Simple toddler game teaches letters, numbers, turn-taking, fine motor skills and … it’s fun

Maya’s come up with a lovely, simple game with her daughter:

I’ve been playing this game with my daughter for a while – she’s 27 months old now. You could play this a variety of ways and it teaches many skills all at the same time, as well as being fun (at least my daughter thinks so).

I put her giant drawing pad on the floor with some crayons and sit down with her. I then draw the alphabet or numbers, making them in outline form so we can color them in. When we played the game the other day, my goal was to teach her to take turns, so I picked up a crayon and said, “It’s Mama’s turn. I pick orange and I’m coloring number 15.” Then she’d say, “It’s Violet’s turn. I pick purple and I’m coloring number 8.” We play this game very informally. If she wants two turns, that’s fine. If she gets tired of the game, that’s fine. If she wants to change the “rules,” that’s fine. The important thing is to have fun and she really does with this game. We spent a good 30 minutes playing together this morning and then we hung it on the wall and she spent another 15 minutes talking about it after that.

Easel pads (from the office supply store) are great for this purpose (and for many others).

Related: Games to play with the alphabet floor mat


  1. says

    I love simple learning games like this. One that I am doing with my preschooler is when we are walking home from taking her brothers to school, we stop at each mailbox and take turns of saying what the numbers on the box on. It is a very easy way to fit a number recognition activity into our day.

  2. says

    …and if you want to do on the cheap, visit your (not so) local hardware/DIY store and take several ‘samples’ of wallpaper. It makes ideal floor drawing paper, especially if you get the thick flock kind which is great for doing watery-ink blob and merge patterns on.

  3. says

    Check local architecture firms or recycling centers for old architecture drawings. They are a nice big size, often stapled together, and free.

  4. Suzie says

    This is so cool! I can’t wait for my daughter to be old enough to try it with her. Thanks for the idea. :-)