Educational and fun gift ideas for 2 year olds. Our favorite games and toys.

I wanted to share some of our favorite development promoting games and toys that are also fun to play with. I did research to find some of these earlier, and only sharing the ones that Scarlett really enjoys playing with.

Early Learning Workbook by Gakken

The front cover of this workbook doesn’t do it justice, you can preview some pages on amazon to see how colorful the pictures are. It has lots of activities for little kids. Some activities are almost too easy for a 2 year old, but there are enough activities there to keep a child entertained for a while – there are colorful stickers that need to be placed in certain spots, tracing lines, finding objects, matching colors and shapes, fun games – and all to improve problem solving skills for kids. There are lots of other workbooks by Gakken, and I highly recommend using them.

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Advent Calendar for toddlers. Christmas/winter activities for 2-3 year olds

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I couldn’t decide for a while to do an advent calendar for Scarlett this year or not. She’s 26 months old now and I wasn’t sure if she would understand the idea, but I decided to try. I picked the activities that I think she would like, so I’ll be sharing them here.

Our advent calendar includes 24 bags for Christmas countdown – each bag contains an activity to do and a little gift.

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Learning activities and games for toddlers 2 – 3 years old

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Match colored buttons to cars. Free download.

Here’s a free download of car shapes without wheels of 4 colors. You can print a few of these copies to make the game longer, and optionally car shapes can be also cut out. Of course, your child has to be over the stage of putting things in the mouth. My daughter loves to play with buttons, I still watch her closely but she seems to be over that stage now. I used buttons from this set, it includes a variety of fun shapes and colors.

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45+ Learning Activities For 18-24 month olds. Toddler activities.

This article is updated as Scarlett is growing up, so you’ll see different month ages mentioned here.

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1. Shape monsters activities

Originally I made these shape monsters for stringing activity but we found some other ideas how to play with them. They are made out of felt sheets (you want stiff ones to keep the shape). I cut out squares, triangles and circles, put googly eyes on them and made a slit in the middle of each shape. Googly eyes are optional if you think your child might put them in his or her mouth. Scarlett wasn’t interested in taking the eyes off, so I kept them. I made an identical pair for each shape. Here are a few ways how we play with these shape monsters:

  • First of all, having those slits in the middle of each shape, allows Scarlett to put them on her fingers, so they kind of turn into finger puppet monsters. When she puts one shape on her finger, I ask her to find identical one and put it on the finger on the other hand.
  • I have been using a plastic box from a bento box take-out that we ordered recently for sorting activities. Shapes can be sorted by type in each container section.
  • I separated two identical pairs of shape monsters into 2 piles. As Scarlett takes one shape from one pile, I ask her to find a matching pair from another, and arrange them on a table in pairs.

Another activity idea is to put these shape monsters on craft sticks or straws.

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Shichida method overview. Plan of activities for all ages. Our adaptation for 18-24 month olds.

Plan of activities based on Shichida method of right-brain education - development on photographic memory, instant calculations and creative thinking. activities for toddlers, activities for 19 month old, activities for 20 month old, activities for 21 month old, activities for 22 month old, activities for 23 month old, activities for 24 month old, activities for one year old, activities for two year old.

I recently discovered a fascinating educational method by Makoto Shichida, that focuses on the development of the child’s right brain. I’ve been overwhelmed with interesting information and started to apply it to our activities with my toddler right away. It’s not easy to find detailed information about his method online, and his books in English are only available from Japan. So I ordered his book – if anybody is interested it’s here or you can read my summary below. Besides reading the book, I gathered information from parents whose kids went to Shichida schools in Asia, so here is a recap of what I learned and how we implement it with our 19-month-old.

As you know, left brain controls things like logic, written and spoken languages, scientific ability and number skills. The Shichida method targets the development of the right brain which is responsible for the photographic memory ability, computer-like calculation ability, intuition and creative imagination. All these skills can be acquired by doing exercises that stimulate the right brain. The idea of my child having these skills sounds very exciting to me, considering that I have a very bad memory. If I can help my child develop even some of these skills, I would consider myself an accomplished parent. Continue reading “Shichida method overview. Plan of activities for all ages. Our adaptation for 18-24 month olds.”

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Sunday box of activities for 12-18 month olds. Daily toy rotation.

Sunday box of activities and toys. Toy rotation. activities for toddlers, activities for 12 month old, activities for 13 month old, activities for 14 month old, activities for 15 month old, activities for 16 month old, activities for 17 month old, activities for 18 month old, activities for 19 month old, activities for 20 month old

I’d like to share some of the activities and books that I found to be very useful for spending time with my toddler.

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Little Mouse, Little Mouse, Are you in a red house? Printable game.

 

Little mouse, are you in a red house? Printable game for toddlers. Free printable. creative activities for toddlers, activities for 18 month old, activities for 19 month old, activities for 20 month old, activities for 21 month old, activities for 22 month old, activities for 23 month old, activities for 24 month old, activities for two year old

 

Scarlett loves guessing and discovery games, so I made this game that I saw at a story time in our library.

Since it’s recommended to introduce primary colors to a toddler first, we play this game with 3 primary colors for now – red, blue and yellow. But I made 6 houses of 6 colors – primary and secondary so I have them all ready for later.

I lay out 3 houses in front of Scarlett and hide a mouse underneath one of them, and then I say: “Little mouse, little mouse, are you in a red house?” Then we do knock-knock, and check if the mouse is there. It’s a great game to learn colors!

We made this game using Magnetic Sheets . I printed out files, placed them on a sticky side of magnetic sheets, then cut out shapes. This makes them durable too. We play by placing them to a baking tray.
Another option would be to print files out and glue to the cardboard for durability, or laminate them using  Self-Adhesive Laminating Sheets.

Little mouse, are you in a red house? Printable game for toddlers. Free printable. creative activities for toddlers, activities for 18 month old, activities for 19 month old, activities for 20 month old, activities for 21 month old, activities for 22 month old, activities for 23 month old, activities for 24 month old, activities for two year old

Here are the printables, and I hope your toddler will enjoy the game!

Mouse and houses of primary colors

Secondary colors

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Friday box of activities for 12-18 month olds

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We do activities and toys rotation for each day of the week, and here’s our Friday box of activities. Here is a link for all our activity boxes: daily activities and toy rotation for 12-18 month olds.

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