laundry basket. Use different sized balls with varying levels of bounce to help them learn the proper amount of force to use while tossing. Helps baby develop visual-motor and body awareness skills.

Week 89

Games

Games to Play

  • Round Up the Balls: Get outside and put different sized balls on the ground. Set down a hula hoop and have your toddler gather the balls and put them inside the hoop. Helps baby use visual, gross motor, and communication skills, sense of touch, and improve ability to follow directions.
  • Play Chef: Play chef and have your toddler fill measuring cups with cheerios. Then let them serve you the snack. They won't understand the different measurements, but scooping and dumping will be fun. Helps baby develop executive function, fine motor, and play skills.

Week 90

Games

Games to Play

  • Bowling: Set up empty water bottles to make bowling pins. Show your toddler how to roll the ball to knock down the pins. Helps baby build hand-eye coordination and practice balance.
  • Puzzles: Get a simple shape puzzles made of foam or wood for your toddler to complete. They'll have fun putting together the puzzle and finding a picture of their favorite characters at the end. Helps baby develop visual and fine motor skills.

Week 91

Games

Games to Play

  • Playing with Play Dough and Clay: Giving your toddler play dough or clay to play with is a fun (and easy cleanup!) activity. Pushing the play dough or clay into different sized containers and then taking it out can also be fun. Helps baby's fine motor skills and sense of touch.
  • Bubble Wrap: Give your toddler bubble wrap and let them pop all the bubbles. Have them try popping them with only their index finger and thumb. Helps baby develop fine motor, auditory, and visual skills.

Week 92

Games

Games to Play

  • Imitate New Words: Say some new words and let your toddler imitate you, trying to repeat what you said. Make a game out of it. Every time they say a word clap, cheer, and repeat the word back. Helps with copying, expressive language, eye contact, and play.
  • DIY Book: Make a do-it-yourself book by gluing different textures onto some pages. Add feathers, buttons, or sandpaper, to name a few, so your toddler can feel the different between rough and smooth, and hard and soft. Helps baby develop sense of touch and play skills.

Week 93

Games

Games to Play

  • Playing with Shaving Cream: Let your toddler smear shaving cream on the window. Start with a small area and then let them spread it along the window, having them draw squiggles in the cream with their fingers. Helps baby explore their sense of touch.
  • Noodle Fun: Get pasta with large holes in it and let your toddler string thread through the pasta to make a noodle necklace. Your toddler can also paint the pasta to make it more colorful and fun. Helps baby develop fine motor skills.

Week 94

Games

Games to Play

  • Shape Sorting: Make circles, squares, and triangles and set two of each down on the floor. Have your toddler match up the shapes. You can also put down pictures of animals and have your child match a toy version of the animal to the picture. Helps baby builds cognitive and visual skills.
  • Tube Ball: Tape cardboard tubes (from a paper towel roll) to the wall so they connect at different angles. Give your toddler a ball and let them drop the ball down the tube, waiting for it to come out the bottom. Helps baby develop visual-motor and fine motor skills.

Week 95

Games

Games to Play

  • Button Drop: Cut holes into a lid on a box and have your toddler slide old buttons through the holes while you supervise them. Making different sized holes can create different challenges for your toddler. Helps baby develop fine motor skills.
  • Laundry Sort: When you are folding laundry, let your toddler help you. As you fold, ask your child to bring you different articles of clothing. Say "please bring me a sock?" Helps baby learn to follow directions.

Week 96

Games

Games to Play

  • Kitchen Helper: Let your child help you out in the kitchen. Give them spoons or spatulas to hold and let them help you mix and stir ingredients. They might make a little bit of a mess so you may have to guide their hands a bit. Helps baby develop fine motor skills.
  • Costume Change: Start a costume bin. Fill it with clothes from past decades, old Halloween costumes, and goofy finds from thrift stores. When your little one is looking for something fun to do, pull out the costume bin and let them step into character! Helps baby develop play skills and practice dressing and undressing.

