Toddler Concepts
Up & Down

There are many ways to learn the concepts "in" and "out." It doesn't take any extra effort or work on your end. Instead, just be aware of the concepts as you go about your day. Make sure to talk about "in" and "out" during different activities. This will help generalize and solidify the skill!

Language Milestones Targeted

Expressive Language

Receptive Language

  • Uses about 200-300 words consistently 
  • Uses words to get attention 
  • Understands 500 words 
  • Follows 2-step directions 
  • Knows simple concepts: big, little, in, out 
  • Understand contrasting concepts: up vs down 


What You Need: Nothing!

How To Play: Most toddlers love to jump! Now, just create a game where your child can "jump in" and "jump out." I will give some example below.

  • Jump in and out of puddles
  • Jump in the bedroom and then jump out
  • Jump in the sandbox and then jump out
  • Jump in the leave piles and then jump out
  • Jump in the pool
  • Draw a circle on the driveway, Jump in and out of it
  • Jump in the grass and then jump out
  • Jump in and out of the snow
  • You get the idea.....

Try to squeeze in a few jumping exercises throughout the day. Your child will pick up on it quickly!

Other Concepts To Target:

  • High
  • Low
  • Small
  • Big


What You Need: A messy house (with a toddler this should be a given)

How To Play: Organize the house with your child. Your toddler may be more excited to clean up or organize toys than anything else. Tell your child what toy to put in what place. If your child's language level is decent, he or she can be the parent and tell you what toy to take out or what toy to put in the toy box. Have fun with this one and you may even get a clean house out of it!

Other Concepts To Target: 

  • Clean
  • Dirty
  • Inside
  • Outside


What You Need: Buckets and something to pour in or out of them such as rice, coffee beans, dried beans, water, or sand.

How To Play: Toddlers love this sensory game! Get out some buckets, cups, or plastic bowls and one of the "sensory" materials listed above. For this example, I will use coffee beans (this is my son's favorite). Take turns with your child pouring the coffee in the bucket and then taking them out. Put the coffee beans in a muffin tin and then dump them out. Tell each other where to put a handful of coffee. "Put the coffee in the small bucket" or "dump coffee out."  

Other Concepts To Target: 

  • Colors
  • Dig
  • Pour
  • Up
  • Down

Play Tents

What You Need: A play tent or make a fort out of blankets, chairs, and pillows

How To Play: This one is also extremely easy! You can either talk about crawling in or out of a tent or discuss what toys should go in the tent or be placed outside the tent. As you play with your child, make sure to talk about putting things in and out.

Other Concepts To Target: 

  • More
  • All Gone
  • Light
  • Dark
  • Warm
  • Cold

› In & Out