Do you have a playful backup for times when you get caught waiting unexpectedly? This mini Fisher-Price Magna Doodle, the Doodle Pro, has been my go-to waiting game on shopping trips, in aeroplanes, at restaurants and doctors surgeries since Immy was about 16 months old. It takes up no space in my handbag and prevents me scrabbling around the bottom of my bag (amongst the squashed strawberries and spilled sultanas) for a scrap of paper and a pen.
Of course, using the Doodle Pro for drawing is one way of having fun but we have a number of favourite games that we like to play that make waiting time pass much more quickly!
1. What animal is this?
I have played this game with Immy since she was small, even juggling a shopping list, throwing grocery items into the trolley and playing on the Doodle Pro as we went When she was small, I would narrate as I drew, “This animal has a head and a body and four legs. It has a long, long neck and is very tall…” And she would guess what I was drawing. This is a fun way of introducing the idea of giving ‘clues’ and what a clue is. Clues like where the animal lives or what sound it makes become very important once your child is having a turn of drawing themselves, especially when their drawing isn’t yet representative of what you might perceive as the actual animal (see above). Nowadays, I don’t tell Immy what I am drawing, instead showing her after I have drawn each body part or feature to see how early she can guess which animal I am creating.
2. Your turn, my turn
For this drawing game we each take turns to add one item to the image at a time. So I might start with a circle, and Immy adds another shape, and then I add a feature or another shape, and so on and so forth, until you may just end up with a collaboratively created drawing like the one below.
3. Find the…
Depending upon the age and developmental stage of your toddler or preschooler, shapes, numbers or letters will work with this game. Draw a variety of simple shapes (or numbers or letters) on the board and ask your toddler to find and cross out each one that you name.
4. For Bigger Kids
For older preschoolers and primary aged children try classic games like noughts and crosses or hangman.