Play Dress Up
Use hats, shoes, purses, and fun clothes to play dress up. Ask your child who they want to be. Help them make a costume and play along.
If your child wants to be a teacher, you can be the student. If they pretend to be a parent, you can be the child! You can also use toys, blankets, and pillows for silly costumes.
- If you are the teacher, I will be the student! or
- Look! I’m a truck! Vroom, Vroom!
Your child will like this kind of silly play, and they are learning while they do it!
Find a place where your two year old can get dirty and make a mess. Outdoors is best. Collect buckets, spoons, cups, kitchen utensils, or empty plastic bottles for play. Help your child gather mud, water, grass, leaves, and rocks to make soup. They can mix, pour, and stir to make pretend soup. They can shape cookies or pies. Ask them what else they would like to make.
Talk with your child as you “make” things together. Help them with each step. You might say,
- What should we put into the soup?
- Look! Here’s a potato! (a rock)
- It is time to stir the cookie dough. Can you stir it three times?
- One, two, three! Now let’s shape the cookies and put them on a tray.
- Now they go into the oven.
- Yay! they’re done!
Let’s Start a Band!
Create a musical band with your child. Make instruments using plastic storage containers or empty baby-wipe boxes. Fill them with dry beans to make shakers. Seal up one end of an empty toilet paper or paper towel roll with tape. Fill it with uncooked rice, or pasta, and seal the other end to make a shaker. A pot and a spoon make a nice loud drum. Two wooden blocks can be clapped together for a loud sound, too.
Play some music or sing your favorite songs together. March or dance together while you shake your shakers and beat the drum.
Say something like,
- What song should we sing?
- That instrument is quiet. That instrument is loud!
What is in the Box?
Find five pairs of matching objects for this game. You can use two small cars, two wooden blocks, two balls, two books, and two spoons. Place one set of objects on a table or the floor where your toddler can see them. Put the other set inside a box or in a bag.
Ask your child to reach in without looking and touch one of the objects. Then ask them to pick the object on the table that matches the one in the box. After they guess, have them take the object out of the box. Are the objects the same? Then play again. If they don’t match, try guessing again. Help your child choose the matching objects by asking questions about them.
You can say,
- Find one on the table that is the same as the one you are feeling inside the box.
- How do they feel?
- Some things are hard and others are soft.
- Does it feel rough or smooth?
Use simple household items or toys for this hiding and hunting activity. Wash cloths, blocks, plastic eggs, and other items can work. Show your child the items before you hide them. Let them watch you hide them. Then ask your child to hunt for the hidden items. You can help them or you can give them hints.
As your child gets older, ask them to close their eyes while you hide the items. You can leave a part of the item showing or offer hints to make hunting easy!
You might say,
- Look way up high.
- Look under the pillows.
- Did you try behind the curtains?