What activities can I do with a toddler at 18 months old?
“No” is a word your 18 month-old toddler can communicate… and that usually includes him shaking his head! He can point to something that he wants and likely says several words. Communication skills are becoming obvious.
Problem-solving skills, learning and thinking are becoming apparent with your toddler!
- She will point to get your attention to focus on something she wants.
- By 18 months old, your child is developing an of his world. Because he has made observations in his environment, he knows that ordinary objects are used for specific purposes. (e.g., a brush or spoon.)
- Cause and effect are part of a toddler’s world. Just like anticipating the jack-in-the-box popping up or the tower of blocks tumbling down when he hits it…he understands the effect of the doorbell or phone ringing.
- Parents and children can explore and talk about what happens when experimenting with funnels, sand, and water!
- Isn’t it amazing to consider all the changes that have occurred in your child’s development from birth until now? Can you believe that your toddler is 18 months old?
NOTE: To make an easy tornado funnel, tape two water bottles together … for this young age, cut the bottom off one bottle to add water. Watch how the water funnels through the small opening… or just play!
Language, Listening, and Visual Development – your 18 month-old toddler is growing!
- Your child’s vocabulary is growing. When the parents or caregivers play a game to find and name body parts, she’s likely to point to the body part. Remember that when you ask a question like, “Where’s your nose?” your toddler may still need the visual reassurance as she imitates your response. She will definitely enjoy the praise for a job well done. “That’s right; you found your nose!”
Talk with your 18-month-old toddler!
- As you do things around the house, say, “Mommy is getting the dinner ready.” or “I need to fold the laundry.” Your words, along with stories, will increase your child’s vocabulary. He will likely use 6-40 recognizable words and understand many more.
- Having heard her name spoken quite often, your child will likely refer to herself by name.
- Watch your child’s body language. Notice how he indicates, with signs and gestures, things like “I want more!,” or I like it.”
- As his listening skills develop, he can follow simple one-step directions like “Sit down.”
- By 18 months, your toddler can obey simple one-step instructions like, “Please water the plants.”
- She can also answer simple questions like, “Where is the cat?”
- She enjoys rhymes, riddles, and stories!!!
- Read books and sing songs! Parents, remember to talk about the stories you read. Point to pictures of objects. Make animal sounds. You may find that your child has 2 or 3 favorite books that he wants to read and re-read.
- Visual Discrimination includes identifying objects and animals. Your child may begin to make connections to some of the symbols and shapes that you reference.
Gross Motor leading to Fine Motor Control
- He will be working on his gross motor skills by pulling toys and walking.
- She may begin to pretend to feed some of her stuffed animals.
- Your 18 month-old can use a spoon to feed himself and drink from a cup.
- He can thread large beads onto a string or shoelace.
- She will enjoy building a tower of three or more blocks.
- Your toddler will have control of the pincer grip used to pick up small objects like cheerios or that piece of lint off the floor.
- He can use a pencil in his whole hand or between thumb and first two fingers in a primitive tripod grasp to scribble independently. It’s great to see those crayon marks go on paper!
- Parents/caregivers, remember to support, encourage, and model your child’s learning. Do not try to force him/her to do things they are not developmentally ready for. Each child is different and simply requires your love and support.
At 18 months old, you may also notice that your child:
- has a fear of strangers.
- becomes frustrated and shows temper tantrums.
- demonstrates affection to familiar people.
- begins to expand the area he explores…you’ve probably noticed that he can be beside you one minute and gone the next!
- still enjoys many of the simple activities from when she was 12 months old.
- could be ready for some of the activities a 2-3-year-old develops through play.
Enjoy the giggles as she delights in her own achievements and yet still enjoys the wonder of simple games like “peek-a-boo” … “Where did you go?”
But most of all …. my wish is that you get the time to have fun with your child. Enjoy life!
Live, love, laugh.
Interesting video published by TED videos on You-Tube
Deb Roy – The birth of a word.
More Great Board Books!
- Busy Little Mouse by Eugenie Fernandes
- Where is the Green Sheep? by Mern Fox
- Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? by Dr Seuss
- Chicka, Chicka 1.2.3 by Bill Martin
- Ten Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mern Fox