Guest post by Amber from Click. Pray. Love.
Do you have a 12-18 month old child? Have you found it challenging to come up with age-appropriate activities for them to do at home that don’t require the purchase of another toy? If so, I have a few ideas and a challenge to share with you.
First, consider a few of the developmental milestones for a 12-18 month old:
- Walks independently
- Stacks objects
- Knocks objects down
- Pulls objects apart
- Puts objects in and dumps them out of containers
- Hold objects in one hand while manipulating them with the other
Now, here comes the challenge: How many objects can you find in your home that will encourage your child to accomplish or build on those milestones? Here are a few ideas:
- clothes pins
- liquid coffee creamer containers
- muffin tin
- retractable tape measure
- food boxes
- dry pasta
- plastic vacuum hose
- bundt pan
- plastic flip top lids
Some Practical Suggestions
- Make an Activity Box – Fill a box with various objects allowing your child to explore the box while teaching him/her how to stir, stack, pour, etc.
Work on opening/closing flip top lids. You can also teach them how to thread a ribbon through the opening of flip top lids.
Play-doh – Make Play-doh balls and other shapes for your child. Have them place each one in an egg carton or other container. Give them cookie cutters and begin teaching them how to make their own shapes
Box Fun – Keep various size boxes (i.e. cereal, rice, cracker, cream cheese, soap box, etc.). Stack the boxes inside one another allowing your child to pull out each one and attempt to place each one back inside another box.
Plastic vacuum Hose – Do you have any balls that will fit inside? If so, try holding the hose up and dropping the ball from top to bottom. You’ll be surprised how quickly your 12-18 month will begin doing this independently. You could also use a paper towel roll.
Fill muffin tins with small objects – Cover each tin with tape or a lid allowing your child to discover what’s in each tin.
The list could go on and on, but hopefully these ideas will help get your creative juices flowing. Just remember to look at each object in your house and ask, “How could I use this to create a fun, safe, learning experience for my child?”
Amber is a Physical Therapist turned stay-at-home-mom to her son Bennett. She enjoys photography, wants to begin sewing, and is often thinking about the next fun activity to do with her family. You can join her quest of finding the Divine among the daily at Click.Pray.Love.