Patricia Berry has a piece on about simple games suitable for young children. Many of the suggestions, taken from Sheila Ellison’s book 365 Games Toddlers Play, seem like they might help teach toddlers the fundamentals of gaming, but some of the games might be better classified as activities. For example, she recommends this “game” for two year olds:

Sorting pasta is another tactile activity that involves a toddler’s growing ability to see differences in things. Ellison suggests mixing a variety of different pasta shapes (corkscrews, elbows, bowties, etc.) and colors in a large bowl. Show your toddler how to make a pile of same-shaped or same-colored pasta. As she sorts, tell her the names of each shape.”

Educational, perhaps, but not particularly fun. I’m not a parent, so can’t speak with any authority, but I would like to think that there are full-fledged games that a toddler could enjoy while learning the basics of gaming. Are toddlers really stymied by rules, or is this another case of inadequate exposure to quality games?

Games Toddlers Play

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