Week 97

Games

Games to Play

  • Freeze Dance: Have a dance party with your little one. Tell them once the music stops, they have to freeze in place! When it starts, they can dance again. Helps with following instructions and gross motor skills.
  • Seek the Unique: Tell your child the meaning of unique (something that’s not like anything else). Grab a group of items and ask your child to identify which one is "unique". For example, grab all green blocks and one red block. Or items made of metal and one made of paper. Helps with learning new words and sensory skills.
  • Make Your Own Puzzle: Print out a picture of an item your child would like. Cut it into large pieces (for a standard 8.5 x 11 piece of paper, aim for about 9 pieces). Ask your child to try and put the picture together! Helps with sensory and life skills.

Week 98

Games

Games to Play

  • Shadow Show: Turn the lights off and grab a flashlight (or two!). Show your child how they can cast a shadow using their hands or body in front of the flashlight. Challenge them to tell a story using shadows! Helps with fine motor skills, communication skills, and working memory.
  • Sand Search: Hide a toy in a bucket of sand or sandbox. Have your child search for it. For an extra challenge, have them search with their eyes closed-- they can only find it by feeling! Helps with sensory skills.
  • Egg Race: If using real eggs, do this outside! Put an egg (real or plastic) on a spoon, and have your child walk a specified distance. Try to have them go as fast as they can without breaking the egg! Helps with motor skills, balance, and hand-eye coordination.

Week 99

Games

Games to Play

  • Do This Dance: Turn on some music and get dancing! As you dance, give your toddler instructions related to their body parts, such as "shake your arm" or "touch your head". Helps with motor skills, body awareness, and following instructions.
  • Toy Hunt: Hide your little one's favorite toys around the house and have them search for them! You can give them clues of where their toys might be at. Helps with life skills like problem solving and working memory.
  • Toy Talk: Set up a little tea party or snack session for your child with their favorite stuffed animals. Ask them questions about their toys and see if they can start conversations with them. Helps with social-emotional skills, language skills, creativity, and imaginative play.

Week 100

Games

Games to Play

  • Body Trace: Using a large piece of craft paper and a writing utensil, have your child lay on the paper and trace an outline of their body. Helps with self-control and patience, identifying body parts.
  • Block Balance: Using a toy block set, have your child see how many blocks they can stack on top of each other before they fall over. Have them count each block as they place them, and if they need help, remind them to be delicate with the blocks as they place them. Helps with balance, body awareness, counting, and fine motor skills.

Week 101

Games

Games to Play

  • Catch and Release: Play a game of catch in the yard by tossing your child a ball and having them toss it back to you. Change up the game by giving them different size balls to toss or various instructions when throwing the ball (i.e. throw as slow as you can, throw as fast as you can, etc.). Helps with fine and gross motor skills, understanding and following directions, and body awareness.
  • Spray Bottle Tie Dye: Dye water with food coloring and put it in a spray bottle. Then take a white t-shirt (or whatever you want to dye), put it in the grass or on a tarp, and let your child spray the shirt to dye it! Helps with fine motor skills and sensory skills.

Week 102

Games

Games to Play

  • Chalk Walk: On a sidewalk or driveway, create squares of different colors using sidewalk chalk. Instruct your child to walk to different colors "go to the red square" or give them a series of squares to remember "go to the red square, then the blue square, then the yellow square". Helps with motor skills and balance.
  • Hop To It: Draw a path with sidewalk chalk and challenge you child to hop along the path! You can add numbers in the path and tell them to jump that many times (for example, if the square says 3, they have to jump 3 times when they land on it). Helps with motor skills, following directions, and counting.

Week 103

Games

Games to Play

  • Balloon Volley: Using a balloon filled with air (not helium), challenge your child to keep the balloon off the ground for as long as they can using their hands and feet. Helps with gross motor skills, body awareness, and balance.
  • Pillow Path: Challenge your child to walk across the house using a path only made of pillows. You can use as few as 2 pillows, and they will have to pick up the pillow behind them and put it in front of them with each step. Helps with problem solving, motor skills, and balance.

Week 104

Games

Games to Play

  • Like an Animal: Ask your child to walk and make sounds like an animal! For example, ask them to moo like a cow, slither like a snake, or gallop like a horse. Helps with language skills and working memory.
  • Warmer, Colder: Hide an item and have your child search for it. As they get closer, tell them they are warmer; as they get farther, tell them they are colder. Helps with communication skills and life skills like working memory and problem solving.
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