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Fun ball games to play with your toddler

Reading time: 0-10 minutes

These ball games are good for keeping small children busy and tiring them out. And here’s some good news, when they’re tired bedtime is less of a battle. The other great thing is you don’t even need to buy a ball to play them – scrunched up paper or a ball of socks is just as fun.

Ball game tips to try at home

Tip #1: Passing fun

Roll a ball and get your wee one to pass it back to you. You can tire out them out even more by asking them to run or crawl to collect it.

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Tip #2: Toddler hockey

Use everyday items like cardboard tubes to make goal posts. See how many times the pair of you can score by rolling a ball for a fun activity to enjoy together.

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Tip #3: Crawl games

If you want to encourage your wee one to start crawling, try placing a ball in front of them – they’ll be reaching it in no time, and using up energy at the same time. Win win.

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Tip #4: Bowling alley

Line up plastic cups, card tubes or another everyday item on the floor and get your little one to knock them over with a ball… strike! A fun game for both of you.

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Tip #5: Boo!

Hide behind a ball and play peek-a-boo! Why not pass the ball to your toddler and see if they try to hide behind it too? It’s a sure fire way to start the giggles and brilliant fun for both of you.

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Tip #6: Baby basketball

This game couldn’t be simpler – you just need a basket or plastic tub and some scrunched up paper balls. Take it in turns to see if you can get a slam-dunk! Get them to collect the balls to tire them out.

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Tip #7: Hide the ball

Hide the ball and give your little one clues of where to find it. Say ‘hot’ if they get closer to it, or ‘cold’ if they go move further away. Make sure you hide the ball somewhere they can see it and reach it.

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Tip #8: Hole throw

Cut a big hole in some cardboard and hold it up. Get your little one to throw a ball and see if they can get it to go through the hole – but don’t make the hole too small. You could even play this game with their favourite teddy. If it’s too easy for them, start sitting a little further away.

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Tip #9: Bath ball

Using a waterproof ball, or empty baby shampoo bottle and sponge, see if your little one can get them to sink or float in the bath as part of their bedtime routine. Working out which ones float and which sink will keep little brains busy.

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Tip #10: Trophy champion

Whatever game you play, crown your tot a champion with this trophy. It’s really easy to make together – you just need some card and tinfoil. You could even use it as a reward for when they’ve eaten all their dinner or got themselves ready in the morning. It’s totally up to you.

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This article was created as part of

Play Talk Read

Last updated: 10 Jul, 2020