Playtime and Development: 18 Months Old

The last year and a half has flown by in the blink of an eye, and your little ones continue to become independent, and curious about the world around them. Their desire to explore is a huge component of their learning at this age, and it’s a great basis for playtime.

Your Babies Are Likely…

Exciting developments have taken place in recent months! At 18 months, your babies may be doing any, or all, of the following:

  • Walking- The milestone that made you cry! (Don’t deny it.) You thought you were busy chasing a crawling baby, but here comes the true challenge.
  • Saying 5-10 Words- It may not seem like much, but that’s incredible!
  • Feeding Themselves- Utensils or hands, they’re feeding themselves. This makes meal time so much fun, and messy.

The theme of your children’s learning at 18 months is exploration. Everything is fascinating, and their curiosity is relentless. You don’t actually have to keep them from everything either. If it is safe, let them touch! Sensory exploration is a great tool for development.

Ideas for Fun Play-Based Learning Activities

  • Exploration- This can’t be stressed enough. Letting your little ones explore can be so beneficial.  Take your little one into the backyard, or let them explore the house. (Safely, of course.)
  • Looking at Books- You’re likely no stranger to reading books, but letting your babies look at them is an activity in itself. They’ll learn how to turn the pages on their own, see bright colors, and learn new shapes.
  • Park Visits- You might love these trips as much as your little ones. It’s the perfect way for everyone to get a little fresh air. Your babies can use their newfound sense of exploring, get exercise, and maybe even interact with other children.
  • Fun with Soap- We’re not talking about bath time. Let your little ones indulge in some sensory learning with soap.

Fill a plastic jar halfway with water (Peanut butter jars are perfect.) Add in food coloring, and soap, and seal the lid tightly. Then just let your baby shake it up! It’s sure to interest their ever-growing curiosity.  (You can even add little extras, like glitter, for more fun!)

All of these activities can include one essential aspect: communication. Tell your little one what is happening in the jar, explain what trees are at the park, and explore right along with your babies.

Developing Behavior

As you’ve noticed, your babies are extra busy exploring and trying to understand how this world works. It’s a wonderful idea to schedule some playtime with babies around the same age. They’ve been looking to you for cues on how to act, but now they’ll be able to learn behavior norms from other individuals as well.

Development Checkup

The visits to the doctor will start to become more focused on the development of your little ones. Although all babies grow at different speeds, even among your triplets, there are a few things worth discussing at the next visit:

If Your Baby is…

·      Not enjoying cuddles and eye contact

·      Not coming to you for reassurance or comfort

·      Showing no comprehension of any words

·      Not pointing or waving

·      Not trying to communicate with you

·      Lack of interest or display in pretend play

·      Not walking

Your triplets are embracing all toddlerhood has to offer. Playtime is going to become much more hands-on, and a lot of fun for everyone!  Turn every fun activity into a potential teaching moment for those incredible expanding minds.

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