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20 Fun Activites for Your 18 Month Old Toddlers to Enjoy

Austin Clark
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20 Fun Activites for Your 18 Month Old Toddlers to Enjoy

Entertaining a young toddler can be a task, especially at an age when they aren’t very small yet they are growing at a very fast rate.

The 18-month range is an age when they are very curious and want to try out as many things as they can without thinking much about the outcome. As a parent or a guardian, you have to ensure that they have fun and enjoy playing around but also have fun.

Activities for 18-month-olds are designed to stimulate their developing cognitive, motor, and social skills. While playing and exploring, they can learn and grab basic knowledge and social interaction skills.

These activities for 18-month-olds also give valuable bonding opportunities between parents and their kids, helping them build a strong parent-child relationship.

Sensory play with different textures, colors, and shapes sparks their senses, while creative games like drawing with colors and finger-painting help them with self-expression and fine motor skill development.

These games should be fun and not overwhelming, so have fun while playing with your toddler, and together enjoy spending quality time with them.

Fun Activities Your 18-Month-Old Toddler Will Love

1. Sensory Play

Sensory Play

One of the most wonderful ways to engage with toddlers is sensory play. It promotes learning through exploration. Create sensory bins filled with rice, pasta, beans, sand, or water, offering a variety of textures, colors, and shapes for your child to discover. Allow them to touch, feel, and manipulate these materials, stimulating their sensory development.

You can also add safe objects like plastic spoons or cups to make and encourage kids to scoop and pour, enhancing their fine motor skills. This first-hand experience fosters creativity, cognitive growth, and sensory integration, making sensory play an enriching and enjoyable activity for your little one.

2. Having Fun with Dough

Having Fun with Dough

Activities for an 18-month-old can be a task, but if you look deeply, it is not that hard. You can also play with kids with dough. It’s a fantastic activity for your 18-month-old toddler.

You can start by playing with them using non-toxic playdough, giving them an opportunity to explore its texture and manipulate it with their hands. Toddlers can mold, squish, and squeeze the play dough, which will promote their sensory development and fine motor skills.

You can also make it more fun and creative by introducing cookie cutters to create fun shapes, encouraging creativity and hand-eye coordination. This open-ended play sparks imagination and increases cognitive growth. It also provides a calming and fun sensory experience, making playdough a versatile and fun activity that your little one will look forward to.

3. Building Towers

Building Towers

Building forts is a very fun learning activity that can spark interest in your 18-month-old’s imagination and creativity. You can use pillows, blankets, and cushions to build a cozy house where your toddler can play and have a tea party and so much more. As they go in and out of the fort, they can engage in gross motor skills development and spatial awareness.

In the fort, you can have differently shaped toys that can embark on imaginative adventures that will encourage their cognitive growth and storytelling abilities.

4. Solving Puzzle

Solving Puzzle

If you are still not very sure about activities for 18 month 18-month-olds, well, here is what, you can solve puzzles with them. It would be good for both you and your toddler. You can begin by introducing simple puzzles with big pieces.

These age-appropriate puzzles are designed to engage and give a hard time to young minds. This will keep them engaged, and they can manipulate the puzzle pieces. Puzzle solving can be a group activity that everyone in the family can enjoy, and you can have fun and develop a bond with your little one.

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5. Let’s Get that Ball Moving

Let's Get that Ball Moving

Ball play is a fantastic activity for 18-month-old toddlers. It provides both fun and developmental benefits. Ball rolling includes rolling, kicking, or tossing smiley softballs back and forth, which helps them to use their hands, legs, and entire body; this will promote the development of gross motor skills.

As the toddler tracks the ball’s movement, it will help with their coordination and help them with actions. The hand-eye coordination improves. The activity also improves their social skills as they engage in interactive play with other humans.

6. Let’s Uplift Their Hearing Abilities

Let's Uplift Their Hearing Abilities

Engaging in animal sound games are activities for 18-month-olds that you will thoroughly enjoy and laugh with. The 18-month-old is not only excited, but this also benefits their language development and creativity.

Start by encouraging your toddler to mimic various animal sounds and you follow them. This activity helps them explore different voices, improving their ability to learn and understand sounds. As they try to imitate the sounds, their communication skills and vocabulary will grow.

