Toddlers are active, busy and love exploring the world around them. Games that focus on early literacy skills can help enhance their language development. Here are a few Urdu games for toddlers that you can enjoy with them while helping to encourage their Urdu. All games are structured for a bilingual child (urdu/english). Children who speak Hindi can also do these games.
1. Urdu Games for Toddlers: Choti Si Chirya (Small Bird)
Take the child’s hand and circle their palm while chanting:
“Choti Si Chirya,
Mum Mum Peeti,
Humein Jo Dekha,
Ur Gaye Ur Gaye Ur Gaye” (Walk your fingers up the child’s arm and tickle them)
This rhyme is similar in action to the english one, “Round and Round the Garden Runs a Teddy Bear”. You can do the english song along with the urdu one to encourage language development in your bilingual child.
The english ryhme has similar actions and goes like this
“Round and Round the Garden,
Runs a Teddy Bear,
A One Step, A Two Step,
A ticklie under there”
Voice Clip here:
My dadi (paternal grandmother) would do this rhyme with us as babies and then with my kids. I simply loved it. My husband’s dadi also did the same rhyme with my daughter and it always warmed my heart.
English translation of Choti Se Chirya: “There was a small birdie, that loved to eat seeds, and drink water, but as soon as he saw us, he flew away…”
- This rhyme helps the parent and child bond because the child sits in the parent’s lap as they circle the palm. The finger walk up the arm and tickle is something that all children enjoy.
- Songs are a great way to encourage vocabulary building. This is a short rhyme so children learn the words quickly and start anticipating the tickle coming.
2. Urdu Games for Toddlers: Ankhein Meechi (Eyes Shut)
The parent can sit a little far from the child, stretch out their arms, close their eyes and sing
“Ankhein Meechi Ankhein Meechi, Kon Aye Ga,
[Girl child’s name], Aye Ge, Mere Baitee Aye Ge”
OR [Boy child’s name] Aye Ga, Mera Baita Aye Ga”
The child rushes to the parent and gives them a tight hug. You can add as many kids as you want to this game. As the child learns the game, you can add the names of their favorite toy, or some inanimate object like “maiz” (table), kursi (chair), etc and see how the child reacts. Some will search for the favorite toy and bring it for a hug. And they will laugh when the parent asks for a “maiz” (table) or kursi (chair). Be creative and have fun with this game.
This is another game I remember fondly from my childhood and have continued with my own children.
English Translation: My eyes are shut, tightly shut, Will my darling come give me a hug?”
Voice Clip Here:
You can do this game in both english and urdu with your children. Do remember though that the urdu version is slightly different for a boy and a girl.
- This is a great bonding game with an active toddler who loves to run. And who doesn’t love the hugs in the end.
- You can expand on this song to increase the child’s vocabulary.
- Since this song has an exact english translation, it really enhances the language skills for the bilingual child.
3. Urdu Games for Toddlers: Chand Sa Chehra (The Moon is Round)
This game is adapted from a beloved english poem “The Moon is Round” and teaches the child the names of the different parts of their face.
The English version goes like this:
The moon is round
As round can be, (trace the child’s face with your finger)
Two eyes, a nose,
And a mouth like me
(touch the child’s eyes, nose, mouth and give a hug in the end)
Here’s an adapted urdu version:
“Chaand sa chehra (trace the face with your finger)
Aankhein gol, (touch the eyes gently)
Palkon Ka pehra, (touch the eye lashes)
Mere jaan anmol, (give a hug)
Honton pe thehra, (point to the lips)
Har pyara Bol,
Do hain kaan, aur naak hai eik, (touch the ears and nose)
Mera bacha kitna naik” (give a hug)
Voice Clip here:
As in the other games, you can do both english and urdu versions.
- This game provides great bonding time for parent and child
- The child can learn the names of the different parts of the face
4. Urdu Games for Toddlers: Gaye Ure (The Cow Went Flying)
This is a famous game that I’m sure many south asians will remember from their childhood. You can play this game with one child or many.
Everyone sits in a circle and puts one finger in the middle. The parent takes the names of animals, birds and other objects and asks if they fly. The parent always raises the finger to confuse the children. Children will raise fingers when the animal/bird/object actually flies. So a sample game would go like this:
Parent: Gaye Ure? (The Cow went flying?) [Raises finger]
Children: Nahi! (No!) [Don’t raise finger]
Parent: Chirya Ure? (The bird flew?) [Raises finger]
Children: Jee! (Yes) [and raise their fingers high]
If a child raises their finger for an object/animal that doesn’t fly, you can playfully give them a tickle and correct them.
The same question can be asked for Ghora (horse), Billi (cat), Jahaz (aeroplane), Gaari (car) etc. Add as many words as you want and watch your child’s vocabulary grow. If they don’t know the urdu word of a certain object or animal, this is a great way to teach them. Once you have done a few rounds of this game, maybe the child might want to lead also.
- Vocabulary enhancement
- Leadership skills as they learn to lead the game
Urdu Games for Toddlers: Wrapping up
Hope you enjoy these games with your bilingual toddlers. I will be compiling a list for older kids too! Let me know what you think! Always love hearing from you.
I might make a video soon of these games, would you prefer that over the voice clips? Let me know!
+ Read this post about Urdu book recommendations for kids and how to find them
++ The Urdu section on the blog has many fun activities to learn Urdu