Your toddler’s view on playtime (Fifteen minutes a day is okay!)

Mum and Dad, let’s make a deal! I know you’re busy, and there may well be a lot of the week when we are not together, but that’s OK. When it comes to playtime and having fun together, it’s about Quality Versus Quantity Time and Good Enough is Good Enough!

You see, I need to have time playing with you. Whatever time you’ve got, I’ll take it! For me, your presence matters much more than any presents.

Here’s the deal: no matter how busy you are, will you play in the way that’s best for me for fifteen minutes every day?

There’s lot of stuff we could do…  how about play dough? Forget about the cutters and shapers, we can make our own designs and sculptures. We could do this with pastry and then if you bake it, we could eat what we made together!

We could finger paint together or face paint each other. You’ll love that messy feeling.

We could start a band with the pots and spoons in the kitchen and perhaps put some dried pasta in a lunchbox and make music.

Have you ever splashed in puddles? I love it. Let’s get wrapped up warm, put our wellies on and head outside. If there aren’t any puddles, we can jump in piles of leaves.

Have a look at my ideas for some other fun games. Older brothers or sisters could join into these ones.


We’ll need to get some cotton balls, lotion, a toilet roll and straws first though!

Cotton Ball Races

Each of us has a cotton ball and a straw and we have a race blowing the cotton ball with the straw to one end of the room and back.  It’s great fun if you make a track with sticky tape on the floor in a zig-zag or straight or round pattern and everyone relays around it. (I might do better just blowing my cotton ball with my mouth instead of with a straw, and a toddler-friendly track should be straight and wide, but you know I’ll keep trying!).  We can keep playing this as I grow older, making it trickier each year.

Cotton Ball Clouds

I promise to close my eyes while you massage my face with a cotton ball. I know I have to keep my eyes closed the entire time and just relax as you massage my face. All the time you put on your soft voice and say what you’re doing, like “I’m travelling across forehead motorway, down onto cheek city, over nose bridge”, ‘cos that helps me stay still and keep my eyes shut.

Snow Cotton Ball Fight!

Let’s all take a handful of cotton balls and when you yell “SNOWBALL FIGHT” we all begin to pelt each other with them. We’ll keep going until you shout, “STOP!”

Lotion Makes It Better

You have to gently examine my arms and legs for bumps or bruises and dab each one with lotion. Then you gently massaging the lotion into my arms and legs.

Lotion Slithers!

Cover your hands in lotion. Sit on the floor opposite me and grip my hands in yours. Get me to pull against you so that your hands slip out of mine, and you do a big, big fall back! I can pull you back up. This game is great fun if you do it three times in a row.

Making The Lotion Disappear

This is a great game if there are more than just two of us. You put a large blob of lotion on your hand. Pass it to the person beside you by rubbing your hand against theirs, transferring all lotion from your hand to theirs. Everyone repeats this until all the lotion disappears into our hands. It’s magic!

Toilet Roll Mummies

I will stand still like a statue with my arms down by my sides. You wrap me from shoulder to hands in the toilet roll and then tuck it in and ask me to me wait until you say, “BUST OUT!” But please don’t make me wait more than five seconds because I’m still a toddler. (I think we both know I don’t have a strong capacity for patience just yet!)

Toilet Roll Karate Chop

You lift up the strips of toilet paper and ask me to karate chop them with my hand!


 Toddler Top Tip…

Don’t worry if you’re not very good at playing! I’m the expert around here and I’d love to teach you!”


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