It will also stimulate creativity and increase a sense of joy and wonder as they find different things about the animal kingdom through their own voices.

7. The 101 of Playing with Scarfs

The 101 of Playing with Scarfs

Scarfs? Are they really something that an 18-month-old can play with? Well, let’s find out. Playing with scarves can be a delightful and captivating activity for your 18-month-old toddler. The color of the scarf and the quality of the cloth can really add to the game.

You can play peek-a-boo with them. This activity can encourage laughter and social interaction. It is a very easy game, but it will surely bring a smile to your and your toddler’s face.

The simple act of covering and revealing their face promotes object permanence and cognitive development. Letting them dance and twirl with the scarves enhances their gross motor skills and fosters a sense of rhythm and movement.

8. Make Your Own Bottle

Make Your Own Bottle

Activities for 18-month-olds can actually include DIY. Here you can let them build their own sensory bottles, which is a safe activity for your 18-month-old toddler.

To create these captivating bottles, you can fill them with liquids and solids like water, oil, glitter, or small toys and seal them tightly to prevent any kind of spills. As your toddler shakes and plays with the bottles, they are engaged in sensory exploration, looking at the mesmerizing flow of colors, textures, and objects.

This game leads to the growth of their visual and tactile senses, uplifting their sensory integration and cognitive development. The DIY bottles also serve as a calming tool, helping your toddler to enhance by regulating their emotions and providing a sense of comfort.

9. Guess the Color

Guess the Color

Color sorting is an excellent activity for 18-month-olds. You begin by collecting all the various colorful objects you have around your house and give your toddler different containers for sorting.

Hype them up whenever they get any color right and play along with them so that they understand what they actually have to do because toddlers are very good at mimicking.

This game promotes color detection and improves their cognitive skills as they differentiate colors. It also enhances their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination as they change and place objects into the containers.

10. The Mirror Game

The Mirror Game

You can do activities for 18-month-olds with the help of Mirror. Start off by placing a child-safe mirror at their eye level. They can look at their own reflection and begin to recognize themselves. It is a very important process as it helps them self-recognize themself, and it is important for them to do this.

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As they see their reflection, they may make facial expressions, smile, or even talk to themselves. It will help out with their social and communication skills. Mirror play also encourages cognitive development as they grasp the concept of reflection.

This very easy, pocket-friendly, yet powerful activity will help the little ones by laying the foundation for healthy emotional growth with themselves.

11. The Bubble Wrap Game

The Bubble Wrap Game

No one in the world does not like to burst the bubble every time they see a bubble wrap. It is one of the most fun activities that reminds adults of their childhood. One of the activities for 18 month 18-month-olds can be bursting bubble wrap.

Just lay out a piece of bubble wrap and let them stomp, jump, or press on it with their hands or feet. The lovely popping sound and the tactile sensation of the bubbles bursting below their legs will help them by stimulating their senses.

12. Put that Sticker

Put that Sticker

When we were kids, we all had different stickers for different things. So, why should it be different for your little one? Playing with stickers is a great activity to promote fine motor skills and creativity in your 18-month-old child. Start off by giving them a variety of colorful stickers and a large piece of chart paper.  Let them peel and stick the stickers on the chart paper.

This first-hand experience helps them with their ability to manipulate small objects and strengthens their fine motor abilities. The process of choosing the right stickers and calculating where to put them also encourages decision-making and imaginative skills. This simple and fun activity keeps your little one entertained and also teaches them a lesson or two.

13. The Feeding Game

The Feeding Game

Playhouse, play toys, feeding toys fake food. These are the activities for 18-month-olds that keep them engaged and entertained. Feeding toys with play food is a cute and interesting activity for your 18-month-old kid.

You can provide pretend food and let them imagine playing as a caregiver. Through this nurturing act, they develop kindness and begin to understand the concept of looking out for others. Imaginative feeding play also helps them with their cognitive and social skills as they create imaginative storylines for their stuffed animals or dolls.

This game also strengthens their fine motor skills as they make the play food and feed their “friends.” Feed the Toys is a wholesome and engaging activity that nurtures their sense of compassion and creativity.

