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Dads and Toddlers – Ideas for Games and Activities

Father and daughter. Sometimes, dads need a little help in coming up with things they can do with their toddlers. But the time you spend bonding with your toddler can go a long way toward your relationship together. Here are some ideas for games and activities dads can do with their toddlers.


Toddlers have a natural love for the outdoors. There are various outdoor activities that dads can enjoy with their little ones, such as the following:

* Water play – The possibilities for this one are practically endless, depending on the time of year! In warm weather, playing in the garden hose or sprinkler can be a blast. You can also use kids’ pools (no more than a few inches of water in the pool, though, and supervise at all times).

In cold weather, you can spread a tarp on the floor and set up a water station either on the tarp or on a table placed on the tarp. Various plastic containers filled with water, watering cans, and other toys are fun for toddlers.

* Walk in the park – Take your toddler for a stroll in a park, whether it’s a city park or the forest. Look at leaves, trees, and bugs. Toddlers love to learn about the world around them, and everything is new!

* Playgrounds – Toddler playgrounds can take a whole afternoon. Bring a snack and drink, and have fun on the slides, swings, and other toddler-appropriate playground equipment.


You can certainly have fun indoors, too. Here are some ideas for dads.

* Read – Read to your toddler; you will not only enjoy it, but you’ll be contributing to your toddler’s reading readiness. You might make it into an outing – take your toddler to the library and check out some books, and then enjoy reading over a snack in the afternoon.

* Games – There are lots of indoor games you can play with your toddler. You can keep it simple by just putting on music and dancing, or you can break out the alphabet blocks and build things. Mom might like a “clean up game” where you toss toys into bins. Toss a soft ball back and forth, or roll it down the hall to knock over bowling “pins” made from empty plastic water bottles.

Try patty-cake, follow the leader, or ring-a-round-a-rosy (yes, you can play that with two people!). Wooden puzzles with big pieces are fun for toddlers, too.

There’s no reason why dads can’t get in on the toddler act! Your family will thank you for this bonding time.