Interesting Activities for 18 Month Olds | Tried and tested by Real moms


Read a comprehensive list of activities for 18 month olds kids do keep them occupied and entertained. These activities are also good for your toddlers growth and development

Keeping a toddler engaged is not easy and I have usually seen questions around how to keep my one and a half year old engaged. To be honest that is something I searched on google when my kid was eighteen months old. As the toys he used to play with were not sufficient and I was desperately looking for ideas on how to keep my eighteen months old engaged.

So today I am going to compile and share what I learnt and what worked for me. Some of these activities are very easy and will not require much set up. Before we start with activities let us see what kids usually are able to do by this age. Please note that all kids are different and below is a general guideline based on what I have seen or observed.

Usually, at this age kids start walking without support, can stretch their arms to reach to certain things and can do various other things they were not able to as their muscles are more strong and their mind is developing. They are learning and exploring their world and trying to understand and know about various things around them.

Some kids have started speaking and can explain their needs , some are still learning the language and trying to explain their needs. But at this age they are able to understand about various things happening around them. For eg If you ask your kid to handover an empty glass kept at the known place, he may bring to you the right object.

Being parents it is our responsibility to teach them certain things and help them understand the world around them in a better way. Thus the foremost thing is to talk to them, read for them, sing for them (they are not replying but understanding everything what you are saying) and let them explore.

Explain to your toddler small things around them and make them aware about the outside world. Take them to the park, show them the trees, let them touch the flowers, let them feel the water, show them the flying birds, beautiful butterfly, twinkling stars, big sky and so on.

So here are some of the interesting activities you can do with your 18 month old babies

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Toddler Chunky Crayons and Scribbling or Magnetic Doodle Board

Want to keep your toddler engaged and want to improve his creativity then play with chunky crayons and do some scribbling. Get a paper and some crayons and let your kid draw on a paper. Don’t expect any particular design. This activity is just to make them familiar with colours and for improvement of fine motor skills of kids. You can also take a doodle board, it is very kids friendly and let your kid spend some happy hours with colours and patterns made by him.

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Matching activity (Objects, Colour, Shapes)

This is a wonderful activity to play with your toddler, through this game your kid will start recognizing the objects and will help in language development of kids.

So to play this game you need may be a basket full of objects , some sheets cut in the form of tags and a pen. On tags write down the name of the objects your kid see in the home like table, bowl, bed, fan, chair etc. Now show the card to your kid and read it aloud and then show the object the tag is related to. You can do it for number of times so that your kid understands the object and can recognize it. Now, pick one tag and show it to your baby and read it aloud and then ask your kid to point towards the object tag is related to. As your kid is too small you may have to repeat the name again and again. Let your kid takes his time and let him recognize the objects.

You can do this activity regularly, each time with some new objects.

Same as you can make some tags for colour matching and shape matching activity or you can do it with same colour objects like blocks, rings, cars, balls etc. You need to follow the same procedure as mentioned above, first show the colours and name it loudly in front of your kid and then ask your kid to match the colour. Same as for shapes name the shape first, show it and match it and then ask the kid to match the shape. Don’t expect your kid to do it right at first attempt.

Go slow, kids are fast learners but they need some time to create the images of things they see and recall them whenever they need to.  Acknowledgment of effort is very necessary to keep saying good and positive words to them.

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Scooping, Transferring (Wet and Dry Pouring)

This is a fun activity, actually loved by all the kids of any age. Pour the water for drinks.

Wet Pouring 

This is a simple life skill to learn, and can be learned through practice. To start the game take them outside (may be terrace or balcony) or you can try it at home. Keep in mind they are doing it first time so be ready to clean the mess. Just fill a Jug (make sure your kid can lift it up) and give them some cups or glasses set out to pour into. Let them fill the cups, let them empty the jug and let them ask for more water.

This activity helps in gaining the confidence and it also helps in the development of hand eye-coordination. And after some attempts you will see kids doing the activity with one hand, holding the cup in their other hand and mostly making it all. The only problem you may see (throughout all of the activity) that kids did not know when to stop filling the cup. They may always overflowed the cups. But nearly always made it into the cup.

Dry Pouring and Scooping 

You can extend this activity and can do some pouring or scooping with some dry stuff. In a bowl you can give your kid some mixture of pulses and a small spoon. Show your kid how to fill a spoon and transfer it to other bowl. Do it twice or thrice in front of your kid or you can hold his hand and help him in filling the spoon and then transfer it to another bowl. Then leave the activity for your kid, you sit with him and help him if he wants.

A wonderful and loved activity by kids. Give it a try,trust me it is going to be a super fun activity.

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Tearing and Crushing

Tearing and crushing activities are really good for improvement of fine motor skills. Get some old newspapers or thin coloured papers and tear them with your kid and you would love to see your kid giggling while tearing a paper. To add more fun in this get a glue and paste the small pieces on paper. You can paste them randomly or in a particular way and make a design.

For crushing dry some leaves and then crush them, it will be fun. Keep a paper and crush the leaves on it so that you can keep them at one place and to add more fun apply some glue on paper and then paste the crushed leaves on it.

Give it a try, its really good for fine motor skills and best part is that kids love to do this activity.

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Animal Sounds

Toddlers love different sounds and they love to listen strange and different sounds.

This is the time when you make them aware about the various animal sounds. For this, simply you can read books with animal sounds, you can sing rhymes with animal sounds or can play recordings of animal sounds. Let them hear and let them imitate the sound.

Suppose, you are reading a book and it has animal sound like duck says quack quack, cat says meow meow, you can make the reading more interesting you can play with small animal figurines and you can mimic the sound of the animal. Each time you say one animal sound, ask your kid to point towards the animal or your kid may love to mimic animal sounds.

If you would like you can use finget puppets as props while doing this.

Thus, a really fun activity which ends up only giggles all over the house.

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Water Play Experiment: What sinks and what floats?

Kids always love to play in water. They can spend hours and hours playing with water. Isn’t it ?

So here we go..

To start with first grab few toys that could get wet.  (I know it may hard to explain to kids that wooden toys we can’t put them in water est, nor would ones with batteries in them. But still, we can find few toys to do this experiment) So, a water-filled bucket or tub and some toys are all you need.

To start with show your kid what does float mean and what does sink mean. Then continue your experiment and each time you put one toy in a tub ask your kid…

Do you think that one will sink when you put it in? What do you think will happen with that toy etc.?

Your your kid answers may purely a guess each time. But it’s OK.  He really does not have any clue.

So it’s a fun activity with some learning. Do try it.

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Sensory Baskets

Sensory baskets are loved by most kids.

What are sensory bins – anything kept in  a basket or bin that stimulates a kids senses  –  like touch, taste, smell, see and hearing. Its basically letting your kid actually touch, feel, smell and see the objects.

You can create a sensory basket out of anything easily available at home. I could be flowers, or pulses, or grains, or toys, or paper, or cloth. Mainly the intent is to feel different texture, to be able to smell different fragrances, to be able to taste various food, to be able to see different colours and patterns and to be able to hear different sounds.

Chicken Sensory Bin

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Colour Sorting

Another wonderful activity for toddlers, helps in colour recognition and sorting based on colours.

You can play this game with some colourful balls, blocks, spoons, baskets , bowls etc. Kids love to play with balls so if you have three or four coloured balls and bowls you can do this activity at home.

Put some bowls in a row and keep balls (same correspond to the colour of bowls) in a basket. Ask your kid to pick one ball and keep it in the matching bowl. If your kid picks a yellow bowl then you loudly say “Oh… its a yellow ball. Let’s keep it in a yellow bowl.” Let him keep the ball in the bowl which he wants to, if he makes s mistake, it’s OK. Show him the yellow colour bowl and make sure you pronounce the name of the colour loudly and if he does it correctly, appreciate his efforts with some positive words.

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Let’s Fold It

You can have some real fun with old newspapers or coloured papers. Just fold them and make something with it, may be a boat or a ball or an airplane. To involve your toddler in this activity just grab his attention keep talking to him and ask him to imitate you.

After you complete your work play with what have you made, this will excite the little one and again he may ask you to make something with papers.

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Play with lids

If you have some bottles and lids lying at your home then you can play this activity with your toddler. Keep the lids and bottles at some distance. Ask your kid to pick one lid and put it on a bottle it best fits. To make the activity interesting it’s better to have lids of different colours and sizes. Let your kid find the bottle for the lid and tighten it.

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Let’s Smell it and name it

A wonderful sensory activity to play with your toddler. Make him sit at one place, may be on high chair or place where he loves to sit and gently cover his eyes. In a bowl keep some slices of his favourite fruit may be an orange or a mango. Bring the bowl close to his nose and say loudly it’s an orange or a mango. Do it twice and thrice and motivate your kid to speak with you.

You can do this activity for some days and then one fine day you may find your toddler guessing the correct fruit name by just smelling it.

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Simple Puzzles

You can start playing some simple puzzles with your toddler. To start with show your kid some bright picture and ask him to point an object in the picture for eg: you can say can we find the moon in the picture, can we find a tree in the picture etc. Ask your kid to find the objects he is familiar with. Later on, you can start playing some simple two pieces puzzles where kids need to keep them in a way so that picture gets completed.

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Cut and Paste Craft

Cut and paste activities are really good to boost their imagination and creativity and it is also very good for improvement of fine motor skills of kids. You can cut some shape cut outs and with your kid you can paste those cut outs on a piece of paper and can make some cards book marks etc.

Check out cut and paste fish craft

Colourful Fish Craft - Cut and Paste activity for kids

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Finger painting , Hand painting, Panting using bubble wraps or Leafs or Vegetable painting

Indulge your toddler in some art work. Let them explore the colours and let them use their fingers and hands to create some materpieces.

Finger or Hand Painting 

Because you are doing it with your toddler make sure you use homemade colours or buy some edible colours. So keep the colours in big bowls and ask your kid to dip his finger or palm in it and then leave a print on a piece of paper.

More Hand print craft Ideas for kids

Bubble Wrap Painting 

You can add some more fun in this activity by doing bubble wrap painting. Cut small pieces of bubble wrap, apply colour on it and keep the bubble wrap on a paper (with colour side down) and gently tap it twice and then pick the piece up. See the lovely impression on paper. Your kid may love to tap the bubble wrap and would love to see the wonderful coloured impressions on paper.

Leaf Painting 

Collect some different shaped leafs, take some colours and a sheet of paper. Apply colour on one side of leaf, and put it on a paper. Gently tap it and then pick it. You will see a lovely impression of leaf on a paper. Let your kid apply colour on leaf, he may love to apply it with his finger instead of brush, it’s OK, let him and show him how to tap it. I am sure your kid will love doing this.

Fish Making Through Leaf Etching

Vegetable Painting

Another wonderful way of doing painting. You can do potato, onion, ladyfinger painting. What you need is sheet of paper, colours and some vegetable slices. Apply colour on one side of vegetable slice and leave a tamp on paper. The colourful different shaped designs will bring the spark in your kid’s eyes.

Help your kid while doing these activities. He may want to do it in his own way. It’s OK. What all we want is some fun Isn’t it ? Trust me your kid gonna love this. I know it will be messy but sometimes mess is fun.

Inspire your kid to make some designs, if he let’s you hold his hands and draw something else let him do his artwork and keeps appreciating his work with some motivational words.

So you will have a masterpiece in your hands.

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Stamping

Stamping or dabbing activities let the kid explore and play with colours. You can take some foam pieces and colours, show your kid how to do it.. dip the foam in colour and leave the impression on paper. Other way on a bottle lids you can paste some form shape cut outs dip them in colour and leave a stamp on paper. That’s all.  A fun way to keep them happy for hours.

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Reading Books

Reading books is very important for kids. The more you read for them the more they will know. Reading from early years, helps in vocabulary and language building of kids. On the other hand it improves their imagination and visualization too. Thus, when your kid is small you can go for lift the flap books, cloth books, touch and feel books, board books etc. Choose books with big and colourful pictures which can hold the interest of small listeners.

Besides all the above activities you can sing rhymes, dance on music, or play some musical instrument. Here are a list of some of the favourite rhymes for kids.

These all activities are really great fun for kids and parents.

Hope you liked the list of activities that you can do with your eighteen months old

Happy Playing !!

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An MBA Professional, used to work with bank in Forex deptt. I am a mother of a 2 ½ year old kid. In my spare time I Love to travel, read books and gardening. Great fan of Dan Brown and Jeffrey Archer novels.

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