14. Block Building

Block Building

Block by block, you make the entire, and that is quite true as an activity for an 18-month-old. Giving toddlers blocks of various sizes and shapes gives them an opportunity to experiment with spatial concepts and develop hand-eye coordination. As they stack the blocks to create buildings, they improve their fine motor skills and problem-solving abilities.

You can knock down their creations; this will help them understand cause-and-effect relationships. It is an open-ended play that fosters creativity and imagination as they create their own little worlds.

15. Singing and Dancing Your Heart Out

Singing and Dancing Your Heart Out 

Your activities for 18-month-olds should have dancing and singing in them. Because who doesn’t like it? You have to introduce your 18-month-old to a joyful and educational activity of the musical and dance world.

Start by playing lively music and dancing together, motivating them to do physical movement and coordination. Dancing promotes fun. Singing nursery rhymes.

The repetition of rhymes helps with cognitive and phonetic development. This interactive experience with a guardian and toddler creates a bond that no other activity can.

Dancing and singing together is something that you should definitely try with your little one and record this moment so that you have something to look back at and smile at.

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16. The Art of Reading

The Art of Reading

Well, reading activities for 18 month old can be fun. Trust us! Select age-appropriate books with colorful pictures and simple stories that capture their attention.

As you read with them, you promote language by exposing them to new letters and words. You can point to pictures and ask questions that encourage their communication skills.

The parent-child bond grows, and you share the joy of storytelling and exploration. Reading regularly also lets the child love books and learning. And if they start enjoying it at a young age, it will add a base for their lifelong journey with literature.

17. Fun with Water

Fun with Water 

Fill a shallow basin or water table with clean water and fill the water container with child-safe toys like cups, scoops, and rubber ducks. This interactive play with water gives a sensory-rich experience to a toddler and will stimulate their senses.

As they play with water, it will help them by building a relationship with it. This game encourages creativity and imaginative play, keeping your little one entertained.

18. Draw it Out

Draw it Out

Gift your toddler washable crayons, sketch pens, and paints for exploration. Make sure that these colors are safe art materials so that you can allow them to freely draw, scribble, and experiment.

As they play with the tools, their fine motor skills enhance. While they create their drawing, look out for them and make sure that they are enjoying the process and are not overwhelmed by it.

19. The Game of Pretending

The Game of Pretending

A lot of activities for 18-month-olds include pretend play. It is a fun and valuable activity for your toddler. You can encourage them and their imagination by letting them play pretend with their toys.

As they engage in this role-play, they get to develop language skills by imagining scenarios and interacting with their “toys.” This kind of play also nurtures social skills as they adopt to share, take turns, and cooperate in their imaginative world. Through the play, they get to explore emotions and problem-solving.

20. Outdoor Fun

Outdoor Fun

No matter how many games you play inside or semi inside, house. Nothing beats the fun of outdoor play. Activities for 18-month-olds should have fun outside the four walls of the house.

Take your toddler to the park where they can run, climb, and play openly. This open space allows them to be themselves and explore the world.

Make sure that you are keeping an eye all the time when they are playing outside as it can get dangerous but do not be a helicopter parent. Let them enjoy. Just ensure that they are safe while doing so.

Conclusion

Activities for 18-month-olds are critical for their overall development. These activities give them an excellent opportunity to learn and foster essential abilities that range from reading to playing.

Sensory play enhances their senses and cognitive development, whereas block play increases their hand-eye coordination and creativity. When you read with your child, it fosters language development and creates a parent-child bond. Outdoor play encourages physical growth, social skills, and so much more.

If you are a parent or guardian of a young toddler and are trying to find ways to connect and bond with your toddler, then follow our blog for more fun ideas and games.

Austin Clark
Austin Clark

Joining our team as a freelancer in 2020, Austin Clark brings a wealth of knowledge from his MA in Child Psychology from the University of Michigan. His 12-year career includes roles in child development centers, focusing on the importance of play in early childhood. Austin advocates for inclusive and educational play, often volunteering in community playgroups. Austin is also passionate about sustainable toy manufacturing. He's an avid kayaker, exploring waterways and enjoying the tranquility of nature.

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