As promised, here are ideas of games to play with your toddler. Note that many times the box will rate a game for older children because of concerns about choking, so never stop worrying about whether your toddler can reach items that are choking hazards!
The first 3 games are free!
- I Spy
"I spy with my little eye something red!" Take turns being the one spying and the one guessing.
- 20 Questions
A great game for playing while in the doctor's office waiting room! Start with guesser asking, "Is it animal, vegetable or mineral?" Then the guesser asks 20 yes-or-no questions to find the answer.
- Tic Tac Toe
Younger kids don't realize that the game always ends in a draw if everyone plays correctly. They can enjoy it while it lasts. Sometimes ignorance really is bliss. In a pinch, it can be played on dirty car windows.
Players takes turns pulling plastic disks with differently-colored animals out of the farmhouse and putting them on their bingo cards. This one looks like it's gone out of print, but you might find it at garage sales, etc.
Also out of print. A shame, since it had a clever treasure chest that opened "magically" when all of colored balls were collected. Turns out that old copies now sell for over a hundred dollars!
The players collect plastic earrings, bracelets, crowns, etc., and wear them. The first person to collect a full set of jewelry is crowned "pretty pretty princess." It's worth the price of the game to watch your husband play with his daughters.
Spin the spinner and harvest cherries from a tree. It can get a little tedious, since you are constantly losing cherries to natural disasters like birds and spilled baskets.
Designed for children who know their colors, but not numbers or counting. A classic, of course -- all luck and no decisions to make. My husband has stooped to "fixing" the deck sometimes to speed up the game and let the kids win. Don't tell anyone.
My husband's "favorite" of this group. No skill involved, but it turns out (believe it or not!) that this game is related to some very complex mathematical ideas. See this website:
http://datagenetics.com/blog/november12011/index.html At this site you can also find a similar analysis of Candy Land and Battleship!