Toddler Activity: The Naming Game

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The Naming Game is one of Piper’s most favorite activities.  I love it, too, because it is SUPER SIMPLE and doesn’t require much work from me.

Recommended Age:

Around 9-10 months babies will start leading, but it can be started when babies are very young

How to Play the Naming Game:

For a younger baby, the adult playing will pick up different objects and name them for the baby.  For an older baby (Piper started leading at about 10 months old), let them pick up the object and hold it out for the adult to name.  You don’t just have to name what the object is, you can also use a word that describes the object.

  • Name of the object
  • Color
  • Shape
  • Category
  • What it’s used for
  • What sound it makes (farm animals, zoo animals, etc.)

Piper LOVES to have me name things. She will empty an entire basket of toys playing this game. She will pick up one of her blocks or balls and hold them out to me until I tell her something about them. After I have named it, she tosses it aside and picks up something else. This could literally go on for an hour, if I let it and, oftentimes, I do.

I mean, how simple is this game?  It’s educational because you are teaching them colors, shapes, etc.  I like to try to have her repeat what I am saying, so it’s also working on her verbal skills.  She is repeating more and more now, so that is really fun.  We work on signing some of the words, too (if I know the sign).

Another way to play this game is when looking at books.  As you are looking at pictures, you can point out what is shown and name them.  Piper hasn’t started pointing at things in books consistently, so I typically will point out the objects.  She thinks this is a less fun variation of the game and I would guess that’s because she doesn’t get to toss the item aside.  She is ALL about destruction right now.

Materials to Use

You don’t NEED to get anything in order to play this game (which is part of why it’s so great), but below are some of the items we use and others that would work really well.


Happy naming!

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