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PLAYING: Your 12-18-month-old’s activity planner

Your 12-18-month-old’s activity planner

From crawling to standing and taking their first steps, your baby is now moving quickly into toddlerhood and becoming more active and mobile all the time. Now that they are developing their imagination, navigation, and spatial awareness, why not try out these five activity ideas, either indoors or out?

4 mins to read Jan 4, 2022

Between the ages of 12 and 18 months is an exciting phase. Your toddler is increasingly able to use their imagination in play, and the range of activities you can enjoy together is getting wider. You might find they now like to bring toys to you and involve you in their games, and that they love to repeat their favourite activities over and over.

As well as being a fun bonding experience, activity plays an important role in healthy growth and development. In several countries, there are activity guidelines that recommend toddlers be active for at least one to three hours each day. Their daily activity will include both structured and unstructured (or free) play. Structured play is when an adult is directing the activity and the child is encouraged to follow simple rules. This might include casual games but also organized group activities. Unstructured, or free, play is when the child is free to be active in whatever ways they choose, with minimal input from adults.

Encouraging your toddler to be active at this age helps build their strength and motor skills as well as kickstarting healthy habits that may last a lifetime.

Toddler activities - Your 12-18-month-old’s activity planner_2


  1. What? Play tag
    How? This is a great activity for when your toddler has mastered walking and is learning to run. Chasing games are particularly suitable for outdoors once you have cleared your play area of any potential hazards. Simply get your toddler to chase you and vice-versa. When they tag you or you tag him, give them a hug to let them know the object of the game has been achieved.
    Why? This exciting, energetic game will help build their muscles and improve their navigation and spatial awareness skills. Toddler activities - Your 12-18-month-old’s activity planner_3

  2. What? Hitch a ride
    How? At this age, your toddler can start using ride-on toys that rock or scoot, such as cars, trucks, and rocking horses. They can have fun moving themself around the house and outdoors with parental supervision.
    Why? Your toddler will love the feeling of independence that comes from powering something under their own steam, and it will help strengthen their core and leg muscles.Toddler activities - Your 12-18-month-old’s activity planner_4

  3. What? Bubble fun
    How? A great activity for the garden or the park. Blow bubbles and encourage them to move around to catch and pop them between their hands. All toddlers develop at their own pace, so save this game for when your little one is confident on their feet.
    Why? As well as getting them moving around, chasing and catching bubbles will benefit their hand-eye coordination and balance.Toddler activities - Your 12-18-month-old’s activity planner_5

  4. What? Obstacle course
    How? Create a mini obstacle course in your living room or garden using items like cushions or pillows to crawl over, a table to crawl under, and a chair to walk around. Let your toddler explore and have fun while you supervise.
    Why? This kind of activity will help to develop their gross motor skills and spatial awareness, and build strength and agility.Toddler activities - Your 12-18-month-old’s activity planner_6

  5. What? Box clever
    How? If you have any large cardboard boxes, they are great for making hiding places, pretend cars or rockets, or little dens to crawl in and out of. For safety, only have boxes available when your toddler is playing with an adult.
    Why? Providing them with a clean box can allow them to work on their motor skills, navigation, and balance. It also gives them the opportunity to use their imagination to make up their own games